Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How I'm Doing (with my goals)

In December, 2008, I wrote about my vision board. In choosing pictures to add to it, my intention was to spur action on my part. In brief, I wanted to:

Keep a neater house. Invite friends over more. Write more. Get paid more for writing. Make more progress processing my dad's old photographs. Hook rugs. Sing.

The vision board didn't last long. Well, it's still semi-intact, actually, but last summer I temporarily leaned a very large art pad against it, and it's still there, covering the vision board completely. I guess I should call it an envision board. But perhaps the act of creating it had an effect. Because when I look at those goals I realize I'm doing pretty well.

My house isn't perfect, and will never be perfect. But I've achieved a consistent level of relative neatness and cleanliness that surpasses all previous efforts.

I had guests here after Christmas, so I suppose I can say that's a start. I have plans to invite more soon. Really.

I'm definitely writing more. And I'm writing the sorts of things that have the potential to bring in more money. Time will tell, but I'm doing my part. Now the editors and publishers will have to do theirs.

I've made more progress with my dad's photos, and was on a roll when I got a new computer and then a new operating system, both of which screwed up my ability to use my scanner. But that will get straightened out eventually.

I got back to rug hooking! I say that with enthusiasm because I really love hooking and am surprised I stayed away from it so long. I finished the table mat I wrote about in March 2008, and am now working on a chair seat I designed in Mickey's memory. I'm so happy to be doing this. (One of the first chair seats I made is pictured above.)

And yes, I've been singing again. Determined to push myself out of my comfort zone, I volunteered to sing the 1955 pop song, "Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby" for a friend's 80th birthday party. It didn't happen (long story), but it will, a little belatedly, when I sing it for him here, at my piano, soon. To prepare, I sang every day. For a while, with my determination at a fever pitch, that was the only song I sang. But I've branched out, turning to many of my old jazz and standards song books and even buying myself a new (and pricey) one for Christmas: a 1200-song fake book.

My vision board also contained a picture of a new Mercedes and a 1996 Chevy Caprice. (What can I say? I'm a car person.) Oh, and a wheelbarrow full of money. (A shallow car person.) I'm no closer to acquiring these things. But all things considered I still say I'm doing pretty well.


Dona said...

Congratulations on working on some of your goals. Looking forward to seeing the finished products -- the hooking ones especially. I've never tried hooking -- I used to embroider and did a little cross-stitch in my teens and early twenties but all were from patterns.

Susan said...

Dona, I did embroidery and needlepoint for years, but once I tried hooking I gave up the others. I loved it immediately. From the hunt for old woolen clothing (at Salvation Army, etc.) to the relaxing motion of the hook, it is definitely my thing.

Let me know if you want to try it; I can recommend some books. (That's how I learned.)

Amanda said...

But the question is: Do you have the wheelbarrow? That means you're half-way to that wheelbarrow full of money. Now don't you feel better?

crystal said...

What is rug hooking exactly? Beautiful chair cover.

So what are you writing and what kind of markets are you aiming at? I sort of gave up on this but maybe I should try again.

Susan said...

I do feel better, Amanda--thanks!!

Crystal, for the kind of hooking I do, you start with some sort of backing (burlap is common, or linen), then obtain wool fabric (I love the hunt for used wool clothing), which can be used as is or dyed a different color. After washing and drying, the wool is cut into strips (mine are usually 1/8" wide, but they can be wider).

The hook resembles a crochet hook with a rounded wooden handle. To use it, first the backing (presumably with a design drawn on it) is put on a frame to hold it taut. Then a strip of wool cloth is held underneath it. The hook is inserted through the cloth from the top. It catches the wool underneath and pulls it through the backing to create loops, one at a time.

Some rug hookers do very fine work with elaborate shading of flowers, etc. Others favor a more primitive style, working with wide strips of wool. Mine is somewhere in between.

Susan said...

Oops--I forgot to answer your other question, Crystal. I'm still targeting the magazine market, plus I went on a contest blitz last month and entered a bunch of them: fiction and poetry (including the Foley Award again). Do you still subscribe to America?

crystal said...

Thanks for the info about hooking (heh heh). It sounds like fun.

Nope, don't subscribe anymore - just another expense I had to give up (sniff, sniff) I do read their blog, though, everyday. When is the Foley contest over - June?

Susan said...

Yes, June. Writers learn patience. :-)

Indigo Bunting said...

Nice rug hooking.

My goal, I think, is to have some goals. Someday.

Helen said...

You should try to get your own Erma Bombeck-type column in a newspaper. You're very funny Susan.

Susan said...

IB, I suspect you're doing just fine (more than fine, actually) without them.

Helen, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle hilarious. :-)

Actually, I discovered an Erma Bombeck writing contest recently. Meant to come up with an entry, but I forgot. Perhaps I should have put it on my vision board.....

Eulalia Benejam Cobb said...

Such an energetic, hopeful post. Congratulations. Spring is on the way!