Thursday, March 31, 2005

100 at last!

I started this list a while ago, when someone on another list posited what you would be missing in your life if you didn't craft. I started listing what holes there would be, and when I hit 25 in nearly as many seconds, I realized I had some serious blog-fodder--if I weeded out all the repeats. Thus began the quest for 100, based on those ubiquitous "100 things about me" lists. I mean really, do you come here to find out my hair and eye color???

Installment 1 is here; 2 is here, 3 is here and the last part is below. I may have to pull this together and slap it on my sidebar. Or not.

76. Just look at the vocabulary I’d have missed!
77. The shared mythos of the cats
78. The foreboding sense of doom when I finish a project for Terpsichore and
wonder if I can pull it off again, or if the well is truly dry
79. The swimming head when ideas flow faster and faster
80. The dry feeling when I begin making the physical project after having thought it out for weeks
81. The low when you see you pulled out maybe 85% of your vision (I want it ALL, dammit!)
82. The high when you actually get 95% out in the real world
83. The ecstasy when you get 75% of what was in your head--but it's BETTER than your vision
84. Living for the times when number 83 actually happens
85. Trading cards and meeting people
86. Characters and plots
87. Would I travel? Probably not.
88. And I wouldn’t have travel journals to make notes of the trips in.
89. Especially not handmade journals.
90. Of which I need to bind another (this should probably be repeated six or eight times.
91. I wouldn’t be exploring a visual vocabulary
92. And let’s not forget my time as an artist’s model
93. And how cool it is to go to a gallery and recognize people’s work BEFORE you see the names
94. And the stories about posing in odd places
95. Like the warm spring day outside the Fine Arts Building
96. And that summer up in the mountains
97. What would I talk about at parties?
98. I wouldn't be an Excel junkie
99. I would, however have enough room at my desk for the computer.
100. But I'd miss the email and snail mail from other countries.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

NaNoWri ay yi yi 2

And so it begins.

Funny. Ever since I was small, and finally knew what I wanted to be, I imagined writing that line as the first sentence in my book of shadows. How it would glow with green fire there on the page, luminous, portentous. I wrote that sentence over and over in straggling capitals with the “s” spinning back and forth. Pretending, preparing for this moment.

And now, now that it’s really happening, as I begin my studies and the first of my books, it looks more pretentious than portentous. And the moment? The moment is ended, leaving only a footprint of ink.

“Footprints of ink.” That’s a better name for this volume that “book of shadows.” I thought that when I became a wizard I’d be . . . omniscient. All-knowing from the moment I traded my soft student’s hood for the peaked hat with the broad brim. But here I am, with all the trappings—the staff, the hat, the swirling cloak, and I feel no different than that boy of seventeen putting on the soft hood with its red first-year’s tassels for the first time.

All that I learned preparatory to this was but a candle’s flame in the sun of midsummer’s noon. A candle in the darkness may serve to light the way, but all that I had accumulated and held so dear is now washed into insignificance. Perhaps this is why we start these books, why we begin with the small things, the mundane things in our world. By noticing the everyday, and recording it, we can see the patterns that flow and begin our subtle alterations. The stirring of a butterfly’s wing can cause storms that rock the foundations of the land. The trick, of course, is knowing when to tickle which butterfly.

I walked in the market today, trying to be more observant of all that I saw. I noticed journeymen from the Assassin’s Guild out in the sun in their black and white fool’s motley. They were working the crowd for coin, telling jokes and singing songs of nonsense and merriment. It’s early in the year for their journeymen to be about. Usually one doesn’t see the latest batch of Painted Faces until the midsummer festivities, and here it is hardly spring.

If I am to sharpen my skills of observation, perhaps I should make note of what is normal and obvious. It hardly takes a genius to notice a green horse with two heads, but being aware that one’s usual mount is now a half-hand taller can spare one’s neck, as the saying goes.

The markets in spring are busy, it goes without saying. Winter has ended and the people are once again out and about instead of hiding from the Wolf’s Teeth that blows in through the mountain pass all the fiercer for its channeling. There are fresh bitter greens, and lamb, and suckling pig as the flocks and farrows are culled. Farmers in their worn and carefully mended best, the petite bourgeois in fanciful creations trimmed with ribbons and frothed with lace –the more bangles and buttons, the older the coat beneath. The rich in their carefully mended best, differing from the farmers only in the quality of the fabric and the tailored severity of their gowns. Their velvets and silks are clearly cut for one owner, and only one, without pleats and tucks that can be let back out to fit a larger person when the current wearer no longer requires that garment. They’ll pin rosettes of ribbons to their sleeves for Winter’s End, the first gathering to celebrate the turning of the year after Longest Night, but generally they leave the frippery to their poorer relations.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Bristol Stomp Redux

Today tastes like library paste, paper, and adhesive.

