Discover more from Climbing Grasses
New year, cut paper, tech writing
Aiming for calm and a new language in a rabbit-fueled year
Snow and a few days of sun—also mountain inversion—lately. Falling snow is beautiful, but January began with 10-plus days of illness. Apparently it was my time to feel sick after long avoiding it. While it wasn’t at all pleasant, it made me aware, I think, how chronically ill individuals must feel often. Motivation’s difficult when we breathe unevenly or are in pain, and it was sobering to have a window on it.
[Stationery and prints are available at my Redbubble shop, which ships in the U.S. *BUT also works with local printers in other countries to source items promptly. A friend in Germany recently ordered my cards and received them within 2-3 days, without a customs charge : )]
A few specifics: After testing negative twice for Covid at home, I thought maybe I had RSV, which includes several days of fever. Recently, though, a friend in another state had the same symptoms (sinus infection and headache, fever, coughing, exhaustion) and tested positive for Covid. So there's that. In autumn I was all caught up on boosters. But I'd take another one, as I think many of us would. And am exceedingly glad an RSV vax is being developed. Thank you, scientists.
Since recovering energy and smooth breathing, I've been working a good bit and talking with some new clients. And doing some language learning on an app, flashcards on the furniture (as seen above) and in subtitled movies and TV: trying to stuff words and understanding down my gullet, brain, etc., while still having fun with it.
And now I'm adding skills in tech writing and editing. Much of my work already explains science, technology, and the people behind it — so I figure I only need to plug in a few more skills and keep up professional development.
That said, like many writers, I especially love feature work and publishing in general. It's up there with making visual art, for me. I'd go in the publishing direction if I found a good (and financially sustainable) angle for it. Meanwhile, it’s satisfying to keep learning in tech areas with free online classes, youtube, etc.
Also enjoying snow lately, hanging out with loved ones, and will take a craft class today. Printed some new year cards (as seen in the photo at top) to hand out to neighbors. Making smoothies and eating sweet potatoes from the microwave (cut them up, put in for 10 minutes, very nice), drinking ginger tea. Reading Jeeves. Cold emailing art directors with my new web page to look for illustration work as well.
Sketch of Wasatch Front from a wetland near the county landfill and recycling area.
Also on the mind lately: how to plan for retirement. I mean, yes, saving money and adding income streams. But, like a lot of people, I’m aware the U.S. is more and more expensive and generally lacks the transit infrastructure that allows people to keep connecting as they age. It’d be nice to live relatively near a coast—far enough that rising oceans don’t cause flooding, but close enough for sea breezes to clear air pollution and wildfire smoke that settles in mountain valleys. Recently I became very keen on a Mexican city with an art scene, a couple hours from the coast. But, since then, I’ve learned it’s experiencing lots more high PM air pollution days. That’s not good, obviously — aside from the longterm effects, air pollution is tiring. After living here by the mountains, I’m thinking flat or coastal areas are easier for air quality. Now back to pondering a few other locations.
What about you? Adding job skills? Spending time with family or friends? Eating anything you’ve enjoyed? Reading something good? Feel free to talk about that in the chat in this Substack account, or in comments. Also, thank you for being here. I appreciate it.
Brightness at breakfast sketch done last year. Want to see (or share) more of my work?