PLY magazine has arrived!

posted in: Creativity, Publishing, Sheep, Spinning | 4

There's way too much going on around here, and I have posts-in-mind about Kentucky, and Estes Park, and some of my research into Shetland sheep, but meanwhile I've been, instead, writing things like my mother's obituary. As much as I love the other parts of my life, family comes first. (What's bigger than "love"? I don't know. But that's what goes in the second half of that sentence.)

Last night, I arrived home from the Estes Park Wool Market and the North American Shetland Sheepbreeders' Association's annual meeting in time to attend a local theater group's performance of David Mamet's Oleanna as a staged reading. Because I have season tickets and didn't have time to check the particulars of the evening's schedule, I didn't realize until I got there that it would be a Mamet play, which, to me, means (1) emotionally fraught and (2) things will not end well. Not exactly what I need right now. However, I made it through the event, which was acted and directed in interesting ways.

Then today's mail brought something much more cheerful and encouraging: the first issue of PLY magazine!

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The topic of this first issue is "firsts," and it includes an article editor/publisher Jacey Boggs asked me to write on "first sheep." There are a lot of other firsts, including how to buy a first fleece, who might have been the first spinners, what was the first spinning wheel, starting a fiber guild. . . . It goes on. I'd list the contributors, but really, you just need to get the magazine.

Here's the introduction to my article (and there are great sheep photos later on, including the wild sheep species that either definitely or probably did, and most of those that did not, contribute to our domesticated varieties):

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Back cover, irresistible:

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Intended for the very curious spinner with a bit of experience—enough to enjoy the types of questions asked, and the variety of personal answers offered.

It's a gutsy thing putting out a magazine, even an established one. It's beyond comprehension to start a new print magazine at this point in history. As Jillian Moreno, now on the editorial advisory board, said to then-prospective editor Jacey, "You are nuts—it will break your heart. Let's do it." Part of what I love about the fiber community is the number of people within it who go ahead and do things that require intelligence, risk, compassion, and nerve: where the fully realized heart requires jumping off the cliff.

I look forward to reading PLY #1 cover to cover.

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4 Responses

  1. I hope that Estes Park was healing or at least restorative, and I’m so glad for the timing of the first issue of PLY with your “First Sheep” article. That’s surely cheering and also validating. You’re doing what you need to do, whether in the love of your family, or your love of sheep and fiber. Take comfort in that and in the supportive community you’ve woven over the years. xo from me!

  2. Dear Deb,
    Your obituary for your mom is so very loving and moving. I am very sorry for your loss. All I can suggest is to be kind to yourself in the upcoming months. And to trust that time will heal your heart.
    Wishing you well,
    Dina

  3. Susan, being at Estes Park was perfect for this transitional time. I had lots of interesting things to do and no direct responsibilities. Being in the company of a lot of good people and animals is, definitely, healing for me.

    Dina, I’m working on taking it a bit easy. Mom was one of those people whose interest and engagement in life, and integrity, were constant. Life wasn’t easy for her, but she met every challenge with creativity and a brave, open heart. I just try to do the same–!

    Thanks so much for your support.

  4. Love the description of your mother’s “brave, open heart”. What a delightful thing to be able to write about one’s mother.

    Just finished reading Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior and was amused Carol Ekarius “Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep” credited. Always a connection somewhere, huh?

    Looking forward to your post on the EPWM. You sat behind us Sunday. Weren’t the lambs and kids fun?

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