Updates from the Writing Cave: May Musings!

Hey everyone, how’s it going?

May was very relaxing. I decided to throw away all writing goals, but I got lots of chores done around the house, including washing the car, which I neglected for so long it had moss growing in it! Anyway, here’s what happened in the writing cave in May!

May Writing Cave Updates

Blogging:

I wrote two blog posts in May, an updates post and a Book Review post of The Lost Prince and Lost Isle. This month there’ll be two or three posts including this one: A post on Trigger Warnings and maybe another post on the 5th Tuesday of the month!

Art:

I was going to draw something in May, but I didn’t get around to it. I enjoy drawing, but because I’m a perfectionist it takes hours to settle down and get anything done. That may be because I have Netflix on in the background, or it may be because I like to make sure every line is in the right place!

Writing:

I wrote fanfiction for most of May, but I eventually started to think about my WIP again. I wrote a few lines for it too, and I thought a bit more about where I’m going with the story. I also decided it’d be therapeutic to rip all the pages with my MA notes out of my notebook, and it was so good to do!

I think working towards strict deadlines for so long during my MA broke something inside me. I’m working on a post with my thoughts on the course, because I think I need to get everything out of my head so I can move on. Either setting goals no longer works for me, or I’m burnt out and goal setting doesn’t work at the moment, so I’m going to set 0 writing goals again in June and see how I go.

Merlin:

Merlin’s started to go crazier the closer we get to summer: I think the longer days means he has more energy and wants to run around more.

Merlin, a fluffy white and ginger cat, laying on the stairs playing with a piece of ribbon.
Merlin Looking Regal on the Stairs: He loves playing with that little piece of ribbon!

Whenever I go for a bike ride he stares at me from the kitchen window, as if to say ‘Why are you leaving me.’ With the pandemic he’s gotten used to me being here all the time and as things edge back towards ‘normal’ he’s going to struggle with being left for a while!

Birthdays & Board Games:

It was my mum’s birthday two days after the UK government lifted more lockdown restrictions, so we could actually meet up indoors. We had a mini get together, just me, mum and my partner, which was nice. We played Monopoly, as is tradition, and I lost miserably.

We also arranged a board game day with friends. We played Elder Sign and Marvel’s Villianous, but we didn’t have pizza/snacks this time since we’ve had pizza far too many times over the pandemic! I’m hoping our D&D group can start up again too πŸ™‚

Book Reviews:

I’m a million miles behind on so many things, partly because I take on too much, so I’ve decided to only review books I really enjoy on my blog and give star ratings on Goodreads for everything else. I’ll focus on stories I’m in awe of, with fantasy, romance, LGBTQIA2S+ characters, Sci-Fi and Historical elements. At the end of update posts I’ll highlight books I’ve rated on Goodreads with a star rating.

TV & Video Games:

I watched Shadow and Bone, which I’ll review in July, and I’m watching The Irregulars. Shadow and Bone was interesting, because I really disliked some characters and adored others. I’ve picked up the book Six of Crows, which features characters from the TV show, and if I like it I’ll review it πŸ™‚

In gaming news, I played a lot of Dead by Daylight again in May, and a bit of Hearthstone. I’m looking forward to the Resident Evil chapter that’ll be out in June, so I’ll probably play more. It’s funny, there aren’t many games where you can have 1000+ hours in it and still feel like a complete noob sometimes! I guess that’s why I keep going back to it, for the challenge!

Cycling Pictures:

I’ve been trying to cycle again as much as possible, since I realised I’ve gotten really unfit and I get out of breath way too easily. I’m also playing Beat Saber for VR on rainy days, and trying to master one of the songs I downloaded from the anime Gravitation, Shining Collection. It’s very fast and tricky!

Photo of the sea, taken from my place sitting on a rocky outcrop in the sunshine.
Beach Cove Writing Spot: I decided to sit on the rocks right next to the sea this time!

Thankfully cycling is really fun on sunnier days as the beach is beautiful, and I get my best ideas whilst out on my bike or taking a break in a beauty spot like the cove above. Unfortunately it’s been really windy on some days, which makes for bad cycling weather!

scales divider copy

Thanks for Reading!

How was your May? Read any awesome books? Play any board games? Watch any cool TV shows? Chat in the Comments!

What’s Your Favourite Place, That You’ve Visited?

