Where the b****y hell are you?
*Title of post based on an iconic Australian tourism ad.*
Have you noticed I haven’t been round for a few days? You’re supposed to chorus with relieved tones: ‘Yes, where the b****y hell’ve you been?’
Recently my OH was rushed to surgery with an exploding appendix. Whereas I can normally multi-task pretty well, accomplishing an eclectic amount in any one day, my mind began to focus on one thing alone. That was beloved OH who developed sepsis and was quite ill. He’s fine now of course, and almost back into the thick of things. Not so much the heavy farm stuff, more the cerebral stuff… but recouped anyway.
So I find I can concentrate on writing again, to work at doing what I want to do.
These last few days I’ve accomplished (I hope) the line-edit that was required on Glass Flowers. It was then sent by email to a highly respected fantasy author in the USA, another much regarded commentator on fantasy in the UK and to a much regarded fantasy writer in Australia. All with the hope of securing a wonderful strap-line for the cover for when the book is released for Kindle and for print publication. Nervous about the comment? Yes. Hopeful? Indubitably. Confident? Never.
The other thing that has seduced me away from the blog, Twitter, Facebook, forums and all, is embroidery. Whenever I’m under duress, I retreat to my silks and threads and have often been known to sit by the beds of family in hospital or at home, stitching away (please don’t call me Madame Defarge) and have amazingly and unconsciously produced some okay work. So whilst OH was ill I found solace with thread. All made even better and so much easier by the arrival of super-duper magnifying specs.
Every evening now, when I should be chatting away to the northern hemisphere, maybe selling a title or two, I’m surrounded by silken thread on the couch. My book sales are dropping but I am so thrilled with what is growing each evening. Two nights ago I finished the body of a thistle and its bud. The night before that, a fennel seedhead. Last night, a silver thread spider-web with attendant crystalline dewdrop. In the centre of the web is a tiny black money spider with an iridescent stripe down its back. Three beaded blackberries sit on the vine as well. This morning I jumped out of bed and picked the colours for the turkey knot thistle heads and for the creation of cranberries and a dandelion seedhead. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this whole creation becomes a copy of a medieval floral design that surrounds a seventeenth century stumpwork mirror-frame.
But the manuscript has been sent, the story beyond my care now and in other’s hands until the pre-publication date approaches. Now, with OH well and my mind freed up, I can return to Gisborne, giving he and Ysabel the attention they crave… but maybe with a stitch or two along the way.
Absolutely, of course you’ve been missed!
Glad your hubby is on the mend, look forward to reading about the feedback you get on TGF, and am ecstatic to have the opportunity to see your needlework in progress. I do hope you’ll show us updates as you continue on with this design.
Thank you Scribbler. It’s a funny feeling being back… tonight I have written this post and sat with the embroidery on the edge of my couch berating me.
There’s a similarity you know. With writing one creates a story… a setting, characters. So it is with embroidery… a setting (the vine and berries, flowers and fruits), characters (bees, dragonflies, spiders, beetles etc) and a story (well, you sort of make it up in your head as you sew… which is exactly how The Stumpwork Robe and The Last Stitch came about)
I would love to show you the development of the piece as it continues.
I LOVE embroidery and counted cross-stitch…can’t wait to get back to both of them…glad OH is better and you have my best wishes for Glass Flowers…
Thank you, dear Annie. I knew you would be an embroiderer… it was just a feeling. As to OH getting better, I owe you one there!
LOL! Saying not multitasking? Let me tell you, madam, you’re a big fat liar!! Embrodery, writing, OH care… That sounds quite like it!
So glad he’s much better now. I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to needlework or anything remotely crafty so I’m impressed. (Spider-web about all, it’s practically invisible due to the colour of the thread)
I have still a good work ahead with Gisborne sooooo you can take your time LOL. RL is getting in the way as always when it comes to funny things.
Anyway, it’s always great to hear from you, even though I can’t leave you a comment as often as I would like to.
Goodlaura, you are a delight and its lovely to have you comment when you can. Gisborne will begin to grow to book size now and I’m as excited about getting back to that as about my embroidery. Gisborne has a way of getting completely under my skin (and a lot of others too, I think!).
