Sunday, July 08, 2007


I dreamt that when I wrote a book, it would be all about the writing and the editing. On further reflection, it might be nice to throw in some knitting designs...for when I got too tired to write? I'd knit. Then, travelling became part of the package. What I didn't know was how much time I'd spend wrangling. Negotiating, organizing, struggling, doing business, trying to reach compromise--with publishers, designers, photographers and worst, asking why (Oh why??) some things were going off track in scary ways. I spend whole days asking for feedback, guidance, and offering explanation. I've felt all alone, a cowgrrl with way too many steer to round up, and mighty hungry steakhouse diners waiting, napkin tucked in, fork in hand. Ready to eat that steak--or me, whatever happens first. This causes me no end of constant heartburn, nightmares, and anxiety...must be how the steer feels, in my imagination. I am trying so hard to make all this book stuff work!

As an antidote to angst, I offer you things that bring me pleasure. First knitting and spinning, and then "the other stuff." Here's the professor's sweater, with one of the finished "travelling socks" for scale and reference. Big sweater, huh? The sock (women's, to fit medium sized feet) is knit out of a Herrschner's long gone special called "Hot Socks"-a cotton/wool springy blend that I loved to knit. Good for wearing with hiking shoes, if say, you live in a place cool enough to wear socks in the summer.

Here's a closeup, for those who want to see black, gray and white socks in more detail. What are those weird fruits?

Ahh, these are a pleasure of the senses, a pervasive floral melon smell that just won't quit. The local name for these is "Plum Granny." Read about them here. Also called Queen Anne Pocket Melons, these lovelies fit in the pockets of Victorian ladies who, ahem, might have needed to bathe more often. At this time of year, when even air conditioned southern spaces smell a bit dank and humid, plum grannies are just the thing to perfume one's life for a few days. They taste terrible, slimy and bland, but the smell. Oh, the divine smell...

Next, the photos of the new spindle in use. Gotland Gray, Black Alpaca and bits of green Mohair, 70 yards, 3.5 oz, 2 ply, and 3.5 sts to the inch on a size #8 needle. Soft cushy balls of pleasure. When I learned to spin, I met a middle aged woman (I was 12, mind you, no idea how old she actually was!) who spun luxurious Lopi-weight singles on an enormous Turkish Spindle. I was in love with her huge ball of soft squishy yarn. I wanted it. I own the exact spindle she used, but these skeins and this new spindle are the closest I've come to reproducing her yarns on a spindle. Whoosh. The yarns of our memory are very hard to replicate.

Non-fibery pleasures, too:

On Friday, I caught up with an old student of mine, now a friend. Maybe I'm alone with the dogs too much, because it just gave me enormous pleasure to talk to him again! Next, I opened my email, and POOF! His call was good luck. I won a short story contest! My story will be published next week on the Jerry Jazz Musician site. I'm so excited about this! It's another step towards a lifegoal of mine--writing fiction. I'd love to do it for a living, but first, alas, someone has to buy the's a lot easier to sell non-fiction. This award is a good sign!

This AM I took the dogs to our town's dog park for the first time. The running! The playing! Sally's pent up nervous and defensive agression (UH-OH.) Nobody got hurt and now we're exhausted, relaxed, and resting. I'm afraid the dogs have absorbed some of my wrangling angst, but we'll be going to that park again. It's freeing in an entirely different way...watching my bird dogs run like that. a weekend without any book wrangling, maybe? Almost like flying?

Someday, we'll all get along well with others, I hope...Sally and me included. Oh, and did anyone catch the clip of Crowded House from the Live Earth Concert in Sydney? Swoon. Brings back my days as a sweet young thing dating an Australian, before I married the professor...who should be home from his travels today! At last, a human conversation. I may have been reduced to discussing squeaky toys and kibble here...


Blogger Romi said...

Continued hugs to you. It will all work out in the end. :)

July 8, 2007 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Photo at the top is amazing. I love it. Sweater looks awesome. Socks nice a comfy. I've never heard of the plum thingys. Very interesting!!!! My house could use some of those, maybe a couple dozen. :) Glad to hear you are getting a little reprieve.

July 8, 2007 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Love the sweater and totally agree with Romi. We are on your side thru thick and thin.

July 8, 2007 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

Exactly as Rosemary said. It *will* all work out as I try to remind myself when I wake up in the middle of the night and fret about things I can do absolutely nothing about (at that time of the night anyway). How lovely that the sweater will be all ready to show the professor when he finally gets home. :)

July 9, 2007 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

now we know why all the rich and famous have presonal assistants!

July 10, 2007 at 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats on finishing the sweater, even though it didn't turn out quite like you wanted it to. i loved the short story you had the link to, it was a fun, pleasant read. just perfect for a hot summer day.

July 10, 2007 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Thanks, Marti! Glad you liked it!

July 10, 2007 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

The sweater looks wonderful, Joanne.

Congratulations on winning the story contest!

The pocket melon thing? interesting for sure.

Take care, I'm thinking of you and hoping that everything works itself out soon.

July 11, 2007 at 12:43 AM  

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