monthly wrap up

February Wrap-Up and March Goals!

Hey everyone!

WHOA did I just write “February wrap-up” in the title!? Is this the end of February already?! What!?! (I know I say this every single month but I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS amazed at how quickly time flies.)

February was a pretty intense month for me. It was busy and crazy and fun and exciting. There were times when I felt drowned by work and all the non-work commitments I signed up for, and there were also times when I am loving where I am at and excited for the future.

Yeah, so lots of emotions :’)

Reading

This month I’ve been in between published works and beta-reading! Overall, I am enjoying the novels that I’ve read!

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) ★★★★/5 – I really enjoyed this sequel to Strange. The world building was amazing, and I loved that there was so much depth and backstory to each of the characters. Read my review here.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush, #1) ★★★/5 – This book brought me back to my childhood because it is about THE MONKEY KING!!! (Who is btw a character in Chinese mythology lol.) The little Asian girl in me was squealing on the inside hahaha. It was a very fun read. Check out my review.

Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1) ★★★★/5 – This book surprised me a bit! While I was expecting a fast-paced, action-packed YA sci-fi novel, this story was slower and focused on the characters and their relationships, and…. I loved it! My review is here!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – I had high expectations to begin with, and because of that I was a bit nervous going into this book. But I am about half-way through now and I am already LOVING it so much. Just, WOW. Review coming up 🙂

I also joined in on the YARC challenge (my first real reading challenge, besides Goodreads!? GULP) which I am super excited for. As you can see, I’ve ramped up my Asian reads already haha 🙂

Writing

I didn’t get much writing done in February per se, BUT this was still a super important writing month for me!

First, I heard back from most of my beta-readers who have finished reading Children of the Sun… and I’m getting good vibes!??! Although everyone has given me lots of feedback about where and how to improve my novel, it seems like overall they like the idea of the story and they like the MCs and AHH it makes me so excited hahaha 🙂

I’ve organized my beta-reader feedback into a spreadsheet here:

All in all, I’ve received some AWESOME feedback about how I can make the next draft better. To all my betas who are reading right now, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Also……….. I started on the next draft of Children of the Sun. Right now I am working on big-picture stuff by taking a step back and looking at the structure of the novel as a whole, sorting out which parts of the plot must be fixed. This time I am using the 15 Beats Method for novel structure (which maybe I will talk more about in another post if anyone is interested?!) I am also going back to the drawing board when it comes to some of the characters in the novel. In my previous draft, some of the characters are really not thought out well enough, so now I am making sure I know my characters and their motivations really really well.

So yeah. Overall, I am SO excited about this next draft!!! It can only get better!!!

Blogging

I really enjoyed blogging this month! I haven’t written many discussion posts in the last while, and I kind of forgot how much I enjoy writing them. This month I got back into the rhythm of writing discussions, including these two posts here:

I also got to do some blog-hopping! Yay! Here are some of my favs from this month:

Alex @ Scribbles & Stories writes about the 5 most nerve-wracking things about starting a new writing project, which I can so totally relate to!

Sophie @ Me & Ink talks about some fascinating ideas for Harry Potter spin-offs which made me really, really happy hahaha 🙂

Stefanie @ Stefanie Crafts with Wool Paper Fabric made some of the prettiest thank you cards I’ve ever seen!!!

Margaret @ Weird Zeal announces the Women’s History Month Reading Challenge, which is an awesome challenge to read more diverse books written by women!

Dominique @ 3C Style launched an eco-friendly clothing brand called Fashioned by Nature! I’ve been passionate about sustainable fashion recently, and I think it is awesome what Dominique and her team has put together! Check out their store here!

Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books writes about how to stay positive while book blogging, which is such an inspirational post as always ❤

Life

It’s been busy! But great!

  • Work was exhausting, but fulfilling, but exhausting hahaha :’) It looks like March will be a much more relaxed month for me which I am SO looking forward to.
  • I did more rock climbing! And I am getting stronger! It is addictive and I am LOVING IT SO MUCH! (I just want to scream that from the mountaintops hahahaha)
  • Self-care wise: Although I’ve been busy, I am kind of subtly working on this haha. Whenever I am feeling stressed, I tell myself “you are doing the very best that you can do right now”. I also started to track my mood using an iPhone app called Daylio, which is helping me be more aware about my moods and how to control them better. For example I learned that even when I am having a bad day, I can always turn it around when I unwind with activities that I love (like sewing! climbing! blogging! writing!)
  • I announced a new sewing project I’ve been working on! Ahem…….

