100 days?

Maybe a month ago, I ran across 100 Days of Making, and I was intrigued with the idea. I set the link aside to think about what I’d like to do. I went back to visit this week and realized they actually started April 6.

But that’s okay. I could start now and either catch up or go for 100 days.

The problem is still — what would I do?

  • 100 days of sketches? I’m already trying to sketch each day.
  • 100 days of haiku? Maybe, although a lot of my haiku doesn’t follow technical definitions with seasonal references and the like.
  • 100 days of origami, maybe folding cranes? Yeah, I’d probably get bored with that pretty quickly because of the repetition.
  • 100 days of crocheting and knitting squares of different patterns to join into an afghan at the end? Certainly a possibility.
  • 100 days of quilting different quilt blocks for the same idea? Ha! No way I’d manage a block a day.
  • 100 days of flower photographs? Or birds, or trees? That one has potential.
  • 100 days of photos with accompanying haiku? Ooh, that’s promising, but I am I going to find it too much by the second or third month?

Then, of course, I realized that with summer coming and potential trips, I might  well discover I couldn’t post to Instagram every day. (Oh, yes, just what I need — another social media network!)

So my current thought is to wait until after vacation time, and then start my 100 day count, even if everyone at The Great Discontent is done by then — if I still think I need another challenge in my life.

Does this sound interesting to you? What kind of creative thing could you do for 100 days?

Happy Vernal Equinox!

fresh snow in the yard

Greeting spring appropriately in Pennsylvania.

Unlike most of the continent, the East Coast had a cold and snowy winter. It seems to want to do the same for spring.

And yes, the children are being dismissed from school early today. I got them off to school, then ran my errands so I could get home and do some actual work before they get back.

In other news, I’ve been rather neglecting real content for the blog here, doing my gratitude posts on Monday and my serial posts on Tuesday, but rarely doing much else. So I’m going to try starting a few things going, on a rotation:

  • The “You ask, I answer” went fairly well last year, but I only received a handful of questions. If people have more questions (anything from “How do you decide what to make for dinner?” to “What genre are you least likely to write and why?”), drop them in the comments, e-mail me, or send me a message via the Contact page.
  • I’d like to get back to the “Defining the genres” posts that I used to do, and there are still a few from the last time I asked for suggestions that I need to write up. But if you’re curious about something, let me know.
  • Off and on through my life, I’ve dabbled at learning new languages. Spent a summer learning basic Japanese (including the kana) in college because of this boy at the fast food place where I worked. No, I remember none of it. I’ve also tried to learn Irish from a book, picked up some German with my husband (then fiancé) because he needed to pass a foreign-language test for his doctorate, and took a semester of Hebrew in grad school (I remember some of the letters and a few words). I suppose an alternate version of me might have become a linguist and actually become fluent in multiple languages. I’m not that person, but I do have a little list of languages I’d like to learn, starting with Italian*, and I’ll talk about that here on the blog.

So that’s what’s on tap for me as the seasons turn once again. What’s new or renewed in your life?

*I have some previous experience of Italian because I used to help my mom with her flash cards, and I have sufficient grounding in French that picking up another Romance language shouldn’t be terribly difficult, even at my age. (They say it’s easier to learn new languages when younger.) My first line of learning is going to be using the Mango languages app, which the local library provides free access to. Expect my first post on this new adventure to go up next week.

P.S. I posted yesterday on the Sara Penhallow blog about my latest knitting project, a scarf for my daughter.

One of my crazy 2015 projects

I mentioned this in my last newsletter, but I know that not everyone subscribes to my newsletter, so I’m letting everyone know here, as well: next year, I plan to do a sketch a day and post it to DeviantArt. I’ve had an account there for around five years and never done anything with it, so you can see my work from the beginning.

Sketches might range from a ballpoint pen drawing of a bluejay (I’ve been doing those in my daughter’s lunch already, so that’s not really a challenge) to trying my hand at colored pencils on a dragon. I don’t know; I have 365 days to fill.

