January has slipped by quietly without very much going on, given that we are now back in full lockdown, again, while the Government grapples with this new, highly infectious variant. Meanwhile the vaccination programme is proceeding apace. Both sets of parents have had their first vaccination and my sister, who works in a pharmacy has had both her jabs. I’m hoping Himself will be getting his sooner, rather than later as he is a key worker who has to go out every day and regularly travels to London.
We have had the grandchildren staying over several times – including little Eliza, again. It was another successful visit where she seemed very happy to be with us. Right now, we are still coping with some hefty family issues, not improved by COVID and the lockdown. Thank goodness we are part of my daughter’s support bubble, so we can be there to help out when needed.
I read fifteen books in January, and again, I can’t fault the quality of the books. I did DNF The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell, but that was because it was too dark for me to cope with – the writing was excellent. My Outstanding Book of the Month was The Night Parade of 100 Demons – A Legend of the Five Rings World novel by Marie Brennan, and my Outstanding Audiobook of the Month was Tombland – Book 7 of the Matthew Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom.
My reads during January were:
Spirited by Julie Cohen – review to follow.
AUDIOBOOK I Shall Wear Midnight – Book 4 of the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett – review to follow.
Black Sun – Book 1 of Between Earth and Sky series by Rebecca Roanhorse – see my review.
Nikoles – Book 2 of the Tuyo series by Rachel Neumeier – review to follow.
Cruel as the Grave – Book 22 of the Bill Slider mysteries by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles – see my review.
Haunted House Ghost – Book 5 of the Braxton Campus mysteries by James J. Cudney – review to follow.
By the Pact – Book 1 of the Pacts Arcane and Otherwise series by Joanna Maciejewska – see my review.
OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE MONTH – The Night Parade of 100 Demons – a novel in A Legend of the Five Rings World by Marie Brennan – see my review.
Murder at the Ritz by Jim Eldridge – see my review.
Defending the Galaxy – Book 3 of the Sentinels of the Galaxy by Maria V. Synder – review to follow.
OUTSTANDING AUDIOBOOK OF THE MONTH – Tombland – Book 7 of the Matthew Shardlake series – review to follow.
Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell – see my review.
The Monster MASH – Book 1 of the Monster M*A*S*H series by Angie Fox – see my review.
The Expert System’s Champion – Book 2 of The Expert System series by Adrian Tchaikovsky – see my review.
The Lord of Stariel – Book 1 of the Stariel series by A.J. Lancaster – review to follow.
Writing and Editing
I’ve made steady progress with Trouble with Dwarves, which is the second book in my Picky Eaters series, featuring grumpy old dragon, Castellan. I’ve now written the opening adventure featuring the ice giants and am now working on the closing chapters of the book, which I hope to have completed by the middle of February. I’ve also completed several editing projects and am continuing to work with my father-in-law on his memoirs.
Overall, I wrote just under 44,000 words in January, with just under 26,000 on the blog, just over 1,200 on lesson reports for Tim, and just over 16,000 on my writing projects.
January was a better month for the blog, as I wasn’t going anywhere and managed to get back into the rhythm. I’m still not doing very well at visiting other bloggers – and I will try to do better! In the meantime, I very much hope you are all able to continue to stay safe, while waiting for your vaccination. Take care.x
I wish the vaccine system was better organized. Its very haphazard here in the US, although I’m happy both my parents have received their first shot and will get the second one next week – provided the stock is replenished. Looks like you had an excellent month, though😁
Oh dear – I’m sorry the vaccination rollout isn’t working all that well with you:(. Our government has made all sorts of terrible mistakes around their management of COVID – as evidenced by our horrific infection and death rates (the highest in Europe) but at least they have sorted out the testing and vaccination programmes. I hope they soon get their second jabs as planned:).
Yes – January was a good month worthwise, especially regarding the writing. It’s a lifeline to be honest…
You certainly have been busy, Sarah! And I hope that things also smooth out in the family issues department. Covid makes everything harder, that’s for sure. I’ve had my first shot and just hope they don’t run out before I get the second:)
Fingers crossed you get the second as planned, though the WHO were encouraging in what they had to say about the period between the first and second shots:)). Yes… I’m still keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath that things work out regarding the family – it’s a truly rotten time for hard times to hit.
Reading and writing have been a tremendous comfort so far this year!
We need those comforts more now than ever!
I think you are doing very well with everything happening I am delighted to hear Eliza is comfortable visiting.
Thank you, Anne – yes, we’re delighted that Eliza is happy to visit, too! And I daily thank goodness for books in our lives:)).
My husband, my father and my boss have all had their vaccines in the last few days. I’m glad more and more people are getting vaccinated but I’m concerned that some people are still acting like everything is normal.
I can’t believe it’s nearly halfway through February, have a good rest of month!
Glad the rollout is progressing so well in your neck of the woods, Heather. I know what you mean – Himself gets very fed up with passengers on the trains still not wearing masks.
And yes – this year is sliding by really fast, isn’t it? I hope you, too, manage to get through this grotty month okay. Let’s hope it warms up a bit sometime soon!
We’re all looking at vaccination not so much as a means of going back to our former lives (I doubt that will be possible, for the time being) but rather as a way of living without having to… look over our shoulders, so to speak, in fear… Let’s hope that it happens soon 🙂
Oh yes – I completely agree, Maddalena. I think we’ll all be wearing masks and social distancing for quite a while to come. But I’d love to think the children could return to school soon – this cohort have been so badly affected in all sorts of ways, both socially and educationally.
What a productive month for you! I’m not planning to look back at my January–too depressing. But, February looks promising. I am in a group at the university to write 30 min. at least five days a week, for all four weeks of the month. It has brought me an accountability factor I didn’t have before. My efforts and “projects” are less academic and ambitious than those of my colleagues, but I’m actually working on “projects” that involve writing. What an improvement!
That’s lovely, Rae:)). I hope you find these projects helpful. I’ll be honest – I think I’d be climbing the walls if I hadn’t immersed myself in Castellan’s world these last few months… So wishing you all the very best of luck. The only comment I’d make (I’m sure I’m teaching you to suck eggs) is that if for any reason you miss that target, take a deep breath and simply move on. Guilt over failed targets and wordcounts, etc is utterly toxic to any sort of creativity…
Thanks for the advice. It is very welcome, as I am a newbie at this.
I am glad your parents have been able to get their vaccinations, so has my granddad, and I hope the success of the vaccination programme will continue and restrictions will be to ease; which I hope will help ease your family issues too. Take care and happy reading in February, SJ 🙂
So glad your granddad has been vaccinated. Yes, the rollout seems to be going very well at present and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will get easier all round. Thank you so much for your kind good wishes, Jessica:)). I hope you, too, have a great reading February, too.
You had a great reading month – it’s a double edged sword though isn’t it – lots of reading = lots of reviewing and I seem to struggle to keep the balance with the two.
Oh I know! It is a battle to keep up with it, especially when I’m trying to keep up my writing momentum…