Working Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Bob and I are setting up the publishing for Lavender (Bob), rewriting Lavender (Bob and me), finishing the first draft of Rocky Start (me) and throwing out most of my house (me). I’m holding on by my fingernails, and now he’s moving on to Patreon.


78 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 14, 2023

  1. “We’re so shallow its profound.” LOL

    Today I’ve got to food shop, clean, and get this place ready for our Australian friends who are coming for a visit.

    Also need to write a newsletter and do some book marketing.

  2. Banter screenshots could also be a thing (although I really love them here too!)

  3. I enjoy your banter in any form.

    I’ve got pictures this week. I quilted and bound what I call the Happy Quilt – it is the Diamond chain, multi-colored blocks with a brown border. I think it turned out well.

    I also quilted and bound the Whale Song quilt. It looks lovely, and I’m glad that I’ve got the binding all done because it was shedding little bits of threads everywhere.

    I allowed myself to take up a new project, called the Double Feathered Star. It’s double, because there is a smaller star inside of the larger one. If you look closely at the first picture, you’ll see the center is different than the second photo. (The first star is about 6 inches square – the second is about 24 inches.) I’ll put a border on it and quilt it sometime. I really like how it has turned out so far.

    When I got home last night from showing all this to my quilting buddies, Teddy was curled up against my pillow. I’ve included him because he’s a character.

    1. He’s a torty! So of course he’s a character. This is another beautiful quilt by the way.

      1. Well, technically, he’s a tux. Wendy is the torti. But hard to tell from this angle – which is basically all ‘tude.

        1. I love the way Teddy can convey impatience and relaxation at the same time.

          The binding made a big difference.It looks much more exact and finished.

    2. Argh. Instagram wants me to log in to my imaginary account again. Sometimes it will just show me the picture and sometimes not. I can’t figure out any pattern at all. Even to see your quilts (and Teddy) I’m not willing to add yet another account to my online life.

      1. However many hours later, Instagram is willing to show me the pictures, and they were worth a second try, especially the stars, my favorites.

  4. How many bored aliens does Bob know??

    My nephew triumphantly convocated from U of T yesterday (when his name was called our family was pretty much the loudest people there). I shed a few aunt tears. My brother flies out this morning and my sister-in-law tomorrow and NO ONE GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT. Miracles do happen.

    1. Congrats on both achievements. One is fantastic, the other is almost a miracle. Family can be so hard.

          1. I don’t think Murderbot loves things. I think he gets an urge to finish things that somehow he gets secondary urges to finish more of.

  5. I had a happy email yesterday. The local restaurant that is hosting my art said that they sold four pieces, two to a honeymooning couple, so they let them just take them off the wall and do I have any more. Spoiler, I always have more. So I got some ready last night and will drop them off today.

    And the restaurant is having a Summer Solstice event next week, so I am going to make reservations and dress up and eat fancy food.

    Otherwise, the cleaning saga continues. I had a half day yesterday and madly weeded, planted and otherwise straightened my yard so that I was ready for today’s rain. I feel very accomplished.

    1. I too did a little bit of yard work. I went to prune my rosebush a couple of days ago and halfway through found a nest with an egg in it. I decided to leave the rest of the cover in place. This morning I went to check and a bird was disturbed, so I know it is an active nesting site. No more pruning for that bush for a while! I’m taking it as a sign that I shouldn’t be out there working.

      1. I’m a better person when I am making something. Really, it is a gauge of my mental health because the times when I stop are when I am truly unhappy. Plus, I usually need to workshop an idea a couple of times before I feel like I understand it or am bored enough to move on. So, I have piles of finished work.

  6. I am seeing double today, so I will not be driving myself to the post op appointment. Thank goodness my son and DIL can step in. This is strange. I’m stopping because I can’t see what I’m typing. They said this could happen and they said it would go away. I hope so.

  7. Just wanted to comment on the Patreon thing. I don’t fully understand anything about it except it seems to be a money earner by subscription; however, somebody here recently posted a link to the blog of one of the webcomic girl authors. I clicked on it, and it was like a rabbithole — I sat at my computer from 2010 to 2014 reading about the successive disasters of the newly-bought house of one of them, pulled myself out of a daze and realized that it was dark outside and I hadn’t fed the cat (inside) or the raccoons (outside, long story). And at the top of the blog was always a statement that its existence was owed to the generous readers on Patreon at the $10 level. Other webcomic girls are doing the same thing and blogging their own Patreon-supported blogs while also commenting on this particular blog.

