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Who am I?

My name is Alivia Haven, and I’m a writer and freelance illustrator. But I am so much more than that. I’m a reader. A thinker. A dreamer. A creator. A lover (not a fighter.)


I’ve been creating stories my entire life, and writing them down almost as long. Creative writing was always something I did for fun, but never something that I thought I would take seriously. As in, try to make it my career seriously. I know the life of an author is tricky and unstable and I will never ever be rich from it. And that’s okay. Because I’ve discovered, in my meager two decades of life, that I would much rather live a life that makes me happy than a life that makes me rich for the sake of being rich.

I’m currently working on two YA fantasy novels as my main projects. They are at very different stages (one is still an uncompleted draft.) I can only hope that one of them is the book that lands me an agent. Fingers crossed!

There are several more novel ideas floating around – some far more developed than others – just waiting for their chance to be written!

I will have a blog post soon dedicated solely to my current writing projects, plans, goals, and dreams. So keep an eye out for that!

Freelance Writing

In addition to novel writing, I am also dabbling in nonfiction and freelance writing. I have a few nonfiction works in the making (articles and essays) and a few more waiting to be written.

I have one article already published on Medium!

I’ve been looking into earning income as a freelance writer, and it’s something I really want to work towards in the new year!


I also dabble a little in poetry, but not as much as the two types of writing listed above. My poetry writing has evolved from the songwriting I dabbled in my last two years of high school, and I feel that it needs a lot more refinement.

But I also have a few poems published on Medium! You can find them by searching my name, Alivia Haven!


I’ve been devouring stories just as long as I’ve been creating them! My mother always read to me as a small child, and when I was about three I began reading along with her from memory. She began teaching me then, and I was a quick learner. She created an unstoppable reading machine. By the time I was in the third grade, my school librarian had to call a meeting with her because I was checking out and reading college level books. Thankfully my mother never did try to censor my reading, and told the librarian I could check out anything I wanted.

I like to think my wide, uncensored range of reading from an early age is one of the main contributors to my open-mindedness and empathy as an adult. Reading transports you to worlds, cultures, societies, and ideas you might never have been exposed to otherwise. It truly is a magical thing.

Favorite Genres

As a child I read vastly – pretty much anything and everything I could get my hands on. I didn’t limit myself by genre or author. In some ways I miss those blissful, carefree days.

Now, as a young adult, I find myself drawn to that category of fiction far more than others. And while I’ve always felt a strong pull towards all things fantastical and magical (thank you Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings), I now find that I almost solely read fantasy. And YA fantasy at that.

But I have made it a goal to branch out a little more in the year 2020, and I’ve already begun to a little with my current read – an adult historical fiction about the Roman emperor Nero (which I’m quite enjoying.)

I would also like to read more nonfiction in the new year (and decade!!), and some more literary classics. I do love me a good classic, but it’s been many years since I’ve read one, and I haven’t read many in total.

I would like to just read more in 2020 than the 25 books I managed this year. Maybe I could try to double it and read 50?

Other Hobbies

As for the other aspects of my life, the ones this blog won’t be focusing on . . .


My main other passion/hobby is illustration. Specifically character illustration. I participate mostly in digital art now, but I started with traditional and would like to go back to my roots a little more in the coming year (more on that in my 2020 goals blog post, coming soon).

I am a freelance artist, which means I take commissions from clients and create custom drawings for them. I’m also looking into opening a store in the future, where I can sell some of my original works as prints.


I’m also a guitar player, although more of an aspiring one now. I played acoustic rhythm guitar for around three years, then abruptly stopped for a while. Around two years I believe? But I’ve recently picked the hobby back up and am woking toward the skill level I was at before I quit!

I also enjoy singing, maybe a little too much. (Ask my cat, I’m sure she’s sick of hearing it.) But I certainly don’t list my singing as a talent hahahaha.

This Blog

My goals for this blog are pretty straightforward. I simply wanted a place that I could share my thoughts about books and book related things, while also talking about writing progress, thoughts, emotions, etc.

I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this blog, and I can’t wait to get started! I can’t wait to see how it grows over time!


March TBR!

Okay first of all, how is it already March? Someone please explain this sorcery to me. Second of all, I barely managed to get any reading done in February? Like at all. So here’s my “catch up” TBR that is basically just my February TBR shuffled over, with one or two changes. 


By Nancy Goldstone


I started this book in January and have yet to finish it. It’s a nonfiction book that offers a new perspective on the legendary Joan of Arc, and how she managed to rise to power. It’s an interesting read, but as I’ve found with most nonfiction I’ve read it’s pretty dense and difficult to work through. It just doesn’t suck me in like a work of fiction does, so it’s been pretty slow reading so far. I’m on the last third of the book though, so hopefully I can finish it up soon! 


By Rupi Kaur


This is a poetry book, and I’m already halfway through it! It was a Christmas gift from my mom and I’m really enjoying it so far! I have a soft spot for poetry anyway, seeing as I write it, but some of these poems are really blowing me away. And by that I mean punching me in the gut. 