I remember in one list I was on, someone posted that she wouldn’t be participating for a while as she had just trashed all her supplies. Someone else posted my thought exactly when they said in response “Why on earth would you do something like that?”

But I tell ya, some nights I understand exactly where the first person was coming from.

I’ve been wrestling with this one design. I have a terrifically knittlerly construction going for a lacy moebius from the center out—and it just isn’t gelling. I get the needle all loaded up, and I’m ready to knit the first of some very very long rows—and I look down at the needle and the article that might go over a min pin’s head and I just can’t bring myself to trust the process and get it going. I want to have it done SOON SOON SOON for fall/winter submissions (which need to be actualized and in various hands by uhm . . . NOW) so I don’t want to invest the time and find that I have indeed created a dog collar. Pout.

So I took it all apart, and spent the evening fuddling around with a less wowie construction, a less wowie lace, practically down to two rows of garter, k2tog yo across, repeat until long enough. And well, the results did not wow me. So the project is currently on the back burner until Monday, when I may feel like dealing with it again. I may just whip up the center and two-three rows of plain knit in scrap yarn to prove that it doesn’t shrink past redemption.

Since my stress reliever was CAUSING stress, I went out to the other studio to play with ATC’s. I had recalled paper-weaving as a fun little technique, and had made a couple of cards much like scaled-down tarted up versions of the construction-paper placemats of kindergarten. I had some papers from a paper swap already about the right size, and some scrap watercolor from blotting mailing labels, so I was all set. Weft weft weft weft, and I was all done. Went to lift the paper . . . riiiiiiip. The header tore, and weft strips floated merrily out like blue and green snow. Buggah!!!!

So I went back in the house before anything else could blow up in my hands. With nothing to do, and a big red mad on. Probably the worst combination possible because the boredom and inactivity heterodyne with the frustration.

I want to start on the story. I was hoping to be able to keep the Big Bad Muse locked in the closet till my birthday, and then begin it as a birthday present to myself. Start April 1, and have 50K words done by May 1, with the general arc and pacing complete. Then polish polish polish and there’s next year’s gift to self. Bind it as a folio edition for haw-haw’s. I have an idea for the form, and I see why the narrator is telling it that way, and I have no ideas at all regarding what will happen along the way. I’m just looking forward to the ride.

But at the same time, with stuff falling apart, do I want to begin another project that lives close to my heart? I love knitting, and paper arts are fun, but writing . . . writing is close to my core in a way that these others are not. Frustration does not equal devastation, after all. Because I did not have an attachment to the outcome of the ATC I wove last night, I was able to pull it from the heap, repair it, and complete it this morning before I left for work. When the old computer went to the silicon graveyard and took all my works with it, it took months for me to write more than a grocery list, and months more to begin getting interested in doing some self-study and writing practice. This will be the first big piece I’ve attempted since the other two were stillborn.

So while I like the symbolism and the neat little cycle, I recognize I ought to strike while the iron is hot, and get the thing rolling now before the window shuts., and it turns back into a painting again. But at the same time, I fear getting started and then having it fall apart on me. I care too much to take the chance, and yet if I don’t risk it, all the caring in the world won’t help me out.

Monday, March 21, 2005

One of THOSE Days . . .

Today tastes like salt, and sand, and paper. I'm coming down with my boss's cold, and yet I'm not quite ill enough to justify staying home.

To top things off, the Big Bad Muse really likes the little gem of an idea, and is starting to make suggestions in the form of full blown sentences and elbows to the ribs. Which is awkward when one makes one's living with words, as they creep to the forebrain and try to sneak down the fingertips into sentences where they just don't belong.

Probate and swords'n'sorcery fantasy are a bad mix.

Had a good weekend, at least. I actually stuck to my list, more or less. Each Friday I make a list of what I want to accomplish over the weekend, and each Sunday, I look back at what I thougth I wnated and laugh because none of it actually made it through the prioritizer come Saturday morning (or even Friday night, sometimes).

