Long Chapters

I’m not the fastest reader. But lately I’ve noticed that this gets even worse when I’m dealing with a book full of long chapters.

Long Chapters 1st Half

It’s a little better if there are breaks within the chapter, natural places to stop. But if thereĀ aren’t any breaks, the chapter represents a huge time commitment. I could stop partway through, but I hate the feeling that gives me–all vague and disconnected, not completely sure whether I’ve read a paragraph or not. So the chapter ends up getting put aside. Next thing I know, it’s two months later, and I still haven’t finished the book.

I exaggerate, but–

Long Chapters 2nd HalfOk, maybe I’m not exaggerating. What makes no sense to me is that I may end up reading the *same number of pages* in a book full of short chapters, but because they’re all short, the famous “just one more” scenario strikes, and I munch them up like snack-sized candies.

I feel like it wasn’t always this way–like when I first read the Harry Potter series (*cough* or at least the first four books), it was much easier to sit down and read for long periods of time, chapter length notwithstanding. Maybe I’m getting more impatient as I get older. Maybe it’s just that I don’t have those long stretches of time for reading anymore. Maybe it’s part of a broader cultural shift. (Not so much in book length as in attention span–I’m used to getting things faster, now.)

But really, this is all by way of saying that I haven’t finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire yet. I will, probably by the end of the week. I just wish that the chapters were shorter.

It has nothing to do with what the end of the book represents. Nothing at all. Or with that one thing at the end. Or the other thing. Things that happen. Or, if you haven’t read the book, things that don’t happen, maybe, at all.

Ahem. Anyway. On with the reading.

Inktober and Energy

And who also looked kind of like a bumblebee.

And who also looked kind of like a bumblebee.

So this weekend I finally found out about Inktober. I feel like I’ve been seeing hashtags about it for a while, but it sort of slipped past me, like visual background noise. My first response, on realizing what it was: “How did I not know about this before?”

I did a whole post last year (the month before Inktober–seriously, how did I miss this?) about how uneasy I was with ink, and how I should probably be more comfortable with it. But somehow Inktober still didn’t register.

And now that I do know about it, I’m not sure I’m going to jump on board. At least not full throttle. Partly because it’s so late in the game, and partly because as much as I’d like to participate, I just don’t know that I have the energy.

That sounds a lot sadder than it is. Actually, the fact that I want to participate is (I think) a good sign. I mentioned before that I’d been pretty depressed recently. It was actually one of the worst bouts of depression I’ve ever had. So after that, it feels really good to care about things again.

I’ve burned out before, though–smothered the spark of energy by putting too many tasks on it. So this time, I’m trying to be more careful. Taking it slow, and not overburdening myself. It seems to be working, so far. Not to say there aren’t bad days, because of course there are, but in general, I feel good enough to say that I’m coming out of the fog.

And good enough to do some Inktober doodles. But I’m not going to hold myself to doing one a day, or posting them all here. Trust me. You don’t want to see the ones I choose not to post. Remember my old profile picture?

No? I can't imagine why not. It's incredibly memorable.

No? I can’t imagine why not. It’s incredibly memorable.

I’m posting this one, though, because I (mostly) like it. Sure, it’s simple and unfinished–the light rays are still in pencil–but something about it speaks to me. Maybe it’s the idea of turning wind into energy. Maybe it’s the idea of weathering any storm. Maybe it’s looking like a bumblebee. (Probably not that one.) Maybe I just like drawing lighthouses.

Well, there are worse things than drawing what you like, and having fun doing it. In fact, there’s an energy booster right there.

So to those of you who are doing Inktober: I wish you energy and fun. And really good pens.


Marker Case Mock-Up

I tend to have trouble finishing things. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, given some of my past blog topics. (Like last year’s NaNoWriMo goal, or my return to blogging that lasted for 3 posts. So at least I’ve beaten that, this time.) Lately, getting things done has been harder than ever, it seems. But on Saturday, I decided it would be cool to make a case for my Tombows (the plastic shipping bag I was keeping them in was starting to get annoying), and on Sunday, I actually finished the mock-up.

Granted, it wasn’t the way I’d imagined it would be, starting out. But there are a lot of things I like about the final product. Honestly, there’s every chance that I’ll use this thing until it breaks, mock-up or not, because if it works, it works.

All things considered, then: I’m calling this project a win. If you’d like to make one of your own, here’s what I used:

  • Fabric and buttons: Joann’s. (Fabric Quarters–lots of nice patterns there, and there was a sale. Might still be, depending on when you’re reading this.) And of course you’ll also need thread and a needle and stuff. And a tiny piece of ribbon, if you want to make it the same way I did.
  • Instructions: I more or less followed this video, with some small alterations.

It’s actually pretty easy. And I say this as someone who doesn’t usually sew. The hardest part was getting the corners of the bag. And those are really kind of optional, for my version.