July 2021 Life and Writing Update

Hi, everyone. This is another one of my informal update posts. I’m breaking it up into three parts. The first is a life update about non-reader/writer things. The second part is my reading and writing update. The third part is my answers to five questions about my novels.

For your reference, this post was written on July 11th, so it’s mostly up to date.

Part One: Life Update

The past month of my life has been consumed by my internship. I get a few hours to myself each day and most weekends, but that’s it. I spend a lot of my free time just hanging out with the people I’m living with and my guinea pigs, though my guinea pigs had to stay with my parents for a few weeks because it was too hot for them in the RV.

The weather’s been super weird, even for Colorado. We had this awful heat wave where temperatures were well into the 100s. Then we got a bunch of rain at the end of June, which is a little early for monsoon season. We’ve gotten the occasional small rain storm since then, but nothing substantial. Now it’s back to being really hot. I’m hoping the monsoons come soon and cool things off. Otherwise, the guinea pigs are going to have to stay with my parents again.

I spent one weekend hanging at home, and I went on a hike with one of my coworkers. This particular coworker happens to be going to the same grad school as I am, so it was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. It’s nice to know someone before the move.

I spent two weekends at my parents’ house, so I could pack more of my stuff and do some painting projects prior to my rapidly approaching move. I signed my lease and have most of my housing arrangements figured out. I just need to get my utilities set up in the next two weeks. Adulting is so much fun sometimes….

I got to go on a couple awesome field trips as part of my internship. One was a weekend trip to Chaco Canyon, and the other was an evening guided tour at Mesa Verde. Both times I got to see sites that aren’t typically open to the public, which was amazing. I have decided I’m going to talk more about my internship outside of social media, but I’m going to wait until it’s over. August’s update will have the full scoop on how it went.

Part Two: Writing Update

Guess what? I finally started reading again. Yay! While I was at Chaco Canyon, it was really hot in the afternoons and evenings, so I just stayed around camp and read. The other interns had never been to Chaco before and were super excited to explore, so they spent a lot more time out and about than I did. This was my fourth time at Chaco, so I was okay with reading rather than dying of heatstroke on a hiking trail. So, what did I read? I started rereading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’m about halfway through. We have another camping trip in a couple weeks, so I might finish it then.

On the writing side of things, I wrote, edited, and recorded nine Welcome to Kareena stories. I keep falling behind on this series, and I suspect that will continue to be the case until this internship and my move are over. Thank you for being patient with me. For Behind the Storyteller, I wrote two posts and edited three posts. I also wrote, edited, and filmed one other post. I wrote nineteen Instagram posts for Grammar 110. For my YouTube channel, I edited twelve videos, uploaded twelve, and close-captioned thirty-four. I also worldbuilt most of the planet Nakivi.

This isn’t a lot compared to what I got done in the last six months, but it’s what I’ve been able to accomplish in my spare time. I’m typically exhausted when I get home, so it’s hard for me to get work done. Since the internship is temporary, I haven’t been pushing myself to work through the fatigue. I can always catch up when it’s over, though I suspect grad school may interfere as well, and that’s not as temporary. We’ll just have to see what happens in the coming months.

Part Three: WIP Questions

Here are five more questions and answers about my book. Last month’s theme was plot, and this month I’m answering more generic questions. These answers pertain to the first book in my series, ADR.

1) Where did I get the idea for this novel?

This novel was born out of the combination of two stories I had already written. I wrote a novel about a teenage girl who leaves Earth to fight a war on another planet. She and her friends seek training and counsel from a wise woman on this other planet. A year later, I wrote a short story about four powerful talismans that creepy shadow people want. This second story was inspired by a necklace I own, and one of the talismans is based on it. After writing these two stories, I found a way to connect them. I put the wise woman from the first story in possession of one of the talismans from the second story and wrote a new story from her perspective. ADR is all about her protecting the talisman from an updated version of the creepy shadow people, and AWS (the second book in my series) is her helping with the same war from the first story.

2) When did I first write ADR?

I first wrote ADR from November 2012 to May 2013, and I’ve honestly lost track of how many times I’ve rewritten it since then.

3) Are the characters based on real people?

Some are, and some aren’t. My protagonist initially started out based on myself (as I’m sure many authors’ initial protagonists are). Over the years, she’s morphed into her own character, and I no longer consider her to be anything like myself. The same thing happened with her love interest. He was initially based on my first crush, but now the character and my first crush have nothing in common. One of the protagonist’s friends was also originally based on a friend of mine, but again, the character’s become her own person over the years. All of the other characters were never based on anyone.

4) Do I use chapter titles?

I don’t use chapter titles. Since I switch POVs, each chapter’s “title” is the name of the character whose POV it is.

5) What books influenced ADR?

I would say Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven and Beyonders series were the most influential books. My worldbuilding is most similar to Beyonders and The Lord of the Rings. My overarching plot for my series is similar to the plot of The Lord of the Rings. The plot for ADR is similar to Eragon’s and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone’s. My protagonist lives away from the world of magic for her protection, similar to the protagonists in Harry Potter and Eragon. The list continues….

What I do find interesting is my stories have a lot of commonalities with Marvel movies, yet I didn’t get into Marvel until after I wrote all of my ADR drafts. When I watched all of the Marvel movies for the first time, I kept thinking, “Hey, they stole my idea!” While it may seem like I was influenced by Marvel, I actually wasn’t.

That’s all I have for you this month. Check back next month for another update and more Q&A’s about my books!

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