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January-March 2020 Fly-By Status Report – Creating in a Time of Coronavirus

Hello everyone! I’m sitting on my couch, where I do most of my work & editing, and I’m here with my cats and Wervyn, and despite the coronavirus spreading outside, with this social distancing we’re in introvert heaven! But I was having a lot of anxiety for the last couple of weeks; in addition to not knowing if I was going to have enough groceries, my church office coworkers and I were scrambling to get everything together for live-streaming Sunday services, which was mad hectic. But I’m taking off work till April 1, and we have enough food, so I’m feeling a lot better already! And with the open schedule, there’s a lot to catch up on, including this fly-by status blog.

I took this a few days ago, and I’m in LOVE with taking photos that mix miniatures with nature!

Since my last blog post on Inktober, things have been moving at a pretty steady clip! After my holiday hiatus, editing on my novel has progressed all the way to Chapter 6! Which if you know anything about how fast it was going before, this is a huge deal! I’ve also been practicing some gratitude journaling, and I’ve started tracking the progress of my writing and some creative projects in a planner, using sticky notes to remind myself of big projects and their deadlines. Which reminds me, I need to update that…

I also got a raise at my above-mentioned job (where I do part-time social media management and graphic design), and because of our new branding initiative I’ve been working longer hours, so I’m making more money!

And extra money is good, because I’ve been using it to start investing in supplies for growing my own creative business of selling hair clips, pins, and eventually other items, and soon, hopefully, some self-published children’s books focused on my miniatures! I’ve got databases where I’m writing down my business expenses, and I’m keeping my receipts and everything! I’ve toyed with the idea for years, but now it’s just felt like the right time, and I’ve had so many ideas I can barely wait to put into motion!

Photo of my business card-holder easel in front of a display of handmade hair clips
I’m trying to figure out how and where I want to do an online store, but when everything is up for sale, I’ll be telling everyone where to go! Right now I’ll be posting about new things for sale on my Instagram and Facebook page. See this original Instagram post here.

And creating my own business has finally given me the excuse I need to start focusing some on my miniature photography and art! In fact, my first venture into this was this past Christmas. I made a ton of mini lussekatur buns (Swedish Santa Lucia saffron buns) out of clay–and also some real ones to eat, dolls can’t have all the fun–and even dressed up one of my dollhouse dolls as Santa Lucia herself!

Check out the original Instagram post.

On top of that, I even taught myself to play the bass (and I’m now taking lessons to make sure I’m learning it correctly). I’ve been so busy and so productive that the blog has become an afterthought!

No matter what I set out to do in the last blog post, I think I surpassed it!

Fall/Winter 2019 Agenda:

  • Keep editing Book 1 Draft 7 chapters, and send out to beta readers, and actually edit a chapter a week! – I was doing a chapter a week! I fell off that wagon, but I’m trying to aim for 2 chapters a month, or at least 1 a month if things get crazy. I’m also getting really lovely feedback from my beta readers, which is super encouraging!
  • Organize and de-clutter workrooms – after being stuffed to the gills after Christmas, the office is clean again! Which is good, because while he’s working from home, Wervyn needs a real office and more monitors to focus. I’m slowly chipping away at the guest room too!
  • Keep losing weight and exercising, and post about it (and writing progress) on social media – ehhhh, that didn’t do so well, but we got Just Dance for the Switch, which has been AMAZING in getting me inspired to exercise!
  • Keep learning piano, Japanese, and hopefully bass – I learned the ubass (ukulele bass) to be able to play with my church’s worship band during the Women’s Retreat! And to help support one of my professional bass player friends, we’re doing virtual lessons so I can improve my technique!
  • Finish Inktober successfully by doing art of some sort every day of October! – BIG success! Check out the previous blog post!
  • Possibly NaNoWriMo some stuff for Book 2? – I decided to prioritize editing the current one instead.
  • Finish a bunch of outstanding projects before Christmas, so I can give them as presents! – I made 2 amigurumi animals for my niece and nephew of my own design, and I’m very proud of how they turned out! I’m also working on a scarf for my mom’s birthday, which is tomorrow!

I’ve felt so blessed during this nutso pandemic, between being able to work from home alongside my husband, seeing my cats every day, feeling liberated by dropping my outside obligations but still being able to enjoy nature in my own yard or walking in the neighborhood. But honestly, there have been times when anxiety and fear of the uncertainty ahead have gripped me so hard that I feel like I’m going to be stuck forever behind this emotion wall that keeps me from going forward. The only way I’ve been able to get past all the anxiety, other than my meds, is asking God for his help, and I’m so grateful that he’s shown up every time to pull me over that anxiety wall so I can keep pressing ahead with all of my creative ventures, instead of wallowing in inaction.

I hope this weird time is allowing you to reframe what’s important in your life, and that you’re able to focus some on your own projects! So stay inside, keep washing your hands, stay creative, stay entertained (I plan to catch up on lots of movies I haven’t watched yet, but I recommend the new “Little Women” movie if you haven’t seen it) and by the time I write my next one of these, hopefully we’ll be out of the woods, or almost. ?

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