week of welcome, or someone get me another coffee

It’s midway through the first week of classes and I am feeling burned out. The amount of energy required to be upbeat, friendly, and constantly available makes my little introvert heart feel like curling up in bed for a week. I love working with students. I think they’re fun and they keep me fresh and engaged, but there’s a sense of infectious energy that becomes overwhelming after a few days. I almost feel like I’m catching a cold, I feel so tired and worn. I’ll be fine next week, but, for now, it takes all my energy to make myself perky enough to provide a welcoming atmosphere. Mind you, I work with college students. I have no idea how the primary school folks make it work.

Sticking to a chapter a day reading plan for the draft read-through, so that’s something. Also, planning activities for an upcoming library fair, and scheming to find ways to stretch my budget. Fun times.

a fresh start

Classes start tomorrow and, though I’m no longer a student, it always feels like a time for growing and learning something new. My schedule will be pretty scattered this week, so my posts may be veer off the tracks. Still feeling a little frayed after yesterday’s ordeal, but I’m taking it one step at a time.

off the shelf: latest reads

I read books and they were good. Flash review of Cursed ChildImprudence, and The Scottish Prisoner. I also just finished Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty (mentioned in the video) and am experiencing serious book hangover. Check out the video for more.

This will probably be the last video in the bedroom, because the lighting is just insane.

writing: Crown of Ice, Crown of Air, a summary

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Summaries are difficult. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Writing a summary on something I’ve been working on for nearly 4 years, that’s a whole other level.

I’ve written and rewritten this manuscript multiple times. I’ve edited and restructured. I’m looking at more edits to come. Though the details may change, the story remains. So, today, I’m being brave and putting my little draft of a blurb out into the world. No going back.

The day Siobhan tried to kill her, Anúna swore she’d never return. Never seek her power. Never seek her crown. Three years she’s locked her truth away, hiding in the mortal realm, letting the iron drain her magick and steal her power. But Siobhan will not rest and Anúna knows it. Now, the walls she’s built are starting to crumble and her wards are beginning to fray. It’s only a matter of time before Siobhan finds her. When Marek, Anúna’s friend and mentor, and erstwhile leader of the Queen’s guard comes to call, Anúna is forced to make a choice—-take back the crown she lost or leave the realm at her sister’s mercy.

Crown of Ice, Crown of Air is a story of magick and power, love and war… about finding yourself and something worth fighting for.

It needs work, but it’s a start. I also keep debating whether Air or Ice should be first… that’s a whole other set of concerns.

the view from Sunday: books, cake, and kitty cats

It’s been a busy weekend. Took the boy shopping for new clothes (he found a new job! yay!) and spent some time with family. I’m trying to make more time for family, especially between drafts. Being the textbook definition of an introvert, I have a bad habit of forgetting to see people (ie. being so wrapped up in myself that I forget to be social); as a result, I’m making a real effort to be more involved. Made time for mom and gran (it also being gran’s birthday), and spent some time with the auntie and wee bairn. I need to remind myself that family time isn’t time wasted, it’s time spent making memories.

Today, there was cake(!)
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books read and books to read

(and vlog about)
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pad thai indulged in
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and kitty cat played with.
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Now, to lay off the cake (there really has been too much dessert this week) and get back to revision prep.

writing: finding the will to go on, or self-motivation

I’ve been thinking about writing, next steps, and how to find the will to go on when there is no end in sight, so here are some of my strategies for staying on task (or trying to, anyway).

What are some of your strategies for staying motivated when working on a long-term project?

Let me know some of your thoughts in the comments🙂

Now, I’m off to be frivolous (2.5 days of being in proper academic mode will do that to you).

5 things: minimalist accoutrements

Minimalism is many things. For me, it is both an aesthetic and a way of life. In many ways, I was always a minimalist, but there are elements of my life that do not reflect that as effectively as I would like. Therefore, while I do not subscribe to the extreme form of minimalism that embraces living with next to nothing and counting all the things, I have become a proponent of the kind of minimalism that embraces surrounding yourself with things that serve a purpose, even if that purpose is merely to bring joy. I refuse to call it a journey, but it is definitely a process of constant awareness and self editing.

The hardest part has been letting go of my compulsion to shop. I have no trouble with caring for things and making them last, but I have my triggers and one of them is my mother. She has a habit of shopping for the sake of shopping, as well as holding on to anything and everything because of the guilt associated with it. I had that guilt for a long time. It becomes ingrained in you; particularly, when you no longer have any use for an expensive item. I’ve started working on these habits, and encouraging my mom to do the same. Consequently, I’ve become more selective when I do buy a new item. Will it serve me for a long time? Is it worth the cost and quality? It has definitely curbed my spending on “cheap” thrills. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t shop sales or buy affordable clothes and shoes. I do. I just buy things that I really need or want.

In an effort to simplify and remain stylish, I’ve made a few “investments”. These 5 things have made life easier in the mornings when I’m rushing to go to work.

5 things: minimalist accoutrements

 

PICTURED

Cambridge Satchel Co. 13” satchel in moss – This bag will last me forever and has forced me to limit what I carry in my bag. I can also use it for work or play. The style is classic and so me.

Igloo lunch tote – I’ve gone through multiple lunch boxes, none of which seemed right. This one is pretty and perfect (I have a different design than the one pictured)

Mighty Wallet – Mine features Catwoman. It’s purple and sleek and fabulous. It also fits anywhere and is recyclable.

Invisibobbles – These are strong but they don’t make my head hurt and don’t snag. Plus, I can use them for just about any style, including updos.

Fitbit alta – I had a One for 3 years. I loved it, but I really wanted something I could wear on my wrist. It’s sleek and stylish, and has replaced my watch on most days.

What are some of your minimalist accoutrements? I’d love to know🙂

the view from Sunday: shoes and paper clutter

I finally did it. I took a good, hard look at my shoe collection and donated everything that made my toes pinch, my feet ache, or my legs feel like falling off at the end of the day. I started with a proper sort. Laid everything out and inspected each pair, thinking about more than just worn out-soles and scuff marks.

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The result is a much neater shoe rack and a closet I can actually walk into without tripping over my feet. My wardrobe is also starting to come together; it’s much easier to go through my things and make choices now that I’m focusing on basics and quality.

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Then I decided to tackle the paper clutter. I really should have done this months ago, but I kept putting it off (through sheer cowardice). I dumped everything out and sorted through all the piles, deciding what needed to stay and what could be sent to the shredder.
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Armed with a sharpie and some tape, I labeled my new categories and filed what I need to keep. The result, a happy file case and a bag full of stuff that can be shredded and recycled.🙂
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My list of to-do’s is starting to look more like a list of accomplishments. I also sorted through some of the plush toys I had sitting in the corner of the bedroom (mostly gathering dust), and went through my art supplies, tossing dried paints and old sketchbooks that I don’t like to use. I have a little pile waiting for next week, but it’s all becoming much easier to manage and less time-consuming with every sweep.