Yesterday we celebrated an entire year with Tigress and Fritz. All the way from here:
It’s been a wonderful year, full of kittens (and cats) rampaging all through the house. Hopefully we will have many more!
Book-wise, things are rapidly snowballing. I’ve conducted two interviews already, with two more scheduled for this week. Next week is filling up rapidly, too. My intent is to do one or two interviews in each craft, which will result in 30-40 interviews. Each interview lasts about an hour, which I’m estimating at about 6,000 words of transcript. So that will be 180,000-240,000 words of transcript – several novels’ worth!
Towards that, I am thinking about ways to organize the information in the transcripts. I’m leaning towards a tool called Docear – which is free software intended for researchers, and allows you to annotate PDFs and then organize the annotations, slicing and dicing the information however you like. You can also drag and drop them into a mind map, from which you can create an outline, etc. My one hesitation is that it has a rep for a steep learning curve, so I don’t know how much time I will actually save over annotating directly into Scrivener (which is what I use for writing drafts). I think I’ll know more once I get back (and annotate) the first few transcripts.
It’s been fascinating talking to master artisans about their creative process. Yesterday I interviewed Tim McCreight (who has written fifteen or so books on metalworking/jewelry making). He was talking about how his creative style has changed over the years, from his initial struggles to dominate the medium/develop technical skills, to drawing out his designs before making them, and finally to his current style, which is to work more spontaneously, “collaborating with” the tools and materials. I hope some day to achieve that level of mastery.
Next up on the interview slate are Joen Wolfrom (who wrote four or five books on two-dimensional design and color in quilting), Roy Underhill (who has his own PBS series on woodworking), and Debora Mauser (well-known wire jewelry artist). Those interviews will take place tomorrow, Friday, and Monday. I have eight or nine others in the pipeline. So next week is filling up rapidly. I am trying to limit my interviews to four or five a week, mostly so I can research each interviewee a bit beforehand. That is courteous (I think) and will also prevent me from asking idiotic questions. With 30-40 interviews planned, though, that will still take longer than I had anticipated. It’s all right; I can start writing after the first five or six transcripts come back.
What to write is another story. I am gathering so much material that it may overwhelm my book if I’m not careful. A little voice inside me is saying that I’ll have more than enough material for a second book, but I am firmly squelching it (at least for now). Write the first book first! and then decide if you want to do a second one. (says Tien to herself, with moderate conviction.)
In Phoenix Rising-land, we disassembled the knitting machine motor. Sure enough, it was a blown capacitor. Mike thinks it is repairable, and has ordered replacement capacitors from Digi-Key. They will hopefully arrive by this weekend, allowing us to fix the knitting machine. We also need to chop a little bit off the arm of the row counter before it will work properly, but that should be pretty easy. After that I can knit some blanks and weave a sample, which will allow me to work out how much blank I need to knit for a full panel.
And, in cat-land, Fritz is showing a distressing interest in cross-dressing. Here he is, wearing one of my shirts:
I really must convince him that cross-dressing like a human is really not necessary, and he should accept himself for his wonderful cat-ness. Hopefully that will save my clothing from cat hair and wrinkles in odd places!