Category Archives: 5 – View From the Molehill

My general rambling about life—covers habit building, decluttering, cooking, goal setting, and random other topics as they come to mind.

I Need an Impossible Dream

By | September 10, 2016
Rainy Maine Days

Rainy Maine Days

It occurred to me today that I have no true life goals. I have a bunch of things that would be nice to have happen, but nothing that drives me with the fear of failure or inspires me with the fire of true callings.

I watch the people who do have that spark accomplish improbable things (it’s only impossible till someone does it) and wonder what my main quest is supposed to look like.

I have nothing worth suffering for. Nothing that gets me up at 4am, nothing that keeps me up past midnight (other than the internet). I don’t even have a goal worth being mildly inconvenienced for.

I’m not sure what to do with this.

I know things that should motivate me, like getting a book(s) published, losing weight and getting in shape, making oodles of money at work, becoming good enough to make decent profits from my artwork, but… meh?

I want something measurable, something where success would lead into the next larger goal instead of being a set end point. Something that I can look back on and say ‘that used to be Impossible.’

I don’t know what that is yet, but I guess I’m going to start looking.

Just Another Zubat Monday…

By | July 23, 2016
Pokemon Go Monday Zubats

Such a Monday!

[Insert generic Adult’ing complaints]

It’s been a week month of Zubats… *sighs*

On the good side of things I’ve been clocking a lot of steps playing Pokemon Go (Team Instinct iz 4 Fite!) and while I haven’t been doing well in Camp NaNoWriMo or my Nerd Fitness challenges, I haven’t completely given up either. So, that’s something.

All Art’ing is on hold as I’m still working on rebuilding the basement wall that suffered recent water damage from the bathroom above it. At some point in the past there was additional water damage that was only partially taken care of. *makes angry noises at past owners* So it’s taking longer than expected.

Having gotten very little done over the past few weeks, I’m once again circling the idea that I have too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Fighting an Endless To-Do List

By | June 11, 2016

I have a bad habit of getting distracted before I complete tasks. The type of task doesn’t matter, artwork, housework, work-work– it all falls prey to whatever interruptions pop-up. Sometimes those interruptions are my brain…

My brain:
Hmm, I feel like crap, I to stop goofing off on Facebook and grab some allergy meds from the bedroom…
Oh look, I need to do a load of laundry in the basement…
Oh yeah, I was going to do a full change on the litter box today but the new litter is in the car…
Oh geeze, the car is trashed, no way I can take Shiva out dogwalking later today in this, I need to clean it out but the garbage bags are in the kitchen…
Whoops, forgot to check the mail yesterday…
Omg the ants are back in the mailbox! Wait I have the ant traps in the car…
May as well clean this out while I’m here…
Oh yeah the trunk needs to be unloaded too…
Okay awesome, car is cleaned, trunk is unloaded, catbox is changed, laundry is started, mail is checked… time to goof on Facebook!
…Hmm, I feel like crap, I need to grab some allergy meds…

And sometimes it’s just the normal day-to-day interruptions that everyone deals with. The problem is this makes my head a very frustrating place to live when I want to get a specific thing done. Unless my magic laser-focus-obsession-o-vision kicks in, there isn’t much of a chance I’m going to remember what I’m doing.

So I make lists.

Which only serve to remind me of all the things I started and didn’t finish.

Which stupidly makes me more likely to start new projects than pick up old ones… because that’s admitting I didn’t finish them? I dunno. Dammit brain!

I’m not sure what the solution is, but I’m thinking one of my Nerd Fitness goals this challenge needs to be finding one. Or at least experimenting with finding one.

But for now… back to the lists!

On Habitica, Habits, and Finishing Things

By | May 6, 2016
When in doubt... add foxes!

When in doubt… add foxes!

I’ve been spending a lot of time this year working on developing new habits via Nerd Fitness, Camp NaNoWriMo, and Habitica… but so far I haven’t gotten much traction.

I just have too many things that I want to get done and all of them are equally shiny and goal-worthy. The problem is as soon as I set down some firm resolutions on one aspect, another one pops up that seems incredibly more important and I switch targets. If I’m writing, I get caught up in art. If I’m trying to exercise more, eating better distracts me. If I’m cleaning I end up organizing (which are not at all the same thing!). This is very much a lather-rinse-repeat cycle, so I start a thousand projects and finish none of them.

I’ve had lots of very well meant advice about picking one thing and focusing on doing only that… but my brain doesn’t work that way (at all).  So it’s time to try something different. Instead I’m going to create a list of the one thing in each category and then try to create trigger points during my day that will remind me to work on them.

Building on my log for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m going to spend the next few weeks doing some habit forming experimentation and tracking over on this page.

Will it work? Who knows! But at least it’s movement in the right direction… 🙂

Stories Never Sleep

By | February 17, 2016
Big White Writing Binder of DOOM!

