Friday, February 3, 2023

January 2023 Doings!

Hello hello hello! We're one month into 2023, and it's time for the first Doings! post of the year. This has been another busy month, especially on the writing front. It was decidedly not chill except in the sense of being far colder than it had any right to be, despite my best hopes, but that was what I kind of expected. So, let's get on with the post and see what actually happened.


  • My January writing has been a lot more varied than many months have been of late. Whether or not that's a good thing is . . . debatable.
  • Most of the month was spent continuing Bastian Dennel, PI #4. I made some changes to the storyline that I think will produce good results and give one of my POV characters more to do and a stronger climax to her particular character arc. Of course, that meant re-outlining the remaining chapters in the book, especially since I knew I was going to have to pause work on the story for a bit to focus on projects with a closer deadline. I think my new plan is going to work, but the whole book is going to take a good bit of editing.
  • My second project was outlining, drafting, and editing a short story submission for the Fellowship of Fantasy Magical Dogs anthology. I'm reasonably pleased with how it turned out, though I'm not quite sure whether or not the anthology editors will go for it. We'll find out.
  • My final major project, which was spread out throughout most of the month, was planning, outlining, and starting the first draft of a new, currently unnamed, semi-secret project involving selkies. If you remember what my last few "secret projects" were, you probably have a good guess about what this one is going to end up being . . . but I should be able to tell you for sure in next month's Taleweaver's Desk update. I hoped to have it at least half drafted by the end of the month, but the magical dogs story took longer than I expected.
  • And, of course, my D&D campaign is still going. At the moment, though, prep for that is pretty chill, so I'm able to just take an hour or two either on session days or the day before the session to write what I need.


  • . . . I made a choice this month. More specifically, I made a choice at midnight on New Year's Day (as in, first hour of the new year), which was that I was going to reread Between Jobs, and things progressed from there, and so I have read nothing except City Between and beta-reading projects all month — literally. I started, as I said, in the first hours of January, and I finished the series in the last hours of the month. I have no regrets. Well, one regret, which is that I kinda got behind on ARCs and last year's releases that I was supposed to catch up on, but it's fine.
  • And, honestly, I think that City Between is the kind of series that you have to read more than once. You read it the first time to fall in love with the characters and be astounded by every twist and turn of the story. And then you read it a second time because you miss the characters and the world and so that you can gasp and say "Wendee, you didn't" every so often because some line or comment or detail has taken on an entirely new meaning now that you know what you should have been looking for.
  • So, yes. 10/10 experience, would 100% recommend. And if you start now, you might still finish before A Whisker Behind comes out in February!


  • It will surprise absolutely no one that I haven't really had a lot of time to watch stuff this month.
  • I did finally finish season one of Leverage, though, and I started season two. I very much enjoyed both episodes and the element of this group just being unable to (A) leave an unfinished job alone, (B) leave each other alone, or (C) go back to their old lives now that Nate's shown them something better. It's a delight, and I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the season . . . sometime.
  • I also rewatched a little more Fairy Tail because, you know, they're short episodes (and therefore easier to squeeze in) and I already know what happens, so it's pretty relaxing. I'm currently on the arc that introduces Gajeel, and it's interesting to go back to when he was still an antagonist.


  • January is a weird month. You're coming off December, which is all holidays and odd schedules and, at least in my case, a good bit of time off. And then you're trying to get back to normal, but you have random Mondays that are actually either Saturdays or Sundays (depending on your perspective) that are nice but also not conducive to reestablishing a standard schedule, and it's grey and cold and you're tired half the time . . . yeah. If you can't tell, this is not my favorite month. Still better than February, though.
  • The first week or so of the month was pretty decent, in that my sister was still home and I got to spend time with her a little bit more before she went back to college. That's always nice.
  • Work, at least, has been fairly quiet. January usually is, since everyone is recovering from Advent and Christmas, and this year we didn't even have staff changes or an organ donation campaign to throw things off. Actually, I think this January may have been even quieter than it normally would be, as at least one or two staff members were out of the office — traveling or sick or on a mission trip — pretty much at all times. Mostly, I was just cycling through the usual weekly tasks on a slightly shortened schedule until Lenten newsletter time rolled around.
  • Outside of work, I spent a good bit of time figuring out stuff with the Thing I'm Not Talking About Yet, which I discovered could start in February instead of January and decided to put off until then so that I would have more writing time. We'll see if that backfires on me or not. I also got to deal with car stuff, so . . . yay? (Nothing as serious as what happened back in summer, just regular maintenance, but it was frustrating due to various reasons.)
  • On the upside, I'm officially registered for Realm Makers in July, and I am HYPED. Last year was such a good experience that I decided that the stress and expense of having to fly to this year's conference would be worth it. I'm very excited for several of the speakers — though I'm a bit disappointed that the Donald Maass breakout sessions are currently scheduled for the same time as the two most interesting one-off sessions. Alas. I'll have to be more proactive about watching the session recordings after the conference, I suppose. (Also, am I already brainstorming costume ideas for the Awards Banquet? You BET I am.)
  • I also acquired some very shiny new dice via a program where you can request products for review — this is my first set of metal dice, and I'm very pleased with them. They're very weighty and fancy, and they've got this lovely dragon theming and copper-blue color scheme going on.
  • Oh, and I finished the hat that I started after Christmas! This is a pattern that I made once before and messed up — the result was still very much a hat and very wearable, but I wanted to to try doing it right. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it was nice to do such a quick, straightforward project after a lot of lengthy or complicated ones. I think I may switch back to an embroidery project next, but we'll see.

February Plans

  • February is, surprise, surprise, looking like mostly spillover from January.
  • As I already mentioned, the Thing I'm Not Talking About Yet has been pushed back to start about midway through this month. I haven't decided whether I'm excited or nervous or too tired to be either.
  • Writing-wise, I'll probably be focusing mainly on my semi-secret selkie story and my D&D campaign this month. The semi-secret selkie story has a deadline that's coming up pretty quick (a lot quicker than I'd like), so that needs to take priority. And my D&D campaign is in a place where I can probably draft out the rest of this adventure without setting myself up to have wasted a bunch of time and energy on a path people aren't going to pursue. That'll also give me the ability to start working on the next adventures, both of which I've been excited about for quite a while and really want to do stuff with.
  • On the work front, February is the start of Lent, so that'll dominate a fair bit of my time and attention. Not quite as much as last year, but still a good bit. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to wrap up some of the projects that keep getting delayed, but at this point, I'm not holding my breath.
  • In terms of reading, I expect to be playing catch-up on all the things I meant to read in January but didn't because I was too busy adventuring Between. That'll mean some Sanderson, a little Megan Whalen Turner, and Bryan Davis's new book, along with — hopefully — more Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • I want to try to get hold of a desk attachment for the treadmill so I can hopefully start walking while I'm doing stuff on the computer. Ideally, I'd like to be able to write and walk (slowly) at the same time, which may take some practice, but I know other people manage it. And even if I can't do actual novel-writing on the treadmill because it's too much at once, I may be able to do blog and social stuff (which takes less brainpower).
  • I think that about covers it! I'm sure I'll remember something later that I should have included in these plans, but oh well. Mostly I just want to keep from falling further into the winter blahs.

How was your January? Any exciting plans for February? What's your best method for fighting back the winter blahs? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

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