Thursday, February 1, 2018

Time Management, Editing, and a New Focus || January Recap

Hey, people! After a (nearly) month-long, planned hiatus, I'm back into the blogging world. :) Throughout the month, I read most of y'all's posts and left some comments. Now I'm officially back, though still in denial that January is OVER, and ready to take on February. ;)

Sometime in the past few weeks, I came up with a bit of a plan for my monthly recaps for 2018. There isn't much changing, but hopefully it'll be formatted a bit more professionally now. (Did I mention how much easier it is to blog on a laptop than an iPad?! <3)

Let's take a peek into my month. :D

|| Life. ||

>> Y'all... I was super epic at managing my time this month. Which says a lot for someone who can seriously get distracted while doing things like brushing her teeth. It was kind of weird, but I really just didn't waste time. (Okay, I kind of did...some. Read on and when you get to point 3, you'll understand. YouTube is a trap.) But I was pretty productive. I may or may not have folded clothes while doing chemistry. And I totally didn't get toothpaste on my phone case because I was reading while I brushed my teeth. xD 

>> I ate roasted asparagus and mushrooms straight out of the fridge... Let it never be said I'm complicated when it comes to food.

>> I watched an insane amount of Studio C sketches. Worst Lawyer Ever, Worst Doctor Ever, A Friend's Dying Secrets, and We Have Big News are the best ones out there. Suggestions accepted. *nods*

>> Our youth group went snow tubing, which was super epic. Sadly, the only pics I have are from ChickFilA afterwards...and they include weird glares and ketchup...just don't ask.

>> My family did strange (but somehow normal for us...?) things.

Dad: *gets up out of the chair* *kneels in the floor* *sticks his head under the chair*
Mom: *watching him with wide eyes*
Me: *laughing so hard*
Tucker: *whispers* I think he's trying to get out of the rain...

Tucker: *goes to the cabinet for food*
Mom: There's some leftover apple crisp in the fridge
Me:, there's not.
Mom: Oh, never mind.

*watching a movie*
Guy: *proposes*
Me: say no...say no...
Girl: I'm sorry, I can't..
Me; YES.
Dad: *dies laughing*

Dad: *commenting on how much Tucker has eaten*
Me: You know you have to feed him for at least 4 more years, right?
Dad: Mhm. It's getting expensive
Tucker: He's going to rent me out
Me: Nobody would want you once they knew how much you eat.
Tucker: He could rent me out to Little Debbie. I'll be their sampler.
Me: *dies*

>> I was walking down the hall, and I told Mom that I was going to 'take a speedy shower that probably wouldn't be very speedy' and she was like 'yeah, because Faith doesn't take speedy showers' and I'm like DUDE, TIME ME. Needless to say, I nailed it in six minutes flat. Boom.

>> I got good advice from my people.

Faith: Do I need cake?
Friends: No. go do something useful.
Faith: But that book about made me cry.
Friends: Oh, that's different. Eat the entire cake and sob your heart out.

>> I binged season 8 of The Walton's over school break, and since then watched Little House on the Prairie season 1. xD

>> For those of you who may not follow my other blog, you probably didn't know that I joined three other lovely ladies and I'll now be posting (hopefully) twice a month on Living for Jesus Christ. Naomi is our leader *wink*, and Ashley, Olivia, and I will be posting as well. It's great fun, and y'all should totally go check it out. Some good, encouraging stuff on there. ;)  

>> I took weird selfies. Let's just call this editing at it's best.

>> When someone asks you if you're "still writing"... Like, lady, if I could stop, I think I would. At least, some times.

