My Life This January: In Which There are Holidays and Deadlines and Another Semester Begins

Hi, everyone! It’s the last Friday of January (seriously, what happened to the month?), so I’m here to tell you what happened this month. This will actually cover a longer period than usual, since I didn’t post on Christmas last month. In rough chronological order, here we go!

Christmas and New Year’s

Ah, I love those end-of-year holidays! On Christmas Day, it snowed here in the Northeast, so we went down to Connecticut to visit my aunt and uncle and grandparents on Christmas Eve day. It was a really nice visit with lots of good food and family socializing, and really, at the holidays, what more do you want?

Then, of course, came Christmas itself. (Merry Christmas, belatedly!) I did pick up a few books, including DNA by James Watson and The Battles of Tolkien and The Heroes of Tolkien by David Day. The former is a history of modern genetics and biotechnology, and the latter talk about the inspiration behind Tolkien’s works and include some nice illustrations.

I also bought a few books after Christmas: a one-volume edition of C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, my own copy of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and (finally) King’s Blood by Jill Williamson. I have not cracked open the first two yet, except to look at the Tolkien-letter foreword in the Space Trilogy, but I did devour the 600-page King’s Blood in two days. It was SO good! If you like epic fantasy with a Christian bent, and you haven’t read Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles, you need to. I’m so excited for the third book to come out in June!

Winter Break

So thankfully, this was also a thing. The University of New Hampshire happens to have a nice long winter break, five weeks to be exact, but even that felt too short. I pretty much worked full-time in the lab so I could get some research done; I’m still catching up on summer and fall work. In the last week of break, I managed to get into some more explicitly genetic-engineering type stuff, working with bacteria preliminary to transforming plants, so that’s been fun! I’m looking forward to where my research will go next.

Spring Semester

It’s only been a week so far, but spring semester still merits inclusion in this post. This semester, I’m taking Genetics of Prokaryotic Microbes (so, bacteria), Plant Systematics, and Principles of Biochemistry II. I was also going to take a biostatistics class, but I dropped that in favor of not overwhelming myself, since I’m also an undergrad teaching assistant for a genetics class, an undergrad researcher, and a biology tutor. So far, all my classes look to be enjoyable, and I like being a TA since I get to help out with the class without doing any homework!

I am also trying to write more this year; as I talked about in last week’s goals post, I have a goal to write/outline/revise/worldbuild at least 3 days a week this year. This month, I think I’ve averaged a little over 2 days a week, but that’s still better than normal! I am keeping track with little check marks on my calendar. I initially set out to do more work on Circle of Fire, my NaNoWriMo project from 2016 that really needs to be rewritten, but my mind wound up wandering to Windsong instead. So far, I drew a map (again, see last week’s post) and found out more about one of my key villains. I’m starting to like where this is going, and plan to do more with it in the next couple months!

Well, that was my month in a nutshell! How was yours? Have you done much writing? How were your holidays? Did you get any books? If you’re in school, what classes are you taking this semester? What did you do over winter break? Tell me in the comments!

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