Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every Day I Write the Book

Sorry for the radio silence, but I'm in the midst of being my little type A self.  I've been working on the Purple Calendar of Doom and really trying to deal with some of the goals I have in my various plans.

This month I managed to catch up on my spinning for July, August and September for my 4 oz a month quota under the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan. I finished spinning the cormo, alpaca and silk fiber from Foxfire Fiber & Designs. The yarn as a single is toward your left and the yarn after I plyed it is to your right. I also ended up with a .62 oz credit towards October, which is good because I have a lot of stuff going on in October.
In knitting news I finished my Google+ KAL Shawl.  It's really more a shawlette, which is actually good because I think I can wear it to work. To the left, is the unblocked shawl. To the right is the shall after blocking.  See why blocking lace is a good idea? :)

In furtherance of the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction plan, I have several goals that need to be met.  Paragraph 5 requires me to knit something with handspun that had been spun prior to December 31, 2010.  Paragraph 8 requires me to knit something for Shawn.  As it's getting to be the end of the year, I decided to cheat and combine them.  So I'm knitting a hat for Shawn from my handspun.  Once this is done, I'll have to take a break from the plan to do my Stitches homework for the classes I'm taking, as that is fast approaching.

In writing news, I have been completely insane.  My plan for the year has been to write 8,000 words a month until the novel was finished.  Well, I mostly blew off July and August, so I had 13,043 words to write to catch up for July and August at the beginning of this month and another 8,000 for September, which adds up to 21,043 words.  21,043 words if I was going to try to make it all up and write September, if I didn't manage to finish the novel in that word count.  So I started the month thinking that if I could just write the 13,043 to catch up, I would only be one month behind, and I could make that up over two months.  Two days ago, I hit the 13,043.  So I decided to keep going so that there would be less to make up over the next two months.  As of last night, I hit 16,242 words for the month, which leaves me with 4,801 words left for the month to write.  If I can write 1,600 words a night for the next three nights (I can't use Friday, as my mother will be in town), I can make up all of September.  I can't quite believe that this might be possible. 

In gym news, I'm still going.  Last night was my 12th visit of the month.  I still don't like it, but I'm still going.

That's all I have time for, as I'm squeezing this post in before work.  Stay tuned for further updates :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

We Work the Black Seam

Well, after whining in my last post about how much time I was wasting at the gym and not getting other things done, I revamped the Purple Calendar of Doom and tried to take it seriously.  So since my last post, I do have numbers to report. 

In fiber news, I made up my spinning goals for July and August, and now I'm working on the quota for September.   First I spun up some dual color roving from Ingrid Byrd that I bought at a NH Sheep & Wool or NH Wool Tour a hundred years ago.  I ended up with 4.94 ounces of yarn and it's about a worsted weight.

Then I spun some Ingeo which is corn silk.  I had bought a sampler pack of plant fibers, again a hundred years ago and had never spun this.  It's somewhat like silk but harder on your hands than silk.  It ended up being about a DK or sport weight.  The resulting yarn reminds me of linen more than silk.  I didn't enjoy spinning it and I'm not sure I'll do it again.  I ended up with 2.29 ounces.

This brought me up to date and half an ounce into September.  I've started spinning a Cormo/Silk/Alpaca blend Roving from Foxfire Fiber & Designs.  I love her stuff.  I just adore it.  If I could only buy fiber from one processor/vendor, it would be from here.  I need to have finished spinning 3.51 ounces by the end of September to comply with the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan.  I have about 4 ounces of the stuff, but I'm spinning this very finely, so it's taking time.

In knitting news, I finished Chart C and have started working on Chart D of the G+ knit along shawl.  I'm hoping to put some more time on that as well. 

In writing news, I've gained 4,587 words so far this month, which nearly catches me up my goals for July.  Sigh.  But that gets me to 112,431 words and 370 pages.  The damn thing will not end. I know where it's going, I just have to get it down.  And I don't want to think about the revisions. This past weekend was the monthly meeting of the Misplaced Modifiers except we skipped August because we were busy.  It was a wonderful day at Mary Kate R's and I made a dairy and egg free gingerbread cake, which was good and cake-y, but not ginger-y enough.

In gardening news, my habaneros are starting to ripen and I've gotten two cucumbers.  Next year I'm going to take a pass on the tomatoes and cukes, and just do peppers.  They are doing well, as well as the herbs, and everything else is struggling. 

I'm still going to the gym.  Tonight was my 5th visit this month of the eight I have to attend to get my insurance to pay for it. 

In other news, I'm doing the 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 16th.  Please consider donating, as I walk in memory of my aunt Liz (on the left for those of you who didn't know her), who died in 2004, in support of those of my friends who are still fighting and those who survived. My page is to donate is here

And that's pretty much the news that's fit to print.   