Glastonbury Tor. There’s something mystical about sitting atop the hill, overlooking rolling fields, and taking shelter in the small castle like building at the top. The walk to the top is very long, and we got lost along the way, but it was worth it. The abbey grounds are also really beautiful!

21 comments

  1. Hi!

    I never set goals, and never work towards deadlines if I can help it. It would totally destroy my process if I did. Do I feel like writing two chapters today? I will. Do I feel not writing anything for the next month? I will. Hopefully, you can get back into the way that works for you! Wishing you the best of luck!

    I read Breaker by Amy Campbell in April, I think. Did I tell you about it? I don’t remember. I really haven’t gotten anything for May yet. It sometimes takes a long time for me to get things. I’m releasing my novel, Children of the Dryads in a couple days (June 3rd), so that’s pretty exciting, and also – I THINK I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MARKET A RELEASE!

    Also, would you mind explaining the Two Spirits thing to me? I probably won’t understand, since I don’t understand most things that have to do with sexuality, but I’d like to have an idea what it’s supposed to mean.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks πŸ™‚ I’m hoping your approach, or something similar, is one that works for me too. I’m done pressuring myself at any rate!

      I don’t remember you telling me about Breaker, I love the cover though and it sounds so good πŸ™‚ I know what you mean, I take forever to get around to reading, or anything else. I have a huge list of books I want to read and I keep getting distracted! That’s so exciting, congratulations on your book release πŸ˜€ Marketing is something I dread, there’s so much advice online and it’s hard to know which to follow.

      Of course πŸ™‚ I only recently discovered 2S myself (via Twitter) so I might not be 100% right: As far as I understand it, it’s a Native American gender identity for people who embody both male and female spirit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • πŸ™‚

        That makes sense. I don’t really understand what it means for spirit to be male/female; I have a really hard time with gender identity stuff, but thanks for explaining so I have a rough idea what that means!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Louise! You had some awesome posts in May and I look forward to more of your posts this month! Drawing takes a lot of time and, like you, I have things on in the background (usually YouTube videos or Netflix), so I can relate. Just do your best – you are a good artist! As for writing, I can’t imagine how stressful the MA program was – and I too would be burnt out by the deadlines (I remember how you mentioned it was very stressful). I support you and think you have a good strategy – to write fanfiction and not set goals. It’s a good way to recover and take it easy. On a happier note, Merlin’s a great cat πŸ™‚ and I bet he must be so happy when you return from bike riding. I’m glad you had a great time with your mom and friends (and happy bday to your mom!). What is your favorite kind of pizza by the way?
    I totally relate to taking on too much – I struggle with that and am overwhelmed. Much support from me. I look forward to seeing your reviews of books and your S&B review! You disliked the MCs, but liked the SoC SCs, right? Amazing photo! Take care and be safe! Have fun cycling and playing Beat Saber!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks πŸ™‚ Merlin is very happy when I return, and very cuddly!

      My favourite pizza is vegan cheese, pineapple, chicken, sweetcorn and sausage πŸ˜€ What’s yours?

      I find it’s so easy to take on too much, but much harder to drop things as I feel bad. Yeah, I didn’t like Alina or Mal, but adored Kaz, Inez and Jesper. Just need to stop gaming and settle down to read Six of Crows xD

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anytime! That’s awesome! Does he often asked to be pet? I remember my sister’s cat was often like that with me lol (wanting to be pet, then not wanting to be, then coming back to be pet again lol)

        My favorite is either pepperoni or combination. Your favorite pizza sounds amazing πŸ™‚ Is it available in a lot of pizza places in the UK?

        Yeah, it’s not easy to drop things. But if you ever want to talk it over (what to keep and what to drop) feel free to DM or email me. I’ll be glad to help. What did you dislike about Mal? Like you, I adored Kaz, Jesper, and Inej too. πŸ™‚ They were awesome and I love their friendships. Haha have fun reading Six of Crows when you read it :).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Merlin’s like that too, he’s very finicky xD

          Awesome πŸ™‚ Most pizza places in the UK have a create your own option, where you add whatever toppings you like, do you have that in the US?

          Thanks, and same πŸ™‚ Mal seemed a little creepily devoted to Alina, but he wasn’t as bad as Alina. I hope to read more about Kaz, Jesper and Inej soon though πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • Haha does Merlin usually return to be pet only after a few minutes after asking not to be pet?