>> I won Abi's signature contest! That was super cool. ;)

>> My favorite songs of the month were: Still a Soldier - Trace Adkins, Love Has Been Spoken and Listen to the Sound - Building 429, and I Am Sure - Dan Bremnes. <33

>> A day in the life of Faith... *stays up after 11:30 editing* *crashes into bed* *sleeps through first alarm* *finally gets up* *edits/does school until class time* *attends class* *edits while eating lunch* *finishes school* *edits another chapter* *goes for a walk* *edits another chapter* *helps with supper* *eats supper* *goes back to editing*

|| Books. || 

This month, I read 21 books...and I'm really not sure how. xD Usually when it looks like I got a lot of reading done, I've actually read a lot of short stuff. Not entirely the case here, since the average page number among these books was 155, giving me a total page count of 3,261. #record

I'm also doing decently with the reading jar challenge. I've only bought three books so far, sooo.... XD

// Reads

Beloved by Kaitlyn K. (unpublished) -- 5 stars
Wisp by Paul Willis -- 4 stars
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton -- 5 stars
Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars
The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado -- 3.5 stars
Seek by Angela W. (unpublished) -- 5 stars
Wrapped in Red by Meghan Gorecki -- 4.5 stars
To Carry Me Through by R.S. Oswald -- 5 stars
Kelly's Chance by Wanda E. Brunstetter -- 5 stars
Flowers by Kellyn Roth -- 4 stars -- Review
A Question of Loyalty by Jesseca Wheaton -- 5 stars
The Pursued by Willowy Whisper -- 5 stars -- Review
Betsy's Return by Wanda E. Brunstetter -- 4 stars
What the Heart Sees by Kathleen Fuller -- 4.5 stars
A New Life by Rebekah A. Morris -- 3.5 stars
Forest Zooks by Gray Marie Cox -- 2.5 stars -- Review
Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson -- 5 stars
Baby by Patricia MacLachlan -- 5 stars
Sarah's Choice by Wanda E. Brunstetter -- 5 stars
While You're Awake by Amber Stokes -- 4.5 stars
Numbers -- 5 stars

// Books Received

I got 5 books this month, and they're all so darling. ^-^

A Question of Loyalty -- from a friend (Not the same AQoL listed above. *wink*)
100 Days with Jesus -- Review book
Out of the Ashes -- Review book
King's Folly -- CBD sale
Sea of Glory -- CBD sale

|| Writing. ||

So, writing was kinda interesting this month. I realize now that I got a ton done, although it didn't really feel like it at the time...? *shrug*

I wrote a short-story and entered it in the Circle C contest. 
I edited/re-wrote Love Needs No Words and sent it to a few beta-readers. 
I edited the first part of War Tears
I started reading through the first draft of A Soldier's Freedom (and also allowed my critique partner to see it). 
I celebrated the first anniversary of writing Dandelion Dust
I had ideas for two new stories. (More on this next month, perhaps. I'm considering working on outlines, and then writing one of them for Camp NaNo April. We'll see. ;D)

But the biggest/most important thing that happened this month...was that I got a new focus concerning my writing.

As I dove back into editing War Tears (after hardly touching it since like, November), I was badly unsatisfied with how it was turning out. I was distracted, utterly bored with the book in general. The characters are flat, the plot is cliche, and even above that, I couldn't figure out what the theme is. Which...kinda scared me, to be honest. What is a story without a message? Why bother with it at all when there's no purpose?

I whined about it to my critique partner, and another writer friend, and my Mom. The first two assured me that the story is good. Mom reminded me that she hasn't read it, and therefore isn't much help when it comes to plot and characters. (She's very good at pulling me back to earth this way.)

Finally, after trying numerous different ways to 'fix' War Tears, I realized the root of the problem. I couldn't find a purpose in the story, because I didn't want to be working on it at all. The entire time I was trying every possible alternate, my mind was on A Soldier's Freedom. Wrapped up in a story that I adore so, so much. Why? Because it has a message – and I know what it is. (The fact that I was listening to the ASF soundtrack while editing WT should have been a clue, but no, it wasn't. I'm slow like that sometimes.)

So what am I doing now? I'm still editing War Tears, yes. Because I do like that book, horrible as it is. And I'm determined to find a purpose in that hunk of 127,000 words if it kills me. I'm brutally attacking the bad scenes. Glorying in the good. Cutting the unnecessary words. (Seriously, Faith, it doesn't matter if you liked that line. It's pointless, so it needs to go.)