By Leigh Bardugo


This book had all the buzz on book twitter last fall – and not all of it was good. But the more I heard about Bardugo’s first adult novel, the more intrigued I became. So when I saw it on the “New” table at my local library I just had to grab it. Well, that was back in January, and I still haven’t started reading it. My library probably hates me. *cue nervous laughter*


By Sarah J Maas


This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, so it’s no surprise I want to read it IMMEDIATELY.  I ordered it at 3AM the night of it’s release (a signed copy, of course), and I’ve basically been pacing my room ever since waiting for it to arrive. Shipment Tracking said Saturday, which is the day this post is going up. So hopefully by the time you’re reading this, I’m already devouring Crescent City.


By Cassandra Clare


Chain of Gold just released, and is now serving as a tantalizing reminder that I need to hurry up with this Shadowhunters reread so I can grab it (I mean seriously, have you seen the cover??) I’m long overdue for a reread. It’s been six YEARS since I read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. So I need to kick off that reread with City of Bones this month. 


By Stephanie Garber


In all honesty, I have next to no idea what this book is even about. I just remembered it having quite a bit of buzz on booktube, so when I saw it at my library I snagged it. From my understanding it’s pretty beloved, so hopefully I enjoy it! 


By Bob Curran


This is a short nonfiction work that talks about lands and cities that have been lost in time. It looks pretty intriguing and it’s a light read, so I squeezed it into March’s TBR to try and catch up to my Goodreads challenge hahahahha. (But seriously, I’m seven books behind and it’s stressing me out, someone send help.)

And that’s it! A total of seven books if you count finishing The Maid and the Queen, which I definitely do. Again, gotta catch up to that Goodreads challenge haha. Have you read any of the books on this list, and if so did you enjoy them? I want to get back into reviewing books on this blog since I kind of let that slip (oops). So look forward to reviews for at least some of the books on this list! ‘Til next time! 


It took me a while to edit and post this TBR, so as of today (Friday, March 13), I have finished two of these books! The Sun and her Flowers and Ninth House! I won’t be writing a review for the first one, since it’s poetry, but I’m really looking forward to writing my review for Ninth House! So stay tuned for that! 

March Writing Goals

Another month, another . . . huh. Not sure where I was going with that. 

It’s March! Which means it’s time to set my writing goals and plans for the month and see if I can stick to them! I have two different ongoing projects, so without further ado, let me lay out this month’s goals for each one!


If this is your first time here, you might not know that this is my first ever completed novel. However, I’m using the term “completed novel” very loosely here, because it’s still only a first draft. I spent the month of February reading through my printed first draft (and attacking the words on the page with highlighters and color coordinated pens). 

So, armed with my marked up draft and a few pages of notes, my primary writing goal for March is to march straight into draft two of Project Dragon. Ha. See what I did there? (I give you permission to smack me on sight, honestly.)

I don’t imagine that I’m going to be able to finish the entire second draft in one month, unless some sort of miracle happens. But I do hope to be about halfway finished by April, and then I’ll be using Camp Nanowrimo to finish it up, if everything goes according to plan! 


Right, so this project. Yep. This project. I’m still only halfway through the first draft, a point I’ve been at since I won Nano. So, what can I do about that? 

If you saw my latest writing update you’ll know that I already plan to change up the way I’m drafting this story a little, just so I can push through this first draft. However, I’m not sure how actively writing two novels at the same time is going to work. So all I can really plan to do with Project Genie is write as much as I can without pushing myself to the point of burnout. 

That being said, I would like to get to at least 75,000 words in the manuscript by the end of the month. I feel like that’s a progressive but still realistically achievable goal for this project. Also, I’m not entirely sure if that’s the correct use of the word progressive, but I’m leaving it. You get the picture. 

I just now, like currently as I’m writing this, realized that’s a total of at least 60,000 words for the month, if I achieve both of those goals. Uh . . . yikes? NaNoWriMo here I come? Can I pull this off? Only time will tell I suppose. I guess Draft Two of Project Dragon wouldn’t be all new words, so maybe it will be a little easier. But who knows. All I know is that I can only try my best hahhahaha. 

If you would like to follow along on this writing journey of mine, follow the blog! I’m hoping to get on a regular schedule where I post three times a week, but life has been kicking my ass lately so it’s yet to happen. Soon, though! I swear it!

But that’s all for my ambitious March Writing Goals! ‘Til next time! 

February Wrap Up

Hello everyone! February is officially over, which means it’s time for a wrap up! Seeing as I didn’t read a single book this month (more on that later), this will be a generalized wrap up of the things I did manage to accomplish this month! *cue nervous laughter* 

This will be divided into separate categories, just like my previous post! 


. . .  nothing. Nada. Zip. I think I managed like five chapters in An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir? And that’s about it. I didn’t even finish the books I started in January, let alone start on my February TBR. 

