Zentangle Practice: Like Starting from Scratch

Zentangle Practice: Like Starting from Scratch

I’m trying to ease back into daily Zentangle practice without making a huge mess of my desk or unpacking too many supplies. So I picked up a Zentangle tile yesterday and today to test out some new-to-me media that came in the CZT supply kit.

It turns out that I’ve lost a lot of dexterity in my dominant hand being away from making videos for basically an entire year. So I’m exploring how to embrace shaky, inconsistent lines. At least until I can improve upon them. Accepting wobbly line work is the easy part.

The difficult part is stopping my eyes from rolling around in my head when I look down at the paper. It helps a lot if I keep the tile away from me a bit, but my habit is to nearly put my nose on the paper. I like to really get in there for precision, which isn’t a great habit for filming anyway. Unless I want to cut a whole lot of the back of my head from the footage. So breaking the habit will be to my advantage.

But can I do it?

I do have the old portable drawing table my brother gave me to elevate my drawing surface and get a more suitable angle, but that’s also packed away. It would help my posture, and since I don’t have the overhead camera angle to consider for the webinar, it’s potentially a good idea to ease some of the stress in my neck and shoulders.

I’ll decide whether or not to have Dan set it up for me when it’s closer to training next month. Right now I just want to take a few minutes each day to hold a Micron again. But, also, considering how I want my desk set up isn’t something that I can put off until the last minute. I’m slow. Made slower by constantly having to pivot when something no longer works for me.

Amazingly, my YouTube channel has kept growing during my year-long chemo hiatus. I’m approaching 13,000 subscribers despite saying the police suck at wellness checks and noting how Trump bungled our COVID response—and on a platform rife with complete jerks.

Watch out for more Tangled Talk episodes. No telling who I’ll piss off in the future.

So. Maybe it would be 20,000 subscribers by now if I was willing to color inside the lines. Can you imagine though? If I stop ruffling feathers, that’s how you know I’m dealing with some stuff.

For now, I am content to spend more time blogging, but after we move, lookout YouTube. Speaking of the move, Mom told me this morning that she’s going to be more selective about the pictures she sends me so the big reveal will be more impressive. She did text me this and gave me permission to share it.

Seeing how she sent a picture of a window being installed where one didn’t exist before, the overall impression I’m getting is that really dramatic things are happening.

Also, I gave her the fundraiser status, and she was pretty impressed. I feel like being a professional beggar is how I can contribute. Cancer gives you all kinds of new life skills. Who knew? (Spoiler: literally everyone who currently has or has ever had it.)

Thanks to all of you for helping out. Enjoy your #Caturday.

You might also like: How to Draw Zentangles – One Zentangle a Day

Updates: Tumor Board, YouTube Channel, and Zentangle Class & CZT Scholarship

Updates: Tumor Board, YouTube Channel, and Zentangle Class & CZT Scholarship

Tumor Board

In case you haven’t seen me mention it on Twitter or otherwise heard me talking about it already, I got to speak with my oncologist (finally!) on Friday evening regarding the results of my most recent MRI. The radiologist’s report noted a “slight concern for progression” which had me a little freaked out for a bit. Well, the tumor board has recommended more “waiting and watching” of my brainstem tumor for now. So my next MRI will take place sometime in April.

The January MRI showed some change in the tumor that looked like a section of recurrence in my medulla (I talked about this briefly in my last Tangled Talk video), but because the change is so small, there is no treatment recommended at this time, especially considering I am not experiencing any new or more disabling neurological symptoms.

My doctor did say that because the recurrence is in a part of my brain that was previously treated with radiation, more radiation in that location is not an option down the road. Other treatment options, including clinical trials, would be considered if needed at some point in the future. But there’s no point in putting the treatment cart in front of the cancer horse, if you will.

So if you’re reading this update like, “What should I feel about all of this information, Emily?” I’d say feel what I feel—relieved. This thing is still slow growing, and knowing that makes it much easier to do more living and less worrying.

YouTube Channel

While I was waiting to finally speak with my doctor, I filmed and edited a couple of YouTube videos for my channel. Though I can push myself too far if I’m not careful, digging into those things keeps me distracted from anxiety and tires me out that it’s a little bit easier to sleep at night. Both videos I post are heart-themed for Valentine’s Day. (I’m trying to post some timely content to feed the masses and grow my channel.)

Zentangle Class and CZT Scholarship

In other news, I have signed up to take an online class in March from certified Zentangle teacher Holly Atwater. I already have my supplied, and I am really looking forward to it. (I’m doing the Monet 3D workshop on March 6 if you’re curious, and it looks like there are still some openings.) Since my birthday is in March, the class is a present to myself.

Another thing I did this past week was apply for a scholarship to participate in Zentangle’s upcoming CZT training. It was a little scary even just filling out the application, because committing to a multi-day anything with chronic illness can be pretty stressful. But it’s something I really want to do. I might not get a scholarship, and that’s fine, but if I do it would be nice. The one bizarre upside to Covid is that they are doing virtual training again. If travel were required, becoming a CZT would basically be out of the question.

Anyway, I’d appreciate some good luck vibes from everybody out there.

Pin It on Pinterest