In case the lack of monthly updates weren’t enough indication… it’s been a crazy year. I’ve been super busy getting things together for Calligraphy Guild‘s release and some things—like monthly updates—have fallen off the business wagon as it’s gone racing along. (Weird analogy? Probably.)
But anyway, here we are with a quick update on what I’ve been up to this month, anyway. (For a full quarterly update in a couple of days, sign up to my newsletter!)
I’ve been super busy with Calligraphy Guild this month. I reached out to a number of bloggers and authors about reviewing Calligraphy Guild at the beginning of this month, and about half of them were interested. Plus, I got emails back from two of the most well-known authors on my list! One doesn’t have time and one probably doesn’t have time, but I got to send an ARC to one of them and the fact that they both took the time to respond is a huge win in my book (…no pun intended).
Speaking of ARCs, I got all of my Calligraphy Guild ARCs sent out over the course of this month and I’m super excited to hear what readers think of the book! (I appreciate the long-suffering post office lady who had to process ten book packages for me all at once.)
I’ve also gotten a lot of my CG-related social media posts prepped and scheduled, though I still have a lot more to get done next month. But if all goes well, I’ll have all of those set and scheduled within the first week or two of April and I’ll be able to turn my attention to other things.
The biggest Calligraphy Guild announcement for this month is that pre-orders went live! If you were wondering why I have a new site shop… that’s why. Getting the shop set up was a little stressful, but I’m glad to have it all set for both pre-orders and whatever I decide to sell directly in the future! Anyway, the pre-order package is awesome—I’m super blessed to have gotten to work with so many excellent artists to put it together—and you should definitely check it out if you’re interested in Calligraphy Guild and you like candles and tea (and bookmarks and character art…).
I’m also super proud of myself for doing more with my email list this month! I really struggle with newsletters for some reason, but I’ve kept my email list up-to-date with most of my stuff this month (including the most important highlights, of course) and I seem to be developing a workable system to keep that up moving forward! So now is a really good time to sign up to my mailing list. ;)
With Calligraphy Guild taking up so much mental bandwidth (and time), I don’t think I’ve worked on any other book projects. I have had The Dark War Trilogy rattling around in the back of my head, of late, so I’ve done a bit of fiddling with its Pinterest board and I’ve jotted down some small notes, but that’s the most I’ve done with another book this month.
- The Riven Realm by Deck Matthews
- Air Awakens by Elise Kova
- The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
- Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (review coming next week)
- In the House of Tom Bombadil by C.R. Wiley
- The Reflections by E.K. Seaver (review coming next week)
This month I finally finished The Riven Realm. I read the first novella last February or March and it’s been sitting on my “currently reading” shelf for the year since. Not because it was bad—in fact, I quite enjoyed it—just because I got very distracted and seemed to never be in the mood for that flavor of fantasy. But I finally finished it this month and I quite enjoyed the last two novellas. I’m looking forward to reading future installments in the series. (See my review above for more detailed thoughts.)
Air Awakens, The Tea Dragon Society, and Spin the Dawn were all on my “potential Calligraphy Guild comp titles” list, so they got pushed to the top of the list. I enjoyed Air Awakens, though it bore no resemblance to CG (see review above for further thoughts). The Tea Dragon Society was the closest in vibe and content to Calligraphy Guild and it was really well-done (it did have some potential content issues in the background; see my review for details); it was one of only two books I rated five stars this month. Spin the Dawn was disappointing, and I’ll be fleshing that out in a review next week.
In the House of Tom Bombadil is a book that’s been on my TBR ever since I heard it was coming out (so… last fall, I believe) and I finally reached a point in The Fellowship of the Ring where I was re-acquainted with Tom Bombadil and felt like I was prepared to read Wiley’s book. And it did not disappoint! Wiley’s writing is always incredibly insightful and he draws out such important principles, and the combination of his wisdom and wit with his appreciation for Tolkien and the character of Tom Bombadil made for a wonderful book. (I’m not sure if it speaks to Wiley’s writing or if I’ve just gotten more emotional over the past year or so, but there was one chapter that brought me to tears.) This was my other 5-star read.
I have the privilege of being part of the blog tour for The Reflections, so you’ll hear my thoughts on that one next week, but I enjoyed it!
- Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan (This book made my “anticipated releases” list, but it’s been fairly disappointing thus far)
- The Aeneid (In theory… It’s really just sitting there)
- The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin (this one has been on my TBR for years and I’m enjoying it so far!)
- The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (see The Aeneid)
- North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson (reread)
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)
Despite all of my hectic work efforts (in fact, partially because of them), I’ve managed to work on building and strengthening some relationships, and I’m hoping to be more intentional about reaching out to people and maintaining relationships as things calm down with Calligraphy Guild for a month or two before the official release.
Next month I’m hoping to get a lot of my remaining Calligraphy Guild prep settled and out of the way, plus a lot of my other social media posts for at least a month or two in advance. This will likely include prepping things for my online release party in June, since I have an editing job that will absorb a lot of my attention in May and I want to make sure my other projects aren’t getting in the way while I’m working on that.
I’ve been able to focus on reading more this month than in most recent months, so I’m hoping that trend will continue and I’ll be able to get a good chunk of my TBR knocked out next month (at least the novels I’m in the middle of, and hopefully also the three books I have checked out from the library and haven’t started; Dune would be a nice bonus if I’m able to make enough progress to read that as well).
If I’m able to get enough of my social media stuff out of the way (which has been eating up a lot of my time this year), then I’d like to also make substantial progress on my non-fiction project next month. I’m hoping to get at least one draft done by the end of the year, if not two drafts, so I really need to buckle down on it whenever I get new systems up and running and have time and brainpower again (which should be soon, if this week has been any indication!)
If you’re curious about what I’ve been reading and writing prior to this month, plus other media I’ve been enjoying this quarter, sign up to my newsletter and you’ll get my expanded quarterly update in a couple of days!
Your turn! How has this month been for you? Are you working on any big projects, or just trying to stay sane through everyday life? What are you most looking forward to next month? What are you reading lately?
Have a great April!