Tag Archives: Sustainably North

#WriteTuesday – Not a Whole Lot of Writing :/

Well, like the title says, I didn’t do a whole lot of writing over the last week. :/

Friday was my biggest writing day.  I worked on a few posts for Sustainably North – I wrote one about the Ukrainian Christmas celebration my family and I have (and how this year we all made gifts instead of buying them, which was fantastic), then a few of me taste testing some milk alternatives (an introduction post and a post about soy milk).  So that was good because I’m a bit ahead with the blog again.

Then after that, I spent a bunch of time just generally getting caught up on things.  I went through a whole bunch of emails on Sunday.  I finally took down most of my Christmas decorations.  I repotted one of my violets, which was actually a double plant; I split them apart and put them in new soil together, so I’ll have to wait and see how they do (they haven’t been doing well in the pot they were in, so I’m hoping this will help!)  Then I tried to clean up my lucky bamboo, which for reasons unknown has been turning yellow.  So far it’s just been the leaves that have been turning; at a friend’s advice, I got a water filter and gave it filtered water instead of tap water.  Hopefully it will like that better!

my lucky bamboo with yellowing leaves and my lucky bamboo after I cut them off

Here’s a before and after picture of my Lucky Bamboo.

 

Then yesterday, I tried sitting down to write but it just wasn’t happening.  So after reading a book for a while, and watching some Youtube, I decided to start scanning some old documents and notebooks.  I’ve been meaning to do this for quite awhile.  So even though I didn’t get anything written, I at least felt somewhat productive. Plus that made some room for a few books that have been piling up around my place (they were mostly gifts from Christmas that I just hadn’t found a place for yet).

So even though I didn’t get any writing done, I hope that decluttering all of these papers will help give me the mental space I needed to write more this week. 🙂

My cat Merlin helping me sort papers

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The First #WriteTuesday of 2019!

Happy 2019 everyone! Welcome back to another #WriteTuesday – the first one for the year! 🙂

Unfortunately this weekend I ended up getting sick.  So I stayed home, drank a lot of tea, ate a lot of soup, and just generally tried to get better.  It’s been slow going though – my throat has been sore and just hasn’t gotten better. :/

But in other news, over the weekend I heard back from Martian Migraine Press about “A Friend from the Deep.”  Unfortunately it was rejected (which I was kind of expecting).  So I looked through my list of saved markets on Duotrope and found a potential match for the piece in Zooscape.  I sent “A Friend from the Deep” off to them and shall now resume waiting.  I found myself obsessively checking my email that day to see if it got rejected by them, so I had to distract myself by going through some other emails, like the weekly ones Duotrope sends out; I found a few more markets that sound interesting, so once I get the story for the Make Your Way anthology done I’ll start working on stuff for them.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a lot of time reading the newest issue of bUneke Magazine (and scheduling tweets about it for @SustaintheNorth).  This month’s magazine is full of some great articles about environmental issues plaguing our planet.  It’s also got the first book review I wrote for them (I adapted one of the ones on Sustainably North) as well as my usual monthly column (which also happens to be a blog post adapted from Sustainably North).  I actually sent the next two month’s articles for bUneke Magazine to the editor on the 2nd, so I’m now a little bit ahead for that! 😀

In the early evening I worked on next Monday’s post for Sustainably North.  I decided to write about bUneke Magazine because I’m excited about the book review, plus Mary, the editor of bUneke Magazine, sent me pictures of that and my column.  With that done, I’m going to turn away from bUneke stuff for the next few weeks, particularly on Sustainably North; I feel like the blog and its Twitter feed has gotten really caught up with the magazine, and I’d like to just focus on the blog alone for a little bit.

After that, I went through some emails for a bit.  But by that point I felt like I had been at the computer for way too long, so I went to go and read.  So that’s been my week: relatively productive despite being sick.  How has yours been? 🙂

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Hello 2019!

Happy New Year’s!  It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year.  Last year, my goals were:

  1. Read 25 novels.  Success! I read over 50 novel-length books this year!  I didn’t read many long ones, but that’s okay. Having no pressure to read made it much more enjoyable over 2018.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  Failure.  I wrote one, but didn’t finish the second one. 😦
  3. Finish a bloody RPG! Failure. I didn’t really work on anything at all. 😦

For 2018 I was hoping to work towards freelancing more.  Even though I wasn’t really successful with my goals, I think I was somewhat successful thanks to starting my other blog, Sustainably North. Thanks to Sustainably North, I was asked by bUneke Magazine to write a monthly column, which has been a lot of fun and tremendous experience.  For my day job I also wrote 9 articles, 7 book reviews, and interviewed 12 authors for TBPL Off the Shelf, so that’s pretty good, too.  Oh and I almost forgot that 2018 saw my first published short story, “A Harmony of Soil and Sand,” which was published in Menagerie de Mythique Anthology back in May.  So while I didn’t exactly meet all of my goals, I still think 2018 was a pretty good year of writing for me! 🙂

Oh yeah, and I participated in my very first game jam back in January!  That was fun, too! 🙂

