Monday, May 25, 2015

A Preview of My Blanket

Hey all!

So Sandy insisted that I pack out the squares I've crocheted so people can get an idea of what it'll look like.

Here they are.

It's a bit monotonous still with too many pinks and oranges, but I still have MANY squares left to do. The idea is that I'm going to work the squares tightly together, so there won't really be a back-ground color.

This is how many I have done, but I want the blanket to touch the floor on both sides of the double bed.

I just really like the flower motif on them and interestingly enough, they're quite easy to make. And since I'm working along a vaguely autumn theme here, I get to go through quite a bit of left-over wool from my mother and grandmother's projects.

Thoughts? Color suggestions?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Today I realized I needed to scale back

I’m usually quite good at juggling a lot of different things, but sometimes as I juggle, I come to the sudden realization that I have too many balls in the air.

And on that realization, I have to systematically start decreasing them, or else everything starts crashing down around me.

That’s where I am at the moment. At the beginning of the month, I thought that setting the July 31 date would be more than enough time to do the final preparations for publishing. It wasn’t (and still isn’t) like I have a lot of editing rounds left or anything like that.

But this month is almost done and I’m still not feeling like I’m getting to the things I need to get to while still doing everything else.

Which means that I’ve decided to cut back. At the moment, my priorities are my business and my writing career. Anything else that puts a fixed obligation or deadline on me has to go. Anything else that doesn’t put a fixed obligation or deadline on me has to be evaluated and put into a priority list.

Which means that today, I’ve written two resignation letters and in the past week, I’ve been thinking about what I want my social networking to do for me.

The general idea here is that I want to work smarter while making more of an impact. So far, it does seem to be working.

In the meantime, though, I’m trying not to feel bad about the things I’ve had to quit. I don’t like quitting things I enjoyed. But sometimes, it just has to be done in order to further my ambitions.

And that’s okay.

What do you do when you feel like you’ve got too much going on at one time?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A to Z of Lessons Learned in 2014: Ownership

This is a bit of a tricky subject for me to write about, so please bear with me.

See, 2014 and about three months into 2015 have been the worst times I've experienced in years. Although it didn't touch my health and those of most of my loved ones (for which I remain thankful.) 

But to sum up 2014: I saw basically everything of meaning that me and my family had built up for years lost through no fault of our own. (And the fallout continued into this year too. Although now I can safely say that things are going much better.) 

The thing is that really, when nothing can be done, ownership hurts. Because it makes the loss so much more personal. I couldn't take complete ownership, though. I couldn't take ownership of other people's choices. Only my own. And their choices meant that there was nothing I could still do and still maintain my integrity. 

I can take ownership of my integrity, though. Of my dignity as I went through a rough year. 

I can still take ownership of things that I can control. 

And the one thing I could control other than my dignity and integrity was what I'd do next. This is where taking ownership is a good thing. 

Because when things go this badly, everything comes down to two options: 

Get back up or don't. 

I decided to get back onto my feet. 

What about you? What's your relationship with ownership like? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Just checking in.

It's been a while since I just did a regular check-in. Mostly, it's because I'm seriously busy with preparing my two books for publishing.

It's not, however, all I've been doing lately.

Mostly, my free time (IE time not being spent on work and/or publishing) is being spent on reading and crocheting.

I'm in the process of making a blanket for my bed. A biiiiiig blanket. One that can cover my bed and hang on the floor on two sides. And the squares it consists of really aren't all that big. I can't really give a peek of what the blanket will look like, though, because I only have a lot of squares at the moment.

Because I won't be able to join them until everything's done. (I'm working with quite a few colors, so it remains to be seen how everything will look together.)

Other than that, I'm doing quite well.

How are you?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A to Z of Things I Learned in 2014: Numb

As I mentioned before, last year was horrible for me. Almost nothing truly positive happened, and the good things to 2014 can largely be measured by all the negative things that didn't happen.

But a lot of bad things happened, mostly involved with people stabbing me and/or my family in the back.

I'd picked this word in March already, before the A to Z Challenge, and... well... even until this morning, I wasn't sure about what I'd learned.

Then, this morning, I ran into one of these back-stabbers.

And you know what? Other than a faint queasy feeling because it was a less than nice surprise, I felt nothing.

So becoming numb to my anger was the lesson I'd learned. Apparently, my soul knew this before my mind did. I'd learned not to be angry every time I see or think about people who hurt me.

In fact, I don't really feel hurt anymore. With every passing day, the hurt and anger is becoming more of a distant memory. And eventually one day, it'll probably strike me that I forgave them.

But for now, I think being numb is a good reaction, because it allows me to move on with my life regardless of what they think and/or do.

Which is just as well, because people who can so easily hurt those around them, truly don't deserve any more reaction than that.

Ever unexpectedly meet someone who hurt you? What happened?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Funny How God Works...

Please note that today's post will be faith-related, so if you don't want to read it, maybe you'd like to check out my other blog?

It's actually a strange thing, trusting God. For one thing, it's never all that easy. We're constantly struggling to hand over our worries, hopes and dreams. Often, because we're afraid that He won't do with them what we want done with them. 

Then, when we do finally realize that His will is so much better for us than our own, we start praying. And often, we start praying for something while keeping in mind how that thing will come about. 

Sometimes, things do happen the way we've envisaged. 

Other times... not so much. And I think that we often miss the fact that we've been blessed because we weren't blessed in the way we expected. 

This recently hit me. See, I've been wanting to self publish my books ever since I got the rights tot them back. Which means I've been wanting to self publish for over a year. The thing is, it's expensive and really hard to do in a way that's not expensive while still looking professional. 

On my other blog, I often talk about how self publishing makes more and more economic sense these days. However, I also know that self publishing is, at least for now, what God wants me to do. I can go into long explanations as to how I know, but let's just say that a lot of prayer has been going into this and it's the answer I kept getting all year. 

One problem: 


As you might know, last year pretty much wiped the floor with my behind, and there simply wasn't money available for things like buying a cover or anything else related to publishing for myself. 

So I've been praying and praying and nothing really happens.

Or so I thought. Because although my financial position is improving thanks to my business picking up, there's so much that needs to be done with the money that I just can't comfortably spend it on luxuries. 

Then, at the beginning of this month, I got a surprise royalty payment from my former publishing house. One that I can easily call a windfall that I could spend on anything. Which automatically made me think of what I'd need to pay for to publish. 

Except... Once I thought about it, I realized that God had given me everything I needed for free. I've been blessed with amazing critique partners and an ability to edit without an editor. I then got a book with step by step instructions for formatting and cover design as a gift in return for a critique. And while following those instructions, I got the perfect images for the covers - that are in the creative commons. 

So even though I still didn't get a cent toward publishing my books, I'll still have a highly professional product without needing to actually pay for it.

And if it wasn't for a $22 royalty check that's still waiting to be used, I would never have noticed. 

What about you? Have you ever almost missed the opportunity God gave you because it didn't look like your expectations?