May 2021 Roundup

Welcome to the May 2021 roundup!

I don’t know about you, but May was another quick month for me and included some non-writing-related events in the form of numerous specialist medical appointments. If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you’ll know I had surgery in 2018 for what turned out to be endometriosis.

A year later (2019), I saw an Endo specialist to book in for follow-up surgery to deal with more endometriosis and the chronic pain it was giving me. That surgery was supposed to happen in May last year, but we all know how 2020 went.

Finally, I was booked in to have that follow-up surgery today (2021)… just as the state I live in was put into its 4th lockdown in the last 12 months.

Now I’m playing the waiting game to hear when we’ll get out of lockdown (at this stage it’s 7 days), when my surgery will be rescheduled again, and if all of this will impact a different surgery I have booked for late June.

It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions the last few days/weeks and an end to the month that I wasn’t expecting. But as the last year has taught us, you’ve just got to keep pushing through, and so that’s what I’m doing.

What I’ve Been…

Writing

Blackbirch Book 3 – Are you surprised that this is what I spent May working on, considering I’ve spent every other month of 2021 doing the same. Editing really is endless sometimes.

My original plan was to have a beta draft ready by the time I had my surgery, and I was working toward that goal until the news of the lockdown and the cancellation of my surgery threw me off course for a few days.

I’m back on track now, and the new plan is to send my WIP off to a handful of betas by the week’s end to get their thoughts. No one but me has read this version of the book yet, so I’m eager to see if I’ve done the story and characters justice and what else still needs work from eyes who haven’t read the sentences a million times already.

Reading

A Darkening Fate by Ruth Miranda – The Arthurian saga continues with book two in the Heir of Avalon Trilogy. This time we delve more into the stories of the historical characters of the classic King Arthur tales, and I really enjoyed Ruth Miranda’s take on it and how she continues to write fascinating preternatural characters and stories. After learning more about Artuir and his rise to power (complete with his removal of the sword in the stone), Darkening Fate circles back to Yseult and Emrys, who are still trying to time walk their way back to a fateful day. There are spells, supernatural creatures, visions aplenty, and a nice little cliffhanger to take the story to the final book.

Breathing While Drowning by Veronica Strachan – I’m halfway through this memoir and it’s nothing short of heartbreaking and inspiring. Breathing While Drowning chronicles the loss of Veronica Strachan’s 5-year-old daughter, Jacqui, who was born with a brain injury. This shifted the dynamics of the Strachan family as they learned a program of physical therapies to help Jacqui live in the world, and how she changed their lives forever. The book is written as real letters to Jacqui from the time she was born and as she grew, with the author looking at them again twenty years later and giving some a fresher perspective. Dealing with disabilities, grief, hope, parent-guilt, and making yourself whole again after such a tragic loss aren’t easy subjects to tackle, but Veronica writes about them in a measured and inspiring way and makes picking this book up worthwhile.

You can find my book reviews on Goodreads. Be my friend and share your books/recommendations with me!

If you’d like to add the Blackbirch books to your “Want to Read” shelf and/or check out the reviews, click the following images!

Watching

The Woman In The Window (Netflix) – Can’t say I was impressed with this psychological thriller. The movie itself made excellent use of color in the sets and kept the settings interesting considering it barely moved beyond the same house. Amy Adam’s also did a good job, but honestly, when doesn’t she? It was the story that was the problem. It was so predictable and the killer was obvious ten minutes in.

Friends: The Reunion (Binge) – This was the special we needed to have this year. Full of laughs and nostalgia, it was so great to see the main cast reminisce on the sets and with their co-stars from this iconic series. A definite highlight was everyone playing The Game That Lost The Girls Their Apartment and Lisa Kudrow sing Smelly Cat accompanied by Lady Gaga and a church choir. If you want to watch something that is as feel-good as it gets these days, check the Friends reunion out.

Mare Of Easttown (Binge) – I’m a total sucker for murder mysteries, so this series starring the always awesome Kate Winslet is right up my alley. While there’s still one episode to go in this limited series, and the murder of a young girl that kicked off the story hasn’t been resolved yet, there’s been enough in the episodes that have aired to make this a must-watch and something I highly recommend if you love a well-acted show with realistic characters, and twists and turns.

Cruella (Disney+) – I initially wasn’t too interested in seeing this villain origin story, but I’m glad I checked it out. Emma Stone as Cruella and Emma Thompson as her designer nemesis, The Baroness, absolutely steal the show. Finding out why Cruella is the way she is was pulled off very creatively and there’s a twist in there that I didn’t see coming at all. Nods to 101 Dalmatians via known characters (Jasper, Horace, Anita, and Roger) and a great post-credit scene make this movie worthy of watching.

Lucifer – Season 5 Part 2 (Netflix) – Part two of Lucifer’s second last season dropped over the weekend and made my lockdown wallowing much easier to get through. Push past the grating musical episode and you’ll find what makes the series so awesome—the relationships between the angels, demons, and their human friends and lovers. There will be a 10-episode season 6 to finish off the series, and after the emotional events of the final season 5 episode, it can’t come fast enough.

Taking Photos Of

Brunch With Writer Friends! For the first time since January 2020, I was able to meet up with some of the #6amAusWriters crew in real life! We caught up for a delicious brunch and talked all things writing and books. By the next weekend, we were back in lockdown, but the catch-up was fun while it lasted.

On The Blog…

In case you missed any of my posts, or want to read them again, here are the latest blogs.

Writing Tip Of The Month…

#WritingTipWednesday posts are added to my social media feeds every week and here is the most popular tip for this month. It’s taken from my blog post, Plot Twist Tricks.

For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.

Blackbirch Review Of The Month…

I’ve run out of teasers, so I’m switching to Blackbirch review highlights!

This awesome 5-star review is for book 2 in the series, Blackbirch: The Dark Half. If you’ve read either of my books—and haven’t done so already—please consider leaving a review. It could help another reader find their next fave book.

If you’d like to read the books released so far or find out more about each novel, here are the links:

Quote Of The Month…

I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed my May Roundup. Let me know what you’ve been up to and what your best lockdown boredom busters are in the comments!

— K.M. Allan

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

6 thoughts on “May 2021 Roundup

  1. So sorry you are facing more surgeries and delays. As if you didn’t have enough going on already! I’m busy editing too, hoping to get the MS to my beta readers within the next twenty-four hours. What a long haul this book has been. I’m eager to get it published and move on to something else for a while. Hang in there, Kate. I’m glad both of us have our writing to lean on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alexander 😊. It has been a rough May. So happy to hear you’re so close to sending out to your betas! I’m just as ready as you to move into a different project and to lean into my writing as a distraction 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another busy month! I always love your commitment and determination, Kate ❤
    Have to agree with the movie of The Woman in The Window. I recall enjoying the book, but the movie didn't do it for me…
    Have a great June!

    Liked by 1 person

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