Watercolor Butterfly

November 2021 Update

posted in: Drawing, Personal Essay, Photography, Reading | 0

The highlight of November was Holly and I getting our booster shots in the middle of the month. Getting our additional shot gave us a new level of comfort for going out into the world, although that enthusiasm has been dampened by the emergence of the Omicron variant. Although it’s too early to know for sure, but it sounds like getting the booster will help protect against Omicron. That said, it looks like another winter of being cautious.

Of course, November also meant Thanksgiving. I posted about our Thanksgiving over on our food and travel site.

Other than that, it was a fairly quiet month.


I have some catching up to do with my photography posts. I got 3 rolls of film developed in November and have been planning to post about those. Hopefully, I’ll get around to them soon.

I also finished a roll in October that I never posted about. I shot a roll of Rollei RPX 400 in my Yashica Mat-124G early in the month on a walk we had taken to the Delaware River.


After too long of a layoff, I dabbled in some drawing. I resumed an Everyday Urban Sketching tutorial from The Great Courses I had started quite a while ago. One element of a lot of urban sketched is adding color with water color paints. I had tried using my Tombow Duel Brush pens to add color but found them to be a bit to saturated for the look I was going for. I bought a set of Tombow water brushes and used those in combination with the pens for a water color effect.

I only tested this process a couple of times so far but liked the results. It was probably the first time I used anything watercolor-adjacent in my adult life.


Short Stories

In November, I continued keeping up with the short stories published in The New Yorker:

All were enjoyable but Hello Goodbye was the standout of the month.

Short Stories Read in 2021

So far in 2021, I’ve read 68 stories.


2021 continues being a great reading year. I finished another 6 books during the month.

Earlier in the year, I decided I wanted to read more current fiction and had made some attempt to do so reading To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss, Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri, and Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. I also read 2 Amazon First Reads books: The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice and The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai.

I made more of an effort in July and read Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, Matrix by Lauren Groff, First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami, and Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney.

I had loved Gyasi’s Homegoing but was a little uncertain about what I would think of Transcendent Kingdom based on some of the reviews I had read. My concerns were unfounded as I loved Transcendent Kingdom as well. I had mistakenly added Transcendent Kingdom to my October 2021 Update. I finished very early in November before I wrote my update.

I am already a fan of some of Groff’s short stories and also really liked Fates and Furies. Matrix is quite different than he other works that I had read which take place in contemporary timelines. Matrix, on the other hand, is set in the 12th Century and tells the story of a women who is sent to an abbey to become a nun. It was a daring jump for Groff and well worth it.

I am also a fan of a lot of Murakami’s short stories and, in fact, had already read a few of the stories that appear in First Person Singular. Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey and With the Beatles are among my favorites stories of the past couple years.

Prior to reading Beautiful World, Where Are You, I had not read anything by Rooney except for Unread Messages which is a short story version of part of the novel. I liked the short story so decided to give the novel a try. My appreciation of the short story translated well as I loved the novel. I found the ending a little too neat and clean but was otherwise quite engaged with the rest of it.

The other book I finished was E.M. Cioran’s A Short History of Decay. I love The Trouble with Being Born and had been meaning to read more Cioran for a while. A Short History of Decay is a lot denser than The Trouble with Being Born. It has its moments but most of it was a bit dry compared to the pity Trouble.

I also read 1 play, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot which I had never read before. I bought a copy shortly after seeing the movie The Big Hit which was about a group of prisoners attempting to stage the play. I had seen that during last year’s Philadelphia Film Festival. Going to this year’s festival reminded my that it had been sitting on my to read pile for a year.

November 2021 Reading Update
November 2021 Reading Update

Books Read in 2021

So far in 2021, I have read 45 books:

This Creative Midlife Posts in 2021

SimpleGoodness.us Posts in 2021

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