Friday, June 29, 2007

Snippet Sadness

Hi all, no snippet this week. Sorry. I meant to, but have absolutely no time this week. I'll be back next week, however.



Thursday, June 28, 2007

Too Busy To Blog

No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
- WH Auden

If it's not the show, it's the move (company, not personal). But whatever the cause, I have no time.

So, have a picture or two to keep yourself occupied instead.

Attack Cat 01

Baby P Blanket 04

6-19-07 Porch Babies 04


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Brief Pawse

I know that I'm waaaay behind Brigitte and Chris on this one, but when they posted paw pictures I didn't have a cat to take paw pictures of. Now I do. So here they are.

Paws 02

Paws 01
such a cute widdle paw!

She was trying to help me knit, however. Which meant very little progress on my part, and very much playing on hers. I did get a few more inches on the baby blanket since the last photo...

Baby P Blanket 05

I think I'll be able to get it done by the time the baby's born. (At least I hope I will.) I still love the pattern. And even thought I think I've flubbed it a time or two, I can't tell where. So I doubt Mrs. P will notice, and I know Baby P won't.

Baby P Blanket 06
Look! Isn't the pattern great?

Suzy didn't like me ignoring her to photograph it, though. Just like she didn't like me ignoring her to knit it. She tried to eat my hand, the yarn, my shirt, my elbow, my camera... But she's so cute. Who can get mad at her?

Close-up 01

Not me.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Things I have learned about being tired:

  • You can keep going. Even when you think you can't.
  • Your attention span wanders off when you least... oh look! Chocolate!
  • Sweets are saviors. So is caffeine.
  • Your body will eventually give up. Don't be behind the wheel when it does. (No, that one is not from first-hand experience.)
  • It's really funny to watch yourself get punchy from lack of sleep.
  • Knitting while tired is taking a big risk.
  • Writing while tired is only amusing if you're not trying to make sense.
  • Drink water, and drink lots of it. It's easier to stay awake when you have to pee.
So. Not a long blog for today because I'm tired. (If you couldn't guess.) We're into Hell Week now, and boy, is it ever. We didn't leave the theater last night until 11:45 or so. And we weren't the last ones out, by a long shot.

We'll see how I'm doing by Friday, when the show opens. I'm not worried about the show itself, because I will have a big adrenaline rush for it. But work that day before the show... heh. Could be awfully amusing.

Suzy is very confused why her person isn't home to play with more often. On top of that, her back-up people (aka the rest of my family) aren't there on a predictable schedule, either.

Attack Cat 03

It turns her nice ordered world upside down. (Now, just as long as the food doesn't stop coming...)


Monday, June 25, 2007

Socks and Suzy

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
~Stephen Leacock
And for me, just show me something pretty or let me feel something with a great texture and I'm likely to be sold, if I can justify the purchase at all. Like... YARN! Whee!

The TOFUtsies yarn was so soft when I bought it that I got two skeins right away, without testing it at all first. And while it's a bit splitty at times, it makes a fabric so soft and fun that it's worth it. (Just be careful which cast on you use, because it does have a tendency to un-ply itself if you use a long-tail cast on.)

Here is the current progress of the first Summer of Socks sock pair:

Mini Monkeys 06

One nice thing about starting socks at the top and working your way down is that foot-modeled socks look better this way than toe-up. But... does anyone who's been following my socks preferences notice anything about this sock? It has two of my previously disliked features: it is cuff-down, and knit on dpns. And yet I love it. Go figure. I guess knitting preferences change just like anything else. (Though it could just be the pattern or the yarn or the combination.)

Mini Monkeys 05

Hedgie's still trying to do his duty as a sock model, but it's harder with cuff-down socks. They don't make quite as nice a cave.

Suzy, on the other hand, does not play nice with socks. Look how ferocious she is! The attack-cat in action!

Attack Cat 02



Friday, June 22, 2007

Monkeying Around The Blog 6.22.07

First thing's first. IT's THE SUMMER OF SOCKS! YAY!

I started a new pair of socks yesterday, using Cara's modifications of the Monkey socks. Here is what they looked like before I went to bed last night:

Mini Monkeys 02

I'm using the rest of the TOFUtsies yarn left over from M's socks, and when I run out of that I have another whole skein to start. I love the way the colorway is behaving completely differently in these socks than in M's socks. Those striped. These are more of a random mash & pooling. I LOVE THEM! And the Monkey pattern is great. Thanks, Cookie!

