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Pleasant Mistakes

If things happened my way, I wouldn't fall off the bike before learning how to ride. I have never considered myself a perfectionist (too clumsy for one thing), but I prefer not failing.  When I was twelve, I went to a horse camp and on the third day, fell off the horse - I was the only one that did so. One of my instructors told me that to be counted as a true horsewoman, I needed to fall fifty times.

One down, forty-nine to go.

Not necessarily the greatest comfort, but it did put things into perspective. Sometimes the things that hurt or don't work out the way that they're supposed to work out end up being pleasant mistakes. It is a part of the creation of art, and how we respond to those diversions develops our artistic bent - or destroys it.

Currently, I'm working on weaving items for up-coming fairs later in September. Creating items for fairs is often a gamble: I create something, but it never wins. Frustration sets in, and I contemplate giving up.

Then I have those moments when something odd happens. For example, wasted warp is an annoyance, so with the ten inches or so that I had left on the warp, I wove something small - doubted if it would work for anything, but I tried. After the yardage was washed, I cut the pieces apart ... including my now six inches by nine inches piece of cloth. Great - a rectangular piece of waste.

Which, turned out to be the perfect size for a little bag.

I emphasize little bag. Below, is a square bar of soap that I traded a book for back in June. The bar of soap is about three inches squared. The bag is barely larger than the bar of soap.

Yet, that little bag holds the bar of soap - snug and cozy in it's own little bag. Slipping on a bar of wet soap is never fun, I don't know if a bar of wet soap in a wet bag will be any different, but it is a thought.

With the writing, I have scenes that I have to scrap; characters and novels that seem to go nowhere; stories that I want to write, but remain stuck. These are all troubles that I face as a writer; for another artist, it might be still another set of problems.

Sometimes, those stuck stories remain because the story isn't meant to be told in a novel ... I might have to change the character or change the style such as making it into a short story or a play. Sometimes, the characters and story connect, but I just don't have enough words (shocking, I realize) to develop the concept into a novel. Sometimes, the characters are needed to develop out other characters.

I created a family based in Western New York. Their stories need to be told, but I'm realizing that while I write another series, connected to the ones in New York, that the ones in Western NY may never become a series of their own. They might remain connected to the series that works; they might become novellas. Whatever the case, it will turn out to be a pleasant mistake. Not tossing a story or artwork might just turn out to be something even better.


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