Snapshot #144 | 10 Things for 12 January 2020

Personal

Currently…

1. setting… big goals for the year.
2. remembering… how much work shovelling snow is. Everything hurts.
3. realizing… that some of my plans for the year make it seem very much like I’m training for some sort of revenge mission, which just makes the whole thing more fun. (And will probably drive my wardrobe choices in 2020.)
4. finishing… the Christmas cookies.
5. getting… back to work. It’s been a really good week.
6. downloading… the 2020 edition of Christie Yant’s Tools for Writers spreadsheet. I loved it last year—seeing the calendar fill up is incredibly motivational.
7. trying… to decide what colour to dye my hair. I’m ready for a change. (I’ve narrowed it down to purple or teal—probably purple—but I’m tempted by platinum, too.)
8. editing… so many photos. So many. (Taking a bunch, too. Expect 366 updates to start this week.)
9. accepting… that I’ve got a bit of a cold. Maybe. I can’t tell anymore.
10. thinking… of ways to use up some of the notebooks I’ve been collecting.

Snapshot #134 | 10 Things for 25 August 2019

Personal

Currently…

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.

Snapshot #130 | 10 Things for 30 June 2019

Personal

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.

Currently…

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.

Sketchbook #44

Personal, Photography, Writing

“Maybe I’ll have some answers by the end of June,” I said

Why do I set myself up like that? 

I’m being a little overdramatic. The first two weeks of the month were good. Really good. It took a few days to figure out what I was doing with Violet Lane, but I’m well into the second draft now, and it feels like the big changes (cutting down the number of point-of-view characters, eliminating one character entirely, et cetera) are the right ones. I’m still wavering a bit on the tone (I want to make it darker, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I might have to rework the main character again), but in general, I’m happy with it.

My progress with photography is… ok. I’m in a bit of a rut—so many flowers—and I’m trying to figure out how to push myself out of my comfort zone with that. Part of the problem, I think, is that I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to my routine in general—I do the same things and go to the same places, travelling the same routes, at roughly the same time every week—so I’m not seeing anything new. Nothing is feeling fresh or interesting. (I haven’t gone on as much as a day trip in over a year. The logistics for that kind of thing get tricky when you don’t drive.) Plenty of photographers have found inspiration in mundane environments, but I’m dealing with a general sense of frustration that’s just feeding on itself right now, and I need to figure out how to break myself out of it.

That said, the flower photos are ok—some of them have been quite good—they’re just boring.

Other than that things have been pretty much progressing as expected: I’m having fun with the website redesign, I’ve been making some real progress when it comes to figuring out my long-term plans (which… yeah, I kind of worked on that a few months ago, but I’ve been refining the ideas and framing them in a way that means I can work toward them rather than just dream about them), and I took a few small steps toward that big project that I’m still not announcing, even though I fully intended to do so this month. (More on that in a minute.)

… and then I came down with a cold. Nothing much has happened since last Wednesday. At all.

Snapshot #113 | 10 Things for 4 November 2018

Personal

Currently…

1. starting… to panic. I haven’t settled on any of my Christmas baking plans. (Actually, I’m panicking a little bit at how close the holidays are in general.)
2. feeling… feverish. The most recent cold was very brief, but intense.
3. debating… the merits of various notebooks.
4. making… apple pie. And remembering why I don’t make fruit pies very often (they stress me out). It’s not pretty, but it tastes good.
5. craving… silence.
6. reminding… myself that I can still hit 50,000 words for NaNo, even though I’ve only had one good writing day so far.
7. enduring… construction on my building and fire alarm tests.
8. getting… annoyed with Pinterest again. It’s a cycle.
9. looking… forward to a normal week.
10. buying… post-its and highlighters. (So many post-its and highlighters!)

The 2018 Reboot | Week 8 Check-In

Productivity

The past seven days have been… less than ideal. I’m still dealing with this stupid cold (the worst of it seems to be hitting me right about now), and construction on my building, and… yeah.

But! The reboot continues, even if it’s a little slower than I’d like at the moment. (If you’re just joining me and not sure what I’m talking about, here’s the explanation.)


I’m going to keep this update short and sweet.

The goals:

Improve the quality of the art I’m consuming, in order to improve the quality of the art I’m creating.
Still going strong. Not right at this moment (my attention span is pretty much limited to the fluffiest of romcoms right now), but in general: I’m doing well.

Find a way to structure my time in order to support my bigger goals (creative and otherwise).
This… hasn’t been going so well. I’m still tracking my focus, motivation, and energy throughout the day, but I’m going to have to keep that up for another week or two. (The data is a bit skewed right now, for obvious reasons.) Overall, though, I do feel like I’m moving in the right direction.

Develop workflows for writing and photography. And blogging.
This has been, without a doubt, the most challenging part of this whole reboot. Partly because it’s kind of boring (let’s be honest), and partly because I need to test and fine-tune any workflow that I develop, and that requires doing more actual work than I have been lately. But November is coming up (… tomorrow…) and with multiple projects at various stages of completion, next month is going to be a really good opportunity to test some systems. (It’s also going to be a good chance to really work on structuring my time.)

Experiment with productivity and journalling systems, and find something that works for me.
This is definitely where I’m showing the most improvement this week (and in general). I’m still figuring things out, especially when it comes to longer-term planning, but I’ve made progress on the day-to-day. This week has been a really good test—my current todo list setup has kept me (mostly) on track, despite wanting to sleep all the time, so that’s a win.

Finish the work on the office.
I’ve made a little bit of progress on this, but not much. Hoping to make a little more progress today.

Snapshot #111 | 10 Things for 7 October 2018

Personal

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend!

Currently…

1. reading… some very good books.
2. feeling… inspired.
3. getting… irrationally frustrated every time I see someone talk about “fonts” when they mean “lettering.” (Actually. No. It’s not irrational. Fonts and lettering are not the same thing, and I love them both.)
4. buying… one of the dress patterns I was swooning over a few weeks ago. I’m sure it’ll drive me batty, but that’s fine. It’s worth it.
5. starting… to narrow down my options for the Christmas baking marathon.
6. enduring… a cold.
7. resisting… the temptation to buy a bunch of new camera gear. (Sort of. I’m channelling the temptation into research, planning, and motivation.)
8. waiting… for the new series of Doctor Who. Only a few hours to go!
9. accepting… that I’m not going to reach my running goals for the year. I’m going to be spending the rest of the season just getting back to where I was before the humidity derailed me. But that’s ok. There’s always next year.
10. looking… forward to getting back to work. I’ve got a lot of plans for the next few weeks, and I can’t wait.