I finished up some fiber ATC's. I tried my hand at shisha embroidery for the first time in . . . uhm . . . must be fifteen years now. Not fantabulous, but worth trading. Got them out the door with a sense of accomplishment this morning. Rediscovered my love of those bad bad beads, and found a variant on the lazy squaw technique that works well; fast, yet secure. And beaded words and patterns in bright vari-colored silver-lined twinklies look really really good against a white on white tapestry. Making more of those for random swappage, now that one set is done for the planned trade.

Picture? Nope. The digital camera doesn't like the focus length I do. I want to be able to get the whole series in (fercryinoutLOUD, it's only 9, small enough to fit on an 8.5 x 11.5 sheet of paper! But no, by the time I'm close enough for the cards to be seen in detail, I can only get three-four in the shot. When I back away enough to get all of them in [in focus, that is] I'm too far away for you to see anything. Oh, more of Spike's little black things. Or does she just need to clean the lens again?) I want a scanner. A second hand scanner even. Just one that I could use to scan my cards in color and then post pics with. Are you listening, o benevolent universe?

And yes, I gave in to my startitis and began another Linus blanket with some yarn that followed me home from the last blanket bee. Big needles with many strands of fine weight yarn (fingering to lace) in soft pastels. When one skein runs out, tie another in. The effect is of very soft dreamy stripes running across the width of the piece.

I'm having a hard time with the latest project for Terpsichoire. On a lace list, someone proposed a moebius scarf where you began with a few stitches of faggoting worked in a long strip, then picked up stitches along the edge, giving it a Bordhi-style half-twist to make the moebius "moeb". You would then work your lace along the sole edge remaining, and that way you would automatically have the symmetry as the lace would sprout from each side of the faggot.

The problem is that the faggoting strip has to be like four feet long. That's an AWFUL lot of purse stitch. Bleh. And then the tedium process of picking up stitches, and then the long long rows afterwards . . . and to top it off, I'm not at all certain that the faggot strip is long enough, even at four feet. Yick. So I'm about ready to toss the idea on the back burner for a bit, and maybe use it for something else some other time. Yes, it would be elegant. Yes, it would be knitterly. No, I don't have the patience for it right now. I want to be knitting lace and watching something grow, something I know will work the first time. So there.

I finished the back of the raglan cardi I'm working on. Woooo hooo, it's a big black blob. I'm about three-quarters of the way to the armhole decrease on the front. Woooo hooo, another smaller black blob. Maybe I'll send up pics once I get a sleeve done--two black blobs and a blue blob.

Headin' fer my beddin'. Maybe tomorrow will be less muddled. Or enough more so that I could stay home and plot.

Friday, March 18, 2005

NanoWri ay yi yi 1

Contemplating doing NaNoWriMo, but not in November. (NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month, wherein you crank out 50K words. Plus or minus 100 pages. In a month.)

I've had a little tickle of an idea wobbling around--it's almost a one line joke insofar as plot and cleverness goes. So I don't have much invested in it. So it's perfect for NaNoWriMo because if it comes out as 100 pages of dreck, well, what did you expect? And if it's any better than that, well, that's gravy.

Bits of the world it's set in come floating along, and so I'll be dropping essays in here so they'll all be in one place when I cut up a month to do it all in. Take the hint, Gentle Reader, if you come across a post with a title like the one above, don't expect what follows to be purely sensible.

Red and gold apples taste of autumn, of cool mornings touched with frost that burst into warm afternoons that spiral down into chilly evenings by the fire. Red and gold apples taste of the fulfillment of spring’s promise and summer’s work; of the long luxurious stretch and ease of the harvest; of having plenty and then more. Red and gold apples taste of long slow cooking; of feasts in good company.

Blue apples, now. Blue apples taste of winter.

Not the cheery midseason, with the cold that brings forth the merry bloom of health, of festivities and candle flames dancing on the snow, of the welling enthusiasm that comes with knowing the longest darkest night is past, and the days will grow long.

Blue apples taste of February. Of overcast days where the sun hides for a week at a time, and when spring is a seducer’s promise (of course I’ll respect you in the morning, dearest; I’ll always love you as much as I do now) and rotten snowpack ice crackles underfoot, lumpy with the comings and goings of countless others.

