What I Read in May

I didn’t stop reading in May. It was a really hard month for me and there were times I hid in books. I won’t pretend I read a lot during those times. I spent a lot of time staring blankly at pages, but it was a comfort to have another world to jump into if that was what I needed.

Books I finished reading in May:

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  • Home – Nnedi Okorafor
  • Across the Green Grass Fields – Seanan McGuire
  • Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
  • All Systems Red – Martha Wells

Books I’m currently reading:

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  • The Night Masquerade – Nnedi Okorafor
  • House of Many Ways – Diana Wynne Jones
  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

What books did you read in May? Are there any books you are looking forward to reading this summer? I’d love to add to my to-read list.

Writing Progress May 3–9, 2021

daily writing progress

May 3

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 211,326
  • Today’s word count: 15
  • Thoughts: My anxiety is still making a mess of my routine. I want to work on things. Getting things done would actually make me feel a little bit better, but I can’t get far while I’m still feeling so anxious. What a mess.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Every day I hope that sleep will reset things for me. I want to wake up feeling calm and ready to face the day’s challenges. If it could just work out that way for me this once, I’d get so much accomplished. It’s got to happen eventually, right?

May 4

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 211,590
  • Today’s word count: 264
  • Thoughts: Things didn’t reset. I think I only managed to write because I was too anxious to sleep and eventually I ran out of energy to flit about in an anxiety haze. My mind wouldn’t settle so I had do something. I lucked out when that something ended up being writing. I have no idea how good this late night, anxiety writing turned out. Oh well.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I need to relax, but I’d love to keep writing. Sounds simple, but I’m worried about losing my writing mojo alongside the anxiety. It shouldn’t happen and I know holding onto anxiety would be a nightmare, but right now it is impossible not to worry about everything going wrong.

May 5

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 211,664
  • Today’s word count: 74
  • Thoughts: My word count wasn’t huge today but I felt like I put a lot of time into my writing. I have four chapters a look over before scheduling them to go up on Patreon. Then I went to write on my laptop and ran into a hitch. Scrivener needed to update and something about the update angered my virus protection. Getting it working again took me longer than it should and ate into the writing time I’d carved out.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Since there shouldn’t be any updates to get in my way I should be able to have a solid writing session on my laptop today. I just need to make sure I give myself a generous chunk of time to get it done.

May 6

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 211,726
  • Today’s word count: 62
  • Thoughts: Today was a horrible, horrible day. I have a sick cat and I’m too worried about him to think about anything else.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Honestly, I’m not going to be able to think about much else until my cat feels better. Maybe I’ll write. Maybe I won’t.

May 7–9

No writing progress made. We took our sweet little boy cat, Josh, to the emergency vet late Friday night and we said goodbye to him early Saturday morning. His illness was the worst thing I could imagine. Cancer. He must have been hiding his pain for a long time for it to have gotten so bad. He was his usual silly, playful, loving self until his final week with us. Only then did his start to eat less and withdraw. I miss him so much and I don’t know when I’ll be okay enough to write again.


April 2021 Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

Last July I won Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time ever. Going into Camp at the beginning of last month, I felt the weight of that victory on my shoulders. I’d finally won once. If I didn’t do it again, I’d be sliding backward.

Looking back over the past month I think I hoped for too much. I’ve lost Camp NaNoWriMo a lot more times than I’ve won.

I set my goal at 10,000 new words on my 3rd draft of The Dreams. I knew it would be a stretch compared to my word counts from recent months, but I really thought I could reach it with a little extra motivation.

It turns out I couldn’t stretch my energy and motivation that far.

At the end of the month I’d written 4,049 words. That’s less than half of what I’d wanted to write. I’m a little disappointed in myself. The past 14 months or so have been absolutely awful for so many reasons so I don’t think anyone can expect to maintain the focus and drive to do better than they did before the pandemic. That said, I’m still going to beat myself up over this. I can do better.

There were so many factors in play over the course of the month, I don’t think I could begin to pin down the main reason I failed to reach my goal. There’s just too much to worry about and not enough keeping me in a routine.

Hopefully things will be better for me in July.

Did you participate in Camp NaNoWriMo last month? Were you able to reach your goal?