August 2020 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

September 2, 2020 Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 39

My Goings On in August:

Here’s what I accomplished in August:

  • Not much blogging. As you’ve probably noticed, most weeks I’m only managing two posts—my Sunday Post and one other. And the Sunday Posts are mostly only making it up because I really hate the idea of missing someone’s birthday or blogoversary. Seriously, it’s the only thing keeping me posting, so I guess it’s good I include it!
  • We brought my oldest to college! Jade is attending IIT, majoring in AI with plans to get her Master’s in Data Science. She’s technically transferring in as a junior (or possibly second-semester sophomore? It’s hard to map it exactly) because of all her community college credits she got in “high school.” Not kidding, she’s kind of brilliant. Like, when most kids are graduating high school, she had already completed all three Calcs, Linear Algebra, Discrete Math, Differential Equations, Physics 1 & 2 for Engineers, two specialized math classes, plus some programming classes and more. Oh, and she tutors at the community college too (ironically, she’s actually still tutoring there since everything’s online—and she gets paid more now that she’s no longer a student). I know I’m just all-out bragging about my kid here, but I think she deserves a little bragging.  🙂
  • We painted two bedrooms and a bed. Since Jade moved out, Danielle moved up in the world to Jade’s room, and Noah’s now moving to Danielle’s old room (my husband will be making his office in Noah’s old room, and my mom will sleep there too when she’s with us). We bought both the kids new beds and painted Danielle’s, and then both rooms got painted. Whew! Lots of work! (We still have one more room to paint!)
  • Danielle and I made a mask holder for my husband’s birthday. To go along with the key holder we’d already made him. You can see the pic in this post.
  • SCBWI Summer Spectacular! This was a fantastic online conference!
  • Digit! I’ve been sharing pics of our new pup in my Sunday Posts every week so you can see him grow up: 5/31, 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28,7/5, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30. But here’s my monthly “before and after” pic, so you can see the first day he came home versus this week:

  • What I’ve watched:
    • My two younger kids and I are completely caught up on The 100—and now we have to wait for new episodes like the rest of the world!  🙁
    • I finished watching Indian Matchmaking. It’s interesting to see how arranged marriages work (in some instances), but the show itself is sort of dissatisfying since we only get to see one marriage in season one.
    • I started re-watching the first season of The Rain, so I can watch the rest of the series.

Features & Discussions:

August 2020 Discussion Challenge Link-Up & Giveaway
August 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up & Giveaway

My 2020 Reading Progress:

I only read 4 books in August. I guess it’s better than none? I’ve now read a total of 72 so far this year, and I’m 6 books ahead of my Goodreads goal.

August 2020 Reviews

  • The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed | Review
  • Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids by Natalie Rompella | Review
  • Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners by Natalie Rompella | Review

August Best of the Bunch:

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

Since I only reviewed three books this month, I’m only choosing one winner: Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners had so much going for it!


2020 Goals Progress:

Progress: 13/21-30 Discussions (Chatty Kathy)

I posted no discussions this month (and not much else either!).

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag
Tales of a Social-Media (and Tech) Failure: What’s the Deal with the WordPress Block Editor?
What Draws Me to a Book Cover?
Black Lives Matter
My Teenagers Are Reading Again and My Heart Has Never Been So Happy!!
I’ve Been Impersonated on Instagram!!
Google Searches Are Weird (AKA: You Found Me HOW?)
All Those Deleted Drafts
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 draft of my Selfish Giant retelling. I’m working on it, slowly but surely.
  • Attend one writing conference and at least one online class. I’m calling this one complete.
  • Read writing craft books and resources. With my reading slump, this just hasn’t been happening.
  • Edit A Memory of Magic. Maybe someday I’ll get to this.

My Reading/Reviewing Goals

  • Review (requested) review books within two weeks of publication. Two of the three books I reviewed this month were ARCs. I’ve still got some catching up to do, though!
  • Review two backlist review books per month. Nope.
    • 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 August wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up. And enter the giveaway!

39 Responses to “August 2020 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch”

  1. Sam@wlabb

    You brag, mom! Nothing like a brainy, brilliant young woman. Who ever thought we would need a mask holder. –sigh– Digit is getting so big! I didn’t realize until you did that side by side.

  2. Emily

    I just finished The Black Kids and I actually really enjoyed it! It was an interesting look at race and race relations.

    Good luck to Jade in her new space! I’m sure she’ll do awesome.

  3. Kathryn Trask

    Nicole doing whatever is right for you is okay so two posts a week is perfect. Your painting and rearranging sounds like lots of work. Brag as much as you like about your daughter. She sounds both really bright and hard working. Hope September is good to you.

  4. GayAnna Weddle

    I am also very proud of Jade! I brag to everyone about her. I also can’t believe that my first grandbaby is now an adult and off to college. She’s a special person and I love her very much!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Digit’s ears have been a constant source of entertainment in our household because they’re constantly changing. They went from being both down, to one up and one down, to both up, to one down, to both up with just a little crook in one of them. Some days they changed by the hour!

  5. Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits

    That’s definitely a lot more life stuff than blog stuff which happened for you this month—and there’s nothing wrong with that! Life stuff is important, and it sounds like you have done great by your kids, so hooray! Digit is such a cutie. 🙂

    Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits recently posted: Friday Reads: Ratpunzel
  6. Donna

    Your doggie is adorable. My niece started college this year too. Her classes started out online but she moves to campus next weekend. I tried to make a list of all my backlog review copies but that was overwhelming so this year I selected 12 that I would read this year – I’ve read 1. But I only have a couple of ARCs for October and November so I will focus on the backlog then. Check out my monthly wrap-up

  7. Literary Feline

    My blogging in August was pretty dismal too. I really appreciate your birthday and anniversary lists. 🙂 My blog anniversary completely slipped by me this year. You were kind enough to mention it–thank you for that!

    I’d brag about my daughter too in your shoes. 🙂 I am glad Jade is doing so well. what an amazing young woman! I wish her the best with college this year.

    I love that you’ve been shifting bedrooms and painting. I don’t think my parents did anything to mine until I got married and they knew for sure I wouldn’t be coming back. LOL

    Love the puppy photos. He’s grown so much!

    I hope you have a great weekend and week ahead, Nicole. Good luck with your reading goals this month! Have a happy September!

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    Uh, Jade sounds amazing. Super brilliant, so you brag all you like! That’s amazing. She’s got great things in store for her!

    I actually read more in August than I thought I did. LOL I need to work on my writing more though. Because YES, I started a new book. I have the first chapter of another book which I will finish someday, but I decided to focus on another idea at the moment.

    -Lauren

  9. Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity

    Brag away, Jade is accomplished and as a mom you have bragging rights for life. I suddenly feel like I should have done a touch more studying and less reading as a kid. Sounds like you had a busy month in real life with all of the changes even if you haven’t blogged much.

    Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity recently posted: Sunday Summary // 06.09.2020

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