The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a wash, and I’m genuinely struggling to think of things I’ve actually done. But let’s try anyway.
1. craving… ice cream. I haven’t made a single batch yet this year.
2. wondering… if the new coffee beans I got for the office are really this bitter, or if it’s just the way I’m tasting things right now. (Stupid cold.)
3. worrying… about the balcony plants. The building-supply place around the corner closed last summer (they’re building a hideous corporate HQ in its place, which infuriates me for so many reasons), and buying plants has been difficult enough without a nearby garden centre, but now I have to try to get potting soil before the herbs die.
4. avoiding… the rain. Barely.
5. starting… to wean myself off Pinterest, or at least change the way I use it. (If anyone can recommend something that works better as a digital ‘swipe file,’ let me know. I use Evernote for a lot, but sometimes a grid view helps spark ideas better than a list.)
6. reorganizing… the archives.
7. recognizing… some missing skills in my writing life, and taking steps to build them.
8. finishing… the stack of books at my bedside. I’ve still got at least a dozen ebooks to read, but it’s something.
9. trying… not to let my anxiety get the better of me.
10. looking… forward to things getting back to normal.
1. spending… a little too much money. I should be able to get back on track going forward, though.
2. being… indecisive. I said I’d been trying to choose between two very similar WordPress themes? I’m still second-guessing myself. If you have strong opinions for or against blog sidebars, feel free to chime in. That’s what it’s coming down to, and I keep changing my mind. (It seems like I do have strong opinions for and against sidebars.)
3. reading… Keep Going by Austin Kleon. It’s the followup to Steal Like an Artist and Share Your Work! and I really needed it right now.
4. looking… for a new podcast to listen to. (I knew this was going to happen.) If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments. I’d especially like to find good ongoing podcasts about photography—audio only—and 20th century history. Also I tend not to listen to things that run more than 30 minutes an episode.
5. playing… with a kitten that made Lucy look chill and well-behaved.
6. making… the first batch of cold-brew coffee of the year.
7. thinking… about my long-term goals, and trying to turn them into plans.
8. starting… to see some improvement in the whole running thing. (According to the numbers, at least. When I’m actually out there doing it, it doesn’t feel like it’s getting better or easier at all.)
9. catching… up on all the TV I didn’t watch during the season. (Or starting to.)
10. wondering… why all the Marvel Funko Pops are bobbleheads. It annoys me that they don’t match the other ones I have. (Apparently I collect those things now? I don’t know.)
1. hoping… that my merlin friends are going to be back this year. (Do they return to the same nest year after year? I don’t know.) I think I heard one yesterday. (Note: that second photo is very slightly graphic, in a nature documentary sort of way.)
2. tracking… down some Cadbury creme eggs. I had to go to the fancy British grocery to find them and they only carried five-packs, but it turns out the British ones are better than the ones they make for the Canadian market, so that’s something. Craving satisfied.
3. tidying… up my Evernote account.
4. deciding… what I’m going to make for Easter dessert.
5. planning… a new semi-regular thing around here. Only reason I haven’t launched yet is because I can’t figure out what to call it.
6. getting… used to the coffee grinder I got for the office. (There’s a bit of trial and error involved when it comes to quantities.)
7. trying… some new skincare stuff. Half-convinced it’s snake oil, but my skin does feel a bit better.
8. finding… my big-picture inspiration again.
9. looking… for a copy of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I’ve had an urge to watch it again for the first time in years… and yet. (I prefer physical copies for movies that I want to keep.)
10. wondering… when it’s going to start feeling like spring. They’re calling for a snowstorm tomorrow.
1. going… a little overboard on the coffee station (I now have a coffee grinder in my office…), but it’s seriously the best thing I’ve ever done for my productivity, so I’m not going to worry about it.
2. thinking… about trying to get my old MacBook Pro up and running again. I’ve got a weird emotional attachment to that thing, and I miss it. I’m not sure if it’s salvageable, though (at least not at a price I can justify).
3. making… another attempt at sourdough starter. (The first try was doing well, until suddenly it wasn’t.) Still not quite there. Sticking with my usual bread recipe for now.
4. trying… to be a little better at Twitter. (Pretty sure I go through a phase like this every six months or so, don’t I?)
5. reevaluating… the office setup. Some of it isn’t working quite as well as I’d hoped.
6. remembering… that the Oscars are tonight. I’ll be staying up. I always do.
7. finishing… my first sewing project of the year (you may have already seen it on Instagram; if not, I’ll show you tomorrow), and starting to plan the next one (which is significantly more complex).
8. feeling… really good about both of my current works-in-progress.
9. starting… my annual search for the perfect pancake recipe. (I’m picky.)
10. getting… used to Scrivener. I think. Maybe.
It’s been a week since NaNoWriMo ended, and I haven’t looked at—haven’t even thought about—my draft since then.
That’s a good thing.
I’m not abandoning the story. I’m going to get back to work on it first thing Monday morning. But I needed a break, needed to get myself out of the weird headspace that the end of the month (or the entire month) had put me in. If I’d tried to start writing again before I’d had a chance to recover, the story would have suffered. It wouldn’t even matter if it was any good (even for a first draft), I wouldn’t have been able to separate the story from the stress of writing it, and I probably would’ve wound up hating it.
This break was absolutely necessary, even if it’s left me feeling a bit adrift all week.
