Oh Hai There

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. While I’m not super consistent about posting on this blog, know that there is always a lot going on around me.

Just to help this go by faster, let’s do another lightening round update!

  1. Our house may be haunted by a ghost. In reality, it’s probably just a hallucination from lack of sleep because I just did a 20-hour writing challenge. To clarify, it was actually supposed to be a 24-hour writing challenge but I am lame and crashed at around 4:30AM and took a four hour nap before finishing off the challenge. Seriously though… The Director of HR and I both saw the ghost in the hallway. Just a big mass of white moving from one end of the hallway to another.
  2. The air plants have upgraded to an office with two floors. I’m debating on whether or not I should add a third floor before I start building cubicles for them.
  3. Remodeled my office including: smart bulbs, smart outlets, cleaning off my desk, adding snazzy glass monitor risers, getting a stand for my fountain pen collection, and adding a wiretap (an AI assistant) for my desk. I think I mentioned last time that I also got a new desktop and speakers. And if I didn’t mention that…. I got those things.
  4. I’m continuing to write short stories with a couple of friends. We’re having a ton of fun with the whole prompt-swap-critique thing and I am slowly amassing a collection of short stories which (hopefully) I can compile into two or three actual collections for sale. YAY!
  5. I FINALLY came up with a novel idea that I love.
  6. The podcast is officially in the works. I’ll be posting a trailer or two here this week. Episodes will be available here, on Podbean, and on YouTube as well. Episodes will go up on Tuesdays. I’ll put up two teaser trailers this week and next week, I’ll put up my first official episode. Yay! I’m so scared.
  7. The Great Husbando, The Director of HR, Husbando’s parents, and I went out for a hike a few weekends ago and saw some beautiful waterfalls. It was so nice to go out in nature once again.
  8. I’ve started using the HB90 planner system and I’m loving it. I’m still trying to find my groove with some of the set-up but so far my productivity has increased and I’ve been feeling a lot better about my goals and direction.

As far as posting here on the blog, it’ll probably be a little sparse but I’ll also be replacing written content with weekly or bi-weekly audio content. I really need to come up with a posting schedule and a plan for what I want to do. I’ve been watching a lot of Authortube vlogs because I like the feel of a vlog versus other types of writer-y content. My hope is to emulate that enthusiastic, personable, friendly writer energy in my podcast.

Hugs!

Joy

Storytime! feat. Whidbey Island and birthdays

Chapter One: Whidbey Island

A few weekends ago, The Great Husbando, the Director of HR, and I ventured out into the wilds, otherwise known as… the outdoors. Just for two days. My family wanted to go to Whidbey Island to spend some time together and go on a short adventure. So, we all donned our masks, kept our hand sanitizer handy, and packed our car for a 48-hour excursion.

Whidbey Island is as beautiful and peaceful as it is… boring. Don’t get me wrong, I have my favorite stops: The Purple Moon, Whidbey Coffee, and The Book Nook. But once you’ve seen the local parks and have visited your favorite shops, what else is there to do? Have a surprise hike, up a mountain, in denim jeans, with absolutely no water, in the hot sun, wearing a face mask, and with your 70-year old parents.

When the DeVore trio arrived back at the hotel, we spent the rest of the night looking for dinner but since businesses were still on a limited schedule, all of the restaurants were closed. What an end to a weird and painful day.

The Director of HR had never looked so tired before. He was sprawled on the bed and didn’t move for quite a while. I would occasionally poke at him. He acknowledged my presence with a grumble and an eye-roll. I’m sure I did the same to The Great Husbando.

When we arrived home, I realized that I had my fill of “peopleing” that weekend. I think I’ve finally recouped after two weeks of holing up in our house. I’ve realized that since quarantine started, it takes a lot more energy to be social, even though I miss it. The idea of going out and seeing my friends is still exciting to me but I know it will take a lot out of me. I wonder if anyone else has felt their introvert-tendencies grow in this time, or if it is my experience alone.

Until things go back to normal (I have a feeling this is the new normal, though), I am content to work on personal projects and surround myself with plants. Plants which I have not yet accidentally murdered. Gold star for me!

Also, I made them a conference table out of craft wood so now they can properly plan out how to take over the world.

Chapter Two: Birthdays

My birthday is on July 12th and my mom’s is on July 14, so we usually spend an afternoon with the family, doing some sort of barbecue-picnic-family reunion thing. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. This year was no exception. Mom made lumpia. We all arrived at her house with gifts and food in hand. The Director of HR was excited to not have a tie on.  We got to watch my niece pester one of her younger brothers (as is her right as the older sibling).

One of the most notable presents I received this year was a Costco membership from my brother and sister-in-law. Yesterday afternoon, I donned my mask and headed down to get our first Costco membership. Now we’re like real grown-ups. And (of course), my first purchase was a pack of moleskin notebooks and a 5 1/2 lb jar of Red Vines. You know. Like grown-ups do. In my defense, I wanted my first Costco purchase to be something that screamed “writer” and “private investigator” so I figured Red Vines would serve as a nice substitute for cigarettes.

Oh. Did I not mention that I want to get a private investigator’s license? Yeah, that’s also a thing.

