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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

good books & gratitude | july updates

For the first time in the last several years, I actually wish June hadn’t ended so quickly. Festivals, weddings, and VBS went by in a flash...and I literally am looking back over last month right now, racking my brain to figure out what in the great googly moogly did I do in June?

The truth is...I slept. I did a lot of sleeping. And by that I mean I actually went to bed at a decent hour instead of getting any work done, and didn’t wake up quite as early to get in some words before the rest of the fam woke up.

So, yes. Much sleep occurred.

And reading. I kinda sorta actually read. Like, intentionally chose picking up my Kindle over a host of other things, which was refreshing, because I got out of my reading slump and discovered some new favorites.

But as for my 90% focus on writing? Yeah, no. *sighs*

And some of my other goals, like drying herbs, didn’t make the cut either. I genuinely don’t know what happened—just that June did not go as expected.

Especially considering this one crazy thing...I bought a car.

Correction: my sister and I bought a car together. But still. I would like you all to meet the one-and-only Steve.

I’m already determined that July is going to be productive and full of reading, herb-drying, and other wonderful non-work things. And sleep. Of course I’ll still sleep. Just not until 7:30. I can’t handle the morning heat, y’all. The humidity is fever-inducing.

ANYWAY. Moving on to a brand-new addition to my monthly updates posts…


~ gratitude ~

Straight from the pages of my planner, I’m grateful for…

  • cheese dip

  • good books (specifically reading them)

  • coffee

  • working at my nana’s store

  • peach tee

  • Sky’s the Limit Press

  • VBS

  • repurposing an old dress into a skirt

  • basil-infused water

  • clean sheets

  • funny gifs

  • and, of course, Steve

What are you thankful for from this past month? It can be little things (like I’ve shared) or big things—whatever you’re praising God for!

~ accomplishments ~

I had great plans of decluttering my inbox and social media—which lasted about a day. I unsubscribed from maybe five-ish newsletters, but I never even touched my now-500+ blog posts. 😬

And getting in 20k-50k? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.

Meanwhile, in Canada, one of my best friends wrote (almost, if you round up from 95k) A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS IN A FLIPPIN’ MONTH. HOW THE HECK DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? THIS HEIFER WAS POUNDING OUT 10K A DAY.

Anyway. Totally not jealous.

I did, however, publish my Bible study journals...and post a couple times...and write a few books reviews...and catch up on graphics for my VA job...and get started on my relaunch of Sky’s the Limit Press (check out our Instagram here!)—but life things and writing things just faded into the background.

~ goals ~

So my goals for this month are simple (I literally say that every month): be productive. Make the most of my time. Feel productive rather than piddly.

Naturally, I just wanna write consistently. I know 1,500 words a day isn’t, you know, realistic...but 100 words a day is. I can do that. Even if I have to write on my phone or a notepad. So that’s my goal: write consistently.

Some people say consistent writing isn’t necessarily a good thing or the “trick” others claim it is—and as someone who (1) is as scattered as Ezekiel’s hair (if you comment below that you got this reference, I’m turning it into an official simile) and (2) operates entirely on inspiration and motivation and sweet tea, I honestly agree. No, it’s not the “trick” to being a good writer or making the most out of your writing. For some people, it probably would leave you feeling resentful and burnt-out.

But because I’m driven by drive (oh, gosh, that’s cheesy 🤦‍♀️), I crave routine. I desire structure and organization. That’s one reason why I’m actually outlining (ish) Something Bright & Beautiful: to give myself the discipline I need to overcome my laziness dependence on inspiration.

There are writers who do need consistency and discipline to hone their skills, and there are writers who need to break out of monotonous routines to regain their love for the craft. Which are you? Would you be interested in a blog post on consistency in writing? Drop a comment down below! (This sounds like a script for a YouTube video. 😂)

~ writing ~

I did actually somehow end up with 2,688 words. Did I used to write 15,000 words a month? Absolutely. But am I just coming out of a period of writing nothing a month? Yes. Yes, I am.

So I’ll take my 2k. Here’s to doubling it...and doubling it...and doubling it over the next few months.

~ reading ~

Y’ reading this month was ACTUALLY GOOD. Not that it’s been bad, per se, the last few months, because I have read and I have read books I’ve enjoyed.

I just felt really motivated to read and just really excited about the books I read.

The main reason why?

The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock.

Y’all, this Christian fantasy semi-classic is a book I had literally never heard of until I saw Hannah Linder redesigned the cover for it (and it is GORGEOUS). So when I saw CelebrateLit was hosting a blog tour for it, I decided I’d give it a try—even though I had no idea what I was getting into and turns out some of my Goodreads friends DNFed it and/or gave it negative reviews.

And, lemme tell ya, even though it’s a bit of an acquired taste (apparently), I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was just what I needed to pull me back into a love of reading (especially on my Kindle). It had all my favorite things—a strong male lead, an amazing allegory, and ANCIENT ROME VIBES. (Mark of the Lion fan over here, peeps.) It was like Ben Hur + Dune + Lord of the Rings. As weird as that sounds, it works.

I also finally read By Light & Love by Anna Augustine, which was so sweet, and The London Rose by Rosanne E. Lortz, which was a delightful Regency romp.