For 2019 I’d like to do things a little differently, particularly in regards to my writing goals.  This year I’d like to set smaller goals every month rather than big overarching goals.  My thought is that way I can use the end of the month as a deadline, plus I’ll have more flexibility in case other unexpected projects come my way (like when that big freelance project came my way back in 2017).  Plus if something takes longer than planned (like how the story I’m working on for the Make Your Way anthology got bogged down in worldbuilding), I can adjust my scheduled goals accordingly.  So here are my goals for 2019 so far:

  1. Read 25 novel-length books. 25 books worked really well for me last year and I’d like to keep the same goal.  Like I said, this took the pressure off of me and made reading more fun.  This goal is the only one I’m naming that’s for the whole year.
  2. Finish the story for the Make Your Way anthology by January 31st. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time to get this story written (and hopefully submitted!)

I’m not going to talk about Sustainably North goals on here right now.  At this point I’m kind of just carrying on, trying to get a weekly blog post written plus an article for bUneke Magazine.  If that changes, I’ll let you know. 😉

This will be an interesting year – I really hope that setting smaller monthly goals (with deadlines) will work better for me!

So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – What I Did on My Vacation

Apologies everyone – I was a little bit confused as to what day it was and wasn’t thinking about posting on here.  Luckily it’s still Tuesday (just a little later than I was planning on posting!)

So last week, when I was taking some me time, I was also on vacation from my day job. 🙂  The week off was fantastic – I made as little plans as possible because, as I said last week, I wanted to slow life down a bit and get caught up on some things I’ve been putting off.

Last Tuesday was #GivingTuesday. I wasn’t expecting it, but bUneke Magazine asked for all their volunteers to post on Instagram their #givingstory.  So I shared this picture to Instagram, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page (although the latter two weren’t flipped like Instagram’s was).  Once I was finished with that, I decided to keep working on some Sustainably North stuff.  For yesterday’s Sustainably North post, I wanted to recreate the paper wreath that I put up on my door this year (I included a picture of it with my November column in bUneke Magazine).  So I made a brand new wreath last Tuesday, and took a lot of pictures of all the steps for making it.  Then for next Monday I wanted to talk about the banana bread I also pictured in that column (it’s my grandmother’s recipe).  So on Wednesday I installed WP Ultimate Recipe to Sustainably North. I did a bit of research because I knew I wanted a professional looking recipe post on the blog – Shivar Web recommended WP Ultimate Recipe.  I installed it and tried it out; it seemed to work fine so I stuck with it.  I then baked some banana bread to take pictures of the entire process (although I barely used any pictures for the actual post, which will be on Sustainably North on the 10th), and later wrote and scheduled the post.

While taking the pictures of the banana bread, I was having a bit of trouble with my flash because I was getting a shadow from my camera.  I ended up trying out a flash diffuser my dad gave me some time ago and it worked like a charm! 🙂

freezer drawer full of bananas

This was my freezer door last Wednesday night!

Oh, and I also need to give a shout out to my friend who provided the walnuts for Wednesday’s banana bread baking!  I always forget that the recipe calls for walnuts (and is way better with walnuts) and I never seem to have any on hand (although I have a freezer door full of bananas).  When I texted her to ask if it was okay that the banana bread wasn’t going to have any (she was waiting to help me eat it), she said she had some “nut pieces,” which turned out to be walnuts!  🙂

After that, I started working on a draft of a book review to post on Sustainably North on December 17th.  Once that’s done, I’m going to talk about the article I wrote for the December issue of bUneke Magazine (I feel that it’s a perfect topic for Christmas Eve), then do another Article Roundup for December 31st.  And that will get me through until the new year!

I’ve been pushing to get all of these posts written for Sustainably North because I really want to reassess what my plan is for the next while.  Back in June I made a plan for the rest of 2018 on Sustainably North.  And then I proceeded to completely ignore that plan and kind of wing it.  I know that things did change a bit because I wasn’t expecting to be writing a monthly column in bUneke Magazine.  But now that I’m feeling rather on top of things again I think it’s time to stop running by the seat of my pants.

Wednesday was also when I started reading Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob.  While writing the banana bread recipe I realized that I had no idea how recipe writing was actually done….so I read a whole book on food writing.  Most of the book wasn’t very relevant to my needs, but I found it pretty interesting to read all the same.  Once I finished it on Saturday, I went back and edited the recipe on Sustainably North; I feel a lot more confident about how the post and recipe look now. 🙂

Saturday ended up a rather productive day because I also edited and scheduled the book review for December 17th for Sustainably North.  That means I’ve just got two posts left to write and schedule for 2018!

The new issue of bUneke Magazine came out on Saturday, so over the last few days I’ve been reading it over and scheduling Tweets about it for @SustaintheNorth as I do every month.  Once that is done, I’m going to take a break from Sustainably North to actually think through that City of the Dead worldbuilding stuff and hopefully get on with that story for the Make Your Way anthology.

