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A history of my world in 100 objects #32

I am disgustingly, dangerously behind on this project that I love.  I’ve let my blog collect dust.  A lot of dust.  More than you can find on top of Marcus’ dresser (if that’s possible…but in my defense, the dresser is tall and I am not).

But I always come back.  There is always this outlet to share who I am, what I’m doing, what’s going on.  A public journal.  For that reason, there are some things that don’t make the cut when I’m deciding what I can and cannot share with the world.  What stories are mine to tell and which are the girls’.  I don’t worry so much about how I appear and being judged, but I try not to cross that invisible line that I’ve drawn as a sometimes-blogger.

For those reasons, object #32 is the blog, which has had various formats over the years, been used twice a day or twice a year, and still remains an important part of who I am and what I do.

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Quarter of a Year

A quarter of a year has passed since my last post. Quarter of a year. It seems impossible. I can’t possibly fill you all in in everything that has happened in those three months. I’m reminded of country lyrics that seem to sum it up: “Sounds like life to me!”

So where are we now, for this next quarter of a year? I’m working on a knitting project that won’t reach fruition until next year, but I promise you’ll love it. I’m writing more than ever, with the help of a sitter to get some uninterrupted time. I’m enjoying summer with the girls, though we’re working through a rough stage with Erica.

I’m doing it all back on my medication. I have no regrets, except perhaps that I waited so long to see help again.

Hello again, blog. Expect to see me around a lot more often.

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In which I am a rock star

Ok, so not exactly.  But today has been an incredible day.

It started with me waking up chipper at 6:30 with the girls…I suppose that’s what going to bed at 8:30 will do to you.  I feel like a new woman!

Then, I received a message from Antonio, the owner of Malabrigo Yarns.  Which, I’m sure you know, is my weapon of choice when it comes to knitting.  Antonio wanted to know if I was interested in having one of patterns (most of which feature Malabrigo) on the company’s website.  Of course I do!

You can see it here (with a handful of other great third party patterns).

And, if that didn’t make my day, I received an email from Darnell, one of the great guys behind the Yahoo! Contributor Network community.  I have won one of the first Yahoo! Contributor Network monthly awards for my work in the Lifestyle category.  I get a nifty new badge and a monetary prize! Read about the awards and the nice things they had to say about me!

And, again, I get to spend the day with my wonderful husband and three great (crazy) kids.

Maybe I really am a rock star.

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In which there are April showers…

There are–it’s raining as I type these words.

But, April looks to bring a lot of positive things into my life and our family, and I’d be remiss to focus on the showers.

I’ve gotten a new part-time job which will help us pay off a loan more quickly and save more aggressively for the girls’ college tuition and our retirement without sacrificing much time with the kids.

I was selected as a featured contributor in the Yahoo! Contributor Network’s new program in not one, but FOUR categories.  I continue to write for them on a variety of topics, all by choice, and all things that I love writing about.

My knitting pattern sales continue to boom, and 2011 is shaping up to be a better year than any before.  I have several designs in the works, and I’m going to be experimenting with new shapes and styles that I’ve never tried before as a designer.

And I get to share it all with my husband and daughters.

April showers?  Bring it on.

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The Connection

At first, I didn’t see the connection between what I do as a writer and what I do when I’m designing knitting patterns.

In fact, the two are substantially more similar than they are different.

When I write, I tell a story.  I like to think that’s what I’m doing when I put together a knitting pattern.  I tell the knitters what inspired the piece, what I like about it, and what they can find inside.  Then, I take care to write the pattern clearly.  Enough detail, without extraneous detail.  Sometimes I include pictures, to show as well as tell.  I do this when I write, too–try to paint pictures and show, instead of always telling.

My patterns and writing are edited for content and clarity.  I strive to have everything with my name on it as accurate and clear as I can.  I take it to heart when there are errors I missed–everything out there with my name on it is a piece of who I am.

It’s funny, this connection that I almost didn’t see.

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In which blogging makes it real

I often feel like something hasn’t really happened until I’ve blogged about it.  It isn’t that I need your input or advice, but it’s more that I process through talking or writing, and I can’t really move past something until I’ve talked or written about it.  I’m not the only person I know who is like this…I promise!

About a month ago, a web article I wrote in 2007 was picked up and published on Yahoo!, who bought out Associated Content earlier this year.

This is the first time something I’ve written has received a large amount of negative feedback.  It wasn’t just that the feedback was negative–it was that it was directed at me, as a person.  It wasn’t just, “eh, I disagree,” which I expect to get on an opinion piece.  It was, “This is a stupid, fat, lazy American–I feel sorry for her husband.”  That’s a paraphrase–many of the comments were much more cruel.

The piece was something I wrote as a new web writer–less than 3 months after starting my writing career online.  There was one typo.  It was an opinion piece.  And I recognized that not everyone would agree with my opinion.  But I never thought people would take their disagreement and turn it into a personal attack on me.

And it’s especially hard because I write with my real name.  That’s my choice…but this is the first time it’s really come to sting when I’ve seen such terrible things associated with me.

For awhile, I didn’t read the comments.  They were upsetting.  But then I felt myself drawn back in and read them again–there were more, and they hurt just as much as the first batch.  Why didn’t I just stay away?

Marcus says that I have to let it go and move past it–that the nasty things that people are writing are a reflection on them–they have nothing to do with me.  But I feel like they do, because they’re there with my name.  What if you read that, see all those terrible things, and think those things are true about me?  What if they change your opinion of me–the way you look at me?

I know…in my rational mind I know that is ridiculous.  Someone calling me a lazy, ignorant American doesn’t make it so.  But I’m embarrassed nonetheless.

Some days, I think maybe I’m not cut out for this, this writing.   My skin isn’t thick enough.

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Getting Branded

With all the design work I’ve been doing lately, as well as an influx of writing jobs, I’ve decided to start to “brand” myself a little bit.  My friend Phil, with the help of his lovely wife Anne, has been working on creating a kelly without a net logo for me.  I hope to unveil it here and on a Ravelry group sometime in the near future.  So, get excited for a new look for kelly without a net!  🙂