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August 2022: Victories, Video Games and Vaudeville

Is anyone else absolutely blown away by how quickly this summer is going by?? I, for one, am always Team Autumn so I’m not completely heartbroken about it, but it’s certainly shocking that August is already nearly at an end!

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As per usual, things have been pretty busy. Family medical stuff, work, big career moves, and more haven’t left me with as much free time as I’d like but I think I still managed to squeeze in some time for a lot of good stuff. πŸ™‚

READING:

Cupcakes & Machetes and I had a couple back-to-back buddy reads, and as luck would have it, we really enjoyed BOTH books!

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Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia was the first of the books we read, and we’ll be posting a buddy review for it in the near future over on our joint blog Sugar & Scream so keep an eye out to find out what we thought of this gothic horror! πŸ˜‰

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Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals, by Laurie Zaleski. This one was C&M’s pick and I was a little reluctant, expecting it to be a total tear jerker but although it definitely had its sad points, it was SUCH a good book. C&M already posted her review for it over on her blog, so be sure to check it out. We both loved it!

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As for solo reads, I’m currently reading I’m Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy. As shocking as the title is, it isn’t hard to see her motivation behind it while reading through the chapters I have so far. The author does not hold back anything as she unveils the story of her mother’s manipulative, psychologically abusive and toxic parenting, as well as the way the life of a young child actor was forced upon her when she never even wanted it.

BAKING:

I tackled a new dessert and baked a S’mores Cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday. We’re talking a graham cracker crust bottom, chocolate cake, vanilla marshmallow frosting, topped with toasted marshmallows, a chocolate drizzle, and graham cracker crumbs.

My dad’s birthday is right around the corner as well, so I just picked up the ingredients to make him the cherry cheesecake that was his birthday treat of choice this time around. πŸ™‚

DRAWING:

With limited free time this month, I haven’t drawn anything yet in August, buuuuut I am brainstorming some ideas for a video game themed collaboration with C&M’s hubby for his streaming channel https://www.twitch.tv/heathen_rite this November. (More to come on that later!) πŸ˜‰ I’m also eagerly anticipating the prompts for some of October’s art challenges like #inktober and #corpsetober to pop up (hopefully) in the near future so I can start cooking up some ideas for spooky season as well.

WRITING:

Writing has been touch and go lately. With a lot of family stuff going on and whatnot, I haven’t had much time for writing, but when I have, it’s been a lot more productive than usual. Now that I’m taking medication for my ADHD, I can definitely see a difference in my ability to focus and not get as distracted by other things during writing time and other activities. It’s been really nice. πŸ™‚

EVENTS:

I recently got the honor of presenting at this year’s International Gentle Teaching Conference. It was such a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to co-present with. This was definitely a high point for me in my career and I’m so proud to have gotten the opportunity to present among so many wonderful speakers. Public speaking is TERRIFYING to me, but thankfully, since I’ve started actually treating my anxiety, it is now something that is much more possible.

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As for events coming in the near future, after a few years off due to Covid,Β Theatre Bizarre finally makes it’s grand return to Detroit this October! If you don’t know what that is, imagine the most epic Halloween party ever. Multiple floors in one of Detroit’s historic buildings are transformed into one big spooky bash with live performances, sideshow acts galore, fire performers, devils and deranged clowns, and more. We immediately snagged our tickets as soon as they went on sale. Aaand, to make things even better, Mr. and Mrs. C&M are attending this year for their very first time! We’re so excited to get to go together this time around. Time to start working on costumes! πŸ˜€

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In other vaudeville-themed news, I also recently got in touch with another event planner in our neck of the woods and got the inside scoop that they will be bringing back the “Carniville of Madness” (a Gatsby style upscale event with performers and oddities) which made its debut before the pandemic hit. Mr. Moth and I had a blast there but since their first year was right before Covid, we feared they may not make a return. Thankfully, those worries were put to rest and we now have another great costume event to look forward to.

Also, a couple’s resort vacation with Mr. & Mrs. C&M is right around the corner and after all the stress and chaos the past couple years have brought, we are ready for a relaxing vacation with our besties! ❀

AAAAND, we haven’t nailed down the details yet, but in October Mr. Moth and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, so we’re hoping to swing another vacation at that point too to celebrate. ❀

VIDEO GAMES/ENTERTAINMENT:

Re-playing Mario games with Mr. Moth for fun is always a nice way to enjoy a bit of free time.

I’ve also been continuing along on completionist mode in Hungry Shark World. After you beat the game, you unlock 2 extra sharks that have really high goals and I just pick at those goals when I need to mindlessly de-stress for a bit.

