Category Archives: color pattern love

Avoidance in disguise

I could spend the rest of my life, even a long life, organizing my studio and finishing incomplete work.

Started sorting this morning and made give away piles, maybe-sell piles, village-quilt-teeny-geometric piles, and found many, many quilts half done. Also a few all the way done.

(I was in the basement because of tree work over at the school. The noise level is fairly tolerable now but just wait until they start grinding branches).

The problem with a space that affords potentially endless and productive activity is that it can serve as a sneaky tool of avoidance. You’d think my laptop was covered in cactus spines or snot the way I’m avoiding it.

So, in the school of Find the Thing You Can Say Yes To (Even If it’s Ridiculously Small) I found something I can say yes to: go through and make sure chapter headings match my table of contents. Bye!

It’s the smoke

Been tired this week after lunch. In the morning, I’ll make a couple calls, walk the dog. Then do a little gardening and write for a couple of hours. Then all I want to do is sleep.

A friend said, “It’s the smoke.” The Bootleg Fire. Canadian fires. You can’t really see anything here, but others nearby have noticed.

Almost done with the Durrow novel. Protagonist, Rachel, is the daughter of a Danish woman and a Black GI. Father takes off and entire rest of family (except Rachel) dies after a fall off a nine story building. We read to find out whether it was murder or suicide. We read to see how this biracial girl grows up with her Black grandmother, trying to understand herself and her world (first Chicago, then Oregon — Portland, I think). We read to see how Rachel will make peace with her past.

I’m reading it on my kindle reader in the phone so I can tell you I have roughly 23 minutes left. I guess I’ll go finish the story.

Update: it turns out I only had about five minutes left of reading, which is too bad because it means that the BIG moment we’d been waiting for came and went too quickly.

Holding the ecstatic center

Apparently that is something I do — “hold the ecstatic center.” Really? A trusted source. Many decades of association. I try to worm out of it. Then I try to wear it.

It’s a powerful reflection, thrilling, really.

I certainly can own surrender and ecstasy as recurring visual motifs.

This morning I’m inspired by dogs jumping into swimming pools, by photographers catching women airborne, by fifth generation islanders celebrating a birthday. By my Tuesday Group.

Below is an assemblage of SoulCollage cards, digital collages, collages made responding to this year’s Paris Collage Club weekly visual prompts (over on Instagram) and paper collages made during Acey’s collage tour (last year?).

** initial dancers from Alvin Ailey’s dance troupe, subsequent tattooed dancer from recent West Side Story production, photos from NYTimes. “Male exiting subway with grace” probably came from Vogue but maybe it was Vanity Fair. There are National Geographic images sprinkled in there, shots from Skateboarding Magazine. The Black woman with wings was featured at a Boston MFA show before the lockdown. I’m sorry I don’t know the artist’s name. You’ll recognize Oprah Winfrey, Julia Child, Sigourney Weaver, and Michael Jackson (yes I’m leaving him in!). The whirling dervishes are from the mystic branch of Islam, Sufism and St. Francis makes a small appearance at the very end.

A Pfizer Saturday

Husband just shuttled down to Longwood medical area for his second shot. He had such a reaction to a recent shingles shot that he’s kind of expecting to be laid low for a day. We’ll see. Tylenol at the ready. My second is next weekend.

As you may know, it snowed here yesterday. This morning’s walk was cold, but mainly because we were underdressed. A chilly light rain falling on bare heads is no fun. Got my two and half miles in anyway.

As soon as K buzzed off, I spent a little time in my studio. It’s really been a while. I’m looking forward to hand-quilting this larger village quilt.

The happy accident of towers / woven strips finding each other is worth pursuing, I think. I’ll cut and weave into the yellow base near the buildings’ foundations and somehow resolve the areas where the white background ends too soon.

Adding light, revising novel

I’m adding light and shadow to appliqued hawk. Made her head lighter and used white poly for beak to make it pop. A scrap of fabric practically fell out of the basket and felt like a minor show of Providence.

Jude had the idea over on Instagram to darken some of the ripples around the hawk’s head. Since I like the way it adds a sense of motion, I may continue around the body as long as I have that color thread. It’ll look good flowing off the wings.

Had some gross polyester swirled with black in that basket, too. Added to tail and wings for more contrast. Light. Maybe you can see a difference with earlier incarnation, maybe not (below).

It’s nice to have company.

In the meantime, I finally talked to my paid manuscript consultant yesterday. Round three coming up. I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, perhaps even shouting off the rooftops: SHE LOVES MY BOOK.

I think people forget how solitary a process writing is.

House names should not be italicized. If I’m gonna talk about the elder Middletons toward the end, they need to be introduced earlier. Still sags here and there — needs tightening. Not so many descriptions of clouds, perhaps. Maybe not so much about Melody’s first owner. Explain what head rights are and how to memorialize land in Author’s Note, which starts like this:

When I began this novel, Trayvon Martin was alive and as I finished the second edit, George Floyd was dead.

The suggestion that I add an epilogue (say in 1758 after Eliza and Charles Pinckney return from a five year stay in England), will take a little more thought. That’s fourteen years after my original end. Lots of years I haven’t thought about all that much.

A six year time frame (1738 to 1744) allowed a laser-like focus. Etiquette in 1720? I don’t care! Rice markets in 1750? Also don’t care. Now I need to care. I’ll start with Eliza’s letters.

A walk with temps in the 40’s was cause for celebration this week. Daffodils shoving aside leaf debris. Snow shrugging off the curbs. It won’t be long now ’til the miracle of hyacinths.

In the meantime I am trying to answer the question (Acey’s): how do you hold your heart? Or maybe just asking it. Softly.

The collage challenge with Paris Collage Collective continues. This week: Shirley Chisholm.

More to come. I want to cut up seed catalogues and wreathe her head with flowers. In the collage above, the headstone of Harriett Jacobs served as reference to the long history of oppression, Jacobs being another Black woman who overcame so much.