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Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic


Bots and Spammers are routinely purged.

Currently reading

The Summer Tree
Guy Gavriel Kay
Progress: 10/383 pages
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende
History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718
Wallace Notestein

Preparing for 2019; or, I don't do resolutions but . . . . .

After a disappointing art show yesterday, I had planned a busy productive day for today. 


It began with my sleeping in until 9:20.


However, initial laziness gave way to determination, and by 10:15 I had the car completely unloaded and everything put away where it belonged except the table covers.  They were in the washer.  I had visions -- and intentions -- of having them washed, dried, folded, and put away before noon, with the rest of the day to attack the accumulated messes around the studio.


But my determination also brought on some back pain that even a nice long hot shower didn't completely erase.  By noon I had half the table covers done, and more than half a back ache.  I decided to try the semi-preventive muscle relaxer I'd been prescribed a couple of months ago to see if they worked.  I was prepared to have them knock me out.


And they did.


I fought the fog, but the fog won.  I slept for almost three hours, and woke up groggy and . . . blah.  With a sincere effort to focus on getting something done and clearing my head, I managed to finish putting away the table covers, so that all my art show equipment is back in its assigned storage spaces, awaiting the next show in February.


Now, several hours later, I'm finally feeling more alert and ready to actually accomplish something.  And yes, my back does feel a whole lot better, probably just because I slept instead of pushing through the pain and making it worse!


So here I am, looking back on the major disappointments of this fall's art shows -- one was rained out, the other two were shamefully under-promoted and thus under-attended -- and trying to figure out what I'm going to do in the future.


Since it's December and year-end reflections are already starting, this seemed like  a good evening to do some of my own thinking-out-loud.


1.  The option of just packing up and moving to a more compatible environment remains on the table.  I've taken and will continue to take small steps toward facilitating such a move if it becomes the best alternative.


2.  The art group to which I belong and which sponsors these events is holding elections on 12 December for next year's board of directors.  I've been asked to run.  Despite deep-seated antipathy, I've been both tempted and urged to run if only to make things in the group better for myself.  There are some arguments in favor; there are a lot of arguments against.  For one thing, I do not play well with others, especially others who are doing things that make no sense.  Anyway, we'll know how this works out in . . . nine days.


3a.  I've done far too little writing this year of 2018.  I've done a lot of thinking about writing, but that doesn't really count.


3b.  I've done far too little reading this year of 2018.  I've done a lot of talking about reading, but that doesn't really count.


3c.  3a and 3b do not depend on the art group.  Or BookLikes.  Or Twitter.  They depend solely on me.


3d. I make too many excuses for 3a and 3b.  See 3c.  That has to stop.


4.  Speaking of Twitter.  I saw an interesting comment on Twitter some weeks ago that I should have bookmarked or somehow kept track of so I could follow up on it.  But I didn't.  Anyway, whoever wrote it observed that they had always done well in school with little to no effort.  Learning came so easily that as an adult, they (he/she) found that the frustration of having to work at something new proved overwhelming.  They had never learned how to learn.  This struck a nerve with me, because I often find myself giving up on things because they don't come as easily as I expected them to. 


For instance, I took to personal computing like the proverbial duck to water.  Financial challenges notwithstanding, I bought my first IBM-clone PC in 1987, got online with Prodigy in 1991/2 and opened my still valid AOL account in 1993.  But when things don't go my way or they present a challenge, I balk and get peevish.  I've never been able to figure out much with my own website and now I'm feeling the same way with Patreon.  Both of those are avenues to potential income, but fear of failure is holding me back.  This is stupid.  This is counterproductive.


I know that what I need to do is sit down with a comfortable block of time when I won't be interrupted, and just go through the process step by step.  I can't use the excuse of "Etsy was so easy; why can't Patreon be easy just like Etsy??"  I have to do it, because 3a.


5.  Writing is another thing that always came easy to me.  I'm not able to be objective about the quality of what I write, so I'm not going to go there beyond saying I think I'm at least competent.


But it has always been easy.  Even when it's been difficult, it's my own fears and sense of inadequacy that has made it difficult.  As soon as the fears poke their nasty little noses into it, I get scared and back away.  It's not good enough, it's not good enough, I'm not good enough.  No one would ever want to read this shit.  I'm putting too much of myself into it (I always do) and no one cares.  (Go back to writing in your little journals, Linda Ann. Keep it private.  No one wants to read your depressing shit.  No one cares.)


A lot of fears are yapping at me now.  If I make any resolution at all for 2019, it has to be to stop listening to the yapping.


6.  Heinlein's Rule

     1.  You must write.

     2.  You must finish what you write.

     3.  You must refrain from rewriting except to [competent] editorial order.

     4.  You must put your work in front of an editor [audience] who might buy it.

     5.  You must keep it on the market until it sells.


7.  Today's three-hour nap may keep me up half the night, but if so, I'm going to try to spend it reading.  I downloaded a bunch of Kindle freebies today, most of which are probably crappy.  But even the crappy stuff seems to be selling these days . . . .