This is not a quilt blog.

Promise.

It’s a, I don’t really know why, but, I want to do it anyway, blog.

So.

Sometimes it’s about quilt making.

Sometimes it’s about jewelry making.

And, sometimes, but not often, it’s about writing.

Right now I wish it were about photography.

Why is Mickey so small!

O.K. that’s marginally better. Don’t ask me how I did it, I’ve already forgotten.

I did it once before, with this instagram,

but, you can call me Lizzy Arbuckle if I can remember how I did it.

Anyway, back to the writing.

I’ve noticed recently that when I approach something knowing I will fail, I give up.

Not big news to everyone, I know, but I’m kind of just getting it here.

The nano thing mo went out the window after a few days. I know, I said it wouldn’t this time, but, you see, I can explain.

O.K. I can’t explain, but, I really feel I must fess up because it’s been eating me away, because I said I’d do it and I didn’t, because I wanted to do it, and I just don’t get what happened, because, this time, my little book was going to make it big, and, because there are many, many more becauses. (I wanted to use semi colons there, but, I just couldn’t get my finger to brave it).

🙁

It was going oh so well.

I laughed, I schemed, I fretted over the story line.

I talked in strange voices to myself. I pondered the logistics of being a hag in today’s society. I cracked myself up.

I enjoyed every moment and didn’t want to leave.

So why?

Why did it have to end so brutally?

What did I ever do to me to deserve this?

Am I going to give up on everything just because I don’t think I can do it?

No d^*# it!

As Gandalf says, this too shall pass. Hang on, it was, you shall not pass, wasn’t it?

Oh well. Whatever’s going to, or wants to, pass needs to do it now because it’s enough already.

I will finish my book if it’s the last thing I do!

See, there’s the problem, right there.

Absolutes.

Steer away from them at all times as they will gobble you up and spit you out, defeated, despondent, depressed, and all the other d words you can think of, except dessert, and, dogs, and daffodils, because those are nice things, except if you’re trying to lose weight or the dog bites you or you suffer from hay fever, then you can add those d words to the list of bad d words so long as you keep it on your side of the complaining.

What does this all mean you ask?

Nothing really, except sometimes I want to just do things because I love to do them and not because I think I will be good at them.

(Remember the semi colon dilemma?)

Sometimes I want to give myself a break and just enjoy myself.

(Still worrying about the semi colon).

Sometimes I don’t want to live by the rules I’ve so precisely written up for myself.

(Or what the semi colon has written up for me).

And so

this is why you should finish your book people.

Don’t give up just because you think you will fail.

Get out there and do the things you love and quit complaining.

(When I’ve figured out how to do that I’ll let you know …)

The reality is, I’ve still got five days to make my fifty thousand words.

That’s only 46,372 words to go

– if we’re talking absolutes of course.

😉

Oh, and by the way, James didn’t quite save the world, but, he did look rather stunning as he didn’t do it.

(How come he get’s to be bigger than Mickey…)

Shake it off already.

I’ve got 563 books to read and I’m stuck on the, House of Sand and Fog.

Every time I pick it up I enjoy it, but, I just don’t think to pick it up. I want to know what happens to the people – although the girl’s a bit annoying if you ask me. I want to watch the movie, which I wont let myself do until I’ve finished the book. And, more importantly, I’ve got loads and loads of murder mysteries just sitting there waiting to feed my need to brutally murder someone.

Actually, that’s not strictly true, but, I do often wonder why I like to read them so much. Maybe it’s my need for justice. Let’s hope so anyway. Bottom line, we might never know …

So I’ve been reading this one book for months and months now and it’s beginning to annoy me. It’s like a sore tooth, niggling away at me. I can’t abandon it though as it will forever haunt me.

My task for this coming week.

Finish the darn book why don’t you!

I woke up today thinking about an old friend. Someone I met in high school and who is godmother to two of my children. We lost touch a very long time ago. I came to live in America and she is still (I’m thinking) back in England. I wanted the internet to help me find her. It can find other things, why not her. Darn Internet.

You know in England, when people write letters, well my people anyway, they don’t put their address on the envelope, or on the top of the letter. I suppose they just think you will always know where they live, even if you haven’t heard from them for years and have forgotten their address.

I feel as though I’m losing my life.

I can’t find my friends. My eldest child is grown up and gone. Spencer One Eye is getting really, really, old. I’m getting old. And those old peeps who live in my family and who are parents and uncles and aunts and those kind of things are just up and dying, or going into those horrible old people homes to live out their days eating mushed food, surrounded by other old people, wondering what the h#@^ happened.

And, to top it all off, I’m worried about who ends up with the d^#* fog house.

And, all Spencer’s worried about is getting me to stop writing this drivel.

Maybe he’s got a point.

So, mooovin’ on –

here’s a quilt update.

And, surprisingly,

I’m thinking green.

Not any old green.

Lime green. (Don’t worry I’m  probably just channeling my psychotic side – again).

