Hey y’all! Hope the beginning of summer has been great! I’ve been enjoying the warmer weather, the sun, and the strawberries. In my opinion there is nothing like real, farm fresh Oregon strawberries. I truly cannot bear to eat any other strawberries so it is a short season of strawberry bliss every year.
With the warmer mornings I’ve found my ideal conditions to begin running again. Had to update some gear, which is always troubling, but managed to find some great new shorts and sports bra. Bra shopping is hard but sports bra shopping is a whole other level…that said the new one is probably the best I’ve ever owned. (Oiselle’s Queen Bra, runs a bit small but that works well for me!)
This was also the month I had to get a new journal. A mixed-emotions event for me. I like new and novel, but that is also unknown. I also like comfort and same, but that can be stifling. Decisions are historically not my strong suit, especially when I’m making them for a long-term commitment product. I get that I don’t have to use the journal I buy if I end up hating it but I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to make the “right” call so that doesn’t happen.
Don’t know who else needs to hear this but I definitely did:
It doesn’t need to be the “right” decision, simply a decision.
And I did make a decision and it has been great. I even put a sticker on the new journal, which is another good step for me.
Taking the pressure off of myself has been huge in trying to move forward in a lot of things in life lately. Also, as my last post talked about, validating my feelings even if I don’t understand why or what I’m feeling. Making and/or holding space for that shit is real important!
Good news! I’ve actually started writing on my novel again!
Honestly I’m finding that I have multiple different starts for this story, both typed and hand written, not sure which will actually come to fruition but it’s part of my process. And I’m learning to not question the process too closely. It happens how it happens. Sure, I’d love to have a clean beginning, middle, then end of this project’s timeline but that is not how my brain works.
Sometimes things go backburner percolating for months and then bam I’m back at it and we are speeding along like the blip of nothing happening never happened. Elle has been explored in some different ways and I’m slowly coming to an acceptance of a writing schedule that all parts of myself can agree upon. Phew.
Still haven’t picked Story Genius up again…someday I will again.
Artwork and Art Business
Here a lot of things happened this month.
Stickers were the main item. I prepped files, decided who to order from (Rockin Monkey), ordered them, and got them by the end of the month. I listed them in my Etsy shop last weekend, and had a lot of fun with the listings. Check out their cuteness, if you dare! Actually, please check them out, tell your friends, buy them!
Other-art-wise this month I did Queer Snail’s DTIYS challenge with the cute ghosts and flowers. And I finally finished the strangely cute Cattapus I’d set aside looking sooo very exhausted in February. He is happily less tired and more cute since I figured out how I wanted to handle the octopus skin texture. And who knows, maybe he’ll be a sticker at some point in the future.
I also worked or started on a couple of projects for the hubs’ books. I got cover art and design done for the forthcoming book in August. And I started on the cover art for the one forthcoming, hopefully in November. That one is a bit more involved and I hope it turns out since I’ve not done cover art quite this way before. Excited to try though!
Ah, the blog, that thing I’m writing right now. It has been good. In conjunction with getting myself a planner and holding myself accountable here, at least once a month with this check in, has been a blessing for actually getting things I want to do done.
I am still struggling to find my voice in giving advice to help others in a way that feels authentic to me. A lot of the posts that elsewhere seem to do really well are things that are like x amount of ways to y…umm no thanks I cannot write one of those, sorry. It would feel too sell out and very off brand.
I know I’m very me-centric in most I write, and that isn’t necessarily because I don’t think other people exist, I know they do, promise. It is just very hard to trust myself to write something that isn’t something I’ve experienced. I don’t feel confident in saying “you should do this thing” if I’m not able to share my own experience as proof. I guess what that all comes down to is I don’t want to be wrong…ooph that doesn’t feel nice. And yet, I get it. I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Thanks for sticking around, it is all still in process over here. Trying to embrace that everything is related to my creativity. Embracing the chaos and mess. Learning to still balance that with comfortable, flexible structure that doesn’t make me go ick.
It does seem that there is more interest in post related to engaging with my inner child and my choice to be child-free. And I do want to support that. Those are topics that I find important in my own life and hope to share to others as well.
I’ve definitely been hitting the books more this month. Been going on many hallucinatory adventures. Divinity 36 by Gail Carriger was a book I’d preordered, my first ever preorder, I believe. It came in June so that was probably my favorite read. Carriger is a favorite author of mine, awesome steampunk, paranormal romance with lots of wonderful LGTBQ+ representations throughout her work.
I did fit in one non-fiction read and while it didn’t always hit on the specific page the overall message of The Four Agreements was quite good and deeply felt.
The books I finished this month:
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. Our world, culture, and childhood environment give us premade and often unintentionally hurtful self agreements. We are domesticated into this way. The four agreements are new ones that in undertaking allow us to live a happier, intentional life in service to both ourselves and others. And what I like most is that it isn’t a quick fix, make the agreement and you are done. It is a process that takes practice and agreeing to them over and over again.
Divinity 36, Tinkered Starsong 1, by Gail Carriger. Oh, Gail, you’ve done it again. I love this book so dearly. I finished it in less than a day. Nearly took off from work to read it the moment it arrived in the mail but managed to wrangle myself to wait until the workday was done. The aliens, the atmosphere, the expansiveness. This is my first science fiction from her and I was not disappointed in the least. The main character is a bit of a hard nut to crack but, really, such a softie. Cannot wait to read more in the series. Will be waiting on that preorder with much excite!
A Study in Darkness and A Study in Ashes, The Baskerville Affair 2 & 3, by Emma Jane Holloway. I was itching for some more steampunk and found that once I’d picked up and finished book 2 I couldn’t simply stop there. I needed to know how the series ended. Both I finished back to back in a couple weeks, I think. Evalina is still going even having been knocked back on many fronts. The end is wonderful if bittersweet in some regards. I loved all of the final take downs of the series bads, very cathartic…and in some cases, oh, oh my, as well.
Night Shift a short story collection with stories by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane. I’ve got one word for you, Steamy. So if paranormal or fantasy romance isn’t your thing, you may want to move along. And oh wow some of these stories were STEAMY. Mmmh.
Incarceron, Incarceron 1, by Catherine Fisher. A fun, quick read with some great twists. A prison that has been closed off for hundreds of years and is supposedly self sustaining. Thoughts on what it actually is differ between those within and those without. For some it is hope for humanity, for others it is a living nightmare. Then those worlds begin to collide. I was quite intrigued and would read more in the series.
Cardassia and Andor, Worlds of Star Trek Deep Space Nine 1, two novellas by Una McCormack and Heather Jarman. Getting back on the Star Trek novels train and I did enjoy both novellas. The first was good, the second while frustrating at times was even better.