Word of the Day: Procrastination

When I have something to do, when there’s a deadline that’s coming up, be it a real deadline or one I have made up for myself, I tend to procrastinate.

I don’t know why I do it. I wasn’t always this way. When I was an undergrad I used to have all of my term papers drafted and edited a week before the due date. In my day job as a writer, I take extra precaution to make sure my project are written at least 24 hours in advance; anything less feels like a failure.

But I put off personal projects. Maybe I’m afraid of failure. I mean, that’s why I started this blog in the first place: the blog was supposed to document my failings as a DIYer, haha!

The last DIY project I posted about was at least a month ago. So, how do I procrastinate? It’s easy!

Here’s how:

Check Buzzfeed for new Amazon shopping articles (Do you know what a dream it would be to write those posts? They’re all images!)

Check email

Check LinkedIn

Check email again

Watch the kit kats from the Kitten Academy on Youtube

Look around the apartment and find something to clean

Wash the dishes

Put in a load of laundry

Go to the gym

Check email again

Get lost in a pool of Seth Meyers videos

Go back to the project

Get so frustrated with the work of the project that you put it away; out of sight, out of mind

Check Buzzfeed again, take that quiz you said was stupid and wouldn’t take

Take a shower

Make a snack

Go for a walk

Look at Pinterest

Read for a bit

Take some notes on the book

Check email again

Watch a few episodes of VEEP (On a side note, isn’t Julia Louis-Dreyfus perfection in that show?)

Call it a day and go to bed.

Procrastinating isn’t hard to do, and all that procrastination can keep you busy!

How do you

Word of the Day: Pigeon

My first introduction to the pigeons of San Francisco was just last year, when I caught a small, sticky faced child trying to run up and kick one. The pigeon flew away unscathed, but I was shocked at the ugliness displayed by that child. Didn’t he know better than to kick an innocent bird pecking at the ground for scattered breadcrumbs outside of Subway? The bird wasn’t doing anything to anyone. That kid on the other hand was driving everybody nuts, but that’s neither here nor there.

Thinking that the kid was probably a serial killer in the making (they always kill animals first) I chalked it up to a random act of violence. Turns out, a lot of people in the city despise pigeons, or what they would call: rats of the air. What did the pigeon ever do to them? Had they at one point accidentally been shat on? Didn’t they know that getting pooed on by a bird was a sign of good luck? I know, it’s no fun being crapped on by a bird, but as someone who has experienced it, you wipe it off and move on. And guess what? Later you’ll have a funny story to share that might get you out of an awkward situation; see? It is good luck!

The pigeon was originally bred as a source of meat, but upon realizing that the pigeon was an intelligent, loyal and social creature, they were bred to help people like us communicate with our friends and family faster. The coo of pigeon, if you think about it, is really like the original tweet.

They’re not appreciated as a city bird. Look up at some of the building around you. Have you ever noticed those long spikes on window ledges? Yeah, that’s to keep them from landing on the ledge after a long flight. We don’t have a flying rat problem, we have avian empathy problem. The birds didn’t ask to be bred. They’re doing what they can to survive, just like the rest of us.

Word of the Day: Writers

I’ve shared with you in other posts (I hope this doesn’t read as too repetitive!) my passion for reading. I visit my local library as often as I can and I scour the internet’s reading lists for my next monthly read.

Being introduced to a new writer is more than exciting; it’s thrilling. Have I found a new favorite author? Will their work introduce me to another idea or belief? Will this body of work have an effect on my writing? Are there more books on the way, or like Harper Lee, will they keep their audience in suspense for decades before producing a second novel? Will its release call into question the author’s true intentions? Will the novel have fans questioning the publisher’s motives and the author’s wishes?

Even the story surrounding the new book’s publication can play into how the novel is received by audiences. Did Go Set a Watchman get a fair shake? Or, did the story about the manuscript’s sudden appearance so late in Lee’s life leave a foul taste in readers’ mouths?

Your favorite writer is the friend you haven’t been able to see in months (maybe years), but once you’re finally able to sit down for coffee and warm conversation, it’s like no time has passed.

