A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a fat quarter (an 18" X 22" piece of fabric) of what looked like an Asian golden floral silk brocade. I was delighted as I unrolled it, at least until I saw the wrong side and then started swearing.
It wasn't silk brocade. It was satin brocade.
You cannot know the true demon from hell satin brocade is until you try cutting, sewing or tailoring it. This fabric won't stay put; it moves like it's alive. Sometimes, I swear, it moves on its own. It also frays like crazy; just turning an untreated seam can reduce it into a fistful of dandelion fluff. Pinking doesn't help; you have to burn it (which turns it into synthetic sludge) or use a gallon of fray blocker. Sewing machines like to eat it. When you work on it by hand, you have to use silk thread and the tiniest of quilters' between needles or it snags and puckers and begins to look diseased.
"Don't sweat it," my friend said when I called her to ask why she was tormenting me with this evil, evil material. "Just cut it up for your next Victorian."
Cut it up? I wanted to burn it. But she was right: it would be more manageable if I reduced it to some fill-in patches for a crazy quilt. The problem is I've never been one to take the easy road. "If I make this into something on its own," I warned her, "you have to buy me three yards of silk brocade."
"Two," she said, "and I want pictures."
As with sewing satin brocade, returning to the Darkyn universe wasn't an instant or simple process. Whenever I stop writing in a universe I mentally pack up and store away all the things I actively thought about while working on it; this keeps my mind-clutter to a minimum. Thanks to the Kyndred books I hadn't completely disengaged myself from the Darkyn, but I still had to do a lot of rereading and reviewing. It's a bit odd, too, when you have to research your own books for details you can't recall or have doubts on. I'm also glad I kept all my old Darkyn novel notebooks. I wrote down tons of important info in them, none of which appeared in the books.
Another author making a different leap this month is Patricia Briggs, whose Alpha and Omega series is moving from paperback into hardcover with the release of her latest book Fair Game. I haven't read this one yet; I've been saving it as my reward for surviving Nightborn's release week. That's not been easy, either; I really love this series and can't wait to read the latest edition. As popular as it is no doubt many of you feel the same way.
To celebrate Patricia's move to hardcover I have an extra copy of Fair Game to give away. If you'd like to win it, in comments to this post name something you do to reward yourself for hard work (or if you can't think of anything, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Monday, March 12, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner and unsigned hardcover copy of Patricia Brigg's Fair Game, a signed copy of my novel Dark Need, a "Little Calm" mini-kit, a font mug from Author Outfitters, a BookLoop with a miniature of Gustav Klimpt's "The Kiss" along with some other goodies, all neatly stowed in this lovely crystal-beaded tote* handmade by yours truly (please note that the bowl of apples on the table are not included; they're for my kids.) This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW in the past.
*Remember that wretched satin brocade? That's what I used to make the tote for this giveaway.
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I know that we're not supposed to use food as a reward, but I bake something yummy, like cookies or brownies, and then have a couple with a nice cup of tea. Mm! It's a treat I don't indulge in often, but it's a favorite.ReplyDelete
I do sooo many things to reward myself. Depending on what I've done...ReplyDelete
If what I've done requires being seated for a long, long time, e.g. I JUST NEED TO FINISH THIS ASSIGNMENT/STORY *sits in front of laptop all day, switching between facebook and assignment* then I reward myself with exercise; a long walk or run, either on the treadmill at home, or around the neighbourhood if the weather is good. The same reward is usually given if I read a book I don't like (usually for school purposes). Some amount of exercise after anything that requires sitting for a long time is much appreciated by my body.
First to comment! ^_^ReplyDelete
Ummm, how do I reward myself for hard work? By splurging on books and graphic novels! For novels, usually of the signed or limited edition hardcover variety. For graphic novels, I usually go for those absolute editions that literally cost an arm and a leg to collect (I managed to justify getting all four Absolute Sandman editions that way, but now there's a fifth volume out T_T)
Oh, and a little late here, but congratulations on the release of Nightborn. I've always felt a little bit sorry for Korvel, considering what sort of talent he's got. Can't wait to read this one and see how his story goes.
The reward for hard work is whatever I've been wanting but the Logic Brain tells me I can't have because of _________. I figure if I work hard I should get a treat, right? It changes based on how hard the task was (easy tasks I might get ice cream; harder tasks might get me furniture). This tends to work out pretty well; Logic Brain likes to keep me from getting anything new while Lazy Me keeps the rewards from being so frequent that my bank balance suffers.ReplyDelete
Also, major kudos on the bag. I think it's lovely!
