My scarf by Darlene gives me power


I am still in overtime, forget-about-the-rest-of-your-life mode at the dayjob. Upside: I’m continuing to have discussions with my boss about whether or not this state is permanent, and he does sympathize. Downside: We have no answer yet. Until it’s sorted out one way or the other, I’m still working too many hours.

I generally try to keep my writing life and my DayJob as separate as possible. People around here don’t read much, and it’s more trouble than it’s worth to teach people who already aren’t interested in books that there’s more to SF and Fantasy than UFO’s and vampires. So I tend to just clam up, do the job, get the paycheck and health insurance.

I even dress differently, and there are certain items that wear at conventions and in my personal life, things I haven’t worn at the job because to my mind they are specific signifiers of my Writer persona.

Chief among these being: my collection of gorgeous silk scarves hand-made by Darlene Coltrain:

The center, here seen as the top

The center, here seen as the top

I first started buying them in, I think, 1998. They’re filled with images that remind me of the things I love best: stars, skies, water, the natural world, anything both clearly seen and mysterious.

further down

further down

This is one of my favorites, and one of the ones I’ve had the longest…

near the bottom

moving downward

And yes, I am wearing it at the DayJob. Looking at it reminds me of what’s important, what I love, and makes me feel strong.

Thing are really hard right now, and it’s been going on too long. And I realized that instead of leaving my writer self outside, I need to keep her right here, right up front and center. This so that can I stay focused on fixing things on the job so that I can HAVE TIME TO WRITE AGAIN.

Therefore, for as long as this is going on, I’ll have the same conversation with my boss every Monday, asking what the plan is to fix this — and I shall wear one or another of my beloved scarves to work every single day.

As a reminder to myself — and to everyone around me.

as much as I could fit in the picture.

as much as I could fit in the picture.

11 Responses to “My scarf by Darlene gives me power”

  • pointoforigin Says:

    “anything both clearly seen and mysterious”–mmm, yes! I remember shopping with you for some of those scarves. I think you’re right–they’re very empowering. Or maybe it’s the act of wearing them that’s empowering. Magic Scarf Power!

    • Rosemary Says:

      It becomes far too simple to merely hunker down and endure. Anything that makes me look up and think widely and see further is a help.

      Symbols matter.

  • Jennifer Says:

    I am really sorry to hear about your continuing dayjob issues. Something similar is going on in my house too. You’re one of my favorite current writers and out of pure selfishness I want you to have time to write more, so I can read more! Hang in there, and I second the *talk to the boss every week*.

    • Rosemary Says:

      There’s a lot of this going around. I was on the phone to the A/R person at one of the company’s suppliers, and mentioned offhand that we were short-handed. The woman burst into this impassioned, half-teary tirade about how her own employer kept firing people and dumping the extra tasks on the remaining employees, cranking up everyone’s workload to insane levels. I really felt for her…

  • Sabine Says:

    Those scarves are also the few rare things that can get your sister to stop nattering. When you wear them around the house, I know you’re in writer mode.

  • Lindig Harris Says:

    Gorgeous scarves! I have a weaver friend who gifts me with beautiful, treasured things. I need a job and I live in an RV so maybe I could move there and takes some of the burden off you.And Quinn Yarbro will vouch that I’m not a stalker type. Or, you know, you can just ignore it and I’ll stay right here in WNC and enjoy your posts. What is “Children of the Sky” — #5 title?

    • Rosemary Says:

      Lindig —

      “Children of the Sky” is Vernor Vinge’s latest, which I’m currently reading.

      And, alas, I have no hiring authority at this place. I am but a low-level minion. And I don’t even know if it’s the company’s intention to do anything to fix this at all. The latest trend in biz: cut your staff and make everyone else work extra hours.

  • Melinda Fleming Says:

    OK. I’m totally non-religious. But I am now going to light a candle for you. And I’m going to keep the flame going until you have your writing time (and everything that supports it) back again. It will lift a few eyebrows in my circles, but then I will just patiently explain how SF and Fantasy is not necessarily about UFOs and vampires, and how important it is to the world that certain people write exactly what they need to write – particularly this one.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Melinda –

      I’m also non-religious — but I do love symbols. They help us process complex ideas and emotions by consolidating them in one act or object. Not to mention also bringing beauty into the world…

      And I’m so touched by your concern — thank you!

      But I do worry about that candle…. “keep the flame going,” you say, but I hope you don’t leave it burning unattended! I’d hate to find out your house burned down because of me!

      May I suggest as an alternative: the Wind Horse. This is a Tibetan prayer flag (Yes, I am an atheist), which I’ve been told that people especially fly when they are undertaking an extremely difficult task (like climbing Everest).

      It has two advantages:

      1. Every time it flaps in the breeze, it sends its message out into the world (Symbolically, symbolically! Hello, atheist here!), thus actually automating your prayers. This appeals to the geek in me.

      2. It is not ON FIRE.

      In fact, I’ve got a string of Wind Horse flags at home, and I do believe I’ll put them up.

  • Lindig Harris Says:

    Hence the reason I can’t find a job here after looking for six months (well, okay, I could work at Subway but I refuse). Best of luck with your overload. I’ll be thinking (and groaning) with you.

  • Melinda Fleming Says:

    Actually, as soon as I got said candle and looked around for a place to put it, I realized the enormity – and risk – of my endeavor. We have two kitchen sinks. Stainless steel both. One used all the time, the other not so much. The candle resides in the middle of the latter. Since then, a few raised eyebrows have been lowered by above explanations, and one scowl has resulted in a lovely conversation. Result: Scowl offered to add a candle for writers everywhere. We may have the beginnings of a shrine in an atheist household!

    I LOVE the idea of the flags. Ancient Tibetan Geeks rock! Perhaps we should put up three flags: One for you, One for writers everywhere, and one for geeks everywhere. (That would include me, although I’m a geek in spirit only: not knowledgeable enough about anything to be a “real” geek.)

    But seriously: for your (and my) peace of mind, candles will be replaced by Something Else (flags, probably) and, more importantly: keep talking to that boss of yours!