I’ve had a lot of fun lately nerding out with Imperial Rebel Ork over the Predator movies. We even did a buddy review over on the Sugar & Scream blog for the latest film installment in the franchise Prey.

So, that pretty much sums up how things have been going on my end. How have you guys been? Any exciting August moments I may have missed? How’s your summer been??

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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. πŸ˜‰

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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! πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ˜›

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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?? πŸ™‚

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January 2022 Wrap-Up

Well, after dodging covid for nearly 2 full years, it finally reared its ugly head in our home. My husband and I had both been having these weird headaches for a few days and honestly, we have been so careful and had barely even gone anywhere around the time this happened other than the grocery store (both of us were even off work when this all happened) so the last thing we were expecting was covid. Well, my husband was due for surgery that week so he had to get tested and sure enough, he tested positive. 😦

Thankfully, other than being tired and having the bad headaches it was all very mild. Thanks, Science! πŸ˜€ Very, very glad we were both vaccinated and had our boosters. It could have been so much worse. Anyway, my husband’s surgery had to get postponed, so that’s coming up this week. We both had masks on when we went to the store, so that is just further proof that this Omicron variant isn’t fucking around. Be careful out there, guys. ❀

There were several other things that made January kind of a rough month, but I’m just thankful none of it was as bad as it could have been. Anywayyy, here are some things that brought me some joy in a month I would otherwise sum up as “mildly horrible”. πŸ™‚

Books Read: 3

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Vicious (Villains #1)Β by V.E. Schwab

I absolutely LOVED this book.Β Cupcakes & Machetes had read and raved about it years ago so it’s been on my radar for quite some time and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. I would have immediately dove right into the sequel but C&M and I are doing our annual beginning-of-the-year Harry Potter buddy read. It’s the fourth year, which means it’s time for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, baby! πŸ˜€

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I recently decided that I wanted to re-visit some of the spooky comics I loved back in my teenage years, so I started re-reading theΒ GloomCookie series of graphic novels by Serena Valentino. Volume 1 held up, with gothic modern fairy tale-like stories and spooky-cute characters and humor. I still enjoyed volume 2 as well, but not quite as much as the first one. A lot of the characters were just too angsty and bitchy this time around for me. Still gonna continue reading the series though. πŸ™‚

Baking Buddies: New Achievement Unlocked!

I’m usually the baker in our household, but my husband joined in on the fun last month and we ended up making 3 different desserts together. 2 were great, and the other was “meh”, but I enjoyed having a partner in confectionery crime. πŸ™‚ He made a delicious peanut butter buttercream for one of the desserts, and it was his first time making any kind of frosting, so kudos to him! We share quite a few hobbies already so it was fun trying something new together.

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Some of my Favorite Things I Watched:

The Lost Boys (You can check out the buddy review C&M and I did for it over on our joint-blog Sugar and Scream if you’d like!)

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Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train (OMGGGG! Amazing animation and fight sequences, and it’s got me so hyped for season 2!!)

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Attack on Titan, Season 4 Part 2 (If you aren’t watching this show yet, GET. YOUR. LIFE. TOGETHER. AND. WATCH. THIS. MASTERPIECE. Seriously, if it doesn’t pull you in by the first episode alone I’d be stunned.)

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Hobbies: Drawing and Writing

I’ll have to do a post soon with the drawings I made during January. (I think I only did like 3 for the whole month, but one was a rough/practice comic page, so that was fun and different.)

As for writing, it was a pretty productive month for working on my book’s second draft, especially given how stressful things were.

Leveling up to 35: My Birthday

With everything going on, it ended up being a very low key kind of birthday. My husband gifted me with a bounty of awesome books/graphic novels, and we got takeout from one of our favorite local restaurants (with cookie butter cheesecake for dessert!) πŸ˜€

Well, that pretty much sums up my first month of 2022. I hope you guys had a better start to the new year! ❀ What was your favorite part of January? Any plans for February that you’re excited for?

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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. πŸ™‚

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!) πŸ˜€

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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 πŸ˜€

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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Mission Accomplished: First Draft

“Writer Girl Summer” is finally at its end, and so is my blog hiatus I was on. My entire summer was pretty much just a caffeine-fueled writing frenzy of utter madness. It feels really damn good though to have completed my (very rough) first draft. I am so ready to take a much-needed break from writing to let the story breathe, and to regain some of my sanity before I go on to tackle the dreaded second draft.

