A short update

Where has all the time gone? I was just posting about my little Afmaeli cape and before I knew it *poof* two weeks. Gone.

I’m happy to say that the capelet has worked a little bit of good magic. I don’t wear it for all my writing-times, but I keep it close by, on a stool. And something about having made it, and seeing it, has helped me continue to establish my good relationship to the writing work at hand. I think it reminds me that things are possible which I don’t and can’t always anticipate at the outset. It nudges me towards building up a liiiiiittle more tolerance each day for the unknowns. It reminds me to stay attuned to the thing in front of me, and to the process, which is like the weather: full of changes and differences and odd turns and more or less conducive days. The less conducive days don’t erase the good work done on the days before it; neither do they doom all efforts afterwards. Getting intentional about process, it turns out, can be a very good anti-dote to my tendency of getting sidelined by the hopes and horrors of product. Let the product be a document or artefact of process — all those individual, variegated days of commitment held together…. like stitches! (Knitting metaphors for the win!).

So. The cape has become my writing emblem. I recommend making a special garment or outfit to clothe and emblematize your maker-self!

And speaking of time. I celebrated a birthday last week and ushered in a new number. It was a sunny day. And sunshine and new numbers warrant an ample serving of sangria at the local watering hole, and some sheep-ish grinning.

2018 b-day.jpg

Ok. Enjoy your weekend!!!

30 thoughts on “A short update

    1. Thank you, Mandy, for the birthday wishes! ❤ Yes – writing is hard-going, solitary business, isn't it? But also meaningful and, just as you write, it helps to know that the knitting is always close at hand for warmth and company. 🙂

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  1. Well, you are just about the most adorable Birthday Girl ever. Happy Belated! Are those glasses Warby Ps???? And sunshine! My Chicagoian (Chicagan… Chicagoen?????) brother was in town this week and complaining about the weather back home in Chi-town! Love your knitting metaphor and your wise words…. and I’m allll about the creation emblem, routine, and superstitious repetition. Haha ugh I was in the middle of working on an ‘update’ myself – you’re doing well at two week hiatus – I’ve been over a month!

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    1. Aw, thanks Weekes. 🙂 Your style-eye never ceases to amaze me: they are indeed Warby P’s! How did you know?! Lovely to read that you had some quality time with your Chi-town brother (and that you got to catch the Stones together! Wow – what was Mick Jagger like in person?). And yes, the Chicago climate veered from winter-jacket cold into muggy-hot territory in a very short while (not a city of subtle transitions, weather wise).

      And I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who relies on emblems / routines to keep things going. If we were sports enthusiasts, we’d have the “winning socks,” right? Looking forward to catching up with you. Glad to see you back from the blog-hiatus. 🙂

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      1. Well, I knew because any stylish and good-looking glasses I ever fancy always turn out to be WPs! I’m so sad they don’t deliver over here. I could reallllly use an update on my WPs… they’re all at least 6 years old and scratched to bits. Ugh Mick was amazing in person. I’m not sure how it’s possible that he still has sex appeal at his age but…. I would not reject his advances should they come my way!

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      2. Ah, glad to read you’re also a WP-wearer! I can’t resist their frames, either. 🙂 And I believe it. He’s amazing at 74 – I can only hope to still have as much hair at that age! XD

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  2. Happy Birthday!!!!!! I love your idea about writing talismans. It reminds me of how I wrote my dissertation. I had a baseball cap I put on when it was time to glue my rear to the chair and work on it. Also, whenever I felt antsy, I would remind myself that my rear was glued to the chair and I could not get up and then I’d slap the visor of my cap and keep on going for a couple hours more. These types of tricks really do work!

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    1. Thanks, Tony! 🙂 That’s a great story about your dissertation-writing: I like the idea of a ritual that not only helped to keep you in the chair (I’d likely need a similar one to keep me off of social media and such!), but also a gesture to keep your focus on the writing. That’s a really good approach. It helps to externalize a lot of these things, doesn’t it? Thank you for the helpful writing tips!

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  3. Beautiful words, Shirley! So true and so well articulated. I’m going to print this out and keep it near my own writing space. And of course, I adore the connection with knitting. Congratulations on having found a tangible way of working through these ideas, and thank you for sharing this journey here. ❤️

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      1. Thank you, Melinda! I’m glad to know that we’re thinking about process together and can share the learnings. 🙂 And your posts on the topic have been an inspiration: I recently put “Bird by Bird” on hold at the library after reading about it on Knit Potion. I absolutely can’t wait to dig in. Cheers and thank you!

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  4. What a nice smile! Keep up the good work Shirley, and the writing on your blog. I know how it feels, when you think of a post and before you know it, it’s been weeks before you publish anything. That’s OK, we’re still here. 😉

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  5. Yaaaay! I’m so glad the writing capelet is working its magic! And being more focused on the process, rather than stressing over what the product might or might not be, is definitely a better way to be. Thanks to your writings, I’m trying to apply this to my own work as well! Happiest of belated birthdays to you, Shirley! 🎂🍹

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    1. Thanks, Helen, for the thoughtful birthday wishes 🙂 (the 2 emojis happen to be my favourite birthday things, thank you!). And yes, I def. identify with being a stress-abouter when it comes to the product. Speaking of – your Beasties look effortless! They are so good and charmed, that I often forget that they are ‘made’ and did not come fully formed from some magical Beastie-ether! Cheers, and hoping the end of the month is letting up, busy-ness-wise. 🙂

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      1. Thanks, Shirley! Yes, just one more super-special commission to finish up… And then we’re ready to start on whatever madness June holds! Although perhaps I will stumble on a bottle of that Beastie-ether you mentioned 🤔 Have you any new feltie friends in the pipeline?

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      2. Glad to read! I hope to get back to some felties after finishing a gift/project this month; the ideas are incubating. 🙂 All best on the super-special commission, Helen!

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  6. You’re just the sweetest thing! Happy belated birthday to you and thanks for the reminder that sometimes we really do need to trust the process even if a talisman is needed. ❤

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