Snapshot 6/30/21 // “(insert big smile here)”

Currently listening: “Driver’s License” – Olivia Rodrigo
Currently watching: Gravity Falls
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

June went by really fast. Really fast. But I think that’s because I actually had a lot of fun this month. I saw my friends A LOT, I hung out with my family A LOT, and I ate A LOT of good food. Not to mention, like, it’s SUMMER. The greatest thing to ever exist.

June Goals:

  1. Focus on the present. CHECK.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. FAILURE. Turns out I like sugar, and s’mores, and donuts and blueberry muffins. Like damn.
  3. Work on The Lowell Saga. CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.

July (the month where I just exist in bliss) Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake. Take 4?
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga. I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT OF BOOK 1. Now, to edit!

What I Read:

  • Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. This book helped me immensely this month. I read it in one gulp. Faster probably than I’ve read any other book this year. I bought it awhile ago and had always been meaning to read it. The timing just never seemed right. After I lost my dog on June 1st, I knew now was the time. This book hit every beat. Every. Beat. It was the perfect remedy to how I had been feeling. The way grief was handled throughout the book, the subtle love story, the books, the ocean… it was what I needed. Five stars. Shout out to Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books for sharing her love of Words in Deep Blue on her blog. I wouldn’t have found it without you!
  • This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura. I enjoyed reading this one! Anything involving a flower shop immediately calls to me. At times I did find CJ the main character a bit difficult to like but she grows throughout and the book, and comes into herself in the end. The lessons learned, and the histories explored through the text also gave me great perspective. The story focuses on moving forward from the past and previous mistakes of our ancestors to building a better and more equal future and taking accountability. We all have the power to do that, inside of us, and that inspires a lot of hope.

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.

Marvelous Posts I Read in May:

My Round Up of May Posts:

It’s been a slow reading month but it’s all good. I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT, AND IT’S SUMMER, AND LIFE IS FUN AGAIN!!!

Till next time,

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Writing is Hard | WIP Update | June 2021 | It Is Done.

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | May 2021 | It’s Part of the Journey

Okay, um… so! I am just going to cut straight to the chase. I have some news.

I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT. I DID IT GUYS. I ACTUALLY DID IT. I REACHED MY GOAL. THE FIRST DRAFT OF (BOOK 1) OF THE LOWELL SAGA IS FINISHEDDDDDD!!!!!!! (But more on this later!)

It feels so weird to me to have actually finished a draft, because in my whole entire life I have never written a whole book before. I always stopped or had gotten bored with the story way before I reached the end. If my high school self could see me now!

As I mentioned in my last writing update, when I was in high school I didn’t want to be a writer. I loved writing and because I loved it so much I never thought it could actually be my job. School was my job back then and I hated school. Wrongly, I believed, that work had to be difficult and something that you really didn’t want to do. (How naive and misguided!) Thankfully, the universe had other plans.

One of the first signs that put me on the path of being a writer came in my sophomore year during English class. We were studying poetry and our teacher assigned us, simply, to just write a poem. I remember I didn’t think much of it. In fact I was in the mode that I just wanted to get it done so in the class following (Driver’s Ed) I finished the assignment. Just like that, between studying the driving manual and scribbling in my notebook, I wrote my poem.

A week later after we had handed them in and our teacher had graded them, she said something that I still think about today. It was a small thing. But isn’t it those small things that make us wonder what if ? My high school English teacher was notoriously hard to please. She was a difficult grader and held us, her Honors English class, to a high standard. What she said was small, and maybe not that significant, but it meant something to me, and apparently still does because here I am writing about it. I don’t remember the exact phrasing but she said something like this, “Some of you should consider having your work published in our newspaper.”

When my poem was finally handed back to me there in bright red pen was just simply the word “Wow!”

And that’s when it hit me she might have been talking about me.

At that point I hadn’t really considered publishing my work before. I was too shy and too nervous. I didn’t want anyone to see my work. I was afraid. I dismissed the idea of having my poem published immediately after the thought had been born. The me back then in no way would do something like that.

The me who exists right now though is completely different. I still wonder what would have happened if I had submitted my poem to the paper. But then I know it’s an impossible thought. Everything happens for a reason and that moment in time served as a marker to set me on the right path. It was a crucial stepping stone, one that seems so small but actually since I’m writing about it now, means a lot.

Especially now. Especially with this particular writing update post.

(And that poem, believe it or not, was eventually published. Just a few years after the fact 😉 Here’s the link if you want to check it out!)

Honestly, I am still in awe. I finished a draft. I finished a draft. I finished a draft!!! Is it perfect? No way in hot hell. But it is done. It is done. IT IS DONE.

I still have a lot of revision to do. That’s a given. But, from everything I’ve read and from all the authors I’ve listened to, I know getting the first draft done is huge. No matter how terrible it is. Because at least now I have something to build up from. You can’t build up from nothing. And I have something!

