Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in July: the biggest misconceptions in photography, a roundtable discussion with black directors, Veronica Mars and the power of solitary women, the neuroscience of long-term goals, the women of ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, and more.
I have no idea what’s going on with July. It’s been one of those months that’s simultaneously been dragging on forever and is disappearing in a flash. But July is almost over (however that happened), and I guess it’s time to think about how it went.
I’m going to start with photography, because that’s the bit that doesn’t make me want to tear out my hair this month. (Fair warning for when I get to the writing bit of this update.)
I’m still in that rut I mentioned in June, still taking far too many photos of flowers and not enough photos of literally anything else. So that’s not great. But I’m still carrying a real camera a few times a week, and I do like the photos I’m taking, even if they’re kind of boring.
But the real progress has been in the super-secret Big Scary Project. I’m still not ready to launch, but I have made some huge steps forward this month. (That ‘next step’ I mentioned at the end of June—the one that required an incredibly tedious bus ride? I actually tackled that the day after I said that it was going to be my top priority for July. And the bus out there wasn’t air conditioned, so it was pretty much exactly as painful as I imagined it’d be. It was slightly better coming back—at least there was a/c.)
Point is, I’m incredibly proud of the progress I’ve made on that project this month, and I’m super excited about the next steps. If I can keep the momentum going, I’ll be ready to make some actual announcements by fall.
Now. Writing. (Feel free to skip this bit. Last warning.)
1. fangirling… over all the Marvel Phase 4 announcements. (Jane Foster! Blade! An actual release date for Black Widow!)
2. falling… a bit behind on my 366 project. Twice. It happens, but I’m not happy about it. (I’ll be up-to-date again by the end of the day.)
3. getting… frustrated. More technical difficulties.
4. trying… not to melt. The humidity has been awful.
5. worrying… about one of the neighbourhood crows. It was obviously hurt or ill, but it wasn’t in a place where I could try to help. I’m still a bit stressed about the whole thing.
6. signing… up for another streaming service, just for Season 4 of Veronica Mars. And I’m kind of furious about it.
7. wondering… if I’m ever going to make ice cream this season. (I can’t find all the ingredients I need, because apparently grocery stores around here don’t bother to stock small cartons of whole milk anymore. I can’t bring myself to throw away more than half a litre, which is what will happen if I give in.)
8. moving… a few dresses back into the regular rotation. (Partly because of #4.)
9. taking… another big step on the big scary project that I’m still not ready to talk about. But it’s awesome.
10. realizing… that I’m complaining a lot this week. I’m sorry. I blame the heat.
Oh, look. More flowers.
1. eating… all the strawberries.
2. noticing… that I’ve broken a few bad habits, completely unintentionally. An unexpected benefit of that cold, apparently. (Don’t worry: I’ve still got plenty of bad habits. Glad to be rid of those ones, though.)
3. finishing… the office coffee station. I finally found a tray I like! (This is the kind of thing I get excited about.)
4. tackling… that chore that I’ve been putting off since… last summer. Really. But it’s done and I can move forward with the big photo project, and I’m thrilled! (The bus ride wasn’t quite as tedious as expected, but it was close.)
5. hoping… that the new sunscreen I picked up will solve all my (sunscreen-related) problems.
6. looking… for good baked doughnut recipes. I finally broke down and got a pan, and I can’t wait to try it. Just as soon as the humidity breaks and I’m willing to turn on an oven again.
7. troubleshooting… an annoying computer problem. Not sure if I’ve solved it yet. Fingers crossed.
8. taking… care of the balcony plants. Finally. If they die now, it’s because of the oak trees, not my neglect.
9. cleaning… up the files on the ancient MacBook Pro, in the hopes that maybe it can be repaired and used again for less than the cost of a new laptop. I’m not optimistic, but it’d be nice to have something in between the desktop and tablet. (And, yeah: a lot of computer stuff going on lately.)
10. trying… those ruby cocoa KitKat bars. The chocolate is really interesting—I’d love to see it show up in a form that I can experiment with (chips or plain bars, something). I feel like it’d make a really good ice cream.
It’s been ages since I’ve been this happy with a group of photos.
The subjects are still pretty mundane (flowers! ducklings!) and I still kind of feel like there’s not much going on, but I like these photos.
I’m starting to feel good about my photos again. Mostly. This batch isn’t amazing, and they’re mostly from the phone—I’ve gotten over my cold, but the one time I felt well enough to take a real camera out in the past ten days, I promptly got hit with a brand new wave of symptoms—but they’re not just flowers, and they’re not just random stuff I can see without getting up off the couch.