The last time I posted to my blog was in the January of 2022, bemoaning the loss of what felt like the entirety of 2021. Though, to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t been the most prolific when it came to uploading content to my website in the year(s) prior to this either, and I don’t think I can justifiably blame it all on covid.
I think my main issue is apathy. And a lack of accountability. I’m not the greatest at being social and so, without the expectation that I should post, I know there is no consequence or disappointment inflicted upon others should I choose not to do so.
And yet, there is something about heading into the winter months that makes me come back to my blog with all these intentions to start afresh. New year, new me, and all that. Perhaps starting it before the end of 2023 instead of waiting until the start of 2024 will make a difference? We can only hope!
I can’t accurately say that I am “currently” reading anything, however I have started all of the below this year and hope to get back into reading now that the nights are dark and cold.
There’s nothing quite like curling up in a nest of blankets, with a hot drink and a book, and immersing yourself into someone else’s world for a bit.
| Dead Silence – S.A Barnes (SciFi Horror)
| Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky (SciFi)
| Legends & Lattes – Travis Baldree (Cosy Fantasy)
| The Midnight Game – Cynthia Murphy (YA Horror)
| The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham (SciFi)
| The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman (Cosy Mystery)
| Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie (Cosy Mystery)
Between my partner and myself, we also have a rather large tbr list to get through and as I have only actually finished 1 book so far this year, I really do want to push myself into reading more.
At the start of the year I was trying to do the 23 in 23 challenge, whereby you read 23 books in 2023. Obviously it’s going well! Though I don’t expect to complete the challenge at this late stage, if I somehow miraculously did, I’d have to average at least 1 book every 2-3 days until the end of the year!
I’ll think I’ll settle on something a bit more manageable and aim to read maybe half of that. If I finish the above books, which are mostly half-finished anyway, I’ll be in a good place to actually do it.
November Goal: Read/finish 5 books by the end of the month.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Last you heard from me I was working on a new trilogy of novels under the series title of The Atlantean Experiments (YA, SciFi, Horror).
Of course I haven’t done a single thing with it since announcing it back in December 2020, but now that NaNoWriMo is upon us, perhaps I shall dig it out and see if it’s worth playing around with this month. I’ll have a bit of a late start to the party, but some words are better than no words at all.
It’s probably worth mentioning that I do still intend to finish the third instalment to my Amanzimtoti Series, Nyala Place, which is a retelling of the duology from Kyle Van Well’s point of view. I’m honestly a bit annoyed with myself on this one as not only is the outline completed, the rough draft for it is also mostly written. Thankfully, the series is complete as a duology and this third instalment is intended to be a stand-alone, so I haven’t left any readers waiting years for a conclusion!
I obviously can’t make any promises for this year, but I really do want to do better when it comes to my writing and will try to set up the writing time I keep promising myself, no matter how exhausted I am after work.
November Goal: Complete outline for Book 1 of the Atlantean Experiments, and dedicate at least 20 minutes per day to this/writing.
If you are an author juggling a full-time (mentally exhausting) job, how do you also ensure you are getting time to write? Or rather, how are you keeping yourself motivated to write when all you want to do after work is come home and not use your brain?
J and I took two weeks off work over Halloween to enjoy the spooky season. We’re pretty big Hallowe’en/horror enthusiasts and we tend to treat this time off the way most people tend to celebrate Christmas.
This year we took the 23rd Oct – 5th November and spent a great deal of time hanging out with friends and family, enjoying watching horror movies and playing horror-themed board games and video games.
We also got to hang out with our spooky buddies again this year, who invited us to stay with them for four days. This was super exciting as they took us to our first pumpkin patch!
I’ve had pumpkin picking on my bucket list for a few years now, and it was such a pleasure to participate in this autumn tradition with some really good friends. It was muddy and cold, but it stayed dry the whole time we were there, which was lovely. I instantly spotted and fell in love with a grey pumpkin (my favourite colour) shortly after arriving and decided that was the only one I wanted.
I’d also never carved a pumpkin before, so this was a messy and fun way to spend an afternoon. We had The Exorcist playing in the background whilst we carved out our creations. Considering this was my first ever attempt at pumking carving, and my grey pumpkin ended up being super thick to carve through, I was rather impressed with my first ever attempt.
Meet Jack-Jack the Pumpkin King!
Over the course of our two week Hallowe’en Holidays we watched/played:
Next of Kin, Talk to Me and Tucker and Dale Vs Evil were new to us, everything else we’ve watched at least once before (if not more!). We enjoyed all three but felt Talk to Me was too hyped up, though a great film, it wasn’t nearly as scary as everyone was making it out to be. We loved Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, it was a great laugh! The real surprise however was how much we enjoyed Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin. It was one of the best ‘found footage’ style films we’d seen in a long time. The story was really good and could actually have been a stand alone from the rest of the Paranormal Activity series.
Halloween Board Games:
| Betrayal at House on the Hill
| The Bloody Inn
| The Night Cage
The newest game to our collection is Septima, where you play as a witch, trying to remain inconspicuous whilst using magic to make potions and cure people, lest you incur the wrath of the Witch Hunters. It was a kickstarter which arrived just in time for our Hallowe’en Holidays, so as you can imagine this one has been played quite a bit over the past two weeks.
Halloween Video Games:
J and I have also been talking about recording our video game playthroughs. We’re both pretty bad at taking photos (especially together) and thought it could be a great way to document the time we actually spend together. That way, when we’re old and grey and don’t have any pictures, we’ll at least be able to listen to our memories instead.
We’re mulling it over at the moment, but if anything comes of it, I’ll be sure to share that with you all too.
That’s all I have to share with you for now, but I’m feeling pretty good about keeping this going. A little rough draft once a month is absolutely manageable after all!
Until next month,