This Holiday

This year, somehow I forgot to get the Total Christmas Media Immersion thing going on. I didn’t get out and listen exclusively to the Christmas Music and watch the Christmas Episodes and Movies.  I didn’t get around to going whole decor hog.

Know what?  It didn’t make a difference.  I still felt the spirit and the festivity.  I enjoyed cranking out little projects to gift people, and then additional ones to gift later or ‘in case.’  I was thrilled to go see my family.  I enjoyed a fantastic dinner with them and am still thrilled I got to go.

My husband, maybe not so much.  He caught the flu, and ended up dehydrated in the ER.  I got a little testy, as I’d been insomnaic all week, and that was the productive part of my day they were leaving us to sit and wait and freeze.  Oh, I’m horrible, but I do feel bad about him getting the flu.  I didn’t get it (yet), and I hope I don’t, but I feel slightly guilty about that, too.  He was eating, somewhat, by Christmas dinner, though, so at least he got some turkey and a small slice of pie.

For the record, my parents are the best.  They stayed home with my husband and me, and helped take care of him.  They also got me (us) a Blu-Ray player, and let us bring our potentially ill cat with us.  The amount of imposing they let me do is epic, and I adore them for it.  I also owe, big time.

Anyway, my life is freakishly calm, and I love myself some Christmas.  I loved making the cookies (a half-batch of this I just made to take up to my in-laws) and the bread to bring along, and the gift-giving (and, yes, receiving).  I’m all over celebrating Jesus’ birthday.

For the record, I am still reading “Under The Dome” by Stephen King.  I’m halfway through, which isn’t too bad, considering I mostly just read it in spurts between bouts of crochet and knitting.  I’m going to pull back slightly on crafting and go back to at-least-a-book-a-week reading. That is The Plan.

Dull you more later.

What I’m Doing: November/December Round-up

My first knitted hat
My first knitted hat

To the left is the hat I finished this week.  It’s my first non-square knit project and I was predictably squee-ing when it started to look like a hat.

For me, working from a pattern is almost always like that. Until it starts coming together, I’m never quite certain that it’s going to come out and be whatever it is I think I’m going to make.

Now I’m working on a different set of fingerless gloves/mittens from Sue’s Crochet and Knitting.  I imagine that one is going to come with me down to my parents’ home for Christmas.  I’ve got a health pile of extra stuff to bring around for the holiday.  Tomorrow, I’m going to wrap it in a marathon session.  I’ve been a real slacker this year like that.

My other goals for pre-Christmas readiness is to get some nice breads made to take.  I was going to do some cinnamon bread, and might still, but it’s turned so cold and wet outside that I do not feel at all encouraged to go out in it.  I thank the Lord that my final was last week and I have my books returned.

In tech-semi-fail news, I tried to hook the old laptop up to the new TV, my first shot was somehow unsuccessful.  Not sure if it’s the half-broke laptop or me.  Part Two will happen.  Winter blahs are just sneaking up on me.

I’ve been playing with my code-projects, too, but nothing’s gotten finished.  I’m modifying a home-made blog platform to play with, and I have an idea for some weather algorithms to put in a page I’ve been working with.  These things haven’t gotten much farther than some modifications and some notes.

In writing– I’ve been getting back to work, and I weeded out my project list to things I really want to work on when they come up.  It’s something that needed doing.  I have the files, still, and probably will go back to the ‘abandoned’ work sometime, but for now… it’ll sit while I plug away at other stuff.  I think it’s helped.

And that, in short is it for now.

And Then A Miracle Occurs…

I’ve got several projects I’m poking away at.  Probably, I have too many.  Part of it is I get ideas and I don’t want to lose them.  Another part, I’ve been thinking lately, is a fear of really getting down to the work on them, an irrational fear of starting to really chip away and having them not be what I want.  Maybe I think I’m too lazy to really get the good stuff out, and that’s not entirely without merit, because I think I sometimes take a ‘rip it off’ bandaid approach to doing it, and rewrites are a skill I’m still trying to develop (which is another story).

That fear is what I’m typing about here.

Regardless of what the next step is, I think I’m quite hesitant about taking it on almost every project. I’m looking for a mental way to ‘just do it’ a la NaNoWriMo, that is halfway between that, specifically, and an organized approach to things. I like a touch of organization and procedure to the process, but I need to keep the procedure from coming between me and actually doing the work.  Maybe, just maybe, making the mental realization jump is a good first step.  Perhaps, if I keep it in the forefront of my mind when I look at a page, that’s all I need.  If all I need is just to remember that I am going to be taking that next step, so just take it, then I am going to try to remember it very hard, indeed.

I’ve been reading more about other people’s processes, lately, too.  I think it helps some with the mental blocks.  They (everyone else) has problems with middles, too.  They can see how the threads come together in the end, and that “And then a miracle occurs” part in the middle can just leave a person cold when they’re writing through it

Carl Barks comic that expresses things perfectly
Carl Barks comic that expresses things perfectly
I know that stopped me for years. “I know how it ends.” It’s true, though, I did and do, but sometimes I don’t know if I always know if I knew just how it happened.  Highpoints and scenes, sure, but the other dots getting connected are and were sometimes blurry.

That’s okay.

I figured it out, again, that it’s okay if I don’t know right now.  I will know and I can know.  If I take the next step and the one after that, I will get there.  You will get there.  We all will get there, wherever there is.  You can get there from here.

I think that’s all I’m saying right now, and I’ll quit while my mind is in the gung-ho place.

Really Lame Link List Post (Podcasts)

I listen to way too many podcasts, I should probably listen to fewer.

In an effort to organize this and point out how ridiculously many I subscribe to… the list of what I’ve been listening too (with links!):

[To be continued]

Pic Heavy Craft Update Post

Detail of Scarf
Detail of Scarf
Top View Hat
Top View Hat
Front View Hat
Front View Hat
fingerless gloves
fingerless gloves

Real quick, I’ve been turning out as many gloves as I have yarn on the skein to make them.  I’ll probably end up putting them in with other stuff for gifts.  They’re very nice, and even though it’s suddenly gotten so cold and I don’t want my fingers peeking out most of the time.  On the other hand, you can’t use a touch-screen with regular gloves.  Maybe next time I’ll make gloves with just the index-fingertip open.

The other pictures are various views of a hat and scarf set I made (from a pattern, I’m not quite that creative on demand) for a specific gift.  I think it came out really well.  I haven’t made a hat in a while, but I kind of like this one.  I even like the little rose.  I hope the recipient likes it, too.

I’m back to knitting now, and making my first knit hat.  I’m not nearly as confident of that skill, yet, but I am proud to say that I have finally gotten the hang of casting on without taking multiple runs at it.  Yes, I am aware of how lame that makes me.

I’ve been plugging away at code-learning, too.  I’m having a few .php trials, but I do think I just learned something that apparently is an ‘open secret’ (in that it was something I’ve never had mentioned to me, but is very helpful perhaps) that might fix a bug.  I got my own copies of the books we were using, so I can actually finish this stuff up in the intersession and the next semester, for which I’m not registered for various reasons.

Tasks, they never end.