On Finishing A WIP For The Longest Time, Ever.

Hullo, world!

I am finally back and logged into the blogosphere after a month+ hitout. I was actually hoping to come back on the last week of May for the afternoon tea post but ended up not being able to…(I know, I still have not found the right work-balance thing now that I have work on Saturdays.) If you remember me from May, I decided on a hitout to finish a WIP…given I haven’t finished one in like, two or three years. So, the big question is, did I finish my WIP?? *the suspense builds*

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YES!! 

I did finish my WIP, and I today, I want to talk more about it…

>> Read more about Osthauptstadt here

My Thoughts?

Some things I thought after finishing:

  1. It was easier than I thought??

Obviously, I had to be intentional about the time I make to write, where I was going, and maintain my inspiration throughout the little time I had to write. I also wrote in a cafe for one of the writing sessions, which was fun! I also fully inducted Notion into my writing life, and it has been a lifesaver. I used Rebecca’s Notion templates for setting up my WIPs. I am head over heels in love with Notion and don’t know how I functioned without it…I know, I really should try to get out of this plannerholic cycle, but plans and journals and notions spark so much joy inside me!!

  1. Didn’t feel like a great accomplishment…

This is kind of my honest reflection. Although I know I should be happy that I did, indeed, finish a WIP for the longest time, ever, somehow I don’t feel like I’ve done something great. Rather, it feels like something I should have done earlier and I finally got down to it…

  1. Trying to rush into another shiny new idea ™

Yes, you heard that right. As soon as I finished Osthauptstadt draft 0.5, I was already thinking of a new WIP to work on. I have a stack of WIPs I want to work on this year, some half-baked, some more-than-half-baked than the others, but I desperately wanted to not lose my writing steam. If you follow my email list, I started the month with a rather bold claim, “I will continue working and finish one more WIP by the end of June!”

Which, by the way, is totally not happening. *hides in a corner* 。°(´∩ω∩`)°。

  1. Feeling burnt out

I started out the month hopeful and thinking I could finish another WIP. After all, I just finished one. How hard could finishing another one be??

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Well. Any author/writer on the block can probably tell you about it. Also, for some strange reason, this week has been a tough one for me. Versus the first week of this month where I was like, “I can do anything”, this week was just…not that great. And, when things are like that, it’s usually a sign I should slow down…( ´•̥ו̥` )

  1. What is wrong with me???

Although this is kind of what I’m thinking right now. I finished a major WIP, I’ve been enjoying my new job, and I’ve been doing some of the bucket list things to do during summer. Technically, things are going well…

Now What?

Then, I realised: I’ve actually written a blog post on what to do in this kind of situation!

>> AH: 5 Steps to Recharge After A Major WIP

(And if you’re in similar shoes as mine, do take a moment to read through it; it’s quite useful, I promise.)

Now that I’ve poured myself another cup of tea and taken a breath, here are some things I’m planning to do:

  • Will take it slow, definitely.

So, obviously, I won’t be breaking my back trying to finish another WIP. 

  • Will follow my advice…

I’ll be reading some books I love and take this month to fill up my well of inspiration!

  • Probably follow the intense writing month -> rest month -> intense writing month routine from now on…

Earlier in the year, I was planning to have a WIP focus each month and slowly work through them. Yet, now I realise I need a more relaxed writing schedule to balance writing and life. ꒰◍ᐡᐤᐡ◍꒱

  • Take it slow (take 2)

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but really, take it slow! 

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And that’s it for today. 

Thank you for reading this post! How is your June going so far? What are some of your WIPs? Do you have a way of taking a break after you finish a WIP? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

 April ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good Afternoon!

Saturday is always like a Sabbath to me, and I’m always really thankful & overjoyed when the week reaches Saturday…it’s probably my favourite day of the week!

I was actually debating whether or not to write this post today because I have a midterm in the afternoon (on Saturday, I’ll add once again), and it’s my comp-sci one that I’ve been dreading since the start of this term. 

But. 

Instead of having another cram session, I’ve decided to let go & trust God…I’ve studied for it and done the best I can for it. I just have to trust in that. 

