once in a while, she don't wanna call you

I only have phone pics to offer in this post... sorry for the dingy quality. (Check out my neapolitan ice cream hair situation from early this year, haha. One's bound to have misadventures every now and then when working with bleach.)

It's been a ruff and tuff year, oh man. Oh lordy. Ding dang dong, was it RUFF STUFF! Earlier I was making a list of positive things this year offered: televised musicals, Carly Rae Jepsen, trendy Nintendo apps, getting to know new friends and reconnecting with old ones, music I enjoyed. My therapist wants me to give more weight to the positive. I don't want to undervalue any of these things. They have kept me afloat, for sure.

"This has been the worst year of my life" is a phrase I'm trying to avoid fixating on right now, however apt and truthful it seems, because I know there have been rough times in the past, too. I've had pretty bad episodes before. Now that I am far away from those times, their gravity doesn't have a hold on me, and I can't remember every moment of angst. But I think it's okay to say "This was an excruciating year" and acknowledge that, and look forward to being disconnected from it.

My prayer for 2017 -- besides continuing to just survive, white-knuckled, teeth grit, eyes on the horizon -- is simply to make things... make use of my hands and brain and time.

However, to kick off the year, I'd like to just take a break from everything. I've been mostly absent on social media because of my shaky mental health (particularly since the election), and I know it has benefited me. So I feel like I would like to disconnect a little further and see how that treats me!

If I want to blog here or make videos or have an active presence on Twitter/Instagram, I will. But I'm taking it off my mental to-do list for a bit, if that makes sense. If you don't see me around for a stretch, I'm just on hiatus so I can take care of myself, okay? :)

Let's all have as productive and pleasant 2017 as we can!


Finally filmed that haul I mentioned last month.

I also filmed this doll collectors tag!

I'm halfway-ish, I guess, through my Habitica party's November "Work On Your Project Daily" challenge. Many are writing, one is painting, one is coding. I've missed 3 days out of the 17 so far. I have definitely not written every single one of these days, but for me, writing on this project (which is currently 64k words -- for perspective, the first Harry Potter book is ~77k) often includes hours of research (aka Googling) to decide on details, and hand-writing pages of notes.  It's been a trying time, in terms of what's going on with politics and the state of things, to try and concentrate on something that is comparatively silly, even if I need that kind of escapism and to not be frantically worried all the time.

After I publish this post I hope to hop right into my writing (but lbr, I'll probably watch YouTube videos for a while, then roll sluggishly into my writing).

somewhere deep inside of these bones

What? I can't believe October is over. :( I was looking forward to this month for ages, and it has drained away from under my feet so fast.

I spent most of the month writing. Joy! Joy! Joy!!! Writing is the thing I treasure the most in my life. I would choose it over every other hobby I have. But it also the most difficult hobby I pursue, and the most touch and go even when I am at my best. I haven't written in over a year, and not seriously in a couple of years. So I'm shocked that I've been managing some hardcore writing when my state of mind feels so diminished and my energy levels at an all-time low and have just been limping through everything in life. In some way, it is like a safety net that has caught me at the bottom of this months-long freefall, I think. Or maybe it's like one sense growing stronger when all the other ones have been lost.

After thirty days of this business, my brain feels like a stripped tire. A scooped melon. A mere husk. This is pretty normal around the 30k words mark for me. I've taken a couple of days off here at the tail end of October in the hopes I can recharge a bit, because in November, I'm participating in a writing challenge on Habitica alongside my party, some of whom are writing for NaNoWriMo. I'm not doing NaNoWriMo myself, but a daily goal is very helpful for me at this point in my story.

Realizing that my ability to write will eventually click away again, as per usual, is excruciatingly sad a thought for me right now, but I'm grateful that I wrote even once this month, let alone so many days in a row with such dedication and concentration. It is a gift that I have been treasuring.

This month, I have also a) temporarily joined my mother's church choir because they are singing for an Evensong service "Cantique de Jean Racine," which I sang in high school and still know, and b) taken a knitting lesson. Still rubbish at knitting. Still barely an alto.

Anyway, here's a picture of Drew.

Drew has been wearing this little periwinkle-ish number Anne made me for a few weeks, and I made this hat in August, or something like that. All this purple is quite unusual for any of my girls to be decked out in!

When I took her outside earlier, I saw that her RIT-dyed hair is starting to really fade a lot. I think I may contact the woman who customized her (who lives in the same city as me! Last I checked, anyway) to get it fixed, because I don't know that I feel up to re-dyeing it myself. But it will have to wait till 2017, I think. I already know my budget is going to be tight as can be this holiday season.

Now I'm going to spend the remainder of my Halloween evening by singing "Jack's Lament," finishing this hat, and perhaps watching some Supernatural.