Plans and Goals 2018: Week 30 Review

plansandgoalsweeklyreview

What’s up my peeps?! I know I’m a day late with this post (as though that never happens, am I right?) but I honestly just lost track of the day of the week for some reason. 😛 My head is a tornado of, well…basically just a tornado. Lost of wreckage flying around in every direction, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.

So, with that in mind, I’m looking back at week 30 and I feel very strongly that I’m going to find it was a terrible week. That said, I’m not in a particularly bad mood about it, so that’s…good? I don’t know. I’m just moderately pleasant today, I guess! So before my brain begins to turn around and melt and I start loathing myself again, let’s get through this post, shall we?


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
Guys, I tried SO hard to focus more in week 30, but somehow it just didn’t work! I honestly have no idea what happened. I know that I was busy as sin for a few days straight, and yet somehow nothing got done. SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS!

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. Despite the fact that I’d swear up, down, and sideways that I sat down to write multiple times a day throughout this week, I somehow managed to have a very poor word count. It was better than week 29, but still not great at all. I wrote 1971 words toward blog posts (if you’re wondering where all these blog posts are, some of them are for TraceysBasement.com), plus 1511 words toward fiction, for a week’s total of 3482. That brings 2018’s total up to 120,641, and brings my daily average down slightly to 572. At this point I’m going to have to have a miraculous week in order to get that daily average number to head back up. Could someone who is religiously-minded pray for me, please? 😛
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. I’m getting this close to actually going out onto the street with a stack of books and a megaphone and demanding that people buy a copy in order to shut me up. That’s seriously the point I’m getting to right now. I’m getting nothing for e-book sales (either on my “real” books or my pen-name stories), nothing for physical book sales on Amazon, nothing from the shop that has a few copies of my books…just nothing in general. It’s so bloody frustrating.
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. did manage to get a bit of work done toward this goal last week, thank goodness. It wasn’t nearly as much as I wanted to get done, but I needed to add a scene, and that took a good while because I had to think about things and go back and check a number of things. In the end, it was definitely good work being made. I just wish there had been a little more of it!

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
YouTube, to be honest, went right down the tubes in week 30.

  • Goal #1: Film more often.  Right off the heels of an excellent week of four videos filmed, edited, uploaded, and promoted, we had a terrible week of absolutely nothing getting done. Mind you, there was definitely work done on the behind-the-scenes stuff, such as the website blog posts I mentioned earlier, but as far as actual videos were concerned, we did absolutely nothing. Now, in our defense I’ll also add that this heat wave stuff has been getting completely out of hand. I’ve never been so sweaty so many days in a row in all my life, and it’s been making even the prospect of sitting under half a dozen lights and speaking to a camera make me want to retch. But that’s not going to change any time soon, so hopefully I’m able to suck it up and get something done in week 31.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. I think I’ve been getting better? This is always such a hard thing to report on. I need an unbiased objective eye on this one. I feel like I’ve been tweeting more, Instagramming more, and generally just being fun and playful with my social media, but it’s hard to really look back and say whether it was a particularly good or particularly bad week.

#3: Focus more on myself.
Phew…I’ll be honest: this really didn’t happen last week. I’m sure they’d both turn around and try to deny it, but I seriously spent the overwhelming majority of the week doing what both Jason and Adrianna wanted me to be doing, and the result is that I feel a little burnt out right now. I’ve definitely got to try to do better this week or there’s likely to be some kind of a breakdown.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. I played a few mobile games last week? Question mark because I know that I did, but I think every time I did it was because Adrianna wanted me to play something with her. Aside from that, I can’t remember the last time I touched a REAL video game, and the only thing I read all last week was the mini book of Astrid Lindgren short stories that my friend Marie sent me, and that seriously is so short it only took about 10 minutes. For “watching”, Jason and I have been re-watching Dragonball Z in the nights, and that’s been about it.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. I got a zombie run in! It was only one, but I got it in! I also spend a couple of days in Sydney on the weekend, running all over hell’s creation, so that was half-decent exercise. Other than that I’ve been fairly sedentary because of that damned heat wave. Weeks like these I really, really wish I had a pool, because then I could kill two birds with one stone. But until I win some kind of lottery or something, there’s no sense in even thinking about it. Long story short: I’m not obsessing. Seriously. I’m not. Shut up.

So yeah, overall I was correct in my assessment back in the beginning of this post. It was a fairly terrible week. I’m still not horribly depressed about it or anything, but it does definitely make me frown when I look back and see how much I didn’t get done, even though I felt like I was running my ass off most of the week. How does that even work? Someone really has to tell me, because I cannot figure it out.

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Plans and Goals 2018: Week 29 Review

plansandgoalsweeklyreview

Okay, first things first: I’m a lot less cranky than I was last week, and would like to thank anyone who read last week’s post for putting up with me. 🙂

Second things second: we are continuing to experience an uncharacteristic heat wave in Nova Scotia, with the humidity on this particular day currently at 82%. So what I’m basically saying is, don’t expect too much in the way of overwhelming productivity, especially if the task would involve a lot of movement.

