The Almost Daily Thread

musings from the blue chair


I hope there is one on my tombstone to honor the struggles with editing I have endured! Ugggg.
I have taken New Hampshire Drive down for review because I have found numerous typos. I swear to you all, my fingers nor my toes are crossed. Not even my legs or arms are crossed. I swear to you, I edited this. I had 3 people edit this. WTF? And Yes I mean the “f” word very strongly!
So here I am, humiliated in public again by the imperfection in my written presentation. Maybe that’s what life is really about, how many times one can publicly humiliate oneself and still remain vertical with one’s face, your humanity bare naked to the public? To those who support me, to those I want to think highly of me, respect me, enjoy sharing my words. Ahhh, I am sorry.
Vulnerability. Shame. These are the words floating around my mind chatter. Vulnerability and shame are the words being shouted from the critic on my shoulder who is so capable of shouting down the calm, peaceful voice on the other shoulder who is proud of this another publication, a dream of mine for at least two decades. She is proud of the writing. Proud that she was able to successfully write humor and bring to life a really special and unique chapter in her life. She is proud of the cover and the typeface.
So here, the whole of who I am has taken New Hampshire Drive off line to return as soon as I reread it, again. Soon. Not as long as it took between versions of Joseph’s Journey or Betty Rea (still awaiting it’s most current editorial review).
I can hear your commentary. She’s done it again. Poor Susan, she just can’t get this right. Why doesn’t someone tell her? It’s like the erratic chin hair or a broccoli piece between the teeth or an open zipper no one speaks about out loud but knows the embarrassment and prays it will be rectified soon.
And oh yes, I am an English Major. Well creative writing major certainly not an editor. Maybe these technical difficulties are the result of my touch of dyslexia getting worse with age. Maybe it’s age catching up with me telling me I better get the bucket list completed before it’s too late. Maybe I just move to fast, take on too many projects. Maybe I’m just simply a lousy editor.
And, I still think the stories are good even if I somehow break down in the editing process and continue, unintentionally, to send them out imperfect. Is it a disrespect for myself and my craft?  It sure does take zap the joy out of the excitement of a new publication.  Of this I am well aware.
So, audience, forgive me, yet again. And just because it did happen again, it won’t keep me from writing. I love writing stories too much. This may force me into asking for more help or seeking another method of publication, but until then…
If you want a copy that is fixed I am so happy to replace it.
I listened to these TED talks again. And I will listen again and again every time I feel myself stepping onto the shame spiral.
Thank you Brene Brown for saving me from the spiral of “I’m not….” And PLEASE, Susan, figure this out.


I sew because I am or is it I am because I sew?

People find value in varying things. I personally find value in fabric and fabric scraps. Yes, guilty. I do save scraps. Not the really tiny ones even though I am self-diagnosed ADD. My need to waste as little as possible, recycle and reuse has supported me in myriad ways. And, yes, it can get a little out of control.
The first quilt I made – after years of protesting loudly and often, “I am NOT a quilter. If the instructions say cut 42 of these and 84 of those, I am not interested.” I fact, I am bored before the whole process begins. But, a strip quilt…she thinks, eyeing that basket of scraps too good to toss. No geometry. No math. Hummm. Folk art!
My mother and Aunt Mary taught me to sew. Oh, and Home Ec class. Mrs. Hoflich. I think of her grade cut threat every time I put a pin in my mouth. I’ve been sewing flat things, pillow cases, table cloths, curtains for a long, long time. The clothing I made was never comfortable and I never liked to hem or put in zippers. Clothing is not my forte.
With the discovery of collage wall hangings I get to collect more than fabric and notions. I’ve branched into found objects, jewelry, beads and on and on.
In addition, I’ve crafted bags of all shapes and sizes for all shapes and sizes of objects from crystals to bedding. The scrap piles grew. And guess what fits the reuse, recycle agenda? Quilts. During the wars women made crazy quilts out of scraps, clothing too worn to wear, linings of purses and even feed bags were designed to be reused as clothing or bedding.
So, I sewed a bunch of scraps together in strips and made my first quilt. It was quickly claimed by my oldest daughter. It’s not precisely rectangular but is warm and colorful. So then, a non-partial Libra mother can not possibly justify sibling imbalance. The second quilt was for my second daughter.
And as the grandchildren get older and gift giving opportunities cause a drought in my “present” ideas and as more and more fabric is being gifted to me, the light goes off. I’ll make them all a quilt. I’ve been making a homemade Christmas present for several years now including pillow cases and aprons. Why not a quilt for everyone’s birthday? After all, it’s my grandson’s 21st birthday. What else to get him besides a bottle of Maker’s Mark? Some of the fabric I am gifted has similar patterning so I expand into a block quilt fitting for a 21 year old male. And then there is a 16th birthday. Are you catching the pattern?
Ready to expand I do a t-shirt quilt from Life is Good shirts and a UK quilt and my brother is such an environmentalist and I love to applique, so I did squares with triangle trees and little rectangular trunks. He doesn’t know yet. It’s still at the quilter. His February birthday is long past, so don’t’ tell him! I’ll bake a cake and give him his gift when it gets back to me.
Then my writing companion asks me to make a quilt for her grandchild! I make it in 5 days. Back to the basics, a strip quilt out of yellow and gray.
Now, onto the fifth grandchild and…well, it certainly looks like a year of sewing for me!
I am because I sew. Or do I sew because I am? Or maybe I sew to keep my studio room from exploding! Keep that fabric and those embellishments coming.




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