I haven't blogged in over a month which is crazy. I took an impromptu hiatus during November because I WROTE A BOOK! Well, half of a book. I WROTE 50K WORDS (a more accurate statement)!!! It was a busy month and I thought I'd have time to blog, but nope. Time? I HAD NONE.

This past month was a weird month. A good weird. A different month, with different experiences and personal growth. I only read one book during November and I didn't blog at all, which was weird. Blogging and reading are often the central things in my life (besides school) and taking a step back from that was quite weird at first, but I'm glad I did it. Because I invested my time into other things and I feel like I learned a lot and I grew a lot.

So the first thing I did instead of blogging and reading was writing. I wrote pretty much every day and often 2K words per day. Some days were a struggle because I'm a pantser so I had no idea where I was going with anything and just winged it, basically. But I'm really proud of what I've written so far. I love my characters and the setting and what the book is about. I feel like if I really invest time into this WIP it could end up being something I'm really proud of, and I really want to finish this book. I want a final draft, and I want something complete that I can work with and develop. I want people to read it because it's about mental health, panic disorder and agoraphobia which more people need to know about. I feel like mental health is so underrepresented in YA and when it is represented, it contains problematic things. I'm really passionate about the story and I WILL finish it. I just need to take some time out the next few weeks to figure out the plot and get to know the characters more so I have a better idea of what to write. I'll be sharing snippets of it shortly, so look out for that!

The second thing I did was grow in faith and try to put Jesus front and center in my life. We started at the most amazing church in summer, and their sermons really inspired me to study the Bible more. I got a new Bible the end of October as mine was targeted for younger teens, and I love it. I've been studying it using sermons from my church, commentaries and, sometimes, my own initiative. God has been speaking to me so much lately, and I've experienced the most wonderful joy and peace this past month that I could never have accomplished without Jesus. One of the reasons I haven't read many YA books this month is because I've only wanted to read the Bible – I can't quite describe the comfort it has brought me this month. Because bible study has become such a large part of my life recently, I'd like to share some of it on my blog. I want to start working on a Bible study/Bible journaling series, so look out for that in the new year!

Thirdly, I've been really interested in theology and Christian books. I've been reading The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel (which shows how science points towards God) and Prayer: Does it Make a Difference? By Philip Yancey (as I had a lot of questions about how to prayer etc). Because it's nonfiction I find it slightly harder to get through, so that's also why I haven't read as much as I would've if I'd read other books!

Lastly, I've been helping out at the church every Tuesday at the cafe they run and IT'S SO MUCH FUN. I've made a few friends which I'm so thankful for! When I spoke to some of my friends about how I was getting into my Bible and several Christian books, they started debating the existence of God with me. And some of them said stuff that I found quite hurtful. To me, God is very much real. Jesus is very much real. They're real and I have a relationship with them, so when someone tells me God doesn't exist, when someone mocks what I believe does hurt me because I love Him, and it hurts to hear such things said about God. Some of the things made me feel anxious, made me feel isolated and made me feel pretty sucky, to be honest. So I'm really happy that I'm making some new friends who not only accept my beliefs but share them too!

December is going to be quite busy but I have a list of blog posts I want to write, so yay! I haven't blogged in forever and I've missed it so much, so I definitely want to write as many blog posts as possible this month! I also have 1-2 weeks left of school before winter break so I'm going to be quite busy with that! I should be finished with my physics coursework soon, which is so exciting! I'll only have some English and some maths left to do – then I can start studying for my exams. I've kind of been slacking with my work in November, so I really want to go full throttle with it these next two weeks and get as much done as possible! I'm beginning to stress about my exams already because those grades will count towards university. I AM OFFICIALLY PANICKED. *breathes heavily*

I also have a friend's graduation, a christening and I'm helping out with a huge Christmas dinner at the church, so it's going to be quite hectic the new few weeks! BUT I'M EXCITED.

So, that's the personal update. NOW FOR THE BOOKS!

Life on the Refrigerator Door

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers💛💛💛.5

Like I said, I only finished one book in December. It's told via post-it notes so I read it in like twenty or thirty minutes. It was good, it made me teary-eyed and it was quite an emotional story that showed a lot of the characters, which I found quite impressive as it's only told through short post-it note letters between a mother and a daughter! It was a thought-provoking book and super quick!

The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward GodPrayer: Does It Make Any Difference?The CallA Christmas Carol

I really want to finish The Case for a Creator, Prayer: Does it Make a Difference? And The Call. I feel like I've been reading these books forever and although I'm enjoying them, I'd like to move onto other things now. One book I definitely want to read this month is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I swore I'd read it last Christmas and I didn't get to it, BUT THIS YEAR I SHALL CONQUER IT.

I also have like a million library books out (as research purposes for my WIP, ya know *cough*) so I'd like to work through some of those! These are the last bit of library books I'm taking out because I really want to focus on my own books next year. I CAN DO THIS.

I also thought I'd start sharing some photos I've taken throughout the month! I had a lot of coffee in November (turns out that's what NaNoWriMo does to a person) - I am obsessed with mochas. They're amazing. Look how cute the Christmas tree pattern is! 

The sky has also been BEAUTIFUL this past month. I swear, like, 85% of the photos on my phone are of the sky. Also, IT SNOWED TODAY?? I LOVE SNOW - IT'S SO PRETTY!!! 

I also went to the Bath Christmas Market and it's so nice! I got really nice earrings from there and roasted/caramelised nuts. #winning

SO, I'VE MISSED YOU GUYS SO MUCH. PLEASE, LET US CHAT. Did you participate in NaNo? Did you read any amazing books? Are you excited for Christmas? I STILL DON'T HAVE DECORATIONS UP. I know, I'm questioning my life choices too. What are your plans for Christmas break?