Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Knitting the Raveled Sleeve of Care

I haven't been, actually, though I've been trying. Just wasn't trying very hard when I had Ready Player One on my Kindle last night, and I was down to the last few chapters and had to Finish it, so I was up until 2 am reading. It was good, not great. Simple YA with straightforward villains. Little depth, but it didn't need it, and it'll probably make a visually vivid, action-packed movie. Fun, especially with all the 80's pop culture references, great gaming references, and some lovely Nerd references, particularly the one about the protagonist's love interest being like Jordan from Real Genius. That made me laugh a lot.

Thing is that it magic-wanded some very real and nasty technical problems that were mere extensions of problems that we already know about today, was a post-fossil fuels world that used unsustainable energy sources on an every day basis, and made a few social problems of today something that was still huge in twenty years. There... actually pinning them down now helps me.

I'll be laying wood floors tomorrow morning, and I'm still sore from fencing for the first time in 27 years(!!! John and I did all the math... and I only fenced for seven years, three with a club that was so lacking in resources that I was teaching) with Jet, who beat me handily by the sheer expedience of having a lame where his front arm wasn't registering attacks. Oops. Anyway... I'd forgotten how much I loved it, and how bad I think I'm at it, when everyone around me thinks I'm okay at it.

I feel that way about a lot of things, at the moment...

Several years ago Ira Glass gave a four part talk about storytelling, and one of those parts had to do with the idea that your taste is what gets you into creating, but that there is a long period where your abilities don't satisfy the very taste that made you long to make more of THAT. Where everything feels like a disappointment when it's actually made.

My writing is definitely right smack in that point, and Ira also says that the only cure is to keep writing. I believe him. I'm just having a hard time doing it, and getting past the points where I am disappointed in what I write. I'm wrestling with, of all things, a game write-up, the thing that got me into this writing thing in the Very First Place. *laughs* I thought I had that Down.

But I don't.

I have five other things I'm working on, and I keep ripping them apart and rewriting instead of just Getting On With It, and letting the shallow stuff stay that way, and digging my depths into the things where it'll matter. It amuses me that I was writing about the Ukraine and Russia before Kiev and Crimea's riots happened, but writing too near-term always has the problem of being overturned by reality. Amusingly enough, none of the social speculation I did with respect to Ukraine's relations with Russia have been overturned, yet, but it's going to be interesting to see where that goes. Still, it'll look more like Old News than speculation by the time this is finished.

What I really have to do is that 1000 word stories and just churn them out on a deadline and get going with it.

I am feeling that way about my painting, too. Lots of people around me are all about how amazing it is that I paint, but what I'm now painting doesn't *satisfy* me or my sense of what's good, and that's just driving me insane. I need to just sit down with a brush some more and make more pictures. Isabel was here for two weeks, and I knew that she wanted a 8x10 sized painting, sometime, and I had been thinking and thinking about it and finally painted her something in the last evening she was here. She loved it, and that should be good enough for me.

My fiber arts has kind of stalled, due to hands that are just not all here yet, since November, they've been aching and on and off I've been having some of the usual nerve problems from overuse. But I managed to make a hat for Harold, who is a glass artist and who always wears a hat in the winter, and he loves it so much I can't ignore the fact that he does. *laughs* He makes me so happy every time he tells me how much he loves the thing that I still am amazed. I have a couple of pieces in the church's art show this month, too, handspun, handdyed, and handknit.

I've been cooking more, lately, and that's been going really well and hasn't interfered with other things. I've also already started the garden, eventhough there's snow tonight, the lettuce, spinach, and sugar snap peas will only welcome the moisture.

I'm learning enough about the construction to know that I can't do it every day the way John is. He's going every morning for a half day of work. We have 23 families we're now working with, got a third grant of another $10,000, and there's a lot still to be done. The money's about to run out at the Foundation, so we'll have to probably find other ways to fund it, too. That'll be an interesting piece. I've been doing electrician work, finishing work, am about to do floors, and I'm letting other people paint, on the most part. *laughs* Though Ben, from the first house, was so impressed with me painting two coats of primer on nearly all of a big storage room in about three hours. There really wasn't anything else to do then, and I'm happy to just do the work that is needed. Especially now that it doesn't involve hauling 5 gallon buckets of river sludge from crawl spaces.

Lots of things going on, and Jet's schedule has become more and more full of things that he needs transportation for. He's really happy about being in jazz band, and he's doing extra ensemble work. He's also playing a lot of D&D 3.0 (thanks amberley!!) with a bunch of friends, and I'm now running a game for him and his best friend and making up the dungeon as I go. It's been pretty cool as the friend's been trying to run for his rowdy 15-year-old crew, and he appreciates me taking the time and effort to run for him. Still, as my first stint as an actual game master, it's been pretty crazy here and there, and I'm learning a lot really quickly about what I need to have prepared for each time, and why amberley's preparations have been so amazingly good.

The other thing I'm doing is being moderator for the church, which is mostly a balancing act of putting the right people in the right place and letting them work it out. I don't have authority in this position over a bunch of volunteers. All I have is my ability to influence people through my integrity. It's kind of daunting in some instances, but good in others. I try to follow up, help out, do the thing that makes it not just easy on people, but where they can exercise agency and make a difference in the problems that they see.

It's involving meetings most weeks of the month, calling a lot of people cold with requests, and doing a lot of coordinating and communication that sometimes doesn't want to get heard. It's all about people and managing them, and there are flashes where I can see why Charles was so willing to offer me an MBA, because he wanted me in management because of the kinds of agreements I can get when I really work at it. But there are times when I'm so utterly disappointed in myself. I've only been doing this job for less than two months... *laughs* So I shouldn't expect my abilities to match up entirely with my expectations, but... still... I have to try and get better and see where I make mistakes.

So lots and lots and lots of learning fast in places where I'm not that good, yet, and KNOW that I'm not so good. But it's all right. I'll get there. A lot of these things I've done before to some extent... I'm just having to remember a lot of things, find out what are the bad habits of old really fast, get rid of them, and move onto the the things I really want to be doing.
Tags: book, life
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