Writing, Reading, University and Kitten Updates November 2019.

Welcome to my November updates post!

It’s been raining non-stop for days, but despite the cold it’s been a productive month.

November Updates

My goals for November were:

Submit to the first university workshop.
Continue reading autobiographical fiction/life writing.
Watch whatever TV I want until university starts, then cut back.
Read two books.
Write one short story.
Plan and draw my D&D character.
Finish outlining Merlin: Second Chance.

So, how did I do?

University:

The reading so far is very psychological: If I hadn’t taken A-Level Psychology I think I’d be up the creek without a paddle, but I’m not finding it too bad. We’ve been asked to keep a journal too, with notes on our learning process. I picked up a sketchpad for Β£1, in the hope it encourages me to draw, and made a pretty front cover:

Journal Cover MA Writing
My MA Creative Writing Journal.

I tried, and failed, to read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Nothing much happened, and it was too dark for me. I’m moving on to Richard Hammond’s On the Edge, about his car crash, which I hope will be easier reading as far as life writing goes.

I submitted Whirlwind of Thoughts, the story I posted a couple of weeks ago, to the workshops. I was the only person to contribute this week!

My goals for December are to keep up with set reading, write one thing I’m thankful for in my journal each day, and continue to submit to workshops weekly.

TV:

  • I forgot how much I adored season 1 of Arrow. It was so much better in the early days, compared to the soap opera that is later CW seasons.

  • I stopped watching Gilmore Girls at the end of season 5, because I know the plot takes a turn I don’t like!

  • I’ve not started season 3 of Dragon Prince yet. I might save it for my Christmas break.

  • I raged at the ‘end’ of Titans season 1. It was the worst cliffhanger in existence and didn’t tie up any major plot points. Seriously writers, don’t do this. If you’re writing a series make it able to stand alone. I’m so mad I might not bother with season 2!

  • I’ve still not finished Gotham. I have one episode to go, but it’s a ten year later episode and the penultimate episode tied things off quite nicely, so I might leave it there. The Penguin and Riddler moment at the end was too perfect!

I stuck to my goal of cutting back on TV once university started, with the exception of Let’s Plays on Youtube. I’ve been watching Achievement Hunter play Hitman 2 quite a lot, as my PC can’t run the game! In December I’ll watch Dragon Prince.

Merlin:

The magical cat continues to cause havoc. He’s destroyed my partner’s computer mouse now, an expensive gaming mouse! We switched Merlin to pate instead of pouches, which he loves, and he’s still exceptionally cuddly. I think he might have been a dog in a past life… He hates me studying and has been sitting on my lap so much whilst I try to study!

merlin being a cuddly cat

We’re currently trying to decide if he can be trusted with a Christmas Tree. I suspect not, but it’d be a shame not to have one! Also, we all got advent calendars, even Merlin! His first Christmas will be awesome. I’ve told the entire family that all gifts should be wrapped in large boxes, no matter how small, as he loves boxes πŸ™‚

Writing:

I wrote two very short stories, Whirlwind of Thoughts, based on my MC’s struggle to fight under pressure, and We Failed This Planet, about an angry planet that fights back against humans. My goal was to write one short story, as I thought it was all I’d have time for. Apparently my ability to procrastinate from university is legendary though!

I finished the outline for Merlin: Second Chance just before classes started again. I haven’t had time to look at it since though, which I expected but is still irritating! I guess it’s good to let an outline sit for a while before I go over it one last time though. When I finished it I had mixed feelings about it. At least with a break I can come back to it with fresh eyes!

In December I aim to finalise my outline and write one short story.

Drawing:

I planned and drew my D&D character. I’ve decided to use Seth from my past stories, Brothers through Fire and Shelter from the Storm. I wanted to develop him anyway, and the world the DM designed for us to play in is a good fit πŸ™‚ His outfit needs to be more medieval, but as I sketched him in 20 minutes I didn’t have time for much detail:

Seth fire mage.jpg

I also drew a few sketches inside my university journal, but they’re not very impressive! No goals for December.

Reading:

I haven’t had any books from Hidden Gems in a while. The only book that interested me lost me when, at the end of a great description, it said ‘if you loved the love triangle in Twilight.’ As I despise all things Twilight, especially love triangles, I gave it a miss!

I reviewed 5 books in November, but the only one I read in November was Once. I finished This is Going to Hurt and started The Bell Jar, so I’m going to count it as a win on my goal overall. I’ll aim to read two books in December, probably both life writing.

Other Random Stuff:

  • Merlin is, thankfully, oblivious to fireworks and survived Bonfire night without a hitch. All the games we play with loud gunshots must have desensitised him!

  • I’m enjoying this university module more than I expected, but as a fantasy writer who doesn’t appreciate life writing, my expectations were rock bottom.

  • I didn’t join Nano at last minute. Once university started I forgot about it completely!

  • I still can’t be bothered to diet. Food is too good, tis the season, etc, etc.

  • I had cold after cold in November. I think I’ve seen the last of them now.

