40 Before Forty Update: No. 06

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

I don’t even know what month of this I’m on, because I’m behind. I did hand applique my sunflower corners, though!

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Sarah Fielke Block of the Month Quilt 2017

I count this as progress. I’m also cutting out pieces for the next border as fast as I can. But, there are a lot of little pieces to cut.

SarahFielkeBlockoftheMonthBorder
For reference, there are a total of 80 of those hexagon pieces. And, I need 152 triangles out of the blue.

I’m learning so much with this quilt, especially just how long it takes me to do quilty tasks!

While I’m loving this quilt and I WILL get it finished, I’m pretty sure that I will not be doing a structured or group block of the month quilt next year. Mostly because I have an idea for doing my own block of the month. I’ve got a theme, I just need to work out the details. Although, I think those details will be defined as I go! I’m going to come up with a nifty hashtag for the project, but for now, I’m going with #TBudCoBOMQuilt2018. Stay tuned, as I’ll share more as we get closer to 2018. Of course, stay tuned to see the progress on my 2017 BOM quilt!

Gurus vs. Role Models

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Perfect weather on the lake.

I freely admit that I’m familiar with the self-help genre. I also am pulled toward gurus, especially in the marketing/branding industry. A guru (per one definition in my go-to dictionary) is “a person with knowledge or expertise: expert.” You know who I’m talking about. That personality doing TED talks. They have a large following on social media. They always have some tidbit of information that is so attractive and helpful. “Start here…” “You can’t do this unless…” “Remove the obstacles and then…” It’s all very, very smart. And, very, very inspirational. They know what they’re talking about. Wisdom oozes from their pores.

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Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

It wasn’t until I started reading David Sedaris’s Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), that I remembered just how much I enjoy his writing and perspective. I love that he writes mostly personal essays and some funny short stories. He is probably the author that ignited my interest in memoirs. And, it wasn’t until I was reading Sedaris’s latest book, that I realized he is a great source of inspiration for me. I don’t read his work because it’s full of truisms about “the craft of writing.” I read it because it’s interesting and well-written. For this, Sedaris is somewhat of a role model. A role model is “a person whose behavior [skill, talent?] in a particular role is imitated by others.

I spend an embarrassing amount of time thumbing through Facebook and Instagram. I have followed multiple blogs regularly (before bloggers just focused on Facebook and Instagram). There are a lot of people out there defining themselves as gurus. (I’m guilty of posting aspiring guru-esque content.) It’s so tempting to write and post because it seems to be what gets liked and clicked and shared—social media currency. Maybe because I’m already tuned into self-help and marketing/branding gurus, my feeds are just a reflection. But, I also see people who are successful bloggers or have a large social media following take time away from their normal subjects and post something like “how to get more followers” or “3 ideas for creating an editorial calendar” or even, “here’s how I really do this—my life isn’t as glamorous as you think.” I get it, because I click through and, like I said, I, too, have written similar pieces. But, goodness, I’m yearning for something different.

The guru and the role model. They’re very similar. A role model could be a guru and a guru could be a role model, but that’s not necessarily the case. I want to follow fewer gurus and more role models. I want to know people who are just doing really cool things and creating really beautiful art and are really good citizens of this universe. I don’t want to know how they do what they do in 5 steps. I want them to just be role models. I want to imitate. I’ll figure out the particulars on my own.

My Pineapple Obsession Continues, Still

I mean, at this point, I’m not even trying to find pineapples. They’re coming to me. Seriously.

First, this costume:

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Pineapple Halloween Costume

I don’t know if this means pineapples have finally reached superstar status, or if they’ve jumped the shark. For $20, I was tempted, but then, this is a one-size-fits-most…children. I am most definitely not child-size. My head wouldn’t fit into that pineapple crown. Plus, I already own a banana costume. Heads might turn and rumors roll if I start dressing up as other fruits. (ONLY ON HALLOWEEN, people.)

Then, Real Simple came through for me, again!

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Pineapple Jack-o’-Lantern. Pineapple-o’-Lantern? Pine-o’-Lantern?

I can NOT wait to #IRL (@WomenIRL) this. That is, I can’t wait to make this myself. (IRL=in real life.) I have a hunch, just a little one, that it isn’t going to turn out as spectacular as the picture in the magazine (it never does, right?). The pineapple Jack-o’-Lantern is just so intriguing, I had to Google Dawn Perry. She’s the food director at Real Simple. I was kind of hoping she was a freelance writer cooped up in the Midwest and I could slowly befriend her, starting with following her on Instagram. Because, dreaming up kooky shit like a carved pineapple and writing about it for a national magazine is kind of my dream. Does such a reality exist for the freelancer?

