When I was a child, I believed that a vampire lived in our toilet. It was generally active at night (because vampires, daylight, duh) and if I went to the bathroom while it was dark, I had a finite amount of time to get back into my bed – covers over my head, barely breathing – before it climbed on out of the u-bend and came for me.

I can generally pin the bloodsucker’s origin down to a story I read around that time, where a vampire contacted some children through their computer and eventually managed to convince them to invite him inside their house. If that sounds like a thinly veiled warning story about the dangers of the internet and the predators that lurk there, it’s because it probably was. Of course, I might also have the entire story wrong – I feel like the vampire was in the toilet long before the internet was really a huge deal, and, y’know, I put a vampire in a toilet.

As fears go, that one was pretty ridiculous and pretty irrational. Most fears are, really. I am, for instance, pretty terrified of bears. It sounds reasonable to be scared of bears, but I live in Australia and my chances of coming face to face with an angry grizzly and having to remember if I should climb a tree or play dead are slim.* I also had fairly regular nightmares about being chased by velociraptors, but those have subsided since I got one tattooed on my body. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

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May gets it’s very own Writing Roundup, because it was a big one! In addition to the usual book reviews, I saw eight shows across two festivals!

I also set myself a challenge I dubbed 20k May, aiming to hit 20,000 words of my unexpected novel-in-law, as well as tick off a couple of posts for here and Long Distance Creationship, during the last couple of weeks of May. The novel rather took over, with a total of 20,854 words written on the WIP over 16 days. As of today, I’m still going strong, and I’ve blogged about the experience here!

I also set up a couple of prompt jars for myself, after seeing how well the TBR Jar I made a few months ago was working as a way to reduce my TBR Shelf. I’ve got one for fiction and one for non-fiction, and I’ll be alternating between the two each week (unless I’ve come up with something else to write about), as well as trying to keep up momentum on my WIP.

And (last bit of writing related news, I swear), I also set myself a little mini goal of pitching an article/applying for something writing related/generally putting myself out there at least once a month. I can happily say I nailed it this month, by pitching a couple of extra pieces to The AU Review (both featured here), reaching the interview portion of a content creator role (I’m a mess in interviews so it’s no surprise, I didn’t get it, but I’m covering myself in gold stars for even trying), and applying for a Citizen Reviewer position with Brisbane Festival. Only ten reviewers are chosen and it’s got some crazy exciting perks, so here’s hoping! Self five for all the self doubt I smashed this month!

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Alright, onto the writing!
Links as always in the titles.
Previous roundup here.

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Picked up the pace a little for this month, doubling the number of books read. I focused pretty hard on my writing this month, with a lot of show reviews and my 20k May challenge taking up a lot of reading time, but I definitely found plenty of time to read, which is great! And even my least favourite book was still pretty good, once it got going!

In other bookish news, I’ve been using the Serial Reader app to read Jane Eyre, gradually ticking off the Read Harder challenge of a book I didn’t finish/kind of hated in school. If you’re not using Serial Reader, I totally recommend it – you pick a classic novel to read and it’ll send a little chunk of it to your phone every day! For someone trying not to buy books, it’s a wonderful app (and the basic version is free), and it definitely makes those novels you’re supposed to have read a lot less intimidating and a lot more fun. I’ve read a lot of books using it over the last couple of years – my favourite thing is that it’s so true to the way a lot of these books were originally published, bit by bit in magazines and newspapers. It’s a nice little link to the past, and a super easy way to add a book or two to your Goodreads total.

And speaking of that, here’s May’s books!

Running total for the year: 43

Books read: 8
Varina by Charles Frazier
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 2 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse
Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation by N.K. Jemisin and Mac Walters
A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

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