Yes!!! It’s my wedding dress! More details and pictures here!

What’s Happening in March

  • I am GOING ON VACATION TO AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!! I am SO, SO excited for this (you wouldn’t believe hahahaha.) The truth is, I haven’t travelled in a very long time (because life) and I am in despite need of a getaway.
  • Because of this, I will be on a mini-blogging hiatus from March 2 to March 13. I also haven’t been on a blogging hiatus for a while haha, and I’m sure I’m going to be tempted to blog-hop and peak at my comments and stats…. but I’m going to try to take a real break. As much as I love blogging I think it’ll be good to come back with fresh eyes!
  • More wedding planning madness.
  • I am going to finish revision planning for Children of the Sun. This means an updated outline with a detailed list of scenes, more in-depth world building and character sheets/arcs. My plan is to be ready to rewrite in April (just in time for Camp Nanowrimo!)

How was your February? What were your favourite reads this month? What are your go-to mantras and activities for self-care?

40 thoughts on “February Wrap-Up and March Goals!

    1. Yes although I enjoyed Muse of Nightmares, I agree that Laini Taylor’s writing is a bit heavy at times. In any case I hope you will like this book!! Have a wonderful March ❤

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  1. February always goes by so quickly 😂 But it looks like you read some wonderful books this month. I can’t wait to read your review of Evelyn Hugo! Also, it’s amazing that your writing is coming along! Good luck with the second draft! And HAVE FUN IN AUSTRALIA! That sounds like so much fun! ❤ Thanks for linking to my post, and happy March 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely, it is a short month after all so it went even faster than usual haha. I just finished Evelyn Hugo yesterday and loved it so much!
      Thank you for your kind words Margaret!! Wishing you a happy March as well ❤

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  2. AHH SOPHIE ALL OF THE EXCITMENT IN THIS POST AHHH. ❤
    I'd be so, so interested to hear about your methods for writing and editing, I've enjoyed learning about the snowflake method from you a little while ago SO much and would definitely love to read more writing posts from you. I'm so happy that your beta readers seem to enjoy your story, yay, this is so exciting! I might give my WIP to beta readers for the first time ever once I am done with my draft (hopefully in march? fingers crossed haha) and I am so nervous about the whole thing. Might need your help with that haha 🙂
    AHH AUSTRALIA! What a fantastic trip!! I hope you'll have a fabulous time there, Sophie! ❤ Sending you tons of love and have an amazing March! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you for all your encouragement haha! Wow that is so exciting that it seems like you are nearing the end of your manuscript?!!? I would LOVE to be a beta-reader! Keep me posted about how writing goes!! I would definitely recommend beta-readers. It helped me get over the nervousness of showing and talking about my writing to others. It was such an awesome feeling to share a story and characters who were only in my head with others haha.
      Thank you Marie ❤ wishing you an amazing March as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is so great to hear and, Sophie, I don’t have a concrete list or something, but you’re on my virtual beta readers list already, you’ve been such a huge support!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am literally the same with how fast time is going— like HOW?!?! 😂
    Sounds like you had some good reading this month– I am glad you are enjoying Evelyn Hugo!! 😊
    I am so glad the beta reading went well— how exciting for you!!! And excited about the next stage for writing– oohhh the 15 beats method sounds interesting– I am always interested in how people structure their writing!! 😊
    Thank you so much for mentioning my post!! I am so glad you enjoyed it 💛💛
    I hope you have a wonderful time in Australia!! It’s so nice to travel and have some time away!! It’s nice to have a break!!
    I hope you have a great March!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just finished Evelyn Hugo and loved it so much!!! 😀
      I am still in the baby stages of the 15 beats method but so far I think it is going well? I’ll keep you posted!!
      I really enjoyed your Harry Potter post. It was amazing how many spin-off ideas you had and they were all very creative haha 🙂
      Thank you and wishing you a wonderful March as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww.. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!! I will need to get to it asap– I have 4 books I want to read in March but after that I think I will get to Evelyn Hugo now 😊
        Aww.. thats good– I look forward to seeing how it goes!! 😊
        Thank you so much– I enjoyed coming up with different ideas and trying to picture them!!
        Thank you 💛

