This summer, we travelled to Italy. It was around 19 days of pure bliss: pizzas and gelatos, museums and sculptures and rich, rich culture. It’s unreal how many different people and places this world is home to; we seem to only know ours. Anyway, I write this the day after we landed back home (knowing life’s tendency to cascade into chaos) in the hopes that it’s coherent and does the trip justice.
Europe—with its lush green pastures, quaint towns and magnificent panoramic views—has always been one of those places you could spend ages in. Just taking it all in. Italy is the epitome of Europe’s fascinating beauty.
Italy just so happens to be one of those places where the place looks exactly like the pictures. No filter. It’s like someone copy-pasted their Pinterest board onto it. It is simply unbelievable—almost as though words aren’t quite enough to describe the place (but then again, they never quite suffice.) And that’s coming from someone who practically worships good literature.
We visited five gorgeous places + Vatican City and that’s how this post is divided. So before I digress: here’s Italy, through my eyes.
I kid you not, two weeks ago, at around 11 in the morning, I was updating my Goodreads and needed to change the ‘read’ date and on the dropdown menu, it read “April 1” and I went berserk. There is no way it’s already April. We’re already more than three months in.
Time never ceases to amaze me (as I’m sure anyone who knows me knows.) My friends and I have been in awe – freshman year of high school is already over. It seems like yesterday we were all nervous in that giddy-excited way, making our way through the gates, and seeing each other after summer break…
And we’re here. It’s summer again. Except I’m going to be a year older soon. And I feel myself trying to hold on to the memories, relish the moment but it’s like grasping for water: you have it for a moment, you feel the coolness on your skin, and just like that; it’s gone.
I write this a couple weeks after a terrorizing set of finals (you wouldn’t believe the relief) and my life just has all this empty space in it – it’s the perfect time for me to pick up a new project, or write some songs, or finish editing my draft… but I find myself unwilling to do something “productive.”
Because, after all, we all need a break sometimes don’t we? (aka, me trying to justify the fact that I haven’t posted since last year. Yes, I’m aware.)
The days are getting shorter, the morning air has a little chill, and the jackets are coming out of the closets… if I didn’t know better, I’d say it was winter again. The skies go maroon at seven, we drink hot chocolate on the weekends, and the mid-terms approach. (Of course, there had to be a catch, didn’t there?)
Anyway, today’s post is a log of the last couple of weeks – we went picnicking, my sister and I have been binge-watching Gilmore Girls, and we did an assembly at school… it’s been a great deal of fun. Life’s had its ups and downs (and things have been leaning towards the latter lately) but I have been trying, and I’m just hoping that’s enough.
Life’s been a bit on the quiet side lately, with extended hours of school, holidays, and studying with Midnights streaming (constantly,) long, handwritten notes to friends, and it feels a little bit like hope again. Winter is slowly setting in, but through the mist, through the rain, I can still see flickers of light – of hope.
2021 can be marked as the year I fell in love with reading again –the year I realised how much impact books can have on your life. From setting myself a goal of reading 70 books earlier this year to actually finishing all those books well I’m still reading the last one, but there’s timeI’ve enjoyed the entire process of reading them.
It actually started with my Cassandra Clare obsession in late 2020 – where I binge-read the entire Mortal Instruments series. I remember being in my grandmother’s house and just reading all. day. long. By early January, I’d finished the series and started on the other three trilogies and was done by the end of February.
It sort of marked the beginning of new reading ‘era’ for me – after my middle-grade fantasy phase and I have read so many good books this year. Obviously, credits to all the book bloggers out there who put out amazing recommendations, and thank you to Goodreads and StoryGraph for all the stats.
I won’t be able to mention all 70 books I read this year, but I will be mentioning the biggest surprises, some books that literally changed the way I look at things, and books I absolutely adore. Let’s get to it!
On November 22nd 2021, at 3.32 p.m., I finished the first draft of my novel.
It still feels surreal to finally finish it; I wanted to scream from the rooftops, but I had to settle for yelling into a pillow, running around the house while my sister stared at me oddly. This is the book I’ve been working on since early April this year, and I got to about 134k in November. (I have created a monster.)
But, regardless of its many, many flaws and imperfections, I love it with all my heart, and I’m SO pumped to have finished it!
As the year comes to a close, I’m planning to put it aside for a week or two and focus on other projects before I get back to editing and writing a little more. I wrote a whole chunk of the book this NaNoWriMo – let’s get into all the details!