Shifting Into Autumn Mode

It was in the mid-90s yesterday, so it’s definitely not autumn yet! But I think my brain is shifting into autumn mode, as I start finishing up summer projects and looking ahead to fall semester. I hosted knitters on the porch on Tuesday evening, and it was lovely, but I didn’t actually have an active project, so I spent most of the time on Ravelry poking around, looking at my yarn, thinking about what I wanted to work on next.

I ended up with Norah Gaughan’s skirt, Dickson. It’s a little challenging for me — I had to re-teach myself how to read a chart, because it’s been so long, and even had to look up a video on what ‘no stitch’ means. YouTube videos have made learning knitting SO MUCH easier than it used to be. In the old days, you’d just get frustrated and do it wrong, or wait for knit night when you could ask an experienced knitter how you’d turned your project into such a mess.

Now I can learn new techniques immediately, as needed. Working in education, we see so much discussion about how to teach, but this is one gigantic area of wild improvement for human pedagogy, I think. When you can have clear instructions on your phone for how to fix your dishwasher, or your car, or your knitting, how much easier life becomes! It’s a little miracle.

I still make mistakes, of course. Yesterday, when I got to the first increase in the pattern (row 4), I made a mistake early on in that row, and didn’t catch it until the end of row 5. I was tempted to just keep going (that’s what the old Mary Anne would have done), but I’m trying to be more patient with revision in my writing, and with life in general; knitting is good practice for that.

This was a mistake that shifted everything over a stitch, which meant it was going to look very visible and awful — so I took the time to rip it all back, undoing an hour and a half of work. It’s okay. I did it right the next time, tucked up in bed with Babylon 5 for company.

(Finishing up season 4 now. Still pretty good overall, though occasionally, the acting or writing takes a surprising dive for a scene or a few lines. Mostly I appreciate what they’re trying to do, though. I hadn’t realized how much it was a war series; I probably would’ve watched it sooner if I’d known, given what I’m working on myself. Ah well.)

I think I’m going to allow myself one more row (just one more row!) and then head into my day. Straighten up the kitchen, then start some ice cream going for a rose-pistachio-saffron cocktail I want to try creating later. Plant some perennials I picked up at Home Depot yesterday to repair an area the roofers destroyed. (I’m not mad at them; it’s tight quarters here, plants everywhere, and you have to put the ladders SOMEWHERE. Renovations in the jungle are challenging.) Do a little e-mail prep for my SLF and Serendib meetings which start at 10. Read some more of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger women fighters book I started yesterday. I’ll probably spend the afternoon reading Hugo novella nominees.

I’d like to write fiction, but I’m guessing that won’t happen today, with the meetings. (I should check whether it’s possible to shift those meetings later in the day; it’d help.) But tomorrow is mostly clear (except for lunch here with a local reporter doing a piece on Vegan Serendib, will cook for that tonight), so I’m hoping to do a final pass (eep!) on the newest version of Liminal Space, and then start sending it to agents. It’s agent search time, folks. Not as bad as buying a house or finding a romantic partner, but not easy, either.

There’s a lot of discusison in an ADHD group I’m in about RSD (rejection sensitive dysphoria), and I feel very lucky that I don’t seem to experience that. Small rejections I can mostly shrug off; they don’t send me into tears or hours upon hours of spiraling thoughts. But even for those of us who don’t experience RSD, rejection is never fun.

It’s just part of the job, though, whether you’re submitting stories or poems or hunting for agents. Not everyone will be your reader; your work isn’t going to be universally beloved. (Unless, perhaps, you’re Fred Rogers.) That’s okay.

Feel free to remind me I said that when I’m bemoaning the lack of agent interest in a month. 🙂

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