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. getting… back to work.
2. talking… myself out of dying my hair pink. Or teal. Or any colour other than blonde. I miss real colour desperately but I know I can’t be bothered to maintain it.
3. planning… the next draft of Violet Lane. I’m ready to start writing on Monday.
4. experimenting… with the whole bullet journal thing again. Turns out the setup I was using didn’t work as well as I thought.
5. trying… Beyond Meat burgers. I was pleasantly surprised—not the best burger I’ve ever had, but perfectly good for something store-bought, and far better than any other veggie burger I’ve had. I’ll have them again. (That said, I do want to finally try making my own veggie burgers this summer.)
6. catching… up on my podcast backlog! Completely! As of right now, there is no backlog. Which means I’m tempted to go looking for something new, to start the cycle all over again.
7. making… plans for the site redesign. Now I just need to pick a day to tear everything down and rebuild.
8. meeting… the new ravens! Over the past few years, I’ve managed to become friendly acquaintances with the local pair; this year I got to see their fledglings! (Which, yes, meant I was standing in the middle of a public path talking to four ravens like they understand English. But four ravens! 😍)
9. starting… to build my DVD/Blu-Ray collection again. I got out of the habit, but as streaming services multiply, it makes more sense to me to buy anything I want to see more than once. Now I need to figure out how to store these things.
10. refining… my goals and updating my inspiration board.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in May.
1. starting… to pick up supplies for the balcony garden. It’s always a challenge (between the light and the nearby oak trees that try to murder the competition, nothing seems to want to grow out there), but I live in hope.
2. moving… forward with my big scary photo project. Small steps, but in the right direction.
3. thinking… about my creative process, and the things I want to make—in both writing and photography. Exciting things are coming. (Eventually. These things take time.)
4. getting… ready to update my inspiration board.
5. deciding… that I hate the little rubber backs that come on enamel pins now. They’re too easy to lose. (At least I noticed before I lost the pin, too.)
6. accepting… that it’s time to make some updates to the site design around here. I’ve been dancing around the idea for a while, mostly wondering if I was just procrastinating on other things, but… yeah. It’s time. I’m still deciding if it’s a full revamp, or just a refresh.
7. chipping… away at the podcast backlog. Again. (Always.)
8. looking… for a good baby-name site, with historical and demographic data and a good recommendation engine. (For naming characters. Not babies.) I used Nymbler for years, but I kind of hate how it works since the redesign.
9. setting… deadlines.
10. making… a new running playlist. The old one just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
1. reaching… my limit with the heat wave. It’s officially making me miserable, and I want it to be over. (The humidity’s been a little less oppressive this weekend, so I’m hoping things’ll start to improve.)
2. feeling… anxious. It’s fine. It’s all fine.
3. sitting… outside and eating ice cream by candlelight. (See #1. It’s the one nice thing about the weather lately.)
4. organizing… ten years’ worth of old analogue photos. It’s not too bad (they’re mostly in order already, I’m just culling the duplicates and genuinely bad photos and moving the rest from envelopes into proper boxes), but… it’s a weird experience.
5. watching… all the shows I didn’t get to during the regular season. So many series finales are making me cry—in the best way—this year.
6. thinking… of new ideas.
7. getting… ready to send The Black Sun off to my beta readers. 😳
8. falling… behind on my podcasts. Let’s be honest: it was only a matter of time.
9. finding… the last few (big) pieces for the office redo. It’s all details from here.
10. missing… the merlins. Now that the little ones have left the nest, the original pair has moved on. Hopefully, they’ll be back next year.
P.S.: Don’t forget—I’ve started a newsletter! If you want a deeper look into what I’m working on, that’s the place to get it. I’d love to see you there.
1. editing… The Black Sun. I’ll be finishing the first pass this week. Then, I’ll do one more quick pass (for fact-checking—yay for slightly-skewed historical fiction!—and to make sure I didn’t introduce any new plot holes), and then… we’ll see.
2. trying… to get into the habit of carrying a real camera more often than I don’t. I’m not sure if I’ll bother taking it when I go to buy office supplies, but it’s something.
