What's been going on — April 2021

It's the last day of the #StayAtHome order in Perth's 3-day snap lockdown following the hotel quarantine business. This being our third fling in this on-again-off-again dalliance with Rona, the lad and I have become fairly used to adapting to the surprise changes of plans.

Over the lockdown weekend, I took the opportunity to catch up on essential life admin. My bookkeeping is now up to date, I've played a lot of Kairosoft Station Master (a both urgent and important task lol), and I've put away not one, but half a basket of clean laundry. Achievement unlocked!

I also realise it's been a year since the last "what's been going on" post. So as I've got a few hours before my online Gloomhaven meetup begins, I figured I may as well write a quick little update.

One bout of travel — just one

In the second half of last year, the boy and I spent a few days in Eagle Bay. It was quite special, not just because it gave us time to hang out together away from the demands of normality, but because we went amidst the local throes of the pandemic. We're effectively confined within the state unless we want to be stranded outside the state. This all casts an interesting light on any sort of travel, I think.

Even before Eagle Bay, the trips I took before the walls went up seem to resurface with a bittersweet nostalgia I've never felt before when remembering holidays. I've often heard of people (mainly older people) reminisce about holidays as if they were one-of-a-kind events to treasure until the day you die. Perhaps I was too immature or too privileged to appreciate the significance of travelling before. You kind of take it for granted when you know you can just pick up and go. You get used to having the option.

But knowing there's now a chance I may never see certain people again, if the world can't get Corona under control, adds a sting to the memories. Those trips I took, the time I got to spend with loved ones, really were special.

That book is almost ready...

Pencil sketch of a cake and jam jar

That book I was collaborating on last year is almost complete. The process of writing and editing has been gruelling for no other reason than I've been reading and writing on this topic non-stop for about six years. Rehashing it again, even in a format I like, was an intense challenge for my executive function.

But we're here now. Just a little more info to go in, one illustration to add, then the proofing and printing phase can begin.

Art & voxels

Left: Pencil sketch of a street scene in Tokyo. Middle: Digital watercolour of a flower arrangement. Right: 3D rendered voxel art house

Four years ago, I turned down an offer of a high-profile illustration gig. While I could fake it for one-off pieces, I knew my skills weren't up to a professionally competent standard. And I knew the time it would take me to reach that standard would severely hinder my upskilling efforts in writing. It was a tough choice, but I had to sacrifice my art for the sake of writing because I couldn't do both at once.

Fast forward to this year. As my writing skills have adequately fermented, art has begun to bubble. Actually, not even bubble. It's hit me with full force. I have access to more facilities and educational materials. I have more time to learn and explore.

They say a shoddy workman blames her tools, but this art resurgence has taught me that most jobs don't require excellent tool-less workmen — unless we're talking emergency brain surgery on a deserted island. You can be quite ordinary and do a decent job provided you have access to tools and resources and time.

A career tweak

So, here I am, an ordinary workman (or "workperson" if nonbinary gender specificity is your jam). I've added book ghostwriting and illustration to my repertoire, and selected UI/UX offerings are back on the menu. I tried to put that life behind me, but it keeps popping back up, especially since the old "UX writing" hat is back in fashion 👒

What else?

  • I've become enamoured with tarot as a perspective-taking tool and journal prompter.
  • Poles progress is going well. Core strength could do with a tune-up.
  • I'm loving audiobooks and have just finished reading Freakonomics at last.