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I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
Sunday, August 19, 2007  

So... it looks like I'm going to be an author. Wow. I found out on Friday and I'm still kind of flummoxed. It just really feels too good to be true. I keep waiting to wake up and find out I dreamt this whole thing. I just... can't quite believe in it yet.

It's really pretty amazing what a difference a year will make. A year ago, I had the worst job I've ever had (and that is really saying something). The work itself wasn't too bad, but the boss was an absolute horror. Now that I'm away from it, I can't believe I put up with that woman and didn't just tell her off, but I needed a job, and I didn't want to leave after a few months and look like a job hopper. But then I found the listing for this job, and even though I thought I'd never get it (because I didn't have editing experience), I knew I had to at least try. And I so I applied, I interviewed, I hoped and prayed and agonized, and I got the job. I couldn't believe my ears when they called to hire me. And it is an amazing job. Sure, I hate getting up early in the morning and I wish I had more time for my spinning, etc., and I'd love to break free from the 9-5 world, but I have to work, and I don't think I could find a better job. I've met some amazing artists, I work with some amazing women that are teaching me so much, not just about the publishing industry, but about life. And I get to have a hand in making other people's dreams come true. Many of the authors I work with are first time authors, artists who want to write about what they love to do. And being published is as much a dream to them as it is to me. It's awesome to have a hand in bringing their vision to life. The company I work for treats me well, and I enjoy my work. And now this! I get to write a book. I get to have a hand in teaching people to spin and further reviving the art/craft I love so passionately. I am just amazed. And hopefully this will help me move in the direction I want to go, toward a time where I can be a full-time artist/crafter. I'm pretty sure that time is still far, far in the future, but I would have said the same thing about the time when I could write a book. For now, I'm just going to try to enjoy what I have and keep an eye out for opportunities as they come along.

Now that pub board has said "yes" to the proposal, I'll be entering into contract negotiations. I'll be interested to see what that is like from the author's side of the table. The book is slotted for the Spring '09 season right now, and the tentative pub date is in June, 2009, but that is only tentative. There isn't a title yet, and there probably wont' be for a few months. And I won't have much say in the matter, either, which I think may be a challenge for me. As I said, it will be interesting to be on the author's side of the table for all of these things. I'll keep you updated on details as they are firmed up. I'll be glad when all of the contract "stuff" is worked out so that I have a solid timeline for the writing and for the projects. There may not be many projects to see here over the next few months as I work on super-secret book stuff. If that is the case, I apologize in advance because I'll probably be too busy to apologize later :-) But I do promise, my blog will not turn into all book, all the time. I know no one wants to read a 22-month-long advertisement for a book!

Speaking of non-book stuff: I finished Fleurette last night! Yippee. She's still a skinny little blob right now since blocking has not occurred, but I'll have blocking pics for you soon. I'm glad she's done (after only four months of knitting-yeesh!) and I'm looking forward to a new knitting project. I haven't picked anything yet, but I'm having lots of fun daydreaming. I'm still spinning away at English Gardens and I'm really enjoying it. I got in some good quality time with my wheel this weekend and I enjoyed it immensely. And more time with her, soon; only five more days of work, then ten days off. Vacation, here I come! Woohoo!

Have a great week, all!

Monday, August 13, 2007  

So, here's a couple good pictures of the cut...

Lots of layers with ends flipped
and here's a good picture of the COLOR!

I overdyed all of my highlights to bring most of the hair back to my natural color, a dark, sandy blond. Intermingled on the lower layera are chops of red, orange and gold. I pretty much told the stylist that I wanted it to look like my hair was on fire, and I think she did a great job!

For some reason, shots from a normal "portrait" distance swallow up the color, but believe me, the up close shot is a much more accurate look at the color. There isn't a ton of the wild color up around my face, it's mostly in the back, but you can definitely see it in person.