Big White Writing Binder of Drafting

…Except when you wander off for over a decade and fall out of the habit.

I’ve been slowly moving my childhood things out of my Mom’s house and one of the very last boxes was all of my stories back to when I was tiny and was armed with crayons. Seeing all those hardcopy stories combined with the push I was doing to get all of my files and photos safe into Google Docs made me step back and realize just how much stuff I’ve written (and drawn) over the years.

Half-imagined Never Afters

Half-imagined Never Afters

And oddly, most of it isn’t here.

Going by the blog, I started writing in 2005 and have only a small handful of poems and no fanfiction at all to my name. There’s no comic strips or picture books, no stick figure horses off having adventures. No stumbling learning curve from naive novice up to naive ammature.

Which isn’t good enough.

So I’m going to sit down and start focusing on making this blog my real home on the web. That means plenty of old content mixed in with the new, but I hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂 (I’d keep it to just Flashback Fridays, but honestly I have too much stuff!)

Twelve Months and a Dragon

By | December 31, 2015
Dragon on Gingotts Bank

Life needs MOAR DRAGONS!

This has been a year, omg.

I had good intentions, I did, but things got so crazy so quickly that I just lost track of everything beyond ‘get up, go to work, come home, sleep’. I was so far into the tunnel vision that I thought I hadn’t accomplished much this year until I started making the list.

Part of that was because I didn’t accomplish a single thing on my Twelve Things list of resolutions. I did attempt several of them, so I’m giving myself partial credit!

2015 Highlights Reel

  • Moved into a new awesome house of awesomeness!
  • Had to say goodbye to my beloved Ginger (HoundDoggie)
  • Got a new cat (of Undetermined Name)
  • Went to Harry Potter Land for my birthday
  • Found a forever home for a giant black German Shepherd foster dog

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Respawn Points and Treadmill Gaming

By | December 23, 2015
Treadmill Gaming - Starting Over

Treadmill Gaming – Starting Over

I played World of Warcraft (and Diablo, and Firefall, etc.) while walking on a Treadmill for a little over three years. It was fun, I was in better shape than I’d been for quite some time, but then the treadmill broke…

It seemed like a simple fix, but after I replaced the drive belt the walking belt started randomly skipping. It’s hard enough to walk and game without having to deal with the ‘ground’ lurching around! After much YouTube tutorial watching and tinkering, I gave up and meant to get a professional to fix it some time after we moved.

Which was roughly a year ago.

So why am I finally getting around to setting my treadmill gaming rig back up?

One of my goals for this year was to ‘win’ one of the Six Week Challenge rounds over at the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. It went about as well as most New Year’s Resolutions are wont to go… but I realized it’s still something I want to do in 2016.

(Plus I noticed I was getting traffic from the Treadmill Gaming subreddit every now and then and felt guilty I wasn’t keeping up the fight.)

The next Nerd Fitness Challenge starts January 4th and my goal is to have the gaming rig ready to go so cross your fingers and wish me luck! 🙂

A Eulogy for a HoundDoggie

By | September 14, 2015

A Youngling GingerHound

Back in 2004 a very rowdy shepherd mix puppy made her way into our lives and on Saturday she quietly left us again.

You never know quite what you are going to get when you bring home a pound puppy, but we won the SPCA lotto with Ginger. She might have been a lovable bundle of puppy stupid, but Ginger quickly convinced us that she wasn’t just a dog– she was people.

She was a Dog Who Knew Things, you see. She knew when it was Time For Bed and when it was Time For Dinner and that you always (always!) had to bring your stuffed animal to the back door when you wanted to go out. She knew that she could lick near your face, but not on it; that back doors were open season, but she couldn’t go out the front door without a leash; and she knew when we left for work and when we got home… but most of all she knew she was a People.

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Broken In The Ways That Make Me Whole

By | June 18, 2015
Second cloud to the right and straight on till evening…

Second cloud to the right and straight on till evening…

My brain is an interesting place to live sometimes. For the most part the two of us have worked out an uneasy truce somewhat akin to a very tired parent and a cranky two year-old.

For various reasons this week was one of the bad ones. So I let it dictate what color socks it was going to wear, what kind of ice cream to have for dinner, what order M&M colors needed to be eaten in, and tried to find it all amusing.

In return I get to function as a mostly normal adult until the good days roll back around (as they always do)– it’s not a bad brain, it’s just needs things to be Just So sometimes.

And it’s worth it, dealing with every weird quirk and strange sideway hop, because from that grows everything else I am.

On sunny, windy days I walk out for lunch, squint into the sky, unfurl imaginary wings and soar.

I can sing songs that didn’t exist until I picked the first note and lyrics that tumble into place in rhythm with my footbeats to be forgotten five minutes after I start walking.