Best wishes, either for your OH and your book. I keep my fingers crossed. Had an ‘exploding appendix’ once too and it was not an experience I wish to repeat.
OH agrees with you… the sepsis after was no fun. Thanks for your kind thoughts.
Glad OH is good. Very glad. That must have been some frightening ride. Never thought of trying to elicit a strap line. I wonder why? And that’s some impressive embroidery.
Trying to elicit a strapline may be easier said than done, Si. Besides in respect of your own, you already have support from the Scarrows and Liviu. That’s pretty good!
Beautiful embroidery! I love the details, especially the tiny spiderweb! Glorious! I’m sorry to hear OH has been ill–but if it gave you the inclination to pick up your silks and create, there is a small blessing in that. Hope he’s back to 100% soon!
Thanks Rowenna. He’s getting better every day and so’s his appetite.
Best wishes to your husband. I think embroidery is the perfect thing for such situations.
It is Servetus, without doubt.
Very best wishes to your OH, mesmered. That must have been so scary, I’m so glad to hear he’s doing well.
Your embroidery is beautiful and what superb detail. I do hope you will show us the progress and the piece grows. I have never done much embroidery but used to do a lot of tapestry, and one of my pieces is specifically remembered as being the one I did over a difficult period when when my younger son was recovering from major spinal surgery, so I can quite see how your enbroidery was helpful.
Wishing you all the best, too, with your strapline for Glass Flowers.
LadyJ, I promise I shall put up a progress report as the mirror border expands. It’s so exciting for me too as since the magnifying specs arrived, a skill I thought was beyond me has been re-gifted and I’m delighted.
Re the strapline, I need all the luck i can get!
Thanks for your kind thoughts re OH.
What a post filled with good news! (Except for your falling book sales. These things come and go) I hope OH is taking his time getting back on his feet. (I’m not sick! I’m perfectly fine!). Mine is back to normal, too, thank heavens.
And I can’t tell you how glad I am that you’re embroidering! I think it feeds the creativity in your writing more than you know. My own needle and thread work made my current efforts much easier and better.
We’ll catch up very soon!
Pat, I think you’re right. Since I have re-introduced stitching into my day, the creative flow is much stronger… as if variety is the spice of life.
I think all the comments above are some indication of how much you were missed, mesmered. I am so pleased your OH is better at last and wish him and you all the very best for his speedy return to complete health.
Your embroidery with silks is as beautiful and beguiling as your embroidery with words. As always, I am in awe of your skill. Especially as I myself am hopeless at anything that involves hand-eye co-ordination, be it art or sport or other physical activity.
This does mean, though, that my house gets a proper going over when my mind is in turmoil as yours must have been. Scrubbing floors is the nearest I get to stumpwork. But then scrubbing floors has certain benefits too, as we Gisborne watchers all know!
Do you know that I can never wash a floor now without the most beguiling image before my eyes. My floors are really quite, quite clean…
Thanks Giselle for your kind words. I can’t tell you the relief when he was given the all-clear from the sepsis.
So happy that OH is recooping! Unbelievable detail work on that spider web!!! Was that in the book? Must go check…
Embroidery is my chosen occupation (and reading) for hospital rooms also. I once started and completed 1 1/2 counted cross stitch birth samplers during one of my mom’s hospital bouts. She was in for a week and a half, so it was a perfect time to emobroider…amazingly enough, I can talk and embroider at the same time!
Thanks for sharing the stellar photos and can’t wait to see your progress!
PS Somehow, I posted this at the wrong place when I clicked on one of the pics above a couple of days ago.
Hello there NB: I always knew that you and I would have a similar approach to life… I completed a stumpwork bee complete with three dimensional wings and lying on a background of goldwork honeycomb stitch whilst my father was on his last stay in palliative care. I’ve said before that every time I see the bee in its frame at the curve of the stair, I think of Dad.
I’m absolutely in awe! I can sew a bit, but nothing like that. I realized I should have added “sewing” as one of my “cures” for writer’s blog/boredom, or whatever we call it. This is a kind of creativity that uses another part of the brain, so the muse can rest. Beautiful work!
Anne, thank you. To have you in awe of anything I might accomplish is an ‘aha’ moment!