I finished a book!

Just so you know, I finished Jolene by Mercedes Lackey. Now for those of you who knew me before the Pandemic Lockdown. This would not be a big deal, I was reading 1-2 books per week.

However, just before lockdown I had a soul crushing year and was one week into a new job when lockdown occurred. I had great lockdown plans, I was going to finish writing my book. I was going to read everything in my TBR pile. I was going to stitch and finish all my WIPs and start all the previously kitted projects on my shelf.

And then it hit. A paralyzing stress reaction where all I wanted to do was deny that I was stressed. My kids actually insisted I go find a switch (ended up with a Switch Lite and Animal Crossing).

And so I numbed my busy mind with building a 5 star island. Come August, I held a virtual get together with some local stitchers and agreed to stitch a model for a very busy designer. That woke me up a little and I started stitching again. I’ve now managed to stitch at least a little every single day since Sept 22, 2020.

But reading and writing have not returned. I have 2 maybe 3 of the Louise Penny Detective Gamache novels ready to read. I have a stack of business books on my Kindle and Google Play account ready to go as soon as my reading desire returns. I’m hoping that the reading bug is off playing with my writing bug.

See, I’ve put together a boatload of slide decks but no actual writing is required for that. It’s just a matter of finding the right pictures. Blogging has not been happening and YouTube filming is still halted.

So, you see, finishing a book is a big deal right now. It’s a step back to normal for me. True during lockdown I listened to several books but only Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky which convinced me that I will never give another penny to the March of Dimes again.

So let me tell you about Jolene – It’s an entry in the Elemental Masters series by Lackey. The publisher would have you believe it’s the first on American soil but they weren’t the publisher on Fire Rose which preceded the current list of Elemental masters.

Jolene is an adaptation of The Queen of Copper Mountain. And yes, there is a part where the Dolly Parton song is paraphrased. The setting is in the hollers of coal and copper mining areas just after the civil war.

I am motivated now to go read the Annie Oakley Elemental master book which I have missed reading in the series. Or, I could go restart the Phantom Tollbooth that I started and didn’t finish when lockdown first started.

Some odd statistics

The oldest WIP on my spreadsheet was started by my Grandmother in 1946, assuming that she started it the year the kit was published.

The newest WIP was started 9/24/21 when I needed a new start for a challenge.

I have 3 WIPs started before 2000.

The oldest WIP started after 2000 is Fortunate Traveller started in 2003.

The year with the most WIP starts, five, is 2017 with 2 of those being annual SALs that I fell behind on.

The Largest WIP was started in 2015 and hasn’t seen much love because I signed an agreement not to share pictures on the internet.

The smallest WIP was started 3/1/2020 and should be finished this month now that I have the silk lame I ran out of.

Only one piece is on perforated paper.

Three of the pieces are on Aida

Two are embroidery, one is Blackwork, 3 are needlepoint, the remaining 26 are cross-stitch

Five pieces are over 30% complete, 15 pieces are at 15% or less completion

Two designers have 4 slots each on my WIP list, Teresa Wentzler and Nora Corbett/Mirabilia

I usually put 500 stitches into a new start before moving to another project.