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Adjusting to My New “Normal”

Hi, there! Hope you guys are doing well. ❤ In my previous post I mentioned how the trials of sorting out my mental health have not been without its ups and downs, but how I was finally starting to work on creative stuff again. …Guys… it’s been absolutely amazing being back at it. I am someone who thrives off doing creative things just about every day, so to experience the dry spell I recently had where I had no desire to write or draw or do much of anything with my solo free time was a nightmare.

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I’m so happy to be working on my hobbies again. I have really been enjoying working on the next draft for the book I’ve been writing, and I also have plans this week to get together with a friend to create some art. Hopefully I’ll have some new illustrations and maybe even a painting or something to share with you guys soon. 😉

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I’ve also become a lot more outgoing recently. It’s been kind of surreal learning how to live a less anxious and more focused life, but hearing the positive changes my loved ones have been seeing really makes me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. ❤

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Now that it’s summer, what things are you guys looking forward to the most? How are your hobbies going? I’m looking forward to more time spent with amazing friends (like this past weekend we spent with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes having fun) and doing the things I love to do, as well as trying new things along the way as well! 🙂

 

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Fighting My Devil Mermaids . . . er, I mean Demons!

To say creativity has been a struggle lately would be a vast understatement. Trying to finally tackle my depression, anxiety, and apparently ADD (look at that, I’m a triple threat now!) has been an entire process. I’m still only in the beginnings of this journey despite dealing with all 3 issues pretty much forever, but there is definitely an overall improvement in my quality of life even if things aren’t perfect.

I’ve been waiting for the urge to create things to return for several weeks now. This weekend I finally was able to scratch that itch. Mr. Moth and I just enjoyed a lazy weekend without any set plans of things to do and I found myself writing again and drawing this devil mermaid because Hell deserves mermaids too, damnit! 😛

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What’s your go-to self care tactics for boosting your mental health? Also, what creative things are you guys all working on these days?? 🙂

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Long Time No See!

*Gently dusts off blog like it’s an ancient relic from an archeological site.* Hello, there! It’s certainly been a while. I hope everyone is doing well. ❤ I’ve been away working on my mental health and trying to adjust to slowly reentering the world again after the past couple years of mostly living the pandemic hermit life.

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I am seeing a new primary care physician who is wonderful and has been so helpful in starting my journey in actually treating my depression and anxiety. I’ve “lived” with these issues for far too long and I finally have had enough. Something had to give. I’m already seeing a world of difference. We’re still in the process of nailing down the right course of action for me, but I really do think we’re on the right track. I’m hoping it will help me become a lot more productive with all of my goals/ongoing projects as well. 🙂

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Mr. Moth and I are out of town right now visiting with our besties Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes for the weekend to celebrate C&M’s birthday! ❤ We gave her her prezzies, went bowling (which was surprisingly a total blast!), tried a delicious restaurant none of us had tried before, played video games, and made plans for lots of exciting upcoming adventures! It feels so good to be making actual plans again. 😀

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Also, speaking of exciting plans, keep your peepers open for an upcoming update over on the Sugar and Scream blog as we finally plan to resurrect it from its long slumber.

Looking forward to catching up on your guys’ blogs soon, but if you have any special news I’ve missed while I’ve been away, let me know! 🙂

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New Year, New Goals: The 2022 Edition

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When you’re trying to be productive in the new year by starting a new Planner and your cat decides to flop down on your pens and stickers for it like, “Nah. Our only plan for today is to be lazy and comfy.”

Happy New Year! ❤ I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is ready to kick some ass in the new year, and by that I mean, of course, find and do all the things that make you happiest in life. 🙂

Now, before we get on with this year’s resolutions, let’s see how I did with my goals for 2021. *drum roll, please!*

After the dumpster fire that was 2020, I decided to be gentle with myself when setting goals for 2021. I really wanted to work on my focus last year. My brain is all over the place all the time, my attention span sucks, and I have a tendency to start ALL the things and complete almost none of them. (It’s not beating yourself up when it’s 100% truuuue!) 😀

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That said, I think I nailed this goal. 2021 was the year I completed the first draft of my book I’ve been working on, which was a HUGE milestone that I’m very proud of. ❤

My other goals had been to push myself out of my comfort zone more, and to work on my mental health. I think these were both kind of a mixed bag for me, and they’re things I’d like to continue to work on in 2022.

SO, that said, let’s get into the year at hand: 2022 😀

Goal #1: Finish the second draft of my book. I’d really like to get this done by mid to late summer if I can.

Goal #2: Work on my overall well-being. Health, Mental Health, Working on my goals, but also making sure to set aside time to have fun.

Goal #3: I set my Goodreads goal for 20 books/graphic novels this year. I wanted to keep the number of books I read reasonable since I will be spending so much time writing. Another part of my reading goal is that I primarily want to read things I already own.