So here I am! I’m so excited to share my April with you…

-April Afternoon Tea ‘22 Setting-

Location: sunny garden with spring flowers

Tea: strawberry-rose-champagne, sakura-blossom, apple-vinegar elderflower

Offered with: sakura mont blanc, amazake-pudding, sakura cider jello

Bibliotheca 

I wasn’t planning to get a lot of reading down, and I was right–April was a slower reading month than usual. But I did read a lot of academic essays which was kind of fun on the retrospective. ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

  1. Chinmoku (Silence) – Shusaku Endo
  2. Following in Van Gough’s Footsteps – Maha Harada
  3. The Last Graduate – Naomi Novik
  4. Why We Watch Anime – Ryota Fujitsu
  5. Reading While Black
  6. Kamen no Kokuhaku (Confessions of a Mask) – Yukio Mishima

Currently Reading: Subculture Literature Theory, The Living Thoughts of Kierkegaard

Media 

I wholeheartedly endorsed the sakura-themed sweets and first-ever sakura blossom tea! (Also a fun fact: In Japanese elementary schools–or at least the one I used to go to–we have an unofficial sakura-catching competition. The person who catches the most sakura gets to eat it!) 

Music 

This month, I listened to a lot more music than I usually do. It’s probably because my stress level was record-breakingly high from exam seasons, IDK…

I also want to get into Black Pink for some strange reason? So, I’ve started listening to them…(But I wouldn’t say I know a lot about them yet! I’m like a neophyte-fan, maybe??)

Practising: The Rumbling, Sakamu, Miracle Link Ring!

Listening to:  King Gnu, Buckingham (Wednesday Campanella), Glue

Movie/TV Shows 

Because I was busy with uni (trying not to die, TBH), I didn’t have a lot of chance to watch movies or tv shows…

Except.

I

FINALLY

GOT TO 

SEE 

JUJUTSU KAISEN 0 IN THE THEATRES!!!!!!!!

(Okay, enough of this nonsense. But you get the idea.)

Manga/Anime

And, if you are familiar with the recent anime releases, Spy x Family has officially started! I’ve been a fan since the start of the serialisation, so this is a very historical and dramatic moment for me. Also, GOLDEN KAMUY IS ENDING. I still can’t believe it…But the good news is, Young Jump (Tonari no Young Jump) is offering a free reading from start to finish. So, if you can read Japanese, now is the time to go read GK 😉 

& yet another thing. (I know, there’s more??)

My dad (who also happens to be into anime) has recently lent me his login info for anime websites, so now, *inserts evil laughter* I have infinite access to it. After uni ends, I’m planning to go on a binge if I can evade my siblings… (꜆꜄•ω•)꜆꜄꜆

Writing Life 

How about a glass of apple-vinegar elderflower tea? I just love elderflower because it gives me that spring-summer vibes I am perpetually falling in love with. ꒰ ∩´∇ `∩꒱

This month was supposed to be a typing month (i.e. that time when I type up my handwritten manuscripts). Needless to say, it’s still got a long way to go…I think I only managed a few chapters of Woodstone? But then again Woodstone is insanely long??

Hopefully, I’ll get more time to type up my draft so I can either continue on with this draft and/or work on another WIP from May when I’m planning to do more “serious” writing. (   ¯꒳¯ )b✧

Academics 

Oh, and have you tried the amazake pudding? Amazake is a kind of rice wine without alcohol that’s typically served on Girls’ Day (March 3rd) in Japan! It has a distinct flavour and some people find it too singular a taste, but I personally love it, not to mention it’s super healthy for you. 

As you might have already surmised, April is the end of term & the end of my first year at university. (Which is totally unbelievable, btw.) 

Things I’m Glad That’s Over:

  • Comp-sci project. Like, so done with significant computing and everything. 
  • Poli-sci finals. I was pretty confident about this one, except my grades were not what I expected it to be. Oh well…
  • Arts Academic Essay. This one is a whopping twenty-page long academic paper on Austen’s novel form and Emma. I want to burn it if I can. 

Overall, I’m so blessed that I could spend a year filled to the brim with learning, new opportunities & new people. It’s sad saying goodbye to some of them but I hope to see them again (perchance) somewhere on the vast campus. Also, I’m taking courses during the summer so I won’t completely laze off & forget how to study. 

(´ฅω•ฅ`)チラッ

Lifestyle & Living

My mental health sort of deteriorated towards the end of this month (aka this week, because of finals & stuff) and it hailed a lot? Like, I think we had a week where it was hailing non-stop, then become sunny, then thunderstorm-y. It’s usually really nice in April so I was not expecting this bizarre weather but go figure. Other than that, the cherry blossoms were dazzling as they are every year and I (probably) got a job at a tutoring centre so things are okay. (You know, when all things considered.)

