February 2020 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

March 2, 2020 Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 28

My Goings On in February:

  • My dad had a stroke at the very end of the month. For more than 24 hours he was pretty much incomprehensible—he had both receptive and expressive aphasia, meaning he couldn’t understand everything that was being said to him and his responses usually made no sense (sometimes he would substitute a random word for one he meant and sometimes his responses were just complete gibberish). It was very scary!! Then, he very suddenly made an almost-complete recovery (at the very time that the tech, worship and leadership teams at my church were praying for him—coincidence?). The doctors say the aphasia might have been caused by his high blood pressure rather than the stroke itself, which is interesting because I couldn’t find any information about high blood pressure itself causing aphasia. At any rate, he’s doing much better now. The only lasting effects seem to be a loss of peripheral vision on the right (the stroke was in his left occipital lobe) and some mild cases of confusion and/or not finding his words. He is mostly back to his old self again!! (Now we just have to get him to quit smoking and be vigilant about taking his medications—something we’ve been trying to do for years). It’s looking like I’ll be spending more time there, both to help out with managing my dad and to keep my mom company since she really can’t leave him.
  • I went to the SCBWI writing conference in New York! Not only did I learn a lot, but it was also great to meet up with writerly friends like Megan (who I wrote a whole post about)!
  • What I watched:
    • We finished watching The Good Place. The series finale was incredibly bittersweet!
    • I watched the entire season of Cheer, both seasons of Tiny House Nation, and several episodes of The Great Interior Design Challenge on Netflix. I love these sort of mindless shows for when I’m replying to comments on the blog or during the time when my insomnia left me so fuzzy that I couldn’t read or be on my computer).

Features & Discussions:

February 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up & Giveaway
Book-Related Anxiety. It’s a Thing (and I Have It). Let’s Discuss.
Six Degrees of Separation: Fleishman Is in Trouble to The Lunar Chronicles
January 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up (& Some December Updates Too)
The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner
February 2020 Discussion Challenge and Giveaway

My 2020 Reading Progress:

I’ve read 31 books so far this year, putting me 15 books ahead of my Goodreads goal (part of this is because I read the Season 9 Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels).

February 2020 Reviews

  • Malice by Pintip Dunn | Review
  • Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith | Review
  • Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf | Review
  • Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend by Catana Chetwynd | Review
  • The Real Boy by Anne Ursu | Review
  • Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun | Review
  • Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold | Review

February Best of the Bunch:

(Best of the Bunch is hosted over at Cocoon of Books. We link up our favorite reads of the month!)

Even though I only reviewed two MG books in February, it was tough to choose between them because they were so differentbut I ended up going with The Real Boy because I just adore Ursu’s writing style.

My favorite YA of February was Malice. Pintip Dunn doesn’t get nearly enough attention. I am always so impressed by her books!!


2020 Goals Progress:

Progress: 5/21-30 Discussions (Chatty Kathy)

2 discussions this month puts me on track with 5.

Book-Related Anxiety. It’s a Thing (and I Have It).
The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner
The Cybils Awards Finalists! Which Books Do You Hope Will Win?
My 2020 Goals & Challenges
2019 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight


My Bookish Goals for 2020:

  • My Writing Goals

    • Finish first edit of my Selfish Giant retelling. I didn’t hit my February goal, mostly because I went to the SCBWI conference and then my insomnia and my dad’s stroke kept me from working. I think I only wrote four new poems in February? Yikes! My goal for March is 15.
    • Attend one writing conference and at least one online class. I went to the SCBWI conference in February!
    • Read writing craft books and resources. I’d like to get started on reading one book in March.
    • Edit A Memory of Magic. Not on the schedule for March because I’m focusing on Selfish Giant.

    My Reading/Reviewing Goals

    • Review (requested) review books within two weeks of publication. So far, so good.
    • Review two backlist review books per month. I read three, but only got a review up for one (I was hoping to put up a Bite-Sized Reviews post last week, but that didn’t happen between my insomnia madness and my dad’s stroke).
      • Here’s the spreadsheet I created specifically for my backlist ARCs and review copies. (This was adapted from one of the tabs on Val @ Reader Voracious’s 2020 spreadsheet). Hopefully seeing this list here monthly will help keep me on track!


Wrap-Up Round-Up!

Don’t forget to link your February wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up. And enter the giveaway!

28 Responses to “February 2020 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch”

  1. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. Taking care of ill parents is really hard. I’m glad to hear he bounced back so well. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Tiny House Nation, but would love to watch more. And I’m behind on The Good Place, but am looking forward to watching the last half of the last season!

  2. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    I’m so glad your father is doing better! Hopefully with both you and your mother staying on him he will be better about his medications. Happy that the conference was a success. And getting to see bookish/writer friends is great.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I’ve been debating writing a wrap-up for this last concert. For some reason, I don’t feel like I have quite as much to say about it as I did about past ones. Maybe because it was similar? Or maybe just because I didn’t take as good of notes as I have in the past!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Oh, wow! Yeah, strangely he didn’t have many physical effects. It was just his speech and cognition and his peripheral vision that were affected. So sorry about your sister-in-law! Sounds like she must have had a pretty massive stroke. I hope she regained the ability to walk over time.

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m so happy to hear that your dad is doing (mostly) better. That’s so scary!!! I hope you have a fantastic March though with no health scares and no insomnia.

    -Lauren

  4. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    So glad your dad is doing better. I’m sure that was so scary. February wasn’t as great for my writing as I’d planned, but I did get some done, and have extended my goal deadline to the end of March. We’ll see how that goes. Jealous of the SCBWI conference! Hope to hear more about it if you get a chance.

  5. Cee Arr

    Glad to hear your father’s doing better! Aphasia can def. be related to high blood pressure – and if it’s blood pressure related then it can recur sometimes, so don’t panic if it happens again (although hopefully it won’t, obv.!) A lot of the time the word being used has a linked meaning/cenceptual link to the word the person means – so my Gramps used to say ‘picture’ for ‘flower,’ (pretty things,) ‘apple’ for ‘ice cream,’ (desserts,) and ‘Chapel’ for ‘Welsh.’ (…that one’s a cultural thing!) 🙂

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