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  • Writer's pictureAzalea Forrest

February Progress Update

Hey everyone!

Wow, I feel like it’s been a while. I’m still trying to update the blog every two weeks, but that isn’t always possible. Things have been hectic all around. But here we are! I thought you all might be interested in a little progress update and see what I’ve been doing and working on these last several months since NaNo in November.

In life, there’s Covid. It’s affecting everyone, and sometimes in ways we wouldn’t expect. I took a promotion at work and we’re severely understaffed, so I’ve been pretty exhausted from all that. I started (slowly) working on DrawABox lessons thanks to a friend, as I’ve been wanting to get back into drawing. I don’t work on it nearly as often as I probably should, but it’s still nice to dive into once in a while. DrawABox is a free drawing lesson plan that teaches you the fundamentals and helps you to work on drawing muscles you’re probably not used to using, so you can choose the right hand/arm movement to make those lines and curves. It’s very rigorous!

I’ve taken a hiatus on reading any of my books, aha: I’m still in the middle of Dune, IT, and Sword of Destiny… Whoops. Did I mention everything has been exhausting lately? Haha. But that hasn’t kept me from reading other things: I’m still keeping up with weekly updates from some of my favorite webcomics, like Lore Olympus, Suitor Armor, and Wilde Life. I recently got back into Ava’s Demon as well: wow the art in that comic is incredible. I want to see more of those demons.

As for writing, after NaNo I went back to my upcoming book: A Bitter Drink. I know I said before that I would be releasing it in 2020, but that didn’t happen. After getting another thorough beta read, I felt there were things I needed to work on that just couldn’t be pushed aside. I know the book will be better for it, and I very much appreciate all of my betas and readers! I hope you can all stay patient: so far the edits are going very well! The plan is to release this year, and while it’s been slow-going, I’ve been working on edits since December. Due to not having an open schedule to work on this as much as I’d like, I can’t give a time frame yet, but know that it’s my top priority and I want to see it out there in the world as much as you do. Characters are becoming more rounded, and I’m very excited to share them.

Concept art of Rowan from ABD by Chey Murray!

Late last year, I got back another beta read for a different project: temporarily named Apothecary. I got some very good advice on that project, and while that’s on the back burner until I finish up ABD, I’m excited to work on that too. Apothecary is about a young woman, an herbalist healer, who suffers from severe anxiety, and meets a creature known in lore as a skin changer. These Dyrmala turn from beasts to humans, and are said to be incredibly violent and dangerous. This Dyrmala is suffering however, and as a doctor, our MC seeks to find the cure despite the danger, all while fighting her own inner monsters.

During NaNo, I wrote the first draft of A Witch in Isenshire, the sequel to Witch in the Lighthouse. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to working on it next, as I already have two other books in the works, but it’s kind of nice to have all these projects to work on! Makes it a little less unnerving as a whole since I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to write about next...hahaha.

Other things I’ve been doing: I picked up Cyberpunk 2077, and I loved it. But after a game breaking bug, I had to put that on hiatus until it gets severely patched. So now I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VI. I’ve played it before, but never beat it. I’m going for it this time! And because I can’t seem to play just one game at a time, I started a new game of Stardew (because of all the new updates on PC), brought my Wii U back out to play Twilight Princess, and I’ve gotten very invested in an indie game called Ghost of a Tale… I love games, guys, what can I say?

I watched Part 3 of Disenchanted: a much better season compared to the first two, and I picked up Demon Slayer. Very stereotypical shonen, so it can be...annoying at times, haha, but the art is great, and I’m mostly enjoying it regardless. The variety to the demons, and different levels of control, are very interesting to me. A friend mentioned their powers, etc are similar to vampires, and when I think about it, she’s not wrong. Reminds me a bit of the vampires in Hellsing. I do find myself questioning some of the rules/lore at times: some things will happen that’s been explained couldn’t happen, but I’m trying not to pick it apart too much, haha. The MC Tanjiro is a cinnamon roll. Hope to watch more soon.

Back in December, a friend and fellow indie author Alexa Windsor released their third book in their April Gladdis Dog Walker Series: Lend the Dog a Tenner. I helped edit this book, and while I haven't read the previous books in the series, I really enjoyed Lend the Dog, and think it's an excellent piece all on its own. It's a cute, cozy mystery, so check it out!

Speaking of Lend the Dog, it's actually part of a giveaway by another friend and indie author: A.N. Mouse. Mouse is giving away an ARC copy of their upcoming book, The Melankholia Theory, a prequel to their Melankholia series. I have yet to read it, but I'm very excited to, as the other MK books have been a fun mix of post-apocalyptic action and dystopia. You can check out the complete list and join in on the giveaway here! There's more prizes, and the giveaway ends February 14th, so hurry on up and join in!

That about wraps it up. As a reminder, we all need to be sure we’re taking care of ourselves. I’m focusing more on my health this year: paying more attention to what I eat, making sure I’m being active even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, but also making sure I'm keeping things varied. I want to push myself and work on ABD as much as possible, but I need breaks. If I keep pushing myself, my work will suffer for it. So if you’ve been having a rough time, physically, mentally, socially… Be kind to yourself. The world can wait, despite how it constantly tries to push you and mould you into a Type A Go-Getter until you work yourself to death. Yes, the world can wait.

What have you been working on? Is there anything you'd like to hear about that I didn't mention here, or hear more of? Let me know in the comments, and I'd love it if you'd like and subscribe! Thanks for reading!


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