I know this isn't the wildest hair style ever, but it's a lot further than I've ever gone, and I do still work in an office, so I think the acid green mohawk is out for now :-P I'm really happy with it, but now I need to learn how to style it myself. Oy! Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 12, 2007  

First: The book proposal didn't happen on the 10th, so that means it should be this Friday, the 17th. There's no guarantee, unfortunately, because it has already been put off a couple of times, but I've got my fingers crossed that this is it. I've been keeping pretty cool throughout this process, but now that it seems like this is a solid date, I'm starting to get nervous. Eek! Here's a sneak peek at one of the projects I prepared for the proposal. Shh, don't tell.

I can't really tell you much about it, because any project that ends up in the book is supposed to be new-to-the-world. Sneak peeks are okay, but full disclosure is a no-no. So, if the book goes through, you can read all about this in the book, and if it doesn't go through, I'll tell you all about it next weekend.

Everything Else: Less than two weeks to vacation! Woohoo! Mostly, I think two weeks from now is SO FAR AWAY and I can't wait for vacation, but a little part of me is all "OMG, only two weeks?!?!? I have SO MUCH to do before then! Ack!" My schedule at work has been picking up as they assign me more books, and I have so many things I need to get out the door, to authors, proofreaders, indexers, etc., before I leave for vacation. It's going to be another crazy couple of weeks! But, I don't think it will be anything like the end of July (I hope!).

In spite of being busy at work, I had a pretty nice week. I re-read the sixth Harry Potter book and then FINALLY read the seventh. I like the HP books, but I'm not a huge, crazy super-fan, but despite that, I just couldn't seem to put book seven down. All of my spare time was spent reading until I finished it. I did really enjoy it, and I'm satisfied with the close of the series, but now I'm glad to have my life back. It felt like I fell into a Harry Potter black hole for a few days! It's been nice to do something other than obsessively read these past couple days. I did a bit of spinning on the English Gardens bombyx and some knitting on Fleurette. The end is near with Fleurette, so if I get some quality time with it, it ought to be an FO soon. I'm looking forward to finishing it and planning for a new project. I've got a few ideas for my next knitting project, but I may end up being boring and starting my holiday knitting early. Socks, here I come! Of course, if the book goes through, I'll be working on projects for that for quite awhile.

My last bit of spinnerly news is that I received a very nice package in the mail this week from June. She and I swapped some fibers and I'm very pleased with my end of the deal! She sent me some bombyx, dyed in beautiful blues and greens, a Twosheep original,

and some lovely merino and silk that she carded together.

I can't wait to dive into both of them! The silk is even more beautiful in person than it is in the picture, and it has really gorgeous, subtle shading. I can't wait to spin up a sample of this! And the merino/silk is so lovely and fluffy. June did a wonderful job carding it, and I just can't stop petting it. I did a very quick 2-yard spindle sample on this, and the color is just begging me to make a Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl (A Gathering of Lace) from it. That perfect, barely-there aqua with the lovely silk sheen and the pretty purple highlights would be perfectly lovely in any number of shawls, but I'm definitely feeling the Frost Flowers mojo. Must... spin... faster! Thank you for a lovely swap, June!

One last tease, and then I'm off to bed. Tomorrow night I'm off the hairdresser's for a big change. I do love my curls, and I've enjoyed them, but I've always wanted to do something wild with my hair, and I've always been too much of a goody-two-shoes. Well, screw that! Life is too short, it's just hair, and I want a little bit of my crazy inside to show on the outside. I'll post pictures when the deed is done. For now, I'm kissing this mop goodbye!

Sunday, August 05, 2007  

Well, what do you know? I survived the second half of July.

I could see ahead of time that the second half of July was going to be busy. I realized that for about two weeks there was just going to be some suckage. But whoa... July totally kicked my ass. Up one side and down the other. It was brutal. In, you know, a total American middle-class kind of way. I need to keep some Perspective. As bad as it was, I always had the people that I love, three meals a day, a bed to sleep in at night and air conditioning and cable. But beside that, it was brutal.

