Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chilling on the Weekend!

Yesterday I met Vicki in Dubuque and we went to a craft store and shoe store before having lunch together.  We spent a bit of time chatting over lunch and in my car after lunch.  On the drive home, I talked to Virginia (when my phone wasn't cutting out) for over an hour.  It was a good afternoon.

Last night, Ken had supper nearly ready when I got home.  We watched the last episode of Newsroom while we ate.  He went to bed and I watched How to Train Your Dragon while crocheting.  I got the first part of a holiday gift done!

One of the things I did yesterday was to pick out yarn for gifts.  I did this before I went craft shopping with Vicki so I wouldn't buy things I didn't need.  In picking the yarns, I got excited to work with the yarns.  The one I worked with last night was a strand of fleece - it literally looks like someone bought fleece material and cut it into thin strips.  It was a dream to work with and I finished the project late evening.

Today while Ken is watching football, I'll be finishing up How to Train Your Dragon (it's a series) and working on the next aspect of a holiday gift.  This means I get to pull out another exciting yarn and work with it.  Not only do I get to enjoy working with the yarn, I get to enjoy creating a pattern from scratch.  I love taking a strand of material (whatever kind) and creating something useful and pretty.

In case people don't know, I'm a yarn geek.  I picked up yarn for a throw for another holiday gift.  I can't wait to get my hands on it.  I'm already envisioning how it will work up and how it will feel.  Yup - yarn geek.

It was nice to be home for this weekend.  Yes I went to Dubuque but there was no pressure in that - it was go and enjoy my daughter.  It made me wish my other daughters were close enough we could meet up and do similar things.  Unfortunately, the best I can hope for there is a long weekend somewhere between Wisconsin and Georgia.

This morning, Ken helped me get breakfast and lunch for the week made up and in the fridge.  I'm going to work hard to remember in the mornings to pack my meals rather than buying them.  I've got fruits and veggies for snacks.  I've got soup for lunch two days and he's making a pasta dish for the other days.  I've got a hashbrown combo for breakfast each day.  Now I need to follow through in order to not spend the money on fast food.

I'm off to put my feet up and crochet.  I am looking forward to the down time alone in my living room.  No moving stress, no must be somewhere, nothing be me, yarn, crochet hooks, and whatever I decide to watch on tv or listen to for an audio book.  Sounds like the perfect Sunday!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Compliment

I know I'm a good writer and editor.  While my books aren't perfect, I know I tell a good story.  However, there are days when I feel like I can't do anything right.

Writing is a tough job which requires dedication, concentration, and perseverance.  One of the things I struggle with daily for writing is marketing my books.  Really I need reviews - lots and lots of reviews.  Preferably positive reviews but always HONEST reviews.

On a regular basis, I send out requests for people to read my books and provide a review.  I send a lot of these emails.  I feel lucky if I get one or two responses to the emails and thrilled if I actually get a review.

I won't say who but I got an email from a reviewer recently.  I'm always apprehensive about these emails - did they like my stuff; did they hate it?  Will they write a review?  Are they going to say what was I thinking?

I read this email - well written, professional but not giving an indication of how the review was going to go.  Each word holds me enthralled as I hope for a good review.

I've written reviews.  I've worked with publishers who want you to be snarky, harsh, and even mean (though I draw the line there unless it's a really bad book).  I get the requirements and expectations.

I read this email.  It may sound dramatic but my heart in my throat and at the end of it, the reviewer says, "you're a great poet, but you already know that".

I hope I am.  I dream of being one but ...  to hear someone else, a complete stranger say that to me.  In the moment, it made my day.  It was a small sentence which carried big impact.  I still have no idea of what the review says - can't wait to read it.  But that small compliment lifted me from my cranky self to a place which reminded me I was on the right track.  Thank you to the reviewer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mood Matches the Weather

Exhaustion doesn't cover how I felt after the move for my daughter.  It was a lot of driving, stress, and drama.  However, she's in her apartment and working on getting settled.

Unfortunately for me, the drama doesn't stop.  We paid Home Depot for them to install new doors.  Ten days ago we went in but hadn't heard from them when they told us in a few days we'd get a call.  I called them on Monday night and finally yesterday I got a call to schedule an appointment yesterday.  The woman on the phone acted as though she was doing me a favor.  Apparently the money I spent at Home Depot was enough to get polite customer service.

My brand new scooter has been giving me grief.  I turn it on and the light flashes.  I've already been in touch once with the people and they sent me a new battery and charger.  However, it is still doing the same thing.  The scooter is supposed to be able to freewheel - as in you can push it along as needed - and it doesn't.  I put in a complaint and got a call at 7:30 last night.  It was the same guy who I talked to earlier.  He was condescending again.  His response was basically I'm doing things wrong.  His tone and demeanor on the phone were unpleasant - like I was wasting his time.  I wasn't able to get to my scooter when he called so I'll be calling him again today.

It's only Wednesday - hopefully nothing else goes wrong.  I'm thinking of building a comfy fort at home and giving up being an adult for a while.  I keep telling myself the weekend is coming and for a change - I don't have anything planned for the weekend.  My biggest plan is to work on publishing stuff and some crochet projects.  Aside from those things, I plan to sleep a lot and do as little as possible.  That's the plan and for now, I'm going with the illusion that all my plans work out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An Opportunity ... but Not This Year

Locally there is a vendor sale which I've been invited to participate in - one of the organizers has seen my crocheting and thinks I should sell my stuff.  I agree but I have nothing made up.

I've been struggling since I had to use a manual wheelchair because my arms bothered me when I crocheted.  They are starting to feel better but now I have several project to get done before the beginning of December.  My sister has several for me to work on and I have the gifts I give to get done.

I knew about this a year ago so I can't complain about not having enough time.  However, I've been working on writing, editing, publishing, and crocheting for my own purposes.  I have a list on my phone of things I could make for the sale.  I have yarn stockpiled in my craft room.

Somehow I never got around to making the things.  There was always a project for someone to work on or writing or family stuff.  However, I've had one article published in a crochet magazine and will have another by the end of the year (hopefully) as well as a crochet pattern (hopefully).  So it would be nice to play with the yarn I have and create what I want.  It would be fun to play with the yarn and crocheting to see how I like the different techniques.

I'd love to see how my stuff sells but this year - I'm too crazy with things to do right now to consider having enough time to do it.  I'll keep the list on my phone.  I will make an effort to make ahead for next year but you never know where my time will go and what I'll get involved with.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Life Interrupts

My daughter got a different job.  This entails her moving two states from where she's currently living and working.  The last few weeks I've been involved in  helping her either look for a place to live or getting packed for the move.

I remember when the girls were little and moving was a thing - for a time Ken and I moved every six months.  It was never fun or easy.  I remember getting up early, getting organized and going until the house was somewhat set up.

Now I've been down twice now to help her move and I'm exhausted.  Yes I have more health issues which slows me down a lot.  Last weekend Ken and I were there to help her with the majority of her packing.  We worked all day on Saturday.  We got a lot done but less than I would have liked.  I say that but her kitchen was packed - except the things she'll need through next week.  Her dining room was almost completely packed.

Sunday we got up, worked on more packing.  I didn't do much.  I feel like I spent more time watching tv than packing.  She sorted and packed while Ken moved stuff and I assembled boxes and did some packing.

I am once again feeling my age as I help her get organized and ready for her move.  I know she appreciates everything I've done.  At the same time, I'm done and can't wait for a free weekend again.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...