January Highlights || 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Not to freak anyone out or anything, but... We're one twelfth of the way through 2017. Take a minute to think about that, and then come back to virtually freak out with me. It feels like someone's taken the TV remote, connected it to my life, and put it on 1.25x speed, making it a little faster every year. xD

I hope this month was fabulous for you! If not, February is a new month, and a new start. Make that the beginning to all of your goals and ambitions. DO THE THING. You can do it. <3

THIS MONTH WAS SO CRAZY. Nothing out of the ordinary happened... it was just a busy month of school and work and writing and blogging. I'm feeling a little limp, but satisfied with the start of the year. Still figuring out how to manage all my time (and failing a little, but, you know), and hoping that I can keep up alll the things throughout the rest of 2017.

Did anyone else watch the new season of Sherlock? I know there are many mixed opinions out there. I liked it... but, compared to the rest of the series, it fell flat to me. I had to separate it from the other seasons for my mind to enjoy it. :P

(Also, giant group hug to all of you, since I reached 400 followers this month! I'm doing all the happy flailing and squealing because blogging is amazing. <3)

GUYS. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN LA LA LAND, YOU NEED TO IMMEDIATELY. It was fluffy and beautiful and raw and emotional and real and gorgeous and feelsy and I just have all the thoughts about it. It was a romance... but yet... it wasn't. It was about dreams and chasing after them and the sacrifices you might have to make. Please watch it so I can scream about it to other people. xD

I've started my bullet journal for the new year! I'm doing my best to remind myself that it doesn't have to be perfect. It's been all to easy to look at the pages and think, "eewww I did such a horrible job at this, and I need to redraw it all." I created this bullet journal to help me keep on track with my assignments, and there's no need for it to look like heaven itself.

Below is one of the new songs I discovered this month. I love the soothing, mellow tone, and the words fit my novel and my character perfectly. I've been listening to it on repeat as I edit. :P

Also freaking out that I will be at a Twenty One Pilots concert in eighteen days. *clutches heart* <3

I waffled (isn't this just the best verb to ever exist?) back on forth on my Goodreads goal for 2017, but I decided in the end to go for 100. Last year I read 124, but I'M SO BUSY THIS YEAR. I have bigger writing/editing/other goals, so I'm already finding it hard to fit reading in. I make sure to read at least a little bit before I go to bed -- whether it be two chapters or a half a book.

Yup. I only read six books this month, which means that I'm already behind on my goal. *grumble*

Favorite book: Thr3e by Ted Dekker. Dude. This book blew my mind. From reading reviews, I knew that there was going to be a plot twist, but... I wasn't expecting that. My mind won't stop spinning. xD

By the way... Abi released her cover of Martin Hospitality! It comes out February fourth, which is only A FEW DAYS AWAY. She's my fabulous critique partner, so do make sure to check out her awesome story. :D And the cover is watercolor. Must I repeat that? It's watercolor!! I am grinning so hard over the gorgeousness.

[my guest post on aimee's blog: when inspiration doesn't strike,my burning youth blog post: encourage + inspire] <-- really proud of that last one, so it'd mean a lot if you checked it out. :D

Editing this month was nonstop. I outlined, finished the third draft of The Sand Dragon's Song, edited a flash fiction, tried my hand at writing a synopsis (heh, let's not talk about how that went), and did one final search for typos in Song of the Desert before I send it off to some new betas. Phew.

February looks like it'll be filled with editing as well (yaay). This story has been giving me lots of trouble, so I'm hoping that I can whip it into shape. *crosses fingers*

Oh! I mentioned this in a past post, but one very exciting milestone for me this month -- I've now been writing for three years! When I started my first novel on January 18th, I never would have imagined that I would take this hobby so far. The "little hobby" has turned into a giant dream of becoming an author. <3

(lil snippet as I edit my novel for those of you interested)

Grace Anne blogged about: why snail mail is the best thing. I completely agree, and might try for the daily letter challenge she linked to... it's a fabulous idea.

This post, There's Room, is my favorite post of ever. It's like she wrote it with me in mind. There's so much encouragement and truth in it. <3

And, finally, Hannah shares some thoughts about life and my favorite band of ever (twenty one pilots).