Mini Monkeys 04

Now for around the blog...

I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER iz goin' 2 Hogwarts. (Or they were. But it's too cute to pass up.) Bridget's mad at yarn, and Gandalf finds fun "hiding" places, while Sian's planning a trip across the pond. Imbrium loves stinky sheep fur, Amanda got the birthday blog contest prizes I sent her, and Holly Lisle is now having a sale on print versions of her writing clinics (through Sunday only; sorry for the short notice).

Grumperina plays with photoshop and bags and Lesley posts a wish list of upcoming books. Crys gives her opinions on Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Fyberduck tempts us all with the Tour De Fleece. Romancing the Yarn is loved in Australia (and in print, no less!), the Guinea Pigs are happy, Mim (and I) loves Firefox, and Chris has more neat vacation pictures. And DeeAnn and Phoenix are still MIA. :(

Plus, here are Fellow Summor-Of-Sockers:

  • Zarzuela, who started it all
  • Wendy, who will undoubtedly knit more socks than me
  • Meg, my blog reader
  • Tienne, who always knits lovely things

Have a good weekend!


Friday Snippet 6.22.07

My snippet for today picks up (almost) where we left off last week. Scott has taken Cynthia out for birthday drinks at The Mirage (they're in Vegas). I took out the travel between the two places, because I still don't want these snippets to be too long.


NOTICE: This material is coyrighted, probably buggy, and possibly not going to be in the final draft. Please do not reproduce it anywhere, in any form.

(Chapter One, part two)

We sat sipping our drinks in silence for a little while; I was enjoying the novelty of having someone fetch me a drink for a change instead of being the one doing the fetching. He eventually started the small talk with questions of the “do you have anything special planned for your birthday” variety. I didn’t, other than the visit home, which he already knew about. I almost let the conversation stop at that.
Scott was a good enough friend, however, that even the moment of panic he’d given me in the parking lot didn’t deserve the silent treatment. Especially since it was unintentional. And followed by a date—well, the closest thing to a date I was likely to get.

“So, what about you? Any plans for Labor Day weekend?”

“Nothing much.” His hair flopped into his eyes as he shook his head. I fished the cherry out of my drink to keep my hands occupied until he swept the lock of hair back into place. “I have to work, which is just as well. If I didn’t, Karly wanted to—”
He broke off, turned slightly green, and took a long sip of his drink. When he met my eyes again, his smile was firmly back in place.

“So sorry. This is supposed to be a special night out for you. Not a time for me to air relationship problems.”

Relationship problems? Forget my birthday; Christmas had just come early! If he and Karly broke up, this would be the first time since we’d met that we were both single. Maybe we could finally—no. I was not going to hope that their relationship crashed and burned.

“It’s okay, Scott. We haven’t had much chance to just talk lately.” It had all been either business, or Karly had been present. “Rant away if you want to.”
I tried to keep a sympathetic expression on my face as he aired the little grievances that make or break a relationship, but it was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

“Hey, Cynthia!”

Oops. Guess I should have paid closer attention to what Scott was actually saying and less to the way his eyes flashed, the rhythm of his voice, the sensual twist to his lips when he was trying to not laugh or trying to not cry, the—


“I asked if you wanted another drink.”

“Oh, sure. Here.” I reached for my purse, but he grabbed my hands and held them clasped in his.

“Your birthday. My treat.”

One drink wouldn’t get me drunk. True, I hadn’t eaten recently, but I couldn’t be drunk. Yet if I wasn’t drunk, why couldn’t I concentrate?

I watched Scott at the bar, waiting beside a dark man who was looking a me with a penetrating stare as if he felt my gaze. This type of look, unfortunately, is nothing new. It happens all the time to women who are built like I am. However, just because I’m used to it doesn’t mean I have to like it. The last time I followed up on a stare like that I ended up getting my heart stomped on so hard that the depression drowned out all of the internal calls to duty I should have been getting. A vacation from Watcher duty sometimes sounds nice, but the timing was awful: I needed a task or two to take my mind off the heartbreak.

