Hooray, a blog post where it hasn’t been a million months since I last posted!
I was actually super inspired by my good friend Erin who I had recently talked to about how random we’ve become at blogging—and when I saw that she made a super awesome update post, I thought, “WHY NOT GET BACK INTO IT AS WELL?”
A lot has been happening since my last post! A bunch of snowstorms (yay snow days!), many bouts of sickness/general not-well-being (boo sick times!), and a whoooooole lot of writing and reading (yay creative well-filling!). To keep things light, here are some things that have been keeping me happy lately:
As I’ve mentioned before, but I FINISHED a draft of Phantom Fantasy!!! Last October, I finally crossed that finish line of first drafting and came out with a wild 140k-word monster of a book, but it’s MY wild 140k-word monster of a book <3 Since then, I’ve been furiously working away at it when I can, and I’m super excited for how it’s shaping up. Here’s the aesthetic I made for it to give a glimpse into the madness my muse is currently working with:
BUT, in even happier writing news that I’m still so, so thrilled about, MY WONDERFUL CP AND FRIEND ERIN SIGNED WITH AN AGENT!!!!!!!! This industry is filled with SO many downs (statistically, that’s just a fact), but the greatest ups for me have been growing with my friends and seeing them shine, hit their deadlines, make progress, reach those milestones, and sharing in all the joys (big or small) that make this work so worth it. Erin, you’re a friend who’s been there since the very beginning, and I’m soooo immensely proud of you for all that you’ve accomplished. Can’t wait to see you and this story make so many waves and break all the hearts <3
This year, I wanted to really work on balancing reading and writing a lot more since I tend to fall into very bad workaholic/writing-cave-dweller habits—and lately, I have actually been keeping up with this promise! It’s all thanks to my commute to work, as well as those long work hours that allow me to listen to audio books while I knock out some oh-so-exciting spreadsheets and grids at my desk.
Here’s a glimpse of some stuff I’ve recently finished:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I read this when it first came out years ago, but decided to reread it by listening to the audio book since it’s one of the main inspirations behind Phantom Book! And let me just tell you, it is a BEAUTIFULLY read audio book. I’d forgotten how much I truly loved this story, but the narration was just pure amazingness. There were times when I was literally choking back tears at my desk because the emotions were just so raw. I’m still not over it.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander (as well as Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth), illustrated by Ekua Holmes. Part of my job is actually to read some of my company’s books (I KNOW, THE DREAM!) and review their quality, so I’ve been able to get ahead in my Goodreads challenge very nicely because of it. This picture book of poems was such a lovely, calming read with magnificent art, and to plug it even more, it recently won a Coretta Scott King Book Award!
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Recently listened to this one on audio and it BLEW my mind! I rarely read novels that are written in verse, and this one did not disappoint. With a pitch like “A Christmas Carol meets Boyz N the Hood,” how can it? I absolutely recommend listening to the audio because the author narrates it, so it makes the whole experience even more meaningful and emotionally-charged.
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. This book also blew me away! My CP Erin had recommended this to me because she had a feeling I would enjoy it, and BOY DID I. It revolves around families of magicians partaking in a dangerous competition that defines their society and power, featuring a bold, confident magician at the forefront who I was ALL about. I absolutely tore through this page-turner on my commutes.
Along with a balance of reading and writing, I also wanted to get back into TV since I feel like I always fall super behind that. Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine which is HILARIOUS, fell into a deep rabbit hole because of Hulu’s original series Harlots, and have recently started watching Fresh Off the Boat with my parents (who find it highly amusing and super relatable).
And just yesterday, I also watched the movie Love, Simon with my brother and it was just an emotionally-charged DELIGHT. I read the book when it first came out and adored it, and after watching the moving, I am long overdue for a reread. My friend Akshaya and I were gushing about this last night since she’d also just seen it, and we both agreed that it captured the spirit of the book so well (while also drowning the viewer in a whirlpool of feels). I absolutely recommend everyone to watch it!
That’s about it regarding updates for me! Hoping everyone has been enjoying the year so far 🙂