A Stitch In Time
This week, in the writing life, I started a project (okay, maybe two) that have nothing to do with writing. For a few years I was painting furniture, collecting bits and pieces from Salvation Army and salvaging them. But in an effort to have less, not more, I stopped adding things to the house. There went the hobby.
But then my daughter cam home for the summer, and she pulled out her sewing machine, asked for craft supplies (she’ll be 21 in 6 weeks) and when she’s not working has been hold up in her room creating things of her own from clay animals to fabric pouches and other creations.
She pulled out a small cross stitch kit I’d given her years ago for Hanukkah, and asked me to show her how to do it. I wanted to show her a finished project so I headed right for the top bookshelf in my family room where a small pillow I’d made for my grandmother has sat for past eleven years, since she died. It’s such a good feeling to know exactly what you need to make a moment meaningful.
It wasn’t there. Of course it wasn’t. I’ve packed up most of my personal stuff in preparation for an eventual move.
So I sat down next to her and showed her how to find the center of the Aida cloth, how to count the squares, how to stitch each x. I spent my twenties cross-stitching. Perhaps she would as well.
Or, she could hate it.
But I remembered how much I liked it!
Off we went to the craft store again.
And that night I watched TV without the appendage of an iPhone but with that of an embroidery needle. It has been good to take a break from any and all things editing and writing related. I don’t usually want to do that, you see. When I picture a wonderful day, more than not, it includes a notebook or my laptop. But it’s good to let the mind rest (ask anyone who knows me well, it’s not something that happens often), and to create in a new (old) way.
How would you fill the jar?
Books And Such
Did you know Reader’s Digest Condensed Books was a thing? Or still a thing? Apparently it was very popular in the 1950s, and was revived some years back and is going strong. THE GOOD NEIGHBOR was included in the May edition of Reader’s Digest Select Editions. I haven’t seen a copy in person, but snagged this fabulous photo from Facebook. I haven’t read the other books but the cover is perfect for The Good Neighbor, don’t you think? Makes me want to curl up and read it all over again.
Also this week, author Laura Nicole Diamond featured me in the Writer’s Life section of her blog, so of course I’d share that here in my Writing Life post! You can read that interview here. In it I explain why this has been my personal mantra for decades, and will continue to be.
One of my favorite parts of this week was meeting Beth Havey, fellow WFWA member, for the first time. Beth is a loyal WFW reader, so let’s all wave to Beth! HI BETH! We met at a charming restaurant in the town where I live, where, it just so happens, Beth used to live. Meeting writer friends has to be one of my favorite parts of the writing life. Let’s all send Beth some query-juju as she’s on the quest for a literary agent!
The only thing I don’t like about freelance editing is that I often have to prioritize it over my own editing. The deadlines for freelance are immediate, and someone is counting on me for feedback, whereas my own deadline is farther away. I also approach this work differently. I freelance edit by the page, meaning, I read a portion of the submission, and then edit it, and move forward. I can choose to do ten, twenty, thirty, or fifty pages in a sitting, then I move onto another freelance project, or other work.
When it comes to Left To Chance, I have to set aside a day. Yes, a whole day, or at least half a day. Because once my brain train leaves for that destination there is no jumping off to see the sights, I’m on it until the end of the line.
Oh, the travel metaphors!
I guess metaphor will meet life when I head back to South Haven, Michigan to conduct more research for book #4. You remember Boop and Hannah, don’t you? That’s where their story unfolds. I’m just hoping this time to get a little sunshine! (In the 60s and windy on the lake means cold. My friend stayed in the car while I took pictures!
In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a look back! Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
And in a look forward, this week I’ll see both of my kids AT THE SAME TIME, finish up a few freelance manuscripts, and I have two full days set aside for my own writing life. (Fingers crossed on that one!)