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.

Creatively Productive — A

Inktober drawing with brush pen

  • Time Spent Writing: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Time Spent Drawing: 16 hours 30 minutes
  • Number of drawings done: 20
  • Number of words written: 1376

First fan art, first time inking with a brush

I took Inktober as an opportunity to try out new techniques and tools, get practice inking, and do some character designs. I tried out brush pens, inking with a brush, ink washes, combining watercolor and colored pencil with ink, and got some more practice with my dip pen. I learned a lot about where my technique needs work :)

I haven’t drawn much in the past 10 years, because I’ve felt like I haven’t really had ideas of what to draw. I found that within the first week of pushing myself to draw, I started having lots of ideas about things I could be drawing.

Most of my creative time went into drawing rather than writing. I did have one good writing day right at the start of the month. Another ulterior motive for doing Inktober was hoping to rebuild some creative energy by doing something other than writing.

Comfortable Sustainable Living — A

  • Installed installation in crawl space, yay for energy efficiency!
  • Planted 163 bulbs, 6 grasses and a blueberry
  • Planted seeds and cover crop
  • Received my backyard wildlife sanctuary certification
  • Bought my first original art :D :D :D A little piece by Brandi Milne, who’s been on my ‘to buy’ list for years

Taking Care of Myself — C+

  • I caught a cold the first of the month and wasn’t fully over it until the 20th (I think I caught two colds back to back) – I wound up taking a whole week off work to let myself sleep in and rest
  • I finally got a haircut after growing my hair out for a couple of years
  • Did one round of meal planning and made at least 3 things on it ;)
  • I switched masseuses and went in three times

I failed 100% at my goal for October, which was going to a few exercise classes. I also stopped going to PT and stopped doing my exercises to strengthen my knee.

I still need a lot more work on meal planning / actually cooking my own food. November will not be a great time to try to do more home cooking because of NaNoWriMo…

Strategic Spending and Saving — B+

We used the money we got back from our 2016-7 solar generation to pay for our crawl space insulation :)


About Tracy Durnell

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

2 thoughts on “Monthly Review: October 2017

  1. Hi Tracy, good to read your review for October (I’m a big fan of reviews!) and sorry to see you spent a lot of the month feeling poorly :(.

    That aside, you have still achieved a lot of stuff, and I love your drawings. I don’t think I’ve got an artistic bone in my body, but so wish I did. I think it’s an amazing outlet for all sorts of things.

    Good luck with Nanowrimo. It’s something I’ve often contemplated, but haven’t had the courage or time to do.

    • Thank you Nicola! I’m at about 43,000 words written for the month, so I’m a bit ahead of “par”. If you can ever make time for NaNoWriMo, I do recommend it — I feel like the community energy during NaNo and shared camaraderie of misery help me blast through things I wouldn’t have the willpower to tackle alone. Also, I met my best buds at a write-in five years ago :) I had done NaNo before but always been too shy to go to a write-in before then, and now I wish I would have tried them sooner.

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