Creating the things. I like to create things. Sadly, sometimes I create half-finished or un-finished things, more than complete things.
I even have a t-shirt that reads Weapons of Mass Creation (I wore it yesterday in fact) that shows things like a fountain pen, paint brush, pencil, crochet hook and knitting needles.
Sometimes, figuring out and focusing on the way that I want to create/make art/make things in the moment I’m feeling like making a thing is more challenging than I’d like. Is it necessary to focus on just 1 or 2? To improve my skill level, I’d have to say yes. I’m not going to magically be able to draw technically well without practice. Or to paint well without practice. Or to have consistently good cookies or pie or dinner without practice. To just enjoy whatever I’m making though – maybe/maybe not? Sometimes, just the act of crocheting or writing can be satisfying.
Sketching / Writing / Crochet / Baking / Cooking
I enjoy fiddling about with all those things.
I’ve managed about half the words for a successful NaNoWriMo (and am planning on participating again next month). I’ve participated in the Camp NaNoWriMo’s and … well, not necessarily succeeded but have definitely increased word count, which is a sort of success, because of the Camp’s relaxed rules.
I sketch as the mood strikes me. In fact, on my drive home this morning from my sister’s house, I decided that instead of buying a birthday card and wrapping supplies for my godson’s birthday gift (already purchased), I’d use comics and draw him a thematically appropriate card. I got him a tackle box for fishing. He’s just getting into it, and really excited. So I googled an image of a trout, and found a rainbow trout that looked simple enough for me to recreate in colored pencil. It came out pretty darn well. Sometimes, that happens. Sometimes it does. I want desperately to draw and no topic comes to mind.
I haven’t crocheted in a while. I should. We’re getting to the right season for it again. So maybe, soon.
And of course I cook several times a week, even if I’m not always baking. Luckily, cooking and baking are basically just chemistry with instructions; once you have a basic idea for how things interact with each other, you’re set. There’s a baking school starting up north that I’d really love to attend. I hope it does well. I’d like it to succeed so that I can try to attend some semester in the future.
But the thing is, they’re all hobbies. They aren’t things I do to earn a living. I like dabbling here and there. But I do sort of wish I could improve more quickly. (And I haven’t even addressed things like musical instruments or coding, which I haven’t truly touched in years.) But again, without focusing…
So, am I thinking too hard about focusing? Is it just finding something to whine about?
Is the fact that I’m writing about it to explore the idea just an expression of the easiest to explore or is it a sign I should focus on writing?
Any or all answers are probably true.
I wonder how people think of me? Do they think of me as an artist or consumer? Depending on which, what kind of artist/consumer?
Some of this triggered by Patreon. Some is just standard existential questions that wander through my brain in passing. Maybe my brain just can’t stand a quiet moment and feels compelled to mutter at me in the brief ones I have. Anyone else have those moments?
Reblogged for bookmarking purposes and to spread the word.
Most of you know that I do a lot of work with Subterranean Press, because they do an excellent job with my limited and/or off-the-wall projects. They are some of my favorite people to work with, and I’m not alone in this assessment: some of the best authors in science fiction and fantasy work with them, creating some amazing books.
Now you can get in on some of that for a very affordable price: SubPress is working with the Humble Bundle folks and has created a very excellent SubPress eBook bundle. Who is in the bundle? Well, for any price, you get:
- Peter Brett
- Harlan Ellison
- Caitlin Kiernan
- Cherie Priest
- Dan Simmons
- Connie Willis
- Jack Vance
Kick in more than the average amount for the bundle, and you also get:
- Kelly Armstrong
- Clive Barker
- Ted Chiang
- Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard
- Barry Hughart
- Tim Powers
- John Scalzi (hi!)
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Such an awesome post about what makes a great father and grandfather:
I’m the kid in this picture. The man standing beside me on the old street-sweeper is my mom’s biological father, who is not my grandfather. I’m the first to admit that I have more than a few buttons that people can push to send me off on a long rant. One of them is the use of the term “real father” (or mother, or virtually any other familial designator), particularly when it is used to refer to someone’s biological-but-absentee relative. And sometimes I don’t just rant, sometimes I’m barely suppressing an urge to punch someone in the mouth over the use of the phrase. More than a little of the blame for that irrational reaction rests solidly at the feet of the man pictured here with a very young me. A man named Ralph.
The story can get a little convoluted, so I’m going to first sum-up, then unpack a…
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I have mood fluctuations that are the normal sort, but because I can be a curious about order/patterns and because of having gone to a therapist for most of a year in my past and because I overthink in general, I sort of try to track them in a lazy way. If I were more ordered, and more prone to lists, and more worried that I were looking at something like true chronic depression, I’d probably be keeping a calendar.
In fact, I have kept calendars for things in the past. I usually give it up when I realize that nope, it’s a normal cycle tied to hormones or Major Event memories.
It’s still frustrating.
For instance, I’ve been fighting a low-grade feeling of frustration, depression and general urge to rail at the world, cry, beg for attention, and hide from the world all at once. It’s annoying when your brain wants to do very contradictory things all at once. But it’s February, and more than that, it’s right around Groundhog’s Day. So of course it makes sense that I’d be feeling that way. 10 years ago, the divorce of my first marriage happened on Groundhog’s Day. We went before a judge, agreed that what the lawyer had drawn up was what we thought was fair, and the judge signed the paper, which we then took down another hall to pay to have recorded.
I’m extremely happy to be married to the man I’m married to now. My husband is considerate, sweet, does chores simply because he knows I don’t like doing them as well, brings me grocery store flowers because he knows they will make me smile, and in general is a good man.
I’m also happier being me and not hiding as much of myself as it turns out I used to. I laugh more, am honest about things that bother me rather than arguing Devil’s Advocate positions. (I still think about them, because my brain works that way, but if I decide that I don’t agree, I don’t worry about it as much as I did before.)
In general, it turns out that divorce was a good thing. It was still incredibly miserable when it happened. I didn’t want to give up on that marriage when I did. I still believe my ex-husband was a good man in general, even if we weren’t good together. It was still basically 11 years of my life that “didn’t work” or “were wasted” if I’m feeling particularly negative. And my body and brain apparently still get hung up on that. It’s annoying, even when (maybe especially when) I know why my body is doing it.
So I try to do other things or just remind myself gently that “hey, your brain is being stupid because this is a sad anniversary, but you can still be happy, anyway”. Sometimes that helps.
And sometimes I just have to play a stupid puzzle game, or read, or play music to distract myself until my body and brain move on to the next thing.
He says this much better than I could…
I was raised by a racist jerk.
My dad is such a stereotype that people didn’t always believe me when I described him. To this day he regularly throws around the n-word, refers to the latino men who work on his crews as “wetbacks” and “spicks,” refers to any eastern asian-looking person as a “gook” or a “chink,” and so on. He will go on and on about all of the bad qualities he believes each of those groups share, if you let him. It is simply toxic to talk to him. The fact that he also speaks with a pronounced Oklahoma drawl, and that his conversation is peppered with words and phrases people associate with the south is just icing on the redneck cake.
My dad is the kind of racist that is almost too easy to spot. Guys like him make it very easy for the rest of…
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There are several good ideas in this post. It really speaks to me about how hard it is to help oneself/a family member/friend with depression. It also gives concrete ideas on how to do that.