If you’re interested in following along, you can find me here: Eimarra on DeviantArt.

Adventures in home ownership

Plumbing has been . . . interesting . . . over the past week. Highlights include the drain (now capped, previously open) beneath the built-in cupboard and bookcase
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and the mass of roots where the sewer line met the main line in the street where there has been no tree for at least 15 or 20 years.
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What’s new with you on this Monday?

Getting social

I know this post is going to bore my mom because she doesn’t do social media, but the rest of you might find it at least a little interesting.

I don’t consider myself an incredibly social person (definitely more toward the introvert end of the scale), but I can be found all over the Internet. There’s this blog, obviously, and its mirror site on LiveJournal, but I’m also on Ello, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’ve also considered Tumblr, but I haven’t actually taken the plunge yet. (If I do do Tumblr, most likely what I’ll post are images with quotes from my stories and books.) Why so many, and what do I use them for? Continue reading

Mid-September already?

Yes, the seasons cycle. I noticed cyclamen blooming among the hostas the other day, and the resident groundhog (it lives under a pile of brush in the back corner of the lot) has been eating fallen apples from the tree. (The dog has, too, though I try to discourage it; the core gets caught in his throat, and he coughs and chokes for hours afterward.) We’ve even had mornings when the girl has wanted her jacket to go to the bus stop.

This past week, I was amused to note I’d been so excited to have the kids go back to school so I could get more work done — but it hasn’t turned out that way at all. With making lunches, checking the girl’s backpack, making sure everyone has breakfast (including the dog, whom the girl is supposed to feed), and walking the girl to the bus, I still don’t settle down to work before 9. At the other end of the day, the boy is home about 3:15, and I have to meet the girl’s bus about 3:50, and then my husband can get home any time from 4 on, depending on what kind of a day he’s had. And everyone’s first action when they get home is to tell me all about how their day went — which means, basically, I have from 9 to 3 to do my paying work, write, edit, check e-mail, and do whatever else I need to get done.

More work done? Nope.

On the other hand, it’s much quiter, and I don’t have to break up any fights over whose turn it is to choose what they’re watching. I’ll take it.

What changes have you noticed recently?

August at last!

It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who saw my post at the end of May on having the kids home for the summer, but I’m really ready for them to go back to school. Fortunately, that’s just two and a half weeks now!

In many ways, the summer’s been easier than I thought it would be, although that probably has a lot to do with being willing to use electronic babysitters. Yes, my kids have spent an inordinate amount of time on the Xbox, the laptop, and my iPad — playing games, watching movies, and mostly staying out of my hair so I could still work and write. (I’ve even finished and sent out a couple of new stories this summer.) Which isn’t to say I didn’t do things with the kids. Library every week. One memorable trip to a playground (It didn’t end well). A trip to a different park. A trip to the museum.

I’ve made sure the kids are reading (okay, that’s not exactly hard, although my son is complaining that he doesn’t need any more recommendations of books to read now, Mom, thank you) and practicing their math (the boy has his summer algebra packet; I’ve had to print out addition, subtraction, and time worksheets for the girl). And the boy’s started up band camp, too, which takes him out of the house for a couple of hours every morning.

On the other hand, when the kids are both downstairs for any length of time, the squabbling starts. And when the boy has his best friend over, they tend to chatter a lot, which rather distracts me from what I’m trying to get done. And every now and then, we get that age-old plaint of children everywhere — “I’m bored!” (Although my son has learned to follow this up very quickly with, “No, Mom, I’m not asking for suggestions.”)

I’m probably the only one of us who’s eager for this year to start. My son’s still nervous about being a teen, and being in 8th grade weirds him out. My daughter? Well, she went to the same school for kindergarten that she did for preschool, so now that she’s going into first grade, she’s switching schools to a larger place with more kids, most of whom she won’t know. She’s nervous. Last night, in fact, she was telling me she was scared about kindergarten even though it was still the same school and she knew most everyone. So this? Yeah, big step for her.

Which doesn’t change the fact that I’m counting down to August 25.