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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“The World”

There is so much more
than the eye can see.
There is so much more
that we can be.

Oceans wait
where the land runs dry.
Steel and stone bridges
are the connecting tie.

Volcanoes sleep
in old worlds lost.
On the highest mountains
is freezing white frost.

Jungles made
of concrete and smoke.
Lush green valleys
wearing mist like a cloak.

People too of course
that are different from us.
But friendships are found
in the similarities we discuss.

There is so much more
than the eye can see.
There is so much more
that we can be.

And I
want to live it all.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

©2021 Jai Lynn

This post “The World” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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Snapshot 3/31/21 // “Rejection and Renewal”

Currently listening:Heart” – Sleeping at Last
Currently watching: Anne With An E S3
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Every year March usually passes by in the images of onion soup warming my belly to mashed potatoes cooking on the stove, wool coats turning into green hoodies and the brush of winter’s shadow thawing into spring light. Marches come and go in my mind as if they were vestibules in an office building, that middle bit sandwiched between the outside of February and the inside of April.

A lot happened this month. I started to take on more duties at work because of a recent promotion I received which means, even though it makes me sad to leave my old position, this new job is a lot more stable and beneficial for the long run. I got two rejections so far from the three writing submissions I made this month but that’s all part of the process. Then lastly, I got news of an appointment for my COVID vaccine. So life is continuing on. Steadily and also all at once.

My mood overall this month has been in constant flux ranging from utter despair to complete bliss. I think we all can agree we want this pandemic to be over and for life to go back to the way it was. Life will never go back to exactly how it was but because of this I want to believe all of us will be more grateful for all the opportunities to do things that will come in the future. A little gratitude and kindness goes a long way. Truly.

March Goals:

  1. Make more mindful and healthy food choices! Check. I ate a lot better this month than I did last month. Love broccoli, might marry it one day.
  2. Finish the middle bit of The Lowell Saga! Check, sorta. I plotted the middle bit and the ending, but didn’t get to writing the actual words. But at least I have a plan. That was better than the no plan I had before.
  3. Find more focus in my life! Check, mostly. In March, I got my shit together in my work and writing lives. I have a plan for my writing life, & I have a stable job for my work life but my shit in my personal life is still a little unstable. It’s fine, everything is fine.

April (the month where the tulips bloom on my lawn) Goals:

  1. Watch my sugar intake! I am a sugar addict. Give me Nutella and Ben & Jerry’s any day. (Like, legit I just tried Chubby Hubby this month and it is the greatest thing ever. Where has this been all my life??? I ate the whole thing in one day between lunch and dessert.) Which is not healthy lol. This month I’m looking to cut back on my sugar. I’ve got my caloric intake more under control since I didn’t binge eat at all this month despite my weird mood so I think this is the next small step I am going to take.
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga! Just got to keep chugging. Finish that first draft. Hopefully start book 2 draft 1 in May. Crossing my fingers hardcore right now.

What I Read:

  • Fruits Basket v. 9 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Fruits Basket v. 10 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This is the most precious book in the world. My mom heard about it on the news and bought it for me right after she saw it. I love her so much and she could not have picked a more perfect book. I needed this book, badly. It’s a simple story but so full of wisdom, humanity and reminding us of what is truly important in life. Given the world we are currently living in, with all the loneliness and just overall negative feelings I know we are all currently or have been feeling, this book is the perfect antidote to boost you up. Five stars to infinity. I will read this over and over and over again. Ever word is important, every lesson unforgettable and every person should read this.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I get it now, I understand why this book is so acclaimed. The writing just has that beautiful way of sucking you right into the story and making your turn page after page just to find out more with an important lesson on morality waiting at its ending. It’s not in a dramatic, horror story kind of way but in a wow-I’m-really-curious-to-see-where-this-is-going kind of way. The story poses a vivid picture in your mind, I had no trouble picturing the settings or anything and even though the main characters aren’t physically described in great detail I had a good mental picture of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. I’m glad I read this book and I did connect with the really human aspects it paints and the moral lesson it teaches. I won’t spoil the story by telling you the lesson. Honestly for it to be fully understood you need to read the book 😉
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie is one of my favorite authors of all time but I had been hesitant for a while to go back and read her earlier things. The Raven Boys was my first foray into her world and I thought nothing could compare to the beauty of the Gangsy… until I happened to pick up The Scorpio Races, and that redefined my life once again. The Wolves of Mercy Falls was her debut series and after beating around the bush for a bit I finally decided to go for it. It definitely has the tells of a first novel but the story is there and I felt it. Longing and yearning were central themes throughout the book and I really felt it. Like that was 100% the mood I was needing at the time I read it. Occasionally though, I did think the love story between Sam and Grace took up too much time but also it is their story so (*shrugs*), like, I get it. But that bookstore scene (if you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean) has marked its place as one of my favorite love scenes between two characters of all time. Also, sidenote, I LOVED Isabel. She really grew on me a lot. I don’t know if I’ll read the rest of the books in the series because I like where this book ended but I enjoyed reading it and am glad I did! 😀
  • Home Body by Rupi Kaur. I love her poetry so much, and that is why I own every collection she has ever put out. Her latest one does not disappoint. These poems fuel my soul and she has such a gift for letting her vulnerabilities loose and turning them into something beautiful and inspiring.
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. This book was something I needed. Light, incredibly funny and surprisingly smart. I definitely felt my self going back to my high school days with all the parabolas, graphs, functions and equations interspersed throughout the book. All explained for the readers viewing of course. This book is a breath of fresh air and I’m here for it. So fitting for spring. I would read it again, and again especially for Hassan. Man he was so FUNNY! Hassan is the best friend to Colin Singleton, our main character, and throughout the story Colin questions the idea of mattering, and the overall moral he comes to at the end makes good sense. Also the romance was pretty cute too 😉
  • The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Daniel J. Zollinger. Leigh Bardugo is such a queen. Honestly. She is my writing goals. This book of essentially fairytale stories and religious legends is such a nice connection to the Grishaverse. I hope one day to make something as wonderful and lush and alive as her Grishaverse for my own writing and WIPs. The illustrations are also so, so, SO incredible. Truly, Mr. Zollinger is a gifted illustrator indeed. He captured the stories of the saints in such beautiful religious sovereignty vibes while still being approachable. I hope that makes sense, lol. If you love Leigh just read this too. That’s really the gist of what I have to say. Also guyssss SHADOW AND BONE ON NETFLIX IS ALMOST HERRREEEEEEEEEEEE!
  • Kuroko’s Basketball Vol. 2 by Tadatoshi Fujimaki.

