November 2007


My dear readers (I have always wanted to say that.  Don’t I sound so author like?), I apologize.   I have neglected my blog lately for a lofty endeavor.  I have been writing a novel.  Not just any novel, but my first.  I took the write a novel in a month challenge.  I’m here to inform you the fantasy is fading fast.  It’s sad but true, writing a novel is hard work.

At first the idea was exciting.  Who doesn’t like the idea of creating people from start to finish?  You can become a svelte 20-something with a sexy body and name.  You can be married to an amazing man who thinks the world revolves around you.  You tell the story from your new persona and do things that you wish you had the courage to do. Unfortunately, you get to do things you would be ashamed to do, if you want any reader to believe in your character. 

But you know what the hardest thing about your characters is?  It is the dialogue.  It never occurred to me how difficult it is to write out what people say.  You know when you read through a book and it seems to flow so easily from dialogue to narration?  Next time, be impressed.  It takes talent to keep you from noticing.

My other struggle is fighting the desire to keep rewriting along the way.  I know I’m supposed to just get the story out.  Yet, each time I sit to write I tend to reread what I wrote the night before, to get the flow back.  Only, I don’t just read it.  I have to fix it.  Who knew?  There is a perfectionist hiding in this chaotic brain of mine. 

I am determined to finish my novel.  It won’t be by the end of November and it may not even be this year.  I am enjoying letting the story unfold each night.  While I started off with just the ending to get to, I’m discovering the path is as complex and mesmerizing as any novel I have read.   A piece of me isn’t ready for it to end.

Don’t go looking for me at the bookstore any time soon.  I’m afraid my novel is going to be best stored on the hard drive of my computer.  Stored in my head, will be a new appreciation of what great authors do.

I posed the question on flaminghot “My studio is…”  asking bloggers to complete the sentance.  I asked this question because, I am realizing my safe haven for creation is not what I expected.  What I envisioned and what is reality, are two different things.

When looking for homes in New Hampshire, my husband stumbled upon our current home.  He showed me an online video tour with my studio in full panoramic view. An impressive sight, my studio is the size of a 2 car garage.  Built by a man wanting a furniture restoration space, it is my dream.  Loads of daylight, paint and varnish spattered cement flooring, tattered looking drywall, electric, heat and air conditioning made the space mouth watering.  I really didn’t care about the rest of the house.  The studio called my name. 

I had such great plans.  A place to escape and create to my hearts content.  Peace, quiet and organized chaos was in order.  Little did I realize, Mom’s studio is a fun place to hang out.  Now, I know putting the second computer in my studio was probably a mistake.  But, I wanted to monitor child internet use.  Fine, this should mean I have school days to myself, right?  Wrong!  My husband, who has a perfectly good computer in his office, often finds the need to come use the children’s computer. What?  I can’t be that magnetic after all these years. 

On the weekends, I take off to my studio to escape family noise.   A nice phone chat with my sister, in my space, is all I crave.  But no,  somehow everyone finds their way into my space and no longer am I free to chat at will.  Am I really THAT cool? 

I doubt it.  Just today my 9 year old daughter put her hand on the mouthpiece of the phone, looked at me in all seriousness and said “Could you give me some space here, I’m having a private conversation.”  Don’t worry, like any good Mother I marched her out of MY studio and escorted her to her bedroom.  But, it made me wonder.  What is so awesome about my studio that everyone wants to hang out?  Could it be the extra beverage refridgerator?  The piles of stuff  in every corner?  Or is it the simple fact you never really have to clean up after yourself in a studio.  After all, chaos breeds creativity. 

I really don’t want to know.  I like to think I’m so loved they all want to be near me.  Don’t bother commenting otherwise, I’ll delete it. 

The internet has really helped many of us sell our hand crafted work.  No matter where you live, chances are you can sell in a global marketplace.  Pretty neat when you think about it.  Because for years the saying “Location, location, location” was everything when it came to a successful storefront business. 

Now that the ability to access prime location is not a huge hurdle, other things become issues.  How do I get people to see my auctions and my site?  I can’t see those buyers walking down the street, but I know they are out there wandering the internet. 

But when should one list? I think each seller has a theory and it is the topic for Flaming Hot’s blog it this week.  When is the best time to list auctions in order to maximize views? 

When I first started selling I was convinced I needed to be as regular as clockwork.  I created a must follow schedule of listing Tuesdays and Thursdays; day slots for justbeads and night slots for ebay.  If I had extra sets I would add another weekday or weeknight auction. 

A year or so later I added a newsletter to my marketing efforts.  I began to sell from my site and announce new strands.  I was again convinced I needed a strict schedule of every week.  I think you are beginning to see where this is going, right? 

Even more recently I added Etsy to my auction sales sites.  Over there the suggestion is to list as often as possible one auction at a time.  What?!  any old time?  Oh my, but what about a schedule?  Within days I was enjoying just listing willy nilly.  How completely free-spirited and wild I felt.  I was so liberated I sent my newsletter out on a completely random day.  Crazy, I know.  I put up a couple Saturday auctions on one of the sites.  What was I thinking? 

Now before you get too worried, I still have to fill my Tuesday and Thursday slots to maintain a tiny slice of order.  But don’t be surprised to see other auctions listed on any old day of the week.  And my newsletter?  I just might surprise you with a 2am version.    My new motto is location, location, and list any darn time you want.  

There is a shade of blue which defines a specific block of time on the New England coast.  The fog has rolled in overnight and crystallized on trees, roads, mailboxes and rooftops.  The moment just before the sun breaks through; the sky and snow are a distinct color.   A shimmering soft blue offers a promise.  It will be a gorgeous, sparkly day full of light and sun.  But for me, the moment before the sunshine is more precious than the warm winter day.  It is the hope of all things to come and the reminder each day is a new awakening.

I love color.  I still find a box of crayola crayons exciting and irresistible.  While I am waiting for my kiln to heat up, I often just browse my selection of colored glass rods.  They are organized by system and color.  I pull out a few shades and mix and match the combinations until I have a few ready to be melted.

But, what happens when I don’t have the exact shade I want?  I want to create the color and start to think in terms of what I would need to create the tone.  As anyone who has ever mixed glass knows, it is time consuming and experimental.  More often than not you get something you didn’t plan on.  I do it and usually enjoy the results.   But…..  I have this fantasy. 

“I am standing before a huge furnace where I can heat up base glass colors in a pot.  I grab a little of this and a little of that.  I mix them together to see what I have.  I need a bit more yellow…. no, that’s not it, maybe a touch of red.  Oh, that looks yummy.  Let me pour it out into rods and see what I have.  Awesome!  But next time I think I’ll add a bit more blue.” 

Wouldn’t that be fun?  I am envious of the people at Bullseye Glass.  They make new colors almost every month and sell them to color obsessed bead makers like me.  Maybe they have an opening?