But, I don’t want to give it a Christmassy feel so I’m going to hold out on that thought.

O.K.

Time to shake it off and rock the world.

Get up, get out, and, get going.

There are people out there losing their foggy houses people ..

-.

My brain

 is worn out and itchy.

Here’s its (my brains) work station before I started on the afternoons work of creating the next best children’s novel.

Hahaha, in my dreams.

But, it’s nanowrimo time, and, every year I say I’m going to do it, and, every year I chicken out at some point or another.

Not this year folks!

It’s day two and I’m roughly 2,000 words behind, but, no worries. I have everything I need for this intrepid adventure.

My broken laptop (hiding under its laptop cooling thingy), my old leather case with my first tentative writing attempt tucked carefully away inside, the printer, moved from its usual printing place so I don’t have to worry about getting up, (just in case it disturbs the flow, you understand), a cup of tea (obviously), and my Mickey Mouse notebook, just to keep my spirits up.

But, now I think my head is going to explode so I’ll just have to catch up on those 2,000 words tomorrow, after I’ve added them to the next 1,600 that is.

Actually, I’m not going to worry about the word count too much. Supposedly you’re to write 50,000 words during the month of November, but, my aim is just to write every day for the month. That will be good for me.

So, here’s to the next big children’s novel.

You saw it here first …

🙂

Links, murder and Atticus Finch.

Lots happening with the links.

As you can see I’ve made quite a few of them.

If you remember, this was the first piece I made with them.

And the second.

Then I got a bit carried away.

I even made a little something to go with them – just because.

Other jewelry news is that I’ve finally started to pay attention to pricing my work properly.

Thanks to Danielle who is also a jewelry maker and who has helped me begin to see the error of my ways, I have begun to work with a pricing formula. I have to say that this hasn’t been easy for me. Yep, the whole self esteem, lack of confidence, stuff comes back to bite me each and every time, but, and this is an important but, I am getting better at it. The more I work on perfecting my craft and the more I realize that what I want to do with the money I make from it is very important to me, the easier it’s becoming to take myself more seriously. Man, and it only took me fifty years!

Thank you Danielle for your nudge.

In between making the links I finally finished listening to, To Kill a Mockingbird. When I make jewelry I can only listen to audio books with earphones if they’re on my i pod. To Kill a Mocking bird is on c.d. and as I hammer a lot and plug my ears with the christmas gift, I miss a lot of the narrative so this time I could only listen when I was painting.

You wont be surprised to hear that it was as brilliant to listen to as it was to read. Sissy Spacek was the narrator. My favourite part each time is the part where Scout, Jem and Dill go to the court house when Atticus is sitting guard outside. Very powerful. Now I’m back to the murder mysteries, (don’t ask me why, maybe my therapist can enlighten me). Inspector Linley this time. I’ve seen this on the t.v. and have to say that I don’t really care for the actors in it, particularly the sullen side kick. But, she’s exactly like that in the book so who am I to criticize. The audiobook is just o.k. it hasn’t really grabbed me yet, although, again with the female impersonation. Why? is all I have to say. Why does the very nice male listening voice, have to try to play the woman as a woman? It never works. The women always come over as weak, pathetic, whiney, girly, silly people – and not in a good way. Just read me the story will you. I can imagine the rest.

Not that it upsets me or anything …

That’s wart I’m saying?

My worry wart came today.

It’s bigger than I thought, which is good as I have a lot of worries.

As it’s so big I thought I would put it on the mantle along with the others in my menagerie of oddities so that the other people living with me can take advantage of its magical powers.

But it’s worrying me how worried he looks. See how he’s checking out Mr. Angry Pig? That’s a look of sheer terror right there.

Perhaps I should move him. His companions do look a bit thuggish.

This is what I’ve been painting.

I’ve almost finished this one,

and I’m working on this one.

I also got these two out and fiddled with them some more.

Almost as creepy as my menagerie?

(Well, O.K. perhaps they’re creepier).

I finally finished listening to the last of the Dick Francis audio books dad brought over. There were five of them.

They weren’t too bad. I found myself comfortably lulled by the narrator’s voice and only had to cringe a little at the bits where he played a woman. The plots were quite thin, however, always starting with the main character and the horse introductions. Then it seemed that, in the ones I listened to at least, there was the usual (or not) amputated hand/foot/leg/whatever, leg in plaster, etc., etc., explanation, which always ended up being due to some unfortunate horse accident … go figure, then the murdering bit, which was fairly low-key in comparison to the other murder mysteries I’ve been listening to. I’ve become used to the whole putting people in a wood chipper in the deep dark woods next to a creepy cabin kind of murder, or the, lock someone up in a decompression chamber for five years and slowly increase the pressure each year so that when it’s opened suddenly the person inside implodes and – O.K. I don’t know if you’d really implode but it’s safe to say that the regular old whack on the back of the head murder seems to be a little, been there, done that, kind of thing really.

