Sunday, April 14, 2024

When the Muse Calls


Yesterday I received the contract for the first of the articles I agreed to write for School of Sweet Georgia.

I had been mulling over what I wanted to say for a couple of weeks without coming to any conclusions, but the night before I thought I'd found a good opening.

Generally my opening sentence is like the thread that Hansel and Gretel (in some versions) used to make their way through the woods to find their way back home.  For me, it's the thread I follow to reach where I want to end.

Once I'd signed the contract (with a slightly earlier due date than we'd originally discussed) I figured I'd better get that opening sentence down and get started.

Writing is something that takes time, not unlike any other 'craft'.  Very seldom do I ever publish something that hasn't at least been read to sift out typos (and still don't get them all, sadly).  Blog posts like this are more informal, and don't get the polishing that other things receive.  For example, the last book I wrote, the manuscript was sent first to an alpha reader who helped find glaring grammatical errors and typos.  Then I went through the ms correcting my original, then the files were left to 'mature' for a few weeks before I re-read them again.  This part of the process relies on time, because when the words are fresh in my mind, my brain sees what it expects to see, not necessarily what is actually on the page.

So this time of aging is really important.  Sometimes I re-write whole passages because the words are redundant, or not clear as to what I meant.  And then I re-read it again, letting the files sit for at least a week before I do a final read through before sending the files to an editor.  Who then goes through it, making suggestions, correcting typos and such.  And then I re-read the whole thing again, which sometimes generates more re-writes.  And we continue until we agree that it is a good as it can be.

I write these blog posts for free, so I don't hire an editor.  Therefore sometimes I re-read a blog post and wince.  And sometimes I learn something new about a topic I've already written about and I do a fresh post with the updated information.

So, I've written about selvedges before, but usually here, in this informal style, with no outside editing.

But not everyone reads this blog, so the opportunity to present some of my tried and true bits of information and present them to a largely new audience seemed like a good thing to be doing.  Even though I've written hundreds of words on things like selvedges, and tension, and 'a thread under tension is a thread under control'.

Just today I saw someone online, exasperated because they were having all sorts of problems getting their loom dressed.  And I wanted to chime in and say that thing I say about tension.  But they were done their loom dressing, and by then it was too late - for that warp.  So, I didn't say anything.

Life as a weaving 'elder' has morphed into a constant juggling of when to say something to help a newer weaver, and when to stay silent, and scroll on by.

I've agreed to do 4 articles for SOS, and I'm about 3/4s of the way to the agreed upon word count for the first one.  But today isn't a great day after another pain flare last night.  The good news is that the pain, overall, was less - just too much to let me sleep.

Probably not a great day to be trying to write.

Plus today is the day my eBay auction of bobbin lace books ends.  Once that is over and done with, I will begin listing the weaving books for the local guild.  You can 'follow' me on eBay, or look for the keywords PG Guild Book Auction.  (I think that's what I will use, anyway.  TBD if eBay will allow that.)

There are approximately 60 titles (a couple of books have multiple copies - Allison had a yarn shop and used to carry books), and I will be listing them 10 titles per day, alphabetical according to author.  What can I say, I used to work in a library!  

I may post the entire list here tomorrow so that if there are several titles someone is interested in, they can let me know and I will hold off shipping until the auction is completed and ship all purchases in one parcel.  (Trying to be mindful of carbon footprint!)

In the meantime, I need to go up to the guild room although I'll probably not stop long.  I do want to get to the loom at least once today.  Goodness knows, that warp won't weave itself!

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