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Busy Doing Nothing (yes that's still a song title)

Seems like I've been at a dead run all month, with not a lot of progress to show for it.  But maybe I have to reconsider what progress means.  While I am not personally motivated by the almighty dollar, it always amuses me how much emphasis I put on measurable results.  That means completing a thing, reaching a word count, checking off boxes on a to-do list, completing goals on the Purple Calendar of Doom, basically getting something I can measure and see with my two eyes.  Intangibles are much harder for me. I generally get impatient with people who focus on the overall vision and philosophy and I always want them to cut to the chase and get to the bottom line (to use corporate speak) and figure out how we are going to actually do the damn thing.  I also have a problem with time.  Time means more to me than money. I don't like to waste my time, and I am constantly engaged in figuring out how to save time, how to gain time, how to cut the time it takes to do things, both at work and at home.  Time is always what I wish I had more of.  I mean money would be great too, but it's just money, I don't lust after it the way I always lust after more time.  Money can't buy me time, unless I won the lottery and could stop working for a living.

So what's the point of this rambling? I'm trying to figure out how to make it okay to myself that I spent a boatload of time at the gym this month to the detriment of my other goals.  This was my first month as a member of a gym (that I actually attended) since 1996.  I went 15 times this month and spent between an hour and an hour and a half each time.  Taking time for physical exercise is tough for me.  I do not enjoy physical exercise.  That whole endorphin thing?  I've never experienced it in my life (and don't tell me I will as things progress, because I never did even when I was more in shape and exercising regularly).  Quite frankly, I think other people are making it up and endorphins are akin to unicorns and leprechauns.  And I hate to sweat.  And the time it wastes doing something I do not enjoy kills me.  And my busy little type A mind says to myself, "Yes, I know that you're here because you want to be healthier and you don't want to get diabetes and you need to strengthen your back because you're tired of your back going out and your sciatica, but seriously?  You're going to be dead and in the ground no matter what and wouldn't you have rather spent the time doing something else?"  Can you all see why my inner voice is not particularly helpful?  And I'm making measurable progress with respect to increasing the amount of reps on the machines, and how much I can bike, walk on the treadmill, and do the elliptical, and it is becoming harder to reach my target heart rate doing what I was doing, but my inner voice is not impressed.  "So what?" it says.  "You're getting better at doing something you don't like doing and wasting all this time, when you have other things you need to do like finish your novel, and make your goals on your stash reduction plan."  It's been helpful that I've been meeting up with Bridget M and Shawn to help get me there, but I still I need help guys, help me come up with things to tell my inner voice.  Because the fact that I need to do this to take better care of myself, is not impressing my inner voice.  Taking care of myself has never been high on my inner voice's list of priorities, I've always had more important things to get done.  Intellectually, I know I need to do this.  But I need help actually believing it.  Particularly when I look at what else I didn't accomplish this month as a result.

So, moving on to the numbers and what I didn't accomplish this month.  As stated above, not so much writing this month.  I gained only about 1,337 words this month for a new grand total of 107,844 words and 355 pages. Yippy.  Spinning goals, a big fat zero.  Woo hoo! Did a little bit more knitting, but not a ton.  I'm working on the G+ BBKAL shawl.  Got a bit done during the hurricane, but I've been lax about even knitting it seems like. 

In other news, I did finally get my tattoo done.  It's my 40th birthday present to myself, which is not until February, but I wanted it done before the cruise in December and needed it done in time to heal well so I can do what I want to do on the cruise.  This pic is taken right after it was finished so the skin is still red, but I can't take a new one until it has finished healing and peeling, because you don't want to see the peeling.  But it's looking like it's healing well. If you can't tell the yarn underneath the dragon says "Yarned & Dangerous."  I'm really, really happy with it.  You saw the crappy picture I gave to the tattoo artist in my last post, and this is what she came up with.  She's brilliant!!  If there's other knitterly folk in NH that want a custom tattoo done, here's her portfolio at Tattoo Junkies in Portsmouth, NH.  Her name is Stina Sardina Wulfe.  She actually did research on how people hold their hands when they knit to get the dragon's fingers right.  And for those considering it, I was surprised at how much it really, really hurt.  Lora K was laughing at me biting my finger really, really hard the whole time, as she documented the process on film for me.  So this is my last one until I turn 80.  I think once every 40 years will cover it. 

This month also saw the arrival of my friend Kat's little munchkin.  Welcome to the world, little Mateus, or as you will always be known to me henceforth, Roscoe Buford Bobby-Joe, in recompense for your mother screwing around with me about your name before you were born. The amount of hair on that kid's head is amazing. 

The garden is doing well, I finally harvested about 9 ripe cherry tomatoes and the garden lived through Hurricane Irene.  We were very lucky here.  Although we had a ton of rain, the power only flickered twice, and my balcony was sheltered enough that I didn't even have to take the topsy-turvy that the cherry tomatoes are in down from where it was hanging.  This is, of course, because I went out and bought flashlights, batteries, and things I could cook in a Jetboil if necessary. Laurin's shin dig got cancelled, which was a bummer, but it's minor in the grand scheme of things.  My thoughts go out to those that were not as lucky, and I hope that power is restored to those still waiting as soon as possible.

Today I plan to try to write, work on the schedule for September in the Purple Calendar of Doom, and knit. We might go to the gym, but any thoughts you all have to use against my inner voice would be helpful.

Stay tuned for further updates.