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July | How It Went

Hey y’all! Hope July has been a good month for you, too!


This has been a good month for many reasons but really leaning into standing alone and trusting myself has been a big positive leading to some breakthroughs in my mental health. And understanding that I actually am a nature person…just not the same way as my mother. Let’s just say that after many childhood years of doing nature her way I was a bit nature avoidant. Then I found that going out on walks, getting pics of all the things that interested me for potential art later was my nature thing. Yay!


It has also sparked my independence. In the way of moving away from always being up in everyone else’s energies/brains and focusing more on what is actually going on with my energy and in my brain. It has been wonderful and helpful in following my joys and my adventure even further.


I’m also settling a bit more into acceptance and understanding on the neuro-spicy angle. Regardless of diagnosis the things that this part of the journey is helping me understand have been healing. I’m learning to better accept myself as I am, not worrying so much about how I’m perceived. Focusing more on bettering myself and following my joy no matter how weird that makes me. I’d rather live a joyful existence than worried about public image, truly.


Bees were also kinda my thing this month so here is another bee pic, couldn't help it, lol.


Novel Writing

Found myself a little inspired a couple times this month and there was actually some progress made on my novel. I’m trying ever so hard not to edit, change, or delete anything from my current draft. Really hoping that I can make it to the finish line on this one. Then we can edit, change and delete to our heart’s content…well, within reason, of course, lol.


In this iteration I’m finding Elle to have more real emotions and reactions to what is happening in her world and I think that is what is making this draft stick a bit better than previous ones. Though I wouldn’t say that the previous iterations or drafts are at all useless. They were practice, as is this one.


The mental health healing has really positively impacted my ability to find comfort in being bad at something. Because you kinda have to be a bit (or a lot) bad at something before you can build your skill and become decent and even excellent at something. I’ve been finding joy in embracing the chaos that a rough draft of a novel really is. You can’t make it perfect straight outta the gate. Not even really good enough even because it is such a process of discovery and massaging all the details into the best form for the greater story you want to tell.


Artwork and Art Business

July was a great month for me. I sold stickers! And, as I’ve mentioned the previous week, I’m working on some new designs that’ll be out for a poll (or few) soon! I cannot wait to share them with you all! Thank you for making more designs a possibility. I’m hoping to add them to my shop by the end of August or early September, dependent on how long the polling, ordering, and shipping takes.


Some of my initial sticker sales were in person, which is a great way to start. And since I’m working on building an Etsy presence I’m starting to direct even friends to purchase through Etsy to help my rankings there. So, if you want to spice up your water bottle, or add some pizazz to your laptop or other sticker-able items check out my Etsy shop here:




Blog

This is really the first year that I’ve really stuck with my blog and I think that it has come with some growing pains. Trying to figure out, long term, what my voice is here. Exploring certain avenues, revisiting others. And while I love the idea of this being a helpful blog and something where people come to learn things and pursue holistic creativity I think my idea of that was…very vague so say the least. And I’ve struggled, as I’ve mentioned, to feel authentic and do what I thought of as making a helpful blog.


In the last few posts I’ve been finding my feet again. This blog is mine, I can do what I want and what feels most comfortable. What makes it mine, Biriyak’s Keeper. And what makes it that is making each post a letter to my friends, the readers. You see, that is how I talk to my friends IRL and I can’t see any other way of being authentically me and writing this blog.


In my journey I may have moved away from that maybe feeling that it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. And I was wrong. I just needed to learn that…again. And learn it I did. The hubs mentioned that my last post felt most like my voice than many recent posts. That felt nice. It leaves much more room for me to explore. And doesn’t mean that anything prior was wrong either. Part of the process and the journey.


Reading

I’ve slowed to a steadier pace, not feeling as intent to finish ALL the books lately. I’m very distracted doing a lot of other things, see items above…and just living life in general. I did get to finally pick up a friend’s book that I’d bought earlier this year. It was warm and cozy and I can’t wait for their next book to come out. See the first book of the review section below for my friend’s book:


The books I finished this month:

Crystal Belle: Songs from the Beast Within by Vera Lee Bird. What happens after the happy ending? Are they just as happy as you think? Or have they grown and changed? Will they embrace it? Belle grapples with the fact that her life has utterly changed and is good, and yet she isn’t quite certain she is happy. This was such a fun read! Happily recommend, short, sweet and cozy. Made me feel warm fuzzies. (You can check out her and her work here.)


Trill and Bajor, Worlds of Star Trek Deep Space Nine 2, two novellas by Michael A Martin and Andy Mangels, and J. Noah Kym. Was interesting to learn what’s going on both on Trill and Bajor. Some major upheaval with the symbionts and joined on Trill while Bajor is settling into their new status as a Federation world.


Assassin’s Apprentice, book 1 in the Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb. Woof, a lot of hard and sad things that are told from a future self perspective. And Robin Hobb still delivers her well done world building and great storytelling. Fitz is thrust into many things that he doesn’t understand because he’s the bastard of a prince. He is used for everyone else’s, especially the king’s gain. I’m not sure it was a happy ending but well tied up and there was catharsis. Still would recommend, I’ll just be putting a few other books between this and the next installment in the series.


The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. This was such a fun read from the very beginning. The author had such a way with words and describing the happenings and the world. I’d heard about this and seen a recommendation much earlier this year and finally picked this up from the local library when I walked there those weeks back. Worth it. I would whole heartedly recommend, it is beautifully written, beautifully told. And what more could you want, a little girl brimming with magic, an old witch in the forest, a swamp monster, a perfectly tiny dragon, and a young man determined to change the world.


Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. A fun collection of steampunk themed short stories. I think I enjoyed all but the last story that didn’t really hit for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find two short comics in the mix, too. Was fun to see how different authors stretched and pushed the steampunk definitions.

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