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The second month of the year is gone already… 

 

This year is already messing with my sense of time. January felt like the longest month of my life, while February? February is running for the exit sign while my calendar is still stuck on January. So, it looks like I’m skipping a month this year. 😉

 

Resolutions: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they wiggle their way into all our plans 

 

I had a lot of resolutions this year (when do I not?), but I was mainly focused on the idea of balance: trying to keep myself from going crazy on any one thing by working a little on all the things. 

 

And thus, here I am. Scrunched over my desk in poor lighting to try wringing more words out of my tired brain while consuming an unhealthy amount of caffeine. 

 

I’ll try for more balance next month. 😊

 

February Highlights  

 

I’m obsessed with making lists. So, I’ve started this bizarre habit where I have three lists for each month: 

 

  1. The OPTIMIST: the one I write at the beginning of the month when I plan to crush all my goals. 
  2. The SALVAGIST (making up words is one of my favorite hobbies): the one where I realize plan #1 is not happening, so I rework it into more realistic goals. 
  3. The REALIST: the one where I’m finally forced to realize my human limits and make goals I actually have hope of accomplishing. 

 

So, now that I’m working from good ol’ #3, I can look back at the month and say I accomplished most of my goals. Yay me! 

 

What I Worked On This Month  

 

  • Monastery Tales 
  • Tainted Vaye (100 Day Book semester) 
  • The Behemoth 
  • Reading through my TBR (or am I?😈) 

 

MONASTERY TALES 

 

I wrote over 40,000 words in three weeks! That might be average, or meh, for some, but that is a HUGE milestone for me. 

 

All this to say, the first draft is all written and tucked away in Google Docs. 

 

And this means I’m on track to start releasing chapters each month! I’m thinking first and third Fridays from March through December. 

 

Chapter 1: Transparency is still available in its original form until March 4th. It’s one of the few chapters that had very little changed, so it will mainly be the difference in website set-up that you’ll (hopefully!) notice. 

 

The new chapters won’t be scheduled until about April 1st or 15th. I’m not sure which until I get back into editing and remember when the new material starts. 😁

 

TAINTED VAYE 

 

My main project. It has begun… again. 

 

I’m in Act 1 of my third draft. This is what I was hoping would be the final draft (hah!) but am now realizing that I’ll have at least one more after this. 

 

The story has drastically improved from the first draft—where I honestly didn’t have a solid idea of what I was doing with it. Now, it’s looking more and more like the journey I set out to tell you about. 

 

Eran, my MC, is getting his moment in the spotlight (as much as he would HATE that idea), and I can’t wait to share him with you all. 

 

THE BEHEMOTH 

 

I haven’t worked on condensing the info here yet. It’s still a mess of jumbled information, but it’s proving to be very helpful. 

 

The only thing I have to add here is that I’ve started a sub-project (?) to The Behemoth. I have two large, very nice planners that I never used, and they’re a few years out of date. So, my craftsy side is kicking in. 

 

I’m going to turn them into scrapbooks where I can visualize various worldbuilding info like (a) character sketches, (b) pictures of plant/animal species, (c) different arts/literature from the various cultures, and more. 

 

Reading Through My TBR 

 

Very slowly. 

 

The only way my reading lately counts is because I keep adding new books to my TBR once I start reading them. 

 

I’m in the middle of a lot of books. Because, apparently, I can’t just start and read one book like a normal person. 

 

I have some hope that I’ll finish at least one before March. But, in case you’re wondering, here they are: 

 

  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  • Fear and Fury by Jamie Jackson 
  • The Drunken Elf by Katherine A. Darling 
  • Heir of Magic by J.D. Ruffin 
  • Dune by Frank Herbert 
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo 
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 

 

I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m forgetting one. But oh well. 

 

My Plans 

 

Read. More. Books. 

 

The End. 

 

Okay, fine… 

 

I have LOTS of goals for March (nothing like pushing everything onto the next month). But my biggest one two three four: 

 

Have the first two acts of Tainted Vaye (3rd draft) done, but if I can’t have 41/60 chapters, then I’ll at least shoot to have the first 27 written. 

 

Edit Monastery Tales. Start publishing them on my website. 

 

Update my website and Ko-fi page. I have several ideas—but how to apply them… Ugh, we’ll see. 😅 

 

Be more consistent on social media. Specifically Instagram. Twitter—I’m at least tweeting about Wordle every day *checks notes* and I occasionally say something mildly clever. 

 

And that’s about all I have the brainpower to think of right now. So… 

 

Let’s Get Social! 

You can find me on Instagram at @lydiawoodwardwriter and on Twitter at @lydiawoodwriter – I’d love to connect! 

 

I also have a profile on Goodreads, so feel free to reach out there as well. 😊 

 

I’d Love for You to Join the Fun! 

I hate spam and bloated inboxes. So, I’ll only send a newsletter once a month to keep you in the know with important updates and behind-the-scenes extras.