FEBRUARY, a late list:
My sleep was as short as the month on many nights. The cause was usually scrolling a little too long on my phone, getting carried away watching a series or reading a book, or thoughts unwilling to rest.
Writing sprints at night or in the early mornings make my days feel complete, and like I’ve been productive.
I haven’t updated my Goodreads book count this month because I’m reading two books at once and seemingly getting nowhere. It helps to say that I’m writing more than I’m reading, so I’m sure I can forgive myself for it.
I’ve gone back to the gym. I can’t say I’m a regular gym-goer but I am proud myself for going, even if I only stay for half an hour, even if that only happens once a week. I used to dread it sometimes, even though the gym I go to is fairly close to my place. But I’m paying for this monthly - so it’s a privilege I get to go.
I have reached a point in my confidence about my writing where I upgraded my website with a direct shop without having to think of the financial side of things, because of how many times in a week I get to go out to send off a new package to readers. It gives me such a thrill and I haven’t had the time to really sit and... pat myself on the back. So I’m patting myself on my back.
As someone who loves a routine and maneuvers packed days well, I had an easygoing month with half a packed schedule due to work cutbacks because of COVID. I still got paid but I barely worked 3 times a week, and so had a lot of free time to myself. I spent as much time as I could with loved ones, because this free time is not a given.
I never thought about friendships and what I wanted from them, and what kind of friend I wanted to be, until now that I realise what I truly appreciate about friendships. There are friendships that happen out of convenience, some of them more superficial and seemingly transactional than others. There’s nothing wrong with that really. Sadly, there are friendships that fade because you feel like you’re not on the same page anymore, nor on the same path, and you feel like you don’t know that person anymore; they’re not the same person they were when you decided to become friends with them. Or maybe you are the one that changed and you can’t find your way back. It’s like falling out of love with a friend. It’s gut-wrenching and sad, but when we say that people change, most of the time it’s our friends and ourselves, and it’s devastating because you can’t really do anything about that. You can try and force it but I feel like I’m beyond that. You shouldn’t waste your time on trying to force something that won’t end well, which goes for all relationships that I can think of. Then there are friendships that last a lifetime and you know they do, because you don’t have to tend to them for months and you still pick up as if you never were apart. I think overall, I strive for friendships that inspire me and make me want to become a better person, pretty much like what I looked for in a romantic relationship before I met Gabriel. I strive for friendships that are 100% supportive and where there’s no ego or jealousy tainting the other’s successes and accomplishments because you love and respect that friend so much that it makes you happy when they’re happy, and their accomplishments don’t take away from yours. I strive for friendships that are give-and-take and candid but not draining because you respect each other’s boundaries and mental space and won’t guilt-trip each other about it. I strive for friendships that give you space to grow, as well as assist in the Other growing.
I’ve met a fellow writer friend I got to know over the internet in person. Dion and I met when she was on a trip to Germany and promptly met up here in Dresden for a day. I showed her Old Town, and we went to a café for coffee and cakes. We talked a lot about writing, being self-published, and about our works in progress. It was fun to bounce off each other with ideas and thoughts. We ended our meet-up with a museum visit.
Sometimes I forget I’m twenty-five. Because of my strict upbringing, my youth really started when I moved away from home at eighteen, so I kind of still feel like I’m living a younger life than that of another twenty-five year old. But that’s okay. That just means I can give myself more time. For my decisions, my dreams. My passions. I’m still discovering myself today, and I probably won’t stop discovering new parts about myself ever.
A SERIES I FELL IN LOVE WITH:
I was in the mood for a contemporary romantic tale with stunning cinematography and fun storytelling, and then OUR BELOVED SUMMER caught my attention with its enemies to friends to lovers to exes to lovers plot. It did not disappoint. The banter was fun, I fell in love with the characters as they fell in love with each other, and I appreciated that the side characters had lives of their own (this is not common enough). What I loved most was the depiction of friendship being as important as romantic relationships.
SHOP RELATED NEWS:
The reason I moved my shop from Etsy to my website is that Etsy is increasing their commission rates in April. As I sell my work on my own website now, all profits go to me and I will sign every copy, which is why they're limited. If a book is marked as SOLD OUT, it means I haven't received my author copies for signing yet, so be sure to check back. Of course you can still order my books through these links on Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble!
WRITING RELATED NEWS:
I’ve always thought about hosting my own prompted poetry event (very much like @letsescapril or @poetryishealing) but I never got around to actually think about it and brainstorm. I love reading prompted poems, flash fiction and short prose. I also love August, the month and its late summer night memorabilia. Thus, #augustories was born. Where poets and writers alike can write a piece every day for the month of August. I haven't announced this publicly yet, so you're the first to know about it! But I am planning on announcing #augustories in May, and I'll be sharing prompts in July so you have a month's time of prep if you take part in the challenge! I very much plan on doing this every year in August.
BOOK RELATED NEWS:
I’ve finished outlining and am now starting to draft my fictional memoir / mystery novel THE PHAM GIRLS.
Simultaneously, I'm currently working on my second poetry collection and I'm adding short stories. It's titled I HOPE I'M ON MY WAY SOMEWHERE and it revolves around being stuck while time relentlessly ticks away, and the feeling of going somewhere but not knowing what you're looking for. I have no release date set, but you'll be the first to know once I get more details. I'm also planning on reaching out to fellow (published or self-published) poets and writers to get their reviews before the release. I'm very excited for this book, as it feels very timely and there is a lot of diversity in style and storytelling so far. I feel like this is my Folklore / Evermore era.
“We are who we are not, and life is swift and sad. The sound of the sea is nocturnal, how many have heard it?”
— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet