I’m sitting at my desk eating grapes and cottage cheese,
and just feel lucky that I can. 
Lucky that I have hope to hold on to
hope that I can make things better
even if they’re challenging right now. 
Lucky that I can walk into the garage
and try to make something
that could improve my situation –
lucky that I can.
I’ve been in worse positions – 
I’ve been 19, pregnant and disowned,
I’ve been 30 and couch surfing,
and now I’m 38 and 
trying to make the mortgage with 
my art and craft and skills,
but this time
I have a decade of work and reputation behind me,
and a support network I will
probably never
feel like I can ever fully deserve,
they are so incredible. 

I’m not there yet – but I get a little closer each month. 
Maybe not much,
but a little. 
As long as I beat out the foreclosure time frames
it will be okay. 
And even if I can’t…
I am choosing to believe
that somehow
it will be okay then, too.

For now,
I just have to work
harder than everyone says I should.
I wish I could tell 
every single person
who tells me to take it easier
or rest more
or not to stress so much
that it’s not an option
in a way they’d understand,
but I haven’t been able to find the words yet.

I keep thinking
I need to work harder
before I lose the window
to make it better –
before it’s too late.
Because as much as we like to think
that won’t happen to us
to someone we know,
it can, and it does. 

And still, I feel lucky.
I have been in so much worse,
and this time,
I still have hope
that I can make it better. 
It won’t be easy,
but hope with hard work
is something worth fighting for. 

The 2021 Snowflakes are coming along.
I need to sit down for another round of Blender
to work on the earrings. 
They start in 3D digital space,
and eventually are made by hand in 
well, meat space, I guess. 
I have a slew of designs to work on after that,
and each bit of inspiration
is a little more hope
that something will stick
one more time
and I’ll keep eeking along forward.
It’s all I’m trying for, 
to make ends meet. 
Not to get rich,
just to make ends meet. 
Anyway, Snowflakes.
Almost ready to put up the pre-orders.
When those go up,
and orders come in,
I’ll order the supplies to make any I don’t already have on hand,
and get down to business.
(To defeat the huuuuns…)
Once the workflow for all Snowflake designs has been settled,
I’ll head back to the drawing board,
and Blender,
and start working on the next jewelry design. 
Rinse and repeat.

It’s roughly the same for resin and pens.
I try to cast new blanks at least every other
to every third day,
and I try to turn about 10 blanks a week.
I’ve been way behind, 
and it’s hurt me a fair bit,
but I keep reminding myself:
I had switched from my preferred Silmar 41 resin
to an Alumilite epoxy resin
oh, several months back,
and oh my holy hell
It had things going wrong with it, 
from start to polished,
every. single. blank.
I know, I know,
apparently lots of people don’t LIKE Silmar 41 –
Alumilite is the preferred –
because Silmar is brittle to turn due to how hard it is,
and so it requires a light touch,
and is finicky as a result,
but it’s worth it to me. 
I like that hardness 
and I love the casting results I get.
I was NOT thrilled with what I was getting
with the epoxy resin AT ALL. 
So last month, I switched back.
It meant I had to scrap
nearly 100 blanks,
and 10 pen kits,
because they were not worth
the time needed to make them work – 
and start recasting all over again to rebuild my blank library. 
And it meant that 
hey, uh, I won’t be releasing new pens for a while,
and that means some gnarly things for my revenue.
(And ability to pay the bills.)
Which, okay,
look, soap and paintings totally came through –
well, everything but the mortgage got paid.
Soap has been growing, to give it credit,
and I am crossing every single finger
people keep sharing and telling friends
and we keep getting new people picking up the free soap sampler on the farm website.
On the bright side,
that month of having to cast new blanks
meant that I had the window
to move all the turning stuff to this website
and it meant that 
I could really make them artistic and beautiful
and not worry if it was going to clash with the Farm branding.
(Which, okay, sounds silly, right?
Only people were having a hard time finding the soaps they wanted
and it just felt off 
and I checked with other pros
and they agreed,
so yay for it sorta working out
even if it meant that the mortgage is going to need catching up on.)
(You say Get a Job,
I say, I’m already working three,
plus six hours a day in the car.
I go round and round about this,
but what is that saying,
the Universe loves a stubborn heart?
God above, I hope so.
Please don’t let me be fucking up royally right now.
Too many people believe in me.
Don’t let me let them down.
Please let me be good enough
and hard enough working
to make this work.)

But uh… I’m a little stressed, obviously.
And there’s a lot on my mind.
And I’m all over the place. 
But I’m still going. 
And I am trying to write, 
even if it’s… meh at best.
But I am here. 
I am still here,
and I have not given up yet. 

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