My plan to fix this is to just shuffle my February TBR to March and pray I get out of this reading slump? I despise that I’ve gotten such a rough start to my reading goal for the year (75 books). Goodreads says I’m like seven or eight books behind schedule now, so go ahead and file that under “yikes” I guess. 


Not much was accomplished in this department either. I only managed a few thousand words in my NaNoWriMo project, Project Genie. Yet another “yikes.”

I did manage to read through the first draft of Project Dragon, however, which is SUPER exciting!! I’m writing draft two this month, actually! I doubt it will be finished by the end of the month, but who knows? 


This is the area I achieved the most in, for sure. I completed several illustrations, brainstormed ideas for collections, started making and selling sticker packs, and just opened up a RedBubble store! 

One thing I have noticed about myself is that I tend to hyper-focus on one creative thing at a time and let the others get shoved to the back burner, so to speak. So that’s something I’m going to try to work on this year – finding balance between my creative projects. 

I’ve noticed I do it with leisure activities, too? I’m either watching TV or YouTube in my spare time or I’m reading. I can’t seem to be able to mix it up often, and it will go on like that for weeks. 

Sigh. I just need to find BALANCE in my life hahahhahaha. 

But that just about covers everything! I didn’t want to go too in depth with the art stuff because that isn’t the purpose of this blog. Apologies that it’s such a short post this time! But, I should have two more following it up this week: my March TBR and my March Writing Goals, so keep an eye out for those! ‘Til next time! 

What’s Happening with Project Genie?

(my second novel)


Last november I embarked on a journey –– to write fifty thousand words in one month. It was my first time truly participating in National Novel Writing Month, and I was over the moon when I won. I completed the challenge! By December I was fifty thousand words into a brand new story, had just completed the first draft of my first novel, and I was on top of the world. 

So, what happened? 

Here we are now at the end of February, and I haven’t even managed to get an additional twenty thousand words into Project Genie since November. The project is currently sitting at around 65,000 words. I had hoped to be completely finished with the first draft by this point. The first draft I had estimated to be around 100,000 words once completed. As you can tell, I’m nowhere close to achieving that goal. 

I’m not entirely sure what caused this lack of progress with this project. I think there were several different contributing factors to be completely honest. For starters, I’m worried that barrelling through NaNoWriMo during a pretty stressful time in my life may have been a mistake. Sure, I got the 50k, but at what cost? I just felt so burned out and mentally exhausted afterwards. After I finished the last few chapters in Project Dragon draft one, I didn’t write anything at all for about three weeks. 

On top of the nano burnout, as I’ve taken to calling it, there was the additional stress of the holiday season. The holidays are always stressful, no matter who you are, but when you have a broken family they can be extremely taxing. Emotionally and physically. So I just didn’t really have the mental energy to be actively drafting Project Genie throughout December. 

But then January came, and I still couldn’t write. I started my read-through of Project Dragon (taking notes for draft two) towards the end of the month, but I got barely ten thousand words in Project Genie. And now in the third week of February, I’ve only added around five thousand words to that. 

So I’ve had to ask myself, what’s blocking me from making notable progress in this novel? And I realized it’s basically because I don’t know where the story is going. Winning Nano got me to the midpoint turn of the story. It also got me through everything that I sort of had loosely outlined?  I do call myself a “pantser” because I can never stick to an outline, not even a flushed out, detailed one. But usually I’ll have a general idea of how I want the story to go, how I want the characters to arc, etc. And I do sometimes have a loose bullet point list to accompany that general idea, which was the case with Project Genie in the beginning of November. 

However, I only had this vague idea of the first half of a story. So once I got the fifty-thousand words to win Nano, I didn’t have much of an idea of where to take the story afterwards. So because of that, progress on the project has basically been non-existent. 


After realizing the different factors that had contributed to my lack of progress within this project, I decided I needed to change things up a little so that I could power through this first draft. So, after brainstorming possible plot lines, I’ve come up with a few directions I could take the stories and characters in. 

But that’s not all. I’ve realized that I was trying to write this first draft as a second or third draft with my level of detail and such. Nanowrimo was probably more than a little to blame for that approach –– it was all about the word counts. So I was taking extra care to completely fill out scenes without even knowing what scene came next. And I think for the purpose of finishing the draft, I need to switch to first or even zero draft mode. I need to work through the story and figure it out before I can worry about details and intricate subplots –– things I could focus on a little more in the first half because I already knew that part of the story and how I wanted to tell it. (Though I still probably should not have focused on as much). This means I may only have a few paragraphs or a handful of sentences for scenes. It means I may even leave blank spots for entire scenes if I know something should be there but I’m not entirely sure what. Basically I’m going to do whatever it takes to figure this story out and get through this drafting process.

One thing I do know; however, is that this decision will make the revision process for draft two quite interesting hahahaha. But I hope that it’s the right decision, because I really love the concept of this story and the potential the characters have! 

I’ll let you all know how the new process is going in my next writing update! 

February Update – where have I been?