  • My mum found my old school reports, with this gem of a drawing of me, by me:

portrait of me
I was quite the artist ^_^”

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

November was more productive than I expected, considering I started university again. The forum group is quieter this year and there seems to be less reading. I might be able to sneak in some writing time in December, as we get two weeks off for Christmas πŸ™‚

What are your December goals? Do you even set goals in December, or do you enjoy the holidays instead? Did you win Nanowrimo? Any book or TV recommendations? How was November? Chat in the comments!

12 comments

  1. You are quite the artist! πŸ™‚ And yep, cats and Christmas trees are NOT a great mix. I take my two to my parents house and they have 3 of their own. The tree loses a lot of ornaments, haha. My best advice is to not use tinsel if you do get one. That can be very bad for the cat’s digestive system if they get a hold of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks like you’ve accomplished a lot of goals–well done! You should definitely get the Christmas tree. Our cat loves to sit beneath it. Sure, a few ornaments get knocked off every now and then, but the joy it brings him is so worth it. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Louise! Psychology is interesting, but it sounds tough too. Glad it’s not too bad. I LOVE your journal cover! It’s beautiful. πŸ™‚ You’re a cool artist. πŸ™‚ And awesome that you submitted the story πŸ™‚ Best wishes! You are awesome πŸ™‚

    Wow I wonder if Merlin thought the computer mouse was a real mouse lol. He’s adorable. And plot twist, he wanted to interrupt your study so he’d be able to read your books and learn :P. And boxes are perfect for cats, yes? :).

    Your stories are great :). And haha it’s so tempting to procrastinate during school. I know I did sometimes back in college lol. And a bit in grad school too. lol. But not too much I guess lol. I bet your outline is great. And you’ll finish it and write an awesome story too :).

    πŸ™‚ I need to watch Season 1 for Arrow. Have you watched the latest season of Arrow? Yeah it is way too much soap opera ish in the latter seasons. This season is better. But ya too much drama w/Oliver and Felicity. And not a fan of how they treated Laurel. I like Season 5. But the other later seasons….meh. I only started watching in S4 however.
    What was the plot turn you dislike for Gilmore?
    Wow Titans sounds bad. I’m glad i didn’t get the DC streaming service then.
    have fun watching Dragon Prince :).

    I love your sketch. The D&D sketch is cool. And better than what I can do in 20 minutes. πŸ™‚ You have some awesome talent. And I would love to see more art. Your art is great. πŸ™‚ I love your art!!! If you draw in December, I’d love to see your art πŸ™‚

    Hahaha I’ve avoided Twilight.
    Love your reviews. And have a nice time reading :).

    Wow. Usually animals don’t respond well to loud noises. You’re right lol the loud action games must’ve gotten him used to it. Glad he was calm – did he ever get scared when you guys played loud action games w/gunfire in the game?

    Glad you’re liking the life module πŸ™‚
    Glad you’re feeling better too. And if you have a cold again, let out a loud sneeze and scare everyone like my MC Steph. J/k lol (I remember you said your sneezes are quiet lol). Hope you feel much better this month πŸ™‚

    Awwww you def were an awesome artist as a kid too. Better than what I drew as a kid. πŸ™‚

    You rock! I plan on finishing edits of my UF short story – the one I hope to publish – this month.
    As for TV shows, I recommend Mandalorian and the 90s XMen cartoon :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I based the dragonfly on my journal on some wall art in town πŸ™‚

      I found some time to go over my outline a bit yesterday and with fresh eyes I’m loving it πŸ™‚ (In doing so I was procrastinating from university again, but this week we’re discussing masculine and feminine writing, which I can’t relate to, so I’m slacking a bit!)

      I didn’t realise you hadn’t seen the earlier Arrow seasons! Season 1 and 2 were the absolute best, and you should especially check out episodes 8 and 9 of season 2, as it’s where Barry Allen first appears πŸ˜€ I think season 5 was the one I blogged recaps for every episode!

      Gilmore Girls split up my favourite couple over something stupid. Seems to be a trend in TV!

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I’m a bit out of practice with drawing, and my copying existing characters is usually better than my original stuff. I hope to draw more in December, but nothing yet.

      Nah the only loud things Merlin’s ever been scared of is the hoover and the washing machine. He’s never been scared of gunfire from games, but we’ve had him since he was a kitten and he used to sit on my lap whilst I played and sleep, so he probably got used to it!

      Good luck with the edits on your UF story, can’t wait to read it πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Cats and christmas trees OMG! We’re not risking a ground-level tree in the living room because Silver is an absolute monster when it comes to climbing up and destroying things. I have a little tree on a chest of drawers next to my desk and he leaves it alone most of the time, but I’ve still had to chase him away from it and take baubles off him a few times. We’re going with high-up decorations for the living room because it’s the safest option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get the feeling Merlin will be the same, as he picks up literally everything, including my pens and gaming dice, but we’ll see!
      High up decorations sound like a good idea. I think we’ve got some hanging ones he shouldn’t be able to reach πŸ™‚

      Like

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