Monday, March 7, 2011

My Meditation Zafu

I found instructions for how to make a zafu (isn't that a great sounding word?) years ago, but just got my rear in gear and made one a couple weeks back. A zafu is one of those pretty round cushions that are for sitting on while you meditate. I'd read that they are traditionally stuffed with buckwheat hulls, and since I like the idea of being traditional when it comes to things like this, I gave myself the excuse not to actually make the zafu since I didn't have the foggiest idea where one gets buckwheat hulls, but a quick internet search told me they were expensive to ship, so I didn't want to do that.

Enter, my small cat with a personality disorder, Sheeba. She took it upon herself to ruin my sister's buckwheat hull pillow. I needed to fix it, and since you can't exactly throw a buckwheat hull pillowing into the wash, I needed to throw out the stuffing, clean the pillow, and get new stuffing. Now I had a real reason to place that order, and adding some extra hulls to the order helped with the per pound shipping cost so I didn't have to feel so guilty about the purchase.

So at last, I have my meditation cushion. Isn't it pretty?



My youngest wanted to take it for her own, so I told her it was for sitting on to be calm, and I needed it. Every once in awhile I see her sitting on it and she tells me she's "calming down". Maybe I should make more and sell them as toddler "calming cushions" for people who don't like the term "time out."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The State of the Novel

I'm still working on my NaNoWriMo novel, but not as much as I had hoped to. We've had a lot of excitement at work that has taken more of my attention than usual. Things should be settling down now though, so I won't have that excuse to throw around any more. I've only grown my word count up to about 58,000 since the end of November. For three months of work, even three super busy months, that's disappointing.

Now, I'm going to do something that most writing advice seems to frown upon. I'm going to start editing and rewriting before my first draft is completely finished. But I believe I have a good reason to do so. I had an epiphany last week about a problem with the story that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I'd set the story up such that a vital element, the base idea that the novel was supposed to be built on, wouldn't ever happen. At the beginning, I just didn't want it to seem too easy, but now that I'm so far along, I see that the obstacles I put in place will actually keep it from happening at all. So I need some fundamental changes at the start, and I don't really see the point of finishing the first draft before these changes are put in.

A lot of what I've already written can still be used, but obviously a lot will also need to change. As I worked on the revisions last night and started to realize how much would need to be reworked, I was surprised to find that I wasn't sad. It was exciting instead. The story no longer felt stale and pointless. It's going to get back on track. Yea! Hopefully, the new energy I have for the story will translate into speedier progress as well.

While we are on the subject of writing, I'm proud that I have three short stories sent out right now; one with some encouraging feedback so far. It would be great to have a publication to report here soon!