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Luckily for me, Halloween is just around the corner, so I’m going to use the full month of October to recover from my crazy writing binge and to just focus on doing all the things I love to indulge in during spooky season. We’re talking horror movies galore, catching up on some creepy video games, reading scary stories, fall baking, etc. I’m also planning to participate in the 2021 Corpsetober Art Challenge, so I’m really excited to get back into drawing. I really didn’t draw much this summer since I was so focused on completing the first draft of my book, so I can’t wait to get back at it and practice some more with my iPad Pro. It was kind of torturous just seeing it collect dust all summer, but I’m glad I remained focused.Β 

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I can’t wait to start catching up on everyone’s blogs over the next several days, and see what you guys have been up to while I was away. In the mean time, how was your summer?? What are you most excited for this fall?

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37 Day Hiatus

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Oof. Deadlines are ROUGH. As I previouslyΒ mentioned, this summer is all about finishing the first draft of the book I’ve been plotting/writing. Now that I’m in the home stretch (just 37 days left to go) I really need to shift my focus into high gear and remain focused. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to take the remainder of this summer off from my blog and devote just about all of my attention and free time to making my self-imposed deadline.

I’ll still be contributing toΒ Sugar and Scream during this time though, so I won’t be totally removed from WP. Here’s hoping I make it back with a completed first draft AND my sanity intact come the fall. πŸ˜‰

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Pup Cups, Pumpkins, and Photos: July 2021 Wrap-Up

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Update #1: Pup Cups

My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) πŸ˜›

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Update #2: Pumpkin Babies

Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. ❀ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!

Update #3: Writing Progress

Writer Girl Summer is going really well. πŸ™‚ I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*

Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of

I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

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Update #5: Drawing

Other than completing theΒ Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!

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Update #6: Watching

July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.

Update #7: Baking

For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly bakedΒ bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.

What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! πŸ˜€

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1 Month Into “Writer Girl Summer”

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Secretly this past month, behind the scenes, this ignited moth has been busy. Today marks one month since I’ve started my own personal writing goal for the summer. You always see the “Hot Girl Summer” hashtag so I tweaked the name and dubbed this summer “Writer Girl Summer”. πŸ˜› I have a tendency to want to work on a million things at once, but this summer my focus is on writing (with the exception of a couple small drawing challenges like the Shark Week art challenge I previously posted). The goal is simple: take the scraps of writing I’d previously been working on, the very detailed plot outline, and a metric fuck ton of caffeine, and use this summer to complete the first draft for my book I’m working on.

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I feel like this past month was REALLY productive, but the past couple days I’ll admit, I’ve been slacking, so what better way to get motivated again than to hold myself accountable by posting about it here on my blog? πŸ˜‰ Changing some of my writing habits has been really helpful, and I really want to keep that momentum going.

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What are you working on this summer? πŸ™‚ Do you find that the more people you talk to about your goals, the more successful you are in the long run? I’m sure hoping that sharing my writing journey here will help keep me on track. πŸ˜€

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Creativity Fuel

Hey, all you magnificent people, you! ❀ I’ve been trying some different things this past week to spark my creativity and keep the flames a-going. It made me wonder if you guys ever decide to “set the mood” so to speak for your creative endeavors? Do you find that certain things seem to lend themselves to making for a better creative day?

If I’m not making any sense, which I very well may not be, bear with me. πŸ˜‰ I’ve noticed that certain times of year, like the fall or during rainy/stormy days, I tend to feel more inspired. Another element that is, more often than not, very crucial in my writing utility belt is caffeine. I’ve noticed that good writing days often revolve around a variety of things that I find comforting so I figured why not make a point of setting up several of these things all at once?

As I get ready to venture forward into today’s writing journey, I’m surrounded by pillows (seriously, we have a major pillow/throw blanket addiction in this home), I have two candles burning so that the room smells like hazelnut coffee and cinnamon baked goods, I’ve got my caffeinated beverage, and I’m playing some lo-fi rainy lazy ambient music in the background. I’ve noticed I tend to write better while listening to strictly instrumental music (hence why I have an extra fondness for video game soundtracks). πŸ˜›

I’ve also got the ceiling fan going so I can feel a slight breeze. Basically I’m attempting to emulate a rainy autumn day, I suppose. Luckily, it is nice and gray outside, which also helps. πŸ™‚

Anywayyyy, that’s it from me today. What are your thoughts? What do you do to feel inspired? Do you have any sort of creative ritual or do you prefer to dive right in and just go for it? πŸ™‚