- - -
katie grace

how are you feeling about the start of the year? happy with how it went?
what are you hoping to accomplish in february?


  1. Hi Katie! I'm so with you on the 1.25 speed thing. Every year, my year gets shorter, if that makes any sense... probably not. I guess that the older you get, each year becomes a smaller fraction of your life? <--- why am I trying to maths. I read you guest post on Aimee's blog, and like a smart person decided to comment on it on your blog (because I make bundles of sense, honestly). anyway a) this was quite a good post and b) I often struggle to be inspired, and I think just writing what feels like useless nonsense sometime in a reread turns out to be salvageable and c) This almost never applies to me writing poetry. Like, there's probably one poem I've written where the inspiration comes after that. Sadly, poetry inspiration usually strikes as I'm about to fall asleep. Must work on that. XD .
    Shar @ Virtually Read

    1. Awwhhhh, thank you so much for reading my guest post! Ah, I understand the falling asleep inspiration problem. My mind is most awake at night for some reason, so it's easy to think of plots and inspiration and books right when I need to start calming down. Oh, the lovely writer's life. xD

  2. This year is going so fast. I can't even keep track of where we are. Almost February already??? It's crazy.

    THAT SNIPPET THOUGH. *clears throat* So when's your goal month for finishing the edits enough to send it out to beta readers?

    I'm rather happy with how my January writings went. I got to about 32k into my novel and it's going pretty good. I'm almost up to introducing my favourite character. I've been waiting for this since I started the novel. XD

    Also, your burning youth post is awesome. *applauds* Very very good.

    1. Right??

      EEEK. <3 I'm hoping to send it out April 1st like I did last year. (no, that's not an April Fools joke. or is it? mwahaha. :P) It all depends on these next couple readthroughs and if I find any other major plot things. This novel has been ridiculously tough, so we'll see.

      OH YEAH. That's always exciting. How long do you think your novel will be?

      Awh, thank you. <3

    2. Ooh yes, I'm so excited to read it. *flails* (maybe you should 'accidentally' send out the wrong document instead of the story, with, like, evil laughter on it or something, and then send out the real thing just after :P)

      I'm guess it'll probably get to around 90k? That's how long my last one was, and this one feels like it's headed in that same direction.
      I keep coming across details I'm not quite sure about and just look at it for a while, then write a note to myself to fix it in the second draft. I am sooooo going to hate myself. xD

    3. (that's a fabulous idea XD)

      I DO THAT TOO. I dread finding my, "EDITING NOTE TO SELF:" in my first drafts, because they always mean lots and lots of work. *grumble* Yay for editing. xD

      90k is a really good length for a novel! That's my favorite size to read for some reason. :P You can do this!

  3. Yay for a successful month of editing! I'll be doing solid edits in February as well- well, and maybe one or two flash fics- so we can sympathize with each other. Glad the first month went well, though.

    And I'm thinking about getting back into Ted Dekker's books . . . I never read Thr3e, but maybe I'll pick it up after I reread the Circle Trilogy.

    1. Lots of sympathizing. I might be working on another flash fiction/short story as well, so we'll definitely understand what the other is going through.

      READ THR3E. Is the Circle Trilogy good? (well... maybe that's a stupid question, if you're choosing to reread it. xD)

  4. Eek, I bet you're super excited for that Twenty One Pilots concert! :D

    You never cease to amaze me with your insane goals and time management skills. You're always so BUSY and yet you get so much done. O.o

    As for me, my main goal for February is to continue to work really hard on school. The second semester is the hardest, as I've found. xD But amidst that all, I'm going to try to write 1k a day in February. This NaNo novel isn't going to finish itself, and I'm looking forward to diving back in.

    Ooh, you should post that piece of flash fiction you edited! That would be awesome. :D

    1. Also, I find it kind of hilarious when people are like "I only read this many books this month." I read an average of like 2 books a month. You people who have time/can handle time well enough to read more than that are magical! Tell me your secrets! ;)

    2. SO EXCITED. O.O

      Doing all of your school AND writing 1k a day? o.O Wow. I admire your determination to get it done, and I know you can do it. If you want to set up a word warring night, we could try to do that! (I don't know where it works best to message you...)