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a while. Too long, actually. There was sort of a lot going on and I slacked on blogging a LOT the last few weeks. But, today I’m here to give a recap of what I was up to during those weeks I wasn’t blogging, and hopefully get back into the swing of things. I would really like to find a schedule I can stick to, but we’ll see if that happens. *cue nervous laughter emoji*

Okay so I’m going to divide this blog into about three different sections and give quick updates for each section. 


So, the first section is reading. The thing that I haven’t been doing. Yup. I haven’t even finished a single book this month, and I was already two books behind in January! (Well, a book and a half, but still).

Goodreads is saying I’m six books behind schedule now. Yikes. Double yikes. I’m not really sure what caused it (awkwardly avoids eye contact with She-Ra and The Princesses of Power), but I’ve hit a massive reading slump. 

I’m currently reading a nonfiction book about Joan of Arc and rereading An Ember in the Ashes, both of which I picked up in January. I’ve only managed to get a few chapters in each in the last two or three weeks. It’s pathetic. Someone come tie me to a chair and make me read some damn books. I’m serious. 


Ah. Something else I haven’t really been doing. I’ve barely gotten any words in my nanowrimo project, Project Genie, and I feel like I’m behind schedule on my Project Dragon read-through. I don’t remember what deadline I set for myself but I feel like I’m not going to hit it. I’m only halfway through the read-through. It’s taking a little longer than I thought it would initially because I’m having to do a lot of brainstorming about plot lines and character arcs and such. I also got pretty sick the first week of February and didn’t even look at my first draft hardly, so. There’s that. Maybe I can finish the read-through in a week or two? I won’t push myself too hard or rush anything though. I feel like that would be counter-productive. 

I did manage to start another little writing project though. A poetry collection! Fun little backstory – I used to play guitar and write songs in high school. I’m not so much into the guitar/music thing anymore, but I do still write poetry (which was basically what my songs were back then anyway). So I’ve started going through a backlog of songs and poems and piecing together a collection. And I’m kind of surprised by how much I’ve been enjoying it to be completely honest. I’m having a lot of fun with it! And who knows, maybe one day it will be out in the world for people to read. But right now, it’s just a fun little personal project for me. 


I know that this blog is about books and writing, but I felt like I needed to include art as its own little section in this post because it’s mostly what I’ve been doing lately. 

I’m currently starting the process of opening my own etsy store to sell stickers and prints (with more items coming eventually!) I had to purchase a few supplies to get started, and now I’m getting some pre-stock ready before I get the store ready for launch. I’m super excited! I’m hoping to get it launched by March! 

In the meantime, I was working on a commission for a twitch streamer, doing some custom emotes for her. And once I finished that up, I moved on to my first digital painting that included a character! I’m still working on that piece now; it’s coming along slowly but surely. You can see my progress updates on my Ko-Fi and Twitter if you’re interested! 

That about sums it up!

That’s about all I’ve been up to recently! One thing I want to briefly bring up is reviewing books on this blog. It’s something I always intended to do from the beginning, but so far I’ve only actually written one review. I feel like it’s too late to go back and review any of the books I read in January, but should I continue doing it from this point forward? I think I’m going to try, but let me know what you guys think!

That’s all for me this time! I’ll be back with something really soon I hope. Look out for an update when I finish this Project Dragon read-through for sure! ‘Til next time! 

Revising Project Dragon

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Today, (January 26th) I started the first revisions of Project Dragon –– my first completed first draft. Wow, okay. That’s a lot of firsts. *cue nervous laughter*

Aannndd I have no clue what to expect really? I think I have a pretty solid system right now, but we’ll see if that changes over the course of editing this draft, considering I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE. 

I started this blog for one reason: to talk about books. Reading and writing them. So, this blog is just as much for me as it is for you, my readers. This blog is going to serve as a journal of sorts as I go on this scary, wonderful, magical adventure of writing stories and hoping people will one day read them. 

Being the first draft of a novel I’ve ever completed, Project Dragon is very, very special to me. It’s also a flaming hot MESS. This project needs a lot of work before I can ever consider letting readers lay their eyeballs on it hahahahaha. So today, I set in to do that work the best I know how, with the help of authortube of course (lol!). 

I waited two months (close enough anyway.) I didn’t even so much as glance at it the entire time I waited either, and honestly I deserve a reward for that. Where’s my cookie? 

But I did think about this story and it’s characters during that obligatory wait. A lot. So much so that one morning I woke up with the perfect way to write the opening scene (it needed a lot of work, and this was an epiphany) and scrambled to get it down in my phone notes before I lost it. Maybe that counts as cheating, but I’m definitely not sorry for it hahahaha. 

But, in my defense, I did NOT look at my printed first draft nor have I looked at that opening scene in my notes since. 

Okay fine, maybe I have. ONCE. It was one time!!!

Anyway, you may have noticed I said printed first draft a second ago. I did. I printed out my entire first draft, at home, with the printer I got for my twentieth birthday to do just that. As a matter of fact, I’ve barely used it for anything else, which means I’ve barely touched it since I finished that draft back in December. 

