I’m done! I just have to block it.” – More knitters than I can count

Nope, no deep meanderings for Monday morning here. Over the weekend, I managed to complete several things that had been hanging over my head. The first was making final tweaks in the manuscript for Surviving 30 Days of Literary Madness and loading that up to Amazon and other assorted places. (As a side note, I now know how to do a numbered list in an ebook and make it come out decently. If you’re curious, leave a note in the comments and I’ll demonstrate.) I also managed to complete the CreateSpace upload, so there is a print version to be released this Thursday as well.

But I also managed to complete one of my knitting projects. I started myLeaf Press Shawl the day after Christmas, having just bound off my Advent Shawl. It seemed particularly appropriate as the pattern had been a gift and both skeins used part of Indigodragonfly Yarn’s “Giftapalooza” special editions. The shawl still needs to be blocked (and a few ends woven in), but that will happen next weekend. In the meantime, may I present my Leaf Press in Mule Log and Elf Insurance.

This has been my dear companion for the last nine months (and I finished three days shy of exactly nine months), the item I picked up at the end of the day when I felt stressed and needed to relax or in the quiet before services on Sunday morning. “Madam DeFarge” jokes aside, our vicar has gotten quite used to seeing me sitting in the pews with the needles moving, sometimes even during the sermon when I need that tiny distraction to quiet the monkey brain so I can listen. Let me assure my fellow writers that knitting is a wonderful activity to do while listening to writing tapes or trying to untangle the threads of your latest plot.

Of course, now that I’ve finished this project, I have to come up with another one that I can use for meditation and easy travel knitting. :: heads back to the stash ::

Coming September 29, 2016

30dayliterarymadnessSurviving 30 Days of Literary Madness is a daybook of support, encouragement and the occasional kick in the pants to help make the stress more bearable and keep your eyes focused on your goal.

For each day of this mad sprint, there is a quote and essay designed to help keep you going at the keyboard, along with other pieces about preparation and the novelizing hangover that comes in December. There are also pages for those other moments, the ones when you’ve fallen slightly behind – or you realize this may not be a year you cross the finish line. No matter how your November novel experience is going, this book will be a companion for each day.

Available for pre-order at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Bookstore



I so didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. Winter has truly settled in Los Angeles and I could hear the wind howling outside my window when I woke up. Much more preferable to snuggle down under the duvet with a warm husband and warm cat. But the alarm kept beeping and I knew I had to stagger forth, so here I am.

We’ve almost made it. Almost through 2010 and into 2011. I’m ready for the switch, even if it’s just emotional and psychological. There’s a lot of baggage I need to leave behind in the old year simply so I can move forward. As a writer, I wrap things up rather neatly at the end of a story in order to give emotional satisfaction; that doesn’t necessarily happen in real life, though I believe we all wish it would. Maybe that’s why we invest so much in the idea of New Year’s Resolutions and celebrating this one night in the middle of winter. It’s an ending and a beginning.

One ending which I didn’t show you is the work on the Aeolian Shawl. Back at the beginning of December, I got the husband out of the house and blocked it on the bed. (more…)

NaNo Inspiration: November 29

NaNo Inspiration: November 29

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

We’re almost to the home stretch — at least for those folks still doing NaNo. I’m moving into a different mode, working on characters, figuring out what’s going on in their heads. Where did my hero get a musket ball in the leg and what was he doing when it happened? I know he’s determined to return to active duty, but what’s the actual prognosis and is he just fooling himself. All things I didn’t answer before I dove into writing and I’m going to stop and answer now so I understand why he’s letting himself be drawn into this insane scheme of the heroine’s. Not that I want to reader to know at first, but I certainly should know.

But despite NaNo being a bust for me for the first time in a number of years, I still have a sense of accomplishment this morning because I finished casting off for my Aeolian Shawl. Took me close to four hours to do almost a thousand stitches. It’s not at its most graceful because it still needs to be blocked, but I’m going to share a first peek here.

Aeolian Shawl -- unblocked

Aeolian Shawl Edge unblocked

That’s about four months worth of work there, on and off. In it’s unblocked shape, it takes of most of my husband’s side of our queen bed. Blocked, it’s going to take up the entire bed. Yes, this is a big project.

Blocking is like revision, in many ways. You get your original as neat as you possible can, and then you use blocking to smooth everything out and get the object to the shape you want. Unlike revisions, where you can cut and paste and do some major surgery, if you discover you need to do that with knitting, it’s back to the beginning. Considering how many beads are on this thing, I’m glad it’s in a good shape and I can move forward. Scheduled debut for this piece? Christmas Eve services, where I think it will be appropriately festive.

Pin It on Pinterest