Friday, August 27, 2010

Vicarious Competence, or Things I Can't Do

posted by Nancy
Today Barbara Monajem joins us to celebrate the release of her second book, Tastes of Love and Evil.

One of the cool things about writing books is making your characters do things you can’t. In my first paranormal romance, Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, the heroine is a landscaper. The only things I can grow successfully are grass (by not mowing it) and wisteria (which is actually a demon in disguise and needs no help at all). It was fun writing about someone who could not only garden, but conquer. :)

For my new release, Tastes of Love & Evil, I chose another skill I don’t have: costume and fabric design and construction. Oh, I can sew reasonably well – I made clothing for my daughters when they were young, and some of the dresses were pretty cute – but as for coming out with anything elaborate or original… in my dreams. Or stories! Rose Fairburn, the vampire heroine, designs and constructs all kinds of cool costumes, and in Tastes, she’s in the process of finishing and delivering an Elizabethan gown to her customer. The costume is based on the one Elizabeth I wears in this picture.

Isn’t it scrumptious? I can’t imagine even beginning to construct something like this! Fortunately, Rose can, and does. She also designs and makes her own gorgeous, artsy fabric. My inspiration for Rose’s fabric was the work of Australian artist Dale Rollerson. I first saw Ms. Rollerson’s work in an issue of Quilting Arts magazine. These photos show the fabric I found so inspiring. You can see more examples of her fabulous artwork in her gallery at The Thread Studio.

I couldn’t resist trying something of the sort myself. (One would think, by now, that I would know better, but… sigh.) Just so you know how far I got with trying to make fabric myself (you can start laughing now), the article in Quilting Arts mentions using water-soluble stabilizer while constructing your fabric. Afterward, it washes right out.


I went to a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store and bought myself a yard of it. I couldn’t find the stiff kind Ms. Rollerson recommended, so I got whatever they had, which had a consistency somewhat like interfacing and would (I guess) need a hoop. (I have hoops from back in the days when I did a lot of cross-stitch.)

Anyway, I held it in my hot little hands while looking at yarn. By the time I got to the register, the part touching my hand already had a hole in it. I now had proof positive of how well this stuff disintegrates. I brought it home and put it away someplace. I have a feeling if I look for it now, I won’t find it. My house is so humid it has probably evaporated long since. Rose, of course, knows how to buy, hold, store, and use it perfectly.

Here’s an excerpt from Tastes of Love and Evil. Jack, the hero (a sort of human chameleon, by the way – no, he doesn’t look like a lizard; actually, he’s cute in an unobtrusive sort of way, and he can literally fade into the background), has just been shot by some bad guys, and although Rose doesn’t know him (she thinks of him as some random man), she’s given him her hotel room key so he can take refuge. But the bad guys are posing as feds, and they’re searching the hotel.

The room was empty.

No, it just appeared to be. “I told you there was no one here.” Her nostrils quivering, every sense alert, Rose scanned the bed, the curtains, the embroidered mantle draped on a chair, the Elizabethan gown on the luggage cart. “Now get out of my room!”

The gunman ignored her, ducking in and out of the bathroom, glancing into the closet, going efficiently through every hiding place. Warmer, cried Rose’s senses, warmer, warmer, damn, oh God please no, as he shoved past the luggage cart to the window, and then as he returned, colder, warmer, colder, where the hell is the man? One-handed, the fake fed lifted the mattress and box spring, but no one was concealed underneath.

Sirens cried in the distance, and a second later the gunman’s phone squawked a warning. He left without looking back.

Rose retrieved her breakfast, double-locked the door, and scanned the room. Aha. She’d seen this phenomenon once before. She knew Random Man was in the room, somewhere near the window. “They’ve gone,” she said softly. “You can come out now. You need to have that wound tended.”

Nothing. Where was he?

“I brought coffee and doughnuts.” She put the food on the table. “I’d be happy to share, once we’ve patched you up.” Pause. “I know you’re here. I can hear you breathing.”

Nothing.

“I can smell you,” Rose said, her voice rising, tendrils of allure escaping. You and your blood. “I’m here to help, you fool!”

Still nothing. Or maybe…a faint shimmer, like heat rising in summer air, over on the luggage cart, right by the Elizabethan gown. Damn it, thought Rose. If he stains that costume… Anger coupled with the aroma of blood overwhelmed her senses, and her fangs slotted down. Purposely this time, she directed her allure toward the luggage cart. Another shimmer, instantly controlled, and then absolute stillness.