Universes rise and fall on those walks. Dreams shiver into being, are torn apart and are rebuilt, a thousand variations of what could be, might be, reworked into stories that are filed away for future use.

I can be normal, but sometimes I just have to not be.

June Check-in: Twelve Things (2015 Goals)

By | June 8, 2015
2015 Motto: Failing Upwards!

2015 Motto: Failing Upwards!

It has been a crazy couple of months since my last update on this list. We’ve moved houses, done emergency dog fostering, rolled up our sleeves and started prepping the old house to be a rental, and waded into the mess of unpacking before getting new roommates– whew!

So now that things have settled down a smidge, it’s time for me to start looking back over the list and see just how far I have left to go… (hint: walking to Mordor seems more plausible a goal at this point)

But never give up, never surrender!

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February Check-in: Twelve Things (2015 Goals)

By | February 1, 2015
2015 Motto: Failing Upwards!

2015 Motto: Failing Upwards!

As a recap, this year I’m going to do things right and not lose sight of what I’m trying to accomplish.  That means every month I sit down and go back over the list of 12 Things that I want to accomplish this year… So time for the monthly check-in!

Which, I’d like to point out, I actually got done on the 1st– even if it is well past my self-assigned bedtime. So, erm, victory? (Someday I will master this whole ‘Being An Adult‘ thing, but not quite yet.)

So, onwards!

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Twelve Things (2015 Goals Checklist)

By | January 4, 2015
2015 Motto: Failing Upwards!

2015 Motto: Failing Upwards!

I had problems focusing on accomplishing things last year, but the one thing I did end up stumbling into was the idea of trying new things instead of just improving old skills. The Silicone caulk molds and plaster and resin casting weren’t anything I’d ever done before, but they turned out to be a lot of fun! If a tad unorganized…

So this year I’m going to do things right and not lose sight of what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m scheduling posts for the first Saturday of each month for the rest of the year as check-ins. No way I’m losing track of this set of 12!

These goals may change over the year as things become more (or less) important. However I am going to hold tight to the idea that I will accomplish an average of one thing a month in 2015… Continue reading

The Year That Was (So Long 2014!)

By | January 2, 2015
Live from the Workbench 11-15-2014

Too many hobbies, too little desk!

It’s been a long chaotic year, filled with twists and turns and a lot of ‘getting stuck in ruts’ that leave me feeling less accomplished than I normally do in these reviews.

Looking back, I never set any solid goals for this year, which may have been the problem. I’m itching to start off the new year with something a bit more coherent, so expect that post in the days to come…

But as always, I’m stubbornly determined to only focus on the good things from last year, so onwards!

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I’ll Be An Artist/Writer When…

By | November 15, 2014
Live from the Workbench 11-15-2014

Live from the Workbench 11-15-2014

Margaret’s post I Feel Like a Fake. Anyone Else? caught me at just the right moment this morning. I’d been wading through my old short stories trying to find bones to wrap NaNoWriMo wordcounts around, all while pushing aside art projects so I could see my desk.

She asked the question: What will it take for you to believe you’re an artist?

I thought about it, in terms of Artist and Writer and I’m honestly not sure where that bar is at for me. When people ask me I will always respond with “I’m an Artist/Writer, but…”

So I’m going to do an experiment!

Starting today I’m going to make a list of all the Buts and then I’m going to chase each of them down MythBuster‘s style and see if they are actually true.

I’ll do a post at least once a month on which Buts I’ve Busted and what the results were. (Some will obviously take less time to test than others.)

Should be fun! 🙂

On Methods and Madness (or: Why I blog)

By | October 18, 2014
Blog Cascade


(It’s still Day 4 of the Intentional Blogging Challenge right? *hides calendar*)

It’s been fun reading the posted responses to this– A lot of folks out there have deep and meaningful reasons for why they started blogging. In fact quite a lot of them have blogs specifically meant to inspire and improve the lives of their readers.

So why did I start (and keep) blogging?

My online life started in 1994, back when my website was an archive for my writings and my art. Then I stumbled into LiveJournal in 2005 and got into the habit of chatting to my readers and friends about the day-to-day craziness that is my life. Once I found self-hosted WordPress the transition back to my own site was a natural– although it took me several years to finally combine all my my different hobby blogs into one Megablog.

I love taking notes and organizing things (as my coworkers can attest) so this blog is basically just the notes of my life. I blog about what I’m doing, what I’ve done, what I plan to do– a running commentary that’s hopefully fun to read and fun to look back on years down the road.

As for what I hope to accomplish…I guess I aim to make you go commit art? (Or write stories, or build a treadmill computer, or play with code, or run a microbusiness, or– heck, I guess that all counts as art moreorless?)

To Sum-up

I blog to entertain and to spark other folk’s Muses.
I blog to bring some theoretical structure and implied coherence to my life.
But mostly I blog because otherwise there are too many stories in my head…