Words words words

Day 27 of #NaNoWriMo and #AcWriMo (National Novel Writing Month and Academic Writing Month). I love data and graphs, so I’m writing my master’s thesis as a fake novel on the NaNoWriMo website so I can watch my word-counts go up and earn badges. AcWriMo isn’t nearly as well developed or fun. I’ve been 99% focused on writing this thing this month, and I’m on-track to have the first draft done in three more days. And I. Can’t. Wait.

Busy Conference Season

Well that month flew by! In October I attended no less than three conferences! The first was the annual meeting of the New York Association of European Historians held in Albany. It was great to reconnect with friends and engage in conversations about the state of the field of history in NY academia, as well as people’s interesting presentations. Bonus to that weekend was the gorgeous drive through the Adirondack Mountains while the leaves were turning color!

Then I was off to the embroidery conference at Winterthur Museum, which was amazing! More friendly people with a shared interest and a schedule packed with wonderful speakers. My days also included workshops – a tour of their rare book collection (which of course led to talking about pattern books!), a visit to the conservation lab to hear about how they assess and prepare embroidered textiles for display, and two days with Tricia of Thistle Threads getting personalized instruction on the needlelace portion of a sampler kit some of us bought. Doesn’t look like the kit is on her website, but if you aren’t familiar with the hard-to-come-by historical threads and supplies that she makes available, check it out.

Last weekend was the biennial symposium of the Textile Society of America in Savannah, Georgia. Four intense days of talks, gallery tours, walks about town, and a market dedicated to textile arts and education. Amongst the almost 400 attendees from around the world, there were curators from major museums, professors, artists, students, authors, activists… such a knowledgable, talented, giving, and diverse group. I made new friends! My panel was Saturday morning at the super early hour of 8am. Even so, it was well attended (there was a five-track schedule), people were generous with their feedback, and I feel good about it!

The other thing that made October so busy was writing fellowship applications and a research proposal for an early application to a PhD program that I am super hopeful about. I’m catching my breath for a few days and then NaNoWriMo will be starting! A group of us are committing to writing our theses for the event. Yikes! Lots of writing ahead! Clear the decks! 😀

 

Fast into Fall

I don’t have formal classes for my master’s program this session, because I am starting to work full-time on my thesis. I also have one more talk to prep for the Textile Society of America’s conference. Life is feeling hectic and harried. Time to simplify and down-shift. My return to academia has taken on a life of its own, and if I want to continue to grow the momentum while living a life that feels spacious and abundant, something’s gotta give. I’m downsizing my stash of sewing supplies, my library of books, my costume wardrobe, and my bric-a-brac. My Etsy shop was started when I was living in France and frequenting the flea markets, and I don’t have the time I used to for product development, photography, and marketing. Knowing I should be doing those things is becoming a bummer. So I’m also thinking about having a sale and clearing out as much inventory as possible before putting it on hiatus. Like the autumn leaves that will soon fall from the trees, my life is starting to pare down to essentials to conserve energy for the winter and the mental challenges ahead.

 

Challenge Accepted

I have accepted the offer from Montreal’s Concordia University to enroll in their Master of Arts program in History! I’ll be back in a classroom starting in September, getting serious again about my research, and maybe even doing some work as a teaching assistant. Exciting! In the meantime, I’m reading a book on Old English grammar, plying my needle, and working to improve my French. Always learning something new, and I do love a good challenge! About Concordia