Thirdly, my brain has been a little scattered lately, partially because of a stressful situation that I still find myself trapped in, but also because of the aforementioned heat wave, which feels like it’s frying those lovely squishy bits beneath my skull. I know that Nova Scotia is not nearly as hot right now as some other places in the world that are also experiencing heat waves, but remember that it’s all about perspective. What we’ve got right now is much hotter and more humid than anything I can ever remember experiencing personally, and whereas Nova Scotia weather is generally fairly bouncy (hot one day, cool the next), this wave has been going on for a few weeks now with only a day or two of (somewhat) respite. So yeah, I’m pretty much ready to become a nudist and start living underground where the heavy, moist air of the surface can’t get me.

Anyway, with that all out of the way, let’s jump into this:


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
I did try, I really did! My efforts just weren’t particularly fruitful, is all.

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. I’m not going to waste time mincing words on this one. I did poorly. I wrote 1916 blog words and 333 fiction words, for a weekly total of 2249. That brings the yearly total (slightly) up to 117159 and my daily average down a little further to 577. I really want to see that average go up, you guys. It’s driving me foolish, it really is.
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. I’m starting to genuinely hate having this goal on the list, because I really don’t know what else I can do to try to accomplish it. I’ve been sharing my books on the author social media accounts as often as I feel I can without just annoying people, I’ve been pimping them here and there at local stuff, and I’ve been encouraging people to rate and review, but none of that really seems to be helpful in the slightest. It all comes down to the fact that I’m not advertising, I feel, and this is something I simply can not do right now, unless someone wants to give me some free ad space somewhere.
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. Okay, here’s something I can be a bit less of a downer about. I actually did get some work done on this one in the past week, getting a few chapters edited and ready for the beta-reader copy. I got hung up a few times on possible plot holes and stuff like that, but in the end, I did get a fairly decent amount of work done, and it’s moving forward nicely. I expect to have the beta-reader copy ready pretty soon now.

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
There was focus! Genuine focus! Well…at least for a couple of days. 😛

  • Goal #1: Film more often.  We filmed four videos! And we filmed them all in one night! I was so proud, seriously, you have no idea. We then edited those videos and got them uploaded over the following two days, so that we got a nice chunk of content up on the channel all at once. The unfortunate side of this is that we filmed those four videos all at once, at night, in the cool basement, on a day when the heat wasn’t too bad, and we were both STILL sweating all throughout the filming. In other words, I don’t know how much else we’re going to get done any time soon, because it seems basically impossible to sit in front of those lights during this heat wave and not look like a shiny, wet, disgusting blob.

    But four videos! Yay!

  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. I think I’ve been doing okay with this one, although I have to admit that I really haven’t been thinking about it all that much. Twitter has simply become a routine thing that I use throughout the day, and since we actually filmed some videos last week I had easy stuff to share on Instagram. The author accounts may have suffered a little in the past week because I was distracted by channel stuff, but that’s a balance that I’m probably going to struggle with for quite a while, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much.

#3: Focus more on myself.
I’ve been trying to put more focus onto this one lately because my mental state hasn’t really been the greatest for the past month or so.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. I’ve definitely been reading. I managed to finish The Lunar Chronicles: Winter last week and wrote a review on it, so that was excellent. I’ve also been playing dumb phone games with the kid, because screw it, they’re brain-dead and help me relax. Jason and I have also been re-watching Dragonball Z, which is a show that just makes me happy, so that’s been good. So basically I’ve got the “read/watch/play” thing pretty much covered.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. Reminder: heat wave. I haven’t been doing any kind of unnecessary movement at all. I definitely want to get back into my running, but I just can’t right now. I’m sweating to the point of dehydration just laying in bed at night, so there’s no way that I can go running and not risk passing the hell out. So, at least for now, this one is a wash.

Overall I don’t think it was the greatest week, but I’m not worrying too much about it. We got a good bit of channel work done, and I didn’t die of heat stroke yet, so I’m calling that a win. Also, as of the writing of this post I’ve already exceeded my word count from last week, so at least I’ll have that to report for next week. Little victories!

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Book Review: The Lunar Chronicles Series [Spoiler-Free]

lunarchronicles-600x900

For this particular book review I’m spreading my focus across a four-part series, as I’d finished reading the first two books in the quadrilogy before I first began writing reviews. That series is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, comprising of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. Though there are two other books that technically belong to the series – Fairest and Stars Above – I won’t be including them in this review as they are both stand-alone stories in the same world as, but set outside of, the main narrative.

When I first began reading Cinder, I didn’t know a great deal about The Lunar Chronicles other than it was a futuristic take on several classic fairy tales: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. I was soon to learn that, while Meyer does take a lot of ideas from these fairy tales, she’s also constructed an incredible, original tale that sucks the reader in and begs to be read.