Are you looking to embark on a new relationship with a writer you haven’t read before? Here are my top 10 faves. And if you’re new to their works, I’ve included the titles that I think make for great introductions.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Michael Cunningham, The Hours

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Edith St. Vincent Millay, Renascence

Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man is Hard to Find

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

You’ll recognize some of the titles above as a few of the dystopian novels have made a comeback since the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

Do you have a favorite writer you want to share? Leave their name in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Word of the Day: Laundry

Of all the household chores, dishes are my least favorite. A believer in doing my part to combat climate change (I do not believe that it’s a Chinese hoax, unlike number 45) I don’t run my dishwasher; I do all of my dishes by hand. I take that back, I do use the dishwasher—as a drying rack. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing dishes sitting out on a countertop!

I don’t really have a favorite chore. I often forget to dust and only vacuum when the carpet visibly needs it. Yes—I’m a little lazy. There are three chores I do keep on top of though:

-Laundry

-Weekly Bathroom Scrub

-…

I thought there was a third, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t think there is. I do the laundry once a week. Separating the clothes by color is key, as I don’t want anything to fade or any colors to run. I hear what you’re saying: that’s taking up energy! Sigh, it is, but I try to make it up for it by, again, washing only once a week. My favorite item to fold is a pair of jeans, with my least favorite being a fitted sheet; fitted sheets are the devil’s work! While everything else has been folded and put away in their respective places, I twist the fitted sheet around my arm and hide it on a shelf in the back of my closet. No one can know my shame: I cannot fold linens.

Word of the Day: Pancakes

Do you ever wake up late on a Sunday morning, still sleepy and unsure if you’re ready to really face the day? Then suddenly, there’s a reason for you to get out of bed: PANCAKES!

I am motivated by food. While I realize this isn’t exactly healthy, it gives me something to look forward to, such as on Sunday mornings. Rather than a day of rest, Sunday is for me the day before I have to start the week over again. It’s the last day I can sleep in and wander about my apartment in my pajamas. I don’t need to worry about makeup or fussing with my hair. In short, I can be the oily-haired ragamuffin I truly am.FullSizeRenderAh, but PANCAKES! As soon as the batter hits the skillet I swear I can smell the color “golden brown.” After I get the spatula fully under the pancake, there’s an instant during the flip that it can go from being a perfect circle to sad blob. What am I saying? The shape of the pancake doesn’t matter; it doesn’t change the taste! After both sides have had their turn on the skillet, it’s time to transfer the golden fluffy goodness to a plate. With a light, silky pour of maple syrup, my breakfast is ready. With a belly full of pancake, I’m ready for my mid-morning nap! Yay for Sundays!

Word of the Day: Motivation

When I have time for myself, I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and read the news for an hour. Then, I start my day.

After pulling on my running shoes and putting on a baseball cap I head to the grocery store and buy that night’s dinner stuffs. I come home, unpack my bag and throw in a load of laundry. I change into some leggings and a loose top and walk to the gym. I get to do everything on my time. I can take things as slow or as fast as I want. The pressure’s off; I can just be. I’m motivated to start a new project. I have time to read the latest book club selection. I can look out the window and watch the pigeons shuffle on the ledge opposite.FullSizeRender-3I don’t quite have this same freedom during the week. I wake up, get ready, go to work. When I come home in the late afternoon, I’m tired. My motivation is shot. Nothing sounds better than to plop myself down in front of TV with a snack in my lap and a drink in my hand. But, I don’t want to spend my nights that way. So, I’m going to change out of my work clothes and into my gym clothes. I’m off to go sweat it out!

 

 

Word of the Day: Watercolors

Do you ever try out a new hobby, wondering if this new interest will reveal a hidden skill you didn’t know you had? I’ve done this about a million times. Okay, that number is an exaggeration, but you get the point.

I’ve always loved to paint. My favorite medium to work with is acrylic paint. The plasticity of the acrylic allows me to work the paint into shape; it’s almost sculptural. Acrylic is forgiving. You can make a mistake and with one sweep of the brush it’s the composition is reborn.