*hugs*

Joy

Goose… Plant… Book… Space…

The Bloggy Part:

It is the height of this craziness and we are all still “exiled for the good of the realm” or “keeping everyone out of melee range.” This particular week has been rough and has taken quite a toll on my mental health. Because of that, I want to make a note of some things which have been making me smile lately:

  • Spending quality time with The Great Husbando
  • Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep (a cooperative Lovecraftian tabletop game)
  • Snuggles with the best director of human resources ever
  • Video and text chats with my cousins
  • Untitled Goose Game (a fun console/PC game where you play the role of a horrible, mischievous goose)
  • Surprises in the mail and surprising my friends
  • The outpouring of love amidst a tragic loss
  • Having closure
  • Waking up next to someone I love every morning
  • Having the sun pour through my office windows and shine down on my house plants
  • John Krasinski’s SGN show
  • The loud AC unit in my office window
  • All of the “new coworkers” in my office
  • Skincare masks (particularly the peel-off kind)

 

Something I’m OBSESSED With:

Like most humans, I like to categorize things to better sift the information my face is bombarded with. When it comes to social media, I’ve noticed my brain has been grouping the posts on my various feeds into “new hobbies my friends have taken up during this quarantine.” Mainly these different categories:

  1. “BAKE ALL THE THINGS.”
  2. “Our dry bar is stocked full. What can I make you?”
  3. “I just bought my weight in fertilizer because I’m buying out all of the local nurseries.”
  4. “I’ve finished all of Netflix.”
  5. “Don’t bother me when I art.”
  6. “Are you following me on Tik Tok?”
  7. “I haven’t slept in two months because video games is why.”

While I am poking fun, I actually think it’s great. We’re falling back on old hobbies or picking up new ones. We’re (for the most part) taking a step away from technology so we can enjoy something we can make or nurture with our own hands. We’re enjoying media with our family and friends via the internet.

Early on, I bounced around between group two (stopping short of alcoholism) and group four. It seems, though, I’ve settled into group three pretty nicely. Well… I’m not known for having a green thumb. In fact, my thumb is pretty brown with root rot but, so far, my little guys have been staying alive.

I haven’t planted anything of use, however.  Instead, I have “embraced” the art of succulent care. Embraced with the grace of Elmira from Tiny Tunes. I’ve named them all after Lovecraftian gods (but shortened to avoid any of the names I was uncomfortable with). So, let me introduce, the greenest team members at the DeVore Freelance and Podcasting Office:

  • Cxax, Nug, and Yeb (not pictured) were, at one time, one elephant bush which has since been split into three different tiny pots.
  • Abby is an Echeveria Apus.
  • Yogs is a string of pearls.
  • The Creeping Terror is a string of pearls and a temp; he’ll be going to a friend.

The newest members of our staff are four air plants. After a long flight from California, they had a soak in the public bath.

Then, after letting them fully air dry (yes, I know they’re not yet fully dry in these pictures), I set them up on their stands. I had some leftover wood, fabric, and foam board so I made a couch, hammock, and beach chair for them. Here are the loungiest air plants in the world:

Star Mother is an Ionantha Guatemala.

Shoobs is a Tillandsia Ioantha Rubra.

Yarra is a Tillandsia Tenuifolia Emerald Forest.

Gloon is a Spanish Moss.

He is currently being held by Dion, my wooden mannequin/lay figure, so he can be as much of a creeper here as he is in the wilds of Florida.

 

30 Day Challenge Update:

I’ve started this month’s 30-Day challenge late so, I’m opting to finish out the rest of the month by reading as much as I can and watching as little TV as possible. With the addition of an additional TV in the DeVore Business and Industrial Park, I’ve been a little too “glued to a screen” then I’d like.

For May, my goal is to finish:

 

A Drink Recipe from The Two-Headed Calf:

Backstory: The Two-Headed Calf is the dry bar we have inherited from The Great Husbando’s grandparents. While it’s not healthy to romanticize the “drunk writer” lifestyle of yore, it’s still fun to do. Not be a drunk. That’s not fun. But romanticizing your passion or career can be fun if no one is getting hurt. Besides, a little libation can (sometimes) get the words flowing when I find myself feeling hindered.

 

“The Color Out of Space”

When it comes to mixed drinks, I’m a big fan of white rum. This particular white rum recipe is one of my favorite specialty drinks at The Two-Headed Calf (as in, drinks we’ve modified or made up). It’s a great spring or summer drink with chunks of refreshing fresh fruit. I’ve modified it from a generic punch recipe and while it doesn’t have a ton of alcohol in it, you can add as much white rum as you like. I’m not encouraging you to add the whole bottle. It’s in a collins glass, so you can cut back on the ice to leave room for one more shot.

Things you’ll need:

  • 2 strawberries
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 oz white rum
  • ¼ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz pineapple juice

What to do with those things:

  • Muddle the fruit together in a mixing glass.
  • Fill the mixing glass halfway with ice.
  • Put in white rum, lime juice, and pineapple juice and shake.
  • Carefully pour into a Collins glass
  • Enjoy (responsibly) with a thick straw or with a straw and spoon
  • If you’re a Lovecraftian fan, I suggest watching the latest film iteration of The Color Out of Space (no “u”) with Nicolas Cage. I highly recommend it!