// September Recap

It's October so where is autumn??  I don't know!  Neither does my weather, apparently!

ETHANDUNE  ||  After a miserable month or so of almost no activity, Ethandune has seen an uptick in progress in the last two weeks.  Unfortunately, when I sat down recently to continue working, I found that I had somehow lost the last 500 words I had written.  Poop!  Good news, I had only written it a few days ago so I hadn't totally forgot what the gist of it was, and there is a (slim) possibility that my second go-round is better than the first.  Right...?  I'm closing on 50,000 words so it's almost the size of a NaNoWriMo manuscript but hopefully not as rinky-dink as NaNo works tend to be.  I did a little Instagram Stories video of my manuscript in progress + a bottle of deep red nail polish, because UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE I can't just sit + write for ever, also painting one's nails is tedious without a safe outlet while the paint is drying.  But that video isn't quite accurate because five minutes later I was watching a Lisa Eldridge video with Yasmin Le Bon, because I am 100% susceptible to distraction + procrastination. 

WOLFGANG + ME  ||  He's an active little creature - which is a good thing! but also a very uncomfortable thing.  Anyone who has actually SEEN me knows that my bone structure is in the "slight" category, + I am just barely five feet tall.  Not a lot of room to kick about in all that.  THE GOOD NEWS IS, my recent test results for gestational diabetes came in, + I passed!  Which means I don't have to take the SECOND test, with a double dosage of glucose + three hours of intermittent blood-draws.  Anyone who has had to suffer through that knows that it is NO FUN.  I now have a strong appreciation for anyone who goes cold-turkey off of drugs, because that's basically what I felt like when I had to take the secondary test while carrying Filigree.  I am SO thankful to God for skating me by that this time around.

PENSLAYER BLOG REDESIGN  ||  I just got an updated mockup preview for my new blog design, + it's lookin' good, folks!  (See what comes of pursuing a conscious, minimal lifestyle?  Awesome blog design, that's what!) 

PLANNERS SAVE MY LIFE  ||  Really just the one planner.  How did I survive before I bought a monthly/weekly planner??  I don't even know.  I write down almost everything in that planner, including when I finish writing letters (which I do frequently).  It is a huge drain on the stress-bucket, + my stress-bucket has been drowningly full the past few months.

p.s. the planner is monochrome, le duh

CLICKITTING HOUSE  ||  We're pushing full-steam ahead on our renovation projects + getting our home closer to what you would call a stereotypical minimalist look - very clean, white, Scandinavian type stuff.  We like it; we know it's not for everyone, but we like it.  You should probably keep an eye on my Instagram for the next month er so because I could yammer here but that's not what the Penslayer is for + a picture is definitely worth a thousand words.  There.  I'm a writer + I said it.  Pictures are the bomb.  

hello, october! bring on all the cliche autumnal motifs + the sweater-weather!
(no really. please. it's too hot.)

You Never Ever Know What is Coming Next [ & Other Horror Stories]

I usually keep my personal-update posts to a minimum, or condense them into the fewest words possible in other posts, so as to a) not bore you, + b) get to the real writing meat of the post - assuming there is any real writing meat to get to.  But then I says to myself, I says, "What if people really would like an update on what's going on with you...??"  At the very least, it may make you feel better about yourself!

(this post does not actually contain horror stories. on rare occasions i have been known to exaggerate just a little bit for the sake of drama.)

NESTING + MINIMALISM  ||  Everyone watches my stringent purging/minimalist endeavours & says, "That's Jenny - she's nesting."  This is...true-ish.  My actual "nesting" urge did not kick in until about a week ago, when I looked at Wolfgang's room (filled, at the moment, with furniture we mean to dispose of), and felt that i MUST GET IT READY RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.  It needs to be completely perfect + set up YESTERDAY.  BECAUSE I ONLY HAVE THREENHALF MONTHS OF PREGNANCY LEFT.*

The rest of "everything that I am doing" is partly my frantic need to channel my creative energy SOMEwhere (since "Ethandune" was heretofore being so crotchety), but mostly I'm just really in love with clean, white spaces, minimal belongings, + a much simpler way of living with possessions.  It makes me happy + I am pursuing that happiness with more energy than I actually have. 

* this may seem excessive; it may seem like i have time.  don't be fooled.  those months go by like wildfire.  ain't nobody got time.

