Ishness! NaNo, Christmas, New Year

Oh, hi, my dear Roadlings! It’s been absolutely AGES since I did an Ishness (I think the last one was my Realm Makers Ishness?) — or, well, blogged in general (*cough* I’m sorry, guys!) — so it’s CLEARLY time to do so again!

November, December, and January are the three months which at the blink of an eye mysteriously vanish to wherever missing pens go. So obviously this whole not-blogging-much thing is not my fault. (I jest. It’s totally my fault. And the unreliable internet which has been victimizing me.)

I guess I’ve been busy living life instead of writing about it? And kind of unmotivated as far as blogging goes. Sometimes you just feel tired, you know? But I’ve missed you guys! And writing Ishness posts!

(I . . . er . . . accidentally wrote one after NaNo and then proceeded to get so busy that I never posted it! :O Whoops. So I will just squeeze two more months onto it. As you were.)

So I’m officially back, and I’m here with a recap of my 9th NaNoWriMo, December holidays, and New Year beginnings!

WRITING

November

Writing highlights include:

  • Winning NaNo for the 9th time!
  • Finishing The Siren and the Skyship!!! (Still in the clouds about this one.) *pretends that wasn’t a terrible pun* XD
  • Beating my personal record of words in a day and writing 8K words. 😛
  • Wordwars!! Wordsprinting with friends is one of my favorite things. It’s just so motivating and it’s fun hanging out online with people and getting to chat but also being productive. Seriously, surviving NaNo is so much easier with wordsprints!
  • Finishing NaNo on the 27th!
  • Staying up until midnight on November 30th writing until the very last moment, cheering on one of my bestest writing pals (who won with three minutes to spare).
  • Hitting 58K, my largest wordcount for a single month, ever! (Yay for more records! XD)
  • Staying on par the entire month! (A huge relief. I hate falling behind, and the first week or so it was a serious struggle to stay on that bar, but I managed it because I was determined not to fall behind!)
  • Getting soooo close to finishing KW2. Just two or three chapters from the end. I was super excited. (Plus, finishing “Part 2” of that book, which was a milestone I kept not being sure if I’d ever get to. XD)

It was tough sometimes, and I had my share of days when I just didn’t want to write, or had no clue where to go next in my stories. But I stayed on track, finished one book and nearly finished another, and it was an excellent NaNo on the whole!

December + January

I’m squishing these together because not a lot happened in them, writing-wise. *cough* I had big plans of finishing KW2 in December . . . and then in January . . . and neither really happened. 😛

I did write a couple thousand words across the two months, mostly on KW2. I also finished one writing journal and started another for the new year, did some plotting, and met up with various writer friends (!!) and went to a few writers workshops.

OH! And I did write on my “Writing Day” which happens every January 20th. Because every year on that day, I write something, even if it’s just a snippet, and since I first started in 2010, this was my tenth annual one. Every January 20th for a decade, I wrote on one of my stories, and that’s kind of special to me. 🙂

It was overall a very quiet couple of months on the writing front. I’m trying to forgive myself for that, given the busyness and tiredness and all of that. I did sort of write 58K in November, so a couple of quiet months to recover should be allowed. Maybe?

READING

November – December (in reverse order)

Highlights included Mark of the Raven, Falling Snow, fun Christmas-y stories, finishing my Dalemark re-read, and my new favorite, Echo North! (It’s like a month and a half since I’ve read Echo North and I still have a book hangover…)

January

I got off to a fun start for my reading this year. Highlights include The Fall of Gondolin and A Tale of Time City. You can check out mini-thoughts on each of these in my latest Book Ishness over on my book blog!

WATCHING

  • I saw Mortal Engines in the theater and it was SO MUCH FUN. XD I don’t know why I liked it but it was an absolute blast and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. (And now I want to read the book.)
  • I also saw Mary Poppins Returns, which was fairly enjoyable. I particularly liked the lamplighter dance scene!

Other notable things I saw in the last three months:

  • Despicable Me 2 (fun!).
  • Mowgli (. . . interesting).
  • Some Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes since I hadn’t seen any of those before!
  • A neat mystery called Ace Wonder which I really enjoyed!
  • I also finished the second season of NCIS and am NOT OKAY. *cough*
  • Re-watched It’s a Wonderful Life and A Muppet Christmas Carol for Christmas. 🙂
  • And I re-watched Captain America: Civil War (because Bucky!) and Snow White and the Huntsman (because Thor wasn’t in Captain America; KIDDING. XD).
  • And I finally saw The Secret World of Arrietty which is MY NEW FAVORITE THING. ❤ (I grew up reading the Borrowers books, and vaguely avoided the movie for years because I was terrified it would be dreadful. But I ADORED IT. And have a sudden need to re-watch it and Howl’s Moving Castle and go find more Studio Ghibli films since those are the only two I’ve seen.)

