December snow

Last night, we got our first bit of wintry mix — mostly rain, trace of snow that stuck around on the grass for a little bit after the sun came up. The kids were incredibly happy to see the snow. (Me, I told them to make sure they caught their buses this morning because I wasn’t driving anywhere!)

Anyway, it was nice to see a winter trying to be winter, and it’s always good to see happy children. (Also on my gratitude list right now: the smell of the bread that’s about to come out of the oven.) What are you grateful for this week?

front yard with snow Continue reading

New start to the morning

I apologize for being scarce around here this month. It’s been a rough month, and if we’re connected anywhere else, you know this. I summed up in my latest newsletter, and if you’re not a subscriber, I strongly suggest you do subscribe!

I read lots of newsletters and mailing lists (probably too many, to be honest — time spent on them is time not used in writing), and I want to mention one of them today: Benjamin Hardy. He recently republished an article on Medium, 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 a.m.

When I read it (and downloaded his checklist), I hoped it was going to be just easy tweaks. Not a challenge. I feel like I have enough challenges in my life, you know?

And some of it seems obvious — get enough sleep, focus on what you want to be doing, move your priorities forward.

But …

I’ve found myself making excuses for why I haven’t even tried. I get up between 6 and 6:30 and spend the time until almost 9 getting kids fed, making sure lunches are made, and seeing them off to school. His routine looks like it would add another couple of hours, and I can guarantee I’m not getting up at 4. And I’m tired, and it hasn’t been a good month, and and and. Lots of excuses.

The thing is, I do want to, as he says, get out of survival mode and live on purpose. Make changes that will help me focus more in the morning and get things done.

Some changes I may not make — I know that exercise in the morning makes me worthless for the rest of the day.

But I’ll start with two, similar to things I already do, and go from there: journaling each morning when I first wake up (instead of waiting until 9 a.m.), and a cold shower (or at least a warm shower with a cold rinse at the end) each day. This is my public commitment to doing this for this week, next week, and the foreseeable future.

Anyone else want to join in?

Inktober 31 — improbable friends

Last day of Inktober. I hope you all have enjoyed it.

Today, I actually used the Inktober prompt, friends. And this post does double duty as my weekly gratitude post. I’m grateful to Mr. Jake Parker for creating Inktober, to all the many artists I’ve seen participating over the years, and to all the people who’ve encouraged me and commented this month. Thank you all!

Inktober 28 — Gates of Barovia

I was spending the evening prepping to start the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft with our gaming group tomorrow. This bit of description comes early, and I thought I’d sketch it to share with the group. (I had to draw something, and I certainly wasn’t going to share the encounter maps I set up!)

Inktober 24 — wings and things

Working on anatomy, considering specializations. Of course, if a dragon has a beast’s hindfeet, one might argue that it should have a beast’s forefeet as well, making a bat the best model. Ditto bird talons and bird wings. On the other hand, the dragon head drew on multiple influences, so having the wings do so as well seems reasonable to me.