Snapshot 4/30/21 // “Excelsior!”

Currently listening:All Too Well” – Taylor Swift
Currently watching: Shadow and Bone
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Um, hi. So I don’t know what April was if I am going to be honest with y’all. I mean, like, I didn’t get sick! So that’s breaking a previous two year strong curse where I always got sick in April. In fact it was quite the opposite. I got vaccinated!! So that makes me happy, and makes life at least feel somewhat better. Work has been hectic but, not bad? Just different and even though at times I get a little sad I know that where I am now is for the best. In fact since my promotion I’ve really been finding my writing groove. So another positive.

I got to see my friends who I hadn’t seen since last autumn. That was magical, and we had a magical time. Also my family which I never got to see for Christmas came over for a spring party!! So that was amazing because it was Christmas for me in April. I missed my family and friends so so so SO much times infinity. Another win for the month.

April was good actually. Just there was so much going on at work at times that I tended to get stressed out. Some of my healthy habits went wayside let us say and there was some cake eaten. In fact, a lot of cake eaten. A lot of delicious cake. So again, maybe not all that bad? Maybe I’m just really tired. But a good tired, the kind of tired you get after putting in a hard day’s work. But also happy? Because I got a lot done and got to see a lot of people I dearly love and missed.

Also, ya know, summer…. I FEEL YOU COMING.

April Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake! FAILURE. DID I MENTION THE CAKE?
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga! Check. Go me.

May (the month where I become a hermit and focus on myself) Goals:

  1. Focus on me. I need to stop worrying about everyone else and just listen to my needs. I am an enneagram type 2 and this is the realest lesson I need to learn. That way I can stop reaching for the cake.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. Take 2.
  3. Watch my caloric intake. Girl, girl, no more binging. We got rid of this habit, don’t go back to it.
  4. Get at least 10,000 steps everyday. You lost your workout routine after COVID hit. Time to get it back.
  5. Do yoga every damn day. You get stressed, so get unstressed. (Cue me, realizing I’m talking to myself through this whole list lol. At this point I am just going to continue on. Excelsior!).
  6. Work on The Lowell Saga. Keep going. You are getting there step by step.
  7. Watch your spending. Girl. Save your damn money, you do not need more books when there are PLENTY waiting on your shelf .
  8. GET THAT TATTOO. You have wanted it forever so just. do. it.

What I Read:

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Good read. Had me laughing out loud at times which is a win because it is hard to make me laugh when I’m reading a book. I would not call it a life changing read but it did open my eyes to some aspects of my own life that I know I need to improve upon. I also thought the ending was satisfying but I could see where some others might not find it completely so. But I think it ended well, and I’m glad I read it.
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Read this two more times this month.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
  • Snapshot! Monthly Recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

Amazing Posts I Read in April:

My Round Up of April Posts:

I randomly started rereading The Raven Boys this past Saturday (St. Mark’s Eve, lol) and it has been the greatest form of self care I could ever imagine. Rediscovering one of your favorite books all over again is like falling in love. To me at least. I didn’t plan on reading it, I did it spontaneously at like 10 o’clock at night after I saw Maggie’s insta post about St. Mark’s Eve and since then I have not been able to put the book down. Like, Gansey… I am falling in love with him all over again. *SPOILER* Even as I watch Blue trying to fight it, I’m just like girl. Girl. GIRL. ThErE iS NO pOInT.

Come on guys be real with me…. tell me which favorite character of yours is it that you can’t help but fall in love with read through after read through no matter how many times you’ve read their story?

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP Update | April 2021 | Vienna

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | March 2021 | Spring, Submissions & Moltres

Ahhhh April, yes. April so far as been a month of getting into a new routine. As the weather has been warming so has my writing. I cleaned my writing space up a quite a bit this month. I guess you could say I was…. spring cleaning lol. It was good for my head and it was good to head back into my WIP, The Lowell Saga (TLS). I cleaned up all my whiteboards and corkboards, then refreshed myself with my notes. Now I am going back through my rough first draft and making a storyboard/outline of all the scenes I have already written so I can better visualize and finally write out… the end… of draft 1 book 1. Wow…. still so much to do but guys…. this might actually be the year I finish a draft!!!

