Writing, Reading, Research and Kitten Updates October 2019.

Welcome to my October Updates post!

I love the way the leaves change colour this time of year. I think it’s been a pretty productive month, despite the week I had a cold and did little but read and watch Netflix.

october updates 2019

My goals for October were:

  • Finish researching critical commentary.

  • Read life writing examples.

  • Learn how to write autobiographical fiction.

  • Finish Gotham.

  • Write two short stories.

  • Outline Merlin: Second Chance up to chapter 16.

  • Draw one picture.

  • Read one book.

So, how did I do?

University research:

I finished researching critical commentary. It’ll be a challenge to be conscious of what I’m writing and why during the drafting process, but the quotes and footnotes from other sources will be the hardest part as the recommended reading doesn’t appeal to me. Writing autobiographical fiction is similar to fiction writing so I didn’t need to do much research for that!

As for reading examples of life writing? I’m struggling. A lot of it is depressing childhood horror stories. I’d rather read (and write) happy stories. My goal for November is to submit to the first university workshop and continue to read autobiographical fiction.


I didn’t finish Gotham. I’m rarely satisfied with endings, and if I love characters I don’t want the story to end, so I keep putting it off. I binged half of Gilmore Girls instead, to see if the end of A Year in the Life makes sense the second time around. I’m not sure yet, but I love Jess, hate Christopher, and ship Lorelai and Luke so hard!

I also started watching Titans again. I gave up halfway through episode one before, but my partner wanted to watch it and it’s better than I remember. The only thing I don’t like is Robin hating on Batman, but my Batman is Bruce in Gotham and he’s cool! TV goals? Watch whatever I want until I start university, then cut back.


Merlin chewed through an internet cable. He’s not hurt as it wasn’t a live wire, but my partner was less than amused: Every PC is wireless, except his! Merlin’s also eating less wet food since he was neutered, which is odd, and he sleeps in my office most afternoons, moving only to steal my chair when I get up for tea! He’s more affectionate lately too, which is nice 🙂

merlin kitten on my lap cuddles
Merlin being cuddly: It was tricky to get a picture, as he’s sitting on one of my arms!

I collected a beautiful red leaf from outside (I love autumn leaves) and Merlin was fascinated. He stole it, ran off with it, and when I tried to get it back he growled and swiped at me. I couldn’t get it back, and he decided to eat it. Oh well!


I wrote one short story, Broken Promise, about kidnapping, magic, and the consequences of breaking a promise. The second story I intended to post remains half finished because of a nasty cold. I’m back at university soon, so I’ll aim for one short story in November.

I outlined all of Merlin: Second Chance, discovered the Save the Cat method, and started over: I’ve now outlined up to chapter 10. I’m itching to start writing, but the last time I started with half an outline I got stuck. On good days I love my project, on bad days I think it sucks. I think we all have days like that though! I hope to finish my outline by the end of November.


I sketched two small pictures, but I’m not happy with how they turned out and I didn’t finish a complete picture like I wanted to. I don’t seem to have the patience or ability to focus like I used to. In November I’m going to sketch and plan a DnD character, as we’re (hopefully) starting a group. The only issue is there are so many classes it’s impossible to pick one!


I’ve been reviewing free books from Hidden Gems. I’m hoping to get Kindle Unlimited for Christmas, so I can make a dent in my actual TBR list, but until then ARC and review copies it is! In October I finished Heroes of Englandom, which I enjoyed a lot, read The Phantom Heist, which had wonderful world building, and DNF’d one of the life writing books I started.

I aim to read two books in November: University reading counts, so it’ll be one fiction and one non fiction. I’ll also write a review post for a few books in mid November 🙂

Other Random Stuff:

birthday cakes
Dairy free cakes we made for my birthday, including lots of sprinkles!
  • I’m still trying to set realistic goals and had to fight not to join Nanowrimo.

  • I realised men’s jeans are thicker and warmer, so I’ll be wearing them all winter!

  • My cucumber plants didn’t make it, but my potatoes were awesome.

  • I’ve been eating badly and not exercising, but it was my birthday in October.

  • I wrote a blog post about writing prompts because I adore them.

  • I’m still not completely over my cold, probably due to the poor diet and lack of exercise!

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

All in all, not a bad month. I’m not looking forward to university starting in November: Some of the reading looks very dry and academic, and I’ll have less time to plan my WIP and learn new things. I’ve been so productive this past couple of months and I don’t want that to end!

What are your November goals? Any book or TV recommendations? Are you doing Nanowrimo? How was your October? Chat in the comments!


