This morning we have bright blue skies with wispy clouds. There's a family of crows nesting near by, again, which means we will have a rowdy gang of youngster crows later this summer. They make for entertaining if loud neighbors.
One of the thoughts I had on this was finding one's niche, and that maybe not everybody wants a massive cadre of followers as opposed to a discriminating and engaged rather smaller number. Some people want to address a rally, and others prefer a cosy salon-type conversation. There's a place for both.
Which resonates for me with a whole lot of thoughts around the Big Popular Success and the Enduring If Perhaps Somewhat Cult. And that it depends what sort of success you want (though one does hears of Big Bestsellers whingeing that they don't get srs critical attention, and Litcrit Darlings wishing they were actually megasellers...). If one looks at those lists of the bestsellers of whatever year there will probably be 1, 2, maybe even 3 titles that one has heard of, and the rest lost in the mists of history. While there will probably be some book published in the same year that was not on those lists but is still in print or at least still read and loved.*
(Contemporaries' predictions were usually wide of the mark, as with whoever it was - can it have been Henry James? - who thought that the works of Hugh Walpole [who he**] were for the ages but PG Wodehouse was ephemeral trivia.)
This latched on, for me, with a piece into today's Guardian Weekend about failure, which evoked the thought that, really, there is gradation and a scale and there is such a thing as modest success and moderate ambition.
My website does not get huge numbers of hits, but it gets a steady stream of interest as one of the go-to sites for the topics it covers. And this is quite enough for me, really. It does what it does.
*Antonia Forest wrote relatively little compared to Enid Blyton or Angela Brazil, and I doubt any of her books were ever massive bestsellers, but we can see from the discussions on trennels that she has a devoted and engaged following who will make significant efforts to get hold of her books.
**I do in fact know who he was, and have even read some of his works - bogged down in The Herries Chronicles when I was 13 and never returned, read Jeremy at Crale - but among his contemporaries he's rather overshadowed. Is anything of his still in print?
Also, it is snowing. We have at least an inch of fluffy, wet snow.
I incorporated 2 tsp of pizza seasonings into the focaccia dough. I stretched it out after mixing but couldn't quite get it to fill the pan; after half an hour rising, I was still skeptical about whether the dough would fill the pan, but by the one-hour mark, it had. Possibly moving it onto the stove top, where it was a bit warmer, which I did when I checked it half-way through the rise, helped. In the oven now.
Out of the oven:
I probably could have poked it harder.
I finished this snowflake bookmark a while ago, but haven't got around to editing the pictures until now.
I modified this pattern from Kincavel Krosses to make it shorter—and as you can see, it's still really too big for all but hardcovers:
[Image: bookmark over open copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell]
I could've left the border off, but I was stitching without a hoop or frame for the first time and I was having so much fun—so fast when you're doing whole stitches!—that I kind of didn't want to stop. SteelyKid saw it as a WIP and demanded it, and she doesn't care if it's flopping out of her books, so it's fine, but yeah, I have no idea why the original design is so long and still purportedly a bookmark.
So that's that. And experimenting with stitching the hand went great—I didn't even have to think about the tension in the stitches, it just came naturally. Works less with for things with lots of quarter stitches, a.k.a. the knotwork bookmark I'm finishing now, but OMG fast on whole stitches. I'm a convert.
(If anyone wants, I can give them the edited image file I used for the pattern, because shortening it means moving the interior slightly to center it.)
(Also posted to cross_stitch.)
There's no morality in exercise. electricant challenged that claim in a really thoughtful and interesting way:
No one is morally better than anyone else because of the amount of exercise they do. However, I, personally, am a better person for working out. I'm not better than anyone else, but I'm better as me-working-out than I am as me-not-working out. And that better does include a moral dimension [...] I feel like working out is a habit that allows me to develop many positive traits in myself - some physical, some intellectual, and some moral [...] it is a moral imperative for me personally, according to my own value systemI've been turning ideas round in my mind for a while about the idea of "being healthy", and how exercise fits as part of that. I think the core of it is that being healthy is often used to refer not to a state of being, but rather to (believed to be) correct actions which people may or may not perform.
( swirly unfinished thoughts )