No more pussyfooting around. She smiled and sent a wave of allure crashing across the room. Random Man resolved into view, gold and tan and brown blending with the dress, then gradually reacquiring his own muted shape and colors, blue denims and Saints jacket, nondescript but definitely all there.

“God help me,” Random Man said. “Not another vamp.”

For more about Barbara and her books, check out her website.

Which skill or talent do you wish you had? What have you tried and failed at? (Or succeeded at, of course.:))

One lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil.

86 comments:

Daz said...

Today we are going to par-tay!!!

Daz said...

Thank you for the excerpt. I love reading excerpts. I always find them such tantalising, teasing things. :-) As to the sewing, well I can barely sew a button. In fact, after seeing me attempt to sew a button once, my husband decided to learn how to sew his own buttons - That's how "good" I am. My mother, on the other hand, sewed her own wedding gown, and the gown she wore to my wedding, and the gown she wore to my sister's wedding and the gown ... need I say more?

Nancy said...

Hi, Daz--congrats on the rooster!

I always love excerpts, too. I've done some sewing, but I would never try anything like a wedding gown. Your mother must be fabulous!

flchen1 said...

I'd love to be more athletic! And be able to garden (or at least not kill all greenery I come into contact with ;)) I'm OK at some crafty things, but am not a very good seamstress. And I could do with a good dose of organizational skills!

Enjoy the GR, Daz!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Daz, congrats!

Barb, still locked in the deadline cave, but the cabana boys are looking the other way, so I thought I'd pop by and congratulate you on the release of your second book. Don't you just love those Elizabethan gowns? The amount of detail on them is just so sumptuous and wonderful!

Linda Henderson said...

I wish I could sew better, I'm not that good at it. I even bought a sewing machine thinking I could figure out how to make things, it hasn't worked out so well yet. I'll still keep trying though. I enjoyed the excerpt and the information on your books. I don't think I've ever read a book with a landscaper as a heroine, sounds great though.

Barbara Monajem said...

Daz - Congrats on getting the GR. I think! I've only had him once, and I'm still recovering. ;)

My husband sews his own buttons, too, but I have to find him the needle and thread.

Barbara Monajem said...

Nancy - Thanks for having me here today. :)

I sewed one wedding gown years ago when I still had patience, but it was a very simple one. I mean very, VERY simple. The fabric did all the talking, so I didn't have to do much but sew the seams.

Barbara Monajem said...

fichen1 - Oh, would I ever love to be organized! But just THINKING about sorting things out and getting my ducks in line makes me all tuckered out.

Barbara Monajem said...

Anna - Thanks for risking the wrath of the cabana boys and saying hi. What will they do if they catch you? ;)

Dang, yes, those gowns are amazing, and all sewn by HAND.

Barbara Monajem said...

Linda H - Writing a landscaper was fun, because I got to learn a lot about different kinds of plants. I don't think I could actually do the work, though, especially in south Louisiana, where the Bayou Gavotte books take place. It's just too hot, even if you're up and out before dawn to take advantage of the coolest time of day. And then there are the mosquitoes to contend with...

Anita Clenney said...

One of my heroines is an historian. Now I enjoy history, but I can never remember what I read, so this would be far outside my scope. Another is an antiques dealer. Again, I know NOTHING about antiques. Thank google for research. I would love to be either of these. I've always envied the historians who contribute to those shows on the History Channel. All that knowledge, and they retain it.

Helen said...

Well done Daz have fun with him

Barbara the book sounds excellent whoo hoo. One thing I would love to be good at is crafty things and I really just don't have the knack of creativity to do those sorts of things I learn't to knit when I was really young and I always enjoyed that but I haven't even done that for a long time I really love to read and this past time as well as working and spending time with the grandkids takes up most of my time these days LOL

Congrats on the new release
Have Fun
Helen

Barbara Monajem said...

Anita - I love history, too, but I don't have the patience to learn all the detail. When I'm writing historical romance, I skim the surface until something really matters, and then dig deep specifically for that. It's amazing what cool stuff comes to the surface, though.

I love listening to the people on Antiques Roadshow talk so knowledgeably about all the stuff people bring in.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Barbara,

Welcome back to the lair. Love the excerpt!

I would love to have a little more musical talent. I took piano lessons for years but honestly I'm just a hack. My husband plays drums, guitar and bass and I don't even play piano any more.

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Helen. I learned to knit when I was young, too. I got pretty good at knitting scarves, LOL. Now I always have one project on hand for when I go places where I'll fall asleep if I don't keep myself busy. I've been making the same periwinkle shawl for about three years now!