The man at the bar was not going to drop eye contact until I made some kind of overture, so I looked away. I risked another look back when Scott took longer than I had anticipated, and couldn’t see the other man anywhere. The bartender was in the process of pouring our drinks: another Tokyo Tea for me, and something that looked like a Black Russian. I had teased Scott once about using his minor Telekinesis to tip the Kaluah bottle when the bartender was mixing drinks, but he denied it with a faint smile. If I’d been paying more attention earlier, I could have used my new spell and caught him, but by the time I thought of it he was on his way back.

“So, did you strengthen the drink this time?” I realized as I spoke that my head had completely cleared. Just like magic.

“Not this time... I do have to drive home, you know.”

“Oh well, I’ll catch you next time.”

He grinned at me, eyebrows arching as he searched my face. “You will, will you?”

“I will. I bought myself a book for my birthday. Finished it yesterday.” This would have been a complete non sequitur if he didn’t already know that I was one of the Watchers who gained spells through reading books: regular, ordinary books. Fiction, non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. And there is no way to be sure what spell—if any—I will learn from a book.

“Very nice. What does it do?”

“Well, I have yet to test it, but it detects magic somehow.”

We spent the next half hour nursing our drinks and teasing each other about our magical limitations. By the time the last of my drink was too watered down to taste remotely like anything I would want to actually drink, there were people filling in the tables around us and our conversation had to switch to a more mundane topic.

“You really should be more careful,” Scott said during a lull in conversation when I was trying to rack my slightly-inebriated brain for a non-magical discussion subject. “It’s just a good thing for you that it was me behind you in the parking lot today, and not the guy who’s been kidnapping cocktail waitresses up and down the Strip.”

“They’ve all been—but—they figured out a pattern?”

“Well, the girls have all been waitresses coming off of a shift, and none of them had changed out of their work uniforms yet.” He swirled the ice around in the bottom of his tumbler and brought the glass to his lips. He lowered it again without taking a sip. “I think many of them have been about your height and build, too.”

My mind spun. I knew there was a kidnapper out there, but there were always going to be stupid people in the world who did dumb, and usually highly illegal, things. That’s what we Watchers were for, right? To help the victims? The possibility that I would fit into the pattern of the victim had never been a part of my world-view.
“Please, Cynthia, be careful.” His voice was low and earnest; his eyes pleaded with me to agree.

I tried to answer, but couldn’t find my voice. When he leaned forward, his expression getting even more anxious, I managed to nod. He sat back in his chair, and schooled his face and posture into a relaxed appearance. Only his eyes still betrayed his worry. It was still more than I could bear to see.

“Hey, don’t worry!” I put as much self-confidence and encouragement into my voice as I could muster. “I’ll watch out for myself. And anyone who does try to nab me will have his hands full with more than he bargained for!”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right! Besides, we’re here to celebrate my birthday. You had better start telling me how wonderful I am, not implying that I can’t take care of myself.”

“Uh huh. Just like you took care of yourself when you managed to overturn the entire buffet table on Mothers’ Day?”

That did it.

Amid my protestations of innocence, Scott started laughing, which chased the last of the worry from his eyes. Of course, he didn’t tell me how wonderful I was, instead regaling me with even more tales of the many mistakes I had made. I maintain that none of it was my fault, since no one had bothered to tell me that the Watchers as a whole were more concerned with picking up the pieces than preventing an actual disaster in the first place.

If Humpty Dumpty had come to us, we could have put him together again much neater than all the king’s horses and all the king’s men. And yet, even though we were capable of even more than that, not one of us—myself and my brother excepted—would have lifted a finger to stop him from falling.

Want to join Friday Snippets?


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Week 25 ~ Of Mice & Men

Week 25 ~ June 18-24, 2007

Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck
(classic, fiction)

This book had some strikes against it starting out. See, I really dislike Steinbeck. The only reasons I read this one were because people say it's his best, and every time I say "I don't like Steinbeck" it seems that the person I'm talking to can't understand why. So I figured I'd try this one, and either "get it" and figure out why people like Steinbeck, or I'd at least be able to say I'd read enough Steinbeck to form opinions.

And I ended up almost "getting it" while still not liking it. I think that this one is much better written than the others I've read. (The Red Pony, Cannery Row, The Pearl) I think that it has more of a plot and doesn't have (too much) random stuff that doesn't further the book in any way. It was depressing (as always, for Steinbeck) but not so much so that I felt that depressing the reader was the whole point of the book.

