This blog is a celebration of novel, novel characters!

I love reading novels, and as an artist I know a great exercise to stretch one's illustration skills is to portray characters from a description in a book. This blog is a challenge to myself to do just that so I'll be posting illustrations from whatever book I'm currently reading. Feel free to add comments and send me your fan art for these great titles too!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Goodbye June, Hello July! It's time to feel good!

June got away from me!

Do you ever struggle with feeling bad about all the things you aren’t getting done?  Sometimes it’s a daily struggle for me, there’s so many things I enjoy doing, and I’m always coming up with new goals.  Not a day has gone by this month when I haven’t told myself I need to update my blog, yet I just had one of those months where I never seemed to have enough time.

When this happens I feel like apologizing.  I want to say to my dear readers, I’m sorry I haven’t been here to entertain you, and to the authors whose books I’ve been working on reviewing, I’m sorry I’m not getting reviews done faster!  But, no matter how much I actually or mentally apologize, it doesn’t make the reality that all those things on the to-do list are still waiting to get done, any better.  Apologizing seems so useless when I think about how often I would need to apologize for not getting done something as quickly as I’d like.

So, should I even bother apologizing?  In a job situation, a boss pays an employee to do a job and if the employee is late too many times he or she loses the job.  I’m not paid to be a blogger, but if I’m late too many times I could lose readers and authors won’t like giving me review copies of their books anymore.  What a bummer right?  None of this thinking makes me feel any better, and none of it helps me get motivated to get back on track with my posts.  All the sudden, something enjoyable has become a source of depression.

Perhaps, my way of thinking needs to change.  As I struggle with my feelings I’ve been reminded of three Bible verses.  Phillippians 4:8, Joel 2:25, and Colossians 3:23.  The Phillippians verse- “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure…” it goes on, but I think you get the point.  First off, I shouldn’t be focusing on all the things I didn’t do, I should be focusing on something good.  How about the things I did do?  This month I gained my strength back after being sick, I spent quality time with my mother, I helped her do a thrift sale, I organized a drawing night event in my community, I took my boyfriend to a baseball game for his birthday, I spent time on a personal project that I’d been wanting to work on for months.  These are all things to feel good about right?  I’m already feeling better, what about you, is there at least one thing every day that you can feel good about?  Maybe it’s something as simple as, “I brushed my teeth; I feel good I did that.”  Try saying it that way, and you’ll be amazed how it makes you feel.

The Joel verse… I mentioned to you I was sick (that was back in May), and I also struggle with depression from time to time (maybe it’s the brooding artist thing), so my mother reminded me of part of this verse:  I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.”  Ok, seems a bit extreme for my situation, it’s not like locusts ate my crops right?  Things aren’t that bad for me, thinking about it makes me feel like a spoiled, whiny kid.  Is it really fair to make a comparison?  And yet, the promise is there, and I do believe that God makes up for lost time.  Instead of whining about all the things I didn’t do, I should focus on what I did do, then keep doing what needs to be done with the promise that God will help me see it through.  

Which brings me to the last verse I was reminded of:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  Hmm… I thought I did this already.  I always want to do my best at everything and honor God through my work.  But, if I’m overly worried about my blog because I’m seeing my readers and authors as my boss, have I missed the point?  I want my readers to be happy, and authors too.  Yet, the verse mentions doing the work for God, not human masters.  As much as I love pleasing people, pleasing God should come first.  If I was kept busy doing other things this month that God wanted me to do instead of this blog, I shouldn’t have guilt over that.  I’m not saying that was the case, maybe for some of the time it was, and maybe some of it was lost to locusts (like time wallowing in depression & sickness).  But either way, God has me covered right?  I just have to remember as I move forward, to give this blog my best because that will honor Him.

I needed to be reminded of these three verses, and I am going to try and keep them in my heart as I move forward into July.  Think on what is good, believe that God can make up for the time I lost, and do the work to the best of my ability for Him.  It’s certainly a different way of thinking than what comes natural to me.  But, focusing on what I didn’t do will only keep me stuck, and now is the time to get unstuck!

Do you have any tips on dealing with guilt over an unfinished to-do list?  I’d love to read your comments on the subject!

Thanks for reading this long winded post, I’ll be back with a book review and more happy art next time I post!


Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Joel 2:25New International Version (NIV)

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm[a]
my great army that I sent among you.

Colossians 3:23New International Version (NIV)

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,


  1. Hi Monica,
    I'm a new fan of your blog, which I discovered through Goodreads or Amazon reviews, I forget which. I've spent part of June searching your archives, looking for novels I've read and enjoying your wonderful artwork. Congratulations on having such a unique, fun-to-visit blog. I will be returning often, for sure.
    I'm a Christian fiction author from Australia and also have a Christian fiction review blog of my own. I like following other reviewers, and have never come across a blog quite like this before.
    Oh, please don't feel too guilty about all that you said above. Life happens, and since, as you say, bloggers are not paid employees, I think most followers will understand and be grateful for all posts, no matter when they appear.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Paula! It's so exciting to "meet" another blogger across the globe! I'd read some tips on blogging which recommended being consistent/timely in posting. Doing something like picking the same day every week to post, so I've felt bad that I haven't been able to do that. I think I'm slowly learning to not worry so much- just do what I can do, and then feel good about it. Thanks again for your kind words!

  2. Um, ignore the guilt........that's sorta working for me. LOL

  3. Please don't feel guilty, Monica. Life is so packed with stuff we want to do, stuff we need to do, stuff we ought to do, we're never, ever, EVER going to get it all done. No, I don't think we're supposed to sit around and watch TV and eat ice cream all day every day, but I don't think God wants us to work ourselves to death either.

    We need to take time to enjoy HIm and His creation and the wonderful things He's put into our lives. How can we do that if we never stop running? More than that, and this is something I have found to be so true in my own deadline-filled and over-committed life, we HAVE to take in before we have anything to give out.

    So, please don't feel guilty. Anything you do here is out of the goodness of your heart. Readers and especially writers love to see your wonderful drawings, but you in no way OWE any of us anything. And you'll certainly be happier with whatever you draw when you're feeling inspired and rested than what you come up with when you're stressed and worn out.

    Relax. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy your many blessings. Rest is as necessary as work.

    Bless you, sweetie!

    1. Thanks DeAnna, I think you are very right about having to take in before we can give. I've felt a little spent lately so that was probably part of my problem too. I'm really looking forward to this 4th of July weekend because no one has any expectations of me and I'm going to have some time to decompress! I hope you have a blessed weekend!

  4. I just adore your posts no matter how long they take to come!
    I totally understand how so many things can get in the way. :)

    1. Thanks Heather! I love, love, loved reading "Swept to Sea" by the way! I haven't forgotten to post on it, but I have been having a hard time deciding what scene to sketch for it. I want to draw the duel/fight scene at the end, or maybe the romantic scene where Caspian and Eden are swimming. <3

    2. Thanks, Monica! Oh, either of those would be pretty neat! :)