Another creative outlet, and my quarterly accounting post

Yesterday, I dragged the sewing machine out for the first time in months (at least!) Not only do I have tons of mending to do, I wanted to do something creative other than writing for a change. So I made this medievaly fairy / elf outfit:

I realize Barbies are politically incorrect and lead to inferiority complexes, but they are also ubiquitous. I played with them as a girl, as did my daughter, and we both turned out to be fairly reasonable adults, with fairly healthy egos. And the dolls are fun to make dresses for. *g* I’ve actually been playing with the idea of making some historical costumes for a while. It was nice to do something almost completely without purpose (except for some upcoming birthdays), and messing with fabrics and designs was a kick too.

So, on to the update, which is not quite as fun as a Lord-of-the-Rings-inspired Barbie costume. Below I have listed my goals at the beginning of the quarter and what became of them.


– Write an average of at least two hours a day, five days a week (10 hours a week)

I did pretty well on this one, at least until December rolled around.

– Finish the first draft of A Wasted Land

Nope. Got waylaid by the need to do more research and brainstorming, I’m afraid.

– Brainstorm the next two novellas in The Glassmakers trilogy, Facets of Glass and Shards of Glass

Got a little bit of brainstorming done, but not much.

– Start (finish?) Facets of Glass



– Be at least 240 pages into the Big Translation Project by the end of the round

I’m afraid I’m about 100 pages behind on this goal. 😦

Writing business:

– Publish Chameleon in a Mirror and Island of Glass

Nope. They’re finished, but I’m still waiting for feedback from beta readers for both. And the last thing I want to do is bug people who are doing a huge favor like read and comment on a whole book for me!

– Prepare CreateSpace version of Shadow of Stone

DONE! Shadow of Stone is now available as a trade paperback. 🙂

– Publish Shadow of Stone to B&N, Smashwords and D2D


– Publish “Mars, A Traveler’s Guide” to Amazon and make it free


– Publish Gawain and Ragenll and make it free

DONE! Gawain is now available free at most major ebook sellers. And it actually seems to be helping my sales of Yseult and Shadow of Stone a tiny bit.

So it looks like next round I’m going to have mostly the same goals. Hopefully without the Christmas season I’ll have a bit more success with them. 🙂 I’m not going to kick myself, though. I got a lot of words written, started a new project I wasn’t planning, “won” Nanowrimo, and made my granddaughters very happy at Christmas. And that’s pretty high up on my list of priorites. 🙂

Hope everyone else is happy with the progress they made!


14 thoughts on “Another creative outlet, and my quarterly accounting post”

  1. You’ve met some of your goals, and haven’t met others. I think that’s kind of normal for all of us. You’ve done well this year, and I wish you lots of luck for 2014!

    I think people make too big of a deal over Barbie. I played with Barbie dolls and I’m not warped or anything. *bwa ha ha* I love the dress you made for her. 🙂

    1. Well, Barbie *is* evil after all, with her anatomically impossible ideal of beauty. *g* But yeah, I think it would do more harm than good to forbid what all the other girls are playing with.

      Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by!

  2. Sometimes I think the fact that Barbie has such an unrealistic body makes her all the better as a toy. No one can seriously look at the doll and a real person and call them comparable. And I loved my Barbie dolls as a girl (and my Breyer horses, and my…) Point being, the panicky emphasis people place on toys only draws attention to things that kids probably never even noticed.

    Or are people going to tell the local Iroquois that their cornhusk dolls they make for the girls are giving their daughters inferiority complexes because they show no faces and must therefor be suggesting that women are not individuals. (Keeping in mind that traditionally the Five Nations meritocracies were slightly bent toward matriarchy.)

    Keep plugging, Ruth, and savor your creative outlets. I should draw out some of the dresses my Grandma’s friend made me as a girl. I know one certainly suits one of my characters. Who is to say you won’t find the perfect inspiration through your own handcrafts?

    1. Heh, good point about the unrealistic body, Eden. Kinda of like cartoons and Manga? *g*

      I have a lot of Breyer horses for my girls too. Those are truly cult!

