NaPoWriMo Review

And another NaPoWriMo is done. This was my sixth NaPoWriMo. This year wasn’t as successful as other years but it certainly was not the worst. I ended up with 45 new poems across 4 different poetry books. I had intended to write more for Written & Whim so it would be done and ready for publishing soon.

However, life had other plans. An emergency tooth extraction on April 11th made the rest of the month kind of odd as things aren’t healing, recovering as quickly as I would like. Prior to the extraction, I had been more tired than what is typical. I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so for me to notice this, the exhaustion was WAY intense. I suspect, now, it was due to my body fighting the infection that led to the tooth extraction. Worse than usual exhaustion remains – though not as badly – through recovery. I only have so much energy to give things, anything, in a given day. The infection, the extraction, and the recovery have been consuming most of it.

I had hoped to go to a concert during the month but fatigue vetoed that. I wasn’t a total recluse during the month though. I managed to go to the coffee shop a few times to write even if I didn’t really want to. The days I want to spend the entire day in bed, I force myself to get out even if it is for an hour at the coffee shop and I make myself write. I may go back to bed when I get home but, at least, I did something productive with my day.

I spent Easter with my niece and nephew. On April 6th, I worked a craft & art show. Sadly, the crowd was minimal at best. I sold nothing. My friend sold 2 items. It was very disappointing yet we forge ahead with getting our art out to the people.

I did quite a bit of sewing prior to the show as I constructed more drawstring backpacks out of my fabric stash as well as create an Easter-themed mixed media piece and an Easter-themed mosaic.

I started figuring out how to make things from polymer clay which was prompted by an idea for a mixed media art project but being unable to find the components in order to make it a reality. I need to finish constructing the clay components this coming week so I can start on the project. I also have several mosaics in various states of creation. Working hard to motivate myself to finish them. A few have been languishing, unfinished, for a while.

My hopes for May are:
– Complete most, if not all, of my mixed media art project
– Finish off at least 3 of the 6 mosaics I have in progress
– Finish the sewing project I have sitting on my cutting table
– Finish the clay pot art project I have sitting on my work table
– Finish Written & Whim while making more progress on Doll & Discarnate, Letters & Locks, and Tincture & Thorn
– Finish the healing process of the tooth extraction site
– Have a very successful craft show on May 11th

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NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Off

The Anubis being cute on the sofa.

 

Had an emergency tooth extraction yesterday late morning so not in a writing mood today. The headache pressure is intense. Anubis isn’t a very good nurse though. He just wants attention all the time, cares not for my discomfort.

March Into April

National Poetry Writing Month aka NaPoWriMo starts tomorrow. Am I prepared for this? Well, no. Not my version of it at least. I usually write, at least, one poem a day so typical NaPoWriMo isn’t a stretch for me so I challenge myself to write five or more poems a day. Not sure I am mentally prepared for this as I’ve been dealing with a lot of things lately, some of which will end up spilling into the first week and a half of April at minimum. Been so overwhelmed in my thoughts to the point of one poem being a struggle to write. I managed two poems today. I am so delighted especially since they arrived easy with a flow like water. Love the “water” poems.

Since my last ‘On The Blog’ post on February 22nd (a bit surprised it has been that long), I’ve gotten thrown down by an absolutely horrific cold, dealt with a blizzard and other home-related shenanigans, was without a computer briefly due to power cord failure, created a new mixed media piece, began a new bead mosaic (it is almost done), started cutting out a few more drawstring backpacks, struggled to figure out how to help my feline overlord function despite his increasing digestion issues, gained another first cousin once removed, got in a minor car accident that – fortunately – only scraped up some paint when someone backed out into me in a parking lot, stressed out a great deal about matters involving my chronic health conditions, and went on an adventure to upgrade Patchwork Chicken Studio’s show displays after many discussions and layout tests. March has been busy.

