Unfinished Projects

During the past half-century (has it really been that long?) I have enjoyed creating so many kinds of craft projects: sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, candle-making, macramé, creating and selling children’s Quiet Time Books to teach fine motor skills such as buttoning, zippering, connecting Velcro, and more. Today, knitting and quilting are the two I still give much time to and, as with most crafters, you may not be surprised to hear that I have a few uncompleted projects tucked away. Last September I wrote about one of those projects in my Rising from Dark Places post.

Toward the end of last year, I knew I would not put up my artificial Christmas tree, so I pulled out a Christmas tree wall hanging I’d started more than five years ago. I’d found the pattern in a 1995 book by Debbie Munn: Quick Country Christmas Quilts. The tree was simple and, aside from the quilted hanging, it gave instructions for several small ornaments to hang on the buttons of the branches. Their creation was, for me, nothing short of a child’s delight in play.

Now, several days into this new year, the tree still hangs on the wall, swelling my heart with much pleasure whenever I look at it. Perhaps that’s, in part, because I’ve always loved the simplistic pattern. More, it’s also that I finally completed it. It’s so true, is it not? Good things often take more time than we might think.

That thought led me to ponder my memoir, a project I’ve worked at off and on for more than a decade. I completed the full draft and some revisions mid-last year, then sent it to an editor who gave me wonderful feedback (she liked it!) and revision suggestions. Just as I was digging in to revise, life intervened and I shelved the story again. For three months the large apricot colored binder with its thick manuscript quietly rested on my desk. It often reminded me of the bread dough that regularly and silently rises on my kitchen counter. After the right amount of time, the dough transforms beneath the towel that covers it and is ready to transform into its final product.

Within me, a similar process has been going on these recent months, as well. The story is nearly always present in my heart. During the months I have rested from it, the wonderful internal process of writing has brought an abundance of new ideas for content and structure, and I’ve jotted each down. I’m ready now to start what will be my final revision before I seek a publisher (or decide to self publish.) Today I will open the manuscript again to weave the new ideas into the present fabric of words.

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Good things can often take more time than we might think. And sometimes that’s perfectly okay.


About Mary Jo Doig

Mary Jo Doig was the first in her family to attend college and graduated from the State University at Oneonta in New York’s Catskill Mountains with a degree in Secondary English Education/Educational Psychology. There she fell in love with rural life, remained, and eventually transitioned from city girl to country woman when she married a dairy farmer and raised their three children on their small family farm. A life-long lover of reading and writing, Mary Jo has for nearly twenty years been a member of the Story Circle Network. There she has been an editor, a women’s writing circle facilitator, a book reviewer, and life-writing enthusiast, working extensively with women writing their life-stories while writing her own memoir. Presently, she is a three-time Program Chair for SCNs national Stories from the Heart conference and a board member. She also facilitates Older Women’s Legacy workshops and a women’s life-writing circle in her area communities. Her stories have appeared in Kitchen Table Stories anthology, Story Circle Annual Anthologies, and most recently her story “I Can’t Breathe” was published in the Anthology, Inside and Out: Women’s Truths, Women’s Stories. Her work also appears in varied blogs and periodicals, on her blog Musings from a Patchwork Quilt Life (https://maryjod.wordpress.com), Facebook, and Twitter. Her son and two daughters grown, Mary Jo presently treasures her country life in Virginia’s Central Shenandoah Valley. She loves cooking (and eating!) healthy food, reading, writing, quilting, hiking, and spending quality time with her rescue cats, Button and Xena, and beagle, Addie, who each dream of being only children. Her first book, Patchwork: A Memoir of Love and Loss, will be published in October, 2018 by She Writes Press.
This entry was posted in Change, Family, Gratitude, Quilts, The Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink.

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