Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group Day, ROW80 Recap, and Story Inspirations Images

How did it get to be March already?

It seems like only yesterday it was January, and I was starting out with some fresh writing goals, and getting things done...

I'm actually still editing, not being as lazy as usual, but I feel like I've slowed down. This is why I like being accountable to ROW80 and on the blog -- I feel like I'm moving at a snail\s pace, but when I look back at the end of a month or six months, I can see some forward momentum!

All that to say that my latest revised list of goals by monthly schedule looks like this:
March: Draft personal statement (for a university course I'm applying to)
Writers' houseparty!
Draft Druid's Moon synopsis
I'm also getting back into knitting! Haven't done anything since December, but I just started a wee baby hat for a gift.
Meanwhile, I can reveal the results of that secret group project -- a baby blanket! We each knit squares, in Outlander-inspired colours, and one of our group sewed all the squares together. It turned out beautifully!

April: edit Druid's Moon and submit

May: edit The Charm of Time

Today's IWSG Day Question is: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
I have! Quite a few times. It has worked out in the sense that I've been able to edit it much better, bot not worked out in the sense that I haven't placed a story yet, in a journal or magazine.
Oddly, I seem to concentrate on novels a lot. This gives me a good idea -- perhaps next year I'll devote myself to the short stories I already have, and actively work on submitting them to magazines and journals and maybe a contest or two.

Thanks for the great question, Alex and the IWSG Team!

Today's co-hosts are:
Tamara Narayan
Patsy Collins
M.J. Fifield
Nicohle Christopherson

I was glancing at some old blog posts, and I came across a different way of answering the January IWSG Day question ("What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?").Here's a repost of that old post, from 2007, back when I was drafting The Face of A Lion
(Yes! This August will mark 10 years that I've been blogging!)

Why Published Authors Always Tell Aspiring Authors to READ:

"I agree with Diana that if you want to write, what you have to do is 1. Read and 2. Write (not necessarily in that order).
There are endless good reasons for this, but I came across one today, while reading Dorothy L Sayers' translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.
Being a product of the 20th Century, it never occurred to me that roads, paths, trails, etc. were not always divided in two, for traffic coming and traffic going. Apparently, in the good old days, people walked wherever they wanted on the road!
If I had thought about it, of course, I might have realised the truth of this. But how much more fun to be reading something entirely different from the focus of your own story, and come across a small detail that counts as research. Back in ancient Ephesus, then, the mixing of crowds passing in all directions on the street would be something Austin might notice and comment on, especially if he's running away from one place and trying to reach another.
(Dante referred to this in passing when describing how the city of Rome organised road traffic on the Bridge of Castello Sant' Angelo for the Jubilee Year 1300. The rule was: keep to the right - just as it is today)."

As for images, here's my end-of-year compilation of Story Inspirations images from my Pinterest board:

Do you collect images that remind you of your stories?
And have you have ideas for how I should celebrate my upcoming blogiversary? Please share!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Knitting and Other Hobbies Review 2016


And other hobbies...

My goals in 2015 were to:

1. Finish knitting three more cowls
2. Think about buying expensive wool to make, slowly, methodically, and properly, a gorgeous design by Kate Davies
3. Organise all our photos and print a few, especially for our grandparents
4. Bake more!

These didn't change much over 2016. Instead of cowls, I got heavily into baby blanket knitting:

Photos of the fourth, a purple-y blanket, are here.

In the same post I talked about a secret group project and shared photos of my contribution. Still can't reveal the details yet, but as soon as we've given the gift to its intended recipient, I'll share!

Besides the four blankets and the secret project, I knit:

Three hats (here's one hat)

One shawl, as a gift

One fox scarf:

One pair of mittens

The Azel Pullover

This one didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped, as the needles I used were a couple of sizes too large given the wool I'd selected, and I also made the pullover too short. But now that I have a feel for the pattern, I'd like to try knitting a child's version of the same item. An excuse to buy wool!

I only seem to have shared one post on my ongoing knitting in the wild series. I like collecting photos of knitting back in the day or in unusual spots or of people you wouldn't expect knew how to knit...

As for that list at the top, I do have some lovely Kate Davies patterns, but haven't attempted one yet. I've actually kept on top of photo organizing and even made a few printed albums, and shared some photos!

I haven't baked as regularly as I'd like. Tried an apple crumble that was a bit of a gooey mess, made cookies often, and attempted a recipe from Outlander Kitchen!:

It tasted good, even if it looked nothing like it was supposed to.

I also have fun supporting artists on Patreon and entering authors' contests every once in a while. Sometimes it leads to fun things arriving in the mail:

Sloth mail, through Amanda Palmer's Patreon

This year, I wonder if I'll get back to finishing those cowls? Or the sweater I started for myself long ago? I'm trying hard not to have too much extra wool and yarn lying around, and to use what I have before I buy more. That said, one of my first goals is to knit some wee hats and booties to go with the baby blankets.

With all this wool lying around, I read this fun book the other day:

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

What hobbies are you exploring this year?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Win Socks For Life! and New Project Photos

Sock yarn, actually.

Look at all that gorgeous wool:

All you have to do it is state how your life will most be changed by winning and what you will do with the prize.

Fill out the entry form at -- the contest is open to residents of both Canada and the United States!

Judges will pick the top five entries, and then a public vote will choose the winner.

Come to think of it, the wool would also be handy for gloves and mittens!

I've been busy knitting The Azel Pullover as a gift, but the other day I stopped and made some wee mittens:

And here's a photo of the shawl I knit as a gift a while ago. I finally wove in the ends and have mailed it off!:

Good luck in the contest!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Knitting, Papercutting, and Motorcycles!

Yes, motorcycles!

The other day, we came across a short-term exhibit of some vintage models:

A local Swiss craft is papercutting. I love these intricate and delicate designs:

Couldn't resist sharing a photo of this old-timey suitcase!

Meanwhile, I have an update on my ongoing knitting projects!

Here's the lovely wool I've just bought to make a fox scarf:

And here is the wool for a secret joint project:

I've knit six squares that will join the squares knit by friends... I won't reveal anything yet but perhaps the colours of the wool, and the initials I've knit into one square, J and C, might give you some clues...

And here's a baby blanket I finished a little while ago!

Have you finished a project recently?
It's such a rewarding feeling to complete something!