I ended up missing the Fleshgod Apocalypse show due to my cold and the flare up of the chronic health conditions that it triggered. I was/am heartbroken over it as I missed them the last few times they had been in Denver too because of my health. Beginning to suspect that life doesn’t wish me to pay live homage to Italian Metal Gods. I did pre-order their forthcoming new release, Veleno, to appease some of my sorrow while listening to the first single, Sugar, in semi-obsessively constant fashion.

For April beyond NaPoWriMo, I have home-related shenanigans to finish/deal with, finish the bead mosaic, and put together the drawstring backpacks. Patchwork Chicken Studio has a show on April 6th so there will be some prep work beforehand. It is shaping up to be very busy too. I just hope it is busier to the creative side of things.

The Anubis

It has been an odd two weeks. Very busy as I finished up and prepared Altars & Avatars for release next week. The preparations became consuming of my time as I also battled a fibromyalgia flare-up which intensified on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. But all of that pales in comparison to last Thursday. Last Thursday…

Last Thursday, Jan. 31st, was an absolutely horrific day for Anubis. While I was out running an errand and an impromptu coffee shop writing session, Anubis had what appears to be a stroke. He was fine when I left around 6:30am. When I returned about 90 minutes later, he was a very different cat. He was really struggling to be mobile, to do things. It was extremely unsettling for both of us. He spent the day sleeping – mostly on me once he figured out how to get his limbs into a comfortable position – and as evening approached, he started to become more functional and started eating and drinking.

By Friday, he had resumed purring, grooming, moving around without limping. By Saturday afternoon, he started jumping up into the living room window and getting into things as he normally likes to do. The stroke did take a long-term toll on him.

While he is mostly back to normal, there are moments where he hits a mental glitch and he acts out of character. Random acts of aggression, momentary confusion about what he’s doing, slow response time to stimuli such as me calling his name, and the occasional limp to a limb.

I love my feline overlord immensely. I feel horrible that he’s going through this. I also feel horrible about me feeling like I am living with a stranger sometimes because his glitches make him such a different feline.

We’re learning to adapt. It is a slow process.

Exhaustion vs. Productivity

Having difficulties in ridding myself of this crud which has been plaguing me since December. Some days are better than others. Then there are days like today where I can work for about 10 minutes before exhaustion makes me dizzy so I am forced to rest for 20-30 minutes before work recommences for 10 minutes more, rinse and repeat. Despite this “work schedule”, I cleared and organized the random pile of items in one of the bookcases and cleaned up & organized two shelves in the hall closet this morning.

Considering that my apartment is fairly clean right now, I’m healthier, than in the past, even with the crud in play. I am impressed with myself. Onset of acute illness (on top of the chronic issues) or a long project usually means my apartment becomes a disaster which takes several days to clean. Today’s cleaning was part of a long-term reorganization project to declutter my personal space rather than post-project cleaning.

Other accomplishments of the past two weeks were completing my cousin’s baby quilt (which was delivered by the postal service yesterday and I hope it was received) and writing 25 poems. I actually remember to post all the desired posts to the blog and social media except one. This may not seem like much of accomplishment to some people but I am notoriously distracted by things so I don’t always remember certain intended tasks even if they are on my to-do list or I keep postponing throughout the day until I end up overlooking them/running out of time.

The baby quilt took much longer than intended. It was frustrating because, at first, I could not figure out why. I eventually realized that the quilt was quite a bit larger the previous baby quilts I had made due to wanting a certain pattern with the squares. I was very fortunate to have enough fabric for the quilt in the end. It was getting kind of dicey with one of the prints. In addition to the baby quilt, my cousin also received two flannel blankets – one I made this week and one I made a few months ago.

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– Not the best pictures, was having lighting & positioning issues – 

Been doing a lot of reading of books. There are some weeks where I read very little then there are times where I binge read like a person who stumbled upon an oasis after weeks wandering the desert. There were several days that involved reading for 10-12 hours, up to 6 books. One of the perks and downsides of being a speed reader is the amount of books I can read in a day (as long as the book is engaging). If you want to know what I’ve been reading, check out my author page at Goodreads.

