Snapshot 1/31/21 // “Garden Queen”

Currently listening:Potential Breakup Song Explicit” – Aly & AJ
Currently watching: Gilmore Girls S2 // Sailor Moon S1 (90’s)
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

January is a beautiful thing. I know a lot of people don’t believe in making resolutions at the start of a new year because if you really wanted to change you could have started at any other point of the year. 100% accurate. I agree, but… there is just something about one year ending and another one coming in. I always make a few goals (just a handful) to accomplish in the new year because it’s a tradition for me and it makes me happy. That’s enough reason to do something regardless of what anyone thinks (as long as it doesn’t bring pain to anyone else!).

This month I feel like I, legit, thrived. I got back to doing my yoga daily, upping my step count, doing some pilates and most importantly eating a lot healthier than I did in December. Like a lot healthier. GO ME! Of all the 31 days of January that passed I only had one, just one, bad binge eating junk food day (which left me feeling like absolute garbage) and then for the rest of the month never did it again. Habits break slowly for me and jumping from over ten bad eating days in December to just one in January is HUGE for me.

Writing wise, I don’t know if y’all noticed buttttttttt…. I UPDATED THE LOOK OF MY BLOG! New colors guys and new blog headers too!! I’m high key very hyped about the new look. It’s subtle but for me it’s perfect! I also was consistent with my posting which I definitely was not in December. I even got back to prepping my WIP The Lowell Saga which I plan to work on everyday in February. AND I made two writing submissions this month!! Again, high key proud of my productiveness!! THRIVING, MY GARDEN IS THRIVING.

Also, if your curious about the “Garden Queen” title for this snap I recently purchased my 9th houseplant. Yes, you heard correctly my ninth. One day my house will be a jungle of plants and books. Two of my favorite things!

In other news I’m also being a lot bolder in my personal life and like, I’m vibing with it? Like, who am I? Who is this confident girl looking back at me in the mirror? I wish the girl from three years ago could see herself now. Hence the “Queen” bit of my Snap title. I know 2021 has not been perfect for the world but things are happening and changing. It’s getting better, really truly I believe that. This month wasn’t perfect for me but I’m choosing to see the good in it and I believe that’s a perfect reflection for the attitude of 2021. Things are still hard but they will get better. I believe that. So if this wasn’t a great month for you don’t let it get you down.

January/General 2021 Goals:

  1. Be healthier! Check.
  2. Write! Check.
  3. Get a tattoo! In progress. I’m waiting for the world to be a healthier place and for the warm weather to swing around. In the meantime I’m contemplating all sorts of ideas of what I want my first tattoo to be…

February (the month where I try not to freeze to death from snow) Goals:

  1. Do pilates twice a week! I want to exercise more so this is fulfilling my health goal for the year.
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga everyday! This one speaks for itself in fulfilling my writing goal.
  3. Use social media more! For a 25 year old I should spend more time on social media than I actually do lol. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect!

What I Read:

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
  • Soul Eater v.22-25 by Atsushi Ohkubo.
  • Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Jess Mariano made me do it. Literally. On January 1, 2021 I watched the episode of Gilmore Girls where Jess is introduced and meets Rory for the first time. If any of you know the show then you know the significance of this poem/book. I literally wondered why I hadn’t read it yet myself and immediately the next day went to the library to check it out. And the funny thing is I low key wanted a second hand copy where there would be notes scribbled in the margins and highlights throughout as I read but I don’t have a secondhand bookstore close to me. So I went to the library instead. Long story short, they didn’t have the original edition I wanted but they were going to get me an annotated edition from another library!! Like the Universe heard my cries and answered me. Thank you Universe!! It’s such a classic poem and the Beat Generation is like a total 2020- on mood. If you haven’t read this classic, I highly recommend it. To me it felt so relevant to the crazy times we are going through today even though it was published in 1956.
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. This. Book. 5 stars all around. It’s a story for storytellers. It’s a story for that part inside of you that wants to open the door to Narnia. It’s a story that will touch your soul if any of the above is relevant. Just. Read. It. PSA over.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Wow, the writing in this book just pulled me right in. I love Karou, I love the minor characters like Zuzana, I love PRAGUE. Now I have to go, obviously. Just tack it on to the already long list of places I want to go. I’m about halfway through right now so expect a review next 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.

Jazzy Posts I Read in January:

My Round Up of January Posts:

February is going to be a busy month for me. I can feel it. Or… maybe this feeling is just me subconsciously telling myself to buy another plant lololololololol. Anyhow, I’ll keep you guys updated on any major happenings.

How were your January’s? Anything interesting happen? Have you seen The Queen’s Gambit btw?? I just saw the first episode last night and I am hooked!

Till next time,

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Snapshot 1/31/20 // Delighted and Disillusioned by the Endless Variety of Life

Currently listening: “My Shot” – Hamilton: An American Musical
Currently watching: Letterkenny S3
Currently (re)reading: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

New year, new me, new blog! Hey guys it’s 2020 and though it was long, look we survived January! As you can see at this point I was a busy little bee and redesigned the look of my blog! New colors! New fonts! New graphics! (note: all. the. exclamation. points! I’m really proud of myself y’all.) (and also super tired but it’s WORTH IT.)