      Yes! I believe I'll post it pretty soon, so be on a lookout for that. :D *is excited and nervous*

      Last January I read like 14 books, so reading 6 books this month is quite a drop. I'll probably be down to two next year. XD What books did you read this month?

    3. Oh, that would be great! Email works best, but I unfortunately do not have google hangouts since that is not a part of outlook.

      Still, you are a super reader. o.o I read Cinder and Scarlet this month, as well as about 1/5 of Cress. I adore The Lunar Chronicles so far!

    4. Okay, sounds good!

      EEP, I am so glad you're enjoying them! I think Cress is my favorite. I can relate to her. :P


    Sounds like a hectic but good month! It's nice to stay busy.

    1. ISN'T IT??! What's your favorite song?

    2. DEFINITELY the Mia/Sebastian theme, with A Lovely Night a close second x)

  6. I like your snippet!

    I have the La La Land soundtrack memorized, but I haven't actually seen the movie yet--I really really want to.


    1. Thank you!

      Huh, that's cool. xD YOU REALLY NEED TO SEE THE MOVIE. o.o What's your favorite song on the soundtrack?

  7. It sounds like you had a great month! :) I love the snippet. (I'm kinda sorta new to the whole beta reading thing, but I'd love to beta read your book if it's possible.)

    Hope Feb. is just as good as Jan., or better. :)

    1. Thank you! (I'll keep you in mind for the beta reader thing. I think I'm good for this book, but there will be opportunities for other novels in the future!)

      I hope your February is FABULOUS. <3

  8. KATIEEEE. Oh man I can't wait to read your book. TWENTY ONE PILOTS CONCERT AHHHHHH. You must take many picture and post them all for us to scream over.
    Wasn't thr3e just THAT PLOT TWIST. I thought I knew halfway through but haha turns out I was completely wrong xD I never expected it.


      omg right. like after I got a little ways into the book I'm like "oh yeah, I know what's going to happen." and it did. but then the SECOND TWIST came along and DUDE. That one was the one that blew my socks off. xD

  9. Hi Katie! I haven't been hanging around the blogosphere very much lately because of school mostly but I wanted to thank you for your sweet comment you left on my blog! I didn't even realize I hadn't blogged for almost a year until a friend pointed it out. Sounds like you had an exciting writing month, even if it was mostly editing. I can't believe how far you have come with all of your novels! Keep it up! Also I have a bullet journal but I promise you it is the drabbest bullet journal ever. It's basically just a notebook full of lists for everyday. Long lists but still. It works, though! How was the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society? Also I haven't seen La La Land but the "cover" image for it is absolutely gorgeous; I LOVE the colors.

    1. ANA! *hugs* I've missed seeing you around the blogosphere. It's always annoying when school gets in the way -- isn't it? I hope it's going well for you despite the business.

      I liked the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. (such a long title. o.o) It wasn't quite as my type of book... but I think anyone who likes historical fiction will love this one.

      YOU MUST SEE LA LA LAND. It's so amazing. <3

  10. Oh yes, I totally understand what you mean about being really busy with nothing super out of the ordinary happening. {I did start an online class and get somewhat behind with the very first homework, so I think that was part of it...}. I've been learning a lot about trusting God lately, haha.
    And I've been figuring out the whole bullet journal thing, so that's cool too! It's not nearly as pretty as I'm sure yours is {actually it's not pretty at all}, but it works, and I love it. =)

    1. Eek, that would be tough. I hope your homework starts getting easier. :P

      Do whatever works for you! I'm kind of forcing myself not to make it too pretty, because otherwise I'll get obsessed and spend all my time on my bullet journal. xD

  11. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who had a crazy fast January XD I'm just staring at the calendar right now asking where the month went, but at the same time realizing this month felt like an entire year.

    I totally get what you mean about reading! I've read what? One book? Maybe two? I've been working out kinks in my novel with my alpha reader (a.k.a. my mom), then trying to get things ready for betas next month :P

    That snippet! I just got shivers up my spine! :D

    Let's hope next month slows down....(or not XD)

    audrey caylin

    1. Eek, beta readers will be exciting!! Have you ever sent your novel to beta readers before? (and I love that your alpha reader is your mom. xD)

      So far it doesn't look like February will slow down at all. *sigh* :P BUT I'M READY FOR IT.