I know there are a lot of writers who don’t print anything until later drafts, or until they’re ready for beta readers, or what have you. There are also a lot of writers who print the first draft to help them through that first round of edits, and that’s the route I chose to take. Plus, since I printed every chapter as I completed it, it helped to have a physical representation of what I’d accomplished and gave me motivation to finish the draft. Even during the moments I swore I hated it and it would never be a good book. (I’m sure there will be plenty more of those moments soon to come.)

So, now I have a physical version of my first draft (hole punched,  put in a floppy cover, one inch, three-ring binder with stupid sticker residue coating the front –– I hate stickers.) And for the first time in almost two months I took it out of its place on my desk shelf and opened it up. 

Armed with pens and color corresponding high-lighters, I created a color key on an index card, which I taped on the inside cover of the binder. A different color for every editing thing I thought I would need. (Plot, World-building, Character Arcs, Character Relationships and Conflicts, and Timeline).

And with all of that ready, and a pad of mini post-it notes added to the arsenal, along with a standard black ink ball point for general notes, criticisms, and edits, I began reading. 

I only worked through the first chapter (around thirteen pages) tonight, but that alone took almost an hour. There are many different ways to edit a book, and many different types of revision (that sounds like the same thing, but it’s not really, I promise). But for this second draft I wanted a complete rewrite. That means having to pay close attention to all five of those things I listed a moment ago, while also brainstorming plot lines, and then some. 

Needless to say, I felt a little overwhelmed hahahahah. But! I will not let that deter me. I think no matter how I approached this very first round of revisions (ever!) I would have felt overwhelmed. And I honestly and truly believe this second draft of Project Dragon needs and deserves a near complete rewrite. I feel the potential of this story and these characters in my bones, and I will do whatever I can to let it reach that potential. 

So, my plan is to work through my first draft, highlighting and taking notes as I go. And once I’m finished with the read through and I’ve gathered all my notes and brainstorms, I’ll begin the rewrite in Scrivener (the first draft was written with Google Docs, but I got Scrivener for Nano and fell in love with it hahaha.)

If at any point that plan changes I’ll be sure to write a post explaining how and why! 

And now that I’ve spent this entire post talking about Project Dragon, let me give a brief update on the status of Project Genie (my Nano project)! The first draft is still currently unfinished. Actually, I’m sorry to report that I’ve barely made any progress at all since I won nano with the 50k words. I had hoped to be at 75k words at the end of the month, and when I realized that wasn’t feasible I lowered it to just 60k. And I wasn’t even able to get the ten thousand words I needed to achieve that goal. But I am close, and the month still isn’t quite over, so you never know what could happen!

I hope to make a lot more progress with it next month –– at least twenty thousand additional words. I love the concept for this story, I’m just having a hard time finding the character’s voices and personalities haha. Which is strange, considering Project Dragon is the exact opposite. 

But anyway, that’s all for now! I’m tentatively setting a deadline to be finished with this read through of Project Dragon one month from today (So, Feb 26th). Hopefully I’ll be able to set a hard deadline once I get a better feel for my pace when it comes to these things. One thing I certainly don’t want to do is rush the process! 

Until next time! 

FaeFriday – Changelings

This a tag created by CaffeinatedFae over at ( link)!! 

This week’s prompt is about changelings, and the question is “what is a book you picked up that wasn’t at all what you thought it would be? 

And honestly finding an answer to this question was a little harder than I anticipated. I’m usually pretty good at sticking to my favorite genre (YA High Fantasy) and reading blurbs hahaha. But I guess a book that took me by surprise emotionally was Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. 

I was very late to reading that book, in fact I only picked it up after the sequel came out. So I guess I already had a very distinct idea of what that book would be before I started reading it. 

And it blew my expectations out of the water, to say the least. What I thought would be a Harry Potter rip-off for adults that would mildy impress me, turned into my favorite book of all time. 

So yeah, it’s safe to say I was thoroughly bamboozled. Simon and Baz captured my heart completely. 

Plus it ended up being so, so much more than just a Harry Potter rip-off for adults. Although, if you loved Harry Potter as a child please, please read this book. The faint flavor of nostalgia layered over the sheer perfection of this story just DOES THINGS TO YOUR HEART OKAY???

I hope I answered this question well enough! I can’t wait to read everyone else’s answers every week! Thank you CaffeinatedFae for creating the tag! 

January TBR

Photo by Pixabay on

Hi, so because I’m a trash human being and this post is horrifically late – as all of my posts have been this month – I’ve already read two of the books on this list and started a third. Sigh. 

On the bright side, it makes me feel pretty accomplished? Anyway, here’s my TBR.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Goodreads Link:

This was the first book on my January TBR because I started it in December. I know a lot of people don’t like carry-over reads, but I don’t mind them. In fact, I actually sort of like them. I look at them as a jump start on my new GoodReads reading challenge hahahhaa. So yeah, I finished The Starless Sea a while ago at this point (and yes I will write a review, I’m just very behind leave me allooneeee). 

