9 Jan 2012, 3:12pm
tangents writing
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Holiday Ends

Today is (I think) the last day of Holidailies, which is a bit of a relief. I’m planning to take a short break here, a week while I’m in Oregon visiting my parents and another week to recover from flying all over the country. Then I’m hoping to be back here posting once a week, maybe more on occasion, but I don’t want to aim for more for fear I won’t do any.

I managed a post for every day of holidailies, even if it wasn’t posted every day (I think I missed one day, but started a day early, so it evened out) which totals 32 days (including this one) in a row of blog posts. I realize this isn’t an enormous accomplishment, but it’s what I set out to do, so I’m happy to have finished it. I’ve also managed to get some (thought by no means all) of the holiday things done that I needed to do, so it’s not as though everything dropped to the side so I could get the blogging done, something I’ve been known to fall into in the past. A few things dropped to the side, but I think nothing important. I got several batches of chex mix baked for gifts, two glitter bottles finished for Ender, the wave bottle finished (thought not sealed) and two drawings done for Matt. Again, none of these things are especially epic on their own, but they are all the sorts of things I often mean to do, and don’t get around to, so I’m happy, and optimistic about my goals for the year.

If you missed my 2011 wrapup here are my goals for 2012:

1. Find time to do something creative at least a few times a week.
2. Submit a short story to magazines.
3. Re-write chapter 1 of novel.
4. Create dummy for picture book, and 2 finished pages. Submit picture book to publishers.
5. Create one simple (even if entirely useless) iPad app.

There are several other cascading goals, and better defined goals, that come from the ones above, but those are a good target for me at the moment, and I’m feeling pretty good about them at the moment. I’m starting out by giving myself small (very small) daily goals such as getting a sketch done, or spending an hour doing some editing. Re-focusing my efforts in this (these) direction(s) should help get me back into doing what I want to be doing, and what I need to be doing. I think daily blogging has been a good step stone for that, and helped me get some of my thoughts organized.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed holidailies. Off we go.
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Giveaway Winner

I did a shirt credit giveaway December 19. The winner is Sherck with the suggestion: “Stare at it until you can see the Magic Eye picture (I swear it’s there, and I can’t believe they would put that on a onesie).” Sherck, I’ll get in contact with the shirt blanks company when I get back from Oregon (in about a week) and figure out how to get you your $25 credit then. This is my first giveaway with an outside company, so forgive me if I fumble a bit.

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  • 8 Jan 2012, 10:14pm
    design on creation
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    Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dyeing

    20120108-220804.jpgI realize plenty of nursing mothers get by just fine without ever buying a single piece of “nursing” clothing. Others, I know, find the look of nursing shirts awkward and embarrassing.

    My god though, it’s SO much easier. Ok, so these days, nursing is pretty easy. Ender and I both more or less have the routine down, and if I wanted to, wearing “normal” clothing would absolutely be doable. But in the early days weeks months of nursing, it was just one more thing to deal with, and I fell in love with the easy openings of nursing tops. I got in the habit. Plus, if I need to nurse Ender while I’m out and about, it’s way easier with a nursing top to not flash every passerby a glimpse of my crepe paper belly, never mind my boobs.

    20120108-221036.jpgUnfortunately, (affordable) nursing tops are pretty slim pickings. I have exactly four long sleeved tops I’m comfortable wearing. And as of this morning, one of them looked terrible on me.

    I like brown, and some browns like me, but this pilgrim turkey brown was not one of them (I meant to take a photo of myself wearing it, but didn’t remember until it was too late). So I thought I didn’t have anything to lose by trying my first experiment with RIT dye. Well, first since a tie-dye activity in the 2nd grade.

    I didn’t bother trying to get the original color out, mainly because I didn’t realize it was possible until recently. Plus adding one more step to a project just makes it a little less likely that I’ll get it finished. I thought a bright red would combine nicely with the original brown, and even if it stayed more brown than red, it would be warmer color, and hopefully look nicer with my skin.

    20120108-221245.jpgStirring, for over an HOUR was a pain, and it looked like evil Jello. It turned out beautifully though. The color was even nicer than I’d hoped for, I can’t think of the name of the red, but it’s a color that makes me feel nostalgic, it’s the color I imagine Little Red’s riding hood should be.

    To be totally honest, my craft whims don’t usually turn out this well, so I’m pretty psyched to not just have one more shirt I can wear without feeling ugly, but to have completed a project in less than a day. I have plans to buy and dye two more shirts, and next time, I think I may play with masking using some wax resist. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

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  • Freedom of Thought

    Ender is… well I won’t call it Crawling, but by the time you finish reading this post it might be. He’s got the legs mostly worked out, but his arms stick out stiff in front of him, effectively providing breaks to his forward momentum. Sometimes he topples forward and manages to scramble a few inches, sometimes he sort of hops, frog style, and his whole body slides forward a bit. Sometimes he tips to the side and ends up in a roll which takes him somewhere unless he gets distracted by looking at the ceiling.

    Whatever I want to call it though, Ender is starting to be mobile. It might take him a while to get there, but he moves from point A to point B. Or at least to point A and 1/2. So far he rarely travels further than a few feet at a time, and by the time he makes it that far he’s probably ready for a nap, or at least a different point of view. Nonetheless, my baby is moving (or rather crawling) slowly into a significant new phase of independence.

    I think the reason I’ve been so excited about crawling (despite many many suggestions from more experienced parents to enjoy the lack of mobility while I could) is because it is the first time a baby is able to inflict his will on the world. Up until this point, Ender has been subject to my choices and my whims. Obviously he still is, but before the only protest he could make was to cry or to hold on to the toy a bit tighter. Now he can run away. He can go places I’d rather he not.

    Obviously it’s not just about baby vs. parent. Ender suddenly has the ability to make real choices.

    I mean, sure, before, while he was playing under his baby gym, he could choose to bat at the owl, or yank on the blue bird, or kick the padded bar, but this is the illusion of choice we give to toddlers to appease them (would you like the blue socks or the red socks today?) not a real decision.

    Soon, Ender will be able to survey the room and decide: do I want to go play with the ball, or do I want to hide under a blanket, or do I want to try to pull up on that chair? Or maybe shake the security gate or bang on the door?

    We think of crawling as a big milestone, but we lump it in line with sitting up and rolling over, we see it as a halfway point to walking. It’s more than any of those, because it is such a significant shift in how the baby’s world operates.

    I realize this will sound absurd, but it makes me think of the video game the Sims. Sims 2 to be specific. (And this isn’t even the first time I’ve talked about life mirroring the Sims.) In the Sims 2, when your sim has a baby, it functions as an object in the game for three days. You have to feed it and change it and bathe it, and you can play with it or sing to it, and you put it to bed. After three days, it morphs to a “toddler” a slightly larger crawling sim. Only then can you see the intent of the sim, the moods, the metered needs and wants and fears. Only then does the sim have selectable actions, and begin to learn skills. Only then does the sim become a playable character.

    From the time Ender was born, he was learning of course. They do that. Up until now, he was not a participant in his learning, he was a passive receiver, truly the sponge we say babies are (a really CUTE sponge though). Now he is on the same continuum as a toddler or even a preschooler. Of course there is a world of difference between a crawling baby and a three year old, but it is only one of time and experience, not one of being.

    Yesterday he was an object. Today he is a player.

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