Cheesecake factory Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. So rich, so decadent!!! I can only eat half a slice at a time, so it's twice the reward!ReplyDelete
I usually reward myself with yarn or a book. l think I may reward myself a little too much!ReplyDelete
It's good to give ourselves rewards..something we don't always do. I do reward myself from time to time with a new book from a new author who is not at my library or a new knitting project with an expensive yarn (which I promptly give away after I complete). In fact...I think I am due for new book from a new author :)ReplyDelete
Here lately, I've been teaching myself to sew.ReplyDelete
This is gonna sound sad, but I stopped rewarding myself for getting the work done. Nowadays I'm just happy if I can get words on paper. I think I'm waiting for the day I can reward myself for getting published. Then I'll celebrate again. =o)ReplyDelete
I now reward myself with a bottle of nail polish. I love knowing what colour i want next and having to wait to get it :DReplyDelete
Homemade treats, cookies, cake, or other debaucheries always have a rewarding feel in my house. Giving some of the goodies away helps the reward ripple out too.ReplyDelete
*laugh* My first thought as I scrolled down to the picture was "oooh, nice apples. Wonder if she'll include one of those." The bag looks great too, even if it was a challenge to deal with the fabric, and both books are ones I've been wanting to read.ReplyDelete
Reward? One word - chocolate!
I reward myself with an expensive coffeeshop latte, sweet with sugar and milk foam like clouds.ReplyDelete
I find grocery shopping incredibly hard, so I always stop for a latte on the way home. It almost makes me look forward to shopping.
There is a lake about 4 miles from my home and during the week, an old picnic bench is usually abandoned right next to the shore(I have to bring an old blanket to protect my bottom from wood splinters). With a mug of flavored coffee and my cell phone off,I enjoy the quiet with a book or just my thoughts as a reward for a hard week.ReplyDelete
A nice evening of sitting on the couch with my sweetie watching guilty-pleasure TV. Simple, but it really does the trick.ReplyDelete
To reward myself for hard work I usually treat myself to a book buying splurge...Usually a reward for managing to refrain from buying too many books :PReplyDelete
To reward myself I take the time to read for an hour. For something really special I may splurge on a hardcover... Fair Game is on my special list ;)ReplyDelete
When I have completed something difficult, I open up a special bottle of wine with my honey. Or we celebrate by going somewhere, whether it's a road trip for a few days or that really nice restaurant just down the street. Whatever it is, it's clearly a celebration of something awesome!ReplyDelete
My small rewards are books - take a trip to Barnes and Nobles (the only bookstore left in my small area of southwest Virginia) and buy whatever I want (or didn't know I wanted). When a big event occurs such landing a new job I buy an antique doll for my collection. Love Patricia Briggs especially this series.ReplyDelete
My reward for getting disliked tasks done is always casting on a new project to knit. Which doesn't make much sense when the disliked task is knitting the sleeves on a sweater (sleeves are the most boring things on the planet), but there you go.ReplyDelete
I can't sew at all, satin brocade sounds Evil, but that is the most beautiful bag I've ever seen.
I allow myself to take a break and listen to some music while daydreaming. But it's also a double reward for not daydreaming long enough to accomplish something, usually cleaning. XD Sometimes if I'm in the middle of a video game or book, I'll allow a few hours to continue the story if I passed a milestone in my tasks.ReplyDelete
@B.E. Sanderson I hope meeting your personal benchmarks give you a boost. Good luck! *cheers for you* ^_^
I've been working on a draft of my bookand knew I'd hit that point in my writing process where other books are calling me to be read. I totally have a devil on my shoulder insisting it's TOTALLY ok to just read that one book instead of writing. So I told that little devil to shove off until I finished my draft, which would then be rewarded with a read of HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE by debut author Manda Collins.ReplyDelete
I'm happy to say I get to read this on my way to Israel next weekend :-) Also, that tote bag is gorgeous and while I'm sorry satin damask gives you fits, I'm so glad your friend sent it along!
what_ever_for (at) cox (dot) net
Gorgeous! I reward myself with books! :) I also give books to my best friend when she is having troubles. She loves books too so its a win/win!ReplyDelete
I go out with my kids and my guy. Or I might buy myself a new pair of boots. I've developed this new boot addiction. It's a thing. I want that bag.ReplyDelete
Read a book I've been saving or watch an old movie.ReplyDelete
I reward myself by taking a total timeout, guilt-free, to lounge on the couch, snacks handy, and read without any interruptions.ReplyDelete
You really deserve a reward for making that brocade bag!! I used that wretched material only once, a long time ago, and would never do it again. Fraying, slipping, and don't get me started on how many pulled threads I got when the needle snagged the fabric.
