Updates from the Writing Cave: April Adventures!

Hey everyone, I hope you had a good month πŸ™‚

I spent half of April stressing out, and the other half relaxing, adjusting to my partner’s new work schedule, and getting back into a regular habit of cycling now the weather’s better. I didn’t get as much writing done as I’d hoped, not on original projects, but I think I forced myself back into it too soon.

Anyway, here’s what happened in the Writing Cave last month!

April Writing Cave Updates

Blogging:

I wrote two blog posts in April, an updates post, and a TV review post of Stranger Things and Fate: The Winx Saga. This month I’ll write a Book Review post of The Lost Prince and Lost Isle, which I’m pretty excited about!

Two posts a month works great for me. I know lots of blogging advice says daily posts are the way to go, but I can’t produce quality content that often, and being social (aka replying to comments) daily as an introvert will never happen! I’ll do what’s best for me and hope it works out πŸ™‚

Art:

I haven’t drawn much recently, but as a kid I was quite the artist and drew at least once a week. Anyway, I thought I’d put some of those old sketches out there:

Sketch of the Red Eyes Black Dragon and the Blue Eyes White Dragon from Yugioh
Some old Yu-Gi-Oh fanart, drawn a million years ago when I was 16. I loved Seto and Joey, and their dragons!

In future I might share some more recent sketches, and I’d like to draw something in May!

Writing:

On the 14th of April I realised aiming for a large word count wasn’t motivating me at all, so I quit Camp Nanowrimo. I ended up at 3600 words, no where near as many as I wanted to write, but I think I’ve started in the wrong place and need to start over from a different point of view anyway.

After quitting Nano I planned a bit more for Merlin: Second Chance and worked on some old Psych and Yu-Gi-Oh fanfiction. Writing isn’t coming easy right now, and I don’t want to force it, so I’m writing the projects that call to me most, even fanfiction. I figure it’ll ease me back into writing again after two years studying an MA that, more often than not, made me hate writing.

No goals for May: if I write, I write, if I don’t, I don’t. I’m using the time instead to catch up on things I fell behind on during my degree: regular exercise, cleaning, a huge list of household chores, a mile long to-do list, and other hobbies like gaming and drawing.

Merlin:

Merlin’s latest trick, after cuddles on my lap, is to jump on top of my PC and press the power button, turning the PC off and making me lose what’s left of my sanity as I try to remember what I was doing and which documents I had open before he did it!

Merlin with 2 huge boxes of tuna
Merlin with 2 huge boxes of tuna

He refuses to eat anything apart from this cheap canned cat tuna from the bargain store where my partner works. They sold out recently, but luckily we could order it directly from the manufacturer: I swear he’s about as fussy as I am with eating!

Social Media:

Last month I said I’d be more active on social media. I kind of have, in that I’ve shared more stuff more often, but it’s hard to know what to do with Twitter. I’m the type of person who speaks when I’m spoken to, but doesn’t really reach out or talk to others unless I have a question to ask or something to say. I’m also terrible at small talk, so maybe I’ll focus less on social media and more on blogging!

Board Games/Video Games:

A work colleague lent my partner her copy of Disney Villainous, which I thought would be super gimmicky, but it’s really hard and involves lots of strategy. As a result I’m terrible at it. We got the Marvel Villainous version for ourselves and I got destroyed by Thanos.

Merlin looking villainous with our copy of Disney Villainous!
Merlin looking villainous with our copy of Disney Villainous!

I’m also playing Hearthstone again, and some Dead by Daylight, but not as much as before. I think maybe I was playing it everyday to escape from reality and the pandemic: Not a great strategy, so I’m focusing more on board games and learning to be ‘social’ again, as I think I’ve forgotten how!

Books & TV:

I’m going to watch The Irregulars, since it’s based on Sherlock Holmes and I like anything Sherlock related. I’m also thinking of finally activating my Kindle Unlimited trial, although the one book I really want to read, Winter’s Orbit, isn’t on it. Back to Swagbucks to earn some Amazon vouchers I think!