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 March:

My Round Up of March Posts:

I’m ready for a new, fresh me and she is coming. I read so many books this month, I got a promotion, I want to be better. And I keep on walking to get there. I still have some bad habits of course but the more I work against them the better I feel and before long they will be gone completely from my life. That’s all we can really do as humans, right? Just keep trying to get better than who we were the day before. I know that with summer of the horizon I will try my hardest to make up for all the lost feelings and keep moving forward.

How did March feel to you guys? Doesn’t it seem, I don’t know, like an imaginary month sometimes?

Till next time,

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Snapshot 2/28/21 // “Winter Woes”

Currently listening:Ultraviolet” – Stiff Dylans
Currently watching: Anne With An E S1
Currently playing: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Currently reading: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

January may have been a beautiful thing but February was an ugly entity. It snowed like the ninth circle of hell over here. Listen, I appreciate snow. I really do. For summer to exist there has to be a winter. But there was just no end to the snow this month. Between the seasonal depression of it often being dark outside and then further worsened by the never-ending snow keeping me locked inside I was very, very not myself. So did I have extra hot chocolate? Yes, yes I did. Among lots of cake as well.

My healthy habits, no lie, fell to the wayside this month. Besides my winter woes, work was especially stressful and there was a lot going on with my family too. Everything is okay but not out of the woods yet. I’m crossing my fingers though as March waltzes in, so will spring.

February Goals:

  1. Do pilates twice a week! Fail. I think I did it only twice this month, nevertheless twice a week. Did I mention there was cake?
  2. Work on The Lowell Saga everyday! Check. I did do this nearly everyday. So win.
  3. Use social media more! Check. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect!

March (the month where spring better show up to my party) Goals:

  1. Make more mindful and healthy food choices! After the eating disaster that was February, I’m looking to make better choices in March. Less cake and more fruit! Less pasta and more vegetables! Honestly, I feel so much better when I eat cleaner food and I have to remember that the next time I feel the need to reach for the chocolate bar to just not. Stress eating does not make the bad feelings go away, it only perpetuates them. I’ll take broccoli over bloated any day.
  2. Finish the middle bit of The Lowell Saga! I want to finish the tricky middle bit of my story this month. There is a very specific treasure my trio is looking for in the middle of book 1 of TLS and I have scenes scattered throughout my draft that I want to attempt to string together to get this part done this month. Then hopefully I can head to the ending bits for April. AND THEN, start book 2 draft 1 in May.
  3. Find more focus in my life! Sometimes life feels like a frozen tundra where everywhere you look is snow, icy wind and emptiness. That was an analogy but you get the point. If I haven’t said it enough February was rough in all facets of living. In March, I want to get my shit together in my personal, work and writing lives.
The year just started and already I’ve used this gif twice in my posts. Let’s keep a tally, shall we?
Tally: II

What I Read:

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I enjoyed this a lot. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely had it’s faults //SPOILERS// – insta love, definitely not a favorite trope of mine between Kaoru and Akiva, but I digress- //END OF SPOILERS//, but the writing was strong with vivid imagery, a magical world, and important moral message. Also the characters were very, very lovable. I do adore Kaoru, Zuzana and just their friendship in general. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the rest of the trilogy.
  • Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. This book is my heart and soul. It is one of my favorites of all time and I cannot remember how many times I’ve reread it throughout the years. The only indication would be by how cracked its spine is honestly. This book will be with me till I die, it is just that kind of story and anything I say about it will be biased. I really love this book. It’s definitely not for everyone but for those to who it resonates with it really hits home. It’s so many things. A coming of age story, a love story, a story about heroes and villains and just so well balanced that no matter how many times I reread it I find more things I missed before. If any of you have read this book and know exactly how I feel and exactly what I am talking about please let me know. I need someone to vent and gush and just express all my feelings with. Let’s get together in Nowhere 😉
  • Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger and More Graceful You by Misty Copeland. I love Misty Copeland and I love ballet, even though I only took it for a year when I was five before changing to horseback riding for ten years. Honestly I wish I had stuck with it but I love horseback riding just as much. I wish I had done both actually, and karate. I did karate for a month but I digress. ANYWAY, I enjoyed reading this and learning about some of Misty’s exercise routine, food preferences and personal journey. I really respect her so it was interesting to read. I also love barre but haven’t been able to take a class in almost a year due to COVID. But as soon as the world gets up and running again I’m running back to the gym. Reading this book was meant to keep that goal in mind and remember to stay fit and make healthy choices for my 2021 resolution!

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.

Fabulous Posts I Read in February:

My Round Up of February Posts:

Can I just say Anne with an E is such a beautiful show? Honestly, like I. Am. Floored. I didn’t even finish the first season yet and I am just in love with everything. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend. So much so, that y’all already know I ordered the complete series to read.

How did February treat you? Do you share my pressing sentiments over Anne of Green Gables? These are the questions that need to be answered.

Till next time,

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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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