Let’s Catch Up…

So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you may have noticed that for the majority of July I was pretty absent. The last blog post I sent out was the 11th, and while I wished I had the motivation to blog…I just didn’t. I’m writing this post to explain a couple of the reasons why I disappeared and how I’m going to try my best to make this blog what it used to be. If not better.

July was a really tough month for me and a lot happened in such a short space of time that I lost a lot of motivation, not just with my blog, but also with my writing (which you all know is something I love). In the first half of the month I was ill twice, which really zapped it out of me, and towards the second half I had some personal issues to deal with, as well as being made redundant. That last one was the hardest to deal with as it happened suddenly and I didn’t have a lot of time to adjust.

Luckily, I had an amazing manager who helped me make my CV and cover letter the best it could be and I managed to get 3 interviews before my notice period was even over. I also have another one to go to this week and I’m waiting to hear back from two on whether I am being offered the job. It’s been so stressful because I’m not living at home anymore and there are a lot of bills to pay, so ideally I need someone to offer me a job this week. Somehow I’m managing to hold it together, but while all this has happened I let all my hobbies slide to the side.

I only read two books throughout the whole month, which is very unlike me and I am behind on reviewing 5 books (which probably won’t get reviewed now but I might do mini ones instead). The books I read (and that I absolutely loved) were:

However, I managed to work on my drawings as well, as I am hoping to open up a website and take commissions soon. So, if any of you are interested in that be sure to drop me a message! Here are the two pieces I worked on, one of which is completed and I gave to my mum for her 50th birthday (she cried):

In terms of my writing, it started off really well in the month and my WIP currently stands at 50,000 words. It is the story of my heart and is so special to me in so many ways. I adore the characters that I have created and I genuinely feel proud of the story, which is something I have never felt before. Then everything went bad and I stalled once I’d reached the major conflict in the novel. However, I started re-reading my work that I’ve written so far to make notes for each chapter (because I have a brain like a sieve) and it’s given me so many ideas to progress the story.

One amazing thing that came out of July is that I found myself an incredible critique partner (CP) called Noelle, and honestly, she is amazing (it just sucks that she lives in Florida). Working through my first five chapters with her has made them 100 times better and she pushes me to work harder because she knows I can do better sometimes. It’s also been incredible to get another persons viewpoint on my story and to hear that it’s amazing and has so much potential is the best thing ever. My confidence as a writer has grown and I truly believe that I could one day publish this book.

I suppose another great thing that happened recently was that I met Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone! I won’t talk about that too much as I want to write a blog post on the experience but it was amazing! I’ll just show off one picture of the book that she signed for me and the motivational words she wrote.

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There we have it! Everything that has happened over the last month or so. I just wanted to get all this off my chest and explain to you why I was gone, especially when I didn’t post that I was taking a hiatus. Also, seeing the fact that I have over 350 followers is giving me the motivation to bring you quality content. No, it may not always be book tags and book reviews, there might be the odd post thrown in about my art, my writing and how life is going in general, but that’s what I want this blog to be about.

A great way to also keep up with me is on Twitter (over here) because I am very active there and it’s the perfect place to keep up with my writing and see weekly snippets.

I can’t wait to dive back in the blogging world and catch up with all that I’ve missed!

Wrapping Up The Week (25th June – 1st July)

I feel like this week has been one of the longest ever. It’s been a bit all over the place as I was ill, my boyfriend was ill, I was working from home for one of the days, and now I am ill again as my boyfriend has given me his cough/chest infection thing. Saying that, I have done quite a bit this week and I definitely managed to blog a lot more than I have been doing recently.

This weekend has gone by super quick and I only wish that I had done more reading. Although, I did have my friend over for a couple of hours yesterday, which was great. It was so good to talk about everything we had been up to as we worked out it was almost a year since we last hung out. I find that since she went off to uni and I stayed put working, we fell out of touch, but now that she is home we can hopefully she each other more. Especially as she lives literally ten minutes away in the next village.

Books I read and reviewed…

thunderhead

Earlier on in the week I got around to writing my review for Thunderhead, which I can say is probably one of my favourite books of the year. If you haven’t read Scythe, then go pick that up first because this series only gets better. It’s one of those books that I can’t get enough of and it’s going to kill me to have to wait until next year for the final one. If you’re interested in reading my thoughts, then check out the review here. It’s a very long one because there is so much to talk about and I pretty much love everything about Thunderhead.

an ember in the ashes

I haven’t written a review yet, but I finished An Ember in the Ashes last night and it was amazing! So much was being said about this series and how great it is, so of course I had to give it a try and I am so happy I did. I love the Roman influence on the Empire and Blackcliff, as well as the two main characters whose perspectives tell the story. It’s hard to say who I loved more because I looked forward to reading about both of them. I can’t wait to tell you all about my views on the book in my upcoming review.

I am currently reading…

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Finally, I am starting this trilogy. So many people love these books (and I think they prefer them to ToG) and as it is Sarah J. Maas my expectations are pretty high for this one. It’s not too long at just over 400 pages, so I am hoping I can finish it before next weekend. I am starting to get into books about the Fae more now and can’t wait to see Maas’ take on them.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Series I Gave Up On

WWW Wednesday – An Explanation

A pretty simple week with a couple of blog posts going out. Next week will be different as there will be my June wrap ups and July TBR lists which I can’t wait to get to. So many amazing books to read over the summer that I just can’t choose!

My WIP…

As I haven’t been feeling my best, I haven’t done a lot of writing over the last week. However, I am about 800 words away from reaching 30,000 words on my dragon WIP and I am so excited. I am just about the start getting into the exciting stuff, but I need to get some more planning done so I have a clear focus.

I used to be one of those writers that just winged it, but with this book I can’t. Mainly because there are so many moving parts to the story and I want to keep the plot holes to a minimum, so that it is easier to get through the second draft. As I’m reaching the end of the first act (of three) I am going to go back and read through what I’ve got written so far, just to jot down important information that I can relate back to later on in the story. Fingers crossed it all goes well because I would love to have this written and finished before #pitchwars in September (which is on Twitter).

Other Fun Stuff…

Well, I already talked about meeting up with my friend, but I also started a new TV show which is The Shannara Chronicles. So far, so good. It’s not the best show I have ever seen (mainly because I find the dialogue a little stiff) but the action is pretty good and I love the story elements to it. I’m over halfway through season 1 already and I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the week.

Something I don’t talk about too much on my blog is my artwork and drawing ability. I took art at school from year 7 up until year 13 for sixth form (although I began drawing at a much younger age, probably for as long as I can remember). However, with work and all my other hobbies, it fell to the side four years ago and up until recently I hadn’t touched my drawing equipment in a while. However, I changed that this weekend and started working on a piece from over a year ago, which is pictured below.

I made quite a bit of progress on the horse yesterday and by the end of the two hour session, my hand was aching from shading in the dark section. I had forgotten how enjoyable and relaxing it was to just put on some music and get lost in the drawing. You can probably expect to see more of my artwork on the blog from now on.

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So, there we have it. My week in a nutshell, which now I think about it, has been quite busy. I’m just praying that my throat and cough don’t get much worse, but unfortunately I have terrible luck when it comes to being ill.

What have you all been up to this week? Let me know in the comments below!