Hot Chocolate Highlights: July Wrap Up 2016

3:18 PM

Welcome to the first Hot Chocolate Highlights post! This will be a monthly series in which I will post a recap each month of what's been happening on my blog, what books I read, my writing updates, and any life updates. Because I'll take any excuse to drink more hot chocolate, I plan to always drink a mug of hot chocolate while I compose this post each month, hence the name: Hot Chocolate Highlights. Tea with Tash on The Bookie Monsters blog inspired me to do this. Check out her blog!

Here's a photo of my hot chocolate as proof. I'm staying in a hotel/condo right now, and they only have these ridiculously tiny mugs.

Without further ado, let's jump right into my July Wrap Up!

1. Potterhead July Blog Festival-Hogwarts Houses: Do They Create Division or Unity?
I had so much fun participating in the Potterhead July Blog Festival created by Aentee at Read at Midnight. I could talk about Harry Potter all day long, so getting to interact with a bunch of other bloggers who share my Harry Potter obsession was as delightful as drinking a mug of butterbeer. This post also marked my first post with 100+ views and the most comments I've ever received on any of my posts which made me so incredibly happy!

2. WIPJoy Wrap Up
Twitter is fast becoming one of my favorite social media sites to connect with other writers. Throughout the month of June I participated in #WIPJoy, which is a month long list of prompts to share different aspects of your current WIP (Work In Progress) on Twitter created by Bethany A. Jennings. To celebrate finishing the first draft of Cursed, I decided to write a post in July which contained all of my tweets from #WIPJoy.

3. Snazzy Snippets #5
Snazzy Snippets is a blog post created by Alyssa Carlier at The Devil Orders Takeout and Emily Mead at The Loony Literate which encourages writers to share snippets of their writing based upon the themes provided. I always have a lot of fun scouring my current WIP to find snippets to fit the themes.

July 6th: WIPJoy Wrap Up
July 13th: Snazzy Snippets #5
July 20th: The Moth
July 30th: Fangirl of Fangirl

Print Copies

Audiobook (Audible)

My favorite book this month was, hands down, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The characters are so relatable and complex, and I found myself smiling through most of it. Be sure to check out my review for more of me fangirling over Fangirl.

1. I finished writing the first draft of my novel Cursed (working title) on June 30th. The second week of July, I sat down with a printed copy (all 98,000 words and 352 pages of it) and read it through so I could make notes of changes that need to be made in the second draft. I plan to start edits soon and hope to get the second draft out to beta readers by the start of October.

2. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo with the goal of writing 50,000 words of my new novel The Vizier's Apprentice (working title). July ended up being a really busy month for me, so I wrote 25,000 words. While I may not have reached my goal of 50k, I am still happy I managed to write 25k (which is nothing to sneeze at seeing as it's 25k more than I had written at the beginning of the month).

3. I am still learning a lot when it comes to writing, and each manuscript I write teaches me something different. I gave myself a whole month to plot out Cursed before starting to write it for NaNoWriMo in November 2015. For The Vizier's Apprentice, I gave myself a grand total of one day to plot before I started writing. Needless to say, I didn't get far into the story before I had to stop and plot some more. I still had to do this a few times when writing Cursed, but I find I'm having to stop and plot more often with The Vizier's Apprentice. I don't mind stopping to plot though. I am a fan of plotting out what I can before I write (with the knowledge that things can and will change as I write) and then stopping to plot when I get stuck.

1. At the beginning of July, I decided to set some quarterly goals and one of those goals was to start a vlog. My vlog features mostly reading and writing related content. You can check out my channel here.

2. I took a road trip down to Houston, Texas in the middle of July with some college friends to visit another college friend who is in Grad school in Houston. It was a lot of fun to travel and hang out with my friends for an entire week. Now that we're all graduated, we only see each other a handful of times throughout the year (and the friend we visited I haven't seen in about two years) so it's always a blast when we do manage to get together. We toured NASA, ate at Death by Chocolate (which has a secret entrance), saw the new Ghostbusters movie, and played Geek Trivia (we got 4th place out of 11). 

3. Last, but certainly not least, I was offered a job at new school and accepted the position. I will start teaching at the new school this September and am excited for what a new school year and new school will bring.

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