As I sit here, writing this, I think about the things in my life that I love to do. Not just like, or enjoy doing, but really LOVE. The list isn't really that long.
Obviously, both Autie and I love to create. We get a sort of 'rush' from bringing projects to life- whatever type of handmade creations they are. Autie loves to go on little adventures with her kids and she LOVES to exercise. (I wish I did.) I love to go boating (doesn't matter what type of boat, or what body of water), and I love seeing movies.
And...we both LOVE to read. This brings us to our Guest Post/Giveaway.
When I first got to know Melanie, she told me that she wanted to write a book. I thought that was a really cool dream. Then she wrote one. Then another. Then another. And got published.
Click here to find out what the book is all about!
To enter to win a copy of "The List," all you need to do is leave a comment. So simple. If you want to know other ways to win the book and other prizes, check out Melanie's website for further details. The contest ends on Mar. 12.
You might wonder, why a book giveaway on a craft blog?? What do they have to do with each other?? Well, she answers that question below. Read on for a sample of her amazing writing talent.
My mom could sew. Really well, actually. I grew up with home-sewn swimsuits and prom dresses and play clothes. (Not in that order.)
I can't sew. I never had the patience to learn when she tried to teach me. I tend to not stick with things that don't come naturally. I'm lame like that.
What I can do is write. Pretty well, I think. My book just hit shelves so I guess I'll be finding out soon if anyone agrees with me. But something interesting happened when I started writing in earnest. Suddenly, I thought about sewing more than I ever had.
Yes, it's strange. But true.
Here's what happened. On the rare occasions my mom and I would shop together (man, oh, man, I did not get my shopping gene from her), we looked for totally different things when we picked items off the rack. Me: is it cute? Does the color look good on me? Does it make all the cute boys want to date me? You know—the important stuff you have to ask before making a purchase. My mom: how is this put together? Is the construction good? Will it last?
And because we looked for entirely different things, we could never agree on whether a purchase was worth the money. Also, I like to spend money. She did not.
Anyway, fast forward fifteen years to me sitting in front of a laptop, slogging through a manuscript, trying to figure out why something isn't working exactly right in the story, trying to tweak it, trying (if you'll pardon the analogy) to get the pattern to fit correctly. Doing that has permanently changed the way I read books for pleasure, the same way that being a great seamstress affected the way my mom shopped for clothes.
Once I entered the editing stage of my writing, I couldn't turn that part of my brain off when I was reading. It drove me crazy, and in an effort to explain to my husband why it drove me nuts, I described it this way: suddenly I see where the stitches are. I can tell where the writer got lazy and just slapped stuff together. I'm way too aware of the fact that I'm reading a knock off instead of a couture design. It reminds me of how I used to love a shirt for it's color, but my mom would dismiss it because the stitching was crooked or she thought the buttons were flimsy.
As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate quality. I'm willing to have less clothes in the interest of owning better pieces. And that's the lesson I'm learning in writing, too. I can turn out a pretty good story using some basic materials, or I can do the hard work of sifting through what I produce and finding the very best pieces to put in front of others so they can disappear into a well-crafted story that won't fall apart on them at inopportune moments.
So, yeah, sewing and writing . . .
Watching my mom sew didn't teach me to sew. But it taught me to write.