The first time I honestly ever really considered being a writer as a profession was when I was probably around 16 years old. This is a small story, a small memory really, that I will never forget. It was tiny and when I tell you it might not seem like much but in that moment it, and still today, it means a lot to me.

My family and I had gone to a craft festival. It was small, at a convention center not too far away, where all of these artists got to show off their wares and creations. My mom stopped at one particular booth. The artist was a photographer who had taken pictures from all over the world of letters in real life places. For example, a window in the shape of an “O” or a the arch on a bridge that looked like an “N” from just the right angle. Then he would take a frame and place all the pictures in a frame to spell out a word. I remember my mom wanted one really badly but she couldn’t think of what special word she wanted to frame and hang up in the house.

We paced around that whole showcase floor, all the while trying to think of the right word. We passed by so many vendors and artists selling all these beautiful, striking things. Music had been streaming through my headphones on the car ride here and I was totally zoned out… when this particular song came back into my head. I sang it over and over. Repeated my favorite verse again and again, humming it under my breath. The song was “Vienna” by Billy Joel.

That’s when I knew exactly what word. I told my mom and she agreed on the spot. Yes, that was it. That felt right.

Seeing all those artists following their hearts…. I knew one day I would have to write a book. At least try. Follow what my heart said even though it was risky, even though I didn’t know when I would attempt it… but that memory, that moment just solidified the dream in my heart. I was a step closer to deciding to follow my ….

“You got your passion, you got your pride
But don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true (Oooh)
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?”

The Lowell Saga (TLS) really is where my heart is. As I am rereading my draft I just keep reminiscing and knowing why I wrote what I wrote. I can tell just how I felt skimming through a certain scene. I remember all the feelings that went into creating a certain character. I remember why I am doing this. Even if I had been lost, now I am being found.

This month I’ll introduce you to Quentin. He is brilliant, truly. But also cautious to a fault, and resigned with his life. Oh, my poor boy. Two Pokemon that would be on his team are Alakazam and Furret. Of all seven of my main characters I believe he deserves the world… but he has to go through a lot to get it. 😦

So the writing goes on. I’ll keep chipping at it, and some day I’ll get there. I have to finish this book. I have to. Even if no one reads it but me.

What are your special writing memories?

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word count: 72,183

Snapshot 4/30/20 // “In Which I Wish I Was Animated”

Currently listening:Yellow” – Coldplay
Currently watching: Hey Arnold!/ Invader Zim/ Yu-Gi-Oh! GX/ School Rumble/ Naruto
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

So March was bad but unfortunately April was worse. Much worse. I don’t even want to discuss it because I think we all know the news is doing enough of that. So, instead, I want to focus on the nicer aspects of April. As we all know, April showers bring May flowers and let me tell you guys, I am so ready for flowers.

(Just like Alice I want to sit and talk to all the flowers for hours…)

April Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Check. Still more work needed to be done but I did do this.
  2. Keep my desk clean! Check. Check. Coming along nicely, and almost done sorting and organizing.
  3. Stick with my blog posting schedule promise! Check. Check. Check! As you can see I HAVE STUCK TO MY SCHEDULE! GO ME!
  4. Become more interactive on Twitter! Check! I’m definitely posting more and reading more on Twitter.
  5. Make submissions again with my writing! CHECK. Now to see what happens lol… but I’m proud of myself for at least submitting again, no matter the results! Failure is just as much a part of writing as success.
  6. Change my profile pic! Check.
  7. Be less stressed out! Okay so. Half a check? I was much more stressed out this month than any other this year but on the bright side I’m coming down off of that mountain and each day getting better at bringing that stress level down.
  8. Practice the piano and my violin again! CHECK, CHECK! Yesss, and I’m loving it ❤
(Me, just bowing down that stress level)

May (the month with just the flowers that will bring the stress mountain alll the wayyyy downnnnn) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! This one is staying on here, and spoiler alert may be on here for a few more months but eventually it will turn into WRITING THAT DANG FIRST DRAFT.
  2. Become EVEN MORE interactive on Twitter! Okay so, as you guys may or may not have noticed I do things slowly but I do DO them. It just takes me some time to build a habit so this goal and a few others are going to be repeats and they may appear for a while but this is just… how I work? (*shrugs*) If you’re on Twitter let’s connect! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4
  3. Continue making submissions! Rejection or acceptance, at least I’m trying right?
  4. Continue practicing the piano and my violin! Nothing brings my stress level down lower than music. This goal is STAYING.
(Not to get philosophical, but does anyone? Really? If so, contact me.)

