Two weeks

Random X-Files artwork; oh, nostalgia!

Random X-Files artwork; oh, nostalgia!

In a radical change of pace, I’m taking two weeks off; my vacation started on Monday. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, because it’s not, but this is the first time I’ve taken more than ten consecutive days since college (not counting maternity leaves).

We’re not planning to travel, and Tim is still working, so I’m using the extra time to draw, write, hang out with the kids, and just generally do whatever I want. I know the time off is good for me, but it feels almost decadent. It’s also really hard to be away from work — to the point where I’ve had to create a new user account on my computer to avoid getting distracted by email and Slack — which I suppose is a good sign.

In typical me fashion, I’m distracting myself by making a to-do list, which is a very wrong or very right way to spend my time off, depending on how you look at it.

  • Day trip to Fredericton
  • Go see Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Date night
  • Finish MaddAddam
  • Get my third book to 60k words
  • Finish 2 1 more short fic draft
  • Write five blog posts
  • Finish Hannibal season 2
  • Draw things! Lots of things!
  • Walks

This week, I’m having way too much fun designing X-Files fan art posters, and working on my fics, and just generally being creative. Vacation doesn’t look much different from my regular work day, but the type of work I’m doing is different. It’s a welcome, self-enforced artistic retreat.

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of web geekery and other things

Oh, hey! Yes, I’m still pregnant. I passed my due date six days ago and it looks like I’m going to pass my original due date, which was… today! I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled I am about that. I’m just telling myself all the extra waiting now means I’ll have a shorter labor than last time–although I think the odds are in my favor there, regardless.

Since the kiddo is in school and I’m on leave, I’ve been distracting myself with WordPress themes. I finally consolidated all the work I do with WordPress–personal, professional and otherwise–into one portfolio. I’ve been working on some new free themes, mostly as a way to teach myself some of the more advanced techniques in theme development. Plus I’m always looking for an excuse to design a new website. Some things never change!

I’ve also been tossing around some photo ideas. A coworker found a small, perfect bird’s nest on the ground and gave it to me a few weeks ago–she knows me too well! I can’t wait to play with it, and now that the university is back in session there are more potential models in the area. Fall is my favorite time of year for photos, so I’m hoping the new baby won’t totally drain me of all motivation. Even one good photo shoot would be an excellent way to wrap up this rather unproductive year.

Of course I would be a fountain of creative energy all of a sudden… right before I’m supposed to give birth and devote a substantial amount of time to mommyhood. Ahh, well. Maybe I’ll get lucky and finally strike the balance between daily life and creativity I’ve been seeking since… forever. A girl can dream!

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2010 in review

Elspeth's Second BirthdayThe fact that I’m 10 days late with this year in review is appropriate, given how regular I’ve been about blogging lately… which is to say, not regular at all!

One of the things I did start in 2010, albeit a little late, was a regular exercise routine. Since mid-October I’ve exercised every single day in some form or another, and I definitely notice a difference. Without changing my diet drastically, I’ve lost about 10 lbs and I feel so much better about myself. I knew there was a reason I used to do this! I’m sticking to 20 minutes a day of either aerobic stepping with Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution… DDR in particular is a really good workout. That’s one thing I’ll definitely be continuing in the new year.

The other health-related thing I’d like to keep up with: No fast food. I don’t even really like the stuff, but it’s so easy to get into the habit of pulling up to the drive-through when I’m in a rush. Tim and I have made a point of bringing our lunches to work for the last month and it’s greatly helped our budget and health, so this month we’re using the same rule for breakfasts to save even more money.

2010 was a moderately creative year as well. I put all of last year’s doodles in a set and came up with nearly 90 illustrations, which doesn’t even include all the custom design for other clients. Photographically I was also more active in 2010–only 3 shoots total, but that’s a huge improvement over the big fat zero from 2009. And I’m really proud of the work I did produce, so I hope to keep that going this year. And I’m proud of the websites I’ve built for myself this year, even if I haven’t exactly been consistent about updating them!

On a personal note, Tim and I celebrated 10 years together in 2010. We also celebrated Elspeth’s second birthday, and our second year of parenting a toddler–yikes. And we survived our second major home project when we renovated our downstairs bathroom (practically at gunpoint, thanks to water damage and black mold, but still.) I checked an item off my life list when we saw Joshua Radin in concert. We also had our first family vacation and escaped with our sanity mostly intact, which is something.

Phew. I don’t think I realized until now just how busy 2010 was. I have a sneaking suspicion 2011 is going to be just as busy on all fronts. Case in point: There will be potty training.

Bring it on!

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love for the lost ones

We’re off to Canada for a few days of fun in the sun, camping, good friends, grilled food, and good music. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite images from last weekend’s shoot.

the ones who were lost

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sprouts on nightline!

OK, so it was only a half-second flash, but if you watched yesterday’s Nightline broadcast about online humor you might have glimpsed my “sprouts” photo flying by amidst some other featured Etsy/Regretsy folks.

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