Writing a quilt blog over the past three years has brought me so many non-monetary riches, including:
1. Quilty cyberfriends
2. Increased production. A lame finished quilt that I can photograph for my blog is better than a lame UFO* that I can't show anyone, crammed into my Scary Shelf.
3. Shorter prose. My first year of blog entries were long. Now they're relative semaphores. This may be due to increased practice, laziness, dementia, or all three.
While musing on #3 one day, I happened across a quotation by novelist Stephen King, whose scary books I can't read, but whose writing advice rocks:
"The road to hell," he said, "is paved with adverbs."
It struck such a chord that I decided to make it into a quilt:
So** TRUE! My spoken language is utterly full of words like utterly, completely, literally, practically, and the cliche of my adopted state, the California 'totally.' On my second and third blog edits, I've learned to slash 'em, not to mention the very's and deeply's.
In researching this quilt, I plowed through** an exhausting yet non-comprehensive list
of 3732 adverbs, and used the ones I most hate to love (and vice versa), sometimes on related fabric.
I scattered scissors, delete buttons, and backspace buttons.
The last adverb in the maze is "ultimately," on a background which appears to be burning.
There's novelty fabric galore. The "All That" faces were from a strange thrift shop shirt.
Now**, don't panic, like DH did when he saw this quilt. "What's wrong with adverbs?" he demanded
. "I use them all the time! Should I feel guilty**?"
No, honey, not
guilty, I said,
. I'm just saying that
anyone's writing will
improve if they scrutinize each word
to see whether they
need it. On a deadline, cut the adverbs first**.
As for the technicalities - the words are, of course, rubber-stamped. There were too many to embroider, or cut out and applique
. Adverbs tend to be
long - "ridiculously" has 12 letters, "understandably" has 14 and, although I love it, "unconditionally" has 15. (Update: I'm also excited to report that "unenthusiastically" has 18.) Rubber stamping brings its own drama, with a personal 25% fail rate, so I
always** prefer to**
stamp the fabric pieces before the quilt top is assembled. I used Staz-on ink for permanence.
I was torn about whether to add this little guy.
I finally put him on, on the upper right.
Let me reiterate that I don't
believe that adverbs are Satan's spawn, and I doubt Stephen King does, either. While writing this blog entry, it occurred to me that adverbs are more like dandelions. A few are fun, but a ton are a nuisance. So the last thing I added was this dandelion, to the top panel.
I attributed the quotation along the bottom - it says "Quotation by Stephen King," followed by more favorites.
Which adverbs haunt you?
**Unusual adverb. Really. Which ones did I miss?