Goal #4: Scheduling my days and living by a solid collection of To-Do Lists is how I thrive, so I want to try to structure my days out a little better this year so I have time for all of the things I enjoy and want to achieve.

Goal #5: I’ve been struggling with making time for drawing AND writing, so I’d like to try to find some balance there if I can.

What are your goals for the new year? How did you do on last year’s resolutions if you made them? What things are you most excited for in 2022?

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Buh-Bye, 2020! Hello, 2021!

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Happy New Year! ❤ I know this year has been, to put it very lightly, a rough one, but I hope you’re all in as good of a place as possible right now, healthy, and feeling inspired going into 2021. 🙂

I think if 2020 taught us just one thing, it’s how truly unpredictable life is. That’s part of the reason I’m looking at my New Year’s Resolutions a little differently this go around. It feels good to be leaving 2020 in the dust but I also know that the strike of midnight isn’t going to magically make everything better. I feel like 2021 is going to be a year more about the journey itself and a gradual evolution toward something better rather than an instant transformation. That’s kind of how I’m looking at my resolutions this year, too, since we really don’t know what the next 12 months will be like. I’m hopeful, though, that they will be just what we all need to move us toward better days. ❤ So, let’s get on with the resolutions, shall we?

RESOLUTION #1: FOCUS

I know I wasn’t alone in this, but 2020 had me spun for a loop and I think one of my biggest personal weaknesses was FOCUS. I’m really going to try to pull out all my best organizational tricks and attempt to be more focused moving forward. I have so many things I always want to work on constantly battling to pull me in different directions but I know that without focus I’m not going to be able to truly accomplish any of them. Pictured below are my new 2021 planner/calendar, a notebook for tracking goals I’m working on throughout the year in more detail, and STICKERS! Haha I recently watched a video from an author I admire and she talked about how she rewards herself with fun stickers when she meets small goals that she has set that lead to bigger goals. So, I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a go, too. 🙂 The little type writer stickers say “JUST WRITE” on them and then there’s a ton of cute fitness-themed stickers as well.

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RESOLUTION #2: PUSH MYSELF OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE MORE

This week I’ve started dabbling with Prismacolor markers and I’m really enjoying them. 🙂 I want to continue to play with different mediums which brings me to my next resolution: Pushing myself out of my comfort zone more. I want to start driving myself forward in new ways, I want to be more bold with trying new techniques for my art and writing, etc. I want to try to share more and put myself out there more in general. 2020 unfortunately was a huge reminder of how short life can be and how suddenly everything can change and I want to push myself to do the most I can while I’m here. To learn amazing new things and to grow as a person. I saw a quote recently that said “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there” and I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind as I work toward my various goals this year.

RESOLUTION #3: SELF-CARE

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Mental health is so important and mine has always pitted me in an uphill battle against myself. It really sucks sometimes. Depression and anxiety are the worst and they make you feel like you’re the worst. I’m going to try to make sure while I’m working on my goals this year that I also take the time to really work on me. I’ve been taking baby steps toward this while I’ve been in quarantine and it’s something I really want to continue to explore in 2021. 🙂

So, yeah, those are my resolutions. I’m going to try to be flexible with whatever may be going on in the world at any given time because I honestly have no idea how the world around me will me in the months to come, but I will do my best to keep pushing forward during it as best I can. ❤ 

How are you kicking off your New Year so far? Have any resolutions for 2021? Here’s to what will hopefully be a MUCH better year! ❤

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Binge-Watching, Baking and Back to Blogging

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Anyone else feel like they’ve lost their grasp of time lately? It’s been just over two months since my other half and I last had regular Monday through Friday schedules, and almost just as long since my last blog post as well. Quarantine has my brain all over the place, even more than usual these days. I can’t tell you how many times this month I’ve still thought we were in April. lol

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I’d like to say I’ve been using my time wisely and kicking the shit out of my new year’s resolutions, but this is NOT the 2020 I signed up for, so that’s a big NOPE for me. 😉 What I have mostly been doing is just been binge-watching shows and movies with my fiance and kitty, and doing things that make me happy and keep me focused on one thing at a time instead of a thousand things and worries all at once. Gotta keep that mental health in check! ❤

I used to bake all the time and eventually got kind of sick of it a while back. (I was always the person who was in charge of baking for every single event, be it in my personal, work, or school life and baking big batches of stuff time and time again just kind of got old after a while.) Well, with all this free time on my hands, I’ve been on quite the Quarantine Baking Spree. Some recipes made include:

  • Pumpkin Toffee Bread
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Rainbow Chip Cake Cookies with Whipped Frosting
  • Strawberry Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Banana Bread
  • Butterscotch Mousse
  • Dark Chocolate Oreo Mousse
  • Banana Cream Mousse

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As for creative things, it’s been touch and go. I have been drawing a fair amount, which has been nice. I’ve been posting the art over on my Instagram account which I use far more regularly. I really like Instagram for more frequent use, but I do miss the wonderful community and friends I’ve found here on WP. Like Imperial Rebel Ork has pointed out before, I think the blogosphere allows us to get more connected and have more of an actual dialogue with one another. 🙂

I’ve also been trying to learn new tricks and techniques to get back into digital art. I got a fancy new art tablet for my birthday back in January and there is sooo much to learn but I am really loving all the options and artistic freedom it allows. Hopefully in the near future I can start actually making pieces with it once I feel I’ve learned how to best utilize it.