Chocolate is always a worthy reward for me, but so are books. I love settling in for reading time knowing that I've earned it!ReplyDelete
My rewards tend to involve some form of chocolate or cupcake...or chocolate cupcakes.ReplyDelete
I would reward myself with a facial and a body massage :)ReplyDelete
I buy a book or an item for my wardrobe since I rarely shop for clothes. Difficult to locate any that are suitable.ReplyDelete
Cooking a special gourmet meal makes me enjoy the reward since most appreciate this gesture.ReplyDelete
For finishing something big or a long slog of hectic time, I treat myself to a deep-tissue massage.ReplyDelete
The expense is cringe-worthy and working out the kinks hurts, but I feel amazingly light for days.
Vacation, books and treats :)ReplyDelete
my primary response to feeling stressed and over-worked is usually to hermit and alternate reading with putzing around on the internet, but I'm not sure that's so much a 'reward' as a avoidance method.ReplyDelete
I second the books and treats, but I'm trying to wean myself from the treats :)ReplyDelete
I like to reward myself with my favorite foods. It depends on my mood. I always read and that in itself feels like a reward everytime.ReplyDelete
I reward myself by buying the first book in a series that I have never read. I usually try a different genre than what I have be reading. So far from just this year I have 3 new series. I am beginning to run out of book shelves...LOLReplyDelete
Satin brocade is worse than sewing on velvet! Shudder! But your bag looks gorgeous. :-DReplyDelete
I reward myself by reading a book. Preferable one I haven't read before, but occasionally an old favorite.
I've just finished reading Fair Game and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love her books.ReplyDelete
A glass of wine is a small reward and a weekend away with friends is for something big!
I agree with everyone else, that bag is gorgeous! I thought my fav was the purple bag you gave away recently on some other web site, but that has now been usurped by this one.
I reward myself with getting my hair done and buying some expensive lotions.ReplyDelete
I reward myself with a book and some alone time.ReplyDelete
I reward myself by getting my nails done, or chocolate.ReplyDelete
I reward myself with some chainmaille time. I can start a new project with a new pattern or idea. This week I'm chomping at the bit because I'm healing from a vitrectomy and a partial retinal detachment and I don't know when I'll be up to starting the project I really want to work with. turns out that second eye is a bit crucial for my chosen hobby! As an alternative, I'm catching up on my recorded tv favorites, which is my next favorite reward.ReplyDelete
Books are my reward. I have a very limited budget for 'entertainment' type things, so I treat myself with a new book. That tote bag is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm fairly dying to get my hands on Fair Game, so I hope I win!ReplyDelete
I bow to your sewing talent. I am far to impatient to sew anything other than repairs and hems. LOL I reward myself several ways-- small rewards are things like Lindt truffles or Starbucks. Slightly bigger rewards are books- paperbacks, and rarely, hardcover books. I'd buy books before shoes:)ReplyDelete
I reward myself by shopping. I'll usually buy makeup or maybe a little purse.ReplyDelete
a book, a bubblebath, or a if I've been real good a pedicure.ReplyDelete
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com
Great job with the satin brocade.....I reward myself with books:)ReplyDelete
I read as a reward. Sometimes I start a new craft/sewing project (though this usually backfires as something else generally ends up needing desperately repaired, sidelining the project).ReplyDelete
There are a few bakeries near by and I buy 1 or 2 pieces that I haven't tried before.ReplyDelete
Making cookies or trying a new recipe after a day of chores is my best reward for myself.ReplyDelete
I usually allow myself to pull out a fun magazine or watch an episode of one of the TV shows I keep up with as a reward for finishing something:)ReplyDelete
What I do to do is read a book of a favorite writer. There are so many that I grab when hard work is over. I save them (sometimes) or just pick up an old friend and relax.ReplyDelete
Good luck with the creation. I reward myself with something I want but would never buy normally. And thats is totally dependent on whats going on at the time or what I want. Once it was a scarf. Sometimes it is a piece of cake.ReplyDelete
I was just thinking that I like how you reward yourself with books, and then you ask us to comment about how we do it. :)ReplyDelete
Lately I have been rewarding myself with craft supplies. The things I don't *need* to get cards and such made but things that I have been wanting to try. The latest are distress inks and 'perfect pearls' powder. The time I spend playing with them to get used to them is relaxing, too, so it's like a double reward.