LISTENING

So, back in November, I started listening to Scarlet by Marissa Meyer on audiobook. I NEVER LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS. (Well. Almost never. Let’s just say it’s an Occasion. A small one, but still.) I was at a write-in and saw it at the library and couldn’t resist picking it up since I read Cinder not long before. This was a Terrible Idea because I was far too busy to finish it during NaNo and it had to go back to the library. However! I did enjoy myself and have picked it up again recently — but that’s probably part of some future February Ishness so HUSH. SPOILERS.

During Nano, I also did a ton of listening to the Piano Guys’ version of Rewrite the Stars, on repeat, during wordwars. XD

December brought Christmas music which I really enjoyed this year for some reason.

In January, I discovered some new music such as Celtic rock and Tide Lines (a new favorite band! This song has been stuck in my head nonstop and yes I am currently listening to it and regret nothing. XD) and some others. I must listen to more!

Continuing my audiobook obsession, I re-listened to The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame in January — it’s very short but HILARIOUS and absolutely awesome and I highly recommend reading it. ❤

LIFE

November

November was terribly busy. In a good way. But whew! I’m very much a homebody and I have no idea how people manage to write NaNo when they’re busy and juggling jobs/school/whatever. I salute you guys. But anyway…

Busy (but awesome) things included:

  • Hardly being home the first four days of NaNo and squeezing in writing here and there, in places like the car on the way to-and-from places.
  • An awesome library book-sale which always coincides nicely with NaNo when I should be writing. XD

 

  • My aunt and uncle visiting, which was so much fun! And taking them to the Magnolia Market/Silos etc. (If any of y’all come see it, let me know . . . 😉 I haven’t seen the show, but.)
  • I’m the ML — which stands for Municipal Liaison — for my NaNo region so I was quite busy organizing events, sending messages, and managing forums. One more crazy thing during NaNo. XD I’ve done it six years now, so I’m kind of used to it, but it’s still busy.

  • Having write-in events every weekend — there was much writing and hanging out with other Wrimos.
  • Which reminds me that some of the best moments were chatting with friends old and new — at home, at booksales, at a writer class, at write-ins, in line for a bookstore. I’m an introvert sometimes, but you know, people are awesome too. ❤

  • Thanksgiving. Food. Pies. Nom nom.

Standing in line getting some reading in!

  • Standing in line on Black Friday for the first time in my life, because a bookstore was having a special giveaway. Yes. This is the only thing that can tempt me to go shopping on such a day. Or… ever, in general. XD (Boooooks.) (Fortunately, the bookworm line was small and orderly and we had some lovely bookish chats.)
  • Spontaneously crocheting a pair of fingerless gloves instead of writing. They’ve been so handy!
  • Going for “like-a-quick-lady” walks and runs with my audiobook, and plot-walks with my sister. (Plot walks are magical and consist of talking out the problems in the plot so that I know what to write next.)

Found a cozy bench/garden to curl up with this book while at a fair. ❤

  • Sneaking in reading occasionally, like at a fair and in the car.
  • Some beta-reading and editing, which are of course the best jobs during an already bookish month. 😉
  • In fact, one of the things I beta-read during NaNo is coming out later this month! It’s an utterly charming retelling of The Bremen Town Musicians, called The Road to Bremen, and I adored it!

December Highlights

  • A post-NaNo celebration with cupcakes!

Otter!

  • A fun trip to the zoo with lovely writer friends!

  • Meeting up with some friends from Realm Makers and having a blast chatting over lunch!

  • Sending Christmas cards.
  • A few days of just relaxing and reading Diana Wynne Jones. I kind of needed that after all the crazy that was November.
  • Going to see Mortal Engines and Mary Poppins Returns with my siblings.
  • Peppermint shakes!

  • General quiet, cozy Christmas celebrations with family.

  • Curling up with Echo North and reading it in the cold near-end of the year! ❤

January Highlights

  • Ringing in the New Year watching some fireworks and seeing a shooting star.
  • Starting new journals! My favorite. 😀 Seriously, my writing journal and my bullet journal are super helpful and fun.
  • Some writers’ workshops.
  • Plot-walks with my sis.
  • Mail! Always makes my day. ❤

  • Started trying to make fingerless gloves again. XD
  • Working on some new habits and goals. I’m trying a new thing in my bullet-journal with a habit-tracker that I color in. It’s been fabulous so far!
  • Saw the Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse! It was super cold out but so worth it.

February Plans

Things I’d love to get done this month:

  • Quite a bit more blogging (my poor abandoned blogs!)
  • Read some review books and review them
  • Read other things Because Reasons
  • Finish writing The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (I KNOW. I can’t believe I’m not done yet but I still want to do this! *collapses*)
  • Also, How to Train Your Dragon 3 is coming out this month and I AM NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR THIS. SEND HELP.

Loved this display at the theater when I saw Mary Poppins Returns


Whew! If you made it through this you deserve a cupcake.

In brief:

I made it through my 9th NaNo and I’m super pleased with how it turned out! And so glad I decided to go Rebel and work on trying to finish two WIPs. 😀 There were some rough spots and it was one of my busiest NaNos, but overall it went amazingly and was an awesome month.