Barbara Monajem said...

Christie - LOL. Our piano is right behind me, but there are a bunch of boxes in front of it so I can't even reach the keys to play it, which shows how much use it gets. :( I sometimes play Christmas carols when no one's around. I'm so fumble-fingered that no one could possibly sing along. Mostly, I get my musical satisfaction from singing along to the radio while driving the car.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Barbara! Congrats on the second book in your series! That is some gorgeous fabric--no wonder you were inspired.

I totally agree--I love to live vicariously through my characters, exploring different interests and vocations. My faves have included my Regency interior designer heroine, an antiquities hunting Earl and a caricaturist hero!

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Deb! I remember your interior designer heroine. One of my languishing-under-the-bed historicals is about an earl whose hobby is marquetry. He and your interior designer would have plenty to talk about. Who knows, maybe they'll meet someday. :)

Bart said...

Love it, Barbara. I sometimes get carried away with the research and start chasing rabbits. But sometimes those rabbits are the tastiest bits and trigger whole new story lines. I thought I knew something about riding horses, even though I've never been on one in my life. After all I've seen TV and movie cowboys do it for decades. Turns out, of course, I didn't know anything about riding horses, but now my heroine has a whole new skill, and I've got a whole new subplot!

Pamela Vee said...

Barbara, I would have loved to have seen your version of the dress. Like you, I made clothes for my daughter when she was younger, now I don't think I can sew a straight line.

A few years ago I read a story about a woman who was a ballroom dancer. I'd love to try that, but I don't think I'd look as nice in a skimpy dress and seven inch heels. And I'm definitely not as limber.

Your excerpt is tantalizing. A human chameleon. How fascinating! I was so intrigued I was almost sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen next. Can't wait to read your story.

Nancy said...

Fedora, I kill plants, too! If the dh has a green thumb, I have a totally brown one. The only reason I had plants in dorm rooms was that my roommates took over their care.

My grandmother had African violets on her window sill, and I aspired to duplicate that. Except I just have dead violets when I try. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Linda, the landscaper heroine in Sunrise in a Garden of Good and Evil is a terrific character. So is the cop hero.

I used to sew in high school, but I never made anything really complicated. Setting a zipper so it was smooth was an accomplishment.

Nancy said...

Anita, I love history. I always think I'll track down books by people on the History Channel, but somehow that never happens.

Nancy said...

Hi, Helen--I was one a "grade mom," a parent who came in to help the teachers out from time to time, and the other woman who was doing that for the boy's class was so good at crafts. She owned a glue gun and used it to good effect, came up with all these clever little projects for the kids.

I'm thinking I'd do better with a nail gun.

Nancy said...

Christie, I didn't know your husband was so musical! I also took piano lessons, but they didn't really stick. Possibly because I didn't practice much. We have the piano. The dh plays by ear, but I need sheet music, and then I'm limited to fairly simple compositions.

Nancy said...

Bart, I love research, too. Sometimes I have to pull back and remind myself that this is not the point of the story, but sometimes, as you say, it can lead in interesting directions.

Nancy said...

Hi, Pamela--I always envy dancers. Not only am I not limber, but my feet can't seem to stay out of each other's way.

Nancy said...

Deb, I loved your antiquities hunting earl!

Barbara Monajem said...

Bart - So true. Those rabbits are often the most fun of all. That was how I ended up learning about marquetry. Recently I started reading a book about ciphers because I was going to have a secret code in a story I was working on. I chucked the code idea, but I'm still reading about ciphers because they're so fascinatingly complex.

Barbara Monajem said...

Pam - Thanks! Glad you were tantalized by the excerpt. I'm a terrible dancer and a danger to all around me on the dance floor.

barb said...

Hi Daz have a good time with GR

Hi Barbara.... congratulations on your second book.....I think I know what you should have bought to make the fabric as I have something like that for making lace on my embroidery machine.... you sew on that and when you finish you wash it out..... I also dye my own fabric for projects and sometimes that could go wrong and not turn out as I thought but I was once told they aren't mistakes they are design elements LOL

Barbara Monajem said...

Nancy - Zippers are still a challenge to me, but the worse was always set-in sleeves. I could never get the seams totally smooth, no matter how much tugging and shifting I tried.

I killed some African Violets, too. Sigh.

Nancy said...

Barb, I never had the nerve to try dying anything. Gave passing thoughts to tie-dye and batik, but I never took the plunge.

Nancy said...