Blue apples taste of winter’s midnight heart, when the woodpile is growing short and the stores are becoming thin. Down to grains and legumes and dried fruit, ham and sausage and bacon for flavor. Nothing fresh, nothing green, nothing that tastes of life. All of it dried, of the inevitable decay halted, and then reconstituted into soups and stews and mush.

Their flesh is like mangoes, custardy and fatty in the mouth. Flaccid. You won't find these in the market, no, the only places these grow are in the Mage's Garden, branches of blue apples grafted to the evergreen feathery branches of yew, with mushrooms at their roots.

There. That'll give me a few hundred on the word count when things begin to look hopeless.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I Know What the Flat Coyote Thinks

Today tastes like pine resin, tar, and raw chicle. Chewy, but hard to recommend.

It feels like I’ve been living this last week in my “sunshine”—as opposed to my Jungian shadow. I find that I’m longing for the cool, moist, chthonic surfaces of the underground. There’s too much light and heat here for comfort. Where to begin; how did I end up on top of this red rock? (There is shadow under this red rock, Mr. Eliot, there is indeed.)

Well, it all began when work went tsunami on me. It does that with regularity. Usually I just clamber up on whatever flat piece of flotsam presents itself and surf on in, working a little more efficiently, with a little more focus. It calms down and smoothes out eventually, and I may need to stay a little late once or twice, but no big deal.

Not this time. I’ve put in two fifty hour weeks back to back, and First Consort Gareth keeps a picture handy so he won’t forget what I look like. Of course, that picture doesn’t take the new haircut into account, which probably explains the copious amounts of whiteout on the glass.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s probably a freight train.

Then this past Saturday, Mayhem was throwing a housewarming party, and she realized she was well over her head (having never thrown a successful party before) Thursday night. So she called for help with menu planning, and shopping, and cooking planning, and oh botherall. We got together Friday night, and ran around getting set up foodwise. She had originally planned a tea party for her housewarming (insert interrobang here) but then realized the kind of work involved in getting the atmosphere together—boxes as settees do not contribute to the tea party feeling unless you have Tenniel drawing pictures.

So, Saturday morning we drove on over, helped with last minute food prep, and enjoyed the party itself, the after-party party, and finally left in the wee hours of the morning. With plans, of course, to meet for dim sum the next day, because a cheap feast that comes to you is the perfect cap for a party.

Sunday morning, we met for dim sum, and then I wanted to go fabric shopping for cheap brocade for beaded ATC’s. Off we went to the fabric store, where we found lots of gadgety goodies for Mayhem, the newbie quilter, but no brocade for me. Wah. Mayhem then told me that a store whose west side branch I had long enjoyed now had an outlet just a few miles from my house. (She’s been holding out on me . . . no cards for you!) So I got what I needed, and then we decided to check out a movie—Robots, the new one from Pixar. Cute, funny, but not a full-price movie.

So Sunday evening, after some teenage drama angst (that’s one thing about getting older. It’s no longer ALL ABOUT YOU.) we did our weekly shopping and other routine chores that have gone waaaaaayyyy by the wayside (henceforth “the waaaaayyyyyside.” Perhaps this blog needs its own FAQ . . .)

A brief nap, and then Monday morning! Time for workies! And five long days until Friday, when I might actually have time to do things on my agenda. A whole weekend with friends is delightful, but far too rich for everyday consumption.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

If You Want Something Done, Ask a Busy Person

I was talking with the Dowager Empress Odie-Bird this weekend past, and she asked me if, with my myriad passions (writing, knitting, and now ATC’s), one or another took a back seat when a new and nifty thing came up.

And really, that’s a yes and no answer. (How like life.) Yes, a minute that I spend making a card is not a minute spent writing, or a minute spent knitting, and versa vice. But it really comes down to priorities. (Uh-oh, she said the “p” word.)

You have to decide what’s important to you, I said. You have to see where the scraps of time are in your world, and then grab them and do something with them. I take my knitting everywhere with me—I always have a simple project in the car. I’ve been known to whip it out and get a few stitches in at stoplights in rush hour, when you know you’ll be sitting there for two or three cycles. You learn to watch the catty-corner light from the corner of your eye, and drop the knitting when it turns amber. And I've carved out a chunk in the morning, where I get to work fifteen minutes to half an hour early, and I sit in the lobby of the building and I knit. I just finished the Thriller shawl--blocking pix to follow.