But I'm also reading through my first draft copy of A Soldier's Freedom. A chapter or so a day, depending on how much time I have. And I'm leaving a TON of sticky notes with things I need to change. But I'm also grinning and laughing and tearing up because, y'all, I love this book.

When I pray for God to have His way in my writing, it's A Soldier's Freedom that comes to mind. Not War Tears. And I'm okay with that now. <3

|| Blogging. ||

So....I somehow hit 80 followers this month?! Wow, thanks, y'all! <3 I do find it ironic that I gained several followers when I was hardly around. xD

// Favorite Posts

// My Posts

|| Goals. || 

~ January Goals 

>> Read 8 books.        Yuusss!! :D

>> Finish editing part one of War Tears, start part two, and send part one to my alphas.        *nods* I'm barely into pt.2, but yes. xD

>> Stay caught up with emails.        Yeah...not as well as I could, but yes.

>> Survive school.        Mhm. Somehow.

>> Rewrite/edit a short story from last year to, hopefully, publish soon.        Yep! And send it to betas.

>> Write 1-2 short stories for a contest.        *nods* I decided to just submit the one and not try to write a second, but I still entered.

>> Finish a beta-reading project.       #yaasss

>> Take a break from blogging.        Yeppers. Twas kinda nice. ;)

>> Host a bookstagram challenge!        Yes! This was a lot of fun.

Ladies and gentleman, I believe this calls for celebration. This is like one of the only months ever when I accomplished every goal, at least in part. Shall we go for two in a row?? ;D

~ February Goals 

>> Read 8 books.

>> Finish editing War Tears pt.2 and send it to alphas.

>> Stay caught up with emails and blogging.

>> Post on both blogs once a week, plus a couple posts on the group blog.

>> Start applying beta-readers feedback on Love Needs No Words.

>> Finish my read-through of A Soldier's Freedom.

How was your month, lovely readers? Did ya miss me? *wink* There may or may not be a surprise coming in a few weeks for those of you who did miss me... (Kidding, it's for everyone. Well, kinda.)



  1. I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE BACK!!! Sounds like you had an awesome month! I especially like the shared conversations between you and your family. XD

    Have an awesome February!!


    1. Aww, thanks! <3 Haha, they're rather entertaining. ;D

      Thanks; you too! :D

    2. Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who reads and brushes her teeth at the same time. XD

    3. Haha, and I'm glad *I* am not. xD

  2. 21 books in a month??? That is INSANE!!!! Teach me your secrets (reading while brushing your teeth, apparently?) oh master.

    I had my Studio C binge a few months ago, and now I just watch every new one as soon as it is put up. XD My favorites are The Absent-Minded Robber, Voicemail Problems, and Reference Check. And probably a lot more that I will remember as soon as I publish this comment...

    Your family is awesome. Seriously.

    1. Don't forget love triangle. That one pretty much sums up YA books. XD

    2. Yeah, slightly crazy. XD Haha, yup, that's pretty much it. Reading while I eat breakfast/lunch and limiting social media helps too. ;D

      Haha, I still need to get caught up. Ohh, Voicemail Problems is GOLD. I'm gonna look up those others. XD

      They're pretty epic. I guess I'll keep them. ;)

    3. That one was good too. xD @Ivie

  3. Ah... Hiatuses are great, aren't they? :D

    I have to say, this was a very fun post to read. But girl... how did you read 21 books in one month. I barely managed two. *blink*

    Here we go, February! :D I can't wait to see what it brings.

    D.G. Snapper |

    1. Ahh, they are! I'd never taken a planned one until now, was epic. ;)

      Thanks! I'm...really not sure, to be honest. XD Other than I literally read in every.spare.moment. Hey, two is better than none, right??