I plan on The Lowell Saga being four books. The first draft of book 1 is now complete. At the moment I am currently letting it sleep for a bit and letting my mind focus on other tasks. But then I am going to dive straight in and try to read the whole draft through in a day and see what all the major things I need to fix are.

After that revision begins. Then when I feel comfortable enough there I will be moving onto book 2. Then the same process will ensue through the last two books, until the whole story is finished and then I will make sure the whole series is cohesive and that all the foreshadowing is correctly plotted and all the little nuances make sense all throughout. Then the story really will be done.

It’s a wonderfully scary thought. A very far away thought but one I know I’ll reach.

My writing friends I have a question for you. What do you do once you finish a first draft? Do you have any advice for me? This is new ground.

Till next time,

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word count: 79,327

“Addict”

I know
it’s bad for me.

Recommended one dose
and I’ll take three.

Better choices
but the Devil is what I see.

Drinking the poison
like it’s tea.

Desperation for something
making me fall to the knee.

You say I have a choice
but shackles aren’t free.

I know
it’s bad for me.

But the bad choice
is all I’ll ever be.

Photo by GRAS GRÜN on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “Addict” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Snapshot 5/31/21 // “Me in May”

Currently listening:Soul Mate” – flora cash
Currently watching: Steven Universe
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

May was an interesting month. It was the best of months, it was the worst of months. It was the month where I made a lot of stark changes. For one thing I got my yearly haircut, yes you read that right yearly. So the length is now at my shoulders and ready for the heat. BRING IT ON SUMMER. I also got a blond streak in my hair which I love and is something totally new. Yes, yes, yes, yes and oh one other thing. Did I mention I got a tattoo?

I wanted a tattoo since forever and was supposed to get one last year. So this month I decided to just DO IT. So I did. I know some of you know what this is haha, and all I can say is I’m in love!

May Goals:

  1. Focus on me. Yes, I think I did this.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. No, I think I did not do this.
  3. Watch my caloric intake. 😦
  4. Get at least 10,000 steps everyday. 🙂
  5. Do yoga every damn day. 🙂
  6. Work on The Lowell Saga. 🙂
  7. Watch your spending. :/ I may have indulged a little, but not a lot. It was on books, okay?
  8. GET THAT TATTOO. DONE!!!!
I did half so…

June (the month where summer is here and I am ALIVE) Goals:

  1. Focus on the present. It’s summer and I want to have fun. Enough said.
  2. Watch my sugar intake. Take 3.
  3. Work on The Lowell Saga. Keeping the dream ALIVE.

What I Read:

  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill. This book went above and beyond my expectations. I knew it would be good, I knew it would be adorable but then I read it and it was just SO good and SO adorable that I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series. The graphics are wonderful and warm and just give you this good feeling inside as you read. I felt calm every time I picked it up and can’t say how much if you need a book to get you relaxed JUST READ THIS. Diversity, wholesomeness, dragons, and tea honestly what more do I need to say?
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This book. This book. This book. I’ve read it over and over and no matter how many times it always feels like the first time. I fall in love over and over and over again. This book is complex, simple, reality, dreams, and magic all tied into one. And it all feels so real. I love it so much. I read this book years ago at the right time in my life and it has stayed with me since and will stay with me forever more. The Raven Cycle will always be in the top of the top of my favorite books and it is a series I believe that played a hand in who I am today and who I will probably become tomorrow. And I know a lot of you feel the same way if you’ve read it.
  • Fruits Basket v.11 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Kuroko’s Basketball Omnibus #3 (v.5+6) by Tadatoshi Fujimaki
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Five stars all across. A beautiful perspective on living, dying and all the paths we don’t take. Definitely deserves a read, and that’s all I can say.

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.

Marvelous Posts I Read in May:

My Round Up of May Posts:

Summer. Summer! SUMMER!!! It is my favorite season and I can’t wait to go back to the ocean and eat ice cream and since we are all vaccinated now visit my family and hang with my friends and THRIVE ❤

Finally.

What are your plans for summer?

Till next time,

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“Day Dreaming”

Golden light
on bare skin.

Mint chocolate chip
painted across nails.

Laughter and yells
in the bright sea salt air.

The ocean
awaiting the incumbent return.

How can I
put it to words
when it means
so much more?

Every other season
is a dream.
For it is
only
in the summer
I am awake.

And the irony is…
summer
is the only season
where life actually
is
a beautiful dream.

Photo by Scott Trento on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “Day Dreaming” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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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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“Human”

Maybe
the universe is testing me.

Maybe
that’s why I got thrown the promotion
to fix
the unfixable problems.

Maybe
that’s why I fell in love and then out
to see
my unseeable habits.

Maybe
that’s why my words got rejected again and again
to write
what I had never written before.

I just wish
it didn’t have to happen
all
at
once.

I
am
no
hero.

I am just human.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “Human” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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