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Tuxedo Cat with Ball of Yarn Mug Design

Tuxedo Cat Mug Design

I have a tuxedo cat that I love and adore.  He is a 9 year old male that always looks crabby, but he actually is pretty sweet.  So I have a little thing for tuxedo cats.

I decided to move away from my gamer / nerd designs and make a cat design this time.  I have to admit, I am hooked on cat designs, so I probably will make many more after this.  This tuxedo cat mug features a simplistic cute kitty with a ball of red yarn that wraps around the cup.  You can see both sides of the cup in the photo above.

If you’d like to buy this Tuxedo Cat Mug, you can visit my Zazzle Store page and purchase it there.

When I am not writing, I love to do crafts and artwork.  I enjoy many different mediums, but vector imaging and pixel art has been my latest adventures.

 

IMG_4178

 

And in case you wanted to see a photo of my handsome Tuxedo cat that inspires me, here he is.  You can call him Kenny.

I also have another cat and dog, that I’m sure I’ll write about soon.

 

Do your pets or children inspire you in any way?

 

What is Your Writing Space Like?

Chair Against Brick Wall - Writing Space

Finding that perfect spot as a writer isn’t always easy.  I am sure that even if you “have a spot”, you often dream of another perfect writing space.

Right now, my writing space is my old beat up recliner, laptop, and a little end table next to me where I set my coffee on.  It’s really not much, but that recliner has been the prime seat for my writing over the last 5 years.  The recliner has seen its days, and sometimes I consider replacing it because of how worn it has gotten over the years.

In the beginning when I started to become a writer, I would use a desktop with a regular office chair.  I do still find that I am more productive on a desktop.  Though I do have a desktop I would love to use for writing, I have issues with my cats when I use it.  I can’t lock them out because they have separation anxiety.  To let them in means my tom cat will jump in front of the screen and aggressively paw at it.  I think he still holds a grudge against computer screens from my World of Warcraft days.

Strangely, my laptop doesn’t bother either of my cats.  So other than them lounging across my lap when I type, they behave much better when I’m using a laptop vs desktop.

Crazy, I know.  What can you do though?  Cats always seem to find a way to own the house.

 

What is my dream writing space?

I have a lovely 4 season porch with a wooded backyard.  It is truly a writer’s dream, but that too needs some work.  It is almost impossible to keep that area warm in the winter time when it’s twenty below outside.  So until I figure that out, it’s really only usable a few months out of the year.  Really, that porch would be my dream office if I could somehow set it up just right.

Otherwise, my dream space is pretty simple; a quiet room with a comfy chair and a proper desk.  I’d love it if my one cat wouldn’t have such a grudge against computer monitors, but I’ll make due.  I still love him despite his quirk.  Ultimately, he just wants attention.

For now I will continue to love my crusty old recliner.  It’s comfortable and gets the job done.  As I write this piece, I am sitting on ‘ole reliable.  It’ll be a sad day if I ever consider saying goodbye to it, but for now it stays right where it is.  I set up a “Writing Space” Pinterest board for those interested in following. Feel free to add me!

Follow Julie’s board Writing Spaces on Pinterest.

What is your writing space like?  What is your dream space?

Playing The Novelist During My Own Writer’s Block

The Novelist indie video game

 

The indie video game, The Novelist made me reflect a bit on my own writer’s block and obsession over my work.

A quick sypnosis of The Novelist video game from Wikipedia: “Novelist Dan Kaplan has decided to take his family on vacation in the hopes of not only reconnecting with them, but also defeating his crippling writer’s block.”

 

Writer’s block was hitting me hard and I desperately wanted to write something, but ideas were just not coming.

Originally I was going to play The Novelist in hopes that playing a game about a writer, would make me want to write. It’s a crazy thought I know, but in a way it worked because here I am now…writing.

While playing the game, it made me realize that I have been obsessing over my work for so many months that I haven’t stopped to play a video game in quite some time.  And I love video games, so why was I barely partaking in a hobby that I love?

So perhaps this small bout of writer’s block was just my mind telling me I needed to take a break.  After all, we all need to unwind from time to time to keep our minds and ideas fresh.