THE LITTLE MANIFESTO  ||  I meant to jot down a few thoughts on minimalism, but when I was done, I found I had written a full-on manifesto for the thing.  I won't give you the whole thing here, just hit the highlights, because there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this idea, when the idea itself is really extremely helpful + healthy!

"Our culture is an affluent one; the thought of getting rid of so much material prosperity produces a feeling tantamount to nudity."

"We face the misconception that 'minimalism' is an austere life painted in white with modernist furniture that looks impossible to sit on.  This is a misconception I aim to overthrow.  Minimalism, regardless of any one person's tastes, colour ideals, or mode of living, is simply this: THAT YOU CHOOSE TO POPULATE YOUR LIFE WITH POSSESSIONS THAT YOU ACTUALLY, TRULY NEED +/OR TANGIBLY ENRICH YOUR SOUL."

" 'Minimalism' in its stereotypical sense is not for everyone; but everyone can benefit from a minimalist mindset."

"Once the needless, unused, ugly, unwanted articles among our possessions are rooted out, leaving behind those which service us + speak to our souls, we begin to see what kind of life we really want to have."

"This is the key: to persevere.  At a point in the purge (different for everyone), the work of trimming the 'body fat' off your life reaches muscle, + begins to build.  Once your life is a healthy weight, + you have reduced your possessions to what you really need + love, the energy transfers into a clearer vision of yourself, your tastes, your ideals, + how you want your life + home + work to be."


(thank you for reading that :3 )

FILIGREE  vs. WOLFGANG  ||  I have had so many obstacles to get over/through/run down by this pregnancy which I did not have while carrying Filigree.  There was absolutely no way I could have seen this coming + no I did not see it coming.  I am in my second trimester, + already experiencing the fatigue, the weight, + twice the pelvic pain I had with Filigree.  At roughly 25 weeks, I'm not quite the size I was full-term with Filigree, but I am registering more weight now with Wolfgang than I did full-term with my daughter.  (My parents say every baby carries differently.  My friend says I probably started with a higher muscle content with Wolfgang than I did with Filigree.  I like that second one better. XD )  REGARDLESS, I am always just a few steps / one wrong twist away from crippling hip pain, if I haven't actually taken those steps / twisted wrong already.  Eh, it's pregnancy!  What can you say?  It's never EASY.  Yoikes.

(EPIDURAL FOR THE WIN  ||  I read a quite charming bitter article entitled something like "25 Things They Don't Tell You About Labor / Post-Partum."  Okay.  No.  Except for the fact that you get a snuggly wuggly your-own-darling baby at the end of the labour process, there isn't anything fun about the process - although, I had a very good, smooth time + my staff were the bomb.com - and the recovery process is even more painful.  I mean, what did you expect, considering what you just did?  But lET ME JUST SAY, if you have the freedom to choose an epidural + decide VOLUNTARILY to have a natural birth, YOU DON'T GET TO BE BITTER, LADY.  No one made you pick the consciously-painful method when you could have been relatively discomfort-free for the delivery, + you get to take narcotics afterward to help dull the pain/shock of what your body is trying to recover from.  Yay!  This modern age we live in!  I don't wanna hear the griping.  Take the epidural/narcotics + shut up, or be a boss-lady + muscle through without them.  No bitching allowed.)

PET PEEVES INCLUDE  ||  Elephants.  I don't get elephants.  Everywhere I look there are elephants on infant clothing + it fills me with an irrational loathing.  Why elephants?  What do elephants have to do with babies?  It does not make any sense.  I hate them.  I have to hate something so it might as well be elephants. 

Also, the notion that my ideals are going to give way because I'm going to have a boy.  They tried that on me with Filigree, + I made adjustments, but no basically I'm just as rigid + perfectionist-driven as before, if not more so (see "minimalism").  People underestimate my ironclad quixotic personality + my overriding decisions guiding my children.  I don't settle for mediocrity: I aim for perfection.  Wheesht + let me do my thing.

Also, people who pick boring names.  Names that are not "Filigree" or "Wolfgang."  It makes me sad.

JENNY + JANE AUSTEN  ||  I started reading "Sense & Sensibility."  No promises.  "Pride & Prejudice" is the only novel of Austen's that I've read multiple times; I've read "Emma" once + didn't make it through "Persuasion."  No promises.  But there it is.

