I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I can't believe today is the last day of April. Where has 2013 gone? And why is it, that as we get older, the years seem to just fly by?
Make it slow down, I tell you! Because I have waaaaaaaay too much to do!
And because April was a pretty productive month for me, this has turned into a monster of a post, so bare with me!
READING: I managed to read ten books this month - one of which was an absolutely amazing MS for one of my CP's, the ever love-r-ly, Sara Biren. WAITING FOR THE SUN was one of the most beautiful stories I've had the opportunity of reading in a very long time. Honestly. I laughed and I definitely cried - which isn't something easy for me to admit - and the last time I felt this way was when I read some of my all time favorite YA Contemp reads ala Sarah Ockler and Jandy Nelson. Yes, I loved it that much.
And I can't wait to watch all the success that's about to unfold for Sara, because this is the one.
I also managed to read all three of Miranda Kenneally's books: CATCHING JORDAN, STEALING PARKER, and THINGS I CAN'T FORGET. And out of all of them, CATCHING JORDAN was my favorite. I love the sports theme that resonates in all of her books - LOVE - but particularly gravitated towards Jordan's story and her role as the QB for her high school football team. The other two books in the series were just okay for me, but that's only because they were written with a heavy influence of religion - which just isn't my thing. While I still enjoyed them, they didn't compare to CATCHING JORDAN.
I also polished off three of Abbi Glines books while running on the treadmill this month: BREATHE, BECAUSE OF LOW, and WHILE IT LASTS. And I'm currently on the 4th in this series, JUST FOR NOW. Abbi is one of my favorite authors because she writes boy so well. And I have to admit, there have been many a time I have to look around while I'm at the gym, wondering if perhaps anyone has ANY idea the scene I just read! Seriously, they're so steamy, I almost fell off the treadmill the other day. It wasn't pretty. But man was it worth it. I <3 me some Jax Stone and Cage York!
I also read ALTERED by Jennifer Rush - which I really enjoyed. Can you say Jason Bourne for teens? And SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger - I've had this one since it came out, and had originally put it down after only a few pages. But thanks to my recent Sports Theme kick, I managed to crank this one out. And I thought it was good - maybe not as great as D.U.F.F. but still worth the read. And lastly, I read THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS by J.J. Howard. And this one folks - aside from reading Sara's MS - was my favorite for the month of April! It wasn't at all what I was expecting and I loved every page. I enjoyed her references to music at the beginning of each chapter and I really invested and felt for her MC, Lexi. Plus, it knocks one off my DAC list, too! If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. Great read.
WRITING: During the 30 days of April I also managed to dive back into writing. It's been awhile - really, not since my massive rewrite last June with Mr. Agent Man - since I've wrote like this. I'm talking all day writing fests and staying up sometimes until 4am! But hey, when I unexpectedly got laid off from my job - after 6 years - in March (have I mentioned how tough this year has been?), it seems I've had some time on my hands to finally write. And to write when my muse is actually interested vs. only the spare hour I used to have, after working 12-hour days.
My YA Contemp WiP - WHERE THE WATER FALLS - is one I started back in 2011, and is quite the departure from what I'm so used to writing. However, after only 4 chapters, I had put it aside to focus on THE LUCKY FEW and to work with Mr. Agent Man. But like so many of us, the characters in that story kept jumping up from their seats shouting, "Pick me! Pick me!" and I knew I had to give it another go. And just in the past eight days, I've cranked out over 40k words.
I think it also has something to do with the fact I FINALLY switched over to Scrivener. I know, I know, late to the party and all - and really, I bought it early last year, but just couldn't adjust. Word has been good to me and she'll always be my first love, but wow, Scrivener. She's a-mazing!!!! Plus, it helps when friends mention other friends, who have done these short - but incredibly helpful - video tutorials. Yes, I'm talking about Katy Upperman recommending everyone to head on over to Erin Bowman's site to watch her Scrivener videos - because they are awesome and oh, so helpful!
So yes, I am writing again. And I'm loving it.
QUERYING: I'm also still querying for TLF. This is my third book / attempt at hitting the slush pile, and it's true when they say that after each try, it keeps getting better. I think my first book - which shall remain nameless - maybe received 2 full requests and perhaps 1 partial. My second attempt was better, bringing in a handful of requests. And TLF? Well, it's been great and I've managed to gain the interest of 15 agents, which has been awesome. Yes, I've received a few declines, but quite a few of them still have it, so I'll take it!
RUNNING: And finally, a recap on my running stats for the month. I mentioned in my last post that I set a personal goal of running the equivalent of one marathon a week. And as of last Friday, I finished my 4th one!
Total mileage for April: 115 miles.
And I can't believe it, but I think I actually ran more than I drove my car! Plus, I've signed up for 3 5k races: The Color Run in Portland on 9/7 (Seattle is already sold out), The Foam Fest on 8/3 (this looks like a blast, I mean slip n' slides? Come. ON.), and Run For Your Lives on 8/24 - a 5k with obstacles, where volunteers dressed up like zombies AKA The Walking Dead (one of my FAVORITE shows!) actually chase you. I think there's a solid chance I may relieve myself of all bodily fluids on that one, seriously.
MAY: Well, tomorrow starts a new month. It also happens to be my birthday, and I'm looking forward to seeing my progress in all things reading, writing, and querying - not to mention how many more miles I'll clock on my shoes!