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads Link:

This is the second book I managed to complete before writing my TBR post. Again, I’m a trash human being. But to be fair, this was a pretty quick read for me. It was the last in the trilogy so I could barely put it down. I was racing towards the end with my heart in my throat for about two days, then it was over. There will be a review for this one as well, but I don’t feel behind on that seeing as I just finished the damn thing a few days ago. It was a nice wrap up to the trilogy though, I liked it a lot. 

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Goodreads Link:

This is my current read, but I’m not far enough along to be forming any opinions just yet. I’ve seen this book make its rounds on Booktube and such, but never really felt an overwhelming desire to read it if I’m being completely honest.

But when my library didn’t have The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern I needed something else to read and figured this would be just as good as any. And I’m sure I’ll like the book, I just didn’t expect to be reading it during the first month of the year with so many other books on my primary TBR (when this one wasn’t) I guess? Meh. I’m enjoying what little bit of it I’ve read so far! 

The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc by Nancy Goldstone

Goodreads Link:

If you read my previous post, you’ll know that one of my reading goals for 2020 is to read more nonfiction. While I was perusing my local library for interesting titles, this “secret Joan of Arc story” caught my attention. From my understanding, this book is supposed to tell the infamous story with a fresh perspective, and for some reason that really intrigued me. So, despite checking out three other non-fiction titles, I’ve designated this one as my January read! And I think I’ll really enjoy it! 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Goodreads Link:

I wanted to reread this trilogy this year, and got a jumpstart on the reread in December. I would hold off on ACOMAF in lieu of other books, but I know me and I know I don’t have that kind of self control sooooooo  . . . here we are. I may actually pick this one up before The Maid and The Queen because I’m going to be in desperate need of a comfort read in a few days. 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Goodreads Link:

Another reread I’ve been meaning to get to for a while and just . . . haven’t. I got a paperback edition for my birthday last September though (and just recently bought A Torch Against the Night as well) so I’m determined to finally get around to reading it! (again).

And that’s my TBR!

I’m usually sort of wary about setting “concrete” short-term TBRs (like this one), but it was surprisingly easy to do this month? And I hope it stays that way, because I need to average about six books a month every month to meet my reading challenge of 75 books this year! I’m feeling pretty confident in that goal right now, but we’re only a couple of weeks into the year so let’s see how long that lasts hahahah. 

Let me know if you’ve read or want to read any of these in the comments! My next post shoouulllddd be my review of The Starless Sea. Either that or my January writing goals, it just depends! But, until then! 

2020 Reading Goals

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This post is so late that I might actually cry. I wish I was only kidding. 

Anyway, this is the first year that I’m actually sitting down and writing out some concrete reading goals to try and achieve throughout the year. And it’s only my second year of having a GoodReads Reading Challenge, or a target amount of books I would like to meet (and hopefully surpass) by the end of the year. So let’s get into some of the reading things I want to happen in 2020! 

GoodReads Challenge

75 books

So this is a pretty straightforward goal, and definitely the most fluid/lenient one. Which sounds a little strange, but I’ll get there. 

My plan is to read at least 75 books this year (hopefully more, but I’ll be more than happy with that number). That’s it. Pretty simple, if I can remember to prioritize reading over Netflix and The Sims. Cue nervous, doubtful laughter. 

Specific Reading Goals

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Okay, so now let’s get into the more specific things that I may or may not manage to achieve before the year is up. I’ll start with the smaller, more manageable ones and work my way up! 

Broadening Horizons

Look, here’s the thing. I LOVE fantasy. Like a little too much. Like it’s ALL I READ, a little too much. That has got to change this year. I would love to get back to the old Alivia who could pick up any book off her mom’s shelf and not even bother reading the back cover, she just started reading. 

Okay, I doubt I’ll ever get to that innocent, open-mindedness again. But I really do need to broaden my reading horizons more. 

I would like to read more adult books in general, regardless of genre. I find myself constantly gravitating towards YA, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, but the last few adult books I’ve read I really enjoyed! 

As far as specfic genres go, I would really like to get back into thrillers, horror,  murder mysteries, etc. I used to absolutely love the stuff when I was younger, but I sort of just stopped reading them and never really got back into it again. 

I also want to branch into more YA contemporaries. I made the mistake of reading a few sub-par YA contemporary romances and they basically steered me away from the genre as a whole for a while, which isn’t fair. There are plenty of YA contemporaries that don’t have a romance focus that I’m very interested in reading (and even a few romance ones as well!). 
The last genre I would love to delve into a little more in 2020 is historical fiction. I just recently read an adult historical fiction about the Roman Emperor Nero, and I loved it! (My non-spoiler review is here on my blog if you want to check it out.) The Confessions of Young Nero piqued my interest in ancient history once again, I can’t wait to read more about fascinating historical figures and events.

Read More Non-fiction

The last one sort of leads into this, but I’m keeping this as a separate goal because . . . well I don’t know because I feel like it? Fight me. 

