July 1st, 2009

Willow

Con membership prices

I can't believe I'll have attended every Aussie con there was this year. That feels somewhat excessive. I spose next year I will be close to doing the same - attending Swancon and Worldcon.

Attending lots of cons though gives you an idea of what other cities are doing, what different cons are offering and what you would do differently etc.

In any case, I just found my personal price barrier for a full membership. I'd say that'd be because I have been to a few cons this year but also because I bought almost all my memberships last year at the discount prices. I did it because I wanted to throw seed money into the coffers of those cons. That'd be something I picked up from hanging around with editormum. The problem though is that you get used to paying $100 for con memberships. Pretty sure I bought my Aussiecon 4 membership in the initial round too.

So ... that begs the question - what's your price limit for con membership? And what do you expect to get for that?

ball of yarn

Creativity and Inspiration Post 1

I go through spurts with the creativity thing. For a couple of months now, I haven't crafted at all. I was knitting and editing together for a while at the beginning of the year but I think in the rush to get Shiny 5, New Ceres Nights and Horn all out in quick succession, I had to focus and strip back on anything else to get it all done. After Adelaide, I was sick and didn't feel like crafting either and it's only been I guess since the weekend that I have picked up a needle again and have been feeling the crafting mojo.

I have a complicated relationship with my crafts. Mostly I don't ever like to just sit - sit and talk or sit and watch TV. I have always had some project on the go, for as long as I can remember. I haven't always finished the projects but that's a different story.

When I was at my most depressed, the only thing I wanted to do was craft - knit. I knit so many things. I stayed at home to knit in preference to other things (ok, admittedly, not-depressed I would make the same call if the choice was still go out in the rain to mandurah or rockingham or joondalup on a saturday night and sit in a freezing stadium and watch my bf referee crap state basketball, drink foul coffee and get a sore bum). I got absorbed into it. I stashed a loooooot of yarn for future projects. I started my own knitting blog. I went to knitting fairs and conventions. I read knitters blogs. I listened to knitting podcasts. I got absorbed. And what appealled to me, I think, was the potential - of projects - and the colours stimulated my brain. And the act of creating and finishing small tasks all served to fulfil me in a time when my job made me feel like shit and my relationship was even shittier to come home to.

Then I moved into my new place and started my new life and it got very busy very quickly. I didn't have time for craft, not being home a lot. And it all slowed down. Money got a bit tighter so the stashing had to be put on a diet. And TPP kinda exploded to take up all my spare time, so even when I am home, I'm editing or doing press related things.

Now I find myself in a bit of an energy slump. Things are getting a bit ... s.e.r.i.o.u.s ... and I think craft is becoming the escape that it was for me before. Perhaps for me, when things get overwhelming, I turn to something else to stimulate my brain - colours! patterns! geometry!! - and something that I can feel productive on without the stress.

Either way, craft is exploding at my place this week. And it's making me think about the reasons for that - which will be a separate post. I currently have 4 patchwork projects that I am piecing all at once (it's not fun, if it's not complicated). I have the borders to go on the Kimonos wallhanging. I have the hexagon project that admittedly is put to the side whilst I procrastinate on buying black calico to applique them onto. I have the scrappy log cabin blocks which I am making out of all the very small scraps I would otherwise throw away. It kinda has to progress as I work on other things cause there's no way I will ever sit down and sort through a huge pile of really small cut offs and piece them. And it feels like tidying up as I go (these are the 3.5 inch finished squares, and I have made 5 now).

And my project de jour! Monochrome tumbling blocks. I am going great guns on this this week. I had 9 I think on Sunday and I have nearly 20 as of last night - 3 60 degree diamonds sewn into a block, with three contrasting colours, in this case black (and white), black and white, and white (and black), to give a 3D effect. This is my first project that I have done by myself from scratch including playing with fabrics - colours and patterns - and I am getting quite pleased with the effects. I also plan to throw in the odd red diamond here and there for some kind of "blood on the dance floor" effect.

So I'm excited and stimulated by craft at the moment. I think it works to keep a gloomy brain alert. The problem is of course the gloomy brain. But I'm enjoying it - sadly at the expense of the work I am avoiding doing. Photos of the current projects to follow, tonight.

cuppa

Creativity and Inspiration Post 2

The other thing I noticed after my last serious depressive thang was the lack of stimulation of the senses. I was hardly listening to any music, I had stopped seeing movies, hardly going to art exhibitions, was seeing the odd big live music thing (I don't lie - Kylie Minogue. Elton John and Billie Joel) but had stopped seeing the Fly By Night kinda acts, was seeing the odd crap amateur play. Had stopped dancing. Had stopped eating a varied and interesting diet.

Essentially was not being inspired by new, out there, cutting edge art, film, food and music.

So since I made this observation, whenever I've started to feel low in energy, I check to see if I have been listening to music, as a first stop. And then I look at what I have been eating and so on.

This in part explains a bit of my JB HiFi splurging of late.

And is why Girl Talk has finally been ousted from the playlist. I have been listening to Girl Talk on repeat at work and in my car for, um, months. To be fair, I really love Girl Talk! But .. have recently had multiple new musical acquisitions.

The new Regina Spektor, "Far", is on rotation in my car. I really like the song "Laughing With" and am getting into a couple of others. But this very much feels like an experimental album and I'm not sure all of the songs quite pull it off.

The new Gossip album "Music for Men" made it to the CD player at work. Really loving this - especially "Pop Goes the World", "For Keeps", "Heavy Cross" and they have a song called "2012" which, you know ...

I um might have bought a couple of Jackson 5 CDs. And I also picked up a Motown Hit Singles collection which is getting rotation on the macbook at home. I'm about 3 CDs in and just love love love Motown.

me

Plan A v Plan B

So the thing that's been stressing me out.

Funnily enough it's not the fact that I currently don't have a day job for after Oct 1. I don't seem all that worried about that per se. It's more that I feel like right now in my life I need to take a leap. I think I blogged about this before and that it was time to play my life for real, only I didn't know what exactly I wanted to do. And I kept saying that, cept every time I talked it out with anyone, it became blatantly clear that I know exactly what I want to do. And how.

So, I have a Plan A - the day job. And a Plan B - TPP. After much thinking and whathaveyou, it's clear that right now, I have to pursue both plans. For a while. And that's cool, I love my day job and I'm not sure I'm ready to not have engineering be part of my day.

Which is all fine and dandy.

The stressful bit is this ... I currently use pretty much all my spare time, as best I can find it, on TPP. I come straight home from work and get started. I often spent most of my post work hours before bed on it. And whatever is not booked on the weekends, is TPP's. I am finding now that I don't have enough time for TPP. In the longer term, I guess the aim would be to drop down to less than full time at the day job to get more time for TPP. But for now, I am in a position where I need to find more time and I can't and that I feel like the progress and growth of TPP is limited by the amount of time that I can put into it. My to do lists are long. What I feel I need to do for each project is detailed and I am not able to find enough time to dedicate to executing these.

I'm getting a lot of anxiety because I don't feel like I am balancing both of these with my social life. I have been getting quite antsy about having too many commitments. I also feel like I don't have enough time to see and spend with everyone I would like now, as it is.

So my stress I spose is lack of time and also a feeling of self limiting - in terms of making Plan B a reality.