Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Symptoms and Solutions


I ought to be working on something more productive, but I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my brain and the best way for me to deal with the thought squirrels is to write them out.

After three years of pandemic isolation, NOT going out if I don't absolutely have to, avoiding crowds, staying home, entertaining myself (not a hardship when you are an introvert), it is obvious that things are not really going to change much for me, given my compromised immune system.  

As part of the pandemic response, I bought into Zoom, then crafted lectures for my Olds students (and then expanded them to anyone who wanted to join in) and began learning new 'tricks' - ie how to do online presentations.

I learned the limitations, but also how I could stretch my tech chops (as they say) and came up with a series that I feel were valuable to students who wanted to know more.  Do more.

Then I was approached by Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia, asking if I would be willing to offer classes on line, specifically things that I felt were within my wheelhouse.  After the first two launched I talked them into offering the lectures to their community as well, and we are about halfway through presenting those (every two months, two hours of info packed weaving talk.)

Now there are two more classes in the works, the first one launching early summer, the other to follow.

And I have been encouraging guilds to hire me to do Zoom guild programs and lectures, which - so far - have been working out for them and me, given I have zero desire to ever get on a dark o'clock flight, jump 2 or 3 time zones, expose myself to a pandemic that is now endemic at far too high a level for MY comfort.

As I sink further into this 'retirement' thing, I find myself less and less inclined to spend much time outside of my house, my studio, my own thoughts.

And, as mentioned above, the best way for me to deal with the thought squirrels raging in my brain box is to write it out.

It is also the best approach to my continuing to teach, given the brain fog induced by pain/painkillers.

I am also still wanting to help others.  

If I have a 'super power' it would appear to be the fact that I have made So Many Mistakes that I can intuit what the actual problem is when someone writes a vague description of what is going 'wrong' for them. 

The thing with weaving is that a symptom (just like with a body, to be honest) can be caused by a variety of issues.  Until the actual problem is solved, the symptom will persist.

To understand what the actual problem is means a deeper dive into the science, the physics, the mechanics of what is happening in the loom (and then later in the wet finishing, but that is another topic and one I've already written about.)

So these essays I am planning.  They are all the things I wanted to include in The Intentional Weaver, but weren't appropriate for a 'textbook'.  People tell me I'm a story teller and that I write well.  And I have stories.  Lots and lots of stories, which I use to illustrate principles when I'm teaching 'in person' (which means Zoom these days.)

Not everyone is interested in peeling back the layers of the onion of knowledge, but there are some.  Some people just like a good story.  And a book of essays doesn't need a story arc or a plot or anything that a novel needs.  All it needs is a flash of insight into a specific aspect of the overall topic - which will be how threads get turned into cloth.

After talking to a few people, I have an approach (thank you Syne), I have had encouragement to continue.  I understand that few people will be interested, but that's ok, I can self-publish like I did with the other two books.  I have a bare bones outline and specific topics I want to address.  I even have a first essay written, just needing to let it sit and then polish, add illustrations.  I even have a new app on my ipad that makes creating illustrations a lot easier for digital purposes.  (When the student is ready and all that?)

At this point I have no publication date in mind, in part because it depends on the level on brain fog and other deadlines on any given day.

But, here's the thing.  If there is some aspect of weaving that you would like me to tackle?  Let me know.  Because I won't think of everything.  I don't even *know* everything.  But I can research.  And I can learn, too.  

You know how to contact me.

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