Oh, and I almost forgot – I had a book review published in the Chronicle Journal on Sunday (republished on TBPL Off the Shelf yesterday) about Patricia Briggs‘ Cry Wolf.  I actually read Cry Wolf last year and have been hanging onto this book review as a spare.  Over the last few months I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction books that the library didn’t have, so I felt now was a good time to use this review.  Also regarding TBPL Off the Shelf, this month’s author interview is going to be a bit later than planned (thanks to me being off last week) – I’m hoping to get it posted tomorrow night, but it may have to wait until a bit later in the week.

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#WriteMonday – A Very Productive Weekend!

Despite spending a lot of time watching Pitch Meetings on Youtube (they’re by Ryan George for Screen Rant – sooo funny!) this was a fairly productive weekend.  I managed to actually work a little bit on the story I’m writing for the Make Your Way anthology.  I’ve had such a hard time sitting down with it lately so I was very happy to go from 326 words to 687 on Friday night.  Unfortunately I hit a bit of a snag in the story, so I need to sit down and actually figure out how to get past that before continuing.

On Saturday, I realized that I still needed to finish editing today’s Sustainably North post.  So I did that and scheduled it for earlier today.  The post ended up being called “Why I’ll Never Be Plastic Free” and goes through a lot of the plastic I generate just from having Type 1 diabetes.  I had a really hard time writing the ending, so this took a lot longer than I thought it would.

Then yesterday, I wrote and scheduled the next two Sustainably North posts.  Next week’s is going to be about this month’s article in bUneke Magazine, which is about homemade gifts. From there I decided to write some posts about the wreath and banana bread that I have pictured with that article.  So the end of the month talks about the paper flowers.  I haven’t written them yet, but I’m also going to write some posts for the first few weeks of December about making the actual paper wreath and making banana bread (I think I’ll share my grandmother’s recipe for that one, too!)

So with Sustainably North taken care of for a little bit, I’m hoping I can turn my attention back to my gamebook short story and hopefully get a lot more done on it!

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Overwhelmed!!!!

Last weekend was ThunderCon.  It also happened to be a weekend I booked off from work intending to do some writing and other stuff around the house; I booked it off before realizing it was ThunderCon.  It was also the weekend before Halloween, so I went to a few parties over the weekend, too.  By the time Monday rolled around, I was feeling rather overwhelmed by all the things I had intended to do and hadn’t had time for.

So earlier this week, I started trying to tackle what I could so I’d feel a bit less overwhelmed and a bit more in control of everything.  I tackled a whole bunch of emails (I’ll be honest, it was a lot of newsletters that I let pile up, mostly from Pinterest).  Later in the week I sat down and got some Sustainably North stuff organized, which also made me feel a whole lot better.  I edited and posted the blog post for Monday, and I finished editing the column for the December issue of bUneke.  For the bUneke article I had to find some pictures for it, too; I should have everything ready to submit by the end of the weekend.  The editor of bUneke had asked me to send her a few articles based off of Sustainably North blog posts to have as backups; she wants to use one for the January issue, so once I’ve submitted the article for their December issue I can start working on the one for the February issue!  I’m really glad to be a bit ahead on that. 🙂

And now that we’re at the end of the week, I made sure that this weekend is much more low key than last weekend was! Hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot more on top of things by Monday! 🙂

Ooh, and I should mention – the new issue of bUneke Magazine is out and it’s got an article I wrote about homemade gifts in it!  I’m hoping to read over the magazine this weekend. 🙂

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#WriteMonday – Mostly Worldbuilding

So this weekend I managed to actually work a bit on the story I started for the Make Your Way anthology.  I had a really hard time sitting down with it for some reason, but last night I finally started thinking through the characters a little bit.  I guess the problem was that I knew I needed to do some worldbuilding in order to properly think through my characters.  But once I started I ended up on a roll!

One oversight that I made with City of the Dead was that I failed to come up with naming conventions for the world.  I’ve got rough naming conventions for pretty much all the other worlds I’ve come up with because I want to make sure characters from different settings don’t have too similar-sounding names.  So last night I sat down and thought through that; from there I moved on to thinking about the individual characters a little more.  Thinking through everything also made me realize that lands and titles in City of the Dead move through matrilinear lines.  This is a little thing, but it is pretty obvious because City of the Dead is ruled primarily by the Queen (she has a King, but he is in charge of security and military matters while she is the one who does the actual ruling).

I came up with my character motivations as well.  I think I’ve figured out how they think (and why things unfold the way they do).  Last night I was thinking they were an aristocratic family, but after sleeping on it I’m thinking they are not.  While I liked the idea of them being aristocrats (especially because it explains where the family’s father is), I’d then have to figure out either why they don’t have servants or why the servants saw and heard nothing.  Plus having servants in the picture may pose a problem for keeping the character count down (which I want to do because this is going to be a short story).  If they aren’t an aristocratic family, and so don’t have servants, all of these problems become nonexistent.

Most of the work I did was yesterday, but I did find names for the characters today.  I’m planning on doing some more work on things tomorrow afternoon, too.  After that I’ll probably have to turn my attention back to Sustainably North and getting a blog post ready for next week.  Thinking of Sustainably North, today I talked about drinking straws, if you’re interested in reading it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a good and productive week.  🙂

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