July has been a bit of testing month. Both my husband and I ended up with changed shifts at minimal notice, which messed around sleeping patterns, eating times and housework requirements a bit. Then a bunch of changes were confirmed, each without clear plans for the future.
But we still managed to have most of our adventure day intact, we’re still muddling through our responsibilities and the month is over now!
Reflections on the Journey
i. Read 12 books: 9 / 7 – I’m on track! I looked at the first couple of pages of Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds (book 1 in a series), and then compared it to Mockingbird (book 2). Unfortunately I was thus sucked in and had to finish reading! I also got 50% through the Vagrant, which I keep at work so only read in lull times. Due to struggling to write, I’ve also been reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson.
ii. Edit novel draft ready for submission: 1/1 submission – July marked my first official rejection from this batch of submissions. We’ll see how things go during the next few months, and I’ll keep you posted should things change.
iii. Track my wordcount and aim for 100,000 words: 19,746/59,333 words – This month I started writing the bones of Skeletal. However, this was more difficult to write than I expected. I wrote about this on the blog, and instead turned my efforts to short story plans and editing. In the end, I returned to editing TFG and cobbled together the few scenes I could of this new story: ending the month with a total of 4,583 words. It’s my best month since January, and if the news stops sounding like the made-up chaos from V for Vendetta, I might manage to focus on the novel instead of feeling so much emotion about the real world.
iv. Re-create a wellness routine: I continued to exercise this month, shifting some more focus onto healthy eating. This dropped a bit during the work shifts, but we brought it back by the end of the month. We had a small crop of vegetables and fruits from our garden, tried some new foods (Christmas melon, radish pods, baked kale chips, peanut butter flapjacks) and I officially did some form of exercise every other day.
Our mini-adventure this month was a cycle ride. I would skip over the hour of bicycle maintenance but that was technically part of it too. I hadn’t been on my bike for around 5 years, so it needed a bit of TLC. We cycled around 5-6 miles, saw some ducklings, and stopped off for a pub lunch. Then we gardened and celebrated the news of a new job with a takeaway and wine.
- Result: It may not have been great for healthy eating, but it was a welcome break from housework, writing and dayjob without high cost or time required. Plus, ducklings!
Total XP for July: 1,100/1,250
Total XP towards Level Up: 6,725/7,500
Jumping the Wall…
- I was successful in getting a new job with my current employer. It’s the job role above my current one, and means I’ll be back to University in the Autumn for one day a week to get a qualification.
- We tried to feed the cats canned food. They were not happy, although would eat certain flavours if left for 24 hours. Since they eat every single pouch brand and flavour ever made, it’s not really issue but made an interesting experiment.
- Then Smoke brought in a dead rat, placing it in the middle of our beige living room carpet. It’s likely not related but back to pouched food we go!
- We began painting the fence with brown treatment, which looks much better and should protect it from the elements. We also added a border fence to the flower borders, which the cats enjoy walking across.
- We also planted a cherry tree, and continued to care for the berry bushes and vegetable patch.
- I began beta-reading a story, which was a nice break since struggling to write my own draft.
- My laptop developed some weird keyboard issues; which are also slowing down my writing sessions.
The Path Ahead…
- Next month’s mini-adventure has yet to be decided. We’ve taken the day off for our 6-months-married anniversary, and have time off over my birthday. I think we may need to go shopping for some bits and bobs.
- I’m hoping that work will begin to die down as I cut my current caseload ready to take on the new job at the end of September, although it sounds like they haven’t quite prepared for the transition.