NaPoWriMo – Already?

March feels like the never-ending month/year with everything going on. Last week, I realized it was almost time for NaPoWriMo and signed up. Maybe a smart move, maybe a stupid move. Only April can tell.

Hard to believe tomorrow is April 1st. Part of me is glad to finally be done with March yet the worst of what March as wrought has yet to materialize.

I suppose NaPoWriMo, this year, will be a means of escaping the horrors of the day to day as I continue to stay at home with my high risk factors and “quirky” immune system.

As I type this, I come to harsh realization that I’ve neglected this blog since the start of the year. Unfortunately, the year did not start out well for me (and for many others given their posts to social media & blogs) so it led to many things being put on the “back burner” as I focused on the necessities of day to day functions.

Finally, finally, starting to feel more functional and human so back to the things I want to do in additional to those that I have to do despite the ‘have to do’ list being longer nowadays.

To everyone: please be smart, be safe, be healthy, and stay home if you can. If you are worker in an essential field, thank you for your service.

Art, Simplicity, and Joys

This week was the release of Written & Whim. I am very excited and grateful to have it done and out there. Still trying to wrap my brain around the fact I have published 23 full-length poetry books since September 13, 2011 aka the day The Heart of Autumn was published.

There are only 8 more books until I complete the A to Z theme. That is a bit baffling too. When I started on the A to Z journey in 2011, I thought it would be crazy to write 2600 poems over 26 books. I have less than 750 poems left to write now. Overall, I have written 2615 poems since 1994-ish. The bulk of which were written since I started publishing my work. Publishing my work has been a powerful motivator to write more which is fantastic.

No rest of the artistic. Already a quarter of the way through on writing the next book, Doll & Discarnate. At the beginning of 2019, I had this grand plan to write and publish 4 books during the year. I didn’t count on, foolishly, life things and other creative pursuits slowing that progress. Despite the error in judgement, I forge ahead with the words.

For several years now, I’ve been work on and toward a more simplistic life so I can spend more time with my passions and joys aka creative pursuits. I neglected my passions and joys quite a bit for many years prior which brought much sorrow into my life so simplicity is very appealing. Never want to feel that destructive, bone-deep sorrow again.

I keep coming to points where it seems I have finally reached a nice level of simplicity to only see it falter later. No. In fact, I have more to work to do. The chaos that ensues has been getting less and less chaotic over time. Yay for progress! But the fact that chaos creeps up and in so quickly tells me I have more work to do.

I’ve been neglecting such work this year. I think this has been to the detriment of my creative process and myself. Have to take time in the coming weeks to really clear out things weighing down my environment and triggering chaos. Cleaning up my apartment on a weekly basis, even though it is a deep clean, just isn’t enough to stop the creeping.

A few months ago, I sat down and wrote down everything that brings me joy no matter how small. The list surprised me. Poetry, painting, and creative things made the list of course. (Simplicity and no clutter also made the list which was surprising yet not surprising.) Some of my joys are not things I can do every day as they are seasonal activities. However, a lot of my joys were little things – like having my fingernails painted black, and the scent of sandalwood – that I could incorporate into my day every day but I wasn’t for some reason. As if I didn’t realize the joy they bring, as if I hadn’t forgotten what joy could be within the little things. Since I’ve done this list and started incorporating the little joys more and more into my daily life, I find myself much calmer and happier. As someone who has suffered from severe depression and wild mood swings for YEARS, it is kind of weird to be calmer and happier but it is growing on me.

I typed up all my joys into a word file on my computer. I go back and look at it to remind myself from time to time, especially if I am feeling sad or lonely or upset, then go and do one of things on the list.

So I leave you with this…

What are your joys? Do you involve as many as you can into your day?

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

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.

February Be Gone

February has been a profoundly rough month. One that has led to no Poetry Wednesdays, near radio silence on this blog, and minimal productivity.

I started out the month with an upper respiratory illness. Finally recovered in time for a chiropractor to accidentally dislocate all of my ribs from spine and sternum. Dislocated ribs, for the record, hurt horribly. The kind of pain where I could sit up, stand up, or lay down without wanting to cry, pass out, or violently expel stomach contents. At times, it was all three reactions. Been dealing with dislocated ribs for two and half weeks now. Secured a new chiropractor two weeks ago. Things are slowly getting better with two appointments a week. Nearly all of my ribs are back into place and staying there. Sadly, there’s a few stubborn ribs which need further coaxing before my muscles can heal from the ordeal, and my pain goes away. I feel fortunate though that the ribs were not cracked or broken during the dislocation incident

Immediate family members also had an unfortunate month with health concerns and loss.

But we are forging ahead into March, and trying to look forward to seeing extended family at one of my cousins’ wedding near the end of the month.

Not sure how productive this blog will be in March but I am going to attempt to schedule March’s Free Kindle book along with Poetry Wednesday this weekend.