  1. Merlin is growing up so fast! Good luck with everything ya have going on. I’m taking on NaNoWriMo this year. No count goals, just trying to write a bit every day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It probably will😂 At the moment I get my trashy romance fix from fanfic xD I have a secret Amazon wishlist full of books: The Crystal Cave, The Once and Future King, The Colour of Magic, Captive Prince, Myths of the Mirror, Howl’s Moving Castle, and a bunch of books with dragons on the cover. I’m wondering if buying the books would be better, as I’d have to read a lot of books a year to make KU worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I copied your list onto my note app! Will check them out👍

        For cost effectiveness, it kind of depends on the length/genre of the books. When I was burning through 10 short M/M books a month, the subscription was more than worth it, but when I got into a fantasy mood it wasn’t worth it anymore because the books are much longer and I found that I could only get through 2 or 3 per month…which is prolly better off buying. And while there are talented writers on KU, from my experience it’s going to be more of a gamble; you might find the next emerging genius, but on the other hand it might be meh. Good for exploration, not so good for quality comfort reading if you know what I mean.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Awesome 🙂 Some of them are more for research: The Discworld series apparently has amazing description, and anything to do with Merlin is research for my WIP.
          If you have any good m/m recs let me know, I’m a bit addicted to slow burn cutesy romances!
          At £2.99 each I’d have to read 27+ books a year to make it worth it. Not sure I can manage that given my track record! I’ve found that too: the quality on KU is such a mixed bag, but it’s nice to be able to read a chapter or two to see if I like it or not, rather than buying a book and discovering I don’t.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Daryl Banner’s “Born Again Sinner” was a good one! Grumpy military guy with cute preacher’s son😍 can’t get enough of this trope😍

            KU regularly has sales where you can get one month for 99 cents. Maybe this will be good enough for you? And if you own a physical kindle device, you can borrow one KU book free per month. Historically, this is good enough for me.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks like you got a lot done! I’ve set a goal of 5,000 words a week on a novel I’m writing. So far, I have 40,000 words, so by December, I’m hoping to have about 55-60,000 words–give or take. Thanksgiving holidays are in between, so I won’t try to hold myself too strongly to the 60,000 word total. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 🙂 I really want to finish planning and start writing soon!

      I remember one of my favourite RPG’s of all time had an ending that was pretty much ‘and it was all a dream.’ Terrible ending, great game!


  3. Hi Louise! Yeah, it’s not fun when recommended reading doesn’t appeal – and footnotes are needed and helpful, but can be tedious too. I remember one paper I wrote had 200+ footnotes lol. Too many.

    Yeah, depressing stories can take a toll after a while. I rather read happier stories after reading many depressing stories too. I guess that’s why I have enjoyed the Squirrel Girl comics. Upbeat and fun.

    Ooh, how did you like Gotham? I stopped watching in S1 or S2 (whichever season Hugo Strange was in and Fish Mooney was brought back). It got too weird for me lol. But to each their own. It is an intriguing show. Glad you like Gilmore Girls 🙂

    Lol yikes. Was your partner able to get a new internet cable? Merlin is cute and kind. But hopefully next time, he won’t take your leaf lol.

    Awesome! But yes we all feel that way- roller coaster of emotions with our stories. But you are awesome and wonderful and you will do great with your stories, go Louise!!!

    It’s not easy to focus and be patient with our art, esp when it’s not going as we’d like. I’ve crumpled up drawings before too. But hang in there. You can do it. I know you got this. Go Louise!

    Have fun reading!

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm those cupcakes look good!!!

    You will set great goals!
    Hmm I didn’t know that about men’s jeans (then again, I have not worn jeans in a while lol). That’s cool!
    Potatoes are great 🙂
    Aw well I hope you had a wonderful month! Happy bday, Louise! The world’s a better place b/c you’re in it 🙂
    Your blog rocks 🙂
    Hope you feel better soon. Take care!

    Have fun!
    November goals: Draw 10 pictures. Make headway on my edits for my urban fantasy. And, maybe start and finish my Thanksgiving story.
    TV recs: None at the moment. I have enjoyed Penny Dreadful. Only have seen 4 episodes, however.
    October was busy. But good 🙂
    Have a great one! :). Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 200+ footnotes is loads! My last assignment had 76 footnotes: I would’ve used more, but unfortunately they count towards the word count and I was already struggling with that ^_^”

      My latest read was light-hearted with a serious message, which I didn’t mind too much, but yeah, happier stories are much better 🙂

      Lol yeah Gotham is a bit weird: No one ever dies because they keep getting brought back to life! I watch it mostly for Penguin and Riddler, who are the best villains I’ve ever seen 😀

      My partner got a new cable, and I hope to get a new leaf soon xD I’m sure Merlin will steal it though, he really liked it!

      Thanks 🙂 Those cupcakes were so good. I want more! Good luck with your November goals: 10 drawings is loads, but I’m sure you’ll succeed 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah it is too many lol. wow, why do they count footnotes to word count? It shouldn’t count lol. 🙂 I’m sure you did great though.

        Awesome 🙂 What was the serious message?

        Lol yeah they keep bringing people back to life. Is there a character resurrection that you disagree with? lol. Penguin and Riddler were excellent.

        Haha 🙂 you have to hide the leaf :P. Though I don’t know if there is any place you can hide things from a curious cat :P.

        🙂 Thank you! I appreciate your confidence. You will succeed in your goals. You rock, Louise! :).


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