2017 Project365 #190 | Reghan Skerry

Sketchbook #25

Photography, Writing

July has actually been a really good month for me, from a creative standpoint.

I know. I’m surprised, too. Lately, I’ve started every one of these check-ins with a sigh about how weird things have been, but July… actually went well. Mostly. I mean, it didn’t start well, but the last few weeks… I’m really happy with the work I’ve been doing.

First of all: I finally started the painting! It’s been on my list for two years (I bought the canvas in 2015), but I kept putting it on hold, for various reasons. The big one was that I couldn’t settle on what I actually wanted to do with it—I had a general sense of the concept (I wanted something bold and graphic, but rough), but I kept changing my mind on how I wanted to achieve that. But now it’s just about done, and I’m so happy with it. I can’t wait to show it to you guys (just as soon as I’ve taken care of a few finishing touches).

I’ve got another two paintings that I’d like to finish up by the end of summer—early fall, at the latest—but we’ll see how that goes. (I still need to pick up supplies for one of them.)

I still haven’t quite pulled myself out of the midsummer photography slump that I seem to fall into every year, but I’m getting there. I’m basically caught up on the Project 365 posts, and I’m still (reasonably) happy with the photos themselves.

I suspect that that might be at least part of the problem. I’ve been creating photos that I like, but I’m very aware that they could be better—and that means things are going to get difficult again, and I’ve probably been resisting that.

Um… yay?

But that’s fine. I mean, it’s a little bit tiring, but… it’s normal. And realizing that that’s what’s probably happening (even if I didn’t realize it until I sat down to write this post) gives me something to focus on. And, coincidentally, I just bought a book of photography projects, so that might give me some ideas.

Still: I’m just about caught up, and I’m happy with the photos.

I’ve also started making a real effort to learn my way around the Lomo’Instant. I love the camera, but any genuinely good photos (or just not-terrible photos) I’ve taken with it have been pure luck. So, I’m trying to change that… it’s not going quickly, but I am making some progress.

Finally: writing.

Most of my writing time this month has been brainstorming and character work. I’ve been trying to streamline the plot and sort out motivations for some of the secondary characters in last year’s NaNoWriMo story, and doing a little bit of worldbuilding on the next story (which is probably this year’s NaNoWriMo story).

I’ve also started (like… just last week) a daily freewriting practice again. I’ve been feeling like I need to be writing, not just doing all this prepwork, and this felt like the way to do it.

I’m handling things a little differently than I did last summer—then, it was mostly about building my typing speed back up in preparation for November. I was aiming for wordcounts, and a lot of my writing turned into brainstorming sessions or journalling or a mix of the two.

This time around, it’s purely about writing for a set amount of time every (week)day – something manageable, that I can fit in around other things, and that I might be able to maintain even when I’m working on an actual project. If I reach 1000 words in a session, that’s great. If I reach 250, that’s good, too. I’m also trying to focus on fiction this time around: just disconnected scenes or responses to writing prompts, or whatever comes to mind. It’s a way to explore scenarios that pop into my head, or character voices, or just… play.

I said a few months ago that I’d like to find a writing project that worked the way my 365 photo project was working for my photography. I don’t know if this is it, or if anything’s going to come of it, but it’s the closest I could come up with. The current plan is to keep it up until the end of the year, and then reevaluate. (I might take November off for NaNoWriMo, but… we’ll see.)

I’m still figuring out a way to keep it organized, and I’m still thinking about whether or not I want to share any of the little snippets I produce (here? Or this might be more suited to Tumblr). But, like I said: I only just started, and it was kind of a whim. I’ll figure it out.

August is going to be a busy month, but I’m not too worried; I know I’m going to have lots of opportunities for photography (which is nice), and I’m going to try not to slack off too much on my writing. (I know already that I’m going to be taking one week off, but that’s fine. It’s never a problem when I’ve made a plan.)

