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[personal profile] cislyn
I've got a reprieve from noisiness and other people right now - the workers have cleared out until around three while some things dry out, and the cats are sniffing around and delighted to be free. I'm feeling pretty good right now - tired, but good. I learned something that perhaps should have been obvious to me about myself before this. I have always said that I do not like breakfast, and can't really eat in the mornings. This is actually not true. It's just that my digestive system takes a good long time to wake up (along with the rest of me, actually) and usually two hours after I wake up is, uh, lunchtime rather than breakfast time. Durh. Anyway, I ate breakfast this morning! It was tasty! Then there was lunch! Check that out, two meals in a row. What is up with that, eh? Also, I think that avocados may be one of the single finest foods in the world. That, and mushrooms. Not necessarily together, but DAMN those foods are tasty.

Rich has informed me that he is on a fiction strike until I write a novel or novel-length collection of connected short stories. He won't read any other novel length book until he reads mine. Mind you, I haven't got one of those in the works (any more than I usually do) but I have to admit this incentivizes me. I am also aware that this isn't as much of a sacrifice as it sounds like - he's been so busy he hasn't actually read a book in more than a year (!!) so yeah, I don't feel like I'm rotting Rich's brain by keeping him waiting a bit longer.

I love that he does things like this, especially because I know what a picky reader he is. While there certainly is an element there of him reading my things because they're mine, I know that's only a piece of it - he wouldn't keep reading them, or try by hook or by crook to get me to make more of them and put out a book of them (he has sent me the info on amazon self-publishing something like five times now) if he didn't actually like them. He would tell me if he thought they were crap, and that counts for a lot.

Anyway, that's that. In other news, I've been exterminating humanity a lot lately playing Plague Inc, getting reading of my own done (the pile is slowly diminishing!) and doing a lot of thinking.

This getting up early stuff sucks, and I definitely won't be keeping it up, but there's something to be said about having all this time in a day, and since I'm so sleepy anyway I spend even more time just sort of staring into the middle distance and letting my mind work on things quietly.

I feel like all around me there are all these changes - long in the coming or surprising and sudden or subtle or obvious, there are a lot of them - and I feel sort of like I need to join the spirit of the times and shift a few things in myself as well. I find myself sort of painfully aware of the things I haven't been doing - making things, painting and drawing, studying Japanese - and turning them over in my mind and trying to figure out why.

With Japanese I can see the answer a little bit - I really, really like two things when studying a foreign language: structure and company. Once we weren't going to a class anymore, that got rid of the structure element. And company? Well, I was studying with Todd - we started the class together, were reading things together, and listening to some podcasts together. But he is WAY more diligent than I am, partially because he retreats into Japanese language study when he's avoiding work. He spends at least an hour a day drilling vocabulary, listening to podcasts (he raced way ahead of me) and practicing kanji (I have learned, like, two kanji. It's sad. To be honest I'm barely competent with my kana). So I lost my in-person study buddy and I feel both slow and lazy in comparison to Todd (I don't often compare myself to him, but when it's a thing we started together, and he's measurably so far beyond me... yeah, I've been doing that) and it's been hard to motivate myself to just get back to work and do it.

I do want to learn, though, and I'm happy when I'm actively learning something. So, I need to either try once again to set aside time and find self-discipline and structure some lessons and study time out for myself, or try to find another study buddy who's at about the same level I am and wants to learn together with me. When someone else is involved, it's always easier for me to be put in the work, because there's an element of letting someone else down, and I never want to do that.

When it comes to making things, I want to make a big list of all the in-progress projects I have going on (they are many) and, starting with the curtains for the master bath, start working on them. No deadlines, no pressure to be perfect, no schedule, just "do this thing first. Then choose from the list what to do after that".

And then there's drawing/painting. I miss the drawing and painting dates I had with Heidi back when she was living here. We were going through the "drawing on the right side of the brain" book together, and we'd meet in the afternoon once a week or so just to draw. Once I discovered brush painting, I brought along black ink and a brush or two as well and would spend part of the time doing 'sketches' in ink while she played with charcoal or pencils. It was awesome - not because I produced awesome things (though I am inordinately proud of the paintings and drawings I've done) but because I never, ever believed I could do any kind of visual art like that, and here I was doing it. Plus, you know, spending time with the person who's known me longest in the world who isn't related to me and goofing around together. We would always bring a small collection of objects to draw / paint, and they were so very uniquely us - mine were almost always things like dice, or game pieces, or a steampunk blaster, or a strange plushie or something. She brought little wooden or soapstone carvings of animals - owls, a giraffe, a turtle - bracelets, a whisk, a prayer wheel from Tibet, glassware from her lab.

I haven't opened the drawing book since she moved. Which is silly, really, because learning that stuff was awesome and I had made such good progress and it was great. But yeah. I miss my friend. Speaking of which, I need to write her again about a visit in October. She's been swamped with finishing up her dissertation and hasn't gotten back to me in a bit, but I'd like to go ahead and plan that.

Anyway. Yeah. Painting and drawing is a thing I want to do more of, because it was gloriously fun and I got such a kick out of doing a thing I had always told myself was for other people, people who were good at that kind of thing. Maybe I should try to find out if anyone I know in town would be willing to start reading through "drawing on the right side of the brain" (it was working really well for me! I'd totally be up for starting over) and doing some drawing dates with me. And if not, then, I don't know, just picking a day or two and doing it myself, even if it does make me melancholy.

And now Bubbles is purring in my lap so I'm going to go pet her instead of writing more of this entry.

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Cislyn

December 2016

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