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NaNoWriMo 2016: Days 11-15

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NaNoWriMo progress screenshot, as at the beginning of 15 November’s writing session. (Source)

Friday, 11 November

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October Digital Art: Blue Horse 01

It’s a beautifully sunny spring day in Melbourne, Australia today. I am looking forward to November and starting my fourth NaNoWriMo, but in the meantime I am trying to stock up my RedBubble store!

After several false starts this morning, I managed to draw a blue horse using Medi Bang Paint and my Wacom Intuos tablet.

At the time of publishing this post, I have made this image available for sale on a variety of RedBubble products including clothing, phone and laptop covers, pencil cases, notebooks, bed linen and art prints. See flokot.redbubble.com for more details.

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October 2016. flokot.redbubble.com. Blue roan cartoon horse.

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October 2016. Screenshot of my blue horse on a RedBubble t-shirt. flokot.redbubble.com

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October 2016. Work in progress screenshot. Medi Bang Paint + Wacom Intuos tablet. flokot.redbubble.com.

National Poetry Writing Month 2016

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Screenshot of my current Scrivener plans, 30 March 2016. Thirty blank chapters waiting to be transformed into poetic genius… I hope.

I’m setting out my NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) plans in Scrivener in anticipation of the April 1st start to the writing journey. In previous years I have dismally failed at NaPo, so I am taking a leaf out of my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) experiences and trying to plan in advance. I think I must’ve long ago internalised the myth that poetry is always something spontaneous and spur-of-the-moment. This is an illusion that very quickly dissipates in the face of NaPo, when the words that so easily flowed on April 1st made me feel like a veritable Gerard Manley Hopkins or Mary Oliver; by the time April 30 rolled around, if I hadn’t yet surrendered my hope, my words sounded more like the monotonous drivel of a repetitive pop song lyric sheet. Errr… No offense to anyone who prefers the stylings of pop music, of course; this is, after all, coming from someone who listens to bands who sing in extinct and ancient languages because it brings my geeky heart great joy…

I am fleshing out some ideas for my poetry writing, giving myself themes to follow, and I genuinely hope I make it through the whole month.

I must also loosely define poetry – more so than others might. I am not big on rhyming. I do, however, love to play with sounds and imagery and grammatical conventions. I use nature as a springboard for most of my writing, too. I’ve been reading a lot of ghost stories recently, too, and I am leaning towards using the narrative and symbols of ghost stories mingled with my love for nature to see what arises. At this stage, if the planning goes well, hopefully what I will write won’t be so much thirty individual poems, but rather one long poem in thirty parts.

Of course, there’s a good chance I won’t make it the full thirty days and that I will rage quit somewhere along the way, but if I don’t push myself to try it then I will never know what might’ve been.

Celebrating the Small Victories

As a person with the double whammy of anxiety disorder and depression, my natural tendency is to ruminate on the negatives in life. Though, hilariously enough (to me) since undergoing psychotherapy and medical treatment for these conditions for over three years now I have discovered that I’m quite the optimist. Dark, somewhat gothic in my creative expressions, a little bit morbid, and with a raging thirst for heavy metal music, to be sure, but it’s a revelation to discover that under the gloomy layers I am, generally,  an assume-the-best, hopeful, upbeat kind of person who loves art and flowers and kittens and classical music. Don’t let the wardrobe of black clothes fool you; when my mental health is going well, I’m very laid back and really quite capable of being friendly. To look back on years of being told by the powers-that-be that I was lazy, disorganised, unmotivated, had a “bad attitude” with an attendant “lack of gratitude,” there’s a vague satisfaction that I can now look at those past conversations and realise that what they were seeing was a manifestation of my mental illness, and not intrinsic to my personality. It turns out that despite years of contradictory evidence, I’m a fairly neat and tidy person when I’m not weighed down by the persistent ennui of a despairing, depression-riddled existence. It makes me realise that I basically wasn’t a fully alive and happy human being from roughly 1991 to 2013 inclusive, up until the anxiety-induced physical breakdown landed me in the doctor’s office begging to know what was wrong with me. What seemed a terrible drama at the time became the doorway into learning how to live well with my mental condition. Add to that the freedom borne by discovering personality typing systems – critiques of their scientific veractiy notwithstanding – and realising that I’m actually really normal for a specific but relatively common subset of human being-ness (ISTP, Enneagram 5w6), and life starts to look a whole lot less bleak than it used to. I can now embrace the fact that like roughly one third of the human species, I’m an introvert – not “shy,” not “too quiet,” and not, as my primary school reports attest, “terrible at making friends.” An introvert with a physiological and psychological need for lower levels of external and environmental stimuli in comparison to my extroverted acquaintances (another argument in favour of going back to living in rural areas). (more…)

My New Instagram Profile!

Just a little bit of housekeeping news, I have created an Instagram profile that will be just for my art and writing-related images.

You can find it under the username fionakat.art on Instagram. Any new followers are much appreciated!

Are you on Instagram? Tell me your user name and the sorts of photos you share in the comments below!