Daily Archives: April 2, 2010


And the week is past already. Good grief. Here’s a precis of what I didn’t blog about when it happened:

Mum went in for hip replacement surgery on Monday, and was wiggling her toes approximately two hours after surgery, so we are all very pleased about that. (Mum, your crew of extended-family-kids up here have said that if there’s anything they can do for you in the next month or so, you’re to call on them, and they’re serious.)

The boy got an Easter parcel from his non-local grandparents and his favourite thing (other than the chocolate, of course) was a pair of plaid shorts.

Lots of lovely feedback about the concert regarding the programming and the execution and the church. Very nice indeed. I don’t think it was recorded, which is a pity, because of all the concerts I’d like a copy of this is certainly up there on my list.

We’re going out this weekend to buy two webcams, one for my Mac, one for a PC laptop. I’ll bring the PC one with me to my parents’ house and set up a Skype account for them down there so we can see and talk to HRH and the boy. I’ll be leaving the PC webcam with them, too, so the boy can ‘see’ them more often. The webcam and Skype account will also come in handy for virtual cellofamily meet-ups. And yes, I am having lots of fun imagining things like cello quartets played together while the cellists are in three different countries. The sound won’t be brilliant but it will be a lot of fun.

Also regarding cello, I realised this week that I think an important part of studying music is knowing when to put a piece aside for a bit and work on something else. We need time to internalise what we’re learning without the mechanics in the way. Sometimes barrelling through it harms instead of helps. Lots happens in the mind without the cello under the fingers. And at my weekly lesson (Sunday was actually last week’s lesson) we started working on Mooney’s Position Pieces for Cello vol 2, to help out with some of my ensemble pieces for the upcoming spring recital. I’m also working on exercises in Suzuki vol 4 to support the recital and orchestra work, which amuses me because I’m working through the pieces book 3.

I had to go to the doctor for something minor but very irritating on Tuesday afternoon, which necessitated pulling HRH out of work because I can’t get to the doctor via public transport, which in turn required pulling the boy out of preschool because there wouldn’t be time to go back to get him through traffic. And then we waited in the doctor’s office for an hour and a quarter. Sigh. I didn’t have time to hit the lab on the way home but I did get the antibiotics I needed, and they’ve been working.

I pulled the third draft of Orchestrated out again this week, cutting things out of the first chapter ruthlessly, and poking at the brief book summary for a query letter and the three-page detailed synopsis. I’ve been at a very awkward stage with this book for a while now. I need outside eyes to look at it, but I’ve been feeling that I can’t ask anyone to do so because (a) my writer friends are either swamped or (b) triggery about writing issues at the moment, and (c) I’ve agreed to beta for other people in the past and bailed consistently because I’ve been swamped or exhausted myself. Reasoning that it’s much easier for people to handle looking at only the first five pages (the number commonly requested by agents) plus the brief and full synopses rather than two hundred pages of novel, I pulled those eight pages total and asked three wonderful people for help, and they’ve agreed to give me feedback on them. The goal is to tweak till the end of April, then start going down the list of agents.

And work sent me a freelance project Wednesday afternoon, after I waited for four work days. The timing was frustrating because in order to have it approved by Monday to add it to my invoice, I’d need to hand it in early on Friday. And of course, today is Good Friday, and for the first time at this job HRH has both Good Friday and Easter Monday off (this is known as Irony, because we’re not spending the weekend with my parents as we have in the past, when HRH has had to book the Monday as a vacation day), so the boys are both home, which skebards the idea of me working all morning. Plus we’re having a guest over this afternoon. So I had to crush two days of work into one day, and on top of that it was a really rough assignment, one of the ones where you have to crush a author’s dreams by pointing out all the very deep flaws in the manuscript. I worked a bit last night (forgetting that I had to be at the bank to deposit a US cheque with the teller before eight because thy’d be closed Friday, dashed out and was the second to last person they allowed in before they closed the doors, whew), did a final polish and last proofreading this morning, and sent it off. I did the best I could. Now I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that it’s either approved before five PM on Monday, or that my rewrites are minimal.

I’ve been watching Craigslist and Kijiji listings like a hawk, looking for a secondhand bike for the boy (because eighty dollars for a new one? gack). So far we’ve had one strike, and one no-reply. On a whim I also looked for looms in Toronto and I found a listing for a 32″ folding rigid heddle loom, for less than half the retail price even before exchange and what shipping would cost me. I shot off a quick query, and wonder of wonders it was still available, so I have put the money aside for that and I’ll pick it up when I’m visiting my parents. (Note to self: Bring the big suitcase so you can get it home.) It’s a Kromski Harp, one of the models I’d wished I could get my hands on and had put out of my mind as nigh-impossible. I went so far as to inquire about the Kromski Fiddle, the Harp’s 16″ poor cousin, and one of the few Canadian retailers told me that it would be $165 plus about $60 shipping, so I nixed the whole idea and pulled out the vintage four-shaft loom I had and started bashing away at it, trying to make things work instead of easing into the weaving world via rigid heddle loom. Rigid heddle loom are less complicated than my four-harness table loom and much more portable, and it’s the portability and weaving width I’m really excited about. Apart from being over the moon about the find and the incredible price, I’m thrilled about having a weaving width of about 31″, about twice the weaving width of my current table loom. It’s less flexible regarding pattern potential, but I’m at a point where I’m more interested in basic weave fabrics right now anyway. And the folding loom comes with the place for a second block for a additional not-included heddle, which creates a two-harness situation and extends the pattern possibilities to the equivalent of a four-shaft loom (each rigid heddle has an up, a neutral, and a down position, which creates two sheds). And did I mention that it’s portable? And that it has a weaving width of something like eighty centimetres? I’ll enjoy sharing it with my mum on my visit. Also, this means I won’t have to rent a spinning wheel from the shop that disappointed me at Christmas, and that I won’t be stuck knitting all week, something that would certainly drive me mad.

Now, I need to make potato salad. Have a wonderful Easter weekend, everyone!