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August Monthly Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! So the end of August came and went and I totally forgot about a wrap-up post even though I've been excited to write one like all month because of all the reading and writing things I did this month. August was a very good month, but now I am so ready for it to be cold and Fall! 21 days till the first day of Fall and I am so ready!!

August Writing: August was full of lots of writing things. At the beginning of August I finished the first draft of the sequel to Sterling Silver (I'm calling it Blood Brothers right now). That book was so fun to write and it felt good to get back into the world of Tabitha. I'm sort of giving myself some time and space to mull over the big things I want to fix in this book. I have a few ideas that are going to require a lot of major book surgery but it'll be so worth it. Blood Brothers isn't like Sterling Silver. Sterling Silver came from my brain to the paper pretty easily and without a lot of bumps or problems. It went through eight drafts worth of revisions before I put it away for a year and came back to it to put it on Wattpad. I have a strong feeling Blood Brothers is going to require a bit more work. On September first the final two chapters and epilogue of Sterling Silver was put on Wattpad. My first Wattpad book officially finished and I am so excited about it. It was such a fun and new experience and I plan to continue adding books onto Wattpad while also working on publishable books as well.

Near the end of finishing Blood Brothers I also started working on a Peter Pan Retelling that has been on my mind for a long time. Writing a Peter Pan inspired story has been on my writerly bucket list for a long time and then a few months ago my mom and I were talking in the car and I was telling her about how I really want to write a retelling and she gave me a great idea for a Peter Pan story and it just sort of clicked all my other ideas into place. All the pieces fit together and suddenly I had a story! It's in the New Adult genre and is in the dual POV of an older Wendy Darling and a dashing Captain Hook. Its been a very interesting writing process and I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of what my characters are capable of. I've also loved writing my own interpretation of these beloved characters while also giving a nod to the original book and the Disney movies. Hook and Wendy are especially interesting and I feel like in drafts to come I'll be able to deepen their characters and really dig in and see who they truly are. There's Peter Pan (obviously), who also has a lot of potential for character complexity, Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys and Smee and fairies and mermaids and it's just all very exciting. This book is currently at 90,000 words and it is, so far, the longest book I have ever written. Before this, Sterling Silver was the longest at 85,000 words (yes my drafts tend to be bare bones drafts that are seventy to sixty thousand words) and that is why longer first drafts make me sort of twitchy and panicky about the whole revision process and revising such a large draft. They also tend to make me a bit impatient. Already as I grow closer and closer to the climax I can feel myself wanting to rush the story and I have to force myself to stop and let it take its time unraveling. Anyways, if you want to know more about this book, which I am, at the moment, calling Second Star to the Right, you can go HERE.

August Reading: Oh my goodness. I don't think I've read this many books in a long time! Where do I even start?? Ok, so the month started with a book called Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne. It's a debut novel and sci-fi and sort of reminded me a little of Starflight in terms of world and vibe in general, so I checked it out. I devoured it (I loved the romance!) but then near the end it got kind of boring... The writer built this intense, interesting romance/relationship between Stella (the FMC) and Hugo (the MMC) and then it just sort of got stale... After a few days I was too curious and so I skimmed through the rest of it and it did actually have a good ending. But then... I was in a sort of Buffy kick. I was rewatching whole seasons of Buffy and I finished season seven and felt the need to get back into the Buffy comics. I needed more of this amazing world Joss Whedon had created! I had started reading the comics after I first finished BTVS but for some reason I dropped off. I think I got busy or distracted reading something else. But this time, I devoured the comics! Oh my gosh... if you're a Buffy fan, you totally need to read these comics! I would so read the Angel and Spike comics but they don't have them at my library. I was very fortunate that my library had seasons 8-10 available and now I just have to buy season 11 and wait for all of season 12 (the final season, so sad!) to come out.

