Category Archives: responsibility

Focusing on the task at hand….

Lately the writing has been ultra tedious; while I’m grateful for managing a few sentences, I’ve been distracted too easily, and truthfully am feeling a little beside myself.  It’s like I’m seated next to me as the writer, watching as fingers flail away on the keyboard, my scattered thoughts landing on bits of fabric, scraps of paper, or my eyes drawn to the window, enjoying the rain.

Little Miss seen through an artsy filter her grandpa likes to use.

Okay, so it’s been wet out which is great and I’ve quilted cute coasters to go along with my eldest’s Southwestern placemats and to do lists are being attended, but what about my book?  Oh yeah, I’m writing a novel, or trying to.  The last two years have allegedly been the years I was going to complete The Hawk, but due to life, those plans have been fantastically scuppered.  I won’t say spectacular fail, because I know there is a time for all things.  But time is also a precious commodity and I don’t wish to waste it.  I don’t want to keep saying, “This will be the year!”

Miss Em captured by that same abuelo.

While tackling some early morning mending, I considered just how vital is wrapping up this novel; for me personally it would be an enormous relief, ahem, but in the grand scheme, what does it matter?  I try not to take myself too seriously, yet perhaps that’s been the problem, easier to say that a quilt requires my attention, or that family is paramount.  Don’t get me wrong, my family is key, but in all that faces our world, peace matters.  Love matters.  Healing matters.  These three elements are the basic themes of The Hawk.  Maybe now more than ever completing this saga is essential.

The Burrito shares his breakfast with some friends. It is for all of these grandchildren that my stories need to be shared.

I have never consider this, but until now, I’ve not had a problem writing.  And that’s the truth; right now fashioning prose is abysmally difficult.  But right now is the most necessary moment to relay love, peace, and reconciliation.  Yes I have other responsibilities, however imparting these powerful notions cannot be ignored.  Pondering that as stitches went in and out of a quilt binding provided me with impetus, also an eager hope; I write for a greater good as well as for myself.

And of course there’s Buttercup, who I am certain would say she’s the most important one of all….

We’ll see in a couple of hours if this realization makes any difference in the word count.  But right now a light shines in the recesses of a dark tunnel.  One reason I write is to make my corner of the world a little brighter.  May a rekindling of that flame spark the creative flow into a viable groove.

(Notes for) A Great Responsibility

A plus quilt top is arranged, now waits to be sewn together….

I’ve had the idea of this post since early August, but then it was time to go on holiday, and since my return, sewing amid revisions have usurped my attention.  Not to mention that this topic is somewhat daunting, ahem, but having dropped hints toward it in my previous entry, it’s probably time to follow up with some succinct explanation.

This little quilt will be heading to the UK, maybe as soon as today!

However, succinct is not my middle name, lol.  Instead I will try to expand the few notes I made before we traveled to the Midwest, in the hopes I get the basics of my sentiment down correctly.  Of course, my views are completely subjective, so take my musings with a grain or two of authorial (and quilter’s) salt…

Equate writing a novel to quilting in that the seams must last as long as possible – so a book must be written with the greatest of care humanly possible….

Why the Peach Tree conundrum matters – that while I don’t take myself too seriously, I do take into account the novels I write with all due gravity….

I’ve linked the peach tree note to a post I wrote about it, if you’re interested.  Okay, so writing and quilting aren’t life and death matters.  They are at best occupations, or simply hobbies, or are they more?  Just this morning I came across several quotes from Man Ray, which probably is why I’m writing this post, as he straddled the line perfectly between what was necessary and what was superfluous in art.  A good sense of humor struck me first, but underneath was the realization of just how our personal efforts, regardless of how widely they are embraced, demand the best we can give of ourselves.  Within a wider quote, Man Ray says: To create is divine, to reproduce is human.  He’s not talking biology, but art.  By now drama in any genre has been written and rewritten extensively, but our own twist on various themes remains essential, as does the duty to set forth those paragraphs (and comforters) with as much imagination and respect for those to whom we are presenting them.  I wouldn’t give away a half-finished quilt, nor should I publish a tale merely because I can do so.  Now, having said that, let me also state that some of my first indie novels are….  They aren’t of the same quality of what I now produce.  But at the time they were the best of my abilities, and released with honorable intentions, same as the first quilts I made.  Life is a constant learning process, and artistic growth is often cataloged for all to see.  So I won’t discount those early efforts, but I most certainly can exceed them.

Flannel-backed, it’s 34 X 40 inches, and should be handy year round in Great Britain, ha ha.

To me, the gift of publishing independently demands I do my utmost to provide readers with the highest level of my talents, and I feel the same about making quilts.  There can be no shortcuts permitted, for a quilt would unravel after so many washings, just as a novel falls apart if not properly researched and plotted.  I don’t want to waste my time, or that of whoever receives the spoils of my imagination, in doing a half-assed job, excuse my French.  Certain projects are covered by a caveat, like The Hawk for instance, as I note that it is a beta-version, and critiques are most welcome.  When I find a typo, I attempt to correct it as quickly as I can, and in the case of quilts, patches are applied when seams rupture.  My efforts are solely human in nature, although the inspiration is quite divine.  And I smile as I proceed in these tasks, for what a tremendous pleasure to craft stories and stitch quilts!  As Man Ray also says: I have been accused of being a joker.  But the most successful art to me involves humor.  This is essential in accepting responsibility, for it keeps me from taking too much pride in what I do.  As I noted, writing and sewing aren’t life and death.  Yet the intrinsic value remains and a fine line needs to be tread in keeping these gifts honest without my shadow overpowering them.

I’m adding a close-up of the back; the alphabet is essential to an author, and I just couldn’t resist this fabric….

My goodness, that’s quite a lot to say early in the week!  Yet these thoughts have been crowding my brain, and as I’m nearly back to writing, space was necessary, ha ha, just like clearing off the little quilt wall as the next fabric WIP cries for my attention.  Last night I finished hand-binding a baby quilt (photos included within this post), washed it this morning, and hope to send it later today.  Another part of the great responsibility is to see these projects through.  I’ve been graced with nimble fingers as well as inventive gray matter, so idle moments are rare.  I welcome your thoughts, and I thank you for reaching the end of this rather scattered but well-intentioned post.