Challenge Day Two

Coming around for seconds!

Today when the alarm went off, my whole body protested against movement and wakefulness. I blame this on: 2 hours of warehouse work (at the food bank) on Monday, followed by two hours of dance class Monday night, and another two hours of dance class last night, plus never, ever enough sleep.

I defied my muscles and did my morning stretches anyway, and I tell you, there is something really great about waking up and almost immediately checking a to-do item off my list. Plus my body loves the gentle movement first thing, and it sets my mood to “positive” for at least a short while. I’m definitely going to figure out how to keep this habit going after the end of October.

Daily Challenges

Intimate Time
CookingToday’s Menu: breakfast shake for me, and I have no idea what Guy ate because I left before it happened; for lunch I ate snack food, which happens sometimes; for dinner, we ate sweet potato and black bean tacos with tomatoes from my garden (so tasty!) Side note: I should have just done a checkmark by this one, but I did the menu yesterday, so now I have to do it forever. (*facepalm*)
Reading (Poetry)I Say the Thing for the First Time” by Adrian Matejka is a totally relatable poem about telling someone you love them, and then they leave, and you are left alone with your thoughts. What happened? What’s next? It’s worth a read.
Reading (Fiction)I continued Uncommon Type with the second story, “Christmas Eve 1953.” Right about the time I started to be bored with the idyllic midcentury family portrait Tom Hanks was painting for me, he turned it into a WWII soldier-survivor story, which is more compelling but harder to read. I kept thinking of Band of Brothers, which is super good and also I’m probably never going to watch it again, and my friend Abby, the pacifist poet whose husband is an Army officer. I now have a side goal of submitting a piece to Collateral, a literary journal (edited by Abby) centered on experiences of war. Often I feel like I can’t write about war because I haven’t experienced it firsthand, but Abby is a stellar reminder that all perspectives have value.
Reading (Nonfiction)For nonfiction, I read an article at JSTOR Daily about a groundbreaking woman named Marie Tharp. I went on to read about her on Wikipedia as well, to get a wider picture of this brilliant scientist who broke some serious ground—her work was essential in proving the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. I also read another chapter (10 pages) from Maid and it was just as wrenching as yesterday, if not moreso because the chapter I read focused on Stephanie Land’s daughter, and my emotions run extra high when kids are involved.
MusicI played my ukulele this evening after dinner, with the goal of learning to play a cover of Ani DiFranco’s “Little Plastic Castle.” There aren’t really tabs on the internet for ukulele to play this song, so I had to look at people’s guitar tabs and go from there. It’s, um, a work in progress.
Postcard PoemSince I know now that Facebook will pull my first photo for the link preview, and I’d rather not have my mediocre poetry be the feature of this thing, here is the photo side of today’s postcard:

I’m sending this poem to my dad and stepmom, with no explanation:
Trash PickupI was at the food bank for Howie’s earlier walk of the day (then he goes to the dog park three days a week, where his wrangler manages his needs) so the only walk I took today was in the dark. I remembered to wear gloves this time. In some respects, it was easier to pick up trash by headlamp, because plastic (my highest priority) and metal things are especially shiny. I was still surprised that, on a very short jaunt around our block, I was able to fill an entire bag of garbage:

Today’s Challenges

My first task, after stretching and showering and eating breakfast, was to volunteer at the Ballard Food Bank. On Monday, I worked in the warehouse receiving line, helping to sort boxes of reclaimed food brought in from local businesses. Starting today, I’m helping out on Wednesday afternoons with the weekend dry food bags for area school kids who get free lunch (so they can have meals on non-school days). We had about ten people packing bags, and we finished 500+ units in about an hour and a half. The group organizer said it was some kind of record!

My other task for today was to start working on my ideas for NaNoWriMo in November. For that challenge, the rule is that I can plan and make extensive notes, but nothing written before 12:00 AM on November 1 may be included in the final submission. To help writers plan their novel month, the organizers put together “Nano Prep 101.” You can either follow along week by week, or download the PDF. Today I started the first section, “Develop a Story Idea You’re Passionate About,” and focused mostly on the first exercise, which is about developing an overarching plot. I got so carried away that I ended up sort of doing the rest of the exercises in the section, and I’m kind of excited about the little storyline I devised. I’m looking forward to working on it again next week!

I managed my time pretty poorly yesterday, and vowed to do better today, but it was still a time crunch to get everything done. Though I did go grocery shopping, I still didn’t manage to get to the post office to buy postcard stamps, so while I am writing my postcard poems, it’s going to be a minute before they actually get in the mail. Hopefully I’ll get that off my plate tomorrow!