Do you ever just feel like you are ready for some new problems? I'll say that to Mark sometimes, when we're having the same fight for the fifth time about some silly (or not so silly) thing we each think is settled. Could we have a new problem, please? I'm tired of this one. The problems I'm tired of right now aren't problems with Mark, though. Things are actually going really great between the two of us. I'm so glad I have him here to share my life with. He's been so great while I've been going through all this crap. But seriously, I've been banging my head against some of the same problems my entire adult life, and I am damn tired of them. Could I possibly learn and grow a bit? I would like some new problems, please. Preferably ones that aren't as difficult as the old problems. *Sigh* Let's all look at the cute kitty and forget the problems for just one second, okay?

Okay, I don't know about you, but I feel better now. That's my own little smidgen in her favorite resting place, the box from Mark's bike helmet. She's kooky. She has two very nice, smooshy beds, one with a catnip insert, and this is where she likes to curl up. The inside of a tiny cardboard box. Such a goof.

Let's move on to some of the good stuff. One of the busy-making things from July was the fact that I had an author in town for a step-by-step photoshoot last month. But that was also one of the awesome things, as busy as it made my week. The author was totally wonderful, and the book she's writing is on metal clay, something I've been wanting to learn about for awhile now, and having an author in town was like a week-long class in metal clay. We even had some extra time on the last day of the photoshoot, so I got to make a ring. It's not perfect, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I totally give metal clay a thumbs-up. Hahahahahaha. I crack myself up. Cut me some slack here, it hasn't been such a fun ride lately. I feel a new obsession coming on. Anyone wanna buy some fiber to help fuel my new habit?

Speaking of fiber, I haven't been getting particularly far on my own little projects. Fleurette is coming along and may be finito soon. There's only about 30 yards of yarn left, so I'm definitely on the home stretch. Now I'm just worried that the scarf will be too small. Unstretched, the scarf is only about 3 1/2 feet long; stretched, it will probably make about four feet. I'd say thirty yards won't be more than six inches of knitting, so I'm thinking about 4 1/2 feet long. I'm not sure why it is coming out so short. I made another scarf just as wide with less yarn that came out to be 5 feet. I'm not sure about gauge off the top of my head, but I thought they were similar. Guess I was wrong, though, huh? The proof will be in the pudding, as they say. I'll see how it all turns out when I'm done.

Spinning has been going abysmally slow. That is the area where I really want to pick up. But, as I already said, July was a hellacious month, so maybe I'll get more done now that it's August. I do have the last week of August off, so maybe I'll be able to kick back, relax, and spinspinspin then. Mark and I decided not to go anywhere at all for vacation this year, just to stay home, relax and enjoy each other's company. I'm sure that will include some spinning time for me.

I do have one tiny confession about what's been keeping me away from my projects, beside the fact that I was so busy in July. I've been working on super-secret projects for... a book proposal. One of the acquisition editors on my team approached me and told me that they were wanted to do a book on spinning and... would I like to write it? Guess how fast I said yes (here's a hint: it was pretty darn fast). Now, it's not a done deal, the pub board still has to approve it, but it's still an exciting possibility. I've been working on sample skeins and sample projects using handspun yarn (knitting, weaving and embroidery, oh my) to take to the pub board to look at when the book is proposed. The proposal will either be this Friday, the 10th, or next Friday, the 17th, so pretty please cross your fingers for me. I would really like for this to happen. If it doesn't happen right here, right now, that's okay. I'm finally beginning to have some faith that if I work hard toward my goals, one day I will get there. If it doesn't happen right here, right now, it will happen during another time, at another place. But it would be nice if this came through.

So, I think that's about all of the news that's fit to print, so I'm going to call it a night. Sorry for the extended silence. I hope your July was better than mine. And here's to a fabulous August!

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