Watercolors are less forgiving. Too much water and the paint blooms across the paper. Not enough water and the paint’s too thick, adding water only saturates the one thickly blotted area of the page.

It would be easier to stick with what I know and continue using acrylics, but I want to do something different. To grow as a painter, I need to use different materials and tools to learn technique. Watercolors are my next challenge.

DIY Bullet Journal Tutorial

Hey, guys! As you have probably already noticed by my Instagram, I’m getting a little obsessed with bullet journaling! I had journals growing up but only just now got back in to it after a five-year hiatus. Only this time, my journal is going to be about art, writing and general creative fun!

As promised, here is a new bullet journal tutorial!

Materials Used:

Moleskin Notebook

Mulberry Paper

Colored Pencils

Dual Brush Pens, assorted colors

Writing Pens, assorted colors

Washi Tape, assorted colors

Pencil

Eraser

Scissors

Ruler

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How-To:

 Step 1: First decide what purpose you want the bullet journal to have. My bullet journal (different my reading bullet journal) is to help me do something creative for at least five minutes every day.

Side Note: When I was a kid, I loved to draw; I don’t know at what point I stopped. To get back into it, I draw something that I’ve seen that day or that I want. I desperately want a dog, but I until my lifestyle supports one, the best I can do is cartoon dog, Toby. Yep, that right—I name my imaginary pets and he looks like a Toby!

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Step 2: Draw an illustration on the first page of the journal. If you want a border, mark up the space first so you don’t have to cram it in later. This first drawing will be the introduction to your bullet journal. As a fan of Vanessa Bell’s work, I chose to draw a version of the illustration she did for her sister’s posthumously published diary: “A Writer’s Diary.”

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Step 3: Flip to a new page and draw something from your imagination. Make it something that’ll motivate you and has a positive message. I drew succulents in a pot.

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Side Note: Pen and marker ink bleed through the pages. To prevent bleeding, place a scratch piece of paper between the pages.

Step 4: Take the mulberry paper and slip it between the two illustrated pages. Make sure the edge of the paper is tucked into the journal snuggly. Using your pencil, lightly trace around the edges of the notebook. Remove the mulberry paper. Take the scissors and cut along the pencil tracing.

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Side Note: Stupidly, I did not take any pictures of my actual process, so, yes, the mulberry pages were already inserted at the time this picture was taken.

Step 5: Cut a piece of washi tape the length of the cut mulberry paper (also now the same length as the journal). Tape the mulberry paper into the journal. The mulberry paper acts as a colorful and fun divider between illustrations and written entries!

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Step 6: On a new page, write your first entry. The entry can be about whatever you want. My entries are the first drafts of DIY tutorials.

The drawings don’t need to work together (you don’t need to have a theme unless you want one) and if you don’t want to write anything, you don’t have to. This journal is for you: do what makes you happy!

 

 

Word of the Day: EARTH

Hey, guys! So, I’ve already missed a writing–prompt, apologies! I have a reason for it, but won’t give excuses. That should be my next word–excuse! 

Any who, please find my fast and fictitious response to today’s prompt just below this sentence! 

I’m often distracted. No, distracted isn’t quite the right word. Distracted leans further towards not having some self-control. Rather, I choose not to see the forest for the trees.

I wake up, wash my face, change into the new day’s clothes and speed off to work. There, I put in my earbuds and go about my day undisturbed. I pay attention only to the screen in front of me. On my way home I don’t notice the changing color of the sky or the glint of the sun on the city skyline: all I notice is the notification that has popped up on my phone. One new “like.” One new comment. No words written, just a smiley.

Then, as if by some miracle, a new light catches my eye. No, the sudden absence of light, a shadow. A pigeon has flown down beside me and is interested in the sandwich I’m holding. His head flits from one side to the other. He emits a low coo. The world, as if by magic, is all at once loud, vibrant and jostling. I can hear the wind whip through the trees. Cherry blossoms are in bloom. The sky is azure blue. I am unplugged from the digital world and grounded here, now. No one sees this. No one sees the pigeon. No one see the beauty of the day.