I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but when coming to a crossroads, reflection is necessary. I just completed Part 9 of The Hawk. Assuming the rest of 2016 goes to some ethereally tentative plan, I will manage to wrap up this story by year’s end. But it won’t be like finishing a typical rough draft, for I’ve been revising this novel since I clocked in the first 40K. This tale is like no other, but then that’s true of whatever gets written.
It’s like a quilt top, for no two are the same. I’ve been working on what will be a baby quilt for college buddies of my eldest and her hubby. A playmate for Little Miss will arrive in May, and in between chapters, fabrics have been accumulating on the quilt wall.
Admittedly I’m not sure what I think about it, for a baby I mean. I told my daughter that I’m still slightly intimidated when making an improv quilt; just because I like this style doesn’t mean everyone will.
But of course, that’s a tad defeatist, and I just need to set aside my fears. Fortunately I have laid down all expectations when it comes to The Hawk. I keep spinning out more plot than might be good for me. Yet, a novel isn’t intended for merely one person; it’s uploaded for all takers, and I have no concerns if someone quits halfway through. Writing a book differs from making a quilt in that manner, or maybe just sewing a baby comforter for someone not related to me, lol.
But if I take away the expectations, I love how this quilt top is coming along; I adore the log cabin blocks (Oh give me a log cabin block any day!) amid the corner and middle blocks which are drawn around one framed piece. I wasn’t sure how I was going to fashion this quilt until I saw another with the same notion. Then it became a matter of solids balancing the prints, low and high volume hues scattered appropriately, sewn as words fell onto the document, stretching out what initially was a short story into something epic in length if nothing else.
Considering that novel will take up my time through the end of March; I’ll be keeping an eye on grandkids and hosting a good friend. But I’m grateful for the break, for I went from Part 8 right into Part 9, and while I love writing, the last few chapters felt like pulling teeth. I’m also feeling that way with this quilt, insecurities chipping away at my resolve. Silly insecurities! A baby won’t have aesthetic concerns, plus her parents will be too sleep deprived to notice. By the time any of them might harbor a critical eye, the quilt will be well worn, and other distractions will have arisen.
Creativity isn’t conjured by twitching one’s nose or snapping fingers. There is work involved, many musings, then the courage to git ‘er done, as my father used to say. And perhaps bravery is the hardest part, pushing through the anxiety, reaching the stopping point. Sometimes that pause is brief, as revisions occur, or sometimes it’s the finality of those last stitches, followed by a good laundering. And of course that’s merely for those pieces of my life which don’t linger. They are given away to make room for other treasures, which then are handed over and…. And the cycle will continue until either I run out of words and plot or fabrics and thread. I remember completing previous novels and quilts, wondering what would follow. And here I am again in the middle, working myself outward, widening the circle in manners I never considered. Maybe that’s analogous to a life well lived; touching with love all with whom we encounter. What a blessing not only to proffer books and quilts, but to persevere through the worries. What I write and sew isn’t for everyone, but that’s all right. It’s not for me to determine the purpose, only to engage in the process, then embrace what comes next.