About OM&M itself: the plot is rather predictable from the start, but it's an interesting look at California history to see how it gets there. There is plenty of foreshadowing, and the book is thin enough that you don't forget your suspicions by the time you get to the conclusion. The setting is described fairly well, and is perhaps reason enough to read Steinbeck by itself. (Not for me, though.)

There are things about his writing that still greatly bug me. People aren't introduced well. Everyone seems to be a stereotype. (While that may be the point, it still bugs me.) The plot is predictable. (That bears repeating.) Sometimes it seems we focus on the setting to the point of distraction from the story. (Less so in this book than in some of his others.)

So... is there more Steinbeck in my future? Maybe. I won't be completely against that. But probably in small doses.


Writing Weds, Goals & Kitty Pics

Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.
~Christopher Reeve
I am going out into the figurative ocean, because I don't want to never take risks with my writing. I can swim! I will not sink for lack of trying. (But right now I'm still in training. No subs yet, must edit first.)

There has not been much writing progress. To a word: no progress on any stories, nor on any critiques. I will be working on critiques this week, but stories will have to wait until July.

Here is a recap of where I am with my goals:
  1. Post the next chapter of SS in the OWG. ~ finished
  2. Crit every post up in my OWG group, plus those who regularly crit my piece from other groups.
  3. Reach the half-way point on Phoenix’s AD crit.
  4. Get The Music Man onstage. ~ in progress, and will be finished by the end of the month, like it or not
  5. Finish M’s Tofutsies socks. ~ done
  6. Do an initial crit of the first 6 chapters of the Naked Project.
  7. Finish Chart #4 of Icarus.
Everything else I'm still working on. Getting there... *sigh*

Here is a kitty picture to distract you.

6-19-07 Porch Babies 03

I will hide more kitty pictures behind the read more cut. Click the linky at the bottom if you want to see them all. Have a great day! (I will not be posting tomorrow, but no worries - I will have a Friday Snippet when I get back.)
6-19-07 Porch Babies 05
6-19-07 Porch Babies 02
(Mommy with her babies)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's A Mystery

O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.
~Saint Augustine

If you take the above quote to mean something along the lines of “faithful to a knitting project” instead of fickle, then it certainly applies.

I did a very silly thing yesterday. I signed up for the Mystery Stole 3 knit-along. I don’t need to do another major lace project right now. I haven’t even finished my current major lace project (Icarus). It’s not like I’m unpleased with Icarus, either. Quite the contrary. I love knitting that shawl. (Perhaps that is why I am planning immediately to knit another? Because I am so happy with lace knitting?)

But there it is.

However, I promised you information about the blanket for Baby P.

Baby P Blanket 01

This is the start of the blanket. It’s knitting up fairly quickly, too - I suppose that’s what happens when you’re used to lace weight or socks. Regular yarn seems to fly through your fingers.

I’m knitting the Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket in Lion Baby Soft yarn. (Nursery Print colorway.) The baby’s going to be a girl, but the mom isn’t too keen on pink, so I settled for white yarn with pink (and blue and green) speckles. The pink stands out more than the other colors, so it gives the overall impression of slight pinkness.

Baby P Blanket 03

That’s the update for today… now I must get back to work (and Ravelry) and Music Man stuff.

Have a great day!


Monday, June 18, 2007

FO: M's TOFUtsies Socks

The TOFUtsies socks are done!

Tofutsies Socks 12

Unfortunately it was hard to get a FO picture of them, because I had a most unhelpful sock model.

Tofutsies Socks 11
Tofutsies Socks 10
Tofutsies Socks 13

M likes them, however, and thinks they’re special. I hope they wear well. I’ve been told that this particular yarn washes nicely, and only gets softer with use. I hope that’s true, even though it’s quite a nice fabric straight off the needles.

And this does mean I’m not knitting socks at the moment! Ack!

Don’t worry. New socks will be started on Thursday, when the Summer of Socks officially starts. I will be starting with Mini Monkeys (Cara’s modification of Cookie’s Monkey socks) in either LL’s Shepherd Sock (Black Watch leftovers, to see if I have enough for a pair) or in more of the TOFUtsies (but on dpns this time). Sounds like fun.

And in the meantime I am knitting a baby blanket for a friend. More on this tomorrow.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Snippet 6.15.07

This is the beginning of Chapter One of SS. I don't want my snippets to be too big yet, so I'm going to chop up the chapters.

This material is copyrighted by me, and is still in draft form. It may be altered or even cut before the final, hopefully published, version. Please do not reproduce it anywhere, in any form.

