Books are the creative works I get the most time to enjoy. I've always read for entertainment and education. As much as I love books themselves, I usually read primarily for fun. Lately, though, I've been reading textbooks to keep my brain working, too.
Anybody who follows my twitter feed might notice a weird #hashtag I use sometimes- #WoTrr, short for Wheel of Time Re-Read.
One of my favorite authors, Robert Jordan, died a few years ago, nearly done with an epic series (and I mean epic, he died after completing volume 11 of 12) and the mantle has been picked up by Brandon Sanderson.
I've seen this done before and been sorely disappointed, so I was a bit nervous when I heard this news. It turns out, Sanderson is a bit of a genius. Fortunately for all of us who have been waiting patiently for years between volumes during Jordan's long illness. And who were devastated when the treatments that had seemed to be promising ended in his death. Jordan left behind detailed plot outlines, character sketches and volumes of notes and maps, so that the work could be completed.
It turns out, Sanderson was the best choice. He's a fan himself (He even uses the silly hashtag sometimes), and he also seems to understand the spirit of these books and of Jordan, himself. He's worked with RJ's widow and family to fully understand the outlines and reference materials, and he's got a very clear view of the work he has to do. He's taken everything he has and done it justice by extending the series even further, giving the remaining material three books to develop.
I'm deeply grateful for the care that's been taken to finish this huge endeavor. As a consumer, a fan, I'm always so happy when the next volume is published. It's something I've been able to look forward to since my first year of college. I have a vague hope that the last book, A Memory of Light, will be out this year, but I have a feeling it'll be around my 20th anniversary of picking up the first book, The Eye of the World, next year.
E-books have broadened the time I can spend reading. To get ready for this momentous event, I've started my re-read. Each book is over 600 pages and my copies are all hard cover, so hauling them, along with my day to day necessities is a hassle. But the fact that I can download them onto my phone means I have my book at the gym, the park, the pool, wherever I am with the kids or on my own. Honestly, e-books may be the reason I've returned to my habit of daily reading.
Of course, there are many new authors out there. I haven't even had time to read Sanderson's other books, and I'm eager to do that now. Not to mention Martin, a few of Neil Gaiman's I haven't gotten to, and another author I check on every time I'm at the book store-Tad Williams.
I'm so glad to be back to reading a lot.
Oh my goodness, I just turned on a painful episode of "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" and it's the tackiest place ever! This guy is falling into every trap I've seen. It's amazing how I can see this stuff applying to myself. Giving away free stuff, working too much, lazy habits, being devastatingly disorganized, putting the schtick before the quality.
It's so easy to think that people like the crazy stuff. The wild sales and the showy display. It's true. People sometimes mutter about how they could "get that at Target for less." People are attracted things that look different.
But, let's face it. Hand made is not going to be a cheap option. Individually styled and unique is not mass produced or made quickly. That's the entire point. I don't love to cast, I love to forge and cut and finish. I don't want several copies of each piece out on my table. I want to treat each design, each stone, each idea as a separate problem.
Schtick can be fun and it gets attention, but too much cheapens what's behind it.
This poor guy seems to never be able to leave his business in anyone else's hands.
This episode may make me cry. And given me food for thought.
Summer is destroying my TV taste.
The first part of the book is getting put away. So many concepts, so much to think about. Maybe I should give it a weekly review to see if anything clicks over time.
So, let's get on with part two. Page one may be as far as I get. Exploring, exerimenting, evaluating, implimenting. That's a pretty great breakdown.
For the beginning part of the year I was exploring a whole lot, with the Artist's Way, art books, jewelry magazines and my classes. I'm always exploring as I travel and even at home taking walks. But it got a little out of hand. Of course I need to explore constantly. But how can I possibly keep it all in perspective?
For the most part, I already practice these steps. The thinking parts frequently get rushed or I'm easily distracted. The end result is I'm not satisfied with the ways I've worked out for myself. I could be getting so much more done. I could be creating a vision. Right now, I'm letting tiny little bits of vision out each time I create, but larger things only escape on the rare occasions when I have a greater reason to focus and let go of other concerns.
On the very first page of this section, Stewart suggests that 10 answers to any one question are required to create a truly well thought out answer. Thinking back, it's completely true. Teachers have asked for 10 designs for any one problem. Even when most of the ones I come up with are throw aways, they help me think it out. Sometimes I come up with solutions for other problems as I'm attacking the first.
I need to work on my evaluation. I am quick to jump to a favorite design and sometimes it's hard for me to think critically about it. Thinking about the positives and negatives of a rejected design takes me away from the piece I must work on. Why don't I look at them later?
This section looks like it will help me. Or at least get me asking the right questions.
After leaving town again Friday and returning without kids, (Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa), we homeowners came back to Do Stuff! In fact, out combined to do list is terrifyingly large.
Today was spent shopping. I very much got tired of shopping. This usually doesn't happen when I've got a big project in mind.
To save a little money, Adam's doing the electrical work. He's feeling pretty good. The stove is complete, and the fridge could go back.
We think the Guys will have to redo a bulkhead they put in for the cabinet. It's not high enough. Measure twice fail. We need to confirm with a ruler, we'll do that later.
Next Adam's Running new electricity for the dishwasher, disposal, and my Coffee Shrine. I'm impressed.
Out annual week without kids is going to involve non-stop projects, work and cleaning. I'd regret the lost chance to travel to places the kids aren't old enough to enjoy, but it feels so good to be working together and getting stuff done.
This may be a rambling post, as I want to write, but I'm not sure what to write about. If I get too confusing, just close your eyes and imagine yourself here:
We just spent the week in New England, partly in Gloucester and Boston and otherwise just wandering around. Submarine museums, Native American museums, Walden Pond... We even got beach time.
Summer is in full swing. With the remodel I'm feeling way off balance. Not as much time at the bench as I'd like. A huge amount of time with the kids having fun, which I love. But certainly, not as much time blogging and keeping up with the world in my computer.
Food while the kitchen is dismantled is a disaster. Stuff that goes in the microwave, eating out, grab and go. My fridge is not plugged into its regular socket and I worry that it's not getting enough juice. (This is probably irrational, I know, but I'll keep the doors shut as much as I can anyway.)
My poor kitty has been feeling poorly lately. He's getting dehydrated easily. The vet changed his meds a little and we're hoping this will help, but it will be a few days until we get the new ones. I'll keep worrying until then. Sigh.
Today we get a new stove, microwave and dishwasher. I'm not sure they'll be installed today, the cabinets are going in right now, so I'm hopeful.
I'll write more when I'm feeling more organized. Hope your day is going well!