We are now over half way through 2020.
It feels surreal to say that. Time has become such a loose concept now that I consider the passing of it in the events on the news.
Readers of my Summer Newsletter would have already read about my progress I’ve made with my WIP Assassins 1. The extra time I’ve gained from the lack of commute has meant that I’ve upped my wordcount significantly over the past few months. Great news for all my word count, but not so great for not burning out – which has been this month’s problem.
Being un-productive was the topic of this month’s opinion blog because of this. The sheer amount of time I have has also meant that I’ve struggled to fill that time. In a “normal” schedule, my free time has to be used to maximise every other task that I want to do that is outside of my work schedule. But in this time of “lockdown”, with the lack of social activities or anything else to fill my time, I’ve found myself increasing my goals and targets to an unattainable point.
For the latter part of June, I’ve tried to dial back my goals and take time doing other things – re-reading my favourite books, watching some new TV, or even just spending some time baking some new sourdough bread. Sure, the writing goals are there, but to reach them I have to make sure I don’t burn out en-route.
Stories on a Theme
The Gateway of Arieum
And so the Moon created the Raven, a creature of the night,
With six legs and no eyes,
To bring her a heart so that she might be worshipped by humans.
If you see a Raven at night, flee, flee,
The Moon Goddess is coming for your heart”
Fuelled by revenge, Fayan escapes the claws of Queen Erisa’s imprisonment to travel to the great Arieum Keep, home of the last Gateway, a magical portal that grants power to those who pass its test.
However, Erisa does not like leaving loose ends, and Fayan and the other Mages of Arieum represent the last bastion of resistance for her Empire.
Fayan is the last hope for Arieum. If she fails, Erisa will eliminate them all.
I’ve finished my latest short story, The Gateway of Arieum and you can now read it if you sign up to my Newsletter!
What else I’ve been up to outside of writing.
So, given that I’ve been trying to do something else other than writing, here’s what else I’ve been up to this month.
Yes, like hundreds of others in the UK, I’ve decided to fill my constantly anxious time with none other than baking with flour that I spent far too much on (and I now have far too much off – 16kg is a lot people), to try and make bread which I can stomach about two slices of before my gluten intolerance says please can you give me a break.
So far, I’ve tried sourdough croissants (attempted once, completely delaminated), sourdough pitta breads (success!) and sourdough boules (successful with the bread, but not with the boule shape).
It’s actually been nice to try something new with my baking – normally it’s restricted to cakes or flapjack for husband and I to eat at work.
The TBR Pile
For most of this year, I’ve been awful with keeping up with my reading. I’ve slowly been making my way through some of my Christmas list (including Ninth House and On Writing) and now we’re on We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal which I am super excited about. You know when you read the first few lines of a book and you just know it’s going to be good? That’s the vibe I’ve got from Chapter 1 so far.
Throughout university, comedy was a lifesaver. It was the thing that I would put on repeat whilst writing essays on reading that I had only half read. Hours of random bits of standup and sketches would mark the time.
This month I’ve been watching more and more. Here are a few that I’ve enjoyed below:
Douglas by Hanna Gadsby.
I literally could not stop laughing the entire time. Not only is it hilarious it is smart comedy. Geniously written and just fantastic.
Hard Knock Wife by Ali Wong
This special will always hold a special point in my heart. I first watched it over a cold Deliveroo in one of the Holiday Inns in Birmingham, at about 10pm at night after a day of gruelling meetings with work. It is some hilarious observational comedy and just brilliant.
Kid Gorgeous at Radio City by John Mulaney
This comedy special is well known, but if you haven’t watched it, please make time in your day for it.
That Michell and Webb Look
If you’re not familiar with British sketch comedy, I really suggest this series. Especially this particular sketch – the same thing I think of every time we get another government briefing.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some more flower photos popping up! Summer is a great time to spend in the garden, especially as a lot of the plants come into flower. I’m so fortunate to have a garden and take the opportunity to go outside.
That’s it for this month!
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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