Chapter One (part one)

The light from the Strip pooled behind me. Stray tendrils snaked my direction, but only served to deepen the shadows. Music and catcalls echoed somewhere, as indistinct as through a pane of thick glass. Shadow sounds. At night, everything is just a shadow compared to Las Vegas Boulevard.

I was only concerned with the shadow directly behind me.

I hadn’t turned to look: I didn’t need to. I had a hunch that I was being followed—therefore there was someone tailing me. Our hunches were never wrong. Occasionally misinterpreted, but never wrong.

My high-heeled shoes clicked imperiously on the deserted street. Too bad I had been in such a hurry to leave that I hadn’t changed out of my uniform. Running shoes were much quieter—but had to be worn in order to do any good, in either the stealth department or for running. Not sitting in my backpack beneath my street clothes.
You’d think I would know better. You’d think that with the multiple attacks on cocktail waitresses I would have taken the five minutes to change before heading to my car. But it was my last shift before my vacation, and I was getting careless. I couldn’t afford to be careless.

Especially when my shift ended after dark and I had parked in one of the more remote parking lots.

Hoping for another hunch, I slowed my pace. I was about to leave the relative safety of Jade Mountain’s main parking structure, with its bright lights and call boxes. I needed any advantage my instincts could give me.

Now I began to hear footsteps on the pavement behind me. My pursuer was no longer matching his steps to mine. I was about to dash for the entrance to the parking structure when someone called my name.

I spun around so fast that my backpack almost unbalanced me. Wouldn’t have been the first time. Six months after getting hired at the ‘Mountain, and I’m still not used to the dumb shoes.

Standing a few yards behind me was a tall man, his dark hair a little on the long side and falling into his face. He wore black jeans and a dark polo shirt. He walked toward me, fists resting on his hips, and the shadow that spilled across his face and upper body slowly inched higher. In a few moments I would be able to see his face.

After remaining frozen like a small animal caught in the headlights of a speeding van for several long heartbeats that each felt like an hour, I realized that the man’s shoulders were shaking with more than just the motion of his slow stride.
I took a closer look. What I could see of him looked familiar, but—

He stepped fully out of the shadows, and I saw that I had guessed right.

It was Scott.

And he was laughing at me.

“Well, you try to get around in these stupid shoes!” I tried to convince my heart to resume its normal pace.

Scott got his laughter mostly under control and covered the last bit of ground between us. There was still an odd crinkle at the corner of his mouth that wasn’t normally there. I chose to ignore it.

“I had intended to catch you before your shift was over, but I guess I just missed you,” he said. “I was going to ask you if you wanted to go out for a drink—you know, for your birthday.” Concern flashed across his face, but was gone before I could puzzle out a reason why. “Unless, of course, you have to pack, or something. I never did ask when your flight leaves tomorrow.”

“Not until the afternoon.”

“So... drinks?”

“Oh. Um, yeah. Sure.” Brilliant. First I looked like an idiot, and now I sounded like one. Guess I’d left my eloquence along with my common sense and running shoes at the bottom of my backpack.

His eyes flicked down the length of my uniform—a skimpy, jade green pseudo-kimono—and were barely containing a laugh when they returned to my face. “You’ll probably want to change.”

“Right. Back inside, I guess.”

“I hope you don’t mind the short notice. It’s just that you’ve always managed to take me out for a birthday drink, and this is the first chance I’ve had to return the courtesy.”

“Well, that’s because we always have WatcherCon somewhere around your birthday. It’s always months before mine.”

The walk back to Jade Mountain was much nicer. Not only was I no longer worried about being followed, but I got to spend the time talking to Scott. We met when I attended my first Watcher Convention. I fell for him immediately, but was too young for a long-distance relationship. The following year, I decided to ask him out, only to find out that he had a girlfriend. I took him out for a birthday drink anyway—root beer floats that year, and for a few years afterwards—and we’d been fast friends ever since.

I still liked him, of course, and would undoubtedly drop everything to go on a real date with him. But I wasn’t pining over him. We were friends, and that was enough. It had to be.

Want to join Friday Snippets?