Other than that… I’m not sure. It’s time to start seriously planning my NaNoWriMo project for this year (I’ve got the story and the basic outline, but that’s it), and I really want to get the next draft of last year’s story started.

But, really, my big goal for the month is to maintain the momentum I’ve built up over the last few weeks. That’s enough.

Project365: #162-210 (The Catch-Up Post!)

Photography

Here they are: all the Project 365 photos that I haven’t been posting for the last little while!

I’m not going to try to say anything about them—there are too many, and there’s no real point. Some are really good, some are kind of terrible. The usual. Be sure to click through to the gallery: I went with a different layout this time around in order to save space—most of the photos aren’t actually in a square format.

I’m not going to get this far behind again. Trying to get back on track has been maddening.

Snapshot #82 | 10 Things for 30 July 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. falling… in love with even more kittens.
2. catching… up on my Project 365 posts! Finally! (The big roundup will be here later today.)
3. taking… care of the balcony plants. It’s really late, but they’re finally officially planted.
4. thinking… about my game plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo.
5. working… on my painting.
6. debating… whether or not I should buy a new camera bag. (I don’t really need one, but the ones I have don’t meet my requirements, at all. And the one I’ve got my eye on is on sale, and… ugh.)
7. watching… Iron Fist (meh), Riverdale (so much fun!) and Orphan Black (so good!).
8. getting… ready to maybe eventually make a few very minor changes around here. Or maybe some big changes? I don’t know. I just feel like it’s time for a change.
9. making… my favourite coffee ice cream. (Recipe in the Big Gay Ice Cream cookbook.)
10. hating… the humidity. Always.

Snapshot #81 | 10 Things for 16 July 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. taking… steps to find my inspiration & motivation again.
2. playing… with kittens. 😻
3. hoping… for a pleasant surprise when they announce the next Doctor later today.
4. remembering… why I should never give in to an impulse buy, no matter how tempting. Grr.
5. catching… up with my 365 project! Finally. (It’ll still be a couple of days before I’m completely caught up, but I’m getting there. The pictures will be up here by the end of this week, I promise.)
6. attempting… that ice cream recipe that’s been giving me trouble. I think I know what’s been going wrong (chemistry!), and this should confirm it one way or the other.
7. starting… the painting. You know the one.
8. searching… for a bag that’ll hold all my stuff. The one I thought was perfect… wasn’t. (See #4, above.)
9. wondering… why Canada Post never bothers to scan parcels. Ever. (I wonder this every single time I order something that ships via Canada Post. It’s maddening.)
10. practicing… with my Lomo’Instant. I am determined to learn how to use this thing properly.

Snapshot #80 | 10 Things for 2 July 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. finding… some inexpensive pens that might meet my admittedly-specific criteria.
2. falling… behind on my 365 photo project. 😬 I’m trying to catch up (promise!). (It was around this time last year that my weekly photo project fell apart, wasn’t it? Apparently, I just lose all photographic motivation in the summer. Which seems weird.)
3. hoping… that the balcony plants survive. Building maintenance means I haven’t been able to plant them properly yet… it’s so annoying.
4. putting… my plans in place for the next few months, and generally taking some time to get myself back on track.
5. watching… all the shows that I missed during the actual TV season.
6. wishing… that this weekend was a little better, weather-wise. I’d hoped to get out for some of the Canada Day stuff, but the idea of standing around in the rain/drizzle/etc. doesn’t really appeal.
7. thinking… that I really need to start doing something real with this blog again, don’t I?
8. reevaluating… my various creative projects. (I suppose this is technically part of #4. I’ve been thinking about my work process and the work itself. There are changes on the way.)
9. wondering… why one particular ice cream recipe doesn’t seem to work for me. (I’ve used other—nearly identical—recipes from the same source with no trouble, but I’ve tried this one twice and it just doesn’t work. Still tastes good, at least.)
10. unsubscribing… from the email newsletters and blog feeds that don’t inspire me.