Anyways, I was momentarily obsessed with BTVS and then felt the sudden need to reread the Lux series. I started reading that series and got about three-ish books in when I was like thirteen or fourteen? I was way too young for them and I just couldn't get through them then, but now, despite the lots of swearing, really enjoyed the plot and characters as a whole. They're really good YA/romance/alien books and I wish I had been reading them when I was writing Golden cuz they would have been good inspiration/motivation for me. And now I can't wait for The Darkest Star which is centered around my favorite character in the whole series: Luc! He's just so great and I can't wait to see more of him and more the world Jennifer L. Armentrout created!

And then! August finished out in the best way possible: with a Victoria Schwab book. Her first ever Middle Grade book released and, I rarely buy books, but I did buy this one and I'm glad I did. It was so worth it. City of Ghosts was a really good read. I know there are some people who are fine with younger kids reading the content and paranormal stuff, but personally I don't think it was very kid appropriate. Twelve, thirteen year olds could read it, but I wouldn't recommend anyone younger. Though Victoria definitely dialed it back, there were still some pretty morbid, creepy and sort of disturbing parts. And it was very detailed in an explanation of how ghosts work. Kind of like Coco detailed, which I know my parents wouldn't appreciate my younger siblings reading or watching cuz ghosts aren't real and its creepy. As myself reading it though, I really did enjoy it. Victoria Schwab is a master storyteller. I aspire to be as good of a writer as she is one day. Truly if I can write half as good as she does I'll be a happy person. Her protagonist, Cassidy Blake, is super sweet and innocent twelve year old girl. She was the perfect protagonist to dial down and sweeten a ghost story and Victoria Schwab did a great job in crafting her. She loves photography and I found that hobby really interesting, how she takes pictures of not just normal things but also in the Veil (sort of like the Ghost Zone from Danny Phantom). Actually the book, though completely it's work and super original, did remind me a little bit of Danny Phantom, with like ghost hunters and the Veil and the fact that her parents are paranormal writers who are knowledgeable about ghosts and yet they have no idea that their daughter actually sees them and is best friends with one! I really liked Jake too, her ghost best friend. Their friendship was really adorable and sweet and I'm really intrigued to see how Victoria plans to continue with the threads of plot she hinted at at the end of the book with Jake. I also think its really cool that she got to write the book in a city that she is so familiar with and that she loves so much: Edinburgh.

Now I've started September off with rereading Vicious in preparation for Vengeful that comes out in a couple of weeks! I've waited so long for the sequel and I know how hard Victoria Schwab has worked on that book. She's put literally everything into Vengeful and I know it'll be amazing so I am pretty excited.

August Random/Life Stuff: My final semester of college started two weeks ago. I plan on writing a post about it for hopefully this week, cuz I guess its kind of a big deal that I am finally almost finished. I'll have my associates degree in December which is crazy to think about because I don't know what I'm going to do next. Either go on and get my Bachelors or find something else to do. But that's something I'll have to pray about and put in God's hands. He's got this and I just need to trust that. My math class starts in a few weeks, but right now college life is pretty easy for me. I'm taking a library sciences class about Children's Departments in libraries and so far its pretty easy and going pretty well. It's also really interesting and a fun class to take. We visited family and got to go to a huge mall and have a good time there. We visited my great aunt who has horses and dogs and then went to the beach the next day so that was fun too. Overall, August has been a good month.

September Looking Forward: Like I said, I'm excited for September 22nd, which happens to be my mother's birthday and the first day of Fall. There are two books coming out this month that I'm really excited about too. Vengeful (obviously) and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White. I've read Chaos of the Stars by her but haven't read any of her other books, but this one, I am looking forward to. She's also writing a BTVS book that comes out next year so I am super thrilled about that!! Small groups at my church also start this week so I'm going to be figuring that out too and hopefully finding a group to go every week. I'll also be praying for cold weather to come quickly cuz I'm pretty done with this Summer of 90's and 100's. If I wanted that weather I would go live in Arizona! I plan on finishing Second Star to the Right and starting revisions on Blood Brother too!

Anyways, so that's what I've been up to in August. It's been a good month, like I said. There have been some challenges, some difficulties, but overall, it was good and now I'm excited to see what September holds. I hope you all have had a great August and that you have a great September too!

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