:fears:

Since the current theme for this blog seems to revolve around writing, let’s talk a little about fears.

Every writer (and plenty I don’t) have fears about writing: failing, starting, succeeding, repeating, sharing. You name it and I bet we have all felt it.

My personal demon comes in the form of starting the actual writing. I make notes. I outline. I world build. I create teams of characters sketches. When it finally comes time to write, I sit and stare at the page. Sometimes I’ll even make it a few thousands words into the first draft before the Imp starts up.

“This is dumb. No one’s going to want to read this.”

“Who do you think you are? Your not (funny, clever, good enough) to write.”

“Just quit now”

Yeah, all the good stuff. He’s so not cool.

One of the biggest tasks I have ahead of me for NaNoWriMo come November 1st is to tell the Imp to take a hike.

I am equal parts excited and terrified at what’s to come.

 

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NaNoWriMo?

I’m in a serious debate with myself as to whether or not to sign up. I attempted to do it once before, but we unexpectedly had to move, so I only got about a week into it before bailing. I still feel bad about that, though it was not through any fault of my own. Life just happens sometimes.

As always, I am doing a bunch of research. Checking out the website, looking at blogs about people’s experiences, checking out YouTube videos and podcasts. The one thing I can say is it will be a challenge. I am used to getting things accomplished, but seldom for myself. Does this fall under the selfish category?

My worry stems for my not knowing what writing a novel will look like for me. Not everyone does well, or puts out their best work, when facing down word counts. I don’t want to just vomit a bunch of words onto the page and end up with a pointless pseudo book. That feels like a waste of time.

I don’t expect to be published. I do expect a worthwhile learning experience. Too many of the NaNoWriMo reviews are littered with stories of one month of intense writing, followed by eleven months of no writing. I do not want that to be me.

I definitely do not think all NaNoWriMo writers produce junk. There are enough books out there, for that not to be the case. Not having a perfect book after thirty days of writing is by no means an excuse for not doing it. I just don’t want to put forth this massive effort and then be too burned out to continue. I suffer from perfectionism, so it may actually be the best reason to do it.

Just like my current commitment to posting on this blog, the strongest reason may be for me to make myself write, everyday, consistently.

:intuition:

My husband always tells my son, “Always trust a woman’s intuition. They’re always right.”

The first time I heard him say this, I was a bit shocked. I don’t trust my own intuition. I second guess every decision I make. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but I’m a nervous wreck about almost everything I do.

Or, at least I am when I overthink things.

Projecting every bad scenario into every moment is a specialty of mine.

It is one of the things I am trying to break through meditation and mindfulness. This mistrust of my own intuition is what gives rise to the doubts, fears and ultimately the self sabotaging actions.

What if no one likes my writing? What if I get laughter at? What if I fail? What if…? What if…? What if…?

I need to trust that intuition.

After all, it lead me to marry a man who is raising our son to trust female intuition.

:easy is hard:

This is something I tell my kids all the time. I need to tell myself this too.

I’ve committed to blogging like it’s my job (not really my goal here, but that would be sweet!) because I need to do the easy if I want to do the hard. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying blogging is easier than other types of writing content, but in terms of getting published and putting a part of yourself out there for the world to see? Yeah, hitting the “publish post” button on WordPress is way easier than getting picked up by Random House or the New Yorker. One button and my creation is out in the world.

Just. One. Button.

Terrifying.

The point is to hit that button every weekday. To sit down with my computer or my tablet or my phone and exercise my writer’s mind, and then put it out there.

This blog is one of thousands – hundreds of thousands. There is no guarantee anyone is going to read it. I have no formal plans for the content or demographics or anything other than putting myself in the shoes of Writer.

In fact, anyone reading this should be forewarned that the next month may be filled with posts just like this one.

I hope not, but there you go.

:now what?:

It’s been months since I quit FB. I haven’t regretted a moment of it. It has brought down my incidences of redlining into rage headaches significantly. I’ve been knitting a ton, spinning on my gorgeous wheel, and reading books (a pastime sorely missed.)

One of the things I didn’t expect was to be confronted by long forgotten dreams.

Specifically: writing.

Oh, I don’t mean to say I don’t write. I do, almost daily. I’ve kept a journal for almost my entire life.

I’m talking about the vocation of writing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and, yet, have been too insecure to do. I have untold manuscripts, ideas, and outlines kicking around in storage, both on my computers and in notebooks. I’ve never finished any of them. I’ve never trusted myself to be good enough to finish any of them.

Hell, this blog is a perfect example of my publishing avoidance.

However, recently, I have come across two books which have re-sparked the idea of writing: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod and Steve Scott (S. J. Scott).

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (or the KonMari Method as it is also know) is a decluttering book. The method has really worked for me and I’ll write about it once I am through the whole process. How has a decluttering book sparked my desire to write again? Because I had to go through all my books and papers and ruthlessly get rid of anything that did not “spark joy” as she says. I realized that all of my books on writing and creativity, my manuscripts and my lists of ideas still sparked joy. They reminded me of when I was single and had time to dream and create. Looking at all my “writing collection”, I came to realize I still want to write.

Maybe because I am older, I am a bit less scared about the outcome.

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Enter The Miracle Morning for Writers, a book I stumbled across on YouTube. The original is actually the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This other book is a companion written by Steve Scott. I was able to bet a copy of the PDF from http://www.themiraclemorning.com. None of the stuff is really groundbreaking in terms of how to write. What’s great about it is how it shows you how to make the most of your morning and set yourself up to accomplish your goals.

Between these two books and my bullet journal, I’m working on some great things to fill in the vacancy left by facebooking. I’m not really sure what direction my writing will be headed, but I’m committing to writing in this space during the week, for the next thirty days.

