2 Creative Outlets, 1 Confusing Piece of Fashion

This month, my husband and I have been participating in Inktober. Participants do (at least) one ink drawing a day, and the hashtags are #inktober and #inktober2016 if you want to see examples.

I’ve been posting mine to Instagram and sharing on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s been fun, though I think if I set aside a little more time, I could do much better. Plus, this year, I’ve been really trying to experiment with the fancy Copic markers we bought. They are awesome, and slightly tricky. I want to practice more with blending, which is their real strength. Or one of their strengths.

For November, I’m upping the stakes and attempting to write for NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month (I’m austin_marie if you want to be buddies). The goal of said challenge is to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. That comes to about 100 pages of (single spaced) text, or around the length of a short novel.

Obviously, when trying to write 50,000 words in one month, the first draft is going to be a complete mess. I think the main point of the movement is to encourage people to just write. Writing is hard, and getting started is a hurdle, and you can’t revise what you haven’t written.

So I’m going to make the attempt. We’ll see what happens. I’ll probably need to throw out the whole draft and re-write it, but at least I’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t. Gotta start somewhere, right?

As promised, the confusing piece of fashion. I know, just one! But here it is: cold shoulder sweaters.

Cold shoulder sweater from Guess

Sweater from Guess. WHY??

My thought process on seeing a cold shoulder sweater:

Look at that cozy sweater. Do I need a cable knit sweater? No, I don’t. Hey wait a second, WHERE ARE THE SHOULDERS?? Why is she exposing her skin to the elements!? Why would you ruin the coziness of the sweater by slicing out the shoulders? WHAT IS THIS TREND?

Yeah, I don’t understand. Let me know if you have insight here.

PSLs and an Election Year

One a road trip last weekend we stopped by a Starbucks on our way out of town, where I sampled a pumpkin spice latte, seeing as the weather has finally decided to cool.

I found, to my quiet horror, that I do not really like pumpkin spice lattes much.

Gasp. I know, I’m a traitor to fall.

Here’s the thing that makes it even worse: knowing that pumpkin spice lattes are so sweet and syrupy, I asked for half the flavor pumps (1 1/2 pumps of flavor instead of 3) so I could taste the actual coffee in the drink.

It was still too sweet and left a strange aftertaste that I didn’t much care for.

Apparently I’ve become a coffee snob, and I’ve become more sensitive to sweet drinks. While this is probably good for my overall health, it is a little sad that I don’t get excited about the fall-in-a-cup treat that makes the social media rounds. I do, however, still like anything with salted caramel in it, so all is not lost.

Just make the drink with half the normal sugar and it will be fine.

single leaf

It feels so frivolous to think about the relative merits of sugary flavored coffee when the world is in such turmoil. Natural disasters, wars, violence, racial tensions, an especially acrimonious political season, not to mention smaller disappointments, personal failings, and suffering of people I care about – these are all present.

Thinking about all the problems in the world is too much. Thinking about politics alone is sometimes too much, makes me too angry. Larger movements in the world — I have no control over these. Not that this means I should ignore them or disclaim any responsibility to make the world a better place in small ways, but I need not bear the weight of the world on my shoulders.

It’s better some days to focus on small moments of joy:

  • passing a test (after many, many attempts…)
  • friends who are learning to be new parents
  • friends whose child came home after a successful surgery
  • leaves that are just beginning to turn lovely colors
  • coming home to the smell of soup in a crockpot wafting through the house
  • time with my parents and my in-laws over delicious food

The world may be tired and dangerous, torn apart with strife, but the seasons continue, and the leaves will be beautiful no matter who wins the presidential election.

Photo from Unsplash.