Posted in Life, News

Friday News 13/03/2020

What a lovely date! There has to be a picture of a black cat to accompany it.

Of course, do be nice to cats, on this and every other day.

News?

COVID-19 is now officially a pandemic, but you already know it (or you should). If we’re talking about work, businesses are affected, freelancers are affected…and if we’re not talking about work only, well, do try to stay alive, even if there are those who prefer the “strictly economic” approach (as in, there might be economical benefits if we let more people die).

All right, rant over. But do try to stay alive.

Now, back to the usual news. And a warning: there will be some vague spoilers for The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

Currently reading: A Universal History of Iniquity by Jorge Luis Borges. It’s Borges, so of course it’s good. Colorful stories about vile people. Real or imagined. Mostly imagined, even if real. You know, Borges. And if you don’t know, it’s high time you read his books.

Recently read: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. Where do I even start? It’s set some 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale, but it doesn’t follow just the book, it follows the TV series, too. To a point, though; there are some changes, like Aunt Lydia being a judge in her previous life, not a teacher (this wasn’t much of a spoiler, and it does go well with her character).

So, if you’re going to read this, I suggest you read the first book (if you haven’t already), and watch the series (if you haven’t already). You can read this book without the previous works, but the experience is going to be much more emotional with them. There will be wonderful Oh, it’s actually her moments, as well as even more wonderful Whoa, hey, they’re actually… Oh, I can’t wait for them to find out! ones. I’ve seen some people complain that everything went too smoothly, but… On the one hand, it sort of did, considering everything that could have happened, but on the other hand, that ending was being prepared for 15 years, and many, many bad things have happened during those 15 years. So, it’s about as smooth as someone is an overnight success. In other words: no, it isn’t.

Currently watching: courses. In order to help businesses, freelancers, and others affected by COVID-19, Fiverr has created a special site with resources for those impacted, and for a limited time, they’re offering some free courses, too: Brand Strategy and Design for Small Businesses, Build a Professional Website with WordPress.com, Social Media Content Strategy, and Online Freelancing Essentials. None of those will turn you into an expert, but they are packed with information all in one convenient place, at least the ones I’ve seen so far. So, I’m learning what I can, both for work and for myself (plus I’m a curious cat).

Mostly working on: courses. See above. And the same blog I’ve mentioned the last few times. And planning to explore a few tools I’ve learned about in the courses.

Well, that’s it for today’s edition of Life and Work in the Time of Coronavirus, err, A Kitty Dreaming About Wings, see you next time!

Posted in News

Tuesday News 25/02/2020

Still not much to mention, so another quick one (that’s also letting me remember when I did what).

Currently reading: Collected Stories 2 by Vladimir Nabokov. Hey, it’s Nabokov, and he’s always good.

Recently read: iPhuck 10 by Victor Pelevin. It was a fun read. I’ve seen complaints about the last part, but I’ve enjoyed it as much as the rest of the book. Sure, I’ve enjoyed some of his other books more (Generation P, The Helmet of Horror (definitely my favorite!), Empire V…), but this one was good, too. Not exactly politically correct, but hey, it’s satire (and he did make fun of practically everyone and everything). If you like Pelevin’s books, you might like this one, too.

Currently watching: not in the mood for series or movies, though that might change in a few days, with the second season of Altered Carbon. Right now, though, I’m mostly watching courses.

Mostly working on: courses! And Catwriter’s Fiverr Adventures, but that’s not new, I’ve mentioned it last week. I’m trying to fill that one with content, and hopefully use that content again later.

As for courses, it’s both stuff for work and things I could use myself, like copywriting, personal branding, blog content strategy, creative writing… So far, the courses were good, informative, time-saving (I could find a lot of it for free, but if I can have it all in one place and systematized for $14, I see it as a good investment)…and teaching me I should be working a lot more, and giving me tons of ideas.

Oh, and I’ve ran into a gorgeous illustration that can be used for free, and I’m using it as my page cover (and as a featured image for this post, too). Isn’t it beautiful? Feel free to use it, or just enjoy looking at it!

Posted in Fencing, Life

Friday Fun: Fencing!

Fencing is fun, have I mentioned that? Oh, yes, I have. It’s awesome, too. And one of the great things about fencing is that we keep learning new stuff.

For example, this year I’ve started learning the sword and cloak combo. The cloak (not a real cloak, though they do have the weight of a real one) can make you feel glamorous, or silly, or both, and it’s fun; plus it’s enough to learn just a bit to be able to use it. Of course, the more you know, the more fun you have.

Here’s what it looks like:

And that’s not all! I’ve also tried learning how to use a two-handed sword. It’s fun, too! Take a look!

Unfortunately, it turned out to be too heavy for me. I could train with it for a while, and I thought I was doing well and getting stronger. Well, I did get stronger, but my left wrist and my tendons disagree with this practice, so it will be back to sword and cloak (and, perhaps, sword and dagger from time to time).

It’s back to good stuff, so I’m not complaining. It’s still fun, and it’s still learning, and it’s still enjoying.

P.S. There I was, writing this post, sort of regretting not being able to continue with two-handed sword…and last night, I continued with it anyway. It looks like I don’t have to give up on it completely, I just need to train with it less often, and in the meantime, have fun with a sword (and, hopefully, a cloak) that’s not as heavy.