Then there’s the falling in love bit, the, I should tell the police but I wont, but I should really, but I wont, bit, then the danger, danger, bit, and finally the, it’s solved, bit.

Fairly lame really.

No offense to the horses.

Needless to say its a real treat now I’m on, To kill a Mockingbird.

A rainy Pissarro kind of day.

Big storm last night and it looks like more rain today. Right now it’s dark and cosy. A good reading day, but, I’m thinking studio …

A while back I started this,

which turned into this,

then this,

and now this,

As always I think I prefer the first one. Bummer!

Today I’ll be continuing to work the back ground and do something with the tree and sky.

I took it from Pissarro’s – The Red Roofs.

Isn’t it brilliant.

No chance I’ll be caught in a fraudulent act here! Just practicing.

 I’ve been going through a ton of audio books while out in my studio and it’s costing me a small fortune. The last one I downloaded was, I Alex Cross, by James Patterson. It was O.K. a bit more grizzly than the others. These authors certainly have a dark side, it’s a wonder they’re allowed out on the streets. Then dad brought over some Dick Francis, pretty light weight in comparison. That was just O.K too. I think it might be time to get out some real books for a change. I do have an audio copy of, To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favourite books, and movies come to that, (can you say Gregory Peck!) so I think I might give that a go today.

Who knows, it might just improve my painting skills.

One can always hope …

I am a slow reader and proud of it …

I’m still reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I don’t think I’m so much a slow reader, but rather, I tend not to read until I go to bed. Occasionally I read during the day, on the weekend perhaps, but usually I have other things I’m doing so I find I’m reluctant to spare the time during the day.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed that people are thinking, ‘She’s still reading that book!’, and that’s interesting to me. Why should I worry about what other people think? Why would I imagine they have even noticed what I’m reading at all? But, it’s still there. The feeling of being criticized. Bummer.

Which brings me to the next book. Or rather, audio book.

Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani.

I’m not really sure why I bought it except I’ve been wanting to get another audio book to listen to when I’m in the studio. Usually I pick books that I don’t really want to spend the time ‘reading’ but think I might enjoy. Two recent ones were, Shutter Island and Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane. I enjoyed both of these, especially Shutter Island and David Strathairn’s (Mystic River) voice is really nice to listen to …

Back to Anita.

I’m thinking hard right now, but, I still don’t know why I bought it.

I was probably having a ‘moment’. A, ‘help me someone, I’m falling’, day. Whatever it was, I bought the book and listened to most of it yesterday while making my latest piece of jewelry, … which I’m not sure I like.

See, another ‘moment’. I have quite a few of them.

I’m working on it …

I enjoyed listening about her (Anita’s) background, albeit, impatiently at first because I just wanted to get on to the dying bit. (I’m a little morbid like that which is probably why I have ‘moments’).

However, I got over that and started to relax into enjoying hearing about her culture, etc. In fact, as an aside, I love the whole Hindu thing. The stories about the deities, etc. Creation Myths, particularly, are some of my favourite stories – in all cultures. Thinking about it, I probably was a Hindu in another life, and Jewish, and a monk, and a witch, and a servant (which is why I hate housecleaning), and …

Back to Anita.

The connection here is the criticism. How, she (Anita) felt that her whole journey towards her premature death was because she had never allowed herself to just be herself. How she had molded herself on how she thought she should be because of external pressures to conform. That she came back from death and was completely cured of her illness when she finally saw that as we are one with the universe, we are complete. And we are loved because we are complete. And that she became ill in the first place as she was living a lie.

How in the world is it that we all grow up with this sense of having to be a certain way, or read at a certain speed, to feel that we are acceptable? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way as I know full well what my story is, what’s yours? … )

So, I’m listening to the book. I get exactly what she’s talking about. I certainly believe that – we’re all connected to the universe – stuff, and, before you start rolling your eyes, I am not one of those sentimental, new wave, pop culture people. I’m English guys, hello!

Anyway. Long story short, or, long story thankfully coming to an end, whichever way you want to look at it – I’m a little disturbed now.

I still don’t know why I bought the book. I get what she’s saying but now my hypochondriacal, woe is me, self, is really concerned that this, answer to everything, just wont work for me because I’m too caught up in being, well, hypochondriacal and woe-ish. That I’m one of those, I just don’t get ‘it’ even though I get ‘it people. Which probably means that I really don’t get ‘it’ after all. That I’m just being suckered (did I mention I was cynical also?).

I feel more worried now than I did before I listened to it. And, I didn’t even know I was worried in the first place.

So, even though I bought the audio book and don’t know why. Even though I (know) I get it but (feel) I can’t do it. Even though I somewhat believed I was being suckered but still listened to the thing. I think I’m going to stick with, The Secret History, for now, and just read about those kids in this book who are so screwed up that I’m relieved all I have to worry about are my ‘moments’.

 Now, I am going to stop worrying about whether people think I’m a slow reader or not and finish the darn thing.

Baby steps people …