Reflections, Changes, & a Writing Update

scattered letter tiles with update spelled out in the middle - Photo by Markus Winkler:

Each year, I celebrate three “resets.” Similar to how society treats New Years’ Eve like the end of a chapter, there are three events each year that I use to cleanse, reflect, and evaluate where I want to be in the new year.

  • My birthday – August 31 (actually seven days after my birthday)
  • Samhain – October 31
  • New Years’ Eve – December 31

Because they’re evenly spaced apart, I can use them as deadlines to check in with my progress before committing to the full year ahead.

In September, I focused on self-care and connecting to myself. With smudges, incense, scented candles, and ritual baths, I keep my mind grounded in the present. I catch up on reading. I give myself permission to do nothing while taking note of what I’m drawn towards and what I’m resistant to. This prepares me for October (aka, Preptober, the pre-cursor to NaNoWriMo).

October is often when I become far too comfortable using my paper shredder… This isn’t intentional, but it has happened enough Octobers in a row that it can be considered a habit. October 31 is when I celebrate the pagan New Year, end of harvest season, and reaffirm my spiritual beliefs. I’ll spend time with my divination tools (mostly tarot, but also gemstones, and spirit boards – if I can talk someone into it) meditating, and asking for guidance.

November is NaNoWriMo. I focus as much as I can on reading and writing. I’m not sure if I’ll participate this year, as I’ve worked pretty hard for the last three years getting my novel ready. I’ll be taking the last week of October off from work, and that blends into the first week of November, so I might want to rest and recover from how much I’ve been pushing myself.

December I wrap up as much reading as possible and plan for the upcoming year. I do multiple card readings (for myself and friends) with predictions for the upcoming year. The end of the calendar year is when I fill my hope cup.

Somewhere in that schedule, likely during November, I’m going to adjust the layout of this blog…

Journal Update

I’ve been thinking about changing the focus of my blog for a while, and have already started the revamp process. There will be fewer posts about my project and writing process. I’ve setup an area to post book reviews, and have reached out to River Street Reads to review books for them. Book reviews will feature lots of tags for genre, trigger warnings, rating, publisher, release year, and anything else I can think of. I’ve started with two of my favourite books (Phantom and The Magicians) and will follow a bi-weekly schedule until I’m done writing my novel and have more time to read.

I’m also going to start a series in my journal about using tarot as a storyteller. How I develop characters, identifying archetypes, developing backstory, world building, and plot progression. Using tarot helps me get out of most writing ruts, and I’m hoping the content helps anyone else who is curious about writing or tarot.

Behind the Scenes

In December 2022, I found out that I’d been selected as an apprentice for the Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program through the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, and the first six months of the year became very busy, very quickly. Working with Donna Besel was an incredible experience, and I have been editing and revising the pieces we looked over since then.

Now that we’re heading into fall, and I’m half-done my third draft.

There is more I’d like to post about my mentorship because we did some writing exercises and she provided me with a lot of resources that I’m still working my way through. This is something I’ll do once I’m finished my draft though.

Main Plan

My main focus for the rest of the year is writing and completing this draft. I’ve identified some agents and publishers that I can approach both locally, and internationally.

Photo by Markus Winkler


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