Update - June 2, 2019
I've been quiet the last couple of months mainly because I haven't had much to say. Things have just been too overwhelming. Creativity has taken a backseat more and more. So, I am starting a new weekly update series to chronicle my struggles and successes. I think my predicament is common and I hope by sharing what I'm going through it will relieve some of my frustration and perhaps yours.
What's gone on this week
The last five months have been hard. No one's died. There haven't been debilitating illnesses (at least nothing long lasting). I still have my job, a roof over my head, and family and friends. Yet it has still been one of the harder periods of my life. When I think back to how last year ended I was optimistic: things had shifted around at work allowing for growth that I was excited about; I was creating regularly; and I was so grateful for my family and friends, for my whole life as it was. And then...
Let's just say things didn't pan out as expected. Shortly after New Year's things shifted in the opposite direction at work causing a domino effect that left me treading water without any direction or end in sight. This transferred to the rest of my life, and here we are. It has taken me the full five months to realize what's really happened, instead of looking at and trying to fix the symptoms, and figure out how I might move forward.
And then this week I got the flu. Not the stomach flu, or even one with a cold (at least so far), but the kind with a low grade fever, major aches and pains, fatigue, chills, etc. Not fun. Everything came to a halt. Or stayed firmly in the off position. I haven't written a word in three weeks. My garden is cleaner, but progress has ground to a halt (more on that below). You get the idea. So. Frustrating.
I am finally on the mend, starting to write again, and getting my creativity flowing. It's probably going to require a fair amount of patience to get to a place where I'm happy with the balance between work and my creative life but this week I'm focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. Small goals like writing even a small amount a couple of times this week and putting together my new potting bench.
My garden has been almost my sole creative outlet for the last couple of weeks. Last weekend I did a bunch of cleaning and rearranging. I also added a couple of plants. I finally settled on a potting bench (an outdoor cart from IKEA) that will fit in the space. It's currently sitting in a couple of boxes in my hall until I can muster the energy to put it together. I also ordered some seed propagation equipment and some flower seeds. I'm going to hold a couple of these back until the early fall, but the rest I'm going to plant with the hopes of late summer/early autumn blooms.
What I'm loving
Two book that I loved recently are The Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein and Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber. Erin Benzakein runs Floret Farms up in Washington state. Her book is filled with the most delicious photos and good advice on growing cut flowers and making arrangements with them. I've been dreaming of a sunny spot where I can grow the most colorful blooms and this book set them all on paper. The Caraval series really surprised me. I love the way Garber handled magic, the world she created, and the characters. The second book in the series was my favorite, but I loved both the first and third too.
It's been a couple of weeks but two theatre productions that I saw are still resonating with me - Hamilton and The Jungle. Both reminded me of the power of theatre and why it was the first storytelling medium that I fell in love with. I posted about both on Instagram if you want more details.
I'm working on my novel titled Catherine of Mercia.
474 in the last two days.
Not much but it's progress.