A week of Zebras, Queries and Legos
Challenge Rule 1: Buy No Clothes/Don’t Covet
I bought no clothes this week.
However: I saw a woman wearing a zebra print wrap dress. And do you know what happened? I questioned my every life decision.
I saw that dress and I instantly regretted my whole “oh, let’s see what happens if you go into a store after six months of no shopping,” and “ooooh! a zebra dress!?” escapade from two months ago.
I coveted. Wait: I didn’t just covet. I began actively scheming.
Oh, wait but that’s not all. I was waiting outside my boys’ new school when a woman in a different non-wrap zebra dress with the most amazing sleeves walked up all classy and beautiful to pick up her children. I nearly died. THE UNIVERSE IS TAUNTING ME! TWO ZEBRA DRESSES IN ONE WEEK!
I felt like Cruella DeVil. I had thoughts of showing up at the zoo with a Virginia Slims menthol in an ivory cigarette holder and my naturally tending-towards-Cruella-ish hair and whisper shouting, “It must be done today!” outside the zebra enclosure.
Thank goodness I had absolutely zero free minutes this week, or I would have hunted down a zebra. Somehow. Somewhere.
Note to self: it is perhaps not wise to broadcast your Cruella-ish intentions on the internet. What I really want is a zebra dress. That’s all I want. Just one cute little zebra dress.
Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory
As unthinkable as it seemed, I found a skirt in my closet which appeared nowhere in my inventory. It’s a nice skirt, one I don’t wear very often, because, obviously, it’s not zebra. That I had gone the full year it took to (at least I thought!) complete my inventory, and an additional eight months before noticing means that I still truly have too many clothes in my closet. (And not enough zebra.)
I added the skirt to my inventory and wore it happily.
Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:
In an effort to squeeze the last possible wears out of my summer dresses, and continue that “below 1€ per wear” challenge I started in June, I have been relying on my old stand-bys. My green linen wrap-dress, which became a skirt and a top out of necessity, has now hit the 1€ per wear mark. Yay! Only my yellow lace dress and my Team Nigeria dress remain!
Mise en Place for everyone! I have been trying to get my little boys on the Mise en Place train. They have various degrees of willingness day by day. I offer it. That’s the best I can do.
When we don’t do it, there is always a struggle to get dressed in the morning. The thing is, for them, said “struggle” is a way to assert some control over their day. It usually goes like this:
“Hey, love, do you want to wear your Paw Patrol tee-shirt or your Dino Farmer tee-shirt?” I ask.
“I don’t want to wear a tee-shirt!” he singsongs.
“I understand, my dear,” I say as calmly as possible. “A polo, then?”
“No polo!” he whines.
“Then why don’t you go pick your tee-shirt?” I offer.
“YOU PICK!” he shouts. I pick out a tee-shirt.
“NOT THAT ONE!” Little boy rolls on the ground in tears.
I know that this has nothing to do with tee-shirts, but about his need to control his little pre-schoolers’ destiny. But honestly, I don’t enjoy conflict first thing in the morning. I need at least a second cup of coffee before I am ready for conflict.
Mise en Place, were he willing, would and does solve this dilemma. But the evening does not always find him willing.
Challenge Rule 5: Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:
This week I altered the sleeves on a dress. I am pleased with the results.
So, apparently, 8 months into my Buy No Clothes in 2021 Challenge I am still capable of heart-rending covetous thoughts. The only good change is that I don’t have a closetful of 8 months-worth of barely worn covetous desires. (Although I really wouldn’t mind a cute little zebra dress hanging in my closet.)
In other news…
With the scalawags back in school, I now had no excuses to put off querying agents to represent my novels. It is a little overwhelming, trying to pigeonhole my writing genre.
When it comes to the question of “Where in the bookstore would this book be found?” I have floundered a bit for quite some time. But finally this week, I settled. I believe it would be found near the Time Traveler’s Wife, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Red Tent, if those three books existed in a high fantasy world like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.
I started putting together agent query dossiers this week. Each agent and each agency has slightly different requirements, and I am nothing if not a perfectionist about making sure the dossier is perfect before I send it. My goal is to query six agents in the month of September.
In podcast news: I met with my friend and former colleague Jonathan (who lent his voice to the intro for my podcast.) Media is his life’s work and naysaying is his love language, so I trusted him to be brutally honest with me about my production timeline and help me devise my launch strategy.
Likewise, I met with Éric, filmmaker, sound artist and utterly patient human being, who gave me a lightning 90-minute overview of a software he swears is better than the one I doggie-paddled my way through to get the first podcast episode finished. Let me quote his irritatingly optimistic encouragements:
“Sound editing is like Legos.”Éric, irritating optimist
“Sound editing is nothing like Legos.”Me, mother of two small children
There is much more to tell in the “Other News” category, but I will tell it tomorrow as I resume my Philosopher Princess exploration of the virtue of Peace.