What I Read:

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne with decoration by Ernest H. Shepard. I love Winnie-the-Pooh. I really do. My mug I use every day is a Winnie-the-Pooh mug with him, Piglet and Christopher Robin looking over a bridge at the river down below. So what better way to spend time in a crisis then indulging in the sweet, nostalgic tang of honey and wisdom. Everyone should read this. It’s lessons are so simple, so simple, that they are often overlooked a lot by people today. In this busy world we are always trying to move faster, better, stronger. We forget so often to live in the present moment. Pooh doesn’t though. He takes his time, he makes mistakes, and he learns at his own pace. The stories were made for children but adults can appreciate the clever wordplay layered throughout the Hundred Acre Wood. Also, side note, Disney really pepped up Eeyore because in the book he is SO much more depressed. He broke my heart and the ending also broke my heart. It wasn’t necessarily sad because it did leave room for hope but it ends with an experience every child goes through when eventually it’s time to grow up. Some of us though… 😉 can always stay a child at heart no matter how old we get.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. Okay, okay. Where is the second book already??? I NEED it. Leigh Bardugo’s writing never fails to amaze me and on top of that this is a book all about Nikolai, ahem, one of my favorite characters of all time. Yes the book is a little more slow paced which may not be for everyone but I’m here for it. Everything connects and picks up where Ruin and Rising and Crooked Kingdom left off. The story resonance is fantastic. This book even made me fall in love with Zoya. I know. I know. Now she is one of my favorite characters and I have no regrets. The book is great and I don’t want to give any spoilers away but we do see a lot of familiar faces. Most welcome, and some not lol. This book is highly recommended for anyone who needs to return to the Grishaverse or anyone who is as desperately in love with Nikolai Lantsov as I am. Along with Nikolai and Zoya’s storyline, Nina returns and has her own arc running throughout the book as well and let me tell you I am here for it. Her story is continued and so far I agree with how its proceeding.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1 by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. When I am sad I have two ways of coping through reading. This month I went both ways. Eva is dark, and philosophical. It was an anime that I put off for a long time, one that I had even written off years ago. Last year, I gave it a chance and I fell in love. It’s not for everyone, but it has some of the most relatable characters I have ever seen. When times are dark, I sometimes go for that apocalyptic vibe so this year I decided to read the manga and it brought back so many memories. If you are looking for something deep, and dark and so, so human I highly recommend checking it out.
Fruits Basket, Vol. 2-5 by Natsuki Takaya. The other way of coping when I’m sad is to read books with fluffy, contemporary, soft vibes. So after the religion that is Evangelion, I did a 180 and went to Fruits Basket. It’s a manga series I read for the first time in high school, and I hated high school, but Fruits Basket (Furuba, as fans lovingly refer to it) made it better. The romance is gradual, the growth from chapter to chapter is incremental but believable, and the characters just make me want to give each and every one of them a hug, lol. Even Akito and sometimes Shigure… sometimes. It’s a classic, I believe, that a lot of people have heard of but if you haven’t and are in need of a hug from a book I highly recommend, lol. The lessons it teaches are all just so positive and healthy. It gives all the feels.<3

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Living Life vignettes- posted every other Friday
  • Alternate Reality flash fiction collection- posted the last Tuesday of the month
  • Snapshot! monthly recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

All of my writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.

April Round Up of Awesome Posts from Awesome People:

My Round Up of April Posts:

I don’t think I’ve watched as many animated shows at any other time in my life than I’m watching now. Hulu is a God send. I’ve got Hey Arnold!, Invader Zim, Naruto, School Rumble and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX all going at once. #Noregrets. Before you jump to conclusions I’m just going to say yes I do watch all of them at the same time.

… (*cricket chirp*)

Just kidding! But now I do believe I hear them calling my name! Which one shall I pick now…

(Me, every other hour of the day when I crave my animated fix)

What have you guys been watching/reading lately? Do you have any comfort shows/reads you go to when life gets rough? Let me know in the comments below!

Till next time,