July Recap: Not quite there

July was not what I expected. I was so ready to tackle Camp NaNoWriMo. I was ready to finish a project. I was ready to write. Buuuut things didn’t really work out the way that I planned.

Writing: In total, I wrote 24,330 words in July. That’s better than all of my other non-challenge months, but it’s way lower than the last Camp in April. More importantly, it’s less than half of my goal of 50,000. Going forward in August, I need to make some decisions. I need to decide which project(s) I’m going to work on, so I stay focused. I didn’t write yesterday, and I may not tonight. I feel a little lost with my writing at this point. I know that I need to go back and finish a couple projects and edit The Travelers, but I also have an urge to start another new story. I know, I know. It’s a problem.

Reading: I read 10 books in July, and they were all lovely. My favorite was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If you’re a child of the 80s and you love nerdy things, you must read this book. It was incredible. I found out that Steven Spielberg is making this into a movie, and it made me so excited. I also read a couple of more books by a horror author I really enjoy, Ania Ahlborn. If you like scary stories, I highly recommend her works.

Watching: I finally finished Daredevil! Liked it, didn’t love it. I also finished the most recent season of Orange is the New Black, and I am almost caught up with Hannibal (RIP, lovely show). I’m still watching True Detective, even though I’m not a huge fan of this season. I’m currently in the middle of another X-Files rewatch, in honor of the upcoming revival. I am very excited. I think this is the fifth time I’ve done a complete rewatch, but I’m not entirely sure. Up next: finish X-Files, rewatch Twin Peaks, watch Heroes (or, at least, season 1).

How did July go for you, readers? Here’s hoping you were able to meet your goals!

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June Recap: You win some, you lose some…

Ah, here we are again. Another monthly recap. June wasn’t too bad. There were some awesome highs and discouraging lows.

Writing: In total, I wrote 13,779 words in June. I’m disappointed in that number, but I’m trying to stay positive. As you may already know, I finished my first draft of The Travelers early in the month. I read it on my Kindle and decided to ignore it for awhile. I have every intention of going back and editing it… eventually. Right now, the task seems daunting, and so I’m just acting like it will fix itself.

After I finished The Travelers, I just stopped writing for a little while. Part of it was because I was reading my own projects (as well as many novels; see below). I was disappointed in myself for not pushing through and writing something every day.

On the positive side, the remainder of those words went to two separate projects. One of which is a weird science fiction story that I imagine will be only a short story or novella that is heavily influenced by Philip K. Dick. The other is my Camp NaNoWriMo project, which I started a couple days earlier. It’s a horror novel about the occult, sort of, but it’s really about the choices we make and the things we’ll do for the people we love.

Reading: I READ SO MANY BOOKS IN JUNE. Well, 10, to be exact. That’s pretty good for one month. I’m up to Book #50 on my GoodReads challenge of reading 100 books in the year. At this pace, I should be able to meet my goal. I just started The Maze Runner and Ready Player One, both of which I’m enjoying.

Oh, but I did make one crucial decision. After The Maze Runner, no more YA books for awhile. I just can’t do it. I can’t get into them, and sometimes, they frustrate me, even if they are good books.

Still haven’t finished Anna Karenina.

Other: I saw Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys at the theater. I loved Jurassic World, despite the somewhat silly plot and the terrible character development. I liked (but did not love) Terminator: Genisys, despite the time travel wonkiness and Emilia Clarke’s terrible version of Sarah Connor (sorry, not sorry). Still haven’t finished Daredevil on Netflix.

Bring on July!

May Recap: Plugging Along

In retrospect, May was neither a great month nor a terrible month, in terms of productivity. It was okay. “Okay” is not the measuring stick that I would like, but it’s better than February or March.

I wrote 23,873 words during the month of May, which averages to about 770 per day. 19,956 of those words were on Repetitions. The remaining 4,000-ish were split among two new projects. I had no intention of starting new things at this point in Repetitions, but I found that sometimes I just could not bring myself to write on that project. Total project size is somewhere around 85,000 words, and it should be quite close to completion.