I’ve spent my entire reading life avoiding non-fiction like the plague. I always just assumed that it would absolutely bore me to death. But now I feel this thirst for knowledge?? I just want to read about things?? And learn things? Who am I? Hahahahahahha. 

I’ve actually already gotten a jumpstart on this goal! I’ve recently checked out four (4!) non-fiction books from my library about varying topics that I plan to read over the next few months! I would love to be able to average one non-fiction read a month! 


And finally we get into what is probably my most ambitious reading goal or challenge for 2020. Re-reading old series that I loved but never finished / don’t remember / want to read again. This is a pretty lofty goal, because there are several series that I’ve been planning to reread for a few years and just never got around to. 

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

The first series that is way, way overdue for a reread is Harry Potter. It’s been roughly six or seven YEARS since I read the books last, and I’m terribly homesick for these books. Yes, I said homesick. For a book series. Fight me (again). 

A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy by Sarah J Maas

I’m entirely too obsessed with Sarah J Maas’s characters, so even though I read the ACOTAR trilogy just three and a half years ago, I’m already craving a reread. So much so that I may or may not have already read the first in the trilogy back in December. Hehe, oops. 
And yes, I loved it just as much as the first time. But ACOMAF is my favorite, so I expect I’ll be picking that one up very soon.

An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

This one is a little bit different because I’ve only read the first two books. Three books are already published, with the fourth one coming some time in the foreseeable future. There’s a lot of buzz around this series –– for good reason –– so I would love to be caught up and refreshed by the time the fourth book releases. I don’t remember hardly anything at all from the first two books, so rereading from the beginning is a must! I’m hoping to get to the first one soon! 

Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

I just recently finished the original Grisha trilogy (Ruin and Rising review coming soon(ish), and now I want to reread Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom more than ever before. Six of Crows was the book that made me fall back in love with reading my sophomore year of high school, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. (Besides just for being an incredible book with an incredible cast of characters that I would lay down my life for without hesitation.)

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

This one takes the last spot, because it’s an incredibly daunting task. I don’t just need to reread the core six Shadowhunter novels (The Mortal Instruments), I need to reread every single Shadowhunter novel, in order. Every single one. And it feels like every time I turn around she’s announcing and releasing yet another Shadowhunter series, and I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed, but it’s fine. Everything is fine

I own the entire TMI series, but I don’t own any of the others yet. So if the TMI is all I manage to get through this year, I’ll be okay with that. Though, I would really like to get through at least The Infernal Devices as well. (And definitely not because it’s my personal favorite. Pssshhhhh. What kind of person do you think I am?)


And last but not least, I would like to review every book that I read this year. I’ve never really taken book reviewing seriously, but there’s no time like the present to start, right? I’m not sure if I’ll ever do “spoilery” reviews, but I’ll definitely try to share my spoiler-free thoughts about every read of mine this year! It was one of the main reasons I wanted to start a book (and writing) blog, so I hope that I can stick to the plan! 

The End?

I guess that’s it! I feel like these goals sound a lot less daunting than they feel? Or something like that? It didn’t seem to be all that much when I was writing this up, but they certainly feel like ambitious challenges hahahahha. I can’t wait to see how many I accomplished at the end of the year! 

Do you have any reading goals or challenges for this year? Comment and let me know! 

2020 Writing Goals and Dreams

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New year, new decade, new beginnings. A lot of people find New Year’s resolutions to be incredibly cliché, and I can’t say I entirely disagree. However, both 2018 and 2019 were filled with low points and giant changes for me. Needless to say, I’m ready for the fresh start that I feel 2020 can bring for me. 

And while I do have some personal resolutions and other goals, in this post I wanted to discuss my plans for writing. I actually have quite a few things I want to accomplish with my projects before the year is up, and even a few more things that I hope will happen but are out of my control. So, I’ll be dividing this post into two parts – goals, or things within my control,  and dreams, or things out of my control. Without further ado, let’s get into it!


This is actually a pretty lengthy list, I tend to be very ambitious with these things hahahhaha. But, I’ll try to condense it into something a little more readable. I’ve decided to arrange these from most to least manageable, with general writing goals first then project specific goals!

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General Writing Goals

The first writing goal I have for the new year is one I think a lot of writers may share, and that’s just to form a writing habit (and stick with it!!). When I started taking writing seriously last summer, I would write at random times of the day and night, with no routine or schedule to speak of. I wouldn’t write consistently either, and thus my first WIP, Project Dragon, took over five months to draft. 

Nanowrimo helped me realize that having some form of routine helps my productivity immensely. (And setting daily word count goals, but I’m getting to that.)

However, usually strict, rigorous schedules are the fastest way to bore me with something. I absolutely detest the monotony. 

So in 2020 I’m hoping to form a writing routine that focuses more on habits and productivity, rather than strict schedules. 

And I’ll be sure to write a post going further into detail once I start forming this routine!