I only missed one of the books on my list for June, which brings us to my next new segment…

~ upcoming reads & posts ~

My intention is to hold myself accountable with this segment, by listing the books I intend to read this month and the posts I wanna write/share on my blog! So here goes…

to read:

  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliott

  • Sky of Seven Colors by Rachelle Nelson

  • Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business by Fred S. Steingold

to post:

  • an introduction post for Sky’s the Limit Press

  • my author website Q&A post (which is several months surprise there)

  • a post about my novella, Her Heart’s Home

  • and five guest posts from my fellow Springtime in Surrey authors!

~ guest appearances ~

I got to share an extremely controversial post on Kellyn Roth’s blog in June, and Y’ALL. I had a ton of fun writing this—just not as uch fun reading the comments. Hopefully y’all will be able to understand what I mean in my post all about ✨bad boys✨!

~ follower updates ~

In case you missed it...I created and published Bible study journals for those who don’t like writing in their devotionals or study books. (That would be me. 👋)

The anthology I’m being published in, Springtime in Surrey, is accepting launch team members AND bloggers for the blog tour! If you’re interested in helping promote SiS, check out the launch team form here and the blog tour form here! We would love for you to join us in celebrating the release of Springtime in Surrey!

I don’t know about you, but I am SO excited for SiS!!! Have you preordered your copy yet??


Well, that sums it up for June! Lemme know down below...what are your goals for July? Favorite read? What are you grateful for?

Oh, and while you’re at it...I’m in the process of creating a resource library for y’all, and I wanna know...what resources (writing, publishing, devotional/inspirational, etc.) do y’all wanna see? What would benefit you most as a writer and/or Christian? Any and all suggestions are appreciated! 😊

Love you all and pray you have a wonderful and cool July! Don’t melt out there, my peeps. 😜

yours in spirit & script,


(Pst! I'm an Amazon affiliate, so if you make a purchase through my Amazon links, I'll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!)

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Issabelle Perry
Jul 08, 2023

Girl, you named your car STEVE?!?!?

You get your first car and you NAME IT STEVE!

Please tell me this is a joke. Are you feeling okay? Do I need to come over there and give you a jug of sweet tea and a box of chocolate cookies???? Maybe your sister blackmailed you into naming it that. Yes, that must be it. I am choosing to believe that because there is no way a creative writer like yourself landed on the name STEVE.

I am insulted. XD

Okay, Steve-name aside, GIRL WRITING 3K WORDS IS AMAZING (and yes, I am rounding up to 3K because I can do what I want) AND YOU SHOULD FEEL PROUD OF YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like you…

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

BUT IT'S NOT YOUR CAR, SO WHAT DOES IT MATTER? Just because you hate the name so much, I'm going to name a character Steve, and he's going to be THE MOST TERRIFIC MAN EVER. You'll have to fall in love with him, Steve or not. *cackles evilly*

*gobbles it all up*

PFT YOU ARE TOO KIND. I'm sure your handwriting is the least of His worries (not that He worries 😂). SO GLAD YOU DID!!! *messages you about sprinting* Same, girl, same.



corrie s.p.
Jul 05, 2023

Googly Moogly? I have just discovered my new catchphrase😍🤣

I'm thankful for my birthday, being able to live another year. I'm also thankful that I got to visit a friend's house for the day and hang with her(tried makeup for the first time. ehh, not my style)

Congrats on Steve! Our vehicles are Rackety Boom(old blue truck), Alien Blood(green truck), and Champaign (champagned colored Toyota Camry)😂 And now enter the never ending schedule of who gets to use the car and when!🤩 Our do you already have a thing worked out?

This month I'm going to summer camp, meeting up with a friend, and doing school catch up, also whatever else comes along.

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jul 06, 2023
Replying to

Go right ahead.

Okay, now, naming your appliances is not something I've ever heard of...XD


Jul 04, 2023

Happy July!

I'm very glad you were able to have a lot of rest in June and it sounds like you had a lot of fun! (even if you didn't write as much as you might have hoped, it still sounds productive in it's own way!)

Ooh, Steve, very nice! Love the name XD (I've driven a buggy and a tractor but still need to learn to drive a car ;) )

Well done for your writing last month and best wishes for this month's goals!

Hmm, I read Dawn Wind by Rosemary Sutcliff and love that very much. I think that's it for last month.. :p

Excited for you for SiS!!

(Just listened to your podcast btw, so good!!…

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jul 05, 2023
Replying to

Happy July to you too!

Aw, yes!! Thank you! <3

Hehe, thanks, girl! (Hey, take your time!)

Thank you so much!

Ooh, I wanna read Dawn Wind so bad!! So glad you enjoyed it!

(Ah, thank you!! <333)

Those are some amazing things to be grateful for! Especially the baked goods. *coughs* XD Ah, the musical sounds like such fun!! Hope you had a lovely June!

My pleasure! LUCKY DUCK!!! The heat index here got up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 celsius) last week. 🫠 Y'all enjoy that weather, girly!


Saraina Whitney
Jul 03, 2023

Yay for Steve!!!!!! I'm totally going to name my car when I get one too 🤣 (Did you or your sister choose the name? XD)

And I love what you said about consistency in writing. I'm ready for a post on that, for sure! *winks*

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jul 05, 2023
Replying to

(Oooh, awesome! LOL!)


A.M. Revere
Jul 03, 2023

Hey, it is totally fine that you didn't make your goals. The fact that you took the time to do things with your family and you also rested is wonderful enough in itself. I am still so proud of you and I know that when you are ready, that creativity is going to flow just as it did before and you are going to create beautiful work! Much love to you, Gracie. You've got this! <3

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jul 04, 2023
Replying to

Aww, thank you so much for the encouragement!! Love to you too, girl! <333


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