October Wrap-Up

Reading Life

Total Books Read: 17*

*(please note some of these were middle-grade and one of them was a graphic novel. Still, pretty happy about making to-read stack progress this month.)

Scottish time-travel novels I finished reading that I have a lot of opinions on: 1 (if you want to hear them, I’d be more than happy to chat.)

Books about aliens that I read this monthThe Fifth Wave, Armada, Dawn. Out of the three, I highly recommend Dawn. Highly.

Debut novels read this month: 6

Total books this year so far: 134. Met/beat my challenge. Now trying to get to 150 before the end of the year.

Best of the Month: I have a lot of favorites. Marlena by Julie Buntin was a stunning book about toxic friendship and I could not put down Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. American War by Omar El Akkad (which I talk about here) was soul-shaking. Absolute favorite, though, was The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker. It will rank on my favorite list of the year, I can already tell.

Writing Life

wwBig article out this month from Electric Lit on Wonder Woman’s problematic past. I hope you’ll check it out, if you haven’t yet. It was my passion-project essay this summer, so I’m happy to see it in the world.

I had a big burst of productivity on a manuscript I’m abandoning for the time-being. It’s been abandoned before, poor thing. It’s my cicada novel, that re-emerges every two years in a slightly different form. I’ll let it settle a while again before I figure out what it’s meant to be.

INSTEAD, I’m planning on NaNo-ing, or at least trying to, with a shiny new idea that I’ve got outlined. With small kids and a job, it can be hard to keep up with the daily word count but I’m still giving it a shot. Even if I only get 500 words a day, that’s better than nothing! If you’re NaNo-ing, add me (rmm is my user name) and we can cheer each other on.

Life, Etc

Lots of sick kid cuddles this month, lots of grading, and lots of nail-biting and reading the news. Taking a bit of a social media fast in November to help focus on my work and family a bit more. It always helps me refocus.

Happy Halloween! Here was my costume this year, and if you don’t get it, you’re totally not fetch.

halloween 2017



September Wrap-Up

Reading Life

Total Books Read: 12

Audiobooks: 7

Books outside of my typical genres: 7

Best of the Month: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (forthcoming in 2018 and oh so worth putting on your to-read stack) and The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi. Also adored meeting Flavia de Luce in The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie.

2017 so far

This month I tried to read a bit outside my normal boundaries, so I picked up a romance novel, a few horror books, some middle grade, and the first book of a popular, kilt-including series that everyone seems to adore. I’m enjoying the trip outside my comfort zones of contemporary lit, YA, and sci-fi, but I don’t think the kilt series, in particular, will be continued. I don’t have as much passion for it as its pages contain.

Writing Life

I’m committed to a new bookish project, but had to outline another early in the month when inspiration hit. I have a two books mostly or fully outlined, but of course the project I’ve got on the burner now has a slightly uncertain road map. I’m about 25k into the first draft and want to finish the first draft by the end of the year if I can.

Published a review of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng with PLOUGHSHARES. They were an absolute delight to work with, and I can’t wait to do it again soon.

My previous months of reading on Wonder Woman led a piece that will be forthcoming in publication I’m really excited about! I’ll post a link when it’s out.

Life, etc

Touristy train rides taken: 1

Soccer games cheered at: 3

My preschooler’s skipped nap to my early bedtime ratio this month: 1:1

Minutes spent on Twitter this month: 1, and feeling happier for it

Date nights with husband that went awry: 1

All in all, it hasn’t been an excellent month. A few awesome things: started watching Star Trek (TNG) for the first time and my trivia team dominated a local trivia night. Still, I’m not sad to say farewell to September. May October bring us all peace, joy, and candy.




July Wrap-Up

Reading and Writing Life

Number of books read this month:  11

Number of books read this year: 90

Best of the MonthThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Number of books bought this monthredacted for embarrassment reasons I have little self-control where my books are concerned

I’m reading five books currently and loving them, but my big reading project currently is the original Wonder Woman comics. The first collection is 700+ pages, and I’m about halfway through. Lots of random plot-lines, nonsequiturs, and political incorrectness, but thoroughly enjoying it nonetheless.

Diana Prince
Diana Prince with the briefcase in the office

New things outlined: 2

Ideas gotten on vacation that have shoved those outlines aside: 1

We’ll see what the next big project will be, but I’m writing shorter stuff for now and enjoying it.

Days that I plan to write this upcoming month: 30! I’m jumping back into the #AugWritingChallenge on Twitter, which is always my favorite place to get motivated. Such a great group. 500 words a day writing or 1 hour a day editing. Details here if you want to join.

Life, etc

Vacations: 1

Afternoons spent in the sprinkler with the family: 5

Loaves of zucchini bread: 4

Batches of my grandma’s cucumber salad: 2

County Fairs : 1

Percentage ready that I am for the school year to start: -35%