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.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Ends

This NaNoWriMo was different than ones in the past. Rather unproductive despite reaching beyond the word count requirement. The words just didn’t go where I wanted them to. A lot of random bits of line that will never be more than that. Never will have a chance to be poems. Their threads were too short and, now, are lost to the winds of time.

NaNoWriMo 2017 was forced to compete with pre-concert jitters and excitement then post-concert depression (and immense pain courtesy of extremely drunk Children of Bodom fans kicking the back of my legs, constantly pushing me into the rail, etc.) which made for interesting writing times.

I greatly enjoyed seeing Carach Angren for my first metal concert experience. They were phenomenal. Uncured and Lost Society were also quite good considering I had very little familiarity with their work prior to the concert. I have been missing those beautiful spooky Dutch men something fierce though. The entire month’s wardrobe featured a Carach Angren band tee each day. I started the month with two tees and acquired two more at the concert so this has meant frequent laundry but totally worth it.

Onto the writing stats…

Total Word Count: 53432

This translates into 51 poems – 47 for Glyph & Grey, 3 for Mourning & Melancholia, and 1 for Altars & Avatars – and 8 pages’ worth of the “epic poem” that’s been slowly swirling around in my brain. There is a lot of free writing I need to sort through to see if there is more poetry lurking within the lines.

Glyph & Grey is at 67/100, and should be done in the next 2-3 weeks as I’m determined for it to be. I had wanted it to be done by today but that is, clearly, unrealistic. Mourning & Melancholia stands at 8/100. Altars & Avatars is 2/100. I hope to have Mourning & Melancholia done by the end of February. NaPoWriMo in April should bring about the completion of Altars & Avatars and significant progress for the upcoming Written & Whim.

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 6

It is NaNoWriMo time again. The pure, unadulterated NaNoWriMo. It snuck up on me. Everything has been sneaking up on me lately. Where has 2017 gone? 2017 hasn’t been a good year for a lot of reasons so I’m not sad to see it go but, at the same time, how did I get to this point?

It is Day 6. Day 3 brought a cold to the party which has made things less fun. Still recovering but I ventured out twice to write today. First in the morning to get away from my cat who keeps hindering the writing process and the second in the evening for a write-in. First write-in of this year’s NaNoWriMo for me.

Been doing a lot of free writing in hopes of inspiration for poetry yet are pretty much just bolstering my word count. A few poems have been written toward Glyph & Grey and Mourning & Melancholia. I started an “epic” poem based on an idea that has been stewing in my brain for a while. Maybe it will continue to flesh its self out for a stand-alone project or what is written will just get put into Mourning & Melancholia. I just love the mystery my short writing attention span presents. Not so much but I find a way to make things work.

I have been listening to a lot of Metal while I write especially Avatar and Carach Angren. Okay, mostly Carach Angren.

I am going to see them in concert next week. Immensely, ridiculously excited. My first ever Metal concert, and my first concert in 16 years. I have been a Metalhead since my teens but never felt inclined to go to a concert until I encountered the music of Avatar and Carach Angren. I am going to see Avatar in January 2018 which I am also unbelievably excited about.

I may or may not have listened to Carach Angren’s Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten album a little too much lately. Somehow, some way, a Ouija board and maritime salts worked their way into a poem even though I was listening to Avatar’s ‘For the Swarm’, from the Feathers & Flesh album, at the time.

I have discovered it is challenging to write when I am busy fangirling over tour photos and such. Both bands are on tour right now so there are a lot of photos and concert video to enjoy. Mostly of Avatar since their current tour ends in two days. Carach Angren tour photos and video are just starting to pop up as their tour started on October 31st.

There is a possibility of encountering Carach Angren after their set, according to folks, which I am equally excited and terrified about. Crippling social anxiety means I sometimes say/do stupid things in public. Worried I will make a fool of myself yet I would love to say hi to them in person. Reportedly, they are really awesome guys to meet.

Wow. My fangirling knows no bounds right now. This started out as a post just about NaNoWriMo and my writing progress then turned into a post about my two favorite Metal bands. Accordingly, it is only appropriate to set the feature image of this post with one of my favorite Carach Angren promo photos.

Tuesday Tabellion – The Writing Routine

Questions: What is your writing routine? Do you have a writing space?

Answer: I write in the mornings. Not because I am a morning person – far from it – but because I know I will get distracted by other things as the day progresses and I will forget I need to write. It isn’t uncommon for me to go back to sleep after I’m done writing in the morning because ugh, mornings. Sometimes, I do write in the evenings without issue especially if I am at write-in or I’m struck by a really good idea. I try to write everyday but that rarely happens unless it is NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, or NaPoWriMo. Something about the deadline is very motivating toward me getting my butt out of bed and have focus on writing rather than sleeping. I spend a lot of time in coffee shops writing, either with paper and pen or on my laptop, as I am typically most productive away from home since there are fewer overall distractions. When I write at home, I use to have a desk setup for work/writing purposes but over time, I have found it too restrictive so now, I write on my laptop from a small table next to the sofa or I write in a notebook while lying in bed. When the weather wasn’t unpleasant in recent evenings, I went out with a notebook and wrote at the picnic table that was installed in June at my apartment building. I find that enjoyable and will continue to write there as weather and neighbor usage of the space allows. Anubis does not enjoy this evening writing venture outdoors without him. On the fourth evening of my writing time out there, he discovered my whereabouts. (The bedroom window overlooks the yard space with the table.) He spent the entire hour and a half meowing intermittently and glaring at me – this from a cat who is practically mute. Never had my writing been met with such judgement, disdain, and disapproval. Anubis now just glares at me until I look at him then he meows his displeasure. Sorry, my indoor-only feline overlord.