      Me too! <3

  4. The Walton's & Little House! YES. That's my childhood right there. Ha, yeah; once you're a writer you don't go back.

    1. Sammeee. xD I know, right? Like, do you even know what it's like, human? :P Thanks for commenting, Mic!

  5. Hey, Faith still lives! *celebrates* Good luck on everything this upcoming month! ;)

  6. Okay, so, you're fam needs to have their own reality T.V. show. Seriously. I was laughing so hard when I read some of those quotes!
    Also, you're so adrobs and I love your glasses. *nods*

    1. *snickers* That'd be kinda awesome.
      Aww, thanks, dear. <3

  7. I definitely missed you!

    I want to cry with you over War Tears. I had a similar situation come up with my Christmas Novella, Coffee Shop Christmas. But God, and my mom, helped me through it. And I did get it published.

    Looking forward to seeing you back on the blog!

    1. Thank you!

      Aww, thank you. That's very encouraging. <3

      Yay! :D

      By the way, I'm sorry Blogger lost your comment yesterday. I got the notification, but then when I came on, it wasn't here. :(

    2. Don't worry about it :)That happens to me alot for some reason, haha!

    3. I'm sorry! Someone else was having trouble with it awhile back..meh. :P

  8. Welcome back to blogging! I missed your posts, so I'm looking forward to reading them again :)
    Nice wrap-up post! I so relate to what you said about editing War Tears - editing is cry-worthy, in my opinion. XP But I'm glad you're feeling better about WT now! <3
    I hope your February goals go well :D

    1. Thank you so much, Raechel! :)
      Editing is very cry-worthy. And chocolate-worthy. And coffee-worthy. Hehe. ;)
      And yours as well! <3

  9. I missed you!!
    Oh, being productive all month is such an awesome feeling! Sadly, I haven't had it in awhile, but I want to work on that. ;P Yeah, YouTube's a trap. That's why I stopped getting on it and Pinterest. They take took much time. =P
    Congratulations with the signature contest and for getting all your goals done!!
    I'm still making goals for February. I've gotten to a late start here. But, better late then never. =)

    1. Thank you, Mikayla! I missed posting. :)
      It really was nice! I'm sure you're doing great. ;) Yesss. Both of those are time-wasters. xD I need to start letting myself only on for set periods of time or something...
      Absolutely! Hope all goes well for you. :D

  10. Yes we missed you! Glad you're back! Fun post. :D

  11. Your recaps are so fun, Faith!
    Going snow tubing sounds really fun! :)
    All of the conversations between you and your family are great! ;)
    I’m looking forward to checking out that blog that you’re going to be posting on. =)
    Wow, good job on reading all those books! :D I have actually been doing pretty good with the Reading Jar Challenge too. ;)
    That’s great that you entered the Circle C contest! :)
    I’m glad you had a nice blogging break, but I’m glad you're back at it again! Your posts are so fun. ;)
    I loved seeing all of your pictures for your Bookstagram challenge!
    I can’t wait for that surprise that’s coming in a few weeks! ;D

    1. Yes! :D
      Hehe, yep. ;)
      Oh, you should! There's some good stuff on there already, and I'm planning to post there tomorrow. :)
      Thanks, girl! That's great! I am too, I think. ;)
      Yep! :D Now to wait and see if I place, haha.
      Aww, thank you. :)
      Yes! I finally got the page updated again too. ;)
      Me too!! :D

  12. Welcome back, Faith! Sounds like you've had a really good month. Feeling productive is a feeling I adore and can't remember the last time I had it. XD Maybe soon.

    I'm proud of you for getting that new mindset regarding War Tears and A Soldier's Freedom. Sometimes it's hard to let go of goals, but at times it's also necessary to rearrange priorities. :)

    Hopefully February will be another very productive month for you! Looking forward to reading more posts! :)

    1. Thanks, Bethany! :) Hehe, it doesn't happen for me often. ;)

      Aww, thank you. It was hard, but sooo freeing in the end. <3

      For you too, Bethany! Hope you enjoy. :D