    Oh my goodness, congrats on 400 followers!!!! That's so phenomenal, wow!!

    Everyone I know is flailing about la la land and I want to see it so badly.


    Also literally flailing so hard over the fact that you mentioned my post. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH FREN :') <3<3<3 *tackle hugs*

    I hope that you have the most amazing February ever, Katie Grace!!!!


      Go. see. la la land. o.o I feel like it's a movie you'd really like, so go do it immediately.

      OF COURSE I MENTIONED YOUR POST IT WAS FAB. <3 *tackle hugs you back*

      I hope your February is amazing as well, and that it's not too crazy! :P

  13. I concur. Waffled is such an appropriate verb. I've been trying to be less waffley lately 😅 we're getting there.

    And yes, I do feel like this first month of 2017 went really well. It was pretty quiet until school started up, just writing and being home and stillness... this semester is going to be an enjoyable roller-coaster. XD

    Also: EVERYTHING IN THIS POST IS SO AESTHETIC. I remember seeing the Sand Dragon's Song quote on twitter and thinking how much cooler it looked than taking a screenshot of the actual words. XD I'm going to have to try making some of those...


    1. "less waffley." You made me giggle with that sentence. It's such a weird but awesome word. xD

      AHHH THANK YOU. You should totally try doing it! (I will never complain about recieving snippets from you) It takes time, especially when you notice a typo after you saved the picture and have to do it all over again. -.- Not that I know from experience or anything... :P

  14. On the first part of your post - oh, hon. It just gets faster, I promise. ;)

    On La La Land, I have been wanting to see that so. badly. And it's finally at my theater, so I'll have to go see it.

    Wasn't Thr3e absolutely insane?! I read it a couple years ago and had my mind absolutely blown. I haven't tried to read it since, but I feel like it would be such a different experience the second time around.

    You make me feel so under-accomplished with your writing goals and successes, Katie-girl! But I will not be jealous. I refuse to be jealous. You keep doing your thing, and I'll keep doing mine, and God will work in both our lives. :)

    1. ...Yay. :P

      I think you'd really like La La Land. But you'll have to let me know what you think of it!

      Right? I already can't wait to reread it keeping... "things" ... in mind. :P

      DON'T BE JEALOUS. You have an amazing novel that you're working on (speaking of which... how is that going?), and you are so much busier than me with college. So don't get down on yourself. It's exactly what you said -- God's doing His own special things in each of our lives. :D

    2. Aw, Katie, you're such an encourager. Seriously, it is a God-given gift. :)

      I will definitely let you know what I think! I'm just trying to find someone to go with...

      It would definitely be a different experience, for sure. Honestly, I usually find Ted Decker a bit too creepy and vague for my tastes. But Thr3e would be an interesting one to reread.

      Well, Raiders' Rise is currently sitting alone, not being worked on. I actually re-outlined the whole thing, adding two more POV characters. I'm about three chapters into the redraft, which means I have a ridiculous amount of writing left. HOWEVER, I am vastly more pleased with the overall plot now. :D Thanks for asking, by the way!

    3. <3

      Awhh, I wish I could go see it with you. I would love an excuse to see it again. (and who better than you? ;)

      Eep, exciting! You have such a unique idea/setting/story, and I can't wait for you to get farther with it! You can do it. :D

  15. GREAT POST, KATIE. Feeling like you don't know how to do all you want in just the tiny space of the twenty four hour day? GIRL. I FEEL YOU RIGHT THERE. BUT WE HAVE GOT THIS. *fist bump*
    And that post on Burning Youth? KATIE. HOW. THE WORDS. PURE. GOLLLLLD. <3
    YAYYYY you read 'Do Hard Things.' IS IT NOT THE EPICEST EVER. xD
    Have a splendiferous February, you awesome person!!