(Both halves of me as I type this)

Someone was working on her goals, lol. Let’s head into them now, shall we?

January Goals:

  1. Research, research, research! Check, but still not done researching for that pesky WIP yet. This goal will live on into February, and that way I can hopefully get to writing in March.
  2. Plan a steadier posting schedule! Check. You can check out the link here for the post announcing it or go to the ‘About’ page on my site.
  3. Enact redesigning the site! MAJOR CHECK. This was where a majority of my time went and I’m very proud of it. It’s simple I know, but I did it all myself, so please allow me to revel in my hard work.
(Thank you for indulging me)

February (aka the month in which Jai freezes her buns off) Goals:

  1. Research, research, research (Round 2)! I like researching and learning new things especially when I find something useful to use for my WIP’s story and world building. Not going to lie though, it can also get very tedious drudging through lots of facts and dates that are about as interesting as watching paint dry. On the bright side, I’ll share a tidbit. This revamped WIP of mine takes place in the very world we live in, (LE GASP!) just another side of it. (*cue eyebrow wiggle*) Vague, yes. Generic, I know. Confusing, for sure. Forgive me.
  2. Finish organizing my room/desk/work space! I need to clean my room, like for real. There is so much going on: paper all over the floor, clothes thrown over my chair, AND BOOKS LEAKING OUT OF EVERY ORIFICE LIKE WATER OUT of A BUSTED PIPE. I definitely need to clean that way I stay focused and stop thinking about my TBR pile for the next year. (Crooked Kingdom I’m coming for you next!)
  3. Stick to my planned blog posting schedule! I’m putting it here as a concrete goal. The only way to build a habit is to practice it. It’s 2020 and I’m holding myself accountable. Damn straight.
(Rosa Diaz’ entire being is an accurate depiction of my dead seriousness)

Side note: I’ve also started reading as soon as I wake up now, instead of waiting till bedtime and… I’m finding I really enjoy it? I think I’m actually reading more than I was before. Starting your day with cereal and an epic tale in your head is basically everything you need to survive the day.

What I Read:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I first read this book in high school, as I’m sure most Americans have. I wasn’t sure what to expect then since a lot of the books we were forced to read in high school, though classics, weren’t always the most engaging. The Great Gatsby was different. It stuck with me. Short and straight, outlandish and lovelorn, it was a book I felt that anyone could relate to. Even through the grand parties and the lifestyles of the rich and the careless, at the heart of the book is an indescribable insight into the human soul. All of us of been so locked into our past at one point that it takes up our future, just like Gatsby. All of us have acted innocent, sometimes spoiled, and even ignorant just like Daisy. All of us have been the outsiders to someone else’s life where the grass always seems greener on the other side, just like Nick, but in the end we see the situation for what it really is and realize no, the grass really isn’t that green after all. As my first read for the new decade it didn’t disappoint. Even after all these years I find I enjoyed the story more than I did when I was in high school and honestly, I understand a lot more about the characters now than I did before. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Every book lover should read The Great Gatsby at least once.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. I started this one in December and finished it in January. It’s a reread but I thought it deserved another look. Funny, charming and thoroughly researched, all the statistics are fascinating to learn, and Aziz’s wit keeps the book entertaining even through all the data heavy information. It’s a good look at the current trends in romance.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Short, sweet and sometimes sour it’s a collection of vignettes told from the perspective of Esperanza Cordero about all the interesting characters of Mango Street where she grows up. It’s an inspiring coming of age novel that in the past I had only read bits and pieces of in school, but seen in its entirety now I’m really glad I read it. The vignettes range from as long as half a page to maybe four pages, and each one goes straight to your heart, either to hurt or to heal it with the endless variety of humanity life has to offer.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I’m in my second re-read of this beautiful book before I finally get to CROOKED KINGDOM which I regrettably have had yet to read. (I KNOW, RIGHT? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE??) Alas, that shall be the very next book I pick up dear readers. Right now I’m just enjoying my ride here with Kaz in Chapter 18. He is very addicting. Expect the full mini review in next month’s Snapshot!

What I’ll Be Writing:

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

So I’ve been doing the poetry and vignette thing for a while but as you guys might have noticed… I added something new! The Alternate Reality collection will be a feature of flash fiction posted on the last Tuesday of every month. Expect horror, sci-fi, fantasy along with many other potential genres! Oh, and a ton of MAGIC. These will be more out there stories so if you’re in for a wild ride check out the first post February 25th! Like the Living Life vignettes all the pieces will be independent of each other so there will be no need to read the predecessors to follow along.

I’m a firm believer that magic is out there. Sometimes it’s simple or subtle or we don’t recognize it for what it is at the time. That type of magic you will find in the Living Life vignettes. As for the wraiths, dystopian societies and current intergalactic wars that have been spanning centuries … (who knows?) that type of magic will be prevalent in the Alternate Reality collection.

I hope you are looking as forward to the adventure as I am.

Here are January’s Amazing Posts from Other Bloggers I Adored Reading:

My Round Up of January Posts (look how much I wrote!):

Thanks for hanging in there with me till the end of this long post, and I hope you guys like the new look of my blog! Here’s to the next eleven months: may we work hard towards our goals and may we all write our hearts out!

What are some of your February goals? What current books are you reading that are just too good to put down? (I think Kaz is calling me lol.) I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,