Looms, Weaving, the Fates and Story

My mother is the quintessential picture of the renaissance woman. She’s never been fond of institutional education, having walked out of college on the first day of school, never to return. Yet, she is the consummate artisan in many disciplines: stained-glass, painting, weaving, tailoring, and other pursuits. A rather large loom sits in her studio. Occasionally, these days, she will set up a weaving, which involves a great deal of planning and the mysterious work of threading yarn through different eyelets on the loom, all in preparation to the actual weaving itself (the shuttle, pedals, etc).

While I’ve dabbled in painting over the years, as well as a few stained glass pieces, I’ve never tried weaving, as it looks too complicated for my patience level. However, the work of shuttling the yarn back and forth, twining the different colors with each other and then tightening and adjusting and tweaking…it all reminds me of writing stories. I imagine the Greeks were onto something when they pictured the Fates as weaving the stories of our lives together in their cave.

I’m currently neck-deep in another Tormay story called The Seal Whistle. It’s turning out a rather beautiful shamble of a tale, full of the sea and the north and lostness and the dark. I think about 2/3 of the way through the first draft, but what I’m looking forward too is tightening the threads. Like a weaver, I suppose, adjusting and tweaking and snipping here and there until the blanket comes out warm, practical and, hopefully, somewhat beautiful.

I can’t weave, but I can write stories. I’m glad to be back in Tormay, and I’m already teeing up the next Tormay story in my mind, as soon as I’m done with this one. The current one takes place about ten years after the end of the Tormay Trilogy, borrowing a few characters here and there from that story. The next tale, however, will jump off directly from an incident that happened in the second book of the trilogy, and incident involving an ogre. I’m looking forward to it, because I’ve often wondered what happened…

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