When I finish my 1st drafts (I've yet to finish a revised draft), I buy some music that can be added to my writing playlists, a reward that gives forever.ReplyDelete
Depending on what I accomplished to reach my goal, my reward could be: food, books, writing supplies, a trip or a class.ReplyDelete
i always reward myself with good books:) . I often rewards myself just for surviving lives :D, that's why i always have lots and lots of books:). cheers aretha zhen, arethazhenATrocketmailDOTCOMReplyDelete
Books are always my first choice as a reward, followed closely by food (Thai food, chocolate, or pie). That is a beautiful bag!ReplyDelete
Office supplies! New notebooks and lovely pens especially, but oftentimes part of my reward is just walking around the store, browsing, for as long as I want.ReplyDelete
Craft materials, books and dvds. I also use short stories as a reward, because the time it takes to read is usually shorter than the work it's rewarding!ReplyDelete
My usual reward for getting through something is books. However, once I get through my nursing program I have my eye set on something bigger - I'm hoping to go traveling!ReplyDelete
To reward myself, I usually get a meal to-go from a restaurant. Then I rent a movie from the Redbox and curl up on the couch.ReplyDelete
I am learning not to reward myself with food (especially ice cream) as it is not great for the waistline.
It depends on what I've been wanting to do at the time. Sometimes it's a book that I wanted to read, sometimes it's an item that I wanted to knit, or a movie that I wanted to see.ReplyDelete
I get one of two things as a reward - either a new book, or a new tea to try. However, I've finally been introduced to professional manicures, and I think I'm in love.ReplyDelete
I am thisclose to finishing an epic project that involves entirely too much hand sewing, it's a rain cloak for the performer I work for at the renaissance festival. It's been literally years, mostly because I get frustrated with it, curse at it, and then put it away and try to forget about it for a long time. But last week we came up with the brilliant idea to have me work on it at the t-shirt cart, where I am FORCED to sew or be bored between customers. Haha. When I get done I am rewarding myself with a new book or ten. :-)ReplyDelete
I'm normally a 2-3 book a week kind of girl; however, right now I'm in nursing school so textbook reading, homework and studying takes the majority of my time. When I get done with my schoolwork, I reward myself by reading for my own enjoyment. If I really need to clean my house or something too, I say to myself, get this clean and you can read for two hours straight :). I love Patricia Briggs and can't wait to read Fair Game, it will most definitely end up as one of my "reward" books soon.ReplyDelete
I very much want to see this bag now! I love sewing even though I don't do it often. My Mom and I used to make all my Halloween costumes, and we loved using materials that were slippery, snagable, fray-fests, and other things. Some years it was like we purposefully hunted down evil materials to work with. (One year I was a colonial lady, and while it is hidden from plain view, I can still find the blood-stain from where my poor Mom got herself hard with a pin because the material slipped.) But I always had the best costumes, and they're all in a box for my theoretical daughter.ReplyDelete
But I'm also tossing my name in for the books, and the mug - the tote is what is fascinating me though. :)
I like to reward myself for hard work with Starbucks. However, it seems I do hard work 3 times a week, on schedule. Tossing my name in the hat.ReplyDelete
I made a prom dress out of that stuff once. When my date came to the door to pick me up, I will still swearing at the material, the sewing machine and anything else in the vicinity. He had a forty minute wait while I finished the dress, but finish it, I did!ReplyDelete
Was it worth it? I had a one of a kind. Would I ever do that again? I swore, NEVER! And I never have. So my hat's off to you. You're a better sewer than I am, Gunga Din! ;o)
ps - it turned into a beautiful tote.
Ice cream and a new book...like one of your! I love Briggs so would adore this give away package. Your offers are so generous.ReplyDelete
A special entry in the Rewards Journal - in careful detail - so that I can relive it when I need the boost.ReplyDelete
I allow myself to buy a new book at the local book store.ReplyDelete