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  4. Just came here to say your beta reader spreadsheet for each scene is absolutely genius! I’m glad writing is going well so far. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh, I have so much catching up to do with your blog. Life got in the way! Sewing your own wedding dress! And climbing… That is amazing. I wish you an awesome trip to AU. And thank you so much again Sophie for your kind and positive support. Much love and hugs! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Will answer in more detail later, but I love Daylio too! I stopped using it lately, however (I used it for a whole year already), because I get so busy, and by now, I’m pretty self-aware about what activities and events tend to correlate with what moods I’m in. 😊

    I’m happy that Daylio is working for you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I am loving Daylio. I don’t end up documenting my mood everyday (probably just a few times a week when I remember) however in general it is making me more aware of my moods and the activities that tend to affect my mood 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My February was BEYOND hectic, and I’m super behind on blogging stuff rn (which is why I’m reading this post three days late!! I’m so sorry!). Thank you for linking to my post — it means a ton to know you enjoyed it!

    It’s exciting to hear that you’re making progress on your WIP. Watching my writer friends kick butt with their projects is super inspiring for me, so I can’t wait for more updates! I, for one, would love to hear about your plotting methods as you work through revision. God knows I could use them, haha — plotting thoroughly is a skill I definitely need to work on. Anyways, I hope you enjoy your trip! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Alex! No need to apologize!!! Life happens and as you can see I am replying to comments weeks after the fact (sorry!) so I definitely have lots of catching up to do too 🙂
      Thank you! To be honest, editing is still a bit of a mystery to me too. I’ve edited my past novels before but I don’t think I’ve perfected the process haha. It’s definitely a bit of a different ball game compared to writing :’) How is writing going for you? Are you planning to do Camp Nano?

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  8. I like how you’re taking care of yourself and wow, an Australia trip? That’s awesome. Thank you for including me in your blog links. The rush of card making has slowed down thankfully. I need to get back to my BuJo.

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  9. I say something similar to you at the beginning of all my recaps Sophie, but I feel like because February is such a short month it does go by so quickly. 🙂
    It certainly seems like you had a busy month. You got through some great books at least; I’m of course really glad you loved Muse of Nightmares and glad to hear you’re loving Evelyn Hugo which I’m hoping to get around to this month as well. 🙂
    It’s great you’re getting so much positive feedback from your beta readers, and wow I love your spreadsheet for organising their comments. You certainly seem very organised.
    I really hope you have a brilliant March, I also really hope you have an amazing time in Australia (I really want to go there myself one day so I want to hear all about it when you’re back again!)
    Great recap, and again I hope you have a brilliant March. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth for all your kind words and encouragement 🙂 ❤ I really do need them now because it's been a tough few weeks. Unfortunately my dog Charles got into some trouble when we were on vacation, so I've been pouring lots of time and energy sorting all of this out :/ However otherwise the trip to Australia itself was wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While Charles was with our pet sitter, he bit or scratched a kid in the elevator :/ it was upsetting for me to hear because he’s always been so calm and never hurt anyone. I was relieved to hear that the kid was okay (just a minor skin injury,) but I was heartbroken that Charles would do such a thing. now that we are back he seems to be back to his old self

        Liked by 1 person

      2. God that sounds bad. My dog has bitten my dad a couple of times but we’re very careful when he’s out making sure people know it’s best not to pat him in case he gets nervous.
        I guess sometimes if we’re away out dogs can change slightly, become more nervous or worried. It’s natural right?

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  10. Ooooh Australia! I can’t wait to read all of your travel posts! And I’ve been indoor rock climbing a few times in the past, and I completely agree, it’s SO ADDICTING. I’ve always wanted to join a membership for a rock climbing center, but never had the time… I hope I can get more into rock climbing some day 😊

    I hope you have an awesome trip in Australia & a wonderful March! 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah once I started rock climbing it became really fun. I like that I can see myself improve after sticking with it for a short while 🙂 Hope that you’ll get more chances to climb, or try a different exercise that you enjoy!
      Thank you Zoie 🙂

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