    Each entry was amusing (as Bob said), involved a continuous, ongoing goal/problem (in their case a working house/yard etc.) that functioned as a cliffhanger ending, and there was a lot of Lessons Learned/How to information in both the blog text itself and in the comments of readers.

    I agree with Bob that it would work well with the He wrote She wrote format & subject matter — either your historical convos or your current battles. And you guys come with the Argher crew as built-in cheering squads (I would definitely chip in!) and commenters. Try it!

  8. I’m catching up after my wonderful birthday week. I was going to jump into cleaning all the things! and doing all the things! but my friend tripped and broke her arm, so Monday was spent with her in the ER. She’s getting titanium on Monday.

    So Tuesday was catch up, but there’s so much to catch up, but it’s not a race. It’s just life.

    Walked in a local park, an old military installation that’s town property now, and petted as many dogs as I could. That always helps.

    1. You can send your friend the song ‘Titanium’. — “I am titaaaa-niiii-uuum”

  9. By the way, for anyone who follows such things – the Las Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup last night against the (rather homophobic) Panthers – shortest time in NHL history from team start-up to Cup win. And such a victory for Captain Mark Stone – a hat trick in the final game of the Cup. Wow. Okay, hockey talk – all done.

    1. They started out the playoffs by trampling my hometown team, the Oilers. I don’t actually care but don’t tell any other canucks.

    2. The Stanley Cup Trophy presentation is the absolute best trophy presentation in professional sports. Add to that that Stanley gets to field trip with each member of the team. It’s just perfect. I love that Las Vegas won, even if my team, the Bruins, got bumped in the first round.

      1. That’s the great thing about the Stanley Cup Trophy, the road trip to every team members home town. The celebration to the grass roots. Most Canadians/Canadiens really want our teams to win but sadly are defeated in the playoffs. Congrats to the Golden Nuggets. Pretty amazing to achieve the pinnacle in seven years.

    3. Mark Stone came to Vegas from the Ottawa Senators. Worked out at better for him than the Sens. We’ll see what new owners do. I was rooting for Ryan Reynolds – he’s a savvy marketer and could have shaken things up in Ennui on the Rideau (can’t remember who originally said this; the Rideau River runs through parts of Ottawa).

  10. We need “I’m so shallow I’m profound” on t-shirts/totes/stickers! It would be a great tagline for the Patreon site too (except “we” again).

  11. I have not been nearly as productive as Jenny & Bob. But for reasons, my whole weekend has opened up, so with any luck I’ll have a more impressive report next week. 🙂

  12. How you two have time to write/navigate tech AND post daily I don’t know. Amazing. I’m always glad I’ve read your posts.

    1. Thank you! We don’t actually have the time, we just don’t have a choice. At least we’re doing something we both enjoy, although there is a tragic lack of zombies (for Bob, I’m good with no zombies).

  13. I did stuff. Still fighting the heavy things with claws and teeth so constantly seeking new stuffs to do. I looked at my relapse-prevention papers from my last depression therapy and was ANGRY because it contained nothing of use. Literally all they told me was “Force yourself to do things you normally love to do and then find short-time goals to work towards and some longtime goals to strive for”. The problem is, the things I’ve tried kept not working out so they only became disappointments and proof of being worthless instead. ARGH. Anyway, I’ve got a video-appointment with head-shrink tomorrow so I’ll ask her about all this stuff and what possible new therapy would do differently, for apparently these tools don’t do it for me. At least I feel that getting to sleep without waking up 9438765 times per night is helping, and the psychiatrist said you don’t get addicted to these pills, plus they don’t make me feel sleepy during the day, so I can keep taking them for a while.

    Aaanyway, I did better things: I ordered new mosaics! They’ll be delivered tomorrow, which means I can go further with the project I started just before Easter. Also ordered plushie-stuffing and pins and sewing needles. Being a big girl, I also grabbed the phone and called SodaStream to ask how I can return my empty carbon-cylinders for new ones. I sang for my grandma via FaceTime and I’ve bought (errrhm invested in) an audio-lessons course for Reaper (a digital audio workstation) for people using the same screenreading software as I do on my computer. If all goes well, hopefully I’ll be able to upload new music in a not too far away future.

    I’m really working on it, I am. One of my favourite quotes from… no idea where it originally comes from but I heard it in a song. Anyway, it is: “The meaning of life is to give life meaning”. I wanna do this thing. Just gotta figure out how, or rather: What the Meaning is for me.

