Wow. It seems absolutely insane for me to think that we’re heading into summer! To me, it doesn’t seem like we should be anywhere near that...

Wow. It seems absolutely insane for me to think that we’re heading into summer! To me, it doesn’t seem like we should be anywhere near that yet (it’s literally still February, you guys). And yet… here we are. School is out for most people, the air is one of sweet vacations and changing weather, later nights and fuller days.

Speaking of, what has been filling my days?

I wish I could say something different than what I’ve said in every other life update since 2017, but I’m in a stage in life where you just keep doing the same thing over and over, because you know that what you’re doing isn’t repetitive, it is building, it will get you somewhere, and eventually you’ll look down and see that you’ve created an incredible skyscraper. But right now, it feels like you just pasted that same stupid brick into place two seconds ago, and why in all of Heaven and Earth am I doing it again? You can’t look down, because you know how far you’ve come isn’t as far as you’d like to be; and you can’t look up because there’s still so far to go.

But progress is happening, slowly but surely: I finished one semester and began another for the summer. For those who may not know, I go to college only part-time, so I’ve been trying to take a few classes in the summer to help make up the difference. I’m more than halfway through getting my Associate Degree (WHICH WAS INCREDIBLY EXCITING TO REALIZE) and could finish with that part within the next year to 18 months, depending on how many classes I take in upcoming semesters. It will be incredibly exciting to have my whole life back and determine whether or not I’m going to take this school thing further, and—if I am—where I go with it.

I’ve been working on developing an actual writing schedule, so I can write regularly again. I didn’t have one of those when I started writing seriously (there was always time back then), but writing has really fallen by the wayside since I started college and a regular working schedule, and I desperately need that to change. I’m still plugging away on the foster care story, Low Expectations, which I’ve been working on since I was 14, but it’s not my main main focus right now. I’ll definitely publish it one day—I have not given up on it!—but I’m letting it simmer for now. For a long time, I felt like there was something I was waiting for, something I needed before I could work on it again, but I wasn’t sure what it was (don’t I sound like a real artist. :p). I’m still not sure what it is I was waiting for, but I think I’m close, and once I’ve got it, this project will be ready. I just have to be patient. :p

In the meantime of being patient, I’ve started working on a new project. New projects haven’t been a consistent thing for me in years, so I’m very excited about it: it’s a retelling of Cinderella, and I recently had a breakthrough that means I’m almost finished with the first draft! I’m in love with these characters, and I’m not ashamed to say that I really think they’ll be something amazing.

Here’s a funny snippet with no context whatsoever, so as to avoid spoilers.

“This is an awful idea.”

Sirion threw a glance over his shoulder, eyeing his brother’s downcast gaze. “Gideon, the time to say that would have been two or three days ago.”

“I did say it then.”

“But you still came.”

“Only because I knew you would go without me.”

Sirion snorted. “I would not have, and you know it. You came because you are as curious as I, yet you want the privilege of being able to say, ‘I told you so!’ when this inevitably goes wrong.”

“So you admit that it will go wrong?”

Sirion shrugged, for the first time in what felt like years, readopting his little brother swagger. “I admit that it is very likely, considering our activities and their consequences if we are caught. But… we are not guaranteed to be caught.”

And a little later in the story:

Sirion wiped his sweaty palms on his doublet as he rounded the corner to his parents’ quarters. Gideon was already standing at the opening of the wide, white corridor, as though waiting for him.

In one hand, Gideon gripped his sword; the other, he reached out for Sirion. Sirion returned the gesture, gripping his brother’s forearm tightly. “Whatever we face,” Gideon said, “we do it together.”

Sirion swallowed the guilt in his throat and forced out a croaking. “Agreed.”

Gideon’s mouth twitched, but then the boys both turned to face the foreboding, velvet curtain that descended from the ceiling. It was meant to be intimidating, to curtain off the the king and the queen, to separate the royals from the rest of the public, from even their children.

Their left hands gripped the swords at their hilts, their right hands swept the curtains apart, and together they swept through.

They found their parents in full royal gear. King and Queen looked their sons up and down, nodded once. “Good,” their mother said. “You came prepared.”

Oh, these brothers! Gideon is the classic Cinderella prince; Sirion is the actual main character of my story. Or one of two. Everyone knows Cinderella and the prince’s story, so I’m not focusing so much on them. I’ve had this idea of some different perspectives simmering in my head for a few years now, so I’m glad to finally flesh them out and see what they’ll show me.

Despite Sirion’s freer attitude in the first snippet, this song is probably more descriptive of his generally mental state.

He’s a complex boy and he—and the other main character, Laelia—are set to learn a lot throughout the story. It’s going to be fun! For me anyway.

I’ve also started taking pictures of myself. I haven’t been able to keep up with it everyday, as I’d originally planned, but I’ve gotten at least one or two a week, since I started the challenge on May 16th. On May 26th, I got a picture that I actually liked, and it’s been fairly enjoyable since then. I’ve never particularly liked pictures of myself, but through this semi-challenge, I think I’m at least growing accustomed to me looking like me, lol. Eventually, I may even enjoy it. 😉 Here’s one I took earlier this week.

That's all for me lately! What have you all been up to? How's writing coming? Any big plans for the summer? Can't wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

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