At the beginning of March, I thought it might be fun to start doing monthly wrap-ups: what I read, what I wore, what I wrote, and other tidbits from my life.
Little did I know what kind of month I’d be recapping.
At the beginning of March, I was sitting in my college dorm room, taking a picture of my outfit because I was procrastinating working on my English paper. (Sorry, Jane Austen.) Now, I write this in my childhood bedroom, trying to ignore my phone as it pings with news updates and messages from friends that I’m suddenly miles away from. I’m lucky to be home with my family, self-distancing in our house with plenty of books to read and food to eat. I hope you are all healthy and safe.
Since we’ve got nothing but time right now, I finished up the first edition of Books & Looks – a monthly review with the books I read, photos of my outfits, and a couple of writing and life updates. (Okay, I mostly wanted to make snarky comments about my own outfits. I’ve watched A LOT of Project Runway and I think I’m close to mastering the art – my all time favorite judge comment was when Michael Kohrs said, “It looks like something a Teletubby would wear to a party.”)
What I Read This Month:
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – This was a reread, for my English class. Just as fantastic as the past two times I read it. Witty, romantic, and complex, Austen is simultaneously a comedian, matchmaker, and philosopher.
- The Elements of Style (Illustrated) by Strunk, White, and Kalman -Another reread, for my fiction writing class. It was good to be reminded of the basics, but whenever I read rules about writing, I have an incredibly strong urge to try and break them.
- Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – I loved this! I was particularly impressed by how many characters there were, and how Murphy balances her cast in order to give them all dimension.
- American Primitive by Mary Oliver – This. This was the book I needed right now. If you’re feeling lost or disconnected, pick up some Oliver poems – they grounded me.
- These are two poems I read this month. The first, “Dear March, come in!” is by Emily Dickinson. The second was my favorite from Mary Oliver’s collection.
I-Made-My-Mom-Take-This-Photo meets Museum-Chic
A work of art. (Haha. Sorry.)
- I’m in one of my favorite writing stages for a novel: research! Since I have a little more time than usual, I’m letting myself sink into another world. I’m reading books, watching movies, and perusing the internet. Making a Spotify playlist counts as research, right? I’ve also been spending a lot of time on Pinterest.
- I’m super excited to announce that I was named as one of Aspen Writers’ Emerging Writer Fellows for middle-grade fiction. (Okay, fine, this happened in February, but since the future is all uncertain, let’s relish the past.)
- Speaking of middle-grade, I’m plotting a middle-grade novel now.
So technically this also happened in February, butThe Hunger published my short story, Alex. It’s about a hamster and also life, as so many things are. You can read it here. My brilliant, wonderful, and talented friend Sebrina Gao drew this picture inspired by the story.
- I’m continuing edits on my young adult novel. (Yes, if you’ve been counting, that’s three books I’m working on. At once. Hahahahahaha.)
- My longest journaling streak ever continues!
- I wrote an article about hats for my school’s newly-established fashion magazine, Citrus. It felt great to actually finish something (rare feeling, when you mostly write novels) and it was cool to engage with fashion as a writer – usually it’s all visual for me.
- Bad news: I had to leave all my college friends. Good news: I’ve got penpals! I’ve written nine letters this week. It’s giving me connection in a time of distance. Plus I get to use stickers.
- At the beginning of the month (ah, simpler times) I went to Boston with my mom. We had dinner at a wicked bookstore/restaurant combo called Trident. The stairs were painted as different book spines! We also visited the Boston Public Library (GORGEOUS) and the Museum of Fine Arts, which was eerily empty (That’s called foreshadowing, folks.)
Thanks for reading – I hope you’re all healthy, happy, and safe. How are you holding up? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, you can find me on Pinterest or Instagram.