    Thanks to everyone answering on my keep-cats-away-from-backdoor-question last Sunday. I’ve rubbed lemon on the folded-up insect-door, and we gave it a test-run last night by keeping the bedroom door open. The cats kept calm, did not try to pry the thing open and did not ask to go out, and had no reason to stand and yell under the door – they could just go in and see that we were there. They always get upset when I’m in a room with door closed so they can’t get to me, so this is better for everyone. Let’s hope things will stay this peaceful.

    1. Shass — You go, girl!

      (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds energetically supportive which is what I want to send to Shass)

      1. I always read it as: “You kick ass and you’re awesome at it!”, so thank you very much! I am doing my very, very best. <3

    2. I really struggle with the concept of value. I would really like to make a living off of the things that I make, so I get locked into assigning value with a dollar sign. And of course that is one valuation system, but it is not the only one. I am trying to work on what makes me happy/excited/curious instead of what I think will sell. It’s hard. And it also feels hard to get honest feedback. You know when someone is willing to spend money on it that they really like it… Something to work on for me.

      1. I feel you here. I don’t exactly need to make a living off of the things I make, but I value what I make and apparently also myself by the way people react on what I make or whether they wanna buy it or not. Honest feedback is also indeed very hard to find. Not only do you need to be able to trust the feedbacker, but tastes also differ so greatly, so what one person think is beautiful, another wouldn’t put on their mantlepiece even if you paid them. If you have trouble seeing the beauty in what you make yourself, it makes it even harder.

        it’s something I’ve also been meaning to ask all you wonderful and creative Arghers here. How do you know what price-tag to put on your handywork?
        I’ve come across 3 categories of people:
        1. The ones who say: “Wait what, you ask money for this? It’s your hobby, how dare you!” (Alternatively: “I can buy something like this at *insert cheap store name here* for not even a 10th of this!”, which is a lie because I didn’t make that cheap thing, but okay, whatever.)
        2. People who accept the price I give, which is generally probably much lower than I actually should ask. I mean, I barely even cover my material costs because I’m so scared of people not wanting to buy it otherwise. Stupid thinking. I can also always find 75 reasons why it would be wrong of me to ask more. Yes, my brain is a pile of junk.
        3. People reacting with: “Girl, how can you sell this so cheap? It’s crazy, you should ask much more!” or “Oh dear, was the figurine this large? I thought it was maybe half the size, I should’ve paid you double!” Not a very frequently encountered group, but it has happened.
        So how do you know? My Sib ones said that they had read/heard that you should calculate your material cost and then triple it and then some, at least. Is that good reasoning? Or how do you who actually sell your things on a more regular basis decide how much to ask?

        Lupe, I think it’s a beautiful way of thinking that what has value is what makes you happy/excited/curious. That’s the perfect way to look at it. I’m trying to find my way there. As you said, it’s hard. If you have any tips on how you travel this road, please do share.

        1. The ones who say the first thing are wrong. No question. Reality is somewhere between the other too — you’re probably charging too little, and people either don’t realize it or do realize and worry that you’re being taken advantage of.

          The rule of thumb for pricing that I heard back when I was a kid, and which seems to still apply as a starting point is three times the supplies. From what I know of quilts, the formula would (sort of) work there. Costs at least a hundred bucks for supplies for a twin-sized quilt (and I’m probably underestimating there, so maybe closer to $150 min.), sell for $300 (or $450 if my higher estimate is more accurate) if it’s not too handwork-intensive. Lots more if the quilter has name-recognition or if there’s significant customization/uniqueness/handwork.

          Which is why I generally don’t sell my quilts — even at that price, it wouldn’t really give me a living wage for the time spent on them. I’ve done a few custom orders, but mostly I make them as gifts or for myself or just for the fun of it. Or to donate to charity for auctions or for kids’ cancer wards.

        2. Setting prices is hard. When I made archival prints of my photographs, I used to try and factor in my time plus materials, then allow for commission to a gallery. But there was the cost of my camera and computer and website, too; and even without those, the price was too high for the market locally.

          I go with my gut feeling in the end, after doing my sums; but I really hate buying and selling, and have never been successful at it – so not the best person for advice on this. I do think what’s satisfying is to get your creations out in the world, so an alternative or fallback plan might be to see if a charity you support might be interested in selling them in their shop if you were to donate them. (I’m assuming The Netherlands is full of charity shops, like the UK).