      When I started thinking about making historical costumes for the girls’ barbies was while I was editing Chameleon in a Mirror. Love the fashions in the 17th century! Maybe I’ll get around to making something along those lines too. 🙂

      1. Exactly like cartoons and Manga… No one really thinks that people’s eyes get that wide when they are surprised or that people run by their legs doing windmills against their bodies…

        I hate the idea that some people can’t look at the world without finding something wrong with it. There certainly are things wrong, and they need to be fixed, but…

        Well, im(notso)ho, the emphasis on getting rid of toys like Barbie or stopping the recitation of “questionable” children’s stories like Baa, Baa Black Sheep are excuses. Ways to blame others for the fact that the blamer knows s/he isn’t a perfect human being … and for the blamer to not have to do anything about fixing that real problem.

        *looks down at soapbox, blushes* uum, sorry… I tend to get very passionate about those who wish to save us from ourselves. It’s my biggest flaw… and I need to work on it.

  3. I never had Barbies as a girl. I did have Breyer’s horses, and played them with Eden. =)

    My daughter got her first Barbie for her second birthday. It was Cinderella with a light up gown and shoes. A couple of years after that, I spent way more than is probably reasonable to secure her a new in box Princess Anneliese from The Princess and the Pauper, because her name is Annalise.

    She has acquired a few others, along the way, mostly castoffs. One has a body molded into a cute little lingerie set in hot pink. Annalise has created a backstory for this one. She’s a stripper.

    These days, she is more likely to play with her growing collection of Monster High Ghouls. Their bodies are so distorted, they make Barbie look, well, almost normal! She also loves her Breyer horses.

    I am not worried. We talk about things, here, see. And I don’t think any toy, game, or television show is stronger than my childrens’ ability to develop their own sense of judgement. We talk about things like the anatomical correctness of her Breyer stallions, the lack of correctness in other supposedly male horse models, and why. We talk about the fantastically huge-breasted characters in my son’s anime shows, and why.

    Why matters. I think too many people give their children’s pastimes far too much power, simply by not discussing them in terms of why they are the way they are. I have witnessed many parents keeping information from their children, in order to “protect their innocence”, when the real reason seemed to have more to do with control.

    But kids outgrow parental control, and I would rather have kids who possess their own judgment and trust me than kids who are obedient on the surface but always suspect me of having an agenda of control.

    So, even though a stripper Barbie might be a little shady in lots of circles, here, she’s just another part of a girl learning how the world works, and defining her own beliefs through play.

    * Blinks and looks around – someone left the edge of a soapbox peeking out, and I just had to climb on up….*

    As far as your accounting – I tend to have unmet goals, too. I see them as a buffet to choose from, and when something isn’t being chosen, there’s always a reason. It’s valuable to me to know why. Often, I’m just not ready for that step, or busy with others.

    Sometimes, 80 days bring many changes, and some goals become irrelevant while others consume me…

    It looks like you had a good and productive round, even if not exactly the one you set out to have. I will be sending you an email about CIAM – I’m one of the pokey beta-ers for that one, and it got kinda lost in all my NaNo madness.

    The dress is lovely, and such a pretty blue. Since I’ve yet to learn how to thread my sewing machine, I am quite impressed!

    1. Hee, I like you guys’ rants! I’ll make sure I keep the soapbox in a safe place. *g*

      I really, really don’t want to bug anyone to work faster, ok? You’re doing me a huge favor, after all. 🙂

      1. Well, my problem lies more in having made pretty specific comments on about 3/4 of the WIP…and then somehow corrupting the file. I have no idea how I did it or what I did, but there are now only a couple of lines per page, oriented sideways! I can see my comments, but they aren’t going to be much use to you, as they are.

        I tried fixing it, but was stymied. And then NaNo happened…

        So, I’m thinking if you resend the file, I can move the comments and finish up, or I can make more general observations if you’re looking to wrap things up soonish.

        I really, really wanted to have this done for you in October, so you certainly aren’t hurrying me! =)

  4. Oh, argh, that sounds horribly complicated, Shan! I don’t want to cause you tons of extra work, so the general observations will be fine.

    I also have a new ending, based on some of the comments I got earlier. So if you would be willing to reread the last two chapter, that would be a huge help, and probably a lot less work than trying to transfer your comments to a new file!

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