January was characterized by transition; my grandmother came to live with us while she’s recovering from surgery. I officially left my home church (not completely full-time though) and began visiting around for something new. I invested a ton of time in a HUGE project (it’s literally my heart and soul) that’s coming March 1st. I became an official employee of the nonprofit I work for and tweaked my schedule a little–I work more hours a week than last year, but less days per week. I was asked to be the head coach of an 8U softball team this spring–wow, what a dream come true!! I went to way too many doctor’s appointments (which included fun stuff like my neuro making me drink baking soda every day). I also had a stomach virus for the first time in years and y’all, I would rather have D.I.E.D. a slow and painful death.
Fun stuff: I saw The Greatest Showman twice (AHHHHHHH MY LOVE FOR PASEK AND PAUL’S MUSIC IS ENDLESS), went to an outdoor mall with my brother and our friends Marshall and Thomas, went to Huddle House with a younger friend from church, had a photoshoot with my friend Jordan, went to a weekend choir festival with the youth choir from my home church (click here to watch a video I made of the weekend), and hung out at a cute coffee shop with my friend Reyvin. I also found out that my grandpa is taking my aunt, uncle, Joshua, and me on an Alaskan cruise this summer!!!
This month I’m…
Reading: Under the Lilacs, Louisa May Alcott (reread). The Blood Race, K.A. Emmons (TOO TOO DANG EPIC). A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light, V.E. Schwab (W.O.W. SHE IS MY NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR). Red Queen and Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyard (reread). The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (reread). All the Little Things, Brooke Norris (my irl friend!!). Lion, Saroo Brierly. 10 total.
I also made a bookstagram and you should go follow it–nothing fancy, just me fangirling.
Listening to: Moments to Memories, Adeline Hill. THE ENTIRE GREATEST SHOWMAN SOUNDTRACK, HUNDREDS OF TIMES. Also the Anastasia soundtrack, and Seventeen from Tuck, and Stuff We Did from Up (excuse me while I stare out the window at the rain and think melancholy thoughts about life).
Loving: What if my clothing purchases are contributing to someone else’s poverty? by Amy. Surrendered Dreams by Eliza (Window into My World). Why Kids Books Should Be a Little Sad by Kate DiCamillo (for Time). Across the Globe by Elizabeth Anne (chasing moonlight).
I blogged twice this month: Fighting Injustice Without Hate (I feel like the title doesn’t really address what the post is actually about, but go read it because this is really important to me), and Fruit of the Spirit Project: January (Gentleness).
Writing: In the way of fiction, I began working on my dystopian novel Angelica again and wrote about 12k words, doing lots of important expanding; it’s now at exactly 40k, the end is in sight, and I remembered how much I LOVE this story. I’m also writing one short story a week this year. The first four were titled Circus Runaway, When You Left, Above the City, and Rain in Paris. I submitted fiction to 18 magazines/contests, and I also took a course on Show, Don’t Tell from Excelsior Writing School that was extremely fun and helpful! (Over on my Facebook, I’m doing a flash giveaway with cute bookmarks–and while you’re there, check out the cookies I’m selling to help Sara).
In the way of freelancing, I technically started a big new job this month, but haven’t actually gotten any work yet. It’s a weird, unpredictable process. *shrugs* So I filled my time applying to 18 jobs and pitching 17 magazines/websites. I also joined the Reckless Abandon blog team, and had a phone interview for a dream fitness writing job. I was asked to develop a writing curriculum and I wish I had time. I had a devotional published here, a health and wellness article published here, and another devotional published here. And Hanne interviewed me!
Grateful for: This little boy in the movie theater who made best friends with us and then was breakdancing and had the whole theater clapping for him. That it snowed again… but also, getting fro-yo and going to the park on a 70 degree day. Being used by God to encourage a friend. The reaction of a friend’s younger sister when I ran into her at work. A fun (and well-paying) voiceover job where my reading of the script will be piped through the building at an escape room-type thing in an amusement park. Also I realized that I love Chinese food this month which I never knew before!
This conversation is worth noting:
Today Joshua ate a chocolate that had “Kahlua” listed as the flavor. Mom pointed out that that was a kind of alcohol. Joshua (who’s twelve) said, “Drat! I was trying to stay sober. There goes my dry January.”
Big takeaway from January: it’s not a wasteland just because I labeled it one.
What did you do this month? Have you read V.E. Schwab’s books? Are you having snow, or 70 degree weather, or both? Tell me everything!