I STILL LOVE WRAPPING PRESENTS BUT I AM DEAD  ||  At a meagre five + 1/2 months, the simple act of wrapping a few gifts leaves me in staggering pain (* not an exaggeration), so I'm thinking I'll have to politely not offer my services this Christmas season.  It's a sad truth.  Carry on without me.  It's been grand.

( + completely monochrome because i threw out all my garish coloured paper)

I'M GOING TO STOP THERE before I really do bore you to tears / the grave.  There are probably other random aspects of my life to share, but since I can't recall them right now, they can't be that important.  Thank you for sticking with me + caring to know what is happening to that Penslayer girl (because I would like to know too...??)

until next time,

Ethandune Rewrite Update || More Positive News!

GUESS WHO HAS SNIPPETS TO SHARE ||  Yes, I have very slowly made headway on "Ethandune," enough to toy with the notion that I may know what I am doing, and enough to have snippets to share with you all.

GENERAL UPDATE  ||  I feel like death.  The end.  My anxiety is largely manageable, my insomnia is almost tolerable, my energy levels are non-existent, there have been stretches of days that I have felt completely hopeless of surviving, I spend most of my time resting or writing letters, + I'm now seriously starting to get the "nesting" fever regarding Wolfgang's room.

MY MUSIC RARELY COINCIDES WITH MY WRITING  ||  Along with THREE letters all at once, my friend sent me a copy of Audrey Assad's album "Inheritance."  It's beautiful + I'm loving it.

jesus, the very thought of you
it fills my heart with love
jesus, you burn like wildfire
and i am overcome

snippets of ethandune

We began to move forward with her, Dammerung at her side and myself a few paces behind, and we were seamlessly swept into her constellations of people and hydrangeas and shining furniture. For the most part, I saw, the people were women, fantastically clad, tall and slender and cream-coloured as new spear-shafts; one turned an eye to me as I passed, and the dart of her glance was like a weapon-head, a flicker of steel: I dampened my lips and expected to taste a prick of blood.

I saw the red-lit face, worn with stubble, look up and crease with a smile, half-covering a shiver that rankled along Goddgofang’s form. “Sometimes, sir, even I am afraid of you.”
Dammerung put out a hand with a snap and a spark at his fingertips, and the light of the brazier leapt up doublefold, strong, driving back the sleepy darkness. “Good!” he growled. “All my sons should have a healthy fear of me."

Dammerung went out, his black figure like a shadow slipping from the shell-bubble of white in which I was caught as something in a spider’s web. As though feeling a tug on the invisible lines, lines like the ones between the stars of the Baron’s shield, I turned my head without knowing why and saw the chatelaine of the House of Antemeridian seated in the embrasure where she had been with Dammerung, the parcel on her knee, and a sealskin busy in her hands being wrapped round the box. At that moment she raised her eyes to the girl’s who stood waiting for her to finish. There was something in that look—
A hand touched my shoulder and I leapt an inch off the floor as I spun round, dead-white with surprise. Dammerung was beside me with his small smile as usual on his lips…but behind his eyes there was something, something looking down at me which I could not understand and which made my blood crawl cold back to my heart.

Is it very bad, my lord?”
Dammerung raised an arm and began to unbutton and roll back a sleeve. “Let us say you are a man to fight against the odds,” he replied, “and leave it at that.”
Coeur de Leon nodded, turning his head on the pillow so that the coins of his mask slid, tinkling together, catching the light as a myriad of eyes blinking angry surprise.

A curious mixture of rigidity and indulgence, that man.” Jennalaide turned the subject from her gown. “A great one for wanting things just so! and yet not at all mean in his abundance.” Her own brows flickered upon a thought. “I had not expected that of him. I had not expected that of any of you. You have always been painted in my mind as monsters and devils and things not quite real.”
“If you cut me,” Goddgofang said softly, “I will bleed.”
“And isn’t that the oddest thing?” she exclaimed, looking him suddenly in the face. “So concerned with this world and all its little people, petty and great and rich and poor and mean and taught and everything! yet somehow, upon the same coin,” her voice mellowed, “most detached from it. Most solid and real, upon meeting; and yet, when one goes to reach for you, one discovers you have in relation to this world all the halo and transience of a saint.”
“Hmm!” Goddgofang chuffed gently. “If distrust can make a monster of you, we are of all men most monstrous..."

images via pinterest