A Much Needed Update (Fall 2021)

Hello Blogisphere!

Man, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve done a post like this! I wanted to take a brief pause and give an overall life update in terms of what I’ve been up to for the past few months before going back to my usual posts of book reviews and buddy reads.

Feel free to tell me what you’ve been up to in the comments. I’ve been so out of touch, and I’d love to hear about it! Alright, here goes nothing!

Personal Stuff

So in a nutshell, my life has been completely bonkers since I started my first semester of grad school. Yep, that’s right. The dreaded grad school experience! I’m currently enrolled in SJSU’s Library Science degree program in an effort to become a public/academic librarian (leaning more towards public at the moment).

Overall, I’ve had a really good experience so far. I took a program intro class and two full fledged classes on top of that and did extremely well! I kinda knew I would, but being a noob all over again gave me some doubts.

Naturally, I underestimated grad school and how much time it can take away from you. As I struggle bussed my way through, I completely stopped writing until about a few weeks ago or so. I would work ahead here and there with my classes only to fall back behind again. Grad school is no laughing matter! However, near the end of the semester I forced myself to sit down and figure out a time for me to write because stifling my creative energy was really killing me.

I’m due to start a new semester of grad school in late January, but am super grateful for the long break and will definitely use it to write and read up a storm!

Other more minor personal developments. I’ve nearly completely stopped drinking (with the exception of festive occasions like birthdays and holidays) and I am in the process of quitting smoking! My set date to stop smoking is 12/10/21. Wish me luck! I went to some hypnotherapy sessions and it’s been helping a lot.

Oh, and I’m getting back in the dating world! Not gonna share too much on that, but even with grad school, work, writing, and everything in between, I’m simply tired of being alone (it’s been over 5 years, yikes!) and would like to find someone special.

Writing Stuff

As I stated above, I’m writing again. I’ll be using this off time from grad school to write as much as possible, and actually I’m already working diligently on something.

Since reading The Black Eyed Children by David Weatherly(my review here) and listening to several podcast episodes on the subject matter, I felt brave enough to try to write a short story about it. I’m about 5000+ words in on the first draft, and I’m having fun! It’s a bit different in the fact that it’s not straight up horror, but more paranormal suspense.

I’ve been doing a blend of plotting and pantsing this time around, so it’s been an interesting journey. The general gist is that a recently retired couple has a run in with these strange beings. Chaos ensues.

I hope to finish my first draft in the next week or so, then get to work on polishing and improving (if you’d like to give it a read, say so in the comments! I’d love to have some beta readers). Once I’m happy with it I hope to find a home with a magazine (trying not to self publish if I can, it’s just too much work for me with little benefit given my current situation), so wish me luck!

Outside of my current WIP, I’ve gotten plenty of great short story ideas during the school semester, things like stairs in the woods, abandoned lumber mills (cryptids), a witchy Halloween story, a Halloween portal story, and others that haven’t fully formed yet. My goal going forward with grad school is to focus on a story each semester and hopefully publish through magazines.

I would absolutely love to write another novel, but at this point I just don’t feel like I have the bandwidth to handle it. This means I’ve left my WIP The Ruins incomplete for now (I was about 75% of the way through with my first draft). I can certainly change my mind, but for now I’m happier tackling smaller writing projects that are more manageable for me.

That’s a Wrap!

Alright, that’s it for this post. If you’d like to talk about how you’ve been lately, feel free to share in the comments! I’d love to start a dialogue.

Have a wonderful day!


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  1. “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do, subtle innuendos follow.” Haha. Congrats on the self improvement! I hardly drink anymore (my heart sometimes goes wacky when I do), and sometimes it can feel soooo boring. But then on the rare occasions I do drink, it seems like such a treat and I can really make a bottle of wine last now…and that’s coming from someone who could put away a bottle a day.

    And yes, get those cancer sticks out of your face ASAP!

