finding time

I have learned how to carve out time in my day to knit. I find minutes here and there on lines, on trains, in the car, while waiting for dinner to cook. In the few extra minutes I’ve had (thank you Lowes and Syms), I finished R’s socks today.

I know how to get a large amount of reading done. There are certain parts of the day or week I have set aside for reading.

I’ve not yet figured out how to carve the time to write.

It’s a problem. I think part of it is that I have come to rely too much on electrical or mechanical* assistance to my writing. Yes, my journal writing is 99% by hand and I know the problem I have with not writing there in public, but there is and always will be non-private journal writing I can and should do. For a long time I carried a small notebook around. Now that I use my A5 filo I’m torn between using a small moleskine (current one is actually ruled, not grid) or just some sheets in the filo. My current guess is that I’ll use the A5 during the week and the small book on weekends, when I don’t schlep the filo around. Only time will tell.

Pen choice is another whole can of worms which I’ll leave to next week. I have some reading, writing, knitting, crochet, and perhaps if time is kind to me, spinning I’d like to do before tomorrow.

The dishwasher works, we think the stove is ready. I’m just very very happy it has sealed burners. I seem to look at it and cause splatters.

* my first typewriter was a beautiful blue manual typewriter. I am still sad that my mother “left it” when she moved since I had a wordprocessor. I’m sure that given the late nights I spent in high school typing, it was definitely a good thing not to have a typewriter. That said, I miss it.

choosing to read …

How do you choose to read the blather I’ve written here or not? Is it a particular topic (theoretically posted on a schedule) that catches your eye? Is it the “headline” or “lead paragraph”? I doubt highly it is my “skilled and engaging” writing. [snort] I find it highly amusing that the post which gathered the most comments recently (note I am not looking for comments as I have an odd relationship with them) was one which, in passing, mentioned a pain I was experiencing. Er, AM experiencing, but anyway….

A short while ago two posts from a site I had never read before caught my eye (I forget how I found them). From an article written in 1998 Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines and more recently Passive Voice Is Redeemed For Web Headings.

Hmm.. I honestly hadn’t read the full articles until today, but have thought a good deal about the titles.

Regarding the first one, how often do you receive an email with the subject line blank, “hi”, or with a really old subject line? Do you read those quickly? I tend not to. Actually I haven’t read or replied to much of my email in months now. I’m sure everyone hates me, but I’m just as much at fault. Glancing quickly through my sent mail I see that many of my emails are titled with subject lines of “hi”, “morning”, “…”, “er…”, “uhm..”, and “sorry”. I guess that the last one is possibly descriptive and the second one is sent work-week daily to my husband.. but the rest? I’m curious (and have not yet explore the site further) if there is more current research on this topic. In ’98 I received far less email than I do today. I think a high was 100 messages (including mailing lists) in a week. I think I now average that in a morning.

The second article made me twinge at first. I’ve been attempting (unsuccessfully, as is obvious) to ban passive voice from my writing. I don’t really care about the profitability of this site (because there is none), but I do work with clients who care a good deal about SEO and being number one at google. (With a name like “apple and apple” it is quite difficult for them to do, but we are working on it). Hmm. I’m going to need to think a good deal more about these two articles and further explore this new-to-me site.

What do you think?

introductions and silliness

Once again this is not the post I thought I’d write, last week or this.. several things came up today which prevented me from finishing what I had planned. The best laid plans of mice and men….

Today I’ll attempt to write a little more on Montgomery’s journals. I don’t think I’ll even come near to doing them justice. My head is swimming from various directions and paths to take. Thank you for being my test subjects as I sort this all out.

One of the most fascinating aspects of L. M. Montgomery’s journals is that she introduces the individuals she writes about. I find this fascinating and for a while in each new volume I did this as well (I only discovered that she did it in the past month). Now, I don’t really. Maybe it would do better for my character development if I tried it again.

