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Miko is up the ladder without a plan!

Help! Miko is up the ladder without a plan!

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for the past couple of weeks. I am participating in NaNoWrMo, National Novel Writing Month.

I used to write when I was younger, less so after I joined the work force, and I thought this would be a good challenge for me as I have increasingly been visited by the thought that I really could finish some of my “works in progress” and make them readable if only I would knuckle down and write.

NaNoWriMo has me writing about 1700 words a day on one project I have called “The Echoes.” It’s mostly fantasy (I can’t call it SF, because I always think of Isaac Asimov when I think of Science Fiction, and this is nothing at all like his stuff.)

I’m working on it like I work on my quilting. I write everyday with a specific goal in mind.  For this month, the goal has been set for me: 1667 words.

So, after a couple of weeks, I realized I was writing much more than that because I discovered if I just set out to write without a plan, even knowing my main characters very well, they sit around and think too much. Not good for a novel. I need a plan.

It turns out, that I need a plan while quilting as well. My vision for the black and red and white quilt wasn’t working out, and I couldn’t understand why. I had set out to produce just one B&W 16-patch and one Kansas Dugout X block a day (with several others in various stages of completion.

I put them up on the design wall and was very “meh” about the resulting quilt.  Both my sister and my mother commented on the red X blocks. I guess they were just too much of a contrast to the black and white blocks. But, I dislike throwing out work, so I revised.

Barbara Brackman's Civil War blocks in a "lightning" or zigzag setting.

Barbara Brackman’s Civil War blocks in a “lightning” or zigzag setting.

I am taking the black and white blocks and setting them in a zigzag, the way I did for Barbara Brackman’s Civil War Sampler block-of-the-month blocks. The zig zag in this case will be red.

Originally, I had planned to take apart the X blocks and use them as a sort of “rick-rack” border. This is not going to work because the red I bought to do the “lightning” sashing will not match the red of my X blocks.

So, the X blocks may end up as X blocks with other blocks in between. Maybe snowballs. Those would work up fast, and I could use the centers of the snowballs to quilt a motif.

And, I hope to have enough of the lightning sashing on the 16-patches to show you a photo my progress next week.

Until then, I will have to bask in the knowledge that I finally do have a (sort of) outline, and I’m halfway through NaNoWriMo and halfway through writing The Echoes.  Maybe the stars will line up, and both projects will be worth sharing in the future.