Saturday, January 4, 2014

Now it feels like the New Year.

So my wonderful husband spent hours with me this morning taking down the tree and all the decorations and packing everything back up and storing it in the garage and then CLEANING. He's so great.

Now the house, at least the downstairs feels mostly clean and ready for the new year. The kids go back to school on Monday, which they aren't too stoked about, but I'm ready. It's not that I haven't enjoyed being with them or I'm anxious to get them out of the house. It's that I have drafted such a great plan for the year, specifically first quarter and this month in particular, that I can't wait to get started. I've got so much mental energy, and so many lists!

Monday morning my new work schedule starts and I'm really looking forward to it.

This blog will be shortly packing up and moving to a new location, it's time for an actual web site and not just a blog. So stay tuned for those upcoming changes.

Finally, I'm weighing my options on my book. I've sent in a proposal to yet another publisher and we'll see where that goes. I'm going to just keep plugging away on getting it completely written so I have a full fledged manuscript to work with. I've got to figure out how to manage writing a book, processing the tons of wool I have in the garage, spinning, blogging, etc. in the 6 hours I have each weekday while the kids are at school. It's going to take a lot of focus. But I'm SO looking forward to it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Decisions Decisions

I am at a cross roads. I heard back from the publisher I submitted my book proposal to. They liked it, a lot. And they've offered me a contract. However, it's an author subsidized one. Which means I need to come up with close to $3,000 to have this thing done. The plus side, they have worldwide marketing reach in both e-book and print (amazon plus brick and mortar stores), they will do the cover art, the editing, the layouts for each e-reader set up, all the marketing (I'll get a personal publicist), and manage the sales and I get a great royalty rate.

The downside is coming up with all that cash 30 days from the day I sign the contract, if I decide to sign. I'm investigating other options, like self-publishing but honestly the reach isn't as far and I'd be doing 100% of the work, all the editing as well as finding and paying someone for cover art, and editing. This is not a novel, it's a going to require more of what an academic level book requires and I'm not sure I can do that all on my own for free.

So I'm also considering a crowd sourcing campaign. Maybe I can get enough people interested in what I'm writing to contribute to the contract subsidy.

I also have some other publishers I'm thinking of submitting a proposal to but I need to check all the fine print for everyone because often times there is a non-compete clause.

It feels like a busy and crazy January so far!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Planning Day

Today I'm letting the kids do literally whatever they want all day, without my nagging and suggestions etc. This is not purely altruistic however. I have loads of planning I'm doing for my business and personal life for 2014 so I need/want the uninterrupted time and the kids are loving the freedom. I made them lunch and they can eat it whenever they want (it won't get stale or yucky) so no need to nag them about that.

They wanted clarification, "So we can play video games all day long???"

"If that's what you really want."

"Well, I don't think I'll play ALL day. I mean I should get outside too."

"Whatever you want."


Right now they are playing Minecraft together.

I'm shortly to head to the back patio with a cup of tea and start working on my 2014 Biz Planner from Leonie Dawson.  I've almost completed the personal edition and I'm really feeling good about the year so far.

Part of the personal edition is to do a 12 month tarot pull just to see what the cards may hold for the year. I first did this pull using my Herbal Tarot deck but the results were very un-nerving. Very negative.

So I did a new pull with my Good Witch Bad Witch deck and I'm much happier with the results. They do somewhat align with the first pull but they have a much more positive tone.

I have so much desire to get into my large stash of unprocessed wool and get washing. But I really want to get these two workbooks completed before I start. So I'm giving myself till Monday when the kids go back to school to finish my planning for the year and getting organized. For the first time since I became a mother, 8 years ago, I have mapped out a year ahead and that feels really, really good.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Anniversary

Today marks nine years since my husband and I said "I do."

In retrospect, December 30th is not a very good day for a wedding but then, we didn't really have a 'wedding' per se.

We were planning one but for some reason which I can't really recall right now, we decided to go ahead and get married at the court house before the end of the year, I think it was something about health insurance or something. So yes, we eloped, with the idea that we'd be having a full scale ceremony in September of 2005. We'd already scoped out sites and had a lot of it mentally planned.

So on the morning of December 30, 2004, we both got up and got dressed. I didn't even shower that day as I recall. I worked in a yoga studio at the time and Mike worked at a small, informal office so I think he was wearing jeans and a sweater. I was wearing yoga pants and my hair was in a pony tail. Why is this important to the story? Because we had no idea what we were walking into.

We got to the records office right when it opened, both of us had to go to work that day. We filled out the forms and then turned them in. The gal at the desk asked us when we wanted to do this. We said, as soon as possible. She said, "Across the street at nine a.m." So we went and got a cup of coffee and waited for the lawyer's office to open.

