I spent a good couple hours today laying out the plot of the chapters. It’s quite complex, as I have in-depth interviews with something like 20-30 riders, and six or seven themes I want to cover. My head is spinning.
But I’m making considerable progress…would you like to know my secret? I’m using Visio! I’m flowcharting each chapter, using rectangles to represent each scene. The scenes are color-coded according to point of view (different colors for different riders), which gives me an immediate visual “read” on the narrative flow, and an easy way to tell where any given rider appears. This gives me a very modular approach, and makes it easy to move topics around.
I’m also making substantial progress on my spiral shawl–I am 3/4 of the way spinning singles for what I *hope* will be the last ball of yarn on the shawl (!). I’ve been working on it, off and on, for the last 13 months, so it’ll be fantastic to have it done. It’s now well over 60″ across, has over 2000 yards of yarn in it, and is going to be *gorgeous*. I have no idea what I’ll tackle next, once I finish. It won’t be another ring shawl; I’m having RSI problems in my left elbow from spindle-spinning.
So I will have to find something else to explore. Maybe I’ll take up sex. Maybe I’ll take up sky-diving. Maybe I’ll take up sex *while*…hmm. No, some hobbies should *not* be combined. 🙂 Okay, well, I’ll think of something.
If you haven’t seen the spiral shawl, there are photos of it on my textiles page. Scroll to the bottom. It’s now much bigger but still very beautiful. It is also symbolic. There are eight stripes on each of the spiral arms–in order,
earth (leaf design)
fire (flame pattern)
light (plain white)
darkness (openwork star pattern)
right action/activism (AIDS ribbons)
The last two aren’t in the photo, though.
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are the four elements in Wicca; there’s also a balance between light and darkness, each essential to the other. So those six represent the world in Wicca, or at least in this shawl. 🙂 The AIDS ribbons are for activism, which I feel is essential–not just activism, but right action; consciously choosing to do the right things, to act with compassion. The heart is for compassion, which is the center of all things.
The shawl is put together in a clockwise spiral, which in Wicca represents growth and building. It is the complement to my travel shawl, which was spun and knitted while I was traveling in Southeast Asia, and runs counterclockwise, symbolizing letting-go, leaving behind the past life. So the travel shawl was about leaving the past life behind, the spiral shawl is all about building a new one.
I put into my spiral shawl the essentials of a good life–balance between the four elements, light and dark in balance/order, compassion, and action.
I don’t know why, but I almost always make symbolic works. I feel that art–and especially knitting–is a patterning, a chance to reshape one’s life through the medium one works in. Handspinning in particular is a meditative craft, so working on a symbolic piece like this gives me a chance to center, and think about what’s really important.