February – And here I was thinking January was crazy…

Calm and quiet? February was anything but calm and quiet! And here I was thinking January was crazy… Apparently, signalling to the universe your schedule is becoming less hectic results in receiving email after email from people needing your help, pronto. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t dare… I’m rather relishing the fact that I’m pretty much booked up until the end of May 🙂

So what have I been up to in this short month?

Projects done

After finishing the edits of the thriller I started working on in January (my NaNoWriMo giveaway, remember?), I started on the development edit of a trilogy. We’re still trying to pinpoint the exact genre, but the first book takes place in the Alaskan wild, including spectacular views, a few encounters with bears (and wolves!), and quite a few odd characters. The view from my office includes concrete buildings and a parking lot, so it won’t come as a surprise I couldn’t stop imagining what it’d be like to set up office in a more remote area of the world.

I’ve also started on the next draft of my own manuscript. I’ve drawn up a list of things that need to be included in the next version, like bits that foreshadow events happening in the second and third book and details to bring across the world I’m building better. Once I was done with that, I started going through the comments from my beta readers—if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know what I’m talking about—and I’m still going through them. I might be an editor, but the moment you are on the receiving end of comments, you are a writer like everyone else. And like every other writer, I find the process entirely overwhelming. Nothing to be done though, it’s all part of the process. Repeat after me…

Books read

People are always a little surprised when I tell them that I have a thing for WWI literature. I really can’t help it, I’ve had it since following a course on War and Masculinity during my bachelor’s. When we were in Aberdeen last summer, I picked up a second-hand copy of the second novel in Pat Parker’s Regeneration trilogy at one of my favourite bookshops ever, Books and Beans. The Eye in the Door has been staring at me from my bookcase ever since, and I finally read it. I had to read the third book in the trilogy, The Ghost Road, for that course on War and Masculinity—according to the inscription, I bought it July 2005!—but I reread it immediately after finishing The Eye in the Door—you know, since it had been AGES since I read it. I can’t believe it has been eleven years… I actually remembered most of it, and still love it. I hardly ever think ‘I wish I had written this book!’ but I feel that way when I’m reading the Regeneration trilogy.

I also picked up Outlander again, and I’m really getting into it. If you’ve watched the series and are wondering whether or not to get into the books: they read as if you’re watching the series again. The narration is excellent—I can just hear Caitriona Balfe’s voice as I read— and up until now most of the details are consistent with the series. It also has enough extra details to keep things interesting.

Books bought

A former university colleague of mine recently tweeted about Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals and I asked her whether it fitted the autotheory genre, like The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson I read a few months back. She said it did and that it is a great read. I’m not sure what I’m hoping to get from it, but cancer has become quite a big part of my life in the past few years and I’m such a fan of the genre that I had to get myself a copy.

On to the next month! I will finally be refurbishing my home office (have been planning that one since last August) between bouts of editing, teaching, grading, and—hopefully—writing. I’d love to know what you all are up to!

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