Though it seemed a silly thing to do considering the year 2020 has been, I decided to rekindle The Rough Draft and use this opportunity to do a “year in review” type post with it.

I assume it’ll be nice to look back at, one day, in the far and distant future. Maybe.


I’d mostly given up on achieving anything in 2020, so it’s come as quite a shock to me to discover that I have, in fact, somehow managed to read 18 novels this year!

More excitingly, I’ve a hunger to devour even more books as we make our way into 2021!

Whilst I did not manage to complete the A-Z Reading Challenge I’d signed up to (hosted by Ginger Mom & Company), I did manage to read a book for at least 12 letters of the alphabet, which coincidentally, was also my target number of books to read in 2020. So, all things considered, I kind of smashed it!

Looking back, I did a lot of ‘re-reading’ this year, as I tried to discover where my tastes now lie. Whilst I enjoyed the action-adventure type novels of Matthew Reilly, and the oft overly-sweet fictions of Nora Roberts, it was really the horror/thriller esq novels, and the ones with supernatural or fantasy elements that really kept me hooked.

So, as we head into a new year, I think I’m going to look into reading, and reviewing, more novels in these genres to ensure I keep up this momentum.

My Top Three Reads In 2020:

Title: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Genre: SciFi // Thriller // Horror
Synopsis: An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered.
Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.
Until something goes wrong. . . . 
Rating: 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Title: Tallowwood
Author: NR Walker
Genre: Crime // Thriller // LGBT
Synopsis: Sydney detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases […] and he’s convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia’s worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.
When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, [Senior Constable Jacob Porter‘s] new case turns out to be linked to August’s cold cases, and Jake agrees they’re not suicides at all.
August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.
Rating: 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Title: Northern Lights
Author: Phillip Pullman
Genre: SciFi // Fantasy // Young Adult
Synopsis: When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him.
The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights…
Rating: 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads // Amazon

What were your top reads this year? What are you looking forward to reading in 2020? I’m in the midst of planning a few of the reads I’d love to get into this year, so if you’d like to share your own recommendations, blogs or challenges, please do so!


Whilst I may not have managed to write anything new this year, I have made more of an advance with my writing than I was originally willing to give myself credit for.

I’ve completely plotted out the first novel in a new trilogy I have planned, under the series title of The Atlantean Experiments. It’s a young adult series, but with scifi/(urban?) fantasy and horror elements to keep things interesting.

To help get me back into the swing of things, I’m hoping to start posting more about the series here on my blog. Maybe a synopsis for Book 1, or character introductions. I may even share my pinterest board for the series with you. If nothing else, it’ll help hold me accountable if I’m not meeting my own self-imposed deadlines.

I’d also mentioned during the summer that I had inspiration for two new novels. I haven’t done anything with either of them yet, so for now we’ll say no more about them. Should this change, you’ll likely be the first to hear about them if you’re a follower of the blog.

If you’re a writer, how do you ensure that you’re taking the time to hone your craft?

I’m thinking of re-implementing a ‘writing time’ every evening at the same time to get me back into the habit of putting pen to paper (as it were).


I mentioned this in a few previous posts, but 2020 was the year that J and I became debt free. And not a moment too soon as a couple months after paying off the last of it, we went straight into the first lockdown of the year. It’s been a long hard slog since, but we’ve been lucky enough to keep our jobs and our heads above water. We’ve even made pretty good progress into saving up the remainder of our Emergency Fund, though we do still have a long way to go.

I may also have given up posting my meal plans for the better part of this year, but I’m working on a way to bring these back with fresh content. As J and I have settled into a pretty good pattern of how to fit home-cooked dinners into our lives (hint: it’s easier when you’re always at home), I don’t want to be posting about the same seven-or-so meals we eat every week!

And that, as they say, is a wrap! I hope this time next year to have accomplished a few of the goals mentioned throughout this post. However, if next years turns out to be anything like this one, then I’ll settle for reading a few good books, and surviving the year with my health and my livelihood intact!

I hope you, dear reader, have survived this year to the best of your abilities! And wish you all the best as we stumble into 2021.

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