And it’s given me a chance to look at my experience of NaNo objectively, and really think about what it taught me this year.
1. wishing… the cat didn’t like the comfy reading chair I got for the office quite so much. I seriously never get to use it.
2. wondering… what happened to my nice fall weather. I was not ready for snow.
3. realizing… that it’s been years since I made an apple pie. Years. That’s ridiculous, and I have to do something about it.
4. feeling… like I’m close to a breakthrough.
5. trying… to ease back into Twitter.
6. looking… for a good 350mL travel coffee cup. (This is one of those areas where I’m weirdly picky.)
7. realizing… that I’ve got a lot of things I want to do in the next few weeks, and it’s kind of freaking me out.
8. finding… my perfect shirtdress. (In related news, I’m going to start wearing dresses casually again. Really.)
9. loving… the new season of Doctor Who. So much.
10. drinking… all the coffee. 🖤
1. starting… to think about cutting my hair. It’s reaching that awkward length.
2. trying… Low Point cold brew. Finally. (It’s been on my radar for ages, but I haven’t found any until this week.) It’s not as dark and chocolatey as I usually like my coffee to be, but the fruit and wine notes are kind of amazing (and super refreshing).
3. simplifying… a few things.
4. meeting… the neighbour’s puppy! (The one I’ve been low-key stalking.) He’s an 11-week-old Boston terrier, and still the tiniest thing in the world.
5. making… these rice noodles with peanut-lime chicken. It’s a seriously good dish, one of my favourite summer recipes since I first tried it two years ago.
6. narrowing… down my options for NaNoWriMo.
7. tackling… some of the changes to the website that have been on my list for months. (If you’re reading this through RSS or something similar, swing by the site itself and tell me what you think!)
8. looking… for a new desktop wallpaper. (Or wallpapers, since I’m ready for a change on all my devices.)
9. hoping… I’ll be able to start making bread again next weekend. (I haven’t been bothering lately, because of the heat.) I’ve already decided that I’m going to be trying my hand at sourdough this fall, so the sooner I can get back to it, the better.
10. thinking… about baking, just in general. It’s been a while.
1. drinking… so much cold brew coffee. 🖤
2. thinking… about Twitter, and whether the idea of it (which I still love) is enough to make up for the current reality. I’ve been looking at Mastodon as an alternative, and so far everyone I’ve met there seems nice, but it’s not the utopia I’ve seen suggested. (This thread raises a lot of good points.) (I’m also not 100% sure I’ve got the patience to deal with another social network.)
3. finding… the perfect DIY solution for the big empty wall. (More on that later. I still need to pick up a few supplies.)
4. making… frozen yogurt. It’s… ok. It tasted fine, but it turns out, I still don’t like the texture of Greek yogurt, even when it’s frozen.
5. trying… to find a new approach. To a lot of things.
6. starting… to think that I might still be able to meet my running goals for the year. It’ll be tricky, and I’ve got to be smart about it, but… maybe?
7. getting… distracted.
8. having… a minor panic attack re: all the stuff I’ve been getting for the office. I’m basically done with the major purchases, though, so it’ll be fine once I get used to it.
9. stalking… the neighbour’s new puppy. I haven’t had a chance to say hello yet, so I end up just staring from the window and sighing. (I think it’s a French bulldog? I’ve only seen it from a distance, but it’s tiny.)
10. daydreaming… about buying a school bus and turning it into a tiny house. To the point of searching for used buses (there are two near me!). (How do I reconcile this with #8? I don’t. At all.)
1. waking… up at quarter to six on a Saturday to help the cat catch a moth that somehow got inside. (Or… waking up at quarter to six on a Saturday to keep the cat from destroying the apartment in her attempts to catch a moth that somehow got inside.)
2. wondering… where my time is going in the evenings. Clearly, I’m doing something different, but I don’t know what.
3. brainstorming… ideas for a new story. Early days yet, but it has the potential to be kind of fantastic.
4. making… cold-brew iced coffee. Which is incredibly nice on those days when it’s so hot that the 7-minute walk to the coffee shop feels completely unreasonable, even if they do have air conditioning.
5. updating… the florals in black & white gallery.
6. planning… a few little changes to the site. It’s not going to be a full redesign (tempting as it is), but it’s time for a few improvements and new features.
7. taking… another big step on the office update. Every change I make, I fall in love with this space a little more.
8. wishing… the humidity would ease up.
9. trying… an iOS text editor that seems to meet all my criteria. (It’s not as pretty as I’d like, but it syncs with Dropbox and doesn’t implode when I try to open a novel-length file. And that’s really all I need.)
10. getting… ready to make one of my big announcements. This week!
Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦
1. slacking… on my photo project. (It’s been a boring couple of days.) I’m going to try to get back to it today.
2. baking… bread on the hottest, most humid day of the year, because of course I was.
3. hoping… I’ll be able to finally paint the balcony furniture this weekend. (It’s a long weekend, so I still have time.)
4. cleaning… up my social media accounts.
5. celebrating… the start of iced-coffee season.
6. finding… my focus again.
7. twisting… something in my back. So that’s been fun. (I thought it was healed, but I seem to have aggravated it again.)
8. feeling… drained. The heat and humidity I mentioned in #2 hit me hard.
9. making… the summer’s first batch of ice cream.
10. reediting… some favourite photos.