End of the Month Wrap-Up: September 2017!

PJG Bridge

[@ the Portland Japanese Garden]

In September I hit the reset button on my stress levels with a kick-ass vacation to Oregon that involved a week of books, beaches, gardens, and the zoo. (Oregon Zoo is my favorite zoo ever, now that I’ve been there. If you’re anywhere nearby, go as soon as possible, and if you’re planning any trip to the Pacific Northwest, make it a priority. It’s fantastic.)

Complete Haul

My complete book haul from three shops: Powell’s Books in Portland, The Book Bin in Salem, and Bob’s Beach Books in Lincoln City. Each of these books was either used or a “new” remainder (and thus deeply discounted–the Le Guin box set was only $25!)

On the home front, I read ten books, didn’t set foot in the library once (I miss it!) and spent my writing time testing out different methods of outlining in preparation for choosing a new project for NaNoWriMo. So far, I’ve got one plot bunny laid out in a summary/zero draft form–it’s longer than a standard summary but it doesn’t have a scene breakdown like I would want to have for a full zero draft. (And it’s stuffed with worldbuilding notes.)

Over the vacation I tried to spend half an hour each morning putting pen to paper in an attempt at mind-mapping, with decent results. I’m finding it a great method for developing a new idea–brainstorming, essentially–but I don’t think my scribbled maps are going to cut it when it’s time to write; I see myself organizing these ideas into something more linear as an intermediate step. I suppose if I pick this bunny for NaNo, we’ll see what that step entails.

Coming up in October, I hope to expand at least one more plot bunny, though I haven’t chosen which one or what method; to participate in Inktober; to finish the PopSugar 2017 Reading Challenge, of which I only have a few tasks left to tackle; and to finally choose a project to take on for NaNo.

Also to put up all my blog posts on time. I’ve been lax about that, even aside from the vacation this month.

Did you have a productive September, readers? Do you have any interesting plans for October? Talk to me in the comments!

Out and About: Northfield, MN

Sidewalk Poetry 1

I’d never been to Minnesota until recently, when my husband and I got on a plane to go to a wedding. I had no idea what to expect, but it wasn’t poetry stamped onto the sidewalks!

I didn’t have time to find all of them scattered across the downtown area, but I got to quite a few.

All the rooms at our inn had names, which of course charmed me straight out of the gate…

Reading Nook

Then I found a reading nook down the hall from our room. Win!

And when I had a little time, I went shopping. Content Books and The Sketchy Artist were both down the street, so I came home with a cookbook and some mini journals in my luggage that didn’t start the trip with me. Support independent bookstores! (And art stores!)

I had a great time, ate great food, and got to spend time with family. No writing time, but that’s why I’m glad to be home, too.