Sunday, February 12, 2006

This and that

I have been blog lazy for a while recently but have been inspired to blog again by both a nag/request from a writing buddy and because I've just been reading Keris Stainton's website and my blog - even with regular entries - would look thin and anaemic in comparison. without regular entries it looks - well, worse!

But it is not that I have not been writing - to the contrary I am delighted that, having started working three days a week to accommodate it in January, I have so many sequential chapters done (28) - previously it was just a random collection of fragments. The pride at feeling like a real live novelist offsets the pain of dumping lots of the fragments which were probably necessary to get me where I am now but will not see the light of day again. What is intriguing is that having allocated two days a week to write I am now happy not to write the other days whereas before if I didn't get time to write it was 'another day wasted'. It's as if having elevated it to the status of 'proper work', I am now freed to fill my weekends with other activities rather than batting off the overspill of legal work to try to squeeze in some writing.

Which is where the quilting comes in. Basically, I have acquired another addiction which fits in beautifully with my other obsessions of Internet Reseach and book buying. It's all my husband's fault ( isn't it always?!). He needed buttons sewing on various items of clothing and had the sense to wait to ask me to do it ( yes he ought to be able to do it himself and no he can't!) until I was relaxed infront of the TV. I quite enjoyed the rythm of it and got to thinking that I understood why my Mum likes embroidery and tapestry so much. Only I don't really like the end product of those pastimes. Out of nowhere a little thought came into my head: but I like Amish quilts..... I wonder if I could make those.

Now put quilting into Google and you can be reading all week (and I was, almost) and within a day or two I was hooked. It has it all - the opportunity to play with colours and patterns, the sense of being almsot giddy with the choice of designs, and also the sense of being linked to generations of women who have quilted. Then there is the possiblity of travel ( did you know you can go on guided tours of Amish quilting shops and displays?!), shelves of books on the topic on Waterstones and of course - the on line shopping for everything from fabric to needles to beeswax to leather boxes to hold it all in. There is also the fact that you can enter competitions and even train as a quilting judge.

Of course, it is a little alarming that the latter two facts excited me as I am sure that it would do me good to learn just to enjoy doing something without always having to strive toward a goal. So I will rein in my competitiveness and make it only my ambition to be placed ( not even win) a competition by the time I am 65. Which is reasonable because I'm not actually very good at it. Yet. So I have to buy more books to learn about it and more fabric to try it all out ... and while I am trying to fathom out how it is humanly possible to handsew 14 stitches to the inch I can watch a bit of TV. Which is how I came to see a TV programme about a single disabled woman who was determined to have a baby, which set me off thinking about a novel plot, which I liked but not so much as one I've had rolling around in my mind about assisted suicide which I think will be the next book if I ever get the existing book out of the way. So perhaps I haven't been that lazy after all....