Level-Up! Essence of Green :: April 2017

“Sunlight dapples the forest floor. A copper fox appears through the gloaming, then vanishes again with one sweet, sharp bark, an invitation to follow him to into the fanciful weave of light and shadow.” 
– Michele Morgan

April swept through with a mix of sunshine and showers. Things became simultaneously more stressful and yet, new opportunities also arose. 2017 is definitely shaping up to be an interesting year.

Reflections on the Journey

i. Read 12 books: 1/12 – I’ve started another two books, but haven’t finished any yet. Expecting this to change once my final project is completed in July.

ii. Edit second novel for submission: 1/1 – I received a personalised novel rejection, so I’m counting that as progress towards my ‘submission’ goal.

iii. Track my wordcount and aim for 100,000 words: 20,031/100,000 words – I wrote more this month than Feb and March added together, which was a nice feeling. Taking part in Camp NaNo definitely helped with this goal of getting back on track with my monthly output. I can catch-up with this goal once my final piece of coursework is done in June, and with the increased reading, I’m okay with where I currently am for my writing.

I also took part in a week-long Potter-themed write-off, and although we Ravenclaws lost out against Hufflepuff, it was a nice extra incentive to get those words on the page for Camp Nano.

iv. Build upon my wellness routine: I continued to go bouldering this month, and we walked a LOT. I walked H to work / met him half-way when he came out, and we walked to a DIY store so we could walk back with an 2.5m long wooden panel.

Across this month, I actually walked an extra 27.3km above my usual routine.

v. Take Photographs: Not many photos again this month, but this was always designed as a secondary goal. I’ll check in with this the next time we go anywhere pretty.

April’s Experience Collected

  • 100/200XP 
  • 350/350XP
  • 300/300XP
  • 400/400XP

Total XP for April:                     1,150/1,250

Total XP towards Level Up:        2,500/7,500

Smoke and Embers

The cats have had a fun month. A possibly-stray cat has been hanging around since early February, but by the end of March we had evidence of him inside our house, eating their food, urinating on our floors and fighting with our cats. Ember in particular became incredibly timid for a day or two after each intrusion and we realised we’d need to take action.

Having checked he wasn’t owned by anyone in our road, I contacted the charity we rescued our cats from, who put up “found” pictures online and offered to trap him for microchip scanning/neutering.

We also bought a microchip cat-flap to discourage him from trying to get in. The first morning we found urine collecting in the tunnel of the flap and along our front door. Then it wouldn’t recognise Smoke’s microchip. Then the charity suggested they trap the stray and microchip-check/neuter him for re-homing if none found. This led to some fun and games, and Ember began appearing stressed (some not-fun toilet-related issues).

The cat was re-united with an owner locally, but hopefully he learned not to stick around our home for long. (We used a humane trap, provided by the charity and we fed him until they could collect him but still hope he didn’t enjoy the experience enough to risk breaking in and harming our cats again!)


Jumping the Wall…

  • I started Camp NaNoWriMo on a whim, late on the first day. I met my target with a day to spare: win!
  • I received some incredibly useful feedback on a novel.
  • I went bouldering three times – once I was alone in the gym so didn’t ‘climb’ but spent time assessing the paths available and planning routes. On the second time, I stuck with beginner routes and let myself give up half-way on the next difficulty up. The third time, I had a try at traversing: moving sideways at the top of the wall and then climbing down at an angle. I also managed to climbed a few holds up a sloped wall.
  • I began making progress on a secret project. It won’t be ready for a few months, but it was nice to really stretch my brain and tackle some new ideas.
  • H and I had a few days off: we planted some vegetables, grew some seeds in the garage and spent some garden vouchers. This year we’re attempting kohlrabi, lettuce and strawberries on top of last year’s vegetables.

The Path Ahead…

  • I’m hoping the garden will be happily in bloom during May, although we will have a few things to still plant.
  • My penultimate submission is due for University in May.
  • We have a long-weekend off in May to tackle a few projects around the house.
  • I began a secret project in April that I’ll be working on throughout May and June.

What did April shower you with?

How is the path to May looking?

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