I will begin a post at work, thinking of a topic while doing a routine job, then typing out little blips between other tasks or on the fringes of lunch and coffee breaks. Blogging has greased the wheels a lot—ideas puddle out and spread like red wine on heirloom linens.

The only thing that’s really fallen down is the bookbinding, and that’s only because I have four handbound journals waiting for me to begin working their pages. One has lasted me the better part of a year, and I just sent 2 to the Dowager Empress her own bad self because I didn’t want to wrestle with the Japanese stab binding between hard covers any more. I found myself really really looking for ward to the Coptics, lying so nice and flat with zero gutter (yes! Remember spiral notebooks, and how you could write all the way to the spring in the center? Coptics do that too, and they don’t snag your sweaters.) So I decided to give them to someone who’d enjoy them and use them. The pages are thick enough to mount stuff to, and already decorated so clippings end up framed.

And insofaras ATC’s are concerned, each one uses up bits of material, so you can pour an hour into creating a vast well of supplies. An 8.5 x 11.5 sheet of paper makes 10 cards in a few minutes. So do something to decorate the whole sheet, and then zip zip zip you have backgrounds ready made to do stuff with. When I find a logo I really like and may use often (for example, I found some kanji for the five elements of feng shui) I make a stencil with a plain bit of cardstock, and now all I have to do is find a nifty element to cut the foreground motif out of, adhere it to the background, et voila! A card is born. Plus, you don’t have to hover over them while the glue/varnish/paint dries, you can be working with something else in a minute.

If that’s what you decide to do.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Story of Sherman

“Auntie Spike?”

“Yes, Mungojerrie? Yes, Rumpleteaser? Yes, o my charming niece and nephew, whom I can deny nothing to?”

“Tell us the story of Sherman the Car, and how he came to live with you.”

“Again? How about Cuthbert the Concupiscent Koala’s Crusty Curse instead?”

“Mom downloaded that to us last night.”

“Something light and uplifting, with moral values at the end? Othello, or maybe Peyton Place?”

“Don’t tease! We want Sherrrrrrman the Carrrrrrr!”

“Very well. Back in the previous century, when it was all combustible engines and runcible spoons, Auntie Spike and Uncle First Consort Gareth realized that Auntie Spike’s car was getting old and tired, and needed to go where all the old cars go. So they went shopping, which is when people go out—“

“Into the air? Into the wide world??”

“Yes, people could actually do that back then, in the olden days. People would go out and look at merchandise, and sometimes they would interact with it, to see if it was something they wanted.”

“Why didn’t they just put on the bodyglove in their living room to try it out?”

“This was back in the longago, Mungojerrie. They didn’t have bodygloves, did they, Auntie Spike?”

“No, indeed. No bodygloves, and faxes only transmitted data.”

“You couldn’t fax for a pizza?”

“You could fax an order, but the pizza would have to be brought by a person.”

Rumpleteaser bristled and licked her nose. Strangers at the door, maybe even coming into the house. What dark ages in the longago.

“So Auntie Spike made a long long list of cars she wanted to look at, and they went out shopping. They played with little bitty Miatas, with great stately Sebrings, and just for fun, with a convertible pickup truck with a hard top that looked like a lobster shell.” Mungojerrie sighed and curled his toes. Lobster! He loved this part.

“And so, at the end of a long day of shopping, Auntie Spike decided that what she really, really wanted was a Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible—with turbo. And a stick shift, because half the fun of driving is interacting with the machine. Not like today, where you type in your destination in the peoplemover pod, and it calculates the route for you and takes you there.” Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser shuddered as one. They’d been sent to the doctor via ‘pod before, and it was bad enough to watch the scenery scroll past as the ‘pod shifted gears and whirred softly as it drifted along like a soap bubble, always choosing the path that got it to its destination most effectively. You could ‘get lost’ or ‘break down’ or ‘run out of gas’ if you were in charge of all the choices to make!

“The problem was that Auntie Spike and Uncle Gareth really wanted a used car, not a brand new one. They taught you about equity and depreciation, right?” Brother and sister nodded. “Then you understand how Auntie Spike thought it was silly to pay $5,000 in depreciation for the handful of minutes between buying a new car and actually driving it off the lot, right?” They nodded again, topknots bobbing in unison.

“But alas! The only cars of that type in the city where Auntie Spike and Uncle Gareth lived were new cars! And the dealers told us that since that model had just come out the fall before (for this was back in the neverwhen, when the year had seasons, my darlings) that our chances of finding one used were not good.