I wonder what other pineapples the Universe is going to send my way. Stay tuned.

Cat Litter Pineapples

That title doesn’t seem to make sense. Cat litter pineapples. Pineapples in the cat litter? Cat litter made of pineapples? I know. My pineapple obsession has finally led me to cat litter. Fresh Step cat litter, to be exact.

I was flipping through the latest issue of Real Simple magazine, when I happened upon this:

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Fresh Step, now with the Power of Febreeze Hawaiian Aloha scent!

Oh, just your average cat litter ad, right? WRONG! Do you see it? And, I’m not talking about the 3 kitty cats the art director “hid” in the ad. I’m talking about that BEAUTIFUL modern pineapple with the golden crown on the left!

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I bet one of those cats is going to knock over that pineapple out of spite. Because, cats are like that.

Gasp! What a beauty! And, I have to say, the plants are pretty impressive, too. (I’m a self-proclaimed indoor leaf-peeper, remember).

On a non-pineapple-related note, I bet creating cat litter–any cat product, really–ads are akin to beer and condom ads. When I was in ad school, beer and condoms were strictly off limits. Not because we were prudes, but because supposedly coming up with cool, clever ads for these categories was too easy. Ditto for cats, right? I mean, throw in a cat pun and you’re done. I’m not kitten!

Diary Keeping

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After a long wait, my name came up at the library for Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris. I’m a long-time Sedaris fan. I’ve read most of his books and I own 5 (he’s written more than that). I’m not crazy, though. Like, I’m not very motivated to attend one of his signings or readings. And, I don’t necessarily keep up with his pieces published in The New Yorker. (Sorry, David.)  Still, as soon as I read the introduction of his diaries, I was reminded just how much I want to write like him and write the same kind of pieces he does.

Maybe I’m on the right track, too, because I’ve been keeping a “diary” since July 7, 2001. I was 18-years old, a fresh graduate of high school, and it was before I really discovered Sedaris.

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I purposely cropped this picture, because the first thing I wrote is embarrassing.

Of course, I call mine a “journal.” I do that intentionally. Diaries just don’t seem serious enough, you know, “does he like me” kind of junk kept secure with a cheap lock that your brother just may pick or bust anyway. (You’ll find plenty of “does he like me” junk in my journals, though.) I just Googled the difference between a diary and journal and there’s a lot of weird explanations. My go-to dictionary uses each word to define the other. So I’m going to keep using them interchangeably. (Maybe I’ll keep calling mine a “journal.” But then, maybe Sedaris will convince me to start calling it a “diary.”)

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My stack of journals. Newest to oldest from top to bottom. I finally got over feeling like that cloth-hardbound journal made me cool. The yellow one I made in portfolio school, which I thought had it’s own cachet, of course.

In his introduction, Sedaris explains the purpose of keeping a diary:

If nothing else, a diary teaches you what you’re interested in. Perhaps at the beginning you restrict yourself to issues of social injustice or all the unfortunate people trapped beneath rubble in Turkey or Italy or wherever the last great earthquake hit. You keep the diary you feel you should be keeping…

After a year, you realize it takes time to rail against injustice, time you might better spend questioning fondue or describing those ferrets you couldn’t afford. Unless of course, social injustice is your thing, in which case–knock yourself out. The point is to find out who you are and to be true to that person. Because so often we can’t.

Talk about the truth! Although, I think I’m still trying to figure out who I am. I’ve already instructed my husband that if I happen to die an untimely death, to burn my journals: don’t read them, don’t collect $200, just burn. A lot of it is just me rambling, trying to figure out how I feel. And, no one needs to suffer through that. I already have.

A week or two ago (before I picked up this book), I was writing in my journal and I had the thought, “Is this enough? Is writing here satisfying?” That is, I have this hazy goal of being published. It’s the reason why I’ve done all this. At times, it can seem slow–both slow in writing and slow at searching for opportunities. And, honestly, I answered, “yes.” Writing in my journal is fulfilling. If I could look into a crystal ball and see that none of my writing* is ever going to be published in a way that earns a living (which is the ultimate dream), well, then I’d still keep a journal and I would feel satisfied.

I’m still going to keep writing outside of my journal and pitching pieces until that crystal ball rolls along, though.

 

*That is, stuff I write outside of my job as a copywriter.