Bit by bit…
Because something is better than nothing
💻 what I'm up to 💻
The new year is here. We did it. Things happening right now aren’t the new year’s fault. It’s only 13 days old (though it feels like it’s been much longer already). But if it makes you feel better to yell at 2022, I’m not gonna judge.
I am sinking into my routines this year, trying out different things to see what works best as I’m back to spending most of the time at home (I do not want any variant of COVID, thank you). I want to sprinkle in some outdoor walks and hikes too, but it’s chilly. My fleece-lined leggings—I adore them so much!—help. Anyway, it’s all in an effort to hopefully help with my productivity, because as much as I love bingeing romance novels, I would like to write more words this year outside of my job. And it won’t happen if I wait until I’m in the mood, because that is not how it works. I am rarely in the mood to write over… reading a book or watching National Treasure again. Sometimes my brain hits those “these words must flow out of me” strides, but it’s rare.
Don’t wait for the mood, for the muse, for permission. Do the thing. Even if it’s just in little bits at a time. (Not me repeating this to myself over and over).
I’ve especially been trying to rejuvenate my time in the kitchen with fresh recipes to keep me engaged and less likely to eat a whole bunch of frozen pizzas or takeout. For anyone else running into a recipe wall, Delish has been worth every penny for a subscription. Their recipes, by and large, have easy to get ingredients and out of the couple dozen I’ve tried, I’ve only come across a couple of eh results.
Finally, a PSA: it’s Girl Scout Cookie season and if you don’t know any Girl Scouts and haven’t seen any booths pop up in your community or don’t feel safe going on a cookie hunt, they’re available on DoorDash.
📘 my book things 📘
You know how I’ve said publishing is about waiting and waiting, then waiting some more, and then your manuscript is due tomorrow? That. So I have 3-6 projects in the works/in talks (and have for months), only one of which actually has a contract right now. I’m doing tons of research for the one I’ve signed a contract for–it’s something quite different for me and I’m having a blast.
I have my own book (a rom-com!) that I’m slowly, slowly working on too. It’s not sold or anything and I’m not used to writing without a deadline… so it’s happening at a trickle. But that’s okay! I have faith that I’ll finish it this year and we’ll see what happens.
📺 what I'm watching 📺
Nicholas Hoult + Elle Fanning + lavish costumes + heavy use of the word huzzah = a show I cannot get enough of. I’m nearly through season two. While it took me a few episodes to commit to the series about Catherine the Great—this is a brutal world and Peter is a cruel unlikeable shit for a while—I fell hard once I settled in. It’s decadent, stylized, and not the most historically accurate, but I don’t watch it for a history lesson. The performances are brilliant, the characters complex, and the dialogue hilarious. Check it out on Hulu.
If you have a childhood connection to Sesame Street, Muppets, Jim Henson, or Frank Oz, watch Street Gang. It’s the HBO documentary about the making of Sesame Street. I definitely wasn’t aware of how groundbreaking it was for its time, and I definitely wasn’t prepared to cry repeatedly (but in a good way!). Bonus: includes Frank Oz and Jim Henson being absolute goofs and legends.
The Witcher Season 2
I know the newsletter’s getting long so I’ll be brief but oh my stars, I adored season 2 of The Witcher with all its weird shit, showing more of the elves, Geralt and Ciri’s relationship (I’m a sucker for a reluctant father figure story), Jaskier’s coat, and kinda sympathizing with Cahir? So. Good. “Burn, Butcher, Burn” has been in my head for weeks now.
📚 what I'm reading 📚
Trashlands by Alison Stine
Set a few generations in the future, Trashlands takes place in Scrappalachia, the region-wide junkyard that used to be Appalachia–specifically in southeast Ohio. Floods and tides ravaged the US. Plastic is everywhere, and that plastic is currency. The story follows Coral in a dump called Trashlands, and it's about survival, making art, creating a life... it's a heartbreaking story at times but also a beautiful, moving one.
Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest
Cozy mystery alert! This one focuses on Leda Foley, a psychic travel agent, who starts helping a Seattle PD detective with a cold case that could help her solve the past murder of someone close to her. It's quippy, twisty, and fun. Plus it includes psychic karaoke!
Also, I made a reading plan for the year so I can finally catch up on Star Wars books and The Witcher series and stay on track with my Wheel of Time reread. To that end, I've finally read Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, the first book in the Star Wars: The High Republic era and I am IN.
Also part two: if anyone else is looking for an alternative to Amazon-owned Goodreads, try StoryGraph. I recently made the switch and it's easy to import your Goodreads library.
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
Just some precious Highland calf pets. Please note its wee tongue.
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
Begin as you mean to go on, BAYMTGO. My bud Rosie told me about this approach to doing things you love from Leigh Bardugo. If carving aside an hour for writing or whatever you want to do more of this year is too much, do 15 minutes. Begin the year as you mean to go on, spending 15 minutes each day doing something that makes you happy. Fifteen minutes is very reasonable and then if you're really into whatever it is and have more time, you keep going. I've applied this to some writing and research this year and I find it quite helpful.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“No man likes to run forward blindly when he knows there is a cliff somewhere ahead.” - Robert Jordan
I’m often caught in the struggle of planning, because planning is good, but also not focusing too much on the future. I want to be mindful of the present, not about a million things that may or may not happen. It is a constant practice and one at which I often fail. BUT, I do want to look ahead enough to know there’s not a cliff so this Wheel of Time quote got me.
Reply and let me know how you’re doing! And if you feel so inclined, buy me a Ko-fi!