books, creative life, homestead, knitting, making, NaNoWriMo, sewing

:10/30:

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Hiding from the Camp Fire smoke has proved to be productive. On Friday I was able to pick up another cabinet (also free!), this time with a bookcase hutch. It proved to be perfect for organizing my modest yarn stash and crafting books. It was also the impetus I needed to get my spinning fiber and equipment put away in the other cabinet I have out in the living room. The best part was I got to get out the sewing machine I bought years ago and never use. I keep telling myself I’m going to learn to sew. It hasn’t happened yet. Now that the sewing machine isn’t taped up in a box I may actually do it.

creative life, NaNoWriMo, planner, ramblings

:8/30:

At the beginning of the year I chose a word to be my focus: CREATE.

I wasn’t sure quite what I wanted to create. Was is a book? knitting projects? this blog? new habits? new hobbies?

Truth be told I am still not quite sure, but at the same time I am more certain.

I do not have specifics of what I want to create. I just want to be creating.

I think I spent most of my life not thinking of myself as a creative. I drew, but I was no artist. I knit, but I was no maker. I wrote, but I was no  writer.

I wanted to be all of those things, but how to chose? My interests would flit from one thing to another. I would get obsessed with a project, finish it, and decide I wanted to do something completely different next. Round and round my mind would go, never really focusing, never really settling.

Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s just maturity (which is not necessarily tied to age), but I now feel like that’s perfectly OK. Who says a writer can’t be a musician (Stephen King) or an actor can’t be photographer (Viggo Mortensen) or a knitter can’t be an artist (Sina) or a writer can’t be a knitter (Penny Reid)?

I mean, could you imagine telling Da Vinci to stick to just one medium?

So why should I expect that of myself?

Why should I try to pigeonhole myself?

I am not doing this as some career shift (though it would be nice to find a way to make an income from my creating.) I’m doing this because something in the very heart of me demands I let it out, in all it’s various expressions.

 

life, mountain life, NaNoWriMo, ramblings

:6/30:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fall is my favorite season.

There is just something about the colors and the crispness of the air and the the still warm sun that lifts my spirits.

Even before I found knitting again, I have always lived for fall.

We moved to Miami from Philadelphia when I was in fifth grade, and the loss of the seasons made me hide from the sun and the brutal heat. SoFLo has a never-ending summer that took me years to become used to.

Where we live now is at just enough elevation to feel the change of season slightly love than the valley.

It is glorious.

I love the fall.

analog, bullet journal, creative life, drawing, journaling, life, NaNoWriMo, planner, sketch journal, writing

:3/30:

One of the new things I have decided to do is to begin sketch journaling. There are a few things which prompted me to start one. I have always, always, always been fascinated by journals which include drawing. I love seeing those old travel journals and artist sketchbooks of victorians. I love sketchbooks that incorporate ephemera and photographs in with the writing. But I really do not consider myself an artist.

To say I was never really encouraged to express of pursue any kind of creativity is an understatement. Coupled with an almost crippling self-doubt, I never did the things I wanted. It took decades and an uber-supportive husband (and watching my Breezy blossom as an artist) to give myself permission to try.

I also found this amazing artist. Her name is Samantha Dion Baker and she is a graphic designer and illustrator from New York City. I first found her on Pinterest. It turns out she is mostly on Instagram (Yes, I broke my self-imposed IG ban to look at her work!) It was beautiful. I also found out she has written an inspirational book on starting sketch journaling. I ordered it right away. It was so worth it!

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This book has prompted me to start sketch journaling in my bullet journal. I had finished the lined journal I was using, So I jumped into it on November 1st. Here are the first two pages:

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One of the things that really called to me about how Samantha Dion Baker does hers is that she focuses on the beauty of the mundane in her life.

At that point I decided not to just draw random sketches, but to use the pages to draw a true record of my life. I thought, Instead of writing out my day for may journaling practice, why not illustrate it?             (Draw Your Day, page 3)

She can turn a piece of fruit or a tin of tea or a the bodega on the corner into a beautiful record of her life. Her book took the intimidation out of sketch journaling.

I also realized that the long-hand written journals I have are not anything I want my kids or Doug EVER reading. They are filled with a log of anxiety and worry and fear and anger. Page after page of it.

I have ordered the three of them to burn any handwritten journals they find, unread upon my death.

Pretty grim.

I don’t even want to ever read them again. Those books represent hours of my life, and I am ashamed to share them with anybody. 

I know now I do better focusing on positive. Plus I really do want a record of my life to pass down.

So now I am going to throw myself into documenting my days in my journal. Doug got me the a brown Traveler’s Company notebook. I’ll be moving my planning over to it in December (though it is already here and I am so tempted to start now!) I have a few pages left in my current bullet journal, so I will finish out November there. But I am on day three of art journaling, and really, really loving it.

NaNoWriMo, writing

:NaNoWriMo 2018:

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I’m going to be a rebel this year!

I am not writing a novel.

I am not writing fiction.

I am not hitting 50,000 words.

Nope.

Instead I am dedication the month of November to posting daily on my blog. It’s a blog I’ve had for years and have sadly neglected. It just sits gathering dust and taunting my wallet. So, I decided to commit to daily blogging. I will publish one post every day, maybe more than one a day (ah…the magic of smartphones!)

Why is this a priority? Well, I feel like if I can’t do this, then I need to just let it go. Maybe blogging is just not for me. Really, though, I just want to get into a rhythm, like I do with my writing.

So, there won’t be any validating, but I will be updating my daily word count.

Good luck to everyone else doing the full NaNo! (Including my daughter!)

NaNoWriMo, writing

:NaNoWriMo manuscript update:

So…

My update is there is nothing to update.

I, unfortunately, still have a sprained wrist. Typing is getting easier, but it still has not healed enough to allow me to write 2,000 words a day. I think about writing it out long-hand, but every time I go to do so my mind races far too fast to capture it all on the page.

I loved the flow I experienced during NaNo. I got lost in the world I was creating. To me, it was real.

Tangible.

Right now, the best I can do is sketch out bits of locations or characters.

I want that flow to happen when I go back to my story.

NaNoWriMo, writing

NaNoWriMo?

I’m in a serious debate with myself as to whether or not to sign up. I attempted to do it once before, but we unexpectedly had to move, so I only got about a week into it before bailing. I still feel bad about that, though it was not through any fault of my own. Life just happens sometimes.

As always, I am doing a bunch of research. Checking out the website, looking at blogs about people’s experiences, checking out YouTube videos and podcasts. The one thing I can say is it will be a challenge. I am used to getting things accomplished, but seldom for myself. Does this fall under the selfish category?

My worry stems for my not knowing what writing a novel will look like for me. Not everyone does well, or puts out their best work, when facing down word counts. I don’t want to just vomit a bunch of words onto the page and end up with a pointless pseudo book. That feels like a waste of time.

I don’t expect to be published. I do expect a worthwhile learning experience. Too many of the NaNoWriMo reviews are littered with stories of one month of intense writing, followed by eleven months of no writing. I do not want that to be me.

I definitely do not think all NaNoWriMo writers produce junk. There are enough books out there, for that not to be the case. Not having a perfect book after thirty days of writing is by no means an excuse for not doing it. I just don’t want to put forth this massive effort and then be too burned out to continue. I suffer from perfectionism, so it may actually be the best reason to do it.

Just like my current commitment to posting on this blog, the strongest reason may be for me to make myself write, everyday, consistently.