Chipping away at things

So far, I managed to make edits to a chapter of Lanternfish. This is the one my critique partners had recently. Good suggestions this time, and they improved the story quite a bit.

I got the next chapter ready for submission, then sent it off. They only have about a half-chapter left after that. I may add my back material and let them look at it, too.

The next Hat story has been languishing while I finished Lanternfish. I decided to read every single word of it this morning. Never added any new words, but it’s still progress. When I’m ready to write next time, I’ll be up to date.

It rained like crazy this morning. We have ducks swimming above the lawn in the park next door. That’s a lot of water. It’s also giving my Asian Pear tree fits. Fire blight spreads this way, and it has a touch of it. It kills whole trees, but this variety is pretty resistant.

Between projects, I decided to monkey with one of my old cowboy hats. This started life as a custom beaver blend hat. I was always disappointed in it, because it wasn’t quite what I expected. The crown was about 30 degrees crooked, and I had to reshape that myself. It was supposed to be a nice light brown, but arrived in a pumpkin color.

I’ve turned this hat into my lab rat over the years. Recently, I’ve been surfing the web looking for ways to artificially weather hats. They just seem to look better after they break in a little. Out comes my lab rat hat for a bit of experimentation.

I used the tea kettle to steam the crap out of the brim, then used an old round extension cord as a mold to put a kettle roll around it. It looks pretty darned good.

For my next amazing stunt, I used thick instant coffee in a spray bottle to darken it up. This one didn’t work as well as the Internet sold it. It knocked the pumpkin color out, and it’s kind of a buckskin now. (Not horrible) My question is whether it will remain color-fast. Meaning when it rains am I going to have cold coffee running down my neck?

I also spent a couple of bucks on something called fullers earth. This can be used to add some stains for artificial wear and tear. I haven’t tried this, yet. I’ll do it in conjunction with some salt water and olive oil so the colored earth will stick. My attempt will involve lightly using a soda straw to blow the color on in some key places, like the pinch point of the crown. Maybe where I normally handle the brim, etc.

Fiddling around with hats probably doesn’t sound as much fun as writing about root monsters and pirates, but it gives me something to do. Who knows, maybe this hat will be something worth wearing on a camping trip one day.

I still need to go through my short story one more time, but I have a few weeks yet. If there’s any time after I call my parents tomorrow, I will probably tackle a fresh new chapter of the next Hat story.

Hope all of you are having good weekends whatever you’re up to.


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26 responses to “Chipping away at things

  1. I think the hat looks terrific. I would worry about the coffee as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the progress and I hope the tree is okay. Interesting work duty the hats. The coffee stain might be permanent. If it can make a mess of white shirts and teeth then you have a good shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow that’s a lot of writing there. Am also glad to see a fellow cyberpunk writer, as I’m currently working on my second cyberpunk novel. Keep on writing and inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Didn’t accomplish a lot on the writing front, but these are projects that have to get done. I count them, even if they aren’t new words. I loved writing cyberpunk. It’s a neat platform that isn’t so far removed that we can’t project some social issues.


  4. Good luck with the hat. It definitely isn’t pumpkin anymore. I’ve tea-dyed lace, but never tried instant coffee. Let us know if it’s color fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, you wouldn’t want coffee stain running down your back. Nice looking hat, though. 🙂 Hopefully, you’ll get it figured out!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had no idea you could do all those things to hats. It’s like a science to itself.

    On Saturday we went to our first (small) family party since February. It was so good to see everyone, but there are still so many concerns about spreading the virus. We have a larger family party coming up the weekend of July 4th. This Friday my county goes green. It will be interesting to see how everything falls into place.

    Congrats on the progress with Lanternfish. It has to feel awesome getting so close to finishing another novel!

    I went through my short story today too but am still letting it sit another week or two before I submit it. One final read-through and then that will be a finished project for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Idaho is fully open, and my boss still won’t let us come back to the office. At least I have most of the bugs ironed out from working from the house. I never made it to the short story but added about 1200 words to Mrs. Molony today.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So, you’re a hat-wrangler too. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t wait to read your and Mae’s stories. I never knew you could do so many things to a hat to make it exactly what you want. It will be interesting to see how the coffee stain worked–if it runs or if it smells like coffee when it gets wet. HH always wears a fedora when it gets cold, and he can be pretty picky about it, too. When his last one died, it took a while to find another one he really liked. Sounds like you’re close to finishing Lantern Fish. Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A hat that makes instant coffee when you go out in the rain could be the next BIG THING you know…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad you’re making progress on projects – writing and otherwise. If it was me and I was unsure about the water resistance of the hat, I’d go stand in the yard in the rain for a while wearing the hat to see what happens (making sure to wear something that won’t potentially be ruined by stains if things run). At least then if it’s going to run you’ll find out somewhere without many witnesses, if any. Well, other than the dogs, but I doubt they’d care.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Over time, I don’t think the coffee would run. Set it in the sun? I’ve used tea stains in apartment carpets and then shampooed them without a single loss of color.
    Playing with hats is definitely PLAY and who cares what we think? You’re happy, I’m happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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