Tag Archives: wip

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.

Privilege Progression – quilt slide show

One of the reasons I like to machine stitch some of the seams on bigger quilts is so that I can cycle through variations and ideas faster. The many phases of a design get lost along the way, and I’ve always thought that was kind of a shame (especially when the ‘best’ version is say, #7, while the finished version is #14!).

If I captured even a fraction of the process it would become clear why a quilt can take so many months to create.  And, the hope is that a process that is inherently frustrating will be less so if there is a visual record. What would I learn?  We shall see.

Lately I’ve begun to think that I just want to ARRANGE fabric, TAKE A PICTURE, and call it a day. That’s the other extreme… but what IF the product were purely digital?!

In the meantime, here is  ‘White House of Privilege’ morphing into something else. The White House has flown elsewhere. To be continued.

I will count this first stab at creating a slide show as a major victory on a day where the computer crashed and my photo uploading developed (new! interesting!) problems.

Getting there

Getting there.  Or not?  I like flickr.  It aids memory.  Refreshes the heart and mind of the cycles that go ’round and ’round.  Some evolving.  Some degenerating.  Reminders of the seasonal.  But, this morning’s search reminded me that a version of this quilt (below), photographed in April of last year, was titled “One Year Into It” – which makes the piece above, “Two Years and A Month Into It”.

So now two things come to mind.

A question – How do I keep my thoughts from turning in on themselves and stewing in a negative pot?  (i.e. “oh god, can’t I finish anything?!!!  will I ever quilt at a satisfactory pace while working full-time?  does that make me wrong to do X or Y?”).

And a NOTE TO SELF – perhaps it is time to employ a trick.  Like the one I used to make a quilt in honor of the women of Gee’s Bend.  THAT trick was – quilt must be made ONLY with scraps on floor or worktable and had to be designed in a single session.

For this, what?  A deadline?  No – it has to have something more than that.  Any ideas?

Work from the bottom up?  Letting the blue seep up and in (the rising waters associated with global warming)  Let the blue be the filler when two irregular patches are coming together?  Let the OFF-ness of the blue – its unintentionality, its potentially non-pleasing placement – stand for the idea that the consequences of global warming are unpleasing, don’t fit, and create mismatches of a truly awful nature.

Not to get too serious about it all, of course – because being too serious is a great way to stay stuck.