    I’m eagerly waiting the abandoned lumber mill story! My grandpa used to have a small lumber mill on his property at the Oregon coast and even in daylight that place was CREEPY!

    And of course I’m eager to find out about this dating situation…Just starting to look? Got a crush on someone? Inquiring minds want to know 😋

    • Hey Tammie!

      Thanks so much. I started out the pandemic drinking way more than I should’ve been. So like right after I finished cutting that out I was like why not smoking too? Make it an overhaul!

      It’s going really well. I had none today so far and 1 yesterday. There’s just no want behind it any more. Something finally clicked into place. It also helps I’ll be saving tons of money a year!

      Haha, me too! I have no idea really, just was listening to a scary podcast and this story hit me right between the eyes like ‘write something like me!’ I hope I won’t have to actually travel to a scary lumber mill for research. *shudders*

      I’ve actually been talking to someone a little. They go to grad school too so it’s chaotic but we’re trying to find time to get to know each other. So yeah, I’m kinda crushing right now.

      • Awwww! 😍😍😍 And please promise me you won’t make your first date to a scary lumber mill…although it could be memorable…but maybe not in a good way 🔪 ☠️ 🔪😂

        Seriously though (because I’m SO good at serious), best wishes for a romantic new year!

        Oh, and what podcast/episode was this? I kind of want to give it a listen.

      • LMAO yes, no scary first dates. I don’t really consider spooky places to be date setting material, so I’ll pass lol.

        Thanks Tammie! I’m really hoping this goes somewhere. If not, there’s always more fish in the sea (me trying to stay positive across the board lol).

        I believe it was Scared to Death, the episode called “The Hide Behind”. There are several stories. One of them is the abandoned lumber mill story. So freaky!

      • I dunno…a scary first date could instantly have you clutching each other in your arms in fear. And what could be more romantic (and memorable) than rescuing your date from the evil lumber mill monster? Hmmm….now I’m imagining a horror-romance novel, haha!

        Thanks for the podcast tip. I’m getting bored with some of my regulars, so I’ll have to give it a listen.

        Have fun fishing 😂😍😂

      • Wow, that sounds like a great plot for a horror book! Something that could force some intimacy might not be a terrible idea. Perhaps something active is in order!

        Very welcome! I don’t like the quiet anymore, so if there’s not ambient music on, the podcasts must be on. Not really sure when that shift happened lol.

        Real Life Ghost Stories is also a good podcast, but it typically sticks to hauntings.

        Lol thank you!

  2. Okay, my best friend just finished Library Sciencies and started working in a public library this past August/early Sept! I think you would love that job when you’re done. You would love, love, love it.

    Also, I’m so, so proud of you for taking the step about quitting smoking. We’ve talked about it before, though not for a long, long time. So I’m sending you all the willpower and luck and good things you need for that.

    Also, you are putting yourself out there for dating, and I am so proud of you grasshopper.
    I read this and felt so proud of you.

    • Wow, what a coincidence! I really do hope I love it. There’s so much to love from my studies so far. Also, I will definitely enjoy not working in an office (I consider it very toxic for my mental health).

      Aw, thank you bestie! I finally just got to the point where it wasn’t doing anything for me. It was simply a habit I was holding onto. I didn’t smoke at all yesterday and I’m going to do the same today, god willing!

      Fingers crossed on the dating! I have some time to kill between semesters, so universe send me a boyfriend s’il vous plait!

  3. So many changes in your life, Jonny! Yay for all the good things. Would love to beta read your story. I’m sorry to hear your novel is being shelved for the moment. I was looking forward to reading it.

    • Right? I guess I’ve earned not having to have a new year’s resolution from all these changes!

      Aww, thanks for volunteering. I’ll keep in touch. Hopefully I’ll be finished with the rough draft sometime in the next week.

      Yeah, I was a little bummed at first, but I just can’t take on a big project at the moment. Maybe that’ll change, maybe not. We shall see!

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