December was a mix of busyness and lovely relaxing, and much hanging out with awesome people and Christmas coziness. January was generally quietly starting out the year, with a mix of slumps and bright moments.

And now we’re well into February and EXCUSE ME, Mr. Time, but who gave you permission to run away like this? Ahem. If you need me, I’ll just be over here wrapped in a shock blanket, wondering how we’re this far into 2019 already. 😛

What have you been up to lately? How has your year started off? And have you missed the Ishnesses and should I bring ’em back? Speak to me in the comments! Thanks for reading! ❤

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13 thoughts on “Ishness! NaNo, Christmas, New Year

  1. You sound like you were so busy! I congratulate you for squeezing in reading while being so busy! I have yet to figure out how to do it during the week and not only on weekends *sigh*.
    I’m so excited for How To Train Your Dragon 3 to come out. Every time I see the commercial I’m like: “I need to see that in theaters NOW!”
    Good luck on finishing KW2. I know the feeling of knowing I should finish writing a book but pushing it off anyway. Such is life XD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel you! I’ve been finding it more difficult to squeeze reading in myself…

      YES, I’m so excited for HTTYD3! Have you seen it yet? I haven’t but I need toooo!

      Thanks very much! I still have been putting it off. XD SOMEDAY I WILL FINISH!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We just gotta find the time to read, even if it’s only for a few minutes! (Who am I kidding? Reading needs a whole lot more than a few minutes)

        I have not yet seen it 😭. Mainly because of school work and I gotta find someone who wants to see it to go with me. Totally totally need to see it before it’s out of theaters.

        No prob! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Right?? I’m so bad at just reading for a few minutes but I totally need to start learning to do that to fit it in. It’s just… I want to read for at least an hour. XD

          Oh dear! I hope you find time and someone to go with you! I finally saw it and it was SO LOVELY. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  2. CELTI ISHNESS POOOOST! THIS MAKES ME HAPPY!!!!

    I’m still just so, so, so, sooo proud of how you totally CONQUERED this NaNo and beat all your records despite not even being HOME for so much of November and just alkdjfjdf. YOU DID AMAZING!!! But goodness, it was an insane NaNo. o.o

    It looks like you read and watched so many fun books and movies in the last few months! I had intended to go see Mortal Engines, but time didn’t permit AND I wooould kinda like to read the book first, so I guess it’s okay I waited. I’ll see it eventually! ^_^ But Mary Poppins Returns and Despicable Me 2 and Civil War and The Secret World of Arrietty! All such good movies! I’ve never seen Snow White and the Huntsman but I’ve always been kinda curious about it. One day I’ll probably cave and give it a try. XD But yay for fun movies!

    The “Life” section is making me collapse from all the busy! But so many awesome things! NaNo and book sales and relatives visiting and Thanksgiving (that pie looks so goooood *drools*) and crocheting (I just love your gloves so much!) and meeting with writerly friends and CHRISTMAS and New Year’s and and and ALL THE THINGS! It’s been a whirlwind of a 3 months for sure! But some awesome stuff definitely went down!

    I’m loving your February plans! 😀 But HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3!!! *SHRIEKS* I’m not emotionally prepared eitherrrr. I have a feeling I’m going to be sobbing through like the WHOLE movie. MEEP. FEELS. (But whoooa, that display in your theater is EPIC!)

    This was all fabulous! I HAVE missed the ishness posts. I’d LOVE for you to bring them back! ^_^

    Okay but HOOOWWW is it February and so FAR into February??? *joins you in the shock blanket* THIS IS NOT OKAY. But I do hope you have the BEST rest of February. Cheering you on through all your February plans! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • AAH THANKS! I have another one going up in the morning so this shows how behind I am on comments. *facepalm

      Eep! Thank you! You totally conquered NaNo tooo!

      Mortal Engines was so much fun and I hope you get to see it someday! I do need to read the book now… Yesss, such good movies! Snow White and the Huntsmen was actually pretty neat; I was surprised! And fairytales, hello! I think you’d like it because it’s sort of dark/gritty but without being TOTALLY icky/creepy?

      It was definitely a whirlwind! XD

      AAHH I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN HTTYD3. But I neeed to! (Yes, I loved that display!)

      It makes me happy to hear you enjoy the Ishnesses! And thank YOU for your fabulous commentsss! (So sorry WordPress is stupid and keeps marking you as spam. XD)

      I DON’T KNOWWW. February has no right to blink away like that. o.o

      Like

  3. So much in this post! Congrats on the writing progress! I love that you do an annual writing day. That’s so cool! I loved Mortal Engines And Secret of Arietty tooooo! I recommend you see Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away (This one has a lot of Japanese cultural elements that aren’t explained and you’re expected to know but watch with an open mind and it’s like Japanese Alice in Wonderland. It’s great.), and Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind. All great. I love Princess Mononoke but it is PG-13 so expect mature violence and some minor swearing.

    Liked by 1 person

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