Obligatory Pandemic Related Stuff, The Beach & Sweets:

Our ‘non-essential’ shops reopened on April 12th, so after months of not having anything but flip-flops I could get shoes. Things were crazy those first few days though: Shops were super busy and some people were queuing from 3am to get into clothes shops. Madness. Oh, and the streets outside pubs are crazy busy as they’re only allowed to serve customers sitting outside!

I still only go shopping if I need to, but I’ve started going for bike rides again. I’m keeping as much distance as possible from other people, and I forgot how nice the beach is:

Beach cove with rock wall and sprawling sand to the sea
Beach cove with rock wall and sprawling sand to the sea

I was also inspired by C Kennedy’s post to get some favourite childhood sweets. Unfortunately I found out I can’t eat Chupa Chups anymore as they apparently contain milk protein! A warning to those with lactose intolerance: Milk is found in the most unexpected places, even favourite childhood lollipops!

scales divider copy

Thanks for Reading!

How was your April? What books/TV shows would you recommend? What’s your favourite anime? Do you play board games? Chat in the comments!

What’s your favourite anime?

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, even though it broke my heart. The characters are awesome and it’s also really funny in places, despite having sad moments too. Ed and Roy are probably my favourites πŸ™‚

14 comments

  1. That’s so funny about Merlin. Our cats will eat ANYthing, even stuff they shouldn’t, the silly felines. I’m not a Twitter fanatic, either. In fact, I deleted my account since I hadn’t been using it. I enjoyed The Irregulars, happy viewing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merlin is the weirdest cat, the only thing he eats that he’s not supposed to is the filament for the 3D printer, which he adores for some reason! I’m wondering which social media platforms are worth keeping as I’m slowly learning I can’t do them all. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Louise! Wow blogging advice recommends daily posts? That is really hard and stressful. I’m glad you’re taking it easy and doing what works best for you. Self-care is important (I learned that the hard way).
    Your art is WONDERFUL! I love the Blue eyes white and red eyes black dragons! Awesome job! Are they your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh monsters?
    You have a great approach to writing too. Pushing oneself leads to stress, so I’m glad you’re taking it easy and catching up – and it looks like you have a lot of fun activities planned. I support you.
    Aw does Merlin let you have some time by yourself too? Or does he always want to be around? I know a friend who’s had to keep her cats at times in another room due to them interrupting her writing.

    Have a fun month πŸ™‚
    Also, question since you mentioned sweets – have you tried Turkish Delights before? If so, did you like them? I’m tempted to have them after an antagonist had them on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah most social media/blogging advice would burn me out. Sorry you had to learn self-care is important the hard way 😦

      Thanks πŸ˜€ Red Eyes is my absolute favourite because Joey is my favourite character, and I ship him with Seto, hence the Blue Eyes πŸ™‚

      Yeah, my plan is to try and rediscover my inner writer, by focusing on my favourite things. I’m hoping they’ll inspire me to write again πŸ™‚

      Merlin is very good at vanishing for hours. I used to shut him out of my writing room when he was a kitten, as he was a pain, but now he’s older he often just stares out of the window or sleeps under a pile of blankets when I’m writing πŸ™‚

      Hope you have a fun month too! I’ve tried Turkish Delights: They look so tasty but I found them a bit flavourless. I much prefer my sweets to be super sweet πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I’m not sure how people are able to blog daily w/o burning out. Aw yeah, I often work for long periods of time and am hard on myself, so that makes it tough. I hope you’re taking lots of time for self-care this month and beyond πŸ™‚

        Aw πŸ™‚ that’s cool πŸ™‚ It seems like Joey and Seto often don’t get along lol, especially with how Seto kind of looks down on him (but also secretly respects him lol). Have you written a fanfic that ships them? πŸ™‚

        I’m sure you’ll be inspired to write again. I support you πŸ™‚

        Aww lol that’s cool. Does he like to stare at animals outside?

