The social distancing edition! Currently…
1. regretting… the decision to walk home from the supermarket with two weeks’ worth of groceries. (I’m not obsessively stockpiling, but I am trying to reduce my trips out.) I have a really good rolling cart, but still.
2. cutting… back on my social media and news consumption. A lot.
3. realizing… (again) that I own way too much stuff. I tried to rearrange a closet and… ugh.
4. wanting… to bake something, but again… not sure what.
5. trying… to trick the cat into cuddling. (I love her, but Lucy’s not the most demonstrative girl unless there’s food involved.)
6. feeling… thankful that I didn’t decide, back in December (when I would’ve had to give notice), that this was the year to find a new apartment. Moving right now would be awful.
7. finishing… the most recent draft of Violet Lane!
8. wishing… the mornings would warm up enough to go for a run. (How did I become this person?)
9. keeping… my anxiety in check. Mostly.
10. ordering… a new coffee maker, because mine decided—after fifteen years—that this would be the perfect week to give up the ghost. (I mean… I have others. The situation isn’t desperate. But I do need a drip machine for that first cup of the morning.)
1. putting… off the upgrade to Catalina; it’s going to break too many applications I rely on.
2. reaching… the point where I have to decide whether I’m going to try (again) to grow out my hair, or if I’m going to chop it all off.
3. falling… down a rabbit hole entirely composed of Japanese stationery supplies. I might have a new obsession.
4. planning… the final (for now) round of edits on The Black Sun.
5. emptying… another one of those boxes I’ve been hauling (unopened) from apartment to apartment since at least 2008. The decluttering process is slow, but it’s still moving along.
6. thinking… about making some changes to the newsletter. Is there anything you’d like to see? Writers or photographers who do it particularly well? If you don’t subscribe, is there something in particular that would change your mind? Let me know in the comments, or via the contact form if you’d rather get in touch that way.
7. starting… my Christmas shopping. In early October. There were specific budget-related reasons, but I’m still pretty sure that’s a new record for me.
8. feeling… relieved. I took care of a few chores that were really stressing me out—nothing serious, I’m just terrible at adulting—and I’m so glad to be done with them.
9. realizing… that I’m a little bit out of practice when it comes to grinding coffee by hand. I had a good routine down in the spring, but I’ve been drinking cold brew in the office all summer. It might take a week or two to get the muscle memory back.
10. finding… my way back into a good writing routine.
1. starting… work on that dress I’ve been meaning to make forever.
2. trying… to kick my motivation back into gear. I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few weeks, and I’m not sure why.
3. making… the year’s first batch of ice cream. At the end of August. It’s been a weird summer.
4. forgetting… what a nightmare some stores are right now, with back-to-school season coming up. I just wanted to look at pens.
5. spending… six and a half hours in the emergency room. I’m ok! Just had a bit of a scare and needed a bunch of tests. They all came back good. (And I’m incredibly grateful for the Canadian health care system right now.)
6. reevaluating… a few things.
7. finding… a reusable cup for iced coffee that fits in my bag! I’ve been looking for ages. (This is the one, if you’re facing the same dilemma. The silicone feels a little precarious when it’s full, but it works just fine so far.)
8. wishing… the cat would stop waking me up in the middle of the night.
9. exploring… a part of town that I haven’t visited in years. It’s changed a lot, and it’s kind of fantastic.
10. hoping… that next week is better than the last two have been.
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.