Another goal, that might seem a little obvious, is to work on this blog as much as I can! I just started it last month, so I have a lot of growing and learning to do as the year goes on! I would like to figure out a posting schedule (right now I’m leaning towards three times a week, but I’m not sure which days.) I’ve wanted to start something like this for a long time, so I plan on pouring my heart into it! 

I’m also planning to work on a freelance writing portfolio this year. While I could potentially use some of my blog posts for it, I want some experience writing non-fiction articles! I started this last year, but it quickly got pushed to the side for other things. I want to make an effort to focus on it more throughout this year!

Project Goals

My first project related goal for the year is to finish drafting my second WIP, codenamed Project Dragon. I started this WIP in November for Nano (and won!!!), but the 50k words only got me about halfway through the story. Fantasy is a bitch lmfao, especially considering it’s a stand-alone. (At least it better be, or I’m calling the writing police.)

I’m hoping to finish the first draft by the end of February! I was going to participate in what people like to call “Januwrimo” (98% sure I didn’t spell that right) and finish it by the end of January, but I just have entirely too much going on in my personal life for that to be a realistic goal. Plus, I want to be a little kinder to myself with deadlines and expectations, so the end of February it is! 

Which leads us into my next goal, which is completing the first two rounds of revision for my first WIP, codenamed Project Dragon. I finished the first draft back at the beginning of December (MUCH EXCITE), and it’s been a struggle to not immediately tear into editing hahaha. I’ve never revised a novel before, so it will be a brand new experience for me and I can hardly wait! 

The beginning of February will mark two months since I completed the first draft, so I plan to start my read through then! (Which yes, means I will be reading then editing Project Dragon while drafting Project Genie, I am aware.) 

And then, once that round of edits (aka Draft 2) is completed, I’ll wait another two months before starting the second round! 

Another goal of mine is also to edit Project Genie (duh.) If I can meet my deadline of March 1st for the first draft, I’ll be able to start draft two in May! What I’m really aiming for is a steady, alternating flow of work between the two for the first half of the year, at the very least. While I’m stepping away from one for two months, I’ll be working on the other! 

Okay so the goals I listed above are pretty obtainable. They depend solely on me and my work ethic. But now we’re heading into some goals that are definitely still obtainable, but a little less easily. You’ll see what I mean. 

To be more specific about my revision goals, for both WIPS, I want to complete two rounds of edits for each project (which would put both projects at Draft Three – at different times, of course.)

Once the project has reached Draft Three, I’ll start searching for beta readers. 

DISCLAIMER>>> this may change. I may feel that the projects aren’t quite ready for beta readers at that stage when the time comes. If that becomes the case, I’ll simply go through another round of edits with each one, and continue doing so until I feel comfortable sharing them with beta readers. 

My goal is to have beta reader feedback for both projects by the last quarter of the year. This is so that I can achieve one more round of edits with each project before the year is over, with the beta reader feedback. 

I’m aware this is a pretty lofty goal, which is why I said it’s attainable, but not easily. At the very least, I hope to have beta reader feedback for Project Dragon by the end of the year, as it’s my first WIP and a little further along than Project Genie. 

And moving from that point even further into lofty goals, I hope to be at the querying stage (probably with Project Dragon) by the end of 2020. 

However, I don’t want to rush either of my projects, so if neither of them are ready to be queried in 2020 I’m not going to beat myself up over it. There’s always next year! 

And with that, we reach the end of writing things I wish to accomplish that are (mostly) within my control! So now let’s move on to the things I’m wishing for, but can’t control at all.


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Bouncing right off my last goal for the year, it would be absolutely incredible if 2020 is the year that I sign with a literary agent. I understand this isn’t realistic so I’m not getting my hopes up (too high) or anything, but man oh man would it would be amazing hahahaha. 

Some dreams that are a little less ridiculous, but certainly not within my control, are number related. I’m hoping to gain 350 followers on this blog by the end of the year! Is that a crazy number for a blog these days? Probably. But I’m nothing if not ambitious. 

I’m also planning to work on my authortube channel (although I’m not as sure of that as I was a couple of months ago . . .) 

If I do stick with it, I hope to reach 500 subscribers by the end of the year! I’m currently at around 120, so it’s certainly not an impossible goal. Right? Heh . . .

And finally, last but definitely not least, I’m hoping to start earning money from freelance writing. It’s just one of those things that depends on me building a strong portfolio (which is a goal, of course) and then the luck of finding jobs! But the extra income would certainly be nice. 

And that’s a wrap!

Those are all the writing things I plan or hope to achieve by the end of the year! It’s a very ambitious list, I’m well aware, but a girl can dream eh? (aannnddd now “I’ve Got a Dream” is stuck in my head. Again. Thank you Disney+ for giving me unrestrained access to Tangled -__-)

What are your plans and wishes for the new year? I also have some reading related plans, so I’ll be writing about those next! 

Wishing you all the best of luck with your resolutions and goals, and the absolute best start to the new decade!!! 

Don’t forget to live in books! (that is way, way too cheesy for a sign off, I am never typing that again.)