But one thing, which Anne speaks about to Gilbert in Anne of Avonlea (more on that tomorrow) is after Gilbert asks her what is wrong,

“Nothing very dreadful. I was just trying to write out some of my thoughts, as Professor Hamilton advised me, but I couldn’t get them to please me. They seem to still and foolish directly they’re written down on white paper with black ink. Fancies are like shadows… you can’t cage them… perhaps I’ll learn the secret some day if I keep trying…” (p 70 in my copy; fourth paragraph in “the pointing of duty”)

Anne, while you are but 17 when you speak these words, are you sure you aren’t a decade older? Perhaps it is when I see how silly some of my frustrations are when I write them out. Or how I often make mountains out of a few grains of sand, that seeing how silly they are helps me keep in touch with some sort of reality. I guess.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep trying to carve out minutes to write. I’m not sure yet if I’ll do nanowrimo. I have a very busy November ahead of me, and if I can’t shake this sinus/head cold thing I’m going to be very very miserable.

To those of you with long hair who might be able to help me puzzle this out. One of my fibro “trigger points” is a knot on my left shoulder a short bit from the base of my neck. However, I also keep my hair in a low bun and sleep like that. Do you think the current knot is a fibro-flare-up or from my hair? While no one but E sees it these days, I don’t want to cut it unless I have a good need. Thoughts? Suggestions? I’ve worn my hair “down” the past few nights and it hasn’t helped but… thought i’d ask.

naming…

About seven hours ago I had reason to throw out what I had drafted for today. More on that in a bit (I assume most of you have already seen the reason on flickr). Anyway, I always have trouble naming characters. I want there to been hidden fun meaning, yet have a name that is not so obvious stupid annoying.

I’ll never forget the first “book” I wrote (even though I forget much of the details right now) and how I had to insist strongly that the name of my female character be spelled a certain way [ooh, more on that next week, all is not lost from today’s draft]. Leave me be, I was SIX. I’ve always been one for uncommon names, despite all four of mine being quite commonplace (though with some variations on spelling, I like an E on the end of one and an H on the other).

Most of the female characters I’ve drafted lately are quite autobiographical and I’ve named them as such. I need to get away from this and do some massive editing before I let anything out to the wilds of the public. How do you come up with names? Does your character speak to you or remind you of someone you once knew named Beth, Mary, or Joe?

More importantly, I’m still not sure of gender (I’ve been saying she, but I could be wrong), any ideas on how to name the one who followed me home today?

welcome home!

I spun a little on it tonight, but I need to get back to the pile of work and prepare for the week ahead. I’m spinning some beautiful purple merino that Squid gave me back when she taught me to spin in July. Yes this is one of the least expensive wheels out there, but I think it’s a good fit for me. I will not allow myself to second guess my choice. I will however be writing an idiots guide to using your wheel that first night. I may give more as to my decision on Wednesday, I may not. I do know that I will be rereading In Sheep’s Clothing as wandering around the Fairgrounds reminded me how insanely ignorant I am.

To those I missed playing Bingo today, I’m sorry. I was feeling quite overwhelmed and nervous about my choice, additionally my ear has been bothering me which didn’t help anything.

why?

Why write? It is a question I often struggle with. Why do I keep up this site? (I honestly have no idea). Why do I write in my journals? (see answer above) Do I want to be famous? No. At one point in my life I did. I thought it would be great to have my name in every library. Now I attempt to fulfill that goal, as a patron. ;)

But why do I continue to write? I guess for me. There is so much going on each and every day that by taking a few moments to sit and write, it is for me. I try to have a conversation with the the words I write and try to understand both what is happening to me and attempt to have some understanding of what is happening in the world beyond me and my little circle. I try to write out my frustrations, my hurts, my disappointments; not so much for preservation of those memories but so I can perhaps attempt to understand and to let off steam so I don’t endanger close personal relationships.

I do fear that someone may come across my journals and misunderstand or misinterpret what is written there. I struggle with the question of if I should shred them and when. I do like to return to them and see if there is growth.

Lately I’ve been disappointed in my search for growth. I feel that I have been frozen in a rut for the past decade. There hasn’t been the growth or maturity I’d expect or desire in many situations. Many of my entries sound the same today as they did that first year of college.

I’ve written here before that I like to read other women’s journals– I’ve read Marie Bashkirtseff’s (the first volume) in its entirety, and I’m slowly making my way through Nin, Woolf, and Montgomery. I’m saddened when I read entires by Bashkirtseff or Montgomery at age fifteen and they are similar to those I write today in my late twenties.

However, I might find solace and hope in what Virginia Woolf wrote at 34 on 20 April 1919:

“What sort of diary should I like mine to be?

Something loose knit and yet not slovenly …

I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself