Beating Pillows with Tennis Rackets

power-to-the-people

Guess what?! My site is back up! Well, duh. You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t. But let me tell you it is good to be back. Hallelujah Praise the Lord! You know what this last week of dark and depressing no-site-hood has taught me? A LOT. It’s been one hell of a week. It has cemented my feelings about this blog. In an age where blogs are quickly going out of style or becoming over-produced mega sites that make you feel like you’re reading about a fictional character, I remain loyal to this old hag.

I think I went through the five stages of grief or however many there are. I don’t actually know what those are. I know I’ve been hinting and complaining for years that this site is old and moldy and I might as well just put the old nag out to pasture but the thing is I’m not ready to just up and throw away my archives! So many years of content!! Remember the story of breast feeding Baby Bug? Or the ninja movie, or all those stories about the Things?!! I could go on and on. What about the turquoise wall or that amazing trip Bug and I took in a Uhaul out to the sticks.

Le sigh. There are so many stories and pictures stored on my server that it has become a burden. I doubt I could ever afford to download the whole monstrosity into a book. That would be cha-ching, CHA-ching! Cha-Ching! Imagine $100 coins dropping out of my wallet, slot machine-style and mounding at my feet in knee-high hills of gold shimmery-ness. I know I still need to do that but I’ve actually got a better idea if anyone out there wants a great big book idea.

What if I wrote about all my crafts that I’ve done over the last fifteen some odd years (most of them over at Alphamom)…I could tell the stories in between the crafts and have a ton of photos that I’ve never actually published before. It could be like a giant coffee table book of photos and behind the scenes stories (Just think of all the pinterest fails!) all interwoven, scrapbook style into something really pretty. Sort of like the book, Under the Tuscan Sun but NOT  like the movie because that was stupid and Hollywood-like with a plot and a love story and I’m not ready to write about my love story. But I could include some juicy bits just to keep it interesting. Does that sound like a good idea? I’m hoping so. Maybe that will be my big idea that I sell and then I can use the proceeds to build a loft in Payam’s house because I desperately feel like I need a room of my own, Virginia Wolf style.

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I love, love, love Payam’s house. It really is beautiful but I’m desperate for some space of my own. I just need some blank walls that I can shoot photos in front of. His house has these amazing vaulted ceilings that we love so we’ve been plotting ways to put in a loft over the kitchen where there is currently an attic. It’s a brilliant idea but way out of our budget by like a hundred thousand dollars so it’ll happen on the tenth of never. But I can dream and who knows, maybe somebody out there reading this will like my crazy book idea and I can pitch it to a real company with an actual layout and a plan. I think I could do that, given the chance.

Not that this is a begging post by any means. Just spitting my ideas out there, stream-of-conscious style like I used to do back in the day. That’s the part of this blog that worked. When I just wrote for the sake of writing and I didn’t really care about traffic or worried about keeping up with the Whoorls of the world. I’m done with that.

Big paragraph here about that friendship that ended but I’m deleting it because I’m not quite ready to put all my feelings about that out there. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything she did to me. She’s still a wonderful person I’m sure. It’s just purely distance and time and different journeys, or whatever.) But it’s been hard for me not to miss that friendship or wonder why her blog is so successful while I make less and less time for mine and it just sits over here and rots. I could seriously go on for days about this and I do at four am when I should be sleeping but I’m going to make a conscious effort to move on. It’s been way too long. I’ve chosen a different path and maybe my path is the right one for me. I don’t think I could handle being famous anyway. The 10 percent hater formula is way too scary.

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The week of no website taught me a lot about my dark thoughts, feelings of failure and overall drama of emotions. It was so bad I even finally went to the doctor and got my thyroid checked because it felt like PMS every day. My doctor told me I might have an enlarged thyroid and that it could certainly cause mood swings so I finally got it scanned. I haven’t gotten my results yet but I’m really hoping he’ll call me up and say, Guess what? You have hyperthyroidism so take a pill and you’ll lose weight and be happy all the time!  Hahaha! Wouldn’t that be the American Dream?

Wow, I just noticed that I didn’t carry the left white bar all the way down on my grid of pictures up there. I do crap like that all the time. Half-assed-ness that the Whoorls of the world do not do. Normally, I would go back and fix it but I really want to finish this celebratory stream-of-consciousness post and get it published before I have to pick up the girls from school. Yeah, that’s the other reason I don’t write as much. Life is full of stuff. Like kids with their own minds and puppies that have to be walked or they eat up your plants and cause stage three destruction to your idyllic backyard that is no longer idyllic and instead is a wasteland of pavers and dog pee and dead chewed-up plants.

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There goes my pick-up-the kids alarm! I love you! Thank you for still being here blog and readers and commenters and lurkers (I love lurkers of which I am one!) and decorative gourds! Happy decorative gourd season to everyone! Hope I get back here to post again before it’s over.

Oh yeah. I never told you what beating pillows with tennis rackets means. I’ll get to that next time. But I’m sure you have an idea.

Slow Living Part 3: Slow Working

sneak peek into next book

Speaking of Slow Living, I think this might apply to work too.  I think I am the slowest worker ever. My mind goes a million miles and hour but I can never seem to make those ideas happen as fast as I want them to. My actual productivity during the day-to-day is always about half of what I expect it should be. Everything I do takes forever!

For example, I’ve been working on my latest book, “Happy Birthday Little Hoo” for about two years now and poor Little Hoo is getting older than my illustration of him. If I don’t hurry up and finish this book he’s going to twenty before I’m done. Just kidding. But it feels that way sometimes.

pinata-store

This slowness could be attributed to a few things. I often put my books on the back burner in favor of quicker jobs that pay the bills right away. I have open-ended deadlines on my books and I don’t get paid when I finish them. I make quarterly royalties that add up over time instead. In the long run the books actually make me more money than my small jobs but I always forget about that because I’m living paycheck to paycheck and I’m more concerned about the short term. It’s silly Brenda-style accounting that makes no sense. But basically it works out that the squeaky wheel jobs get worked on and since my books don’t squeak at me they get worked on the tenth of never.

Another reason I work slow is because I have to go with the natural rhythm of my creativity. Creativity is something that can be frustratingly fickle. Many times I find myself doing methodical, boring work instead being creative because my brain just isn’t in gear. Sometimes I think I get stuck in that plodding-along boring mode because I’m focusing my energy on household chores and making sure my loved ones are taken care of, which is important too. It’s all a big juggle. And I’m lucky that I even have the choice to do either.

Back in the beginning of the year I went to a doctor for a real physical, something I don’t think I had done since I was like eleven. I got all my blood work done and all my levels came back amazingly healthy. (Thank you regular yoga routine!) This was great news because I was worried I was pre-diabetic and probably had bad cholesterol and who knows what else could be wrong. I’m at that age where people start comparing ailments when they get together at parties so I was expecting something bad coming. Turns out I’m healthy and I don’t need to take any medication for anything EXCEPT that I am alarmingly low in vitamin B12. I don’t know why. I guess it’s common in women my age and my doctor made a note for me to get my thyroid checked this year, which I totally intend to do.

I sat on that bit of information for six months. I don’t know why. Laziness probably. Just this month I finally bought a bottle of vitamin B12 at our local drugstore and started taking them. And guess what?!!! I’ve illustrated four pages in two days. More than I’ve done all year! Pathetic I know. But maybe I was just stuck in a brain fog and I didn’t even know it. The doctor said that was the usual symptom of low B12.

So the message of this post is sometimes work is slow. Sometimes that’s for good reasons and SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO TAKE VITAMINS! Who knew!

We’ll see if it sticks.