What I’ve Been Up to: Let’s Recap 2021!

Happy belated Year of the TIGER, folksies!!

For those of you who don’t know, I was NOT born in the year of the tiger, so there’s no reason for me to be as excited as I am about 2022 other than the fact that tigers have a special place in my heart, thanks to TFE. And for those of you who don’t know what TFE is–it’s just another one of my millions of story projects, except it’s one that I’ve actually finished writing the first draft of. So… yeah.

Like I said, there’s really no other reason for me to be excited about the Year of the Tiger. Reason aside, I guess it’s because for the past few years it’s just been farm animals, basically, with the exception of the Monkey, and I mean, you can’t really fill my Instagram feed with epic and beautiful monkey art and expect me to think “wow, what epic and beautiful monkey art.” The same goes for rats. And guys, I really mean no offense to anyone born in either of those years, because many good friends of mine were born in those years too… As you can probably tell, I’m just rambling at this point.

A n y w a y.

Last year, 2021, was… it was a really interesting year. There are so many things I’m thankful for that came to pass, and there are some that I’m still learning to be thankful for. I feel like it would be pretentious for me to say the usual stuff about God’s work in our lives without going into specifics, but ha I don’t want to go into specifics. Suffice it to say, God does some pretty crazy things… all right.

Last year in books…

There isn’t actually much to say about books that I haven’t already said… You know, I should probably not have done the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag thingy way back in August or whenever that was…

Near the end of the year–like. the last day or so–I finished reading book one of Melanie Cellier’s new YA fantasy series, A Mage’s Influence, and Suzannah Rowntree’s Miss Sharp’s Monsters trilogy (… I had a lot of free time over Christmas/New Year’s break). I really enjoyed both of them! I haven’t caught up on the second book of AMI since it released a few weeks ago, but I’m planning to soon–and hoping it gets better–but Miss Sharp’s Monsters I was able to binge in only a few days.

Everyone go READ THAT SERIES. Or at the very least, check it out on Goodreads. It’s monarchies, mysteries, mayhem, and MONSTERS–all in Victorian London. It’s a crazy spin on some true historical events, all of which are occasionally stretched out of proportion to make room for the supernatural elements. That’s right, folks; in a world where every monarchy on the globe consists of monstrous royalty, a young woman once scarred by a werewolf makes her way to uncover the truth about the extent of their power. It’s full of suspense, action, and rollicking humor, as well as a sprinkling of something-not-quite-but-almost horror (if you’ve read the City Between series by W.R. Gingell, it’s pretty similar in that element, though they’re entirely different genres). I love monster stories written from a Christian worldview (because… if not then it’s rarely if ever any good, like, prove to me otherwise?), and though the elements in this series are subtler than say Dark Is the Night by Mirriam Neal, they’re solid and provide comfort in the midst of the darkness our spunky, completely human main character must face over and over again. This is a story that, despite being about vampires and werewolves and the burning desperation of the downtrodden of 1890s Europe, is also about bringing the truth to light in the most hilarious and unthinkable ways possible.

… and I also read The Iliad

I’ll be forever scarred.

To keep it simple, Achilles is basically every annoying modern YA protagonist cliche stuffed into one huge bratty emotional WRECK of a character and honestly, it’s kind of funny, but also it was just really annoying to read about in the form of epic poetry for like a million chapters. To make it worse, just when I thought we were FINALLY DONE with that book, SURPRISE our very next read was a PLAY that was a RETELLING of this poem only make it like SHAKESPEARE’S GOT ANOTHER THING COMIN FOR YA.

Greek literature, honestly. Raise your hand if you relate?

I didn’t watch Encanto

Because it didn’t come out in Chinese theaters until January 7th, and then I watched it. Once before finals ended and once after.

A masterpiece.

… but I did binge a lot of shounen anime…

There was the usual Haikyuu re-watching and resharing-with-friends over the summer, but once winter rolled around, I got curious and dug into My Hero Academia and Jujutsu Kaisen (there were some other ones but I didn’t really finish those). The former feels like what you’d feel like such a popular franchise would feel like. The latter was surprisingly good but also surprisingly scary, haha, but Inumaki Toge is an actual cinnamon roll and Sukuna’s VA has become one of my favorites to spot in an anime since then.