Barbara, when I was sewing, sleeves were slightly puffy, which made life much easier. I agree, set-in sleeves are hard.

I made a lot of jumpers. :-)

(for our friends who speak British or Australian, a jumper is a sleeveless, dress-type garment worn over a blouse and no longer fashionable)

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome back, Barbara. Congrats on the release of your second book! We're so glad we could celebrate it with you in the Lair.

*sigh* I would love to be good at anything craft-y. I know what looks good and I'm told I have a good eye. I can even have creative ideas. But, when it comes to executing the crafts ... pffft. Unlike my mother and sister, who are both marvellous at anything like that.

My husband's younger daughter is wonderfully talented and very artistic - we've often said we should form a partnership - I come up with the ideas and she makes them!

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--Like you, I have lots and lots of ideas. Walking through Michaels (or Home Depot) always intrigues me because these places seem so full of potential. It's just that my experience in attempting to fulfill same has not been happy. *sigh*

Pamela Varnado said...

Hey Barb and Nancy, I'm a pretty good dancer, even won a contest years ago. Ballroom dancing has always fascinated me. Unfortunately, it does nothing for my husband. He says he'll try anything with me except strutting around like a peacock.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to save that dream for another lifetime.

Judy said...

Such fun with characters! I can't sew anything but curtains or something in straight lines! LOL You're excerpt is delicious...Good luck with everything, Barbara!!

Judy said...

Oops! meant to say your

Barbara Monajem said...

Barb - Design elements! Of course! Why didn't I think of that? LOL.

Barbara Monajem said...

Nancy - Your explanation of 'jumper' reminds me of a riddle. What do you get when you cross a sheep and a kangaroo?

Answer: A woolly jumper.

Of course, this only gets a giggle in the countries where a jumper is a pullover sweater. Hmm... Does a jumper have to be knitted? Can it be crocheted? Or sewn?

Barbara Monajem said...

Anna - Amen, sister. I see such stunningly beautiful projects in my mind's eye, but as for bringing them from imagination into reality... Sigh.

Barbara Monajem said...

Judy - Even sewing straight lines is a challenge for me unless I can use something on the fabric or my sewing machine as a guide. Back in the day, I made machine-sewn quilts for my kids. I'm still amazed at how good they looked, but I probably shouldn't be. They were squares. All straight lines with more straight lines to guide me.

Nancy said...

Pamela, congratulations on your dancing skills. I envy that. My dh likes to dance and is way more comfortable at it than I am.

However, he's hopeless at bridge, which I used to enjoy. He's good at math but cannot seem to count cards.

Nancy said...

Judy, these really are terrific characters. And aren't those dresses gorgeous?

Barbara Monajem said...

Nancy - I can't count cards either. I tried playing bridge once, but gave up in tears because I thought we were just having fun, while who had played what cards mattered so much to everyone else. I'm just not cut out to be a serious card player. However, one of my cousins teaches bridge!

I did some research on piquet once for a historical romance I was thinking about writing. Apparently you can buy software to learn to play it on line. I'd probably do better with that. :)

Nancy said...

Barbara, the people I know who play bridge care who wins (the dh really doesn't; he's not nearly as competitive as I am about such things), which is why they track cards. But I don't think any of us would be so cutthroat about it as to make anyone cry. I would hope not.

I've never looked into piquet. I think whist is like bridge, but I'm not sure why I think so.

Barbara Monajem said...

Nancy, they didn't meant to make me cry. I was immature and very prone to tears at the time. I may be more mature now, but not so mature that I'll ever try playing bridge again, LOL.

I believe you're right - whist is something like bridge. Piquet seems to be more complicated than either bridge or whist. I must be nuts to want to learn it. I should stick to Quiddler or Scrabble.

Terry Odell said...

I wish I could sing. Just carry a tune, nothing spectacular. I've dabbled in tons of projects, from knitting to needlepoint to photography, with some sewing thrown in when my kids were little (anyone else remember the original Stretch & Sew?)

Actually, writing is a relatively new endeavor, and I like to think I have a modicum of talent in that one.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Barbara Monajem said...

Terry -- You definitely have the writing talent. I will testify to that. :)

AliceAnderson said...

I was just telling my DH the other day that what I love about writing is getting to be anyone. Sort of like being an actor. We research jobs, time periods, outfits. For a moment, we become our characters. We do things we normally wouldn't or couldn't. I think that's one of my favorite parts of reading as well. Reading about life in someone else's shoes.

Mona Risk said...