The series begins with Cinder, and we find ourselves in the distant future, after several world wars have come and gone, and peace has reigned on earth for many years. The Earth as we see it – similar to the present, but redistributed into somewhat different geological groupings such as the Eastern Commonwealth and the European Union – is technologically advanced, but not in such a way that makes it seem unattainable and unrealistic. Meyer has created a future in which the average citizen communicates with the world via tablet-like computer devices, space travel is commonplace but not something every Earthen has easy access to, and the sick and mortally wounded are capable of mechanical reconstruction. Unfortunately those who have these “upgrades” – known as cyborgs – are looked down upon, considered to be less than human, with less rights than a fully automated mechanoid – known as androids. Our heroine, Cinder, is one such cyborg, little more than a piece of property to her adopted family, but also one of the best mechanics in the Commonwealth. She is, of course, the Cinderella of our story.

Scarlet shifts the story narrative to our Little Red Riding Hood character, a spunky young woman with bright red hair who lives on a farm with her grandmother and has a run in with a wolf…in a manner of speaking. Cress introduces us to our Rapunzel character, a brilliant young computer genius who has been cruelly locked away in a satellite far above Earth’s surface. Finally we move on to our Snow White, a young princess named Winter who suffers under her vile, evil stepmother, who also happens to want to conquer Earth.

It is rather difficult to say too much about any of the four stories without ruining important moments throughout for anyone who hasn’t stepped into the series yet, but there are a few points of note that I can safely share that may, in fact, make the series that much more interesting to you:

  • While Earth is at peace within itself, it has also been suffering for several years under a mysterious disease called Letumosis, also known as “The Plague”. Letumosis strikes seemingly at random and is extremely contagious, so anyone found to be suffering with it is quarantined immediately. There are no survivors. Seeing even the slightest hint of the disease is a death sentence for the victim.
  • At some point in the past of this world, the moon was colonized and eventually became known as it’s own country, Luna. One of these first colonists, as a result of genetic damage, became the first true “Lunar”, a mutant capable of manipulating the bioelectric energy  around a person’s mind, enabling him to implant thoughts and control another’s actions. This first Lunar passed his gift on, and on, and as the Lunar colony grew this ability became prevalent across their society.
  • Earth and Luna have been at odds with each other for many years as of the telling of our story, with the vile Queen Levana of Luna attempting a “truce” by way of a marriage with an Earthen leader.

The real story begins when our cyborg friend Cinder is approached by Prince Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth to help in repairing what he says is a very important android. A series of events follow, sending Cinder on the run as she struggles to uncover a veritable treasure trove of secrets and conspiracies that have been buried since before her birth. On her journey she befriends our other “princesses”, as well as their respective “princes”, and together they embark on a mission to set right the evil plans that Queen Levana has put into motion.

But I hear what you’re thinking: but is it good?

That would be an emphatic “Yes”.

There is no doubt that The Lunar Chronicles are what my husband refers to as “teen-y stories”, full of giddy romances and the like, but it’s also unwavering in realism. People get hurt. People die. People do horrible, disgusting things to one another. This is not a happy-go-lucky story. It’s full of fun characters, humorous moments, uplifting side-stories, but also warBlood and death and destruction. This is a story of horrible things done by people who believe they’re in the right, and the people who finally turn around and fight back.

It’s an incredibly well-written story, start to finish. Each of the characters – men, women, good, evil – captured me in their own ways, pulling me into their individual stories, which all weave into one another beautifully. I devoured Cinder in a couple of days, Scarlet and Cress just as quickly, and though it took me a while to get around to reading Winter, I scarcely put it down until I had it absorbed. And honestly? I’d turn right around and start the entire thing over again right now if not for the fact that I have dozens of other books that I need to get around to reading. That, to me, is the sign of an excellent book (or, in this case, series of books): if finishing it just makes me want to hit rewind and go back to the beginning, it obviously made a big impression.

Whether you’re a fan of young-adult fiction or not, I would definitely recommend giving The Lunar Chronicles a bit of your time. If you can reach the end of Cinder without desperately wanting to know what happens next, I’ll honestly be amazed. The entire series gets two thumbs up from me!


Want to check out The Lunar Chronicles Series for yourself? Click right here to order!
Already read it? Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comment section below!

Comet TV Monster Summer Swag! New TV & Free Streaming Channel for Sci-Fi & Horror Classics!

There’s a brand-new channel in the neighborhood, and it focuses on sci-fi, from popular favs to undiscovered gems, and of course cult classics as well! It’s called Comet TV, and they sent us a box of swag to help celebrate their Monster Summer event! Come check out the video, and then click the link in the description box to check out Comet TV, which is available as part of your cable package, or can be streamed online for free, as well as on Roku and Apple TV!

My Geek Box Unboxing (July 2018) ft. Funko, Marvel, Rick & Morty, & Star Wars!

What in the world is a Pop in a Box doing showing up at our door? Oh wait! The sticker says “My Geek Box”! Gee, I wonder why My Geek Box would be shipping in a Pop in a Box package? Hey! What a neat Star Wars item!

Okay, that’s enough stream-of-consciousness from me. 😛 July’s My Geek Box featured items from Marvel, Funko, Rick & Morty, & Star Wars, and included a rather cool shirt design. That Star Wars item though? Adrianna is totally going to steal that on me.