Keeping Busy

The prevailing wisdom says that when you are querying your novel with literary agents, you should do something else while you are waiting on their response.

I am currently working on two other novels simultaneously. One is a complete re-write of my first (trunked) novel, that was such a godawful mess it’s almost a tragi-comedy. I always liked the idea of that novel, and maybe I’m just stubborn, but I hate the thought that something I wrote is sitting out there, in literary urgent care, and I haven’t done my darnedest to fix it. With some new characters, more maturity, a whole different perspective, and a completely new plot, I think I can turn that initial idea into something someone might want to read.

The second novel is more historical fiction, set in 1690. I’m still researching this one. It’s such a minor event from history that there aren’t many primary sources who’ve written about it and I’ve reached a point where I can’t find any information about the part of the story I want to tell. I can probably piece it together from what I do know, but even that takes time.

Plus, I haven’t been in much of a writing mood either. It’s the end of year with all its craziness, and I’ve been sick, and I’m tired, and it’s cold outside, and I just need a break. But since I have all this nervous energy to burn, and always feel like I have to keep my hands occupied, I’ve been doing a lot of crafting.

Last week I made dolls for two of my characters. You can read about that here.

This week I helped out at Makerspace at the boys’ middle school, and those who wanted to craft made these cute yarn birds.

Sam and the yarn bird he made.

Then my friend Tashia messaged me and said we needed to start thinking about what to do for my birthday.

My birthday is Christmas Eve, and ever since I’ve known her, Tahsia and I have hung out on my birthday. Usually we go to a restaurant in Schenectady where we split my free birthday margarita. I usually spend the rest of the day passed out in a tequila coma, and fun is had by all. But I wasn’t feeling it this year. I suggested we make a craft instead.

We decided to do a cute sock unicorn craft we saw on youtube. I had most everything we needed for it, and it didn’t look too hard to make.

But I have gotten much smarter in my old age. Once upon a time, I would have pulled out everything the day of and we’d just have to figure it out as we go along. Tahsia likes to craft, but readily admits that she isn’t naturally crafty. I am naturally crafty but spatially unaware and entirely logic impaired. I was going to have to lead this crafting activity, but I could see how a lot could go wrong.

So smart Brittany decided to make a prototype here and see what we were dealing with.

Smart move. This sweet-looking little unicorn was hell on four hooves to make. So. Much. Sewing. So. Much. Measuring. So. Much. Hot. Glue. It takes hours and hours to make.

In high school, my friend Michael summed me up in a sentence. He told me that if the ends don’t justify the means, I don’t waste my time. You want to know everything you need to know about me? Well, there you go.

This unicorn is cute. But the cute to pain in the butt ratio does not skew in its favor. I am highly unlikely to make another one of these. In a fit of pique–mid hand-stitched hair (gah!), I started googling other sock unicorn patterns and found one substantially easier looking and just as cute.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.