May: In Review

I've been pretty good at getting this post up on the 1st so far this year, but I guess my disappointment with last month's achievements (or lack thereof) had me in no rush to tell you all about it.  Still, facts must be shared so here it goes.

Writing was hard this month. HARD. And I spent far more hours trying than my word count might suggest. My word count was built in 200 word increments this month and it sucked. It's not that the story isn't all there, it's not that I don't know the in's and out's or that my characters have vanished from my mind – the right words just wouldn't come out of me. I'm tempted to blame the weather since it's gotten exceedingly hotter here now and you probably know I hate the heat by now and that statistically I write less in the summer, but I'm really trying not to let hot weather win this year. I want to write all year dammit and I'm determined to push through whatever is holding me back at the moment. Anyway, final word count for May: 3,208 – so disappointing to not even hit my 5K min. goal.

Reading wasn't much better, which isn't usually the case when my writing is low. I spent the first two weekends reading the same, unimpressive book – essentially wasting time I could have been reading better books and in truth, only one of the books I read in May really shined. Reading too many 'just okay' books in a row didn't exactly make me too jazzed up about spending free time reading. Not to mention, I was so stressed about my word count that I spent a lot of the time I'd usually be reading trying to write and failing.

May Reads

Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy
The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
The Dead & the Gone (The Last Survivors, Book 2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
From Baghdad, With Love by Jay Kopelman
The New Language of Toys (3rd Edition) by Sue Schwartz [not pictured, educational]

*Titles take you to my GoodReads reviews*

So that was my month, mostly a letdown for me. I'm really hoping that June will be better and I'll somehow get back into the decent rhythm I've achieved so far this year. I think one of the most disappointing things about this month is that at the start of it, I realized that I'd already written 4K more words in the first 4 months of 2013 than I had in ALL of 2012. It's like I jinxed myself with this knowledge or something.

Anyway, enough moping. How was your May?


May: In Review

May was a pretty productive month for me. It might have not been completely productive in all the areas I like to focus on, but I’m not feeling any guilt at the end of it, as if I did nothing. For starters, I read. A lot. My theory was that if I wasn’t going to be writing again for a while, I might as well use the time to read a lot so that when writing is flowing again, I won’t feel compelled to read a bunch alongside writing. Because of this, I read seven books this month! I started an eighth too, but I didn’t get to finish it in time so it will count towards my June reads. 

Pictured above (click the titles to see my thoughts on each book over at GoodReads): Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson, Endure (Need, Book 4) by Carrie Jones, Purity by Jackson Pearce, Body & Soul (Ghost & the Goth, Book 3) by Stacey Kade, Spell Bound (Hex Hall, Book 3) by Rachel Hawkins, Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, & The Walking Dead, Book 2 by Robert Kirkman

In addition to reading a lot, I went a little wild with acquiring new music. Luckily, some of it was gifted to me by my BFF and critique partner . Her corruption is at it again, but I am hardly complaining!

First band to live on repeat in May was Thousand Foot Krutch, a Christian rock band. There were so many favorites from this band, but I’m posting the first track I knew I loved for sure.

Thousand Foot Krutch – “Go”

Then I couldn’t get enough of the Papa Roach. I had loved this band growing up, but forgot to keep up with them over the years. Thanks to Heather, I’ve caught up! And this song, which got so very many plays, could easily be used for both Crack the Sky and Dreamsters so whenever I do get back to writing them, it will be nice to have a new song on their playlists. 

Papa Roach – “Blood (Empty Promises)”

While perusing the library recently I stumbled upon some Arcade Fire albums and I know I’d heard of them, though I don’t remember where now, so I snatched them up to give a shot and oh was I happy I had. They have a really chill, summer feel to them. I’ve enjoyed many favorites this month, but the one currently holding the highest play counts is this.

Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”

I saw a fitblr I follow on tumblr mention a band they liked alongside other bands I like and Amazon had their album on sale this month so I figured I’d give it a shot. Instantly I fell in-love with this song. The album as a whole did not disappoint either.

Of Monsters and Men – “From Finner”

I’ve posted a song by this group before, a couple years ago when my sister got me into them. They released a new album this week and since it’s tone fit perfectly with the previous two bands listed I went ahead and bought it. While I don’t love it as much as their first album, it has some great tracks like this one that made it totally worth the purchase.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – “That’s What’s Up”

This last band came in at the very end of the month. A friend at work heard me listening to the three groups above and suggested I check this one out too. It’s more southern rock than indie, but it does play nicely with the indie crowd and I am already so in love with them. I’m hoping to corrupt my sister and father into liking them too. Maybe we could see them live.

Alabama Shakes – “Rise to the Sun”

I had some successful photoshoots with Gideon this month, the most successful being the birthday party invitations I already posted HERE. I imagine June will have a lot of successful shots because Gideon will be one year old! Can you believe that? How has a whole year passed so quickly already? Anyway, so that I’m not double posting, here’s a picture from my second favorite shoot. 

Lastly, you’re probably expecting me to say very little about writing. To say something along the lines of, “woe is me, when will fall be here so I can write again?” and you would have been right, but at the tail end of May I totally had an epiphany. One that I can thank my heavily indie based music choices this month for. The music feels like summer to me and I started to feel this yearning for summer as a whole which is odd considering I am totally a fall girl. But it got me thinking…. Maybe the reason I can only write in the fall and winter is because all of my books take place in the fall and winter. Maybe what I needed was a summer book. And it was like the instant I let the theory exist, a story presented itself. And over the course of a few days I had a fully fledged summer story. I’m part way through the outline/synopsis, and really hope to start writing it this month. So that I don’t jinx it yet I’ll only share that it takes place in the south (which I’ve always wanted to write a story in), and it involves the woods – both mysterious and dangerous. I really hope this isn’t some fluke that is just getting my hopes up. I’d really love to write this summer for a change! Wish me luck, please?

I’ll leave you with a preview of the two main lead girls “look” – Lorelei is 17 and Adelyn is 15. The story will be in Adelyn’s POV. 😉

So how was May for all of you? Sound off in the comments!