        πŸ™‚ That’s interesting. I wonder why they are flavorless. But yes, super sweet sweets are good :).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Take it easy where you can πŸ™‚ I’m thinking I might take June and even July as a break too, keep up with the blog and maybe social media but leave everything else. I need to focus on learning to enjoy writing again, however long it takes πŸ™‚

          Yeah, I think Seto and Joey have real chemistry lol. I’ve written fanfic for them, or rather scenes from a story, but never posted anything.

          Merlin loves staring at cats, birds and even the binmen xD

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ll try my best. As someone who has pushed themself for much of their life, it’s been hard to take it easy. What do you like to do most to relax? πŸ™‚ I like your plan to just keep up with blog and social media, but take it easy on other things. Are fanfics helping you with enjoying writing?

            lol good point- beneath the hostility, there is much respect for Joey from Kaiba. Do Joey and Kaiba tease each other in your fanfic?

            Haha that’s cool. Have the binmen ever waved at Merlin? πŸ™‚ XD.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I know the feeling, I’m like the Queen of pushing myself hard, and no matter how well I do there’s always this part of my mind that tells me I could have done better, you know? I think watching TV and going to sit by the beach are my favourite things to do to relax. If there are any distractions at all I’m terrible at switching off though.

              My Joey and Kaiba start off as antagonistic but gradually learn to tolerate then like each other. All my romances are like that though, slow-burn, even if they don’t start as enemies. I prefer it that way πŸ™‚ I think writing fanfic has helped me enjoy writing fanfic, but it hasn’t motivated me to work on my original stuff yet. Hopefully it will eventually, but I think it’ll take a while to undo the damage done during my MA.

              The binmen are usually too busy looking through bins in case people chucked away good stuff to notice Merlin xD

              Liked by 1 person

              • Aww I know how that is. I push myself hard and I worry about not doing good enough. And, my mind can be nitpicky. Have you been able to find some ways to push yourself less? It’s been tough for me. You have some awesome relaxation strategies. But yeah, I know what you mean about distractions. The phone can be distracting, yes?

                πŸ™‚ I think it’s better that way with a slow-burn because you can develop relationships even more that way, no? πŸ™‚ Does Kaiba tease Joey in a kind, light-hearted way in your story after they like each other? πŸ™‚ I remember you told me that the MA was super stressful, so it’s understandable how it’s been tough to get motivation back. One step at a time. You can do it. I support you.

                lol are they allowed to search through people’s garbage? Or do they do it in spite of rules not allowing that? lol.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Sorry you also push yourself hard 😦 I should probably look up techniques to try and stop. I’m terrible at not doing it though, because I’m a perfectionist. Phones are a nightmare, even with all my social media and emails disconnected from it, I still find a way to get distracted xD

                  Same, I can’t stand relationships that are based just on physical attraction or superficial things. I like deep emotional connection πŸ™‚ Yeah, Kaiba’s a sweetie deep down, and a playful tease! Thanks πŸ™‚ The last thing I expected my MA to do was ruin writing for me! Getting back into writing seems to be a slow process, and unfortunately I’m an impatient person. But hopefully the motivation will return eventually πŸ™‚

                  I’m not sure if they’re allowed to, but I guess because people threw that stuff away and don’t want it, it’s fair to take xD

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Thanks, my friend. I push myself on a lot of things, even things I enjoy. For example, I sometimes set monthly goals for how many drawings I should make each month (and that can stress me out, especially since, when I reach the goal, I end up pushing myself for an even higher goal – i.e. going from 30 to 40 drawings in one month). And I can beat myself up when I mess up on a drawing. So I can relate. Has taking breaks helped you with this? And lol I can relate to what you mean about the phone. I don’t have any social media apps, but I can still get distracted by news by going to a news website.

                    Same here. I too can’t stand shallow connections based on superficial things. Deep emotional connection between characters can bring about beautiful stories, yes? πŸ™‚ Aww does Kaiba get along with Yugi in your story too? Aw I can relate, I too am impatient. But I’m sure your motivation will return. One step at a time. You got this. I believe in you and support you.

                    lol xD.

                    Like

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