        3. Pricing is the worst. I am terrible at it. For me, distance is best. I miss doing events in person sometimes, but really I am happiest setting up my work somewhere and then walking away. Like work hanging in local eateries. I almost never sell, or place, etc in a group show setting. My people just aren’t there.

          I do a little online, though I still have to admin requests and such. But consignment style, where I get to do the fun part of making things and setting them up and then Not talking to people is the best fit for me. I walk away and only agonize mentally a little.

          I try to price my work at a point where I, myself, could afford to buy it. My materials are fairly inexpensive. Acrylic paint and canvas. So really it’s just my time beyond that, and emotions. But I really hate not being able to afford original art from living artists. So I aim for lower pinch range. Enough that you won’t donate it to goodwill, but not so much that a young person has to walk away.

        4. I’ve always had problems with this. And right now, with the self-publishing, it really hit home. We didn’t want the e-books to be expensive. (Some of mine are $14.99 which is just insane, nobody’s going to buy an old novel for that much, especially in e-form.) We talked about it, but for me, $4.99 is the upper limit of “Oh, why not,” easy to justify and not resent. And fortunately Bob was good with that, we didn’t even really discuss it. I have the same problem with Patreon; I know people keep saying it’s a way to give money, but I can’t do that, I really want to provide something worth the money, even if it’s only $2 a month.

          I think pricing is just difficult in general. Bob says the prices on the trade pb and hardcover are going to be expensive even before we put a profit in because the productions costs are so high. And I hate that, but it is what it is.

          And then you add in the “But am I worth that?” stuff that bedevils women in any field, and it’s just nuts. I don’t think there is a formula because the multiply times three isn’t helpful for the crafts that aren’t material bases–think music or writing–or crafts that use inexpensive materials–acrylic painting, for example–or for crafts that use really expensive materials because that would put the price beyond people’s grasp. The one time I really hit this was when I was in grad school and doing writing for people for $20 an hour, things like business letters or biographies. I worked with one woman who wasn’t fun, so when she came back for another letter, I told her I was sorry, but my prices had tripled and it would be $60. She paid it without batting an eyelash.

          In short, there’s no easy answer. You need to recover the cost of your materials, and after that it’s balancing what you need to survive with what people are willing to pay, and those are both often uncertains.

      2. Yeah. I feel that I should add that I don’t think Shass needs to be earning money to give meaning to her life at all; I just think since therapists are not helping with that may be a career counselor can help her figure out what skills she likes using and how she wants to use them.

        1. Yeah, I am not sure I would be able to earn a living with what I make – however, it’d be good to get rid of some of it because it’s piling up and it’s discouraging. They say you should create for the joy of creating, but what’s the joy of creating something you put in a box in a closet and never see again, and no one else gets to see either? Same as with when people say: “The stuff you make is lovely, you should sell it!” and then nobody buys it. Ugh.

          Funny you should mention a career-coach; I’ve heard a lot of good about “horse medicine” or “horse coaching”, where they try to help you find your way through interacting with horses. I LOVE horses, and lately I’ve sort of been considering giving it a try just to get to hang out with a horse or two for a while. It’s crazy expensive though, so I don’t know. Maybe it’s not worth it.

          You guys make me think in solutions. Solutions are good. I haven’t found them yet, but maybe we can get there…

      3. Here are two things I’ve learned about pricing – from a very different arena, that of consulting, so take it with a grain of salt but some of this may be applicable. One is that I’ve noticed women have a harder time setting prices than men do, in general; women almost always say they feel like they are ‘over valuing’ their product or their service. My advice is to throw back your shoulders, lift your head and boldly set your price. This goes along with the second thing I’ve learned, taken from a piece of coaching I got early in my consulting career: set your prices to the level of refusal. When people start saying no, because of price and not for some other reason, then you can dial back. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got. My business partner and I always trying to raise our prices and we don’t do it timorously and we don’t apologize for it.

    3. Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy (CBT) worked best for me. Helped me get rid of most of my negative thought processes by changing how I think about things. It was not a sudden fix but I had good therapists who understood how to help me.

      1. CBT does the exact opposite for me. I’ve been through 3 or 4 CBT-treatments and the only result was that I felt much worse than before we started. I’m more of an exposure/face-your-fears-hands-on-type of girl, I guess. Those kinds of therapy have been the most effective. Unsure that’s a thing when it comes to depression though…
        Glad to hear it worked for you, however! And if it gave you tools to use in future situations, that’s even better.