3. moving… forward on the next stage of the office update. I’ll be finished eventually, I’m sure.
4. enduring… the heatwave.
5. repainting… the balcony furniture. Finally. It’s been nagging me since May, at least.
6. worrying… that I might’ve aggravated my back again, but it seems to be fine.
7. hemming… more curtains. And seriously considering selling my sewing machine so I don’t subject myself to this madness again. (Joking. Mostly.)
8. working… on the outline for my new & improved take on Violet Lane. It’s like all the best bits from my previous two attempts are turning into something entirely new, and I can’t wait to start writing.
9. looking… for new podcasts to listen to. I’ve been up-to-date for too long, and not having something waiting in the queue at any given moment to is starting to irritate me. (Do you have a favourite that I might not have heard of? Let me know in the comments.)
10. feeling… the effects of not running or exercising during that heatwave. It was only a few days, but… yeah. I’m recovering quickly, at least.
1. wondering… where the line between “research” and “procrastination” is. I’m starting to suspect that I’ve crossed it.
2. meeting… my running goals three weeks in a row!
3. catching… up on podcasts. I’m now completely up-to-date, for the first time since… November.
4. loving… the coffee station I’ve set up in the office. Of all the changes I’ve made in the past month or so, that’s my absolute favourite. (The office is still a work in progress, by the way. I’m hoping to be able to give you a tour by the end of summer.)
5. taking… care of some incredibly tedious and stressful technical chores. Not gonna lie: there are times when living in the future is kind of annoying.
6. thinking… about doing some kind of DIY writing/creative retreat.
7. resisting… the urge to buy a whole new set of furniture for the balcony. The current set is perfectly fine, I just need a nice day and the motivation to clean and paint it. (I’ve even got all the supplies I need! It’s just a matter of doing it.)
8. overthinking… everything.
9. starting… to notice that I’m creeping up on that three-month lull in motivation. But it’s early enough that I’m already taking steps to get back on track.
10. reminding… myself that it’s not quite summer yet, despite a couple of days that did a pretty good impression of it.
Neko Atsume. I’m obsessed.
1. thinking… about what to make for Easter dessert. I’m leaning toward cupcakes, but I don’t know what recipe….
2. playing… Neko Atsume. Well. I say ‘playing.’ (I don’t have a lot of neighbourhood cats to befriend in real life, and I’d missed it. ;-))
3. making… plans. And I’m being very systematic about it for once; there are multiple notebooks and colour-coding and stacks of index cards.
4. getting… about as far with the office as I can, at least until new bookshelves are delivered and I’ve bought some more storage boxes. Still, it’s so much better than it was.
5. staying… up to watch the Oscars. I’m not even sure why, except I always have, and it feels weird not to.
6. listening… to Cavern of Secrets. A.K.A. new favourite podcast.
7. looking… for either the perfect tote bag, or the perfect tote bag pattern. I have something very specific in mind, but I might have to invent it.
8. trying… to sort out an odd password issue. (It’s going to be something dumb, like I used my Google account to log in originally. I just know it.)
9. wondering… if I’m going to be awake enough to do anything tomorrow.
10. ordering… that French-language novel I’ve been hoping to try to read forever. It’s happening.
1. playing… with my Lomo’Instant camera. So much fun.
2. buying… a huge canvas for that painting I’ve been sorta-kinda working out the details for.
3. falling… back into a few minor bad habits. Which isn’t great, but I’m already starting to rein things back in, so I’m not worried.
4. taking… a few quick day trips. I’ve really needed a change of scenery lately.
5. drinking… so much iced coffee.
6. writing… still. I have a hard time believing it.
7. deciding… which recipe from the Big Gay Ice Cream book to try first. (Coffee. Almost definitely coffee. You may be sensing a pattern, here.)
8. feeling… productive. For once.
9. looking… for background noise. (What podcasts do you like? Audio-only, intelligent, ideally around 30 minutes an episode. Tweet me with your recommendations.)
10. working… on some new ideas for the blog.