I haven’t sat down to write a blog post in what feels like forever, so bear with me as I relearn this blogging thing.
I can’t believe that we’re already in the last month of 2020! I’m eager to leave this awful year behind us, but at the same time I don’t really see how 2021 could magically make everything better. I still haven’t left my house since late February/early March, and I may actually spend an entire year without going outside.
Online school is a scam. I thought it was going to be easier because classes only lasted for half a day, but I was wrong. Little did I know that teachers would give homework that take an average of an hour and a half to complete. And many take even more.
Also, I just hate how online school is structured. I’ve been complaining about this to all my friends, but listening to lectures is not my preferred way of learning. I learn by doing things myself and asking questions along the way. Zoom lectures are pretty much useless to me because I space off so easily.
Besides school, my life was pretty boring in October and November. All I can say is that I fell deeper into the BTS hole. These seven men give me serotonin without fail!!
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the two months is that I won NaNoWriMo!!! This year was my first time participating in NaNo, and I’m very happy that it went well. I ended the month with a total word count of 50,010/50,000 words. About 5k of those words came from my outline, but whatever, it counts because I outline very extensively. I wouldn’t have anything to write without my outline.
As you can see from the graph below, I was behind on NaNo for all of November except the first and last day. Thank god I got a week-long break from school, which I spent the whole time writing, or else I would’ve ended the month with just 10k words or something.
During my semestral break, I discovered that I can average 3.5k words a day if I spend the whole time writing, with my record number of words in a day being 5k. That’s surprising to me because I’m usually a slowpoke at everything, but I guess that’s the benefit of all the outlining I did in October. (Fun fact: my outline stopped when I was less than 10k words away from finishing, and I had to spend two days brainstorming what to write next. Never write about smart characters. They’re such a pain.)
The draft I’m working on isn’t perfect and writing definitely isn’t easy, but it’s very fulfilling! I haven’t written in years, and it feels so good to be writing again. Unfortunately I’m self-conscious about my writing (and this writing section could easily be a post by itself), so I won’t be sharing more about my WIP in this post. All I’ll say for now is that it’s YA fantasy!
In October and November, I only read six books because I was dedicating all of the free time I had to writing. But I am taking December to focus only on reading and blogging, so pray that I can somehow read 24 books this month and complete my Goodreads challenge…
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab– I really enjoyed this while reading it, and it’s amazing that I flew through it in a matter of days while I was busy with school. As always, V.E. Schwab’s writing style was exquisite. However, I’ve grown to realize my problems with this book and Schwab’s books in general. For a book about a French girl that spans centuries, I was disappointed in the lack of discussion of colonialism and lack of BIPOC characters. Plus, this woman has lived and traveled for 300 years, but she’s only been to America and Europe? Okay. (This review by Aentee perfectly sums up how Addie LaRue erases BIPOC, since this post would be too long if I elaborated.) I’m probably coming off as nitpicky, but as a POC, it’s tiring to read about the white feminism present in Schwab’s books and constantly be reminded that people like me don’t fit her aesthetic. Besides the BIPOC erasure, I’ve realized that Schwab’s characters almost always come off as two-dimensional. Addie felt like a very replaceable character, and the devil was the only remotely interesting one. Also I do not get why everyone hypes up this book’s ending so much.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas– The plot, a murder mystery, was SO lackluster, but I get why because the characters were probably meant to be the star of the show. Though they didn’t become all time faves, they were definitely likable.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery– I see why this is a classic, and I think it still holds up to this day. And I got so much sapphic vibes from Anne. The girl literally threw a fit when she found out that her “bosom friend” was going to marry a man someday.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi– This wasn’t bad, but it was pretty forgettable. It had really great discussions surrounding the hardships of being Muslim in America, particularly after 9/11. But I wouldn’t suggest reading it if you don’t like romance-focused stories, especially because the love interest was pretty bland.
The Wolf of Oren-yaro by K.S. Villoso– This is marketed as a character-driven fantasy, which is unfortunate because I didn’t like any of the characters. I really wanted to love this because the author is Filipino and the book is set in a Filipino-inspired world, but it’s barely been a month since I finished it, and I can’t remember any particularly strong emotions I felt toward it.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn– This book was such a pleasant surprise! I absolutely loved how tropey and reminiscent of 2000s YA it was (though this time the protagonist is Black). I’ll definitely be reading the sequel because I need by ship to sail!!
As we all know, I was a very bad blogger in the months of October and November. I basically disappeared, and I have comments from three months ago that I haven’t replied to yet. Please don’t judge me if I reply to a comment you posted in September. (Though there’s a chance that I won’t reply to all my backlogged comments because there are a LOT, and I feel like it’s too late to answer some of them.)
On a more positive note, I interviewed Xiran Jay Zhao, author of one of my most anticipated 2021 releases, Iron Widow! It was the first ever author interview I hosted on my blog, and I hope to host more!