We shuffled down into his sub-basement office. There were old desks and chairs and "couches" from 1960 and stacks, literally stacks and stacks of books and papers EVERYWHERE. We sat down in what we assumed was the waiting area and other couples began to arrive. Most of them were dressed really nicely and all the women had actually washed their hair that day.

After a short wait, a man who looked remarkably like Santa Claus came out of the back office and called us in. The room was like a big conference room with a giant table and tons of chairs around it. We sat down and he said, "Oh no. Come up here, face each other and hold hands." We had NO idea we were actually going to be saying vows! I guess we just thought he'd be signing off on our paperwork or something but suddenly we are facing each other, holding hands and repeating after Santa.

I just remember "Holy COW, HOLY COW, HOLY COW!" going through my head.

At the conclusion of the vows he asked if we wanted a picture and we both yelled, "NO!" at the same time. Photos could come at the actually ceremony, where my hair would DEFINITELY be washed and I would not be wearing yoga pants.

As we walked out to the cars to head in opposite directions to our jobs, we said to each other, "Holy shit we are married!" It was surreal.

We celebrated with our roommates that night with a very expensive bottle of champagne. It was a great day.

We never did have that ceremony in the Adirondaks the following fall. Turns out I was pregnant with our first son just weeks after our elopement and I was due in early October. A September ceremony was not going to work. Instead, we had a reception a few months later, once the majority of my sickness passed, with family and friends, just prior to leaving for California.

It's hard to believe that was nine years ago! Next year will be our 10th. Maybe we can finally do some formal vows in front of family and friends. To celebrate what we have built together.

I love you my darling husband!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Words upon Words

I had some rather exciting news today. A few days ago I submitted a mini book proposal to a publishing company. I'm currently contributing a short chapter on the Goddess Ceres for their upcoming title Naming the Goddess.  I wasn't sure they would have an interest in it, although I think it's a grand idea and will find readers in both the Pagan AND fiber artist communities.

Today I heard back from them that they'd like me to take the next step and submit a more in depth proposal. I'm very much looking forward to this process. It's been a long time since I published anything. All my previous publications are from my life as an archaeologist. So this is different but the same really.

At least the material won't be dry.

So now I'm off to get started and see where this goes. I feel very passionate about this book so if this publisher decides it's not a good fit for them, that's okay. I'll still write the book and pursue publication. I also would like to create a few articles out of the material for various fiber art magazines. We'll see where it goes!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Being Thankful

Some folks who know me, know that I would love to move back East. But if I'm going to live out here in CA I feel super lucky to live in my little town of Millbrae.

Sure, like all towns, it has it's problems. But there is something to be said for being able to walk into town and go the grocery store, the post office, the coffee shop, the jeweler (for a free ring cleaning), the butcher (to order your Thanksgiving turkey), the eye doctor, and the dentist and run into people you know in each one of those places. Small towns offer that and while some may find it too invasive, I love it.

I love going to our local butcher and being treated like family. I love going to the coffee shop and they know me by name. I love that my children have been here since infancy and have a deep network of friends. I love that we can walk to our elementary school and when they are ready for middle school they can practically roll out of bed to it. I love that during soccer and baseball seasons, we see tons of friends we know who go to other schools in our town and get to catch up. I love that our little cub scout dens are full of sweet boys who have great parents I enjoy spending time with.

We have an added bonus here of being just outside San Francisco and practically across the street from the airport. Convenience doesn't begin to describe it.

So in a time where I complain a lot to my poor, long suffering husband about wanting to move back East. I am thankful for where we live because this little town is a gem.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wool Processing time

For the past few days I've been hip deep in wool. It has taken me all summer to get to this point, breathing room so I could process the raw fleeces I have in the studio.

I started with this beautiful Romney fleece. It's been scoured and is FINALLY dry. I do not have combs so I'm going to be using my hand cards on this one. It's a beautiful fleece with fluffy white locks and some lovely greys and browns mixed in. I can't wait to spin it!

The next big job is to scour and process two pounds of Navajo Churro fleece. The colors on these two fleeces are beautiful. A lovely red/tan and a pretty dark grey. The staples are really long and there's a TON of greece to clean so it should be a fun challenge. I'll post some photos here as the process moves along. I am so excited to see what kind of yarn I can spin from these raw fleeces.

I love taking something from ground zero to finished product. Maybe someday I can be lucky enough to help sheer some sheep and then process what I've sheered. Even better, I hope someday to have my own sheep to care for.

Do you process your own wool? Do you get to spin what you process or knit up something awesome from your results? I'd love to hear from you!