I’m sure you’re wonderful what my verdict is on the game, The Novelist.  Well, I’m not writing on here today to post a review.  I actually am not much of a game reviewer anymore, even though I use to do it more in the past.  I can say though, that I enjoyed the game.  It only took me about 2 hours to get through it, but it was exactly what I needed at the time.  So I am satisfied.

 

It felt good to turn a video game on again.  After all, it is truly a hobby that I enjoy next to reading.  I think it is important to get away from your work, no matter how desperate you are to get things done, and just relax.  I seem to often beat myself up for taking a break. “But I haven’t finished my novel yet. I still have things to get done.  I have to schedule and coordinate this and that before the end of the week.”   

Don’t do this to yourself.  Take a break once in awhile.  Enjoy someone else’s work whether it be a movie, book, or video game and relax.

Then after giving yourself plenty of time to unwind and clear your head…get back to work.

 

What game are you currently playing?

What I Learned From My Website Crashing

Learning Blocks

For those of you who own a website, I am sure you have thought at some point how awful it would be if your website one day just disappeared.

Well, it happened to me.  I messed with the files in the admin settings for hours, talking to my hosting company through email and online chat. I swear every time they told me to do something that was to supposedly fix my issue, I had made it worse.  Or, perhaps they were just telling me wrong information. I can point fingers at them and myself all day long, but what’s done is done.  I lost hours of writing, hours from fixing random errors that showed up anytime I typed in my URL, and hours from putting back the few pieces and remnants of the site that I had left.

As I told my mom when talking to her about it, “I’ll take this as a learning experience.”

So what did I learn about losing my website?

 

1) Backup your website regularly

This is why I said previously that I can put some of the blame on myself.  I didn’t back up anything.  All my blog posts were never saved in any fashion. I used a handy website, Wayback Machine to recover all that I could.  But I wasn’t able to salvage all of it.  And even if you save all of your posts, there is a lot more to a website than blog content, especially if you do a lot of customization, uploading photos, and care even a little bit about web analytics and SEO.

It doesn’t matter how well your site is running.  It can happen to you.

 

2) There is hope

(It’s not the end of the world, even if it feels like it)

As I stated before, I was still able to salvage some of my website, from having nothing saved.  I pulled from the website that archives the internet sites to grab a handful of my posts and bring them back to life.  It wasn’t much, and the posts I wrote that I enjoyed the most are gone forever, but not all is lost.  If you have it in you to write, more content will come to you.  This brings me to the next thing I learned.

 

3) I love writing and building websites

This confirmed it.  I wasn’t just doing it fill my time with. Writing, blogging, and building websites are things I love to do. If I didn’t love it, I would have quit right then and there.

But that’s not what happened.  I came back because I love it.  Yes, I had to put a “Coming Soon” page up and step away from the situation for some time to cool down.  But I came back.  That’s when you know it’s more than just a hobby to fill your free time with…it’s what you love.

 

4) I should have done more with my site

When salvaging all that I could from my site, I realized how much worse the scenario would have been if I had dozens, hundreds, or thousands of posts.  Then it got me to think…”Why didn’t I have more posts?”  Why didn’t I apply myself more?  Why were there 20 posts and pages to salvage instead of 200?  It was a wake-up call, that I needed to write more.

 

5) I am dedicated and motivated

Perhaps this is a cheesy life lesson to express from this experience, but it’s true.  There was a short time that I had flung my arms in the air and thought I was going to quit for good.  It was too much work.  I didn’t want to start over.  That was it.

Then I flipped that energy around.

“I don’t want to quit. I want to write.  I want to blog.  I want to keep working on my site.”

And that was that.  I threw up the “Coming soon” page and starting building what I could back up.

It made me realize that I am not a quitter. I am afraid to quit, sometimes almost to a fault.

Losing my website made me realize that I am more dedicated and motivated than I thought I was.  Of course, I needed a little bit of encouragement from those I am closest too, but I clung to that ounce of encouragement and took it to the next level.

 

Final thoughts…

I learned a lot from losing the contents of my website.  I hope to never have to go through it again, but I feel fortunate to have learned what I did now, instead of 3 years from now.

 Have you ever learned something from a tough situation?