Never Ending Chaos: My January Writing Update

January’s supposed to be a calm month, right? Everyone’s recovering from the holidays, no one wants to go outside, it’s my birthday month… This should have been easy. Should have. When will I learn that there are no calm months when I’m involved?

On the business side of things, I had two in-person events planned: one private, and one public. Both were rescheduled due to the weather. The public one was a success, but the private one is now going to take place in February. Which means I have a total of three in-person events to prep for for that month (two public and one private).

In the realm of the personal, my family and I accidentally ended up celebrating my birthday two weeks early. Why? Because my sister is leaving me forever! She got a new job in Germany, so we’ve spent the last two months trying to squeeze in as much family time as possible. Now, as I write this, my mom and I are co-dog sitting until my sister’s fur baby can join her. A week today, Sundae (pictured above) leaves for Germany, and I guarantee I will be a wreck.

In the midst of all that, I’ve been trying to meet all of my self-imposed reading, writing, and editing goals for the month. That has been a rollercoaster ride, but so far I am on track!

If you’ve been following my reading adventures on Goodreads, Instagram, and now The StoryGraph, you likely know that I am ahead when it comes to my reading goals. I’m not quite as far ahead with my writing goals, but I’m confident I can get ahead by the end of the month. I plan on cramming as much as I can into the last few days on January (and I wonder why I feel so busy and tired all the time…)

While Skull Daddy is in the capable hands of my friend/neighbour/writing buddy/podcast co-host Trevor for further feedback, I’ve been taking this opportunity to do another round of self-edits on The Tunnel. It’s going well so far, and I’m fixing a lot of the problems I had with the first two drafts, but I’m still not sold on my opening. In February, I’ll run it through AutoCrit‘s editing software to really pick it apart before doing a final read-through. From there, I’ll need other people to have a look at it to see what I’ve missed and what I can do to improve. But that’s a problem for next month.

For writing, I’ve been working on another short story collection that I’m calling Flasher. It’s part writing experiment, and part me having fun. That’s all I’ll say for now, but stay tuned for more updates on that one as the year goes on. By the end of the month, I hope to have at least 25 stories written for the collection so far.

Now, back to my birthday.

Just because I celebrated it two weeks early with my family, doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate next week when the big day comes. I turn 33 this year, which I think is a big milestone. Since I never expected to make it to 30 in the first place, I’ve decided every birthday past that is a milestone (but my OCD brain loves this particular number right now).

If you want to help me celebrate, there are only two things I want: book reviews, and donations to the Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue. If you’ve read one of my books, leave a review on your social media, your favourite book review site, or the site of your favourite retailer. Even if it’s a bad review, I want to know what you think!

And if you’re feeling extra generous, please consider donating to OSCatR through their website. If you send me a screenshot of your donation, I will add it towards my Book Purge fundraising goal for 2024. At each in-person event I attend, I will round up the donation amount to the nearest multiple of five to help reach that goal faster. Remember: the moment I hit that $1000 target, I will shave off all my hair that very day. So far for 2024, The Book Purge has raised $40 and has received over 10 new boxes of donated books!

So, place your bets: what month do you think I’ll be going bald?

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