And that’s life for me 🙂

And they shall fight against thee, and they shall not have the mastery; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, that I deliver thee. (And they shall fight against thee, but they shall not have the mastery; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, and I shall keep thee safe.)

(Jeremiah 1:19, WYC)

Thank you for reading! How was your April? Is it spring where you live? (And if so, do you like spring?) What are some things that happened this month that was exciting for you? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

Ares Prequel Review & WIP update

Hullo, world!

It’s back to rainy (or sleeting, shall I say) season here. From the sudden burst of spring-esque sunshine days and cherry blossoms starting to bloom, I was hoping that winter was officially over…

Alas, I had guessed wrong. (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )

But hopefully, it will start to get warm soon!

Weather aside, today is a special day for me–I will be presenting to you Jenna Terese’s Ares, a prequel to Ignite!! I’ll also be doing a mini update on my current WIP, so without further ado, let us commence!

Ares

Rating: 4/5 stars

Contents: Thematic elements

Reminds me of: MHA, Marvel, Frozen

“Ares could feel it. He could feel it in the frantic snow and the biting wind that pummeled ice into his face. He felt his sister crying.”

His sister can’t tell. Not ever.

Ares is the son of the leading scientist in superhuman research, Dr. Hiram Bailey. His father thinks like everyone else. Supers are a stain on society.

But he doesn’t know his own twins have powers.

Ares can keep a secret. But his sister? Her excitement over their powers just might make things dangerous for them both. 

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My Thoughts

Note: I received an eARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Since I’ve had spotty experiences with prequels, I was a little nervous going into this. But, I needn’t have worried!

  • First of all, the sibling relationship. Ares and Astrid are too cute!! I knew from Ignite that the theme of family was strong, and the prequel captures the same atmosphere–even more so, I’d say, since it’s the backstory that we’ve all been waiting for. 
  • Ice & snow. I don’t know why, but there’s something really fascinating about ice and snow–in fact, a lot of the stories I love have them! (Think Snow Queen, Wicked Saints, Frozen.) And obviously, I can’t help but love this story filled to the brim with ice & snow. 
  • The family dynamics. While Ignite already hinted at the complex story behind Dr Bailey and Ares, this prequel offered the exact story that led to Ignite. And obviously, as much as I like Ares (#aresfanclub), I’m also interested in Dr Bailey’s story, so I thoroughly enjoyed this story. 

The only complaint I have is that it felt too short! And now I can’t wait for book 2 to come out…

This book is for you if you like:

  1. Complicated family dynamics 
  2. Sibling relationships
  3. ice, snow, and superpowers

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenna Terese believes stories are powerful. That’s why she’s dedicated to creating fiction that will impact the world. You can find this INFP dreaming about the future, fangirling over her favourite books, geeking out about Marvel, playing piano, or sipping a chai tea latte as she writes sci-fi novels.

WIP Update

As you might know, I’ve been agonising over reworking my earliest WIP–Juliet. The title itself is a placeholder name, which is unusual since I usually know the title before everything falls into place. 

In fact, if you know anything about trying to go back to that first novel you wrote–well, it’s kind of tough. 

At the same time, Juliet has been the story of my heart. It’s made me realise how far I’ve come in my writing and now I’m at that point where I can understand what was working, what wasn’t, and how the story has come to outgrow me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the story. But now I know that it doesn’t have the depth I need or a sort of “literary frame” to expand my central messages and themes. 

So now, I’m developing the depth. I’m working it out by reading books on genre conventions (sci-fi), astrophysics, philosophy, and more. I’m scratching the overarching story and decided to push back the time frame after everything has happened. I’ve come to the tough realisation that my characters weren’t doing anything–things just kept happening to them. And as hard as it is, it’s also been rewarding. 

I honestly don’t know how long this will take. I might take the next month off and try a spring NaNo since I’ve been dying to *actually* write. Yet I know that no matter how long it takes, I’ll keep at it…because it’s the story that matters. 

And that’s it for today!

Thank you for reading! Have you read Ignite? Are you excited to read Ares (and Embers)? Or better yet, are you in the #aresfanclub? Is there a story that’s been on your heart, always? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!