Writing while moving is *fun*
Star Wars: Battles That Changed the Galaxy is here!
💻 what I'm up to 💻
In my experience, publishing any licensed book works like this: you talk about things for a while with an editor, time passes, you start to wonder: is this book still happening?, and yes, it’s happening and due pretty much immediately. And without fail, more than one project will come together at the same time or the project will start up at a really weird time. The latter happened with Star Wars: Battles That Changed the Galaxy (out now, finally!).
This book came together more quickly than most of my other projects. My co-authors and I got rolling in short order after signing on. Jason Fry, Chris Kempshall, Cole Horton, and myself split up the book, and overall, I think we were very kind to each other as far as claiming certain battles and spreads. Anyway! The first batch of stuff came due right around the time I was moving across the country during a pandemic. It was the holidays, my husband and I were trying to get ahead of packing, but also trying to take a little of our holiday break entirely off. Basically, it was just general chaos.
Kairi loves an empty bookshelf
At a certain point, I had to pack away all my Star Wars books for the movers. I picked a couple I thought might be the most relevant to take in the car with us, but otherwise, I didn’t have access to my books for over 3 weeks. And those books were pretty darn key for research. Plus once we made the drive from California to North Carolina (which we did in about 48 hours, because we only stopped once for 6 hours to get our cats moved as quickly as possible), getting the internet set up was a challenge. More chaos.
I had to ask for grace from our wonderful editor at DK Publishing, David Fentiman, and my co-authors more than once. I also had to ask about specific pages in various visual guides and dictionaries since mine were on a moving truck. Then once our stuff finally arrived, I had quite the time finding the exact box I needed among the 20 or so boxes of books because someone (me) didn’t label the boxes beyond “books.” Good thinking, past Amy. I didn’t unpack all my books because I didn’t have bookshelves—and wouldn’t for a few months after I’d turned in my last pieces for the book.
Hey, at least I was able to watch episodes of the animated series and films as much as I needed and use Marvel Unlimited to revisit the comics for certain battles. Because of course my Star Wars trade paperbacks were also in a box somewhere.
I learned lessons about accepting my limits and doing the best I can given the circumstances. I feel like we were all patient with each other too and that… doesn’t always happen, you know? Bit by bit, I got through my sections. We all did. And the book got done. Now Star Wars: Battles That Changed the Galaxy is on shelves with hundreds of pages of lovely design and insight. I especially enjoyed creating some new character names and new ship names; I’ll never get tired of adding to the Star Wars galaxy in that way.
Completely unrelated: a month of going to physical therapy twice a week has done wonders for my knee. I’m back to my usual strength and flexibility and so, so grateful for it.
📘 my book things 📘
Star Wars: Battles That Changed the Galaxy is finally here! Get your copy wherever you buy books. If you order a copy from Malaprop’s and request a signature, I will stop by and sign your order—this applies to any of my books!
I have a few book-shaped things in the works I hope to be able to talk about sooooon. And I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month too; I’m hopelessly behind but I am actually making myself write a little and I’ll take it.
My wonderful agent shared this post by the also wonderful Dahlia Adler about publishing and writing and… I needed it. I bet you need it. “It’s Not Just You.”
📺 what I'm watching 📺
Selena + Chef
One evening while looking for something to put on while playing Animal Crossing, I stumbled across Selena + Chef on HBO Max. Filmed during stay-at-home restrictions during the pandemic (at least at first), the show virtually pairs Selena Gomez in her ridiculously nice kitchen with some chefs so they can teach her how to cook. As long as you don’t watch Selena chop things and stress about when she’s going to give herself a grave injury (I don’t know how she hasn’t lost a fingertip yet), it’s like watching a bunch of enjoyable cooking lessons from excellent chefs. The recipes are up on HBO Max and I have some of them bookmarked to make, plus I’ve learned some tips from all these chefs in general.
What We Do in the Shadows season 3
I just want to say the latest season of WWDITS? How does this show continue to be so perfect!.
📚 what I'm reading 📚
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
You know the charming movie Practical Magic? The one with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and midnight margaritas and witchy stuff. It’s based on a book. I only learned this in the past couple of years. Anyway, I finally read it and while it is quite different from the movie, it’s a lovely, sweet read with a lot of the same sisterly and witchy vibes. (Thanks for the rec, Rosie!)
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Look, I was in a real witchy mood this last month. This is a new romance in which an accidental curse messes up a small town's magic and causes hashtag problems. Plus the love interest's name is RHYS PENHALLOW. Come on. Absolutely light, fun, magical read.
I also read Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers after watching that absolutely bonkers series, and the book is not as wild. It feels like Hulu bought the rights to the book and decided to add a lot of disconnected drama to make it more exciting—and not in a good way.
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
A little mouse in a custom made Hobbit house! Well, mice. This is too freaking cute.
Okay, this isn’t exactly wholesome but I adore miniatures and when they’re faery-themed? Forget about it. Follow The Faery Forest on Instagram for a regular dose of tiny, beautiful art.
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
Today we’re going to talk about meal planning. Yes, it helps your creativity. Picture this: it’s the afternoon, you’re dragging, feeling less productive by the minute, and more grumpy about everything. You look at the clock and realize it’s 4pm and you haven’t eaten since breakfast. It happens to me far too often. But if your meals are planned (or better yet, if they’re prepped but I rarely achieve this goal), you won’t spend another 20 minutes spiraling about what you’ll eat. Hopefully you won’t even get to that 4pm starving place in the first place.
Make a list of lunches you could eat any day and a list of dinners you could have. I do better with this method rather than saying I will have a certain meal on a certain day. If you work away from home, prep those lunches on Sundays. Then it’s one less thing for your brain to worry about and when it’s time for lunch, you have a list of possibilities and minimal decision making. It will keep your brain and body happy and energized.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, gloriously alive, today.” - Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time is very much on my brain these days because I cannot wait for the Prime Video series (I have a whole newsletter for The Wheel of Time geared towards non-book readers). I’m in the middle of a reread and even though I haven’t got to this quote from Mat Cauthon yet in said reread, I love it. Probably my favorite in the whole series. It definitely has mindfulness vibes.
Reply and let me know how you’re doing! And if you feel so inclined, buy me a Ko-fi!