What a fun post, Barbara. When reading your book I will be able to imagine your heroine's outfit. I can't grow anything but weeds and mint, because it spread as fast as weeds. I learned to sew but I was never really good at it and needed my mother to adjust collars and sleeves so that I could wear my handmade outfit. Over the years, I learned to do needlepoint, knitting, crochet... and abandoned all of it for writing.

Patrice said...

Barbara,
I can't imagine writing about the art of making costumes, nor can I imagine doing such a thing. I'm all thumbs, even though I can play a mean game of tennis, and I'm athletic. What would I like to do? Besides get published by a New York publisher? Uh - that's a tough one. Win Wimbledon in my next life? Sure. Why not?

Mary Marvella said...

Hey, Barbara and Nancy and folks handing around.

I sewed once upon a time, but I don't sew for myself and my daughter prefers ready made clothes. Go figure.

I'd love to be able to create images as an artist. I prefer paintings and drawings that look like their models.

Good thought provoking blog.

Barbara Monajem said...

Alice - Yeah, it's fun being someone else for a while... donning a different personality. It's fun being in the hero's point of view, too. :)

Barbara Monajem said...

Mona - Actually, I'd forgotten mint. I can grow mint, too, usually, but this year it was so dry that even my poor mint plants suffered. :( It finally started raining, and now I have mushrooms on my lawn.

Barbara Monajem said...

Patrice - I consulted a few people who know about making costumes, so hopefully I didn't make too many mistakes in the book. Fortunately, Rose spends a lot of time doing other stuff, such as saving people and defeating the bad guys. Not that I know how to do that, either, but it was fun writing it. :)

Barbara Monajem said...

Mary M - I like realistic paintings too, which is why I've never tried to paint portraits, LOL.

Nancy said...

Terry, I also would love to be able to sing. I'm cursed with a good er and an inability to stay in key.

Nancy said...

Alice, I also like that aspect of writing, the getting to be someone I'd never be otherwise. I describe one of my heroines in particular as me on steroids. She's the way I would've liked at that stage in my lie.

Nancy said...

Mona wrote: I can't grow anything but weeds and mint

LOL! I can grow weeds. Never tried mint, but the dh frequently had to battle it back to its own corner of the garden one summer.

Nancy said...

Patrice, tennis is the only pro sport I actually follow. I took it as a gym class (along with archery, which I truly loved and actually was pretty decent at), but I have no foot speed, which becomes an issue before long.

My ambition re: Wimbledon is to have tickets at Centre Court for the fortnight--maybe when you win!

Nancy said...

Mary M., I like realistic art, too. I can sketch and occasionally produce something decent, but I never got the hang of paints.

See you at DragonCon?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Barbara!

It's always a treat to "see" you hear, on either side of the blog. ;-) Your new book sounds WONDERFUL, can't wait to get my hands on it!

WOW on your heroine's sewing talents. Back in the day, I actually worked in a fabric store and made clothes for my son and my two oldest nieces. Now, I don't even know where I've stored my sewing machine. :-P

As for something I WISH I could do... Last night some friends and I went to the theater and saw a live production of 42nd Street. It was sooo fun and energetic, made me wish I could tap dance! Alas, not in this lifetime and not with THIS body...

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Daz, meant to say CONGRATS on getting the chook. Hope you have plans to keep him BUSY! ;-)

AC

Nancy said...

AC, I like musical theater, too. Thanks to Anna S., I'm enjoying my CD of Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman as Curly!

I can't dance, either. I wish I could. Basically, anything involving graceful movement of the feet challenges me hugely. I did okay with tae kwon do; maybe the absence of music helps.

Pat Cochran said...

Skills? I sewed my wedding dress
and bridesmaids' dresses for my
two sisters. I sewed "Mom & me"
outfits for DD1 & I. The key word in these designs was simple. They
were not elaborate. I chair the
publicity committee for our annual
festival, using my fairly good
organizational skills. What I wish
I could do is paint, not walls but
on canvas. I've dabbled over the
years, saying I'll take lessons,
yet I never have!

Nancy said...

Pat, that's fabulous sewing. Simple or not, a wedding dress is still a wedding dress.

I'd like to take painting, too. The boy is taking lessons from a friend of ours. When he goes off to school, maybe I'll step into his time slot.

My current hero paints. I'm picking this friend's brain about it.

Minna said...

I knit and I crochet, but I wish I could some really fancy stuff, because I can only do really basic stuff. And I have a hard time understanding the directions in the knitting books and magazines, because they have obviously been written for people who really know what they are doing, and not for those of us who just sort of know.