“So Uncle Gareth searched and searched for a car, and finally found one far far away in Texas. It was lightly used, had a turbo engine, a stick shift, and was PURPLE. It was Sherman the Car, and he was just right. So on Monday morning, we told the dealership we wanted Sherman, and we got the bank to send some earnest money to hold the deal down.

“Ah, but how to get Sherman from Texas to Arizona? Auntie Spike and Uncle Gareth put their heads together and thought for a long long time.”

“Minutes?” asked Rumpleteaser.

“Minutes and minutes and minutes.” Spike agreed. “Almost as long as this story.

“We could fly out and drive Sherman back, but that would have just added miles to the engine and wear and tear to the frame and tires. Plus of course, we would have had to take time off work, and it’s a long flat drive with nothing much to look at.

“Having someone else drive Sherman was an option, but the only savings was in terms of our time and energy. There was still wear and tear on the car to consider.

“So we looked into having someone load Sherman onto a truck and drive the truck out. Once we compared it to air fare, meals on the road, and a night at a motel, the costs were about the same. The nice dealership set up the deal with the trucking company, who said they would have it to us on Wednesday. No problem! Wednesday was fine. We told them to take it to Uncle Gareth’s work, figuring that he’d be there to sign the papers to tell the bank to send the dealership the rest of the money.

“Wednesday came, and the trucking company called. They wanted to send a full truck out to Arizona, could we wait until Friday? Well . . . yes, we could wait until Friday. We were disappointed, but we COULD wait.

“Friday morning came, and the trucking company called. There would be somebody at that address Sunday night, yes? Well, actually, no. That was a business address. What happened to the plan to have Sherman out TODAY? It seems that the other stuff the trucking company was waiting on hadn’t come yet, but was due any minute now, so the truck would be loaded and then head out our way sometime Saturday. So, Sherman would be in town Sunday evening some time.

“Uncle Gareth told them politely that that wasn’t acceptable; that he was not going to wait at work Sunday evening for them to drop by, especially as they were supposed to have had Sherman to us two days ago. The gentleman from the trucking company then told him that in that case, he’d have to offload Sherman, and get him out to Arizona in a couple of weeks with the next scheduled shipment. Uncle Gareth said that that was simply not an option in his firmest gruffest polite voice—and the other fella hung up on him!

“So Uncle Gareth called the dealership, who told him that this was the first they’d heard that Sherman wasn’t home safe! They told Gareth they’d call the trucking company and see what was going on, then be right back to him. A few minutes later, the dealership called, and explained the trucking company had hung up on THEM, their customer!

“What to do, what to do. It was decided that the dealership would load Sherman onto one of their very own trucks, and have an employee drive it from Texas to Arizona. They promised to have it to us sometime on Monday. Gareth told them that would work, but to please be certain Sherman got there by 6:00 p.m. Arizona time.

“Sunday evening, we received a call. Sherman was in town! Why was the office all dark? Where was Gareth? Gareth explained that he had been told that Sherman was arriving MONDAY sometime, and while he appreciated the dealership’s promptness, he was not driving for an hour to get to them RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE and sign papers.

“So Sherman the Car was finally delivered Monday morning at 8:15. Gareth took him around the corner to the car doctor, where he checked out just fine, and then to the car wash to get scrubbed all shiny clean and sparkly. Auntie Spike and Sherman the Car loved each other very very much and had all sorts of wonderful adventures with their friends Uncle Gareth and Mischief Ann Mayhem.”

Mungojerrie wiped a tear from his eye, and Rumpleteaser sniffled, wiping her nose on her tail. The story was over. Again.

“Tell us more,” said Mungojerrie. “Tell us about the trip to Mexico to look at the ruins; about the o’dark thirty trips to California to play on the beaches, about the marathon drive to Galveston to build sand castles on Spike’s birthday.”

But just then, a grinding whir sounded in the kitchen. “Nothing doing,” said Spike, firmly. “You’ve been up for over an hour already! It’s time for you to have Third Snack, and then off for your pre-dinner nap! Now, off with you!”

The kits clambered down off the Knead-a-Lap (with optional heated pads) and scampered to the kitchen in answer to the alarm. The reason for that particular rhythmic noise was lost in antiquity, but somehow it was just so . . . compelling, driving feline Furpeople to drop whatever they were doing and run to find out what the servos had heated this time. The Knead-a-Lap sat quietly humming for a moment, reviewing the memories of the human it had been programmed with.

