One Step at a Time

Frustration abounds for me right now.  There are a lot of things happening for me with my writing.  I’ve got a sale going on through Smashwords, a blog tour coming up in less than a week, and a reader event I’m trying to get organized to go to. 

Each of these has many steps and components I need to pay attention to.  Meaning – get busy and work on them.  I’ve finished making the star coasters.  I started making bibs per a request from my daughter.  I decided if I was making bibs, I might as well design them so I can publish a leaflet.  I’ve got ideas for each.  The first one turned out FABULOUS!  I have five or six more designs I want to try as well as having one started. 

There are all these steps and each time I work on a different one, I think I should be working on eight other steps.  I keep reminding myself I can only do one or two things at a time but my manager in my head (who is a slave driver) keeps telling me to do MORE!!!!

It’s difficult for me to sit down to crochet for hours because in my head I’m thinking – I need to do this and that and ten other things.  For instance, I have all the components for the 100 gift bags.  Next step, assemble them.  Okay – I need to get them all in one place.  I need to punch holes in the bookmarks and gift card and then attach (how am I attaching them?) all of them together. 

This task leads me to the gift basket I want to get ready – I have to make a decision on whether I’m crocheting something or not.  Along with this crochet project, I’m trying to crochet things for publication… the list is endless. 

I know I’m in overload when I sit down with the intentions of working and my brain can’t settle on one thing so I end up playing a game on my phone.  My to do list helps but insomnia doesn’t.  I know the key to success – prioritize and delegate.  My daughters step in and help. 

The other night, I got a video call from the two in Georgia.  They wanted to show me some things they made.  The two of them worked on some good stuff for me to take with me in November to have on my table for a giveaway!  I didn’t ask them to but they went ahead and made them.  They looked super cute and I LOVED them.  It was so sweet and helpful. 

Ultimately I’m busy – over busy right now.  I need to let go the frustration, keep reminding myself one thing at a time, and keep moving forward.  Now I need to stop thinking seven or a hundred steps ahead and focus.  I need to remember I’ll get stuff done and things will slow down.  I keep thinking – take a deep breath and relax. 

Mother’s Day

It’s mother’s day and all my kids are out of state.  I’m okay with that.  For one thing, they were home last weekend.

Yesterday Ken and I went to a yarn shop Vicki discovered.  It was an interesting experience in that I was lucky to be able to get in the store.  There was a ramp leading up to the second floor and a locked door.  The ramp itself was damn scary as I could hear the boards moving as I rolled over each of them.  Ken ended up going in to ask if there was a way in.  Of course there was – up the ramp and through the locked door.  When we got there (finally) the ramp was about 4 inches below the door.  I couldn’t just roll into the building.  I had to get off my scooter and lift it up.  It’s a good thing I’m still mobile and not completely wheelchair bound.

The yarn shop was small but had a large selection as well as an interesting selection of gadgets.  However, the cost of the yarn was over the top.  I didn’t see anything under $5.75 and these were tiny skeins (probably about an ounce).  Some of the yarn was amazing but the cost ranged from the $5.75 to $40 (or more).  Most of it seemed to be specialized yarn but to me this is just too costly to spend money on.  I mean an afghan can sometimes take up to ten or more skeins.  That is a crazy amount of money to spend to make an afghan.

I did get a crochet hook with stuff on the handle.  It is supposed to help ergonomically with hand issues.  I bought one and I’ll try it.  If I like them and it helps with the cramping I can get I’ll think about getting a set.

Another thing I noticed was a ball holder.  Basically, the piece was two wooden plaques separated with a turntable.  In the center of the top one, a dowel was placed.  You place your skein on the dowel and then can pull from the outside.  It should (hopefully) prevent tangling of skeins.  They were asking $30 for one.

I like the idea a lot but not the cost.  Ken was with me so I asked – Can you make something like this?  His answer was sure.  He is making one this morning for me and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  He got the materials from Menards for $20 and will be able to make two for that cost.  If they work out nicely, I’ll be asking for some more.  Vicki will probably as well as she has been doing a lot of knitting.

There was one other gadget there which was essentially the same thing except without the turntable.  They had several skeins of yarn on a dowel which was in the center of a wooden plaque.  I could see how that would be useful when I’m working with multiple colors, I could put them all on the dowel and just pull the ends to crochet with.  I’m hoping I can talk Ken into making me one like that as well (though it being on a turntable would be nicer I think).

When I’m done with this blog I’ll be going back to crocheting.  Last night I listened to Promises in Death while I worked on Virginia’s afghan.  I got about twenty rows done on her afghan.  I sent her a picture and told her if she didn’t like it I could keep it.  I think if she had been closer, I would have gotten a smack.  It is turning out BEAUTIFULLY.

This morning I published one more crochet pattern.  I’ve had it done for a while but had to wait until after my niece’s wedding as it was her gift.  Soft Sunshine Afghan is now available on Smashwords and Amazon.

It’s been a busy Mother’s day and next is going to be more crocheting on Virginia’s afghan!

Damn that Inner Critic

Poetry is personal.  My short stories, novels, essays, while personal aren’t a microcsope of how I was feeling in a particular moment.  My poetry is an insight into how I was feeling in one particular moment.  It exposes sometimes raw emotion to whoever reads it. 

In many ways this is what makes it good (and dare I hope great) poetry.  I’ve been working on gathering up my poetry to publish.  I think I’ll have a few volumes of it.  I have two large binders full to choose from so I think I can come up with a couple different.  The first step for me in gathering my poetry was of course to go through to make sure all my files matched up – my binder with my spreadsheet of poetry with the actual typed files of poetry. 

As a writer, I have to tap into personal feelings often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried or laughed or gotten angry while I wrote a scene. When I write my poems, I literally scrawl down my feelings – raw and real – that I’m having in a whatever moment is going around me. Sometimes this is the beautiful scene outside my window. Sometimes it is a social injustice I am railing against. Sometimes it is just a magical moment that needs to be remembered. 

As I was working on cleaning it up last night and looking through my work I started to hear that nagging annoying inner voice telling me the poetry wasn’t up to par and I should pick something else to publish.  I trust my instincts.  This grumbling voice is not connected to my instincts.  It is connected to my wish to remain private and protected.  If I share the poems then people will know what I think and what I feel.  This is dangerous because I am opening these thoughts and feeling to ridicule or rejection.

Now if I could just use some duct tape on this inner critic I would be in much better shape but I can’t.  She pops up when I least expect her.  Fortunately I’m very familiar with her tricks and tantrums.  Last night when I heard that voice telling me I shouldn’t publish my poetry it hit me hard as I was very excited about this project.  I’m working on the cover and thinking about how I want to organize it all.  The details are all in my head and I just need time to get it together. 

There I was working on the first step and my inner critic starts in with that poem isn’t good enough or who is going to be interested in this.  It made me pause.  It made me pause long enough to turn the page and look at a different poem and know I need to share.  Not every poem in my two binders is good enough to be published.  Some just don’t have the depth or are too personal.  There are many reasons to reject them but there are just as many that are worth sharing.  The sentiment in the poems will touch people I believe.  For that reason, I need to share them. 

I’ll work on shoving that inner critic into the back of the closet in my head.  I’ll work on the poetry books and will let the readers be the judge.  All I can do is put the work out and let the readers decide.   

Moon Affirmations
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Secret Past
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