            Yes, I think many pizza places in the U.S. offer that option (to create your own), though I think prices vary. How much do pizzas cost in the UK?

            Thank you, Louise! Good point. I think it’s probably because Mal and Alina grew up together, and them being very close probably explains his devotion (along w/how she used to protect him and thus he may feel like he owes her) – but I can see how his devotion can seem creepy as he constantly thinks about her. Me too – I wanna read Kaz, Jesper, and Inej’s stories and learn more about them. I’m not sure the best way to say it, but they’re characters that are easy to root for and ones that I quickly became invested in and am fascinated by.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Not often, he’s more of a fuss me and run away kitty xD

              Pizza is so expensive here, Papa Johns is about Β£20 for a large pizza, so we only buy when it’s buy one get one free. Is it cheaper in the US?

              I think seeing more of Mal and Alina growing up together on screen may have helped as I feel like we were expected to believe their bond from only a few flashbacks, which wasn’t enough for me. Whereas the bond between Kaz and Inej was shown so well in so few words πŸ™‚ And yeah, I know what you mean, it was so easy to root for them. Hopefully reading the book will feel similar, and teach me how to write characters people adore too!

              Liked by 1 person

              • lol xD So he runs away after fussing for a few minutes?

                Wow, that is pretty expensive. Here, I’ve seen them go from $10-$15 lol. I wonder why it’s so expensive in the UK.

                Good point. I guess they did showing vs. telling much better with the Crows characters than they did with Mal and Alina lol. So they probably need more flashbacks next season for Shadow and Bone then. I too have the same hopes for the book. Do you find it easy or hard to write character relationships?

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yup, he’s a strange cat xD

                  Wow, pizza is cheap in the US! If we get pizza from the supermarket’s create your own counter it’s much cheaper, (Β£5 for two medium pizzas) but with lockdown we haven’t felt like going to supermarkets much.

                  I find it pretty easy to write character relationships, but it’s a habit of mine to study shows and critique which relationships feel real and which don’t πŸ˜€

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Haha xD I wonder if he will fuss less or more when he grows up.

                    That makes sense. The lockdown does make it less motivating to go to stores. I thought pizza was expensive here, but it seems like it’s very expensive in the UK. I forget, did you like the pizza here when you tried it? That’s good that the supermarket sells them for a cheaper price.

                    That’s awesome! How do you balance enjoying a show and also making sure you take time to critique aspects of it, like relationships and pacing? I sometimes find it hard to scrutinize show aspects, like pacing or character development when I’m hooked on a show lol. :).

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • More hopefully πŸ™‚ He’s already two though, so he may not change. It’s too hot for fusses at the moment anyway, and he gets cranky and tired xD

                      Yeah, UK pizza prices suck 😦 I tried Papa John’s and Dominos in the US and it tasted weird, maybe a bit too salty? Then Dominos UK copied the US recipe so we stopped buying from them πŸ˜›

                      It’s turning the critical part of my mind off that I have trouble with xD It sort of happens naturally, and if I don’t notice something, chances are my partner will point it out as he’s the same way πŸ˜› The more immersed I am in a story, the less errors I find, but I’m generally only really immersed if there aren’t many things to critique xD

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like over all you have a wonderful May, Louise. I think it’s good to clear our heads and explore other activities once in a while. Exercise and getting outside are great for that. And a great idea to write out the blockages in your head so you can write creatively, when you’re ready. Enjoy the summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha it must be fun interacting with him daily. πŸ™‚ How does he act when he is hot and cranky?

    Wow, do you know why the prices are so high in the UK? (Pizza prices) lol that’s not good that they’re too salty. Is there a Pizza Hut in the UK?

    XD Have you ever had a time where an episode was so bad that it was hilarious and you and your partner kept laughing and making funny critiques of it? :).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, he’s interesting to have around πŸ™‚ He doesn’t want to be touched much when it’s hot, and he’s lazy too, like he won’t play and he sits around a lot πŸ˜›

    No idea, I guess if companies can get away with high pizza prices they will. Takeaway in general isn’t cheap here though, it’s usually Β£20 for two people, although I admit that may be because we like large portions πŸ˜€ We have Pizza Hut, who used to do an awesome all you can eat buffet option for Β£7.99 each, but since I went dairy free I can’t do it any more.

    Nah, nothing that bad, although we tend to avoid things if we think we won’t like them after sitting through an episode of Altered Carbon and hating it xD

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