NaNoWriMo 2020 – Day 3

Still trying to decide how it came to be November already. Quickly closing in on 8 months since I last had a “normal” day (as known as March 13th). I continue to struggle with the new “normal” with everything that is going on and how it constantly changes. Never knowing what tomorrow or a few hours from now will bring.

Today is Election Day in the USA. I voted by drop-off ballot weeks ago so I do not have to deal with the chaos of actually voting today. This day brings a lot of uncertainty with it. Uncertainty I am try not to focus on. Instead, I am working diligently on NaNoWriMo.

I am very, very determined to get back into the writing groove and the general creativity groove. My creativity has been immensely sporadic this year. I have great dislike for that as I prefer to be consistently creative even if it an extremely brief blip of time each day.

During these past months, I spent time creating products for Patchwork Chicken Studio. Each product took longer than normal to make – due to distractions, depression, exhaustion, and grief (from losing loved ones to Covid) – but I eventually got to the finish line. I was happy to have things to do and things to force myself to do, to focus on that didn’t involve spending alone time with my brain. Sadly, writing involves spending a lot of focused time alone with my brain.

Aside from NaNoWriMo, November is a busy month for Patchwork Chicken Studio. We are doing a month-long virtual Artisan Market as well as doing all kinds of holiday promo work over on our website. Normally, we’d spend all of our weekends from late September until early December at in-person Art Shows, Artisan Markets, and Craft Shows displaying and selling our one-of-a-kind handmade goods & gifts but all of those shows have been canceled due to Covid. Accordingly, we must adapt and focus on online sales for the holidays.

Even though my highly introverted self really struggled with the intense social aspect of the shows, I find myself missing them. Like the holiday season doesn’t feel like the holiday season with them gone.

It is truly a bizarre year – emotionally, physically, mentally.

2020

A new year and, typically, resolutions to be made….then discarded in a fiery blaze a short time later.

2019 was an unusual year but I learned a lot during it.

I, finally, learned that I am too ambitious with my plans. The plans only work when there is a regimented schedule and calm all the time. My life is never like that no matter how hard I try to be scheduled and “productive”. My life type versus the plans ends with me feeling guilty and disillusioned because I cannot fulfill the plans as I desired. Eventually, I become apathetic about the things I want to accomplish – even when time allows for the things to be done – and they don’t get done.

Some of the physical results of my over-ambition were scaled back/down during 2019. This scaling back/down brought about good things into my life for which I am grateful. These good things are what helped me realize my error in planning.

I also learned that talking about certain goals, resolutions, desires, and tasks are a great way NOT to get them to come into being. Talking about them are actually a fantastic way to get them ripped to shreds by others that do not have the best of intentions even when they claim they want nothing but the best for someone. No one wants or needs that kind of toxicity in their lives.

Both these lessons, in a way, sort of sabotaged my blog & social media presence later on in 2019, along with just being busy, as I struggled to find balance with the lessons within what means to be outwardly productive.

Always learning, always growing. 2020 will be no different in that regard.

Halfway through NaNoWriMo 2019

Oh how I wish things wouldn’t fall through the cracks but they do. This poor blog (and social media) are hiding in the dark crevasses of my mind and my to-do list each day. I don’t mean for it to be this way and yet…

I get so busy and/or distracted that I forget all of this is here for awhile. I frequently tell myself and this blog that I will be better about posting. It remains true for a few weeks then back into darkness with the occasional glimmer of hopeful light.

NaNoWriMo this year is WEIRD for me. While I make word count each day, I feel as if I have written nothing of any kind of substance for my poetry books. It is disappointing but I forge ahead. Putting words, any words, to paper just to say I did while maintaining the faintest wish for something useful.

Things with Patchwork Chicken Studio are going well even though I’ve ended up making more drawstring bags/backpacks after I promised myself I wouldn’t after August where I made 37 bags in less than a month. Glutton for punishment I guess but it was out of need for some additional variety after sales at a few shows. I also have a small pile of fabric waiting for the post-show season to become bags too but shhhhh, not suppose to know about that.

Word count for today is done. Would kinda like to curl up for a nap now but alas, no. There are time-critical things demanding my time and attention today. I had to force writing time into my schedule by going to the local coffee shop so I would not get distracted by all the other things waiting for me at home.

I Blinked And…

…it is August. Not sure where June and July went but August is here. Think I blinked in May and, boom, August. I do have vague memories of June and July – most pertaining to dental appointments and pain that followed said appointments. Not the greatest of months for functionality but they have come and gone. I look forward to August and all the things I would like to do.

I haven’t been very attentive to my online presence in the past few weeks. Need to work on that some more. I get busy with and distracted by tasks then forget other things. One track mind, maybe?

I finished Written & Whim in July. That was a big undertaking. It should be published sometime this month – doesn’t have an exact publication date yet as I’m still trying to figure out what the description/back cover should say. Yes, a description is all that stands between me and the publication of my 23rd full-length book of poetry. It breaks my heart just a little to be so close yet so far from the finish line with Written & Whim.

Aside from work on Written & Whim, I’ve been working on inventory for Patchwork Chicken Studio. We have several multi-day Art, Craft, & Gift shows coming up so all of us at Patchwork Chicken Studio have been busy creating in order to bolster our inventory for these shows. Patchwork Chicken Studio is, also, currently running a giveaway. Soon, we’re going to be giving a fabulous denim tote bag that was made by the very talented Susabelle and features a lovely rainbow-colored batik that came from my fabric stash.

My inventory work has primarily involved creating drawstring bags/backpacks in different prints & colors. I had enough fabric on hand for 24 unique one-of-a-kind bags. I have 14 done. 4 more sitting by my sewing machine to finish up this weekend. The rest are waiting to start final assembly. There are so many that I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of what fabric elements go where and such since each bag features 3 to 4 different fabrics divided among 15 pieces to put together. I typically only make 6 to 8 bags at a time. 24 bags in an assembly line of bag awesomeness has proven to be a significant and, occasionally, overwhelming but worthwhile undertaking.

I have ten mosaic and six painting ideas awaiting my attention too but I’ve been kind of ignoring them. I couldn’t figure out why until this morning. I was gathering my things to come to the coffee shop as I wanted to get out of the house for awhile. I just HAD to get out. This ‘HAD‘ attitude is what tipped me off to my artistic plight. While my home is fairly clean, despite being in the creative trenches, it is just disorganized enough where I am agitated and unproductive among the chaos.

For someone that lived in much worse states of chaos for years and has taken massive strides in correcting such issues, this agitation speaks volumes about the progress I’ve made in improving my surroundings and negative behaviors. Very proud of myself though I am sad I will be spending the rest of today on cleaning. Still not a fan of cleaning. I can think of a million things I’d rather do even though I wouldn’t actually do any of them given the current state of my home. Irony perhaps?

For August: the publishing of Written & Whim, art & inventory (drawstring bags, flannel blankets, mosaics, abstract art, mixed media art, beaded ornaments [maybe]), tagging inventory with the spiffy new logo price tags recently obtained, packing up inventory for the shows, marketing work, writing poems, being more consistent in my online presence, and – most importantly – keep my home from sliding into the chaos again so I can remain productive.

Off I go to do battle with the evils of chaos…..

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