Nancy said...

Minna, my mom knitted beautiful sweaters, caps and scarves, and I never could learn. I think a lot of the instructions craft magazines presume a level of knowledge not everyone has. There was a yarn shop in my hometown, and Mom went there when she needed help with anything.

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Aunty Cindy! Good to be back. You won't catch me dreaming about tap dancing. Now, belly dancing does appeal to me. I took a course for a week or two when I was young. I was REALLY bad at it, but fortunately I found out I was pregnant, and morning sickness (only in my case it was more like evening sickness) made it possible for me to withdraw gracefully, LOL.

Barbara Monajem said...

Pat - Wow, I'm impressed. Really impressed. Not only by the sewing, but by the organizing. A festival - wow!

Barbara Monajem said...

Minna - I know what you mean about figuring patterns out! I tried making socks a few years ago, and I got completely stumped when it came to the heel. I downloaded instructions from the Internet, but I still couldn't figure it out. So I unraveled what I'd done, and my daughter made me fingerless gloves with the yarn instead.

Donna MacMeans said...

Barbara - Love the concept of the random man. How cool to be able to blend into the background and be invisible - oh the things you could do!

I can fill volumes with the things I can't do. One of my more messy attempts was to try marbelizing paper. This is where you float paint on a tray of water, swirl it in a design, then lay your paper, box, material - whatever on top. In theory, when you lift the paper, box, material - the paint will adhere. I did manage to make it work on the boxes - but only with paint everywhere, clothes, floor, table. It's too messy for me to attempt again, but the effect was cool.

catslady said...

Great excerpt and I love the title. I definitely wish I wasn't afraid of driving and had a sense of direction. I can drive but only where I know where I'm going and not busy highways and turnpikes. It really has kept me from doing so many things.

Barbara Monajem said...

Donna - I remember doing marbleizing in school. It was probably messy, but I don't suppose I noticed. I was just a kid, and the teachers had to clean up. :)

Barbara Monajem said...

Catslady - Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. I don't know whether I have a sense of direction. I used to think so, but changed my mind after I moved to Atlanta, where the roads twist and turn so much that it's impossible (for me, anyway) to know which direction I'm going. I've had to learn the roads by heart.

Nancy said...

Donna, the marbleizing effect does sound way cool, but the process seems very complicated. Another one of those crafty things probably not meant, alas, for me.

cories said...

Great excerpt! Congrats on your release!

I gave up on drawing when I was about 6 years old and realized my artwork wasn't coming out as I liked, but I still dabbled. I'm great at dabbling in things: sewing (made an aloha shirt), needlework, fencing (with foils only), woodworking, horseback riding, jewelry making, breeding tropical fish, violin playing, growing various types of plants in containers and in my backyard (and in the fishtank, of course), ballroom dancing, archery, etc.. At one point I realized that I dabbled enough that I could be a character in a historical romance - as the man (I'm okay, but not great, with firearms as well).

One of these days I will finish all the half-finished projects in my storage space (including my locksmithing course if I can find it).

I also sing to my nieces and nephews; being young, they're not particular about how I sound.

Yep, I'm not particularly good at anything but I sure have fun finding that out! :)

cories119[at]yahoo.com

Nancy said...

Cories, you "dabbled" at fencing? That sounds like pretty involved dabbling to me.

Locksmithing sounds fascinating. You've done some way cool things.

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Cories. You've chosen such a great variety of things to dabble in! I'm with Nancy re the fencing -- that's quite some dabbling. Archery, too -- wow.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Barbara,
I went on a bender and took a socks class at the local knitting store, thinking I could knit some socks with that new yard that does the striping, for my granddaughter. The teacher was very frustrated with me and I worried she'd have a heart attack. The sock is too big for even my foot. Hmmm. to I follow the pattern again and make another one, or just use it at Christmas?
I love gardening and have done so for many years. Love your landscaper heroine. Not that you need to, but you could market those books in nurseries...

Barbara Monajem said...

Sharon - I had a similar experience when trying to make a mitten a few years ago. It was shaping up to be big enough for a Sasquatch. I don't know any Sasquatches, so I gave up.

My first book came out two months too late to promo at the local garden show last year. Ah, well.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Book sounds wonderful! All the best for the release!

Sigh...I can't sew. I tried, I can't even sew on a button, poor hubby has to use his scout skills and sew his own buttons. I see others have the same malady!

Barbara Monajem said...

Thank you, Karyn. Who knew being a Boy Scout would prove to be so useful later on for so many husbands?