Speaking of animes, I also watched Bungou Stray Dogs, which is not a shounen anime but it’s so good and highly underrated and 100% for lovers of both literature and anime (the first season focuses more on Japanese literary figures, but deeper into the story it gets into actual elements that have to do with… well, story… and even Western literature!). Of course, still none of these really hold a candle to the best shounen anime of all time, Haikyuu, and if you disagree with me on that I won’t even fight you because you are WRONG.

Ahem. Moving on.

… and SURPRISE, I didn’t do any writing.

Except for some fanfiction in the summer but that got old fast.

I had a lot of good story ideas for expanding the TFE world, though! Now I have a duology, a novel (?) and a miniseries of short stories set before the actual TFE series itself. Am I going to ever talk about it here? … Probably not, but if you want to hear about it that badly… Well, why would you want to hear about it? ๐Ÿ™‚

That aside, I had a ton of NEW story ideas and just thinking about how much I want to write versus how much time I have to write is sort of depressing so let’s not do that. Instead, here’s a super-short bullet list of all the crazy writing things I was up to…

  • started off 2021 thinking I could write a novella in the TFE world with a brand-new cast of characters in a reimagining of Snow White
  • didn’t accomplish that, but I did keep the characters and went on to explore a country on the main continent that I hadn’t before
  • decided to kill a character I love; broke my own heart and possibly some others
  • shortly after I redeveloped the prequel duology that existed before I wrote TFE; now I actually love it and can’t wait to write it someday
  • created a whole new story project that sprang off the premise of “Twelve Dancing Princesses in a world exploited by man-made gods” and that doesn’t make any sense to you but it will… someday
  • returned to the Grimoire series for a short while (that one about the descendants of fairytale characters, yep)
  • left that and returned to The Silent World a short while (still haven’t quite left it yet; you guys don’t know what it is but you will… someday)
  • did not manage to write a Christmas short story in time for Christmas, again

… I drew… stuff?

Here’s my art account on Instagram if you’re curious, but I haven’t posted since December so…

And that’s about it, on the creative front.

It’s been a fun year.

Okay folks, I’ve taken enough of your time just talking about myself. I promise next week’s post won’t be this long and rambly ๐Ÿ˜‰ So with all that said…

Once again, Happy Year of the Tiger! I hope you have a good one โค Thank you for following all this time! You guys have blessed me a lot these past few years, and I can only pray some of these ramblings have made you smile ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have time to drop a comment, tell me about your year! Or… if you’ve read or watched any of the series I mentioned above! And as much as I try to deny it, I do enjoy it when people ask me about my WIPs… even though it’s really harder on you to listen than it is for me to talk xD I have too many…

Until next time,

~ Merie

16 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Up to: Let’s Recap 2021!

  1. This was such a sweet post, Merie! I loved reading though it. By the way, have you heard of Stalking Jack the Ripper? The Werewolf of Whitechapel and such are reminding me of that book even though Iโ€™ve read neither ๐Ÿ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lily! And yes, I have heard of that series, but I haven’t read it. It has come highly recommended by some friends though. I think Miss Sharp’s Monsters would have less questionable content (even though unlike Stalking Jack the Ripper it’s not really categorized as YA).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you’re probably right! I think I would be find reading either as long as it isn’t at night all by myself. ๐Ÿ˜… I’d just have to pick some public place with lots of people and light so I don’t scare myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It was so fun to hear about your year, Merie! I must say I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, and I’m definitely not familiar with anime, but I enjoyed reading about it anyway! ๐Ÿ˜„
    I, personally, would love to hear about your WIP’s! The TFE series sounds like a delight, and I would be quite pleased to hear more about it. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ But honestly they all sound cool, and I’d be happy to hear about any of them!
    Loved seeing your art, too! SO PRETTY. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Eden! I’m glad to see someone is interested in my writing shenanigans… Perhaps I will make a more detailed post in the future and take the time to actually show you guys what TFE is supposed to be about ๐Ÿ˜† Thank you again!! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, those book series and animes sound quite interesting. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ One of my friends really loves BSD. And, yesss, Encanto! We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, I’d love to read about your WIPs! They seem so fascinating and I’d love to hear more about them ๐Ÿ˜€

    Have a lovely day!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s