To me it sounds a bit lame. I’ve had this blog for years, and I have yet to figure out what to do with it. I may end up letting it go (I know I’ve said this before), but for right now I just want to exercise my get-myself-out-there muscle. This blog has no theme or business plan. I’m not even sure what direction each day, let alone the next month will take it.

I just want to write.

:why I left facebook…forever:

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They say some relationships are glorious uplifting affairs. They make you a better person and enrich your life. This is not that kind of relationship.

I actually got the idea to write this post shortly after I deleted my Facebook account at the beginning of March, but I’m glad I didn’t. Trust me, it would have been a much angrier post. This is something that’s been a long time coming.

A long time.

In years past, I have taken Facebook breaks. Some have lasted a few days, some weeks, the last one was actually six months. On the last one, knowing I was going to be gone for a while, I did an announcement and then did a temporary shut down of my account.

This time was different. This time there was no announcement. This time it’s permanent.

The past two years have changed my interactions on FB from talking to distant friends and acquaintances to a source of contention and rage-induces headaches. Yes, I am talking about politics. No, I am not running away from politics. My FB friends list was full of people in all areas of the political spectrum: conservatives, liberals, libertarians, anarchists, everything! I never had a problem with that. I do not have a problem (most of the time) with dissenting political opinions. I do have a problem with rudeness, ignorance, “alternative facts,” and trolling.

And that, dear friends, is what FB had devolved to.

And I was done.

Done.

So I shut down my account permanently. No announcement. No goodbyes.

I was just gone.

And it felt amazing.

My relationship with FB had become toxic. My husband would come home to find me crying and angry at something which happened on-line. He doesn’t even have a FB account. He urged me to get rid of mine. He was right.

I am still on social media, primarily Instagram and also Pinterest.

But my life is so much better without Facebook.

:farmdreamin’:

I fell in love with the idea of living off the land and homesteading around the time I read Little House in the Big Woods when I was eight. Laura Ingles Wilder’s series fascinated me and made me into a voracious reader. They were also the books which powered my dreams of living in another, simpler time, and being able to learn to do things on my own.

We are so incredibly lucky to be able to have a taste of this right now where we live. We have a garden of veggies, a small starter flock of chickens, and I’m starting to learn to preserving and gluten-free backing from my neighbor and amazing landlord. (Really, R, thank you, thank you, thank you!)

We already know that California is not the place for us. It is gorgeous. The weather here can’t be beat. However, we miss being able to see our family more than once a year, and the water shortage here has us very leery to invest money into a real estate market that is priced way past ridiculous.

So, for now we will just enjoy NorCal, learn what we can, and know that that perfect farm is out there for us somewhere on the East Coast.

:stitches west 2016|recap:

Yes, this post is going up way late, but I swear, that is how long it has taken me to assimilate the overload that is the Stitches West Marketplace.

We first moved to the South Bay area on Valentine’s Day of last year. After two years of being away from my husband, it took us months to spend any kind of time apart. It was necessary for us to reestablish our family. Even when I found out that Stitches West is in San Jose and always falls around my birthday (happy birthday to me!), I didn’t even think of going.

This year, ironically, Doug had to be out of town due to help him mom with something, so with the kids which a friend and after dropping Doug off at
the airport, I found myself with the entirety of the Stitches West market- place to play in and birthday money.

So, first, let me say that it is HUGE. Ginormous!

So many people.

So many booths.

So. Much. Yarn.

I didn’t quite know where to look.

When I first got to the hotel, the Marketplace had not opened yet. I was
tickled to see so many people knitting! There were knitters everywhere. I
got coffee and sat down to knit

I fangirled when I met Andrea Mowry

by myself, and who should sit down
right near me but Andrea Mowry. I
had come with a very short list of
projects I wanted to buy for and her Range Shawl was one of them. She was so sweet and I got to spend the time knitting and talking with her. She
even gave me suggestions of yarns for the shawl. If a designer tells me what to use for her pattern, I am definitely going to go with it (more on that later). She also introduced me to Annie Claire. They were so nice, and it was all I could do
not to go all stupid fan-girl on them.

Another one of the designers I wanted to meet was Carrie Bostick Hoge of Maddermade. I love, love, love her designs, and bought her Maddermade Anthology 2 so I could knit Lucinda. I wanted to die when she asked me if I wanted her to sign it and it took me a moment to realize who she was. Sorry Carrie!

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Carrie Bostick Hoge

So that brings me to my purchases.

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Hiya Hiya 4″ sharps interchangeable needles

My big deal purchase was a set of interchangeable knitting needles. I was
trying to decide between the ChiaoGoo and the Hiya Hiya. Luckily I was able to try them out while there and decided on 4″ Hiya Hiya sharps. The
shorter needle lets me hold them in a way that does not hurt my right wrist.

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Madder Anthology 2

I met Carrie at the Never Not Knitting booth where Alana Dakos helped me pick this gorgeous Quince and Co. Owl in the color way Canyon, for my Lucinda sweater. She had the cutest little booth with all these vintage inspired notions. At this point I was too shy to ask Alana for a photo. Her booth was packed with people!

I picked up this little kit of lotion bar and lip tin from Love+Leche. My hands are loving these in this dry Cali climate.

At the YOTH booth, I picked up a gradient of their Father, 100% Rambouillet wool for my Range Shawl in Portobella, Cacao, Shiitake, and Nutmeg, a copy of the pattern Blanche by Veronika Jobe and a couple of skeins of the yarn called for in the pattern, Little Brother in the Shiitake color way, as well as a Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag and a couple of notions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Finally, I found a copy of the first Barbara Walker, A Treasury of KnittingPatterns and a couple of hand thrown coffee mugs from Pawley Studios.

I spent way too much money and had a great time.