    1. EEK THANK YOU! Yes, that is EXACTLY what I'm feeling. Well, I think 24 hours would be enough, but I just wish I could use less sleeeep. It'd be fabulous if I could run on five hours instead of, like, ten. :P

      YES I LIKED IT A LOT! It's crazy to think how young the authors were when they wrote it. o.O

      Ooh, I think I shall add "splendiferous" to my dictionary of words. xD

  16. Yes, that fact that we're one twelfth of the way through 2017 is freaking me out too! I feel like I'm still living in December or something.

    It sounds like you had a productive month! You go with all that editing! And I see you read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - what did you think of it?

    Anyway, I hope you have the best February! xx

    1. I feel like it should still be 2015. I don't understand life and time and how quickly it passes by. :P

      I think I would've LOVED it if I was more of a historical fiction type of person. It was good... just not my type of book. I know a lot of people who absolutely adored it, so I'd give it a try if I were you. :D

  17. It was really sad for me that the new season of Sherlock fell a bit flat, I was looking forward to it so much. Do Hard Things is one of the books that really changed the way I thought - did you enjoy it?

    I'm so with you on the life speeding up thing. I feel like I blinked once and January was gone.

    1. I knowww. *sigh* It was still GOOD... just not amazing and fabulous and mind-blowing. :P

      I did enjoy it! It wasn't a life-changing book for me, but I enjoyed reading the stories of all the teens who accomplished such amazing (and hard ;) things so young in their life.

  18. Dude. o.o You finished draft three??? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS. O.OOOOO



      Waaaht we both did?!? THAT'S SO COOL! I liked it a lot! The first book will always be my favorite. <3 The second and third were still good... just... not amazing. :P

  19. I'm...very tired. And starting February off with a cold and a headache. :P But this month I start editing Red King, so that's exciting!

    1. *chugs coffee* I feel you on the tired part. :P Awhh, and I'm sorry that you have a cold and headache! That's never fun. :/


  20. Ah, Thr3e! It is such a creepy and fascinating story, I read it like, three years ago, but it was a page-turner for sure. How long did you take to see the twist come? Most others who've read it that I know figured it out beforehand, I didn't realize til it happened. :P
    And you'll have to let me know how Coraline is, that's on my list to be read soon. Don't worry, you're not the only one behind on reading goals around here. *points to self*

    1. Weell, there's kind of two twists, yeah? I guessed the first one, but then when the second one came in, I was totally shocked. o.o (the one with sam involved) That was... dude. So crazy. xD Have you read any other Ted Dekker books? I want to read more but am not sure where to start...

      I really liked it! It was super small, so it'll help get you back on track with that reading goal. xD I expected it to be a lot creepier, but I didn't feel like it was at all. (But I think I'd be scared if I watched the movie, since it's a very visual thing and such. :P)

    2. I can't remember now! :P It's been too long...I was speaking of the twist that has to do with the title, I felt really dense for not making the connection. But yeah, it was pretty mind-boggling for sure.
      Yeah, Ted Dekker is definitely one of my favorite Christian writers. Some of my other favorites by him are Adam (which is super dark and creepy so tread with caution), Hacker, Burn and Blink. I haven't read it yet, but I know Obsessed is supposed to be really good too.

      Awesome! I shall try to get into it soon here then. Currently I'm reading 1984, Hollow City and All The Light We Cannot See and when I get to town on the weekend I really want to pick up Veronica Roth's new book Carve the Mark - it looks pretty interesting...

    3. Oooh, thank you. I will definitely check those out *nodnod*

      I've been wanting to read 1984! And I just realized that Carve the Mark was actually out. I didn't know until I saw it today at Target. I hope it's amazing, since the cover is gorgeous and I'd love to have it on my shelf. :P

  21. Oh, La la land was the absolute best <3 At first I was so disappointed by how it finished, but then the more I thought about it the more I liked it (trying to not throw any spoilers but fellow readers who fangirl as hard about that movie know what I mean :D)

    I read Pride and Prejudice (In English! I couldn't find the French translation anyway, lol) to kick off the new year, and I must say, it took me a while to get into it, but I loved it overall! And Liz Bennett and Mr. Darcy have everything to do with it X)

    I NEED to get into bullet journal simply because I didn't find a nice, cheap planner for the new year XD actually I kinda started, but I have a hard time tracing a monthly calendar and I'm not quite consistent X) (lots of laughing ahead,I must say)

