What I’ve been doing lately

What I’ve been doing lately

All the usual things have been keeping me busy lately – work, volunteer work, relationships, parenting.. and also some creative and fun things as well.

Just today, with the help of my youngest, I finished a stunning and colorful puzzle featuring two sea turtles. I love sea turtles so much that I had some tattooed on my arm. I did most of the puzzle on my own, getting delightful solo time while listening to the audio version of Ready Player One, performed by Wil Wheaton. When we finished the puzzle, there was still about an hour of the story yet to be heard, so my youngest and I sat on my bed and finished it out.

It’s been a lovely ritual and I could start up another puzzle and another audiobook (I checked out Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman from the library last week) but I’m not sure. I get obsessive when I’ve got a puzzle out and maybe I should leave space for other projects. We shall see.

I’m partway through the Creative Writing class by Margaret Atwood on MasterClass. It’s brilliant and well worth the time. It’s encouraging to hear how many times she’s started a story over with a different PoV or other such change. As she says, the wastepaper basket is our friend. Starting over is nothing to be ashamed of, even if you’ve invested considerable time into a piece of work. That sounds good to me because I’ve decided to try my novel WIP in a different PoV. And I’m 70,000 words in. Not sure I will change the PoV, but I’m convinced it’s worth trying.

I’ve also started a new erotic story for my other website, and there have been a few other solid fiction story ideas that I’ve dutifully noted in my story journal. The creative juices have really been flowing since Solstice.

And one more thing I want to tell you about that’s introduced magic and whimsy to the way I see my hometown: psychogeographic maps by GrocerySpy. From the Etsy page of ScienceArtifacts, “What is psychogeography? It’s a French term for wandering the city in ways that bring a new awareness to the wanderer.”

There are four of these maps so far, with more to come. Imagine someone walking block by block through downtown Olympia, watchful for the oddities and curiosities that may not catch the eye of a driver, hurrying to work or a jogger wiping sweat from their brow or the cyclist trying not to be hit by cars while avoiding items that might puncture their tires These are the little magical markers that you find when you walk and allow your eyes to catch on those things that are unexpected. I found these maps at Gallery Boom at 520 Adams St SE in Olympia. They delight me because they are evidence I’m not the only one who walks around with an eye for magic and interesting patterns and stories. I highly recommend them. Tom Boucher, aka GrocerySpy, has created a map for downtown Olympia, the Wildwood neighborhood, the Carlyon and Governor Stevens neighborhood and the Capital Neighborhood. When I asked Christine at Gallery Boom about the maps, she said more were on the way. I’m looking forward to what he uncovers in my neck of the woods. The maps are fun to study, fun to take for a walk. I’m also enjoying the mental exercise of determining what I would put on my own psychogeographic map. I can remember creating maps of the farm I grew up on and the neighboring areas, as well as numerous fantasy maps. Maps have always felt a bit magical to me. They show the way to new discoveries and new adventures.

What would you put on a map of magical, obscure, subtle, odd, delightful landmarks in your neighborhood or your route to work?

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