On the reading side, I finished 9 books, which was more than my goal. I’m currently in the middle of 4 books (including Anna Karenina – readers, this might take me the whole year. It’s impossible). I did finish 11/22/63, which was excellent. I highly recommend it.

Sadly, I did not meet my goal of finishing Daredevil on Netflix. I got sucked into The Americans on FX which is phenomenal.

June goals: Write at least 30,000 words OR finish Repetitions, whichever comes first, read at least 9 books, and finish Daredevil.

April Recap: The Month of Productivity

April, why can’t every month be like you?

Thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo, I was incredibly productive the month of April. I wrote 52,540 words, which averages to 1,751 per day. I hit my goal during Camp, and I made tons of progress on my project.

On the reading side, I only read 7 books, which is less than I wanted. But in my defense, I’m very close to finishing three books right now, and I’m reading two very long books (Anna Karenina – still, and 11/22/63).

Other accomplishments this month – I finally caught up with Mad Men, which involved watching 2 and a half seasons over the course of the month (it’s a lot of TV). I think Daredevil is up next. Saw Furious 7 and The Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters, which are both great movies, for different reasons.

Goals for May: Write 30,000 words (and maybe finish Project), read at least 8 books, finish Daredevil on Netflix, and watch Avengers at least 100 more times (okay, okay, maybe I won’t accomplish that one).

Good luck to you all this May!

March Recap: Vacation Edition

March was a mixed bag. On the reading side, I read 10 books, including two from my 2015 Reading List.  I’m still on track to complete my goal this year of reading 100 books. Notably, I read The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, which has been sitting on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for quite awhile, and I finally read two classics, The Time Machine, and Lord of the Flies. My 10 books included 2 history books, as a result of my traveling, which I always find a little harder to get through.

On the writing side… mm, not so productive. I wrote a total of 8,677 words, which evens out to a sad 279 words per day. As I’ve written on here before, part of this was because I hit a block in my current project that I just couldn’t bypass. Another reason for this was just focusing on things other than writing (I know–what??). My day job has been busy and stressful, and by the time I got home and decompressed, writing was pushed to the back of my mind. There is more going on there, I think, but I’ll save that for another post.

But that needs to change this month. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! Honestly, I’m wavering back and forth between excitement and reluctance. I need to just buckle down and work. I’m returning to the same project I started last April during Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve done a detailed outcome, and I’ve split my Scrivener file into parts, so I think I have a good road map. This project is connected to my novel, The Historian, though I’ll keep the connections vague in case you haven’t read it. It’s currently sitting at about 13,000 words, and I hope to get another 50,000 this month. I know I can do it, because I’ve hit 50,000 in both of my previous Novembers. I just need to push myself.

What are your April goals, readers? Anyone else doing Camp NaNoWriMo?

February recap: Or, in other words, where did that month go?

February has never been my favorite month. It’s always cold and dreary, and this year was no exception. It was a month of snow and sickness and not much else. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t accomplish much at all this month.

But these recaps are for accountability as much as anything else, so I need to own up to my underachievement.

Total words written: 9650. Yikes! That’s less than half of January. I’m not sure what happened here. I was feeling uninspired and, frankly, lazy. I’m at a good point in my project, and the action is starting to pick up. So, I don’t know exactly why I was so bad about updating my project. I’m going to try to write more in March, though I will be on vacation for 10 days where I’ll be away from a computer. Oh, well – I’ll just have to make it up on the other days!

Total books read: 5. Again, not great. Less than what I was hoping. Part of this is because I started two long books–Anna Karenina and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which has got to be one of the longest books I’ve ever tried to read). I still spent a lot of time reading, but I just wasn’t able to finish as much.

Total Best Picture nominated movies watched: 6. This is really what I was doing with my time in February. I try to watch as many Oscar nominated movies as possible, and I did pretty well this year. My pick for Best Picture was Boyhood, which was an excellently crafted film.

Total episodes of House of Cards Season 3 watched: 5… and I’m on #6 as we speak!

I have high goals for March. I want to match my January word count. I want to match my January book count as well–I think this will be easier to do, because during my trip, I’ll have long flights and train rides on which to read.

I hope your February was more productive than mine! Any advice for how to beat the winter blues writer’s block?