So, it’s been a minute since my last blog post. Not unusual, but in my defense, I have been extremely busy. Again, not unusual.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately getting things ready for winter, as well as working on some cosplay projects for Youmacon, an Anime and Japanese Pop-Culture con coming up in early November in Detroit.
I can’t claim to be a huge anime aficionado, most of the stuff I’m familiar with dates back to the ’80s and ’90s, but a very good friend of mine has wanted to go to this con for a while now. We’ve been saying we would go for the last couple of years, but for one reason or another never got around to it. This year we’ve decided to make an effort to attend.
So, it’s been back to cosplay for a while. My workshop is currently filled with cut pieces of EV foam mats, half-empty cans of spray paint, and a couple of half-completed costumes.
For mine, I had to dig deep and go way back to the 80’s – I decided to do the character “D”, from the anime “Vampire Hunter D”, and my friend chose a character I wasn’t familiar with, “Erza Scarlet” from “Fairy Tail”. I have about 8 days to get the costumes ready, but I’m far enough along that I’m confident I can finish them without too much trouble.
I’ve also been putting a lot of time into getting my greenhouse all prepped for the coming cold season. The rocket stove and the mass heater are coming along, though slowly. My experiments with aircrete, a type of very light-weight and highly insulating concrete made from portland cement and foam, have been relatively successful – I’ve managed to make most of the chimney for the stove and the bulk of the wall slabs for the mass heater. I’m hoping to finish the whole project by mid-November, but knowing me, it’ll be at least a few weeks late.
I’ve gotten around to starting to harvest the “fruits” of my horticultural efforts, and I do have to say, the yield from my plants so far is very impressive. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the resulting “fruit”, though, as it’s way more than I could ever consume in any reasonable amount of time. I’m anxious to get it dried and cured so I can try it out.
Last week, I hosted another of my “community” social events. It went well, there was no drama, and though I had a reasonably good time, I was ready to leave after about the first hour. I’m starting to feel that maybe I’ve been doing these events for so long that they’re starting to bleed into each other, all of the people seem the same, all of the new faces seem like every other person who’s wandered into this event over the years.
I’m not sure if this feeling is just part of my general blue mood lately about my health issues, or if I’m really just burnt out on this whole “community” thing and should take a bit of a break from it. I’m not sure if I’m going to do anything about this situation yet, though. I don’t have another event until later next month, so maybe I’ll just see how that one goes and then decide if I need to make any changes.
A couple of days ago, I booked a family vacation to Cuba over the Xmas break. We’ve been a couple of times, and for the last couple of years, we have been saying we should take the kids with us. Since they’re both university students, the only weeks they could get away were also the most expensive weeks to go, but we managed to find a deal for the week over the Xmas break at the resort we’ve been to both times before. It’s taking a bite out of our savings, but we decided to book the trip as a Xmas gift for the whole family.
I’m really looking forward to the trip. I loved Cuba, and the resort we stayed at, both of the times we’ve gone, and I’m very happy we can share that with the kids, despite the expense. We’re hoping to spend a day in Havana while we’re there, and take in a show at the world-famous Tropicana, which we’ve been to before and had a great time at. It will be great to get away into the sun for a week in the winter, as with working midnights, I rarely get to see daylight from late fall to early spring, which gives me a bit of seasonal depression. I’m just hoping we don’t get any more layoff time from work. That would make our finances a bit tighter, but I’m sure we’ll manage if we do.
I have to confess that I haven’t really done much on the health front since my last post. My meeting with the endocrinologist really threw me for a loop, and I’ve been in a bit of a blue funk ever since. I know that I have to buckle down and start making some necessary changes in my life, but it’s been really hard to get motivated to do so. I keep making excuses and putting off making changes. My sleep schedule has been all over the place, which has contributed to my mood and trying to get all of my other projects done before winter sets in has robbed me of any free time in which to make those changes. I’m hoping that the anticipation for our upcoming trip will help pull me out of my mood and give me that motivation to do what I know I have to.
On the writing front, that’s kind of stalled. There’s only one more week to go before NaNoWriMo begins, and I’m not at all prepared. I was hoping to have the outline for my new project finished by now, as well as some character bios and some research, but I’m not even halfway through those goals at this point. I have to really buckle down within the next week, or just decide to wing it come November 1st and hope for the best. Who knows, given the wordiness of my last project, maybe being underprepared as opposed to over will work better for me this time out. I guess I’ll find out next month.
Editing my first novel has been going slowly as well. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve decided that the first step should be reading my first draft from cover to cover without taking notes or making changes, just to re-familiarize myself with the story. With everything else going on in my life right now, I’m finding it really difficult to find time to read. I’m a bit more than halfway through the draft right now, and though it is a big manuscript, I really should have been done with this step by now.
I’m going to have to set that project aside soon anyway, in order to work on my NaNo project. I’m thinking of just putting it away for now and working on gearing up for November.
Well, I think I’ve bored you long enough for today. Thanks for reading, if you in fact did, and I’ll try not to bug you to the level I did last year when NaNo ‘19 starts up in earnest.
Hope you’re all well.