Thursday, September 20, 2007

revealing what's rare

Sally the dog rarely lets loose and relaxes around strangers. Yet, she's learned the routine around here, and nearly every evening, she sits at attention on the living room couch, waiting for me to sit next to her. Next, she grunts and groans and lets me cuddle her and rub her ears and belly...true dog pleasures. Then we settle in to knit for an hour or two, along with a chance to talk or listen to an audiobook or watch a DVD for the evening. Since it's such a rare sight, this is the first time I've caught exactly this pose on camera. To the right, you can see Harry, sound asleep and ignoring her!

My life lately has been whirlwind of book stuff. I'm getting sent absolutely gorgeous pieces of knitting, crochet, rughooking, and other fiber arts from the book contributors. I'm working daily on all these submissions and their details. At the same time, I'm trying to remember to take breaks to knit and spin for my own sanity. Working all the time can't be good for me, either...I need time on the couch with Sally, too!

Unfortunately, I can't vent about all this work stuff here, although sometimes I'm tempted. I try to make a clear distinction between my professional responsibilities and what's public. I've learned one thing that I think I can say here though. Since becoming a freelancer, I've always tried to turn things in early or on time, and to follow through on my commitments. It's my nature, and I believe it's the right thing to do. Some editors have loved it, and others have actually told me to resubmit my work at the deadline; they don't want to see it or even keep track of it a month or 6 weeks before it's due!

The professional advice everywhere says "Turn things in on time!" "Do what you say you're going to do!" and "Double check to make sure you've submitted everything!" I now know that my habits are not standard or even all that common, and that the advice is repeated so often because, well, not everyone does that. Illness of a family member or the contributor aside (and yes, I believe that is an entirely reasonable excuse for a delay)... Apparently most creative souls take deadlines as gentle suggestions. Huh. Some of them don't even tell me things will be late. As my dad says sometimes, "Well. Who'd have thunk it!?" I'm just grateful for those who did what they said they would do, and those who told me what was up. It's apparently rare.

I promised the alpaca owner, the one who owns Danny and Gatsby, mentioned in the last post, that I'd send her a keepsake from her animals' fiber. I kept a small poof of fleece from each animal when I sent the rest to the processor. I teased out the fibers with my fingers and spun and plied it. I washed the skein and turned the water brown with dust and dirt. (remember, Alpacas love to roll in dust!) Then I knitted up this little change purse. The gingery color is Gatsby; I seemed to save more of his fleece. Danny's was the finer red brown on the back.

This is now winging its to California in the mail. It was a fun and quick little diversion, easy to do. (knit a long rectangular strip, fold, stitch closed. crochet a loop for the button. Sew on the button....and it's done.)

My third bit of "uncommon" is the arrival of my new carpet sweeper. Gary the mailman delivered it today! Yup, you read that right. Carpet Sweeper...and Yes, I know the name of my mail man, too. Both the professor and I have bad allergies and with four darkhaired mammals in the house, there's a lot of shedding here. We know we should clean the floors more often. Yet vacuuming is loud, scares the dogs and often puffs up dust in the air and the long cord is such a pain. The broom? Quiet but doesn't do such a good job. For substantially less cost than a fancy vacuum or roomba, we could try an old fashioned approach. I'm looking forward to trying it out. The floof in the corners is getting deep!


Blogger Peggy said...

I am sure the alpaca lady is going to love your gift. How very sweet and cute. I love Sally, like you, she is just herself and that is a good thing. :) Have fun with the sweeper. ?

September 20, 2007 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Ok, I know this is weird, but the sweeper is great! I just had to post this as a PS...

September 20, 2007 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne! Just thought I would pop in and see your blog. Hope you had fun spinning today!

September 20, 2007 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

Our pooch brings you one of his many toys for a bit of early evening fun! He is proof of the reccomendation that a happy border collie (kept as a family dog) needs a full toy box! The sweeper brings back memories of what used to be my Mum's favorite toy! She would love another one!

September 21, 2007 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Deborah Robson said...

Hi, Joanne: You're right. The reason people keep repeating what should be obvious about deadlines and completeness is that lots of contributors to publications think they're the only ones who will be late, that there's time to sweep up the details later, that--for whatever reason--it doesn't matter. The pros do what you do. There just aren't enough pros. The advantage is that in the long run the pros continue being asked to contribute.

September 21, 2007 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The change purse is charming, and so is Sally.

September 24, 2007 at 3:34 PM  

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