This monthly update is gonna be exciting.

It’s been an exciting month around here.

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I finished my photography course, and I’ve been on several photo shoots, including one with human subjects! I haven’t done much with people, and I don’t think it would ever be a main focus, but I do want to try and get some studio portraiture under my belt. It’s just nice to have that skill set, even if it’s one I rarely indulge in. I’m quite happy with my bees and my flowers and things like that. I think that when you’re enjoying your work and have a passion for the subjects that comes through in your finished work.

I also received a promotion at work today, which was a great way to end a day, a week, and a month! I’ve got a new title, Marketing Executive, and a little more money in my pocket each month. It’s really nice to be in a job I actually enjoy, working with friendly people that see and appreciate the work I’m doing. I don’t dread going into work, I get to laugh a lot with my colleagues, and I no longer have to worry about watching what I say because of office politics or getting stabbed in the back. I’m also getting to develop some weaker skills, like in design, which I can apply to my writing and photography hobbies as well.

Speaking of writing, Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I’m participating for the first time ever, and I’m pretty excited so far. Two days ago I finally hammered out a hard outline for Nushada, and got myself pretty psyched about it again in the process. I’m hoping that having a good plan of where the story is going will allow me to pick it up literally whenever I can, instead of hemming and hawing over where the story goes next before I start actually putting words down. For those of you participating, I’d love to hear about your projects!

I’ve decided to give Habitica a try. I love the interface so far, because it lets me keep everything together. It has the functionality of smart diary or whatever that program was, but makes it fun and more interesting to use. I’m hoping I can find some other people to use it with. I think that that’s a huge hurdle for me. So if you use Habitica, let me know?

Today also saw me venturing back into the realm of actually writing things. I worked on Bootstraps a little bit this morning, and updated The Survible for the first time in months.

All of this, combined with increasing my participation in the frankly amazing Twitter-based writing community and no less than three batches of stellar photos in one month has truly felt like climbing out of a deep hole. Like that one from Milo & Otis. You know the one.

Another day, another rebranding. This one is sticking though, cause there’s a paid-for URL to go with it.

We’re L’Oiseau de Feu now! Whoo!

I decided I wanted an umbrella brand to do everything under. And a less common wording for Firebird became the brand, because I’m learning to give myself second chances.

I’ve been thinking for some time about The Side Hustle™ and decided that it would all fall under the L’Oiseau de Feu banner. So you’re hopefully going to start seeing more content here, more regularly.

I have ideas lined up for content, including a regular feature, and a revival of my Undead Darlings idea…possibly with a new name, due to the fact that there’s apparently a video game in development using the same name. I’m accepting replacement ideas.

One of the regular things I hope to start including is a monthly update of what I’ve been up to that month. Things like word counts, samples of photography, and activity online and off.

So far, I’ve left a really toxic job for a really lovely one. I didn’t realise how bad it had gotten, until I made it to this second job and started looking around at my situation. I’d dropped off the radar entirely, across all my social media and this site. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t doing much of anything. I was desperately trying to figure out how to kill my desire to keep pursuing creative outlets and consign myself to clocking in, wedging into an uncomfortably small box, clocking out, going home, watching tv, and going to bed to start it all over again and being okay with that.

It didn’t work, and I’m so glad it didn’t. I  couldn’t snuff out the flame.

So now here I am, working on rebuilding my headspace and waiting to see the results of that. I’ve been writing poems, and flash fiction, and dipping my toes back into participating in writing tags on Twitter. I’ve also started writing a new WIP, working title is Bootstraps. I’m also taking more photos, building my skill set there, and enjoying seeing the fruits of my labours.

My goals this month include outlining all my currently open WIPs, so that I can write on them more easily, having pre-planned the routes of each of them. If I feel like writing sci-fi, I can pick up the map for CASI and pick up where I want to. Same for the dozens of others I have lined up. I’d also like to hit ten thousand words written this month.

Watch this space!