Where has the month gone?
June has passed in such a blur I’ve lost track of what’s even happened. Seeing as how it’s been a relatively quiet month for me across the board, I’m going to use this recap to look back at the first half of the year as well.
Let’s break it down.
June started in a decisively better tune, which wasn’t hard considering how May began. My husband and I travelled to Sydney, where I was bridesmaid to one of my closest friends in a beautifully understated ceremony. During out stay, we were lucky enough to be smack-bang in the middle of the Vivid Festival. It was my husband’s first trip to Sydney and my first time seeing the lauded light spectacle and we were not disappointed. As expected, the crowds were a nightmare but it was a lovely atmosphere and magical way for him to experience the city.
After our lovely break away, things got a little rocky as both my husband and I have been plagued by minor but numerous health issues. Mental illness woes and recent tummy upsets have derailed my reading and writing goals for the month, which has been a bummer to say the least. Nevertheless, I’ll be on the mend throughout July and that will mean more reviews and stories to share with you.
I didn’t manage to finish as single book this month, much to my own disappointment. I spread myself pretty thin, dividing my time between three endeavours:
- Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
- Heart of Mist – Helen Scheuerer (ARC)
- A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab
Heart of Mist and A Gathering of Shadows are going well, despite my progress moving slow in deference for Ready Player One, which was my book club read for the month. I haven’t managed to clear it yet, but I will because I like it just enough to see it through til the end. It’s by no means a rage-read (as the repellent Magonia was) but the characters are so terribly grating it’s detracting from the otherwise enjoyable story. It’ll have to pull something pretty amazing out of its arse to raise this above a three-star rating.
June may have been a pretty slow month in the reading department, but the year so far has been successful by my slow-as-hell reader standards.
Books have been kind to me in 2017, with only two of the above falling into the DNF–did not finish–category. Malice was infuriating in its bland, novice prose–something I could not bare to sit through for 700 pages while I waited for the purported amazing story to kick in. The Emperor of the Eight Islands also fell into the same category but was much harder to push aside due for the love I hold for Lian Hearn‘s first series, Tales of the Otori. There’s every chance I will pick this up again and have another crack when it’s not fighting against other books I’m reading with decisively more exciting storytelling. Neil Gaiman continues to slide further down my favourite author list, while Naomi Novik and V.E Schwab have been delightful new additions. The Captive Prince Triology, of which I am yet to read the conclusion is a beloved guilty pleasure, while Big Little Lies and Puppet Master were a refreshing change of genre. Golem and the Djinni and Uprooted are still front-runners for my read of the year, both of which I plan to review on here in the coming weeks (months?).
While I have been MIA on here, I’ve actually been making fantastic progress with my writing. My second draft of Garden of the Gods has broken 11 000 words and I’ve been tinkering away with two new teaser prequels to introduce my main cast to you all. I’m also trying to get some more reviews and short stories in the works, as I will be quest writing for S.W. Wildwood‘s blog once a month.
Now that the second half of the year is officially underway, I’m determined to get to work on raising my author presence online. I plan on updating this thing with regular content, be it writerly advice, prose, or reviews. You can have your say right now over on Twitter by voting or commenting on my poll.
— Jessica A. McMinn (@jamjam_pie) June 29, 2017
Well, I think that pretty much covers it.
Until next time, lovelies.