Cats, it thought. They may have evolved thumbs and re-ordered the world, but they still haven’t lost their fascination with cars. And then it shut down.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Shhhhhh . . . Muse at Work

Today tastes like burned coffee and cloves, with a sauce of reduced printer's ink. I'd spit it out if I could--not even bourbon is cutting this crap.

However, I am not Jo Ito; I am not going to spatter my worklife across this blog. I'll be happy to rant in private to whose who will drop a dime and call my land line but I will not give the Toxicboss any more fuel than I just have.

So-- on to more interesting subjects.

I was thinking about knitting and writing, because with the current ATC obsession that’s about all I can do. My dance card is sooooo full for March and April. I will need to remember this feeling, this feeling like I’m spread too thin for all that nourishes and encourages me, stretched like the fat man in the Monty Python sketch so when the lists whisper “wafer thin” I’ll be able to refuse. I can see the cage of my ribs, with my heart leaping about inside—and my dinner and liver and lights strewn over the landscape of properly starched tablecloths.

And in my thinking I tapped the Big Bad Muse on the shoulder, because I hadn’t heard from him in a while as regards knitting and writing; we’ve been having so much fun in the realm of paper (and don’t even think of bookbinding. Even now, I plan purchases of plastic storage sheets and slips for mailing; the mysteries of Coptic stitch are behind me, my piercing cradle lies empty as a SIDS crib.) Big mistake. I should understand the difference between a Gollum “Not listening” and a muse that’s thinking rather than blabbering. Pounce!!!!

Boom boom boom, three ideas for Soy Silk right in a row, another ATC line for the “She” series, and a burning desire to prowl through all the writing books and note down the prompts that move me on 3x 5 cards so when I’m feeling dry I can pull one and go! knowing that I’ll have a good one.

And there will be no relief this weekend. My new car is due on Friday, so that means at the least we’ll be playing a game of “wolf, cabbage, goat” to get all the vehicles home. Saturday is a blanket bee, so the current plan is for First Consort Gareth to arrange for temporary tags as soon as it’s unloaded, I’ll meet him at his work after I get done here, and drive the new car (I think of him as Sherman, though FC Gareth disagrees) home, leaving Huitzilipochli to fend for himself overnight. (Which should be fine. I’ve left him there over the weekend before.) That way, we can stop in on the way to or from the blanket bee and pick up Huitzilipochli, and deal with registering Sherman.

Which leaves Sunday Sunday Sunday (said in a booming bass voice with lots of reverb). Woof. The day of errands and laundry and all the other stuff that keeps this house from being condemned and destroyed. Not time to sit in front of the DVD player and knit along with Sir Ian and the gang; not time to embroider in front of the computer. And I’ve gotta get the ‘E’ Series and the ‘Painted’ series out this week, no joke.

Fortunately I’ve cut “ecdysis” out and am ready to paste it down, I have plans for “eremite,” and the other three should be fairly easy—“elegiac” can be cut from the warm grey watercolor, and if I find a fun liquor ad I can add a sixth to the series of “ebrious.” If I drop an hour or two tonight I should be able to finish that series and varnish ‘Painted’ so they can dry overnight and then I can envie them up Thursday and get them in Friday’s mail. WOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOO!

I’m so very nearly almost done with the ‘Good Word’ fabric series, so another hour or two should get that hosed. And then I can finish them Sunday, well ahead of schedule. The Thriller Shawl has another seven rows to go (maybe eleven, I haven’t decided yet) and that’s not due till May—but I am heartily sick of the long long rows.

Ah, but the beaded series. Haven’t decided which would be faster/cooler – embroidery with pearl flowers and little sparkly leaves, or if I would do better to stitch words down in bits of glitter. I only need to do four for the swap, so if I did nine that would leave five for random trades. The beaded ATC’s aren’t due till mid-April, so I have time, especially if I continue to hold that out as the “while you’re on the world wide wait, why not do something?”

So—not impossible; never impossible. Just that I have to stick to my lists and do the do. It’s so easy for me to feel like it’s done, I’ve been thinking about it for ages, I’ve put it on my list—whaddaya mean it’s only in my head! It’s right here . . . oh. In my head.