Progress Report #1

The other day I posted “Projects in Need of Progress,” a chronicle of several projects that weren’t getting done because I kept putting them off. The mere act of going public helped break up the sludge in my motivator, and since breaking big projects — especially big, scary projects — down into small, less scary steps works pretty well, I’m going to issue periodic reports on how things are going.

Here’s the first one.

The MV Dems minutes are done. You can hold the applause because (a) that was probably the easiest item on the to-do list, and (b) I manage to get them done every month.

For “Turn Mud of the Place into an Ebook,” I revisited the websites of several ebook publishers — Draft2Digital, BookBaby, Smashwords, and Lulu. Three years ago, I had some email correspondence with Draft2Digital, so I sent them a follow-up query to see if their requirements had changed (they’ve added various features since then) and if I understood them correctly. Haven’t heard back yet, but already the project is feeling more possible than it has for years.

For “Start T-Shirt Blog” — well, step 1 currently occupies most of the surface of my bed (see photo below). I hauled both boxes of T-shirts out of my closet, sorted them into piles by theme or subject, and counted them. The grand total, including the four in the laundry hamper and the one I’m wearing, is 168, which suggests that either I’ve been overestimating or a couple dozen have gone missing. I’m guessing the former in part because I don’t have to feel guilty about acquiring more shirts, right? Anything under 200 is OK, right?

Oops, just remembered: 168 doesn’t include my sleeveless “muscle Ts,” which are still in my winter storage boxes. I have about 10 of them. Virtually all are from the first half of the 1980s, my women’s community days. Muscle Ts were long ago largely replaced by tank tops, no idea why, because if you really need to wear a bra (that would be me), muscle Ts cover the straps. These days, bras tend to have more colorful straps, and at least on Martha’s Vineyard no one seems to care if they’re showing or not.

As expected, many shirts would be at home in more than one pile. The tallest stack, for Vineyard Ts, includes the arts, bookstores, other local businesses, gay/lesbian, and special events, all of which have piles of their own. Bookstores overlaps with writing-related overlaps with theater overlaps with fantasy/science fiction overlaps with feminism, and so on. I made a separate pile for the oldest shirts, the ones from the 1970s, because that’s where I’m planning to start.

Once again, taking the first step makes the project seem possible, even plausible, maybe even inevitable? Uh, no, not quite, but it’s getting there.

My T-shirt collection. Missing: the sleeveless Ts that are still in storage boxes.

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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2 Responses to Progress Report #1

  1. Lynn Khosla says:

    I love your t-shirt blog idea! Looking forward to its continued progress.

    Liked by 1 person

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