Sunday, December 16, 2012

Away in a manger

Surely someone has made this observation before. I just wasn't there for that particular sermon...

The infant Jesus being laid in a manger?

A manger is a container for food.

In John 6:51, Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Verse 58: "This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate [manna] and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."

He took on flesh for the purpose of sacrificing that same flesh—for our sakes.

That's why the Father made sure the Son was born in a barn... so His first bed would symbolize His purpose in coming.

[Translation: English Standard Version]

Who am I?

This excerpt from a book on creativity caught my eye on Pinterest, of all places.
(from Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon; snagged from Brain Pickings)

It wasn't the first admonition that caught me, but the second.

"Don't wait until you know who you are to get started."

That speaks directly to me, blogging. This is the second blog I've started—and the second platform I've started it on. (I started holity on a paid WordPress platform... even though I didn't know who I was. But even the pittance I was paying per month didn't seem reasonable when I didn't know where I was going with it.)

My first blog had a focus that started to feel constricting after a while. Especially when I started doubting the underlying philosophy.

There was a time when I thought I DID know who I was. I wanted to be a fantasy writer. I wanted to write trilogies that rated incredible cover art and made you weep at the beauty.

And yet, immediately upon the appearance of my first published short story, I lost all desire to write fiction. (Therefore, it's still my ONLY published short story.)

I have considered the possibility that I succumbed to mere fear of success, but I think it was more complicated than that. Perhaps I'll detail that sometime.

Ten years later, I find myself still not wanting to write fantasy fiction... I don't even read much of it any more. I have tried a couple of other types of writing. And nothing has stuck yet.

Still, I have this conviction that God gave me this talent for words and He wants me to use it. Not only that, but I'm not content to let this talent lie buried.

I've read articles on how to build a successful blog, and none of them say, "Flounder around trying to find your voice and what you're meant to write about." Nevertheless, that's what I'm going to do here.

If you don't like it, blame it on Austin Kleon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A lifetime of learning

I took a knitting class this morning... an initiation into the mysteries of the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Just two hours (plus two hours next week), with a local but experienced teacher and three other students in the back room of the local yarn store. Big deal, right?

And yet, I was so excited about it I woke up at 5 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.

I don't think it's knitting in and of itself. Nor was I beside myself about this baby sweater in particular—I've already knitted and crocheted five projects for the nephew who isn't even born yet. (He'll arrive any day now, though... stay tuned!)

It's just that I love to learn.
And, it's been WAAAY too long since I took any classes in anything.

This is why I've all but abandoned TV in favor of informative podcasts.

I think it's not such a bad thing. And I should encourage it in myself.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Host change

Not too many people will notice, since I hadn't been blogging that long anyway, but I've moved hosts. Decided to go with Blogger because it's free. I don't know what possessed me to pay to blog! If I had a business I was blogging for, that would make sense... but I don't.

Cooperative Press is my fantasy employer

Cooperative Press tempts me again with Needles and Artifice, a book full of fabulous Victorian-inspired patterns AND a novella to go with them.
OK, OK, it’s steampunk! I confess to a secret fascination with the steampunk aesthetic, even though I’ve never read any and suspect I wouldn’t even like most steampunk fiction. I just like the clothes and the props. I don’t have the figure for the clothes; in fact, I woudn’t be caught dead in some of these items. AND YET—I WANT THE BOOK!
Spats! Knitted spats with brass buttons. This doesn’t depend on my figure…
This hat & cowl set is called “Master and Commander.” Just what every girl dreams of.
The last Cooperative Press book that tempted me is more justifiable, seeing as how I have a nephew on the way. The only reason I haven’t yet purchased Boys’ Knits is that I have plenty of time… I’m still making newborn gifts. My nephew won’t be big enough for anything in this book for a few years.
The cover photo from Boys’ Knits. Cute!!
[Note: all of the above photos are copyrighted not by me. Either by Cooperative Press or the respective authors.]
I’ve also subscribed to Knit Edge magazine, which has published 1-1/2 issues so far. (They started with a sampler which they called “issue zero.”) So far so good: I want to knit the sweater that was on the cover of issue 1. And maybe the colorwork cowl, too.
Iconoclastic is the word for Cooperative Press. The mass-market crafts publishing industry has gotten rather boring. They’ve got too much money invested to risk doing anything that won’t appeal to the broadest possible audience.
Shannon Okey, the brains (and often muscle) behind Cooperative Press, has shifted the paradigm. She’s using the newer publishing technologies of short-run digital printing and e-publishing to open up the field to unique, even quirky ideas. They don’t HAVE to have mass appeal in order to make a profit.
I’ve yet to purchase a physical book from Cooperative Press. Everything I’ve bought from them comes in 1s and 0s. I read them on my Nook, or my laptop. It’s easy enough to knit with my Nook propped up on the arm of my chair. I made these booties from a pattern in the first CP book I bought—Extreme Double-Knitting by Alasdair Post-Quinn. [Yes, for the nephew.]

So Shannon—how about it? See, I know how to use an em-dash. ;-)