About Tracy Durnell

Seattle-area graphic designer and SFF writer inspired by the Pacific Northwest, crafting a sustainable and intentional life.

Monthly Review: November 2017

November is always a wild month for me, because for the last seven years I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I found Chris Baily’s thoughts on “tilting” this month apropos — purposefully choosing to over-commit to one aspect of your life for a short time to complete a project.

Last month’s review.

Creatively Productive — doing great

I “won” NaNoWriMo on November 24, and met my goal of 60k for the month.

  • Number of words written: 60,441
  • Active writing time: 61 hours
  • Time at writing sessions: 94 hours 30 minutes
  • Number of writing sessions (public and by myself): 50
  • Number of write-ins attended (official and informal): 18

Continue reading

Monthly Review: October 2017

I spent most of the month sick, so October was kind of a bummer of a month. I participated in Inktober, so I spent a lot of time drawing instead of writing in October. This review completed for Oct 1-27.

Last month’s review.

Play — B

Character design for little mermaid with ink and digital color

  • I took part in Inktober, and although I didn’t draw every day, I drew a lot more than I would have otherwise – including several character designs for my Little Mermaid retelling!
  • We traveled to Iowa for a friend’s medieval / fantasy wedding, and killing time visited a steamboat museum on the Mississippi, which was surprisingly interesting
  • I only read three new books for fun this month – but loved Circuits & Slippers, an anthology of fairy tales retold with a sci-fi twist
  • Spectacular maple specimen at Kubota Garden

    We visited Kubota Garden in Seattle for the first time – the fall color of the maple gardens was beautiful! The garden was a fantastic example of creating beautiful plantings with foliage textures and colors – amazing combination of large trees with smaller trees and shrubs.

After taking the first six months of the year off of Twitter, I’m deeper in than ever before – I spent 17 hours and 30 minutes on Twitter this month :/ I might need to log out of all my devices again. I’m torn because I do get a lot of enjoyment out of Twitter, but it’s also a destination for mindless scrolling that can easily turn into an hour. My need for some mindless time and inability to focus on the long-form storytelling that I usually prefer (novels) might be because I was sick, or might be a sign that I need a break. Hopefully the former because November is NaNoWriMo…

Next month will be a little tricky to make sure I get some play time in, because I’ll be so busy with NaNoWriMo, which in one sense is play but in another is a whole ton of work. I’ll be hosting a weekly writing session at my house for my writing group, which should be fun.

Continue reading

Monthly Review: September 2017

I spent half the month on vacation, and the rest of the month recovering from vacation and the change in the seasons. It turns out that sleeping on the ground for 9 days in a row is rough on your body in your early thirties ;)

Last month’s review.

Play — A

Stars over the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park

At the beginning of the month, I spent eleven days in Alberta, mostly at Banff and Jasper National Parks. Smoke from this summer’s innumerable fires impacted the vistas, but I had some fun with photography and art anyway :)

  • Watercolor of the Athabasca River and same ridgeline as pictured in the night photo

    Took sunset and star photos (even though it was nearly a full moon) at my campsite in Jasper with a new friend from the neighboring campsite

  • Did a watercolor painting of the Athabasca River, even though I really don’t know how to watercolor
  • Photobombin’ Albertosaurus at the Royal Tyrrell

    Had a blast checking out the dino skeletons and superb displays at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in the Alberta Badlands

  • We took a dorky train tour at an old coal mine in the Alberta Badlands
  • Took texture photographs at Jasper National Park
  • Went to a gin bar and tried some Albertan gins with various tonics – Park Gin was the winner for me

Continue reading

Weekly Novel Progress: Week of Sept. 11, 2017

Hard-copy markups, working my way through Part One

Had a hard time getting back into my book after eleven days on vacation. Also spent a good bit of time editing photos.

  • What I did: Hard copy markups for the rest of Chapter 6 and Chapters 12, 13, 14 & 15, and outlining Chapter 19
  • Time editing: 2 hours
  • Time outlining: 50 minutes
  • Plan for next week: Finish outlining chapter 19 and make edits for chapters edited this week

Save

Save

Textures of Jasper National Park: Stone Worn and Lichen-Grown

The trail at Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park winds through trees stunted by chilly breeze off the glaciers above

Although the Rocky Mountains of Alberta mark the boundary of Cascadia, I wanted to share this free texture collection from our midwest neighboring region. The ten textures include bark from the conifer forests of the Rockies, lichen-covered rocks from the alpine scree, water calm and rough, and stone worn by water.

Textures from Jasper National Park

Flaky conifer bark texture  at Jasper National Park

smooth conifer bark

Conifer bark dotted with dark lichen and sap at Jasper National Park

red orange lichen on brown stone

Red orange lichen explosively dots iron brown stone at Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park

Orange brown rippled stone texture

A mottled orange stone at Edith Cavell at Jasper National Park is weathered into smooth facets almost like the surface of water

Continue reading