Category Archives: digital play

It’s snowing

I dreamt I was on a cooking show. I couldn’t find a spoon or a bowl or eggs and I had to make Yorkshire Pudding. Time kept sliding past. I had nothing to show. I can’t get an F, I thought. I’ll make a sandwich!

One of THoSe dreams.

Maybe the dream was informed by a stretch of intense editing. I deleted two more chapters. I’m back to tracking word count. Recently, sliced out nearly 1,000 words.

Time keeps sliding past.

Some pretty snowflakes are falling right now, but yesterday was rain, rain, rain. There’s been a lot of rain falling this “winter.”

I found out that The Sketchbook Project’s library is closing its doors in Brooklyn. There’s a narrow window in which one could sign in, pay a fee, and request the return of your booklet. I submitted two, years back.

I couldn’t even sign in. Had the right everything. I know it. When I can’t sign in somewhere I usually don’t have that confidence.

I may try again but if I can’t get in, eh. I gave them up once, it shouldn’t be that hard to let the status quo reassert itself.

Paris Collage Club effort that used a Sketchbook Project page as a layer

This link may or may not work.

https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/S132182

I had to copy it into my search bar. ALSO, there’s a Sketchbook Project tag on the sidebar.

Let’s Count 10/22

0 — number of times I’ve been discouraged by Dems in Disarray narrative, Dems need better messaging coverage, negative polls, or Doomsday DOJ sentiments;

0 is also the number of cold frosts so far this year; number of times I’ve had Covid;

1 — number of ballots cast this week; number of books I’m reading right now; number of queries sent out recently; number of mini, fallen skeletons seen in the neighborhood today.

2 — number of meals I served homemade croutons with (homemade spinach soup and a killer Caesar salad); number of manuscript rejections received with an actual email in last few weeks;

3 — number of people within two degrees of separation who have died recently. One was almost 100, one was almost 99, and one was 59. Also number of times I heard the liturgical response in Latin in my head at a funeral Mass this morning;

3.5 — number of inches of hair that I cut off this week;

4 — (also during Mass) number of times I heard my mother’s voice saying, “I love a good Irish tenor;” approximate number of times I wondered what my Jewish neighbors thought about all the sitting, standing, and kneeling going on;

5 — number of WIP quilts that I am actively working on right now;

6 — numbers of days recently racked up without sugar;

21 — number of white linens out to dry at salon on Center Street;

31 — number of tulip bulbs planted in containers to force;

75 — number of daily emails I receive from democratic candidates (just kidding, but whew — it’s a lot);

875 — total number of #PostcardstoVoters I’ve sent out in last two years (this is a real number);

Too many to count — number of times I’ve fast-forwarded through TV news coverage recently either because * I’ve already learned about issue in some detail through twitter or because ** it’s nattering on and on about what Dems are doing wrong or because *** they’re playing a clip of the former guy (and usually one I’ve heard umpteen times before — e.g. portions of his bullying, illegal conversation with Raffensperger); times I’ve felt grateful for Finn’s company.

The number of collages made in the last month, especially digital, is also too many to count.

Using this week’s Paris Collage Collective prompt (palm tree photo)

Editing as whittling

PCC collage

We are getting rain. The painters stayed home today, but yesterday as I sat upstairs in my writing chair, a man worked on a ladder directly out the window. He chatted on his phone, Spanish providing him privacy since I don’t know a word. But how I worried about him, scaling the ladder with one hand, or gripping the phone with his neck and shoulder while balancing two stories up!

In today’s blessed quiet, I’ve been editing, determined to get my word count below 140,000. Deb would scoff and maybe my paid editor would too. But a lower word count would be more appealing to the average agent. Or so I’ve heard.

Couple years back — before Covid so it feels like another lifetime — Deb visited and invited me as a guest to a writer’s conference where she was the keynote speaker. Talk at the table turned to word count.

“For a debut author, anything over 90,000 is a no-no,” one writer said. Others agreed. (Deb’s speech was amazing BTW — part humor, part wise advice).

Well, I’m not gonna even get down to 120,000, but you have to admit that our minds respond differently to 141,800 than to 139,800.

And I did it! Gonna keep going because I have a new appreciation for where I can carve. Mostly I’ll go to the Eliza chapters because she thinks too much and can be flowery in her speech. Snip. Snip.

Thirteen days

And he’s negative! Only the test could tell because he’s actually more stuffed up now than when he was sick with Covid. Seasonal allergies have hit.

This “Covid suite” aka “wreck-of-a-bedroom” will get turned back into a peaceful place today. No screens. Will run fans and air purifiers all day.

The TV was one we got for my sister. K assembled that rocker from a Shaker kit (wove the seat and back and stained and waxed the wood). That was before we got married and it’s nice to remember. Usually the rocker is hidden away for lack of a good place and if that’s a metaphor for our marriage, I don’t want to think about it.

In other news, we hired a crew to paint the house. If you knew what a DIY-household this is, your jaw would hit the floor.

We get to luxuriate in having things done for us — long overdo maintenance, at that — and to enjoy a task that gets started and finished in the same week (never mind the same season or decade). It’s also a chance to notice, not for the first time, that abrasive noise is like clutter — it bothers you less when it’s yours.

I’ll work here this morning.

A movie recommendation to end. I love stories about second chances and “I Used to Be Famous” fits the bill. Very sweet.

Kushner snuck in. Do you see his malevolent B&W eye near the left margin?

Copyright over on Instagram

Paris Collage image plus Nat Geo photo of famous free climber Alex Honnold

As you know, I routinely use magazine cut outs in my collages — National Geographic, Vogue, Living Magazine to name just three. I also use screen shots.

I think because I’m not selling my work, copyright issues have never come up. However, this week a montage of recent collages got this weird notice on Instagram about 71 nations banning my reel.

Huh? I assume the Paris Collage Club pictures do not trigger copyright claims nor, obviously, do my own photos. When I looked over the slideshow what stood out were photos of Jared and Ivanka. Is someone scouring the internet looking for unflattering pictures of them?

Screen shots used in montages

I’ll post video here just to see what happens. I have transformed the duo’s images in a way that arguably skirts copyright problems. I don’t know. I don’t really think about this stuff much.

By the way, this spooky portrait shows up in the Jared/Ivanka Monster series. I love it so much and I wish I’d noted who the photographer was. Cut out years ago.