1. Three-day weekend coming up, woohoo! And then once next week is finished, I have a little two-week staycation/break from work scheduled so I can turn 30 in peace and get some much-needed down time. To say I’m looking forward to it would be an understatement. Anyone want to hop in with a guest post for the blog while I’m away? I’ll schedule probably TTT and maybe a book review, but blogging will be sparse those two weeks (Oct. 20-31). I’m specifically interested in recipes, bookish lists, or something life/small business related. If you would like to guest post, email me at email@example.com with your idea.
2. My lovely friend Kara is helping me out with a photoshoot on Monday to get some more shop shirts on models. It’s an ongoing project and I hope to have all shirts on models by the end of the year.
3. I get to see the Broadway musical version of Beauty & the Beast this weekend, which I’m pretty pumped about. The boy is… tolerant of it, at least. Between this and the ballet last month, I’m pretty sure I owe him a monster truck rally or BBQ road trip or something.
4. If you are near Austin and also self-employed/a freelancer, you might want to check out the upcoming Freelance Conference. It looks like it will be super useful, and I’ll be there, so we could hang.
Today, I officially become a two-blog gal. I used to have a blog on my freelance site, but it went dark a while ago because I just didn’t know what to write/how to blog/how to keep up with it. I feel like writing Dragonflight Dreams the last few years has taught me some of that, and I actually have ideas for it now. So I’ve brought The AC Vent back from the dead. You can find it here, if you care to poke around – there’s not much there yet, just some old archives (that have been somewhat de-scarified). The first real new post (i.e. not the welcome post) will land tomorrow.
Let’s see if I can rock the dual blogs like Sarah von Bargen (1 and 2).
Have you ever kept up with writing two blogs at once? Any secrets?
Confessions of a former “cool girl”. “It’s also probably important to note that as I developed that confidence, I began to realize that pretty much anything I liked could be a “girl thing,” and that my closeness with various friends had very little to do with their gender. I stopped being friends with the guys who required me to be a compliant “cool girl” in order to be friends, and started giving my female friends a lot more credit for how awesome they were.”
Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing. “Research suggests that the so-called “impostor syndrome” may get worse as people get better: the more accomplished you get, the more likely you are to rub shoulders with ever more talented people, leaving you feeling even more inadequate by comparison.” Well damn.
Things of Note:
So far it’s been a sloooooooow week. Honestly, I’m in a place where I’m a bit stressed about money, and that always leaves me feeling blah. Which of course is not helpful in generating the necessary energy to be productive and drum up new business, so it’s a vicious cycle. But I’m forcing myself to work through it. Like right now (as I’m writing this Monday afternoon) I could give in and just take a nap I don’t really need, but I made myself a) write this blog post, b) put up a new quote request form on my freelance site, and c) pulled together the info I need for a guest post that’s due in 2 weeks. So things still got done, despite the blah. Now I’m going to reward myself with a brownie.
Do you ever have days like that? What are your tricks for working through the blah?
Ah, October. Arguably my favorite month, and not just because it contains my birthday (woo!). In Austin especially, the weather is my favorite in October – still warm and sunny, but not sweltering. Colors transition into my favorite palette, and it just feels like the season of getting things done. And of course there’s Halloween. So many reasons to like this month. So today I have two Etsy collections that speak to me of October – one around Halloween (unavoidable) and one with a muted color palette that makes me think of fall.
If you’re looking for a blend of historical fiction, fantasy, intrigue and romance through a young adult filter, this book is for you. It’s the story of Ismae, a young girl in late 1400’s Brittany. Horribly scarred from birth, Ismae has always thought she was cursed. But after escaping an abusive arranged marriage, she is taken in by the nuns at the convent of St. Mortain. She discovers that her scars and certain other talents mark her as a daughter of St. Mortain (aka. the old world god of Death), and she is to be trained as Death’s handmaiden (aka. assassin). The convent serves Death, but they also serve the duchy of Brittany, and so Ismae is plunged into a world of political intrigue and danger. And, inescapably, an unexpected romance. Thrust into the unfamiliar world of the high court of Brittany, Ismae has to figure out who to trust and where she really belongs.
This was a good read. I have a bias towards liking female assassins/warriors in medieval settings (girl power!) so I’ve read a lot of such stories, and this one was a bit different. Since the setting is an actual historical period, and not pure fantasy, the story was more grounded and the political stuff more interesting. Ismae is a well-written character, and you see her growth throughout the story. The romantic interest is fun, and the touch of fantasy elements add some unexpected angles. I did figure out the ‘mystery’ well before the characters, so that felt a bit obvious. And I refuse to believe that anyone teaching/learning poisons wouldn’t also teach/learn the antidotes. But overall, I enjoyed this read.
It is part of a series, but it looks like it’s one of those series where each book focuses on a different character. In the case of this series, the other books go on to focus on some fellow trainees from the convent. Ismae’s story was wrapped up nicely, though I’m sure she’ll have cameos in the subsequent books. I will likely pick them up eventually.
In case you missed it at the start of the year, one of the things I’ve decided to do with my shops this year is donate a portion of all sales to charities or causes that I support.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. That combined with the fact that I had a family member who dealt with breast cancer made this month’s shop cause a no brainer. The beneficiary for October is the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer is a big problem for women in the United States: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There’s not currently a full cure, and so early diagnosis is critical to survival. The NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through their network of hospitals, and also advocates for education and support services for those who been diagnosed. If you agree that women’s health is an important issue, you can support the cause by a direct donation on the NBCF site, or by shopping in either of my shops (screen printing or digital) this month.
At the beginning of this month $20 was donated to the September shop charity – thank you!