Finding it hard to believe that January only has a week left to it. Mostly because there were several things I had hoped to accomplish during the month but haven’t even started on. Regardless, things are progressing so I cannot be too heartbroken over the remaining items on my monthly to-do list.

And that is this week’s update. Wishing all much creativity and artistry.

Plans Always Have Other Ideas

When I reflected on what I wanted to accomplish in 2019 and how I would go about it, I thought I had left the end result fairly flexible to allow for bad health days (I have chronic ailments). Just days into January, I learned that it isn’t quite flexible enough but there is progress made in the end. Due to health things, January – thus far – hasn’t been as artistically fulfilling as I would have liked especially with matters not pertaining to poetry.

Currently, I have a baby quilt and two bead mosaics in progress. The baby quilt is on a significant deadline – my cousin is due in March. I am reasonably optimistic to have it completed and mailed to my cousin by the 18th so I can focus on other projects. I intend to have four bead mosaics done and the finishing work accomplished on several little paintings by the end of the month.

I really like the projects in progress. The baby quilt is in a color palette I normally shy away from but it is turning out to be really beautiful. I hope my cousin likes it. One of the mosaics, Maritime Eternity, was a random idea I had one day and I got to try out a new technique of staining with alcohol inks to give new visual appeal to some of the elements. The staining was an immense success – it has really brought the project to another unexpected level. Maritime Eternity is quickly becoming one of my favorite mosaics. The success of the staining has also made me want to try it out on items for future projects.

Altars & Avatars is on track to be published on February 12th. Currently waiting on its front cover so I can put together its advertising. My friend, who did the art for Mourning & Melancholia, has also done the art for Altars & Avatars. The art, based on my very basic idea, looks really amazing so I am excited to get the finished front cover from her soon.

I think that is it for this update. I have nine poems that need to be typed up and a quilt that is most eager for my attention yet I am, presently, ignoring all of them to write this post.

Wishing all much creativity and artistry.

2018

It is 2018. Not entirely sure where much of 2017 went but I am very glad it is over because what I do know is that it SUCKED for the most part. The bright spots of 2017 were finishing and publishing Hallow & Hearth and Glyph & Grey, reigniting my passion for Metal music with some new-to-me kickass bands, reconnecting with the violin, going to my first Metal concert, and finding a new meditative craft. I am optimistic for a great 2018. I do not have resolutions but I do have a few goals I would like to accomplish during the year.

1. See a Carach Angren headlining show.
2. See an Avatar headlining show. I have tickets for one on Jan. 31st!
3. Meet Seregor of Carach Angren (He was sick last time so I didn’t get the chance).
4. Get a picture with and talk to Carach Angren.
4. Meet some (at least) or all of Avatar. Pictures!
5. Take better care of myself. I know what I need to do, I just need to do it and keep doing it rather than throwing the towel in frustrated after a couple weeks.
6. Do better about writing every day.
7. Do better about practicing the violin every day.
8. Be more open to changing up routines, trying new experiences, and such because I am in a very unhealthy rut and have been for awhile now. The concert in November 2017 was the first time I had done something way outside of the rut. I was terrified/anxious/neurotic prior to but I had a lot of fun. Meet some cool people while waiting for the doors to open too.

As for other experiences, I have a wishlist of concerts I am hoping to attend in first few months of 2018. Don’t have tickets for them yet but optimistic in the potential of going. They are Starset, Myrkur, Septicflesh/Dark Funeral/Thy Antichrist, Cradle of Filth/Jinjer/Uncured, and Insomnium. There’s several other bands I would like to see this year too but they haven’t posted any tour/show stuff yet.

Not sure what else I will do for new experiences or changing up my routines yet. Will have to figure it out as I go along. I just knew after seeing Uncured, Lost Society, and Carach Angren, that concerts were something I need to partake of more.