I’ve started working on the book again!! I had been “blocked” for over a year, so this is major cause for celebration. I think it was a combination of being unable to work on it (since I spent most of last year dealing with some very vicious episodes of bipolar disorder) and then feeling guilty about it. Having finally acknowledged that the bipolar disorder exists and affects my life, it’s finally dawned on me that perhaps there was a reason (besides laziness) that I couldn’t work on the book…which in turn frees me up to work on it without wincing over the “lost” year.
At any rate, not only am I writing away, I have FINALLY done the sensible thing, and hired someone to transcribe my hours and hours of interviews. I had been trying to do it myself, and putting it off and putting it off…eventually it dawned on me that I simply wasn’t going to do it. So I’ve hired someone. She’s a tech writer (out of work due to increased outsourcing to India) who was a reporter briefly, so has a pretty good idea what I’m after…we’ll see how it works. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll go to a professional transcription service.
I have also been reading over my sample chapter and am pretty darn psyched about it…it has a lot of rough spots, and is clearly a first draft, but parts of it are really damn good–if I can write the entire book to that standard, I think it will be a good book. Whether it will sell I’m not sure, but it will be worthwhile, which is the point.
I was going to provide a plot summary of Chapter 3 (my sample chapter), but realized that it flattens like toothpaste when you try summarizing. I think I’ll post a page or two (or one of the vignettes) in a separate post, just to give you an idea of what it’s like.
I have also been on a fabrics kick of late. Exotic Silks, in Los Altos, had a 25% off sale, and since their prices on silk are fabulously low to begin with, I went a little nuts and bought 15 yards of heavy china silk (heavy enough for clothing), 12 yards of raw silk, 3 yards of silk jacquard, and 3 yards of heavy silk crepe. All this is white, which gets me to my next project: dyeing fabric samples. I already have set of dye samples using Sabraset dyes, which gives me a good idea of how to mix up quite a few colors. But I want to do another set using magenta, yellow, and cyan, which should give me “truer” colors than red, yellow, and blue. So I’ve ordered a catalog from Prochemical (makers of Procion MX and Sabraset dyes, among other things). Once I have the right dyes, I plan to make another dye triangle or three, so I’ll know exactly how to mix any color I care to. The raw silk should be perfect for dyeing swatches.
I have found, in general, that I prefer buying and dyeing white silk to buying solid color fabric in the shop. Exotic Silks sells silk jacquards for $7.20 a yard, which isn’t that far off from what I’d pay for polyester–and since I can dye it, I can make it whatever color I want, rather than having to pick from what’s in the store. It winds up being cheaper and more fun to use home-dyed silks than to buy synthetics from the shop. I don’t get perfectly even coloration that way, but I find the subtle variation adds to the beauty of the finished product–it comes out as a slightly textured color, rather than a flat single color. I love the gold color in the jacket I’m working on.
So that project should keep me busy for awhile.
Finally, I’ve now been on three dates with Ed and Rico, and am very happy about the whole thing…they are a lot of fun and are both incredibly attractive (to me anyway), and we enjoy spending time together. So I think I’m going stick with them for awhile, and see what happens. I don’t think it’ll ever be a serious relationship, but it’s a lot of fun. And, to quote the greatest sage of the 20th century:
If you never did, you should–
These things are fun, and fun is good.