Saturday, May 24, 2014

What's something you do well?

Un-Journal Prompt 1

What is something you do well?

One thing that I do very, very well is start.  I can start a project, a book, a new hobby, a story or a quilt. Finishing is the thing that jams me up. So my personal theme for 2014 is actually one word that addresses this habit of starting and abandoning projects. My theme for the year is FINISH.

To that end, I joined a challenge in my quilt guild. The 2014 UFO challenge is designed so that you complete those unfinished objects (not UFO as in the flying saucer variety!). These are the quilt projects that are in varying stages of not being finished. The fact that the quilt guild has a challenge for members to address this means I’m not the only one suffering the malady of having projects undone.

After signing up, we chose six UFOs. We had to identify the project and list what needed to be done to complete it. The projects were labeled #1 through #6. Every other month the coordinators draw a random number and that’s the project that had to be completed.  Mine include a Christmas gift for my mom that I thought would be a 2011 gift; some blocks I’d received in a friendship block exchange and never did anything with; a not finished scrappy quilt; and the like.

So far (it’s May 4 as I write this prompt), I’m on track. Well, sort of. The next project is due May 13 and I’m already thinking about ways to scale it back so it’s done. It may not be as large as I’d intentionally intended, but it will be done … if I stop writing this and go pick up the fabric, needles and thimble!

As for the books, I firmly believe in the notion that “Life is too short to read bad books.” So there are many that I’ve started and abandoned for lack of interest. I like to be completely and totally absorbed in a story – and I’m talking fiction here, there’s a different bar for non-fiction works. A reporter in my house once interviewing me for a story wrote that my house looked like a “pulp-fiction warehouse.” Weekend guests have described it as “a library.” My to-be-read pile – and I use the term pile loosely! – could actually stock a decent-sized bookstore. I wish I were exaggerating. <sigh>

If you look in a dictionary for the definition of bibliophile, my picture is likely to be there! So an author new to me gets the first chapter. If I’m not gripped or intrigued or interested by the end of the first chapter, I’m gone and probably won’t finish the novel. On my annual reading log – I’ve been keeping one since 2008 – those get marked/rated as DNF for did not finish.

Authors I’ve read before and enjoyed get three chapters. Books by friends – and there are legion – get forever, meaning if I don’t start the novel, it goes in a “I’ll get to this soon” pile.

I keep asking myself, when is “soon” going to come. Right now, it looks like never … but I’ll still have those books!

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