While I’ve found it difficult lately to sit down and write my 500 words about “anything” I can certainly start off a pretty impressive list (probably at least 500) of the reasons why this daily exercise has fallen off the side of my desk. But in the interests of time and space and not wanting to dissolve into a heaping pile of tears, I’ll stick to the top five.
With the sale of e-books on the rise, some might say the printed book is headed to the graveyard. I say, don’t buy the headstone just yet. To me, the printed page is alive and kicking. I’ll admit, I’ve got a bit of an addictive personality when it comes to books. I own more than a dozen different sewing books, each with its own focus. There’s one for slipcovers, window treatments, and stuffed animals. And then there are the cookbooks, and the craft books, and the books on gardening. Maybe I ought to feel ashamed about this affliction, but I don’t. While there are a few books that have barely had their pages fanned, the majority of the books we own have helped me acquire the skills to make many of my favorite projects. Here’s a review of several from my stash and the projects I have made, or intend to make, from them.
Stitched in Time, by Alicia Paulson
The first time I saw this book, I fell in love with the doll on the front cover. I was really new to sewing, and had no business believing I could make that or any doll, but it didn’t stop me from fantasizing how my then four-year-old daughter would fall in love with my homemade creation. Thankfully, she did! This book not only contains fabulous sewing projects, but also personal essays, photos, and recipes by the author Alicia Paulson (creator of the blog Posie Gets Cozy). The photos of Paulson’s backyard make me want to crawl inside and have a cup of tea with her.
On my “to make” list: The reusable Happy Birthday banner.
I’m not the type to brag about my accomplishments, in fact, I usually write about myself in a somewhat self-deprecating manner. This makes what I’m about to say all the more unusual. Ready? Here goes:
I. AM. AWESOME!!
I just fixed the printer. It took me several hours over the course of the day, in fits and starts between diaper changes and dinner dates, but I finally fixed the darn thing!
Now, I’m sure the last thing anybody wants to read is a play-by-play of how my mind works…but on the off chance I can spare others the aggravation I experienced, I’m going to share the breadcrumb trail I followed to Fix-it-Ville.
One of the “as-yet-untitled” screenplays I’m working on began its life as a novel. The idea for which came to me in much the same way as the poems and story vignettes I wrote about in Summoning the Muse. It was a month or so after the 911 attacks and I had recently miscarried what would have been my first child. As often happens during times of stress or hormonal fluctuations (e.g., the phenomenon of post-partum hair loss), my hair had begun to fall out. In clumps.
In retrospect I’m sure my thinning hair didn’t even warrant a second glance from passersby, but to me, my visible scalp shone like a beacon, announcing to the world that I, a woman in her early thirties, was, in fact, going bald.
We live in earthquake country. I’ve felt small tremors and medium-sized ones, and live with a healthy dose of fear that the long-predicted “big one” will hit California any day now. And yet, if it did, we would be woefully unprepared. It’s really easy to forget you live in earthquake country, until, that is, one strikes, and then it’s hard to imagine you’ll ever forget again. But then you do. You vow to get that earthquake kit together. You swear you’ll replace that funky water stored under three inches of dust in your garage. Really, you will. Right after you tend to something else which seems way more important because it’s actually happening, not theoretically happening.
But the thing about earthquakes is that they are unpredictable. It’s almost crazy not to be always prepared for them to strike because we never have any warning that they will.
Which brings me to two separate but equal events today that led me to drink down that healthy dose of fear I mentioned earlier. One has to do with imagining an earthquake won’t happen; the other has to do with imaging one has.