    SOOOOOO much editing this month, Katie, you really set the tone for 2017! You are an inspiration for all of us :D but seriously, I was proud of myself for being consistent on my blog XD

    3rd blog anniversary!!! congrats!!!! I love you and this blog, keep up the good work ;)

    P.S. By the way, how did you find the Maze runner? I'd like to read it but I don't how I'll like it (In other words: Did you like the characters?) (okay, I'm done for real)

    1. I'm actually writing about La La Land on the blog tomorrow. I liked it too much to not write about it. xD

      YESS DO THE BULLET JOURNALING THING. It's rather relaxing and super fun to do. It's a nice way to unwind at the end of the day.

      Hey, go you! That's still amazing. XD

      I really liked the Maze Runner! The writing style didn't click with me, but the plot was what kept me reading. It's so unique and interesting!!

  22. Finally got around to stalking your blog a bit. You're super awesome. Hope you have an amazing February!
    Oh yeah, Sherlock. I didn't think this season was really any worse than the others, but it was way different. Its genre was more suspense thriller than mystery. That's not necessarily bad, but having a season that's radically different in tone from the other seasons isn't the best idea, you know? The characters still seemed consistent, but it felt like they saved all of the major characterization for this season. Very sudden.
    Anyway, your blog is the best. Good luck with all your writing stuff!

    1. Well hello, Erika. Nice to see you here. XD

      Yess, I totally agree. It did feel like it was a completely different genre. o.o (Kind of. In a way.) I still enjoyed it, like I said, but... *shrug* It was different.

      Awhh, thank you! I hope to see you around. ^.^

  23. I will forever remember January 2017 as the month my mom introduced me to SMT3k... The crazy weirdness of it all, plus critiques on bad movies? Yesh please.

    Coraline SCARED ME TO DEATH mainly because I'm... well...I have the world's most vivid imagination. And the buttons thing scared me. I would've loved it, except for the buttons.... *shudders horribly*I don't do pain well. Even if I'm only envisioning it.
    I actually don't watch Sherlock... I watched it twice, with some cousins, and I actually didn't like it... I guess I should try it again. I've been watching Victoria on Masterpiece Theater for lack of other things to do on Sunday night... and also because my mom will watch it with me and I can commentate it.
    I started a bullet journal a while back but I actually have nothing to put in it.... so....

    Ugh my writing this month. 2k words. Fail, fail, fail.
    But they're 2k words full of dragonish thoughts, so I'm gonna call it a win.

    1. SMT3k... I don't think I'm aware of what that is?

      It's weird. I have a super vivid imagination, but yet it didn't get me too much. I think I'd be more scared if it was a movie. Maybe I'll watch the animated one eventually. xD

      Yeah, Sherlock isn't for everyone. I liked the first couple seasons the best. The idea of it all is awesome -- I want to read the books eventually.

      EEP YES. That's still awesome. xD Dragon thoughts are always a win. :P

    2. *MST3k, my autocorrect... It's pretty much a 90's show about mad scientists, lovable robots, and cheesy movies in space.

      *shudders* My friend watched the animated one and was creeped out, XD.

      (British accents)


  24. Sounds like January was busy for everyone! Also, super ecstatic to see Do Hard Things up there!!!

    1. I think January is always one of the busiest months of the year. That and November since NaNoWriMo is going on. xD

      Eep, yes! Seems like a lot of people around the blogosphere have read and loved it.

  25. I did see the new Sherlock season! The first episodes were good, I thought, but the last one...I'm not sure how I feel about it. It wasn't the spectacular sort of ending episode I was hoping for. What did you think of the ending?

    Editing, editing, I hear ya! Editing is all my life is, right now too, as I just got feedback from beta readers. But this did make January fly by. :)

  26. Congrats on finishing the third draft on 'Song Of The Desert'! =D *hands you chocolate* And... congratulations on having been writing for 3 years! =D That's super awesome. It's crazy to look back, isn't it? To see how much Yahweh has moved you, taught you, and what is ahead.... :D
    God bless Katie!
    -Angela | thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com


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