Writing has been a real “when it rains it pours” kind of situation. Some days I’m really productive, and others I’m like “What the hell am I even doing??” My attention span has been all over the place during this so my reading has been a lot less frequent as well. I’ve started reading multiple books (interesting ones, too) and then my brain goes “Nah, bitch, not today!” and they return to the TBR pile from whence they came.

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On days that the weather has been kind, we’ve gone walking, but it’s mostly been snowing and raining or just too cold, so there hasn’t been as much of that as we would have liked. I think one of the major things I miss doing is going to the gym. Hitting the treadmill with my earbuds in and listening to music or an audiobook was something I really enjoyed doing before or after work. I’m not cool enough to pretend I haven’t put my gym shoes on and done laps in my dining room/kitchen while listening to an audiobook. 😛

Mr. Moth returns to work tomorrow, so I’m guessing that will bring some normalcy back into our routine, but I’m also anxious about him going back too. Michigan is one of the states that has been hit really hard with COVID-19, and one of the parts of Michigan that has been a hot spot for the virus is the place we call home. I know good people who have lost their life to the virus, and it breaks my heart thinking about them and their families. Luckily most of the people I know who have gotten it have since fully recovered. ❤ A lot of the major people in my life that I care about are essential workers and have been working through the whole thing and I’m so glad that they’re okay. I hope you guys and your loved ones are doing well, too. ❤ I’m looking forward to catching up on some of the blog posts I’ve been missing. Please feel free to link me some exciting posts of yours I may have missed in the comments! I can’t say for sure how frequently I’ll be posting, but I’ll try not to make it another 2 months of radio silence between posts. 😉

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls (No-Spoiler) Review

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This was such an interesting story, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time. It had been hard to find (and pretty pricey!) but with the recent (and much more reasonably priced) addition of The Asylum to the kindle, there was no way I could resist snatching that baby up! Emilie Autumn has never shied away from discussing topics like mental illness and the history of abuse women have suffered throughout history in her songs and poems, and her book The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls sure as hell doesn’t shy away from it, either.

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“Fight Like A Girl”

It’s hard to categorize this book into any one genre since it is written in a way that reflects the author’s actual time spent in a psych ward, but also tells the fictional and horrific (but sometimes darkly magical) tale of a fictional girl named Emily living in a Victorian era asylum. In the book, our author Emilie learns the tale of the Victorian Emily “with a Y” through mysterious letters she finds during her stay in the psych ward. I guess “Historical Magic Realism with a dash of Nonfiction thrown in for good measure” would be my best attempt at categorizing it? No matter, though, it’s just a really interesting story that discusses things most people choose to ignore concerning mental illness and the Victorian “polite society” so many people are quick to romanticize.

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If you’re already a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music, I’m sure you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect within the pages of this story. She’s got a dark and witty sense of humor, and she can weave words in a way that will both enchant you and disturb you. This story definitely reflects that. It has moments that will warm your heart and others that will rip it right out of you again.

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I really enjoyed this book and by the time I reached the second half of it I pretty much devoured the remainder of the story in one sitting, refusing to pry myself away until I’d finished. I would definitely recommend it, but will warn readers that it does discuss dark subject matter concerning suicide, rape, the horrific treatment people were subjected to in asylums like lobotomies and forced-hysterectomies, all manners of abuse, etc. It definitely takes some artistic liberties, but that’s part of Miss Autumn’s storytelling I’ve always enjoyed, so I embraced the fantasy-like elements along with the more gritty and realistic ones. Definitely glad I finally got to read this one. 🙂

And just for fun, here’s a lyric video of one of Emilie Autumn’s songs that serves as a satire about the treatment of women back in the Victorian era when it came to mental illness (please keep in mind that women could be institutionalized for all manner of things including masturbation, domestic troubles with their husband or family, and other ridiculous reasons back then.) A lot of things in this song might sound far-fetched by today’s standards, but treating those in asylums like zoo animals for the public to behold was a very real and messed up thing back in those days. History definitely isn’t always pleasant, but it is something we can (and should) learn from so we can better treat our fellow man and learn from our past ignorance.