I missed my mid-year update, but we’ve come around to the end of September and time for my next usual update. Things are a little different this year, with some big goals outside of my reading challenges. And some big progress has happened.
Getting married was my biggest goal this year and on May 12th, reader, I married him. It took a lot of work to get there, practically and emotionally, but in the end the wedding was a really wonderful day and all I could have hoped for. We’re still getting used to a new normal, but things are very good on that front.
Although I haven’t been reading as much, reading challenges are still moving forward. I did some pretty intense focusing on the Newbery Medals, and got to the end of the list at the end of August. I already wrote about what that was like, and here’s my list of reads.
- Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (1960)
- Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (1951)
- The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (1974)
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (2017)
- Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (1930)
- Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (1928)
- The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (1948)
- The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (1922)
- Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (1965)
- Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (1956)
- Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (1958)
- The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (1929)
- Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (1932)
- Smoky the Cowhorse by Will James (1927)
- Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (1947)
- The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (1940)
- The White Stag by Kate Seredy (1938)
- Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (2017)
- Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (1953)
- Daniel Boone by James Daughtery (1940)
- Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs (1934)
- Dobry by Monica Shannon (1935)
My second reading challenge was (for the third year in a row) to try to read more books with minority hero(ines). This is the one that’s suffered from my doing less reading–and just not focusing on this! A lot of what I’ve read lately has been nonfiction or British classics, so not much in the way of minorities there! My original goal was eighteen, but I think I’m going to go for ten and see how it turns out.
- North of Happy by Adi Alsaid (Mexican)
- Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (African-American)
- Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Indian)
- Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Spanish)
- Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Navajo)
- Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (Japanese and Filipino)
- Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Incan)
Writing goals continue too. My first goal is to complete volume one of my Phantom of the Opera trilogy. I revised at the beginning of the year, sent it off to beta-readers while I was getting married, and have done more polishing and revising in the last few months. I’ve been posting in my Writing Wednesday posts more detail on how the writing has been going. I was hoping to finish by the end of the month–probably won’t quite make that, but I think I’m a week or two out from finishing!
After I finish that novel, onto revising the next installment in the trilogy. I haven’t delved into it yet so it’s hard to predict how long revising will take…but I’m still hopeful about getting it to beta-readers at the end of the year. That’s my biggest remaining goal.
My other writing goal was to write three short stories and I’m happy that that goal is complete! I wrote a spoof noir mystery with a very over-the-top detective, a fun take on a superhero story (the villain tries to tempt the superheroine, a recent mother, into evil with flexible hours and on-site childcare) and a dragon-themed narrative poem. I also collaborated with some friends for a Beauty and the Beast novella. Written out like that, it seems like rather a lot!
Do you have reading or other goals for the year? How are they going so far? Are you making adjustments as the end of the year approaches?