        1. CBT never worked for me because a huge amount of what I find most depressing is being told that only my thinking counts and my emotions are just screwing things up. I have had much more success with one on one counseling with a therapist who uses a variety of different approaches depending on what we are working on at a particular time.

          1. Yes, same here. First they tell me that my feelings do not count, and then they tell me that my thoughts are wrong as well. On top of that they tell me that past experience has nothing to do with the now and you only need to change the way you’re thinking to change the way you feel. Well, bye. The past is in the past, admittedly, but if there’s trauma for instance and it’s still in your body, or there is a Vulnerable Child-mode that’s very present in your life and you can’t handle it, “think happy thoughts” won’t really do the trick.
            Regardless, it’s good that it works for other people. We’re all different, there’s no miracle cure-all-and-everyone-solution.

    4. Shass, you don’t have to tell us you’re working on it. We’re here for you, regardless. And that advice they gave you seems awful. It’s more “Just think happy thoughts, damn it.” Ridiculous. You need a new therapist.

      1. You are right. It’s a result of people giving me the feeling/telling me I am not trying hard enough. So I have to say it to “prove” that I AM trying as hard as I can. You guys believe me, so I don’t need to say it here. Thank you for reminding me. <3

        1. Hey,I once had a shrink tell me that the reason his treatment didn’t work for me was that I didn’t have a “positive attitude” about it. The reason I let him put magnets around my skull was because I was having trouble feeling positive about anything . Why else would I bother with a treatment that gives you headaches every time?

          Beware the True Believers. They have trouble seeing bad results for “their” projects.

  14. I recovered from three lots of visitors in a row, finished my proof-reading job, wilted in the heat so retreated to the shade, and have almost finished planting out my seedlings, etc, and sowing successions.

    I’ve enjoyed the sun, but am hoping for more cloud and rain next week, both for the gardens and so I can do some stuff on the computer – the upstairs workroom is south-facing so gets hot and stuffy even with the curtains drawn.

    1. Debbie I was hoping you would mention the commitment ceremony. Re: the croquemboche, Master Chef Jr Season 4 Episode 5 that’s what the kids are doing. Fun Episode.

  15. I am working on getting my new kitten acclimated to living here, and the senior cat acclimated to the new kitten. The kitten is happy, the senior cat not so much. It will take time, I know.

    1. New kitten! Tell us more, please! (Or at least me, in case everyone else alredy knew for months and I missed it all.)

      1. Shass, it all started a few months ago when I lost my cat Lily to kidney disease. I was suddenly down to one cat (Fergus) and I was afraid he’d be lonely whenever I was out of the house
        . I had mentioned to my neighbors that eventually I thought I’d get another cat, but not just yet. Sunday, my neighbor called me and said his granddaughter (summer job working at a state park) had called them asking for advice; people at the park had found a tiny kitten, all alone, and brought him to her, as a park employee. There weren’t any vets or humane shelters open and they didn’t know what to do with the kitten. She couldn’t take him home as her step father is allergic to cats. Long story shortened a little bit, they brought the kitten to me and I am keeping him. He’s a tuxedo boy; the vet says he’s 6 weeks old and he weighs a whopping 1.6 lbs. I have named him Pippin. Fergus is not amused but I have hopes he will eventually come around. Pippin loves to be held and purrs so hard his entire body vibrates. He also loves belly rubs, if you can believe it!

  16. Finally it rained. A decent amount and for two days. Other than that I’m still involved in the PA primary. It seems never ending. Only one more meeting. I hope.

  17. I am working on getting back to exercising regularly, both for weight loss and physical therapy. Today I was able to skip icing my knees and put in an extra half hour on the only aerobic machine that doesn’t bother my knees after I finished my PT. This was the first time I had both the time and the inclination, so it felt like a step in the right direction. If I can fit in my “at home”routine tomorrow, I will be making real progress.

    1. Congrats on the exercising! It’s so hard to make it a routine. Or as Sven puts it: “I can’t believe people actually LIKE doing this!” when he is on the treadmill.
      I get him, I don’t like the gym either. But there *are* fun ways of exercising, too.

      1. I think treadmills are incredibly boring, so I don’t mind at all that I can’t use one now. But for some reason the Nu-Step machine keeps my interest (so far). And I am happy to report that I am not sore today so I have no excuse to not do my PT homework.

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