Ruminating about sewing is so much easier than discussing my other crafty endeavors. With the pixilated heart quilt, I’ve taken plenty of photographs, in part that my eldest has been gushing about that project, and maybe in the snapshots I send her, she’s distracted, a little bit, from the project upon which she cannot escape.
She’s still waiting on that baby, bless her. And truthfully, it won’t be much longer now….
Still, those are mere words, much like what I’ve written in The Hawk. More words than I can shake a stick at, but some of them, a couple of sentences actually, define this tale, one early on, and now I’ve reached, all the way in Chapter 89, another theme that will echo throughout the rest of the novel, regardless of how much else I still have to write. (I’d like to think I’m halfway done, sure, let’s go with that….)
But I can’t give away much here, or I don’t wish to, because that would spoil it for anyone who has read Part One. I can share the completed quilt top, no harm in that, because the person for whom it will go has no idea. Putting together this particular quilt top has been an amazing process, cementing my decision to turn my sewing adventures in a more improvisational manner. While I love the colours and visual flow, I’m ready to quilt without a ruler or plan.
But writing isn’t that free-form, or at least not my fiction. Poetry, sure; throw caution to the winds and see what results. But especially with The Hawk, so much ground work has been laid, that this far into the book, I have to respect the framework while adding onto the structure. And while I know how it ends, I still have to get there. However, after reading through Chapter 89, I feel a little more secure in where I’m going.
But it does drive me a little crazy, not being able to expound upon that other than to say, “Oh, cool! I’m going to write this and that and….” It’s very similar to what my daughter is facing, these last days of being pregnant. She knows a baby will result, but what will that child look like, how will she be? And that’s not even bringing the actual birth into it; that’s a huge part of the process, but it’s also fleeting, in that she’ll undergo labour, then WHAM! Here’s your first child, to whom you will be connected, in one way or another, for the rest of your life. Sure, the initial years are a tightly woven quilt of ever-changing fabrics, but those linens remain attached, even through repeated washings.
I know this well; it’s my eldest who in 2007 encouraged me to participate in NaNoWriMo. That same daughter brought me into quilting. Goodness only knows where else she might lead me!
However, for The Hawk, I’m being guided by a different force, a search for my Father. Eric notes that to Lynne, early on in the novel, and after I’d typed those words, I realized the road this book was going to take. It’s more than a story about a guy who…. And a good long chunk into it, I’m finding another layer, tucked away inside that magical blue barn. This notion wasn’t at all present back in the autumn of 2013, when I started this story. It evolved over the months I have worked on this book, also during the time of literary quiet, when quilts ruled the roost. And writing this book has prompted me to appreciate those prose-less days, for the story isn’t the only part of this that has altered.
I’m different too.
Both of my daughters have transformed significantly in the last year; the eldest is on the cusp of one of the most outstanding alterations that will have happened to her, so far. I love being a mother, but writing and sewing have also fashioned huge impacts upon my life. So has becoming a grandmother, hee hee. Books, like life, need time to percolate. Quilts do too, for all of the best things take time. Maybe my daughter is sick and tired of waiting on her baby; I know I’d love to have The Hawk wrapped up. But thankfully I have a modicum of patience stored away, which makes it easier for me to take writing as it comes, waiting on a grandchild in the same cognizant manner. Nothing worthwhile appears overnight, or not very often. For now I’ll satisfy my soul in one more chapter for the day, another cup of coffee, then some hand-sewn binding upon that heart quilt. If my daughter calls today with some labour-like good news, fantastic.
If not, no worries. I have a hawk, and quilts, to keep me busy….