We all have those months that feel a bit more trying than usual, and that was September for me. I found it hard to focus my attention on more than one thing and time felt erratic, like it was either speeding way too fast or thudding to a near halt. (I blame debut author brain!) But it has been truly wonderful and mind-blowing to see all of the early support for FIRSTS. Knowing people are reading my book and wanting to read it is the best feeling ever, so thank you, everyone!
Working on: I received the FIRSTS swag I ordered, and I’m really excited for upcoming giveaways and super-fun stuff that has been in the works for awhile. More on that soon!
In the meantime, I’m revising a WIP that is quite different than anything else I’ve ever written. It has put up a struggle during revisions (I swear, it doesn’t WANT to be revised), but I’m finally starting to crack into the essence of the story and understand, at its core, what it’s really about. I find that when I draft, I force myself to write fast to get words on paper—but when it comes to revising, I sometimes don’t know what to do with those words. Figuring it out is a challenge, but comes with the greatest reward.
I’m also sporadically drafting two different projects that are still in early stages, because I’m a firm believer that when you’re stuck on one project and need a break, diving into something else can be the best way to find the second wind you’re looking for.
Reading: I didn’t read a lot for the first part of September, but in the last week alone, I have read three excellent books. It has turned into a seriously stellar reading month!
I started the month with Courtney Summers’s novella, PLEASE REMAIN CALM, which picks up where THIS IS NOT A TEST left off. If you read and loved THIS IS NOT A TEST, pick up PLEASE REMAIN CALM as soon as possible. I devour any and all Courtney Summers writing, so I was definitely not disappointed.
I read two incredible Sweet Sixteen debuts this month (both of which were written by Canadian girls!): SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN by Jenny Manzer and HOW IT ENDS by Catherine Lo. I’m going to post reviews of these books closer to their release dates, but I will say this: I was blown away by each book and am still thinking about both of them. I’m in the company of such insanely talented debut authors and I cannot wait for readers to find these books and get lost in their pages.
After a successful library visit, I came back with THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE by Adele Griffin, a book I’d been wanting to read for a long time. It turned out to be a book that kept me up way too late at night because it was seriously unputdownable. I’m pretty sure another story like this doesn’t exist—it’s so unique and entirely captivating. Told not just in words but in photographs and paintings too, this is the kind of book that stands alone and can be interpreted different ways, just like art.
I also borrowed Jessica Verdi’s MY LIFE AFTER NOW from the library. I hadn’t heard of it and had no idea what it was about, but the blurb on the back got my attention, and… Wow. I’m not going to say anything that will spoil the book for readers, but this is a truly brave book with so much heart. I commend Jessica Verdi for tackling such difficult subject matter with grace and compassion. I really loved her writing style, too, and I’ll be looking out for what she writes in the future.
Watching: My husband loves documentaries, and I have gotten really into the different ones on Netflix. We recently watched a really fascinating one called TINY: A Story About Living Small, about a young man and his girlfriend who set out to build a tiny house and downsize their lives. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a tiny house movement, and it was really eye-opening to learn about how people live alternate lifestyles and pare down their possessions and in the process, find out what actually matters to them. It made me look at my life differently—while I joked to my husband that I have way too many clothes to ever fit in a tiny house, I could definitely learn a lesson from people who clearly know what’s important and what isn’t central to their own happiness.
By far, my favorite part of September has been the walks my husband and I take in the woods near our home. The leaves are staring to change color and fall and the scenery is stunning. I’m looking forward to more long walks in October… Now that I’ve released my death grip on summer, I’m open to embracing all things fall. Starting with a pumpkin spice latte.