Challenge Day Thirty-One

We have arrived at our destination.

I did my best to get everything done today, but I think I aimed to do too many things. That is to say, everything I did get done took longer than I anticipated, which left no time for the remainder. On the flip side, after this month I know a lot more about the capacity of my time, and I know where my boundaries are, in terms of my physical and mental energy levels. I know so much more about myself in general.

Daily Challenges

Intimate Time✓
CookingToday’s Menu: I began with a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter on it; for my midday meal, I had leftover pizza; Guy roasted a chicken with carrots and potatoes and onions while I was in class, and served it up with some awesome gravy. Also, cake balls. A couple.
Reading (Poetry)Wild Nights—Wild Nights” by Emily Dickinson is a delightful little love poem. I’m glad to end this month on a positive note:
Futile – the winds –
To a heart in port
Reading (Fiction)Technically, as of the writing of this blog, I still have pages left in The Poisonwood Bible. BUT! This is only because I want it to be the very last thing I do with my day, since it is the lowest-stress activity. I wanted to get as much else done as I could, which includes writing this blog post. I will read before I go to sleep tonight, and I’m sure it will help me relax after this epic day.
Reading (Nonfiction)In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I read about the different hypotheses of human extinction and the related sources of global catastrophe. This led me to Malthusian crisis, which is the point where population growth outpaces agricultural production. These all give me ideas for my fictional world.
MusicI played a ton of electric bass today while Guy fussed with levels and inputs and other such things. By the end of the recording time, I was pretty good at the bass lick for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” despite not practicing until today.
Postcard PoemThese birds are so colorful, I imagine that they’re wearing Halloween costumes:

Today I crafted another “exquisite corpse” poem based on lines from the women at the dance studio. It turned out very different from the last one, and I liked the way the lines broke into three stanzas with disparate focal points: them, me, you. Tonight people contributed more in the way of words rather than phrases, so I had to add a few more words to make it syntactically sound, but I bet you can’t tell which ones are mine:

The magician’s woeful steed:
loose, languid, insecure and full of
guilt, gracefully falling toward villainy.
I need noise, wavy legs,
cat scratch fever, limitless terror, but
love is never wasted.
Watch the spoopy Seattle summer
unravel and fall into grand extinction
via sordid, but comfortable, hell fire.
– Sarah Reebs ft. Divine Halloween Babes!
Trash Pickup I used precious daylight hours for marshmallow fondant today, so for the fourth day in a row (sadface) I did not gather trash. I will continue this service to my neighborhood going forward, though, so in time I’ll make up for all the days I missed.

Today’s Challenges

I love decorating treats, and Halloween is the BEST holiday to decorate treats for. I already shared the truffles and candy corn-esque cakelets that I made, but today’s cake (eye) balls are the crowning grace of this holiday’s sweets. I’ve spent some time over each of the past three days working on them, beginning with baking the cakes on Tuesday, then making buttercream and balling the mix yesterday, culminating with marshmallow fondant and decorating today. This ended up taking more than three hours, when I budgeted for two, but I think it was worth it.

While they look amazing, the predominant flavor is “sweet.” The chocolate flavor in the red velvet cake is super subtle, and I think I made the fondant just a touch too thick or big or something, so it’s just very sugar-forward. But on the flip side, marshmallow fondant (unlike regular fondant) is tasty, and I don’t mind eating a lot of it. Of course, I will eat raw marshmallows straight out of the bag, so that’s where my bar is set.

I brought the eyeballs with me to dance class, where my fellow dancers took them off my hands for me. For class, I wore my unicorn onesie (which I already wore all day Sunday) over a purple shell bra and green fish scale booty shorts (my mermaid outfit). I danced to “Part of Your World” by Brbn, which is an unexpected cover (of the Disney song of same name) that also mentions trick-or-treating. How appropriate is that?! Class was lots of fun, and a great way to punctuate the month.

The other big challenges were music-related. Thanks to my lack of foresight, and the trend of the past week or so of just pushing things to the next day, I had way too much to do today, so only one of the musical challenges got touched, and it didn’t get completed to the level I imagined a month ago. Basically, I was dismayed by my inability to write a song in 48 hours (I know, I’m a talentless hack) and facing a lack of hours in the day, so I gave it up—for now. I fully intend to return to this song and finish it at some point, and I will share it here when that happens.

In lieu of working on my original piece, I worked with Guy to (finally) start recording “Ain’t No Sunshine.” While I was making fondant balls, he was laying down a drum track; I listened to that through headphones to first record a bass line. The problem with that was, I did not play the song all the way through from start to finish. I am not actually a bass player, so I fumbled somewhat, and stopped and started several times. I also shortened how many times I repeated a particular riff, and repeated chunks at weird times. This haphazard riff was very disconcerting to listen to while I recorded vocals, and I only got halfway through them before calling it a day. We will definitely come back to this, and again, I’ll share it when we have a final product to share!

Today I was also supposed to do my “Thursday Thing,” which is fiction-related writing. I didn’t do this, but I don’t feel bad about it, because I’ll be spending the next month writing every day, or almost every day. I did at least spend time in the mental space where my story lives, so maybe I get partial credit?

Tomorrow I’ll reflect more on the month, but for tonight, I have mixed feelings. I am proud of myself for not entirely giving up on this project halfway through the month. I am disappointed in myself for not checking off every single one of my boxes. I am relieved that I won’t be doing all this again tomorrow. I am not sure how to guide my day without these tasks. I will have NaNoWriMo, but that’s maybe 2 hours of my day, rather than 6-8 hours, depending. Will I be lost? Will I be found?

I’m so tired. This month was so exhausting. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my time sleeping. Who knows? Life is long and unpredictable.

Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


  1. Ladafi says:

    Congrats on a month well done! Thanks for sharing your journey. I hope you continue to update your blog and let us know how NaNoWriMo goes.

    1. Keep Right says:

      Thank you! I am sure I’ll be here plenty. Thanks for being along for this ride (heart emoji)!

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