Friday Fiver 6.15.07

So, I’m making a baby blanket for a friend (she doesn’t know it yet) who is having her first girl. She’s had three boys already. I found a pattern to use, and yet I don’t want it to be as big as the pattern calls for. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like the idea of huge blankets for newborns. (I know, if I were to make it bigger it would grow with the baby, but still.) If I can get it finished sooner, rather than later, a large but not so huge blanket will be perfect. (Or so I guess, never having had a baby myself.)

So anyway, I was swatching for the blanket so I’d know how many repeats to do. I had help.

Baby Blanket Swatch 1

Friday Fiver: Trying to fit a rectangle into a ball.

1. When do you doubt yourself?
Not often. But sometimes when I try something new, or something that I used to be good at but haven’t done in a while. (Like playing the piano.)

2. Who do you owe an apology?Can’t think of anyone. That’s one thing I try not to owe people - if I need to apologize, I do so.

3. When is the last time you felt embarrassed? I dunno. I know I have been, but I don’t like to think about it.

4. What do you ignore? Hah! Lots of things. Chores, mostly.

5. Do you love yourself? Yup.

Baby Blanket Swatch 2
My, Suzy, what big teeth you have!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

HollyShop Sale

Just a quick note: Holly Lisle is having a sale at her shop. (Click the linky in the side bar or footer if you're curious.)

This includes a sale on all of her "Create a... Clinic" books, such as the Create A Plot Clinic that I love and the Create A Language Clinic that I've yet to use (but looks like fun) and the Create A Character Clinic that I intend to buy before the sale is over Saturday.

(But I have to wait until after I get paid tomorrow.)


The Lusty Month Of… June?

June is typically Wedding Month. So, since I have been updating my Flickr and Ravelry accounts with older projects, I have some wedding lace pictures from years ago to show you.

This one is a piece I made for my then-sister-in-law. She is the casualty of divorce that I miss the most. We tried to stay friends for a while, but her brother was being an ass and so it didn’t work out too well in the long run. Ah well. It was great while it lasted. Having her as a SIL was like having an older sis.

Anyway, the lace:

Jenn wedding lace

I made this bobbin lace to sew onto a handkerchief for her. She had a large collection, and liked ones with motifs. I attached it to a vintage kerchief, so it was “something old”.

In less conventional wedding lace, I made this one for my sister:

Snail lace

She likes snails. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. But there you have it.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Week 24 ~ Dhampir

Week 24 ~ June 11-17, 2007

by Barb & JC Hendee

This is an enjoyable book, even on a re-read. I had read it a while back, liked it, and then forgotten much about it. And so when the latest book in the series came out not too long ago, I knew the authors sounded familiar but couldn't figure out why. Eventually I got it - but since I remembered so little about the first book (other than "it's good") I decided to read it again.

It's an enjoyable book, and I like the way the main characters aren't the most perfect people in the world at the start of the book. I like their struggle for redemption and a normal life. I also like the way that the antagonists aren't stereotypically evil, either. The hero roles blend a bit in this book, getting a little gray around the edges. That makes it all the more real to me.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series, and will likely continue from there. The ending is open enough that there is plenty of room to continue, and the characters only got more enjoyable as the book went on. Hopefully this will prove true over the entire series.

Oh - and though this is a vampire book, it's not overly gory. It's also not over-sexed the way many vamp books are these days. So it's safe for even non-romance-readers.


Writing Weds & Headache Meds

So yesterday was not a good day. Headaches (mine) and car accidents (not mine) and just general unpleasantness. Hence, no blogging was done. Many apologies, but sometimes life gets in the way. When it does, I try avoidance techniques. Advil, knitting, and music usually do it. (Good thing I have a new toy to assist with that music stuff.)


I love it. I love Apple products. Yay!

Onto the Writing stuff:

There’s really not much to report. From my goals, I have gotten my OWG post up. That’s the only thing that’s complete so far. The Music Man will be onstage by the end of the month, whether I like it or not, so that will be complete. The rest, though? Depend on how TMM goes. But I do have 2/6 chapters on The Naked Project complete, and the Tofutsies socks are going along swimmingly. Icarus may or may not reach the edging by the end of June. I’m just glad that I was reasonable and didn’t put any actual writing goals for this month, because I don’t think there’s any way I’ll be able to get that done just now.

I’ll distract you from my writing (non)progress with a cute Suzy picture.

Suz Eating Keys
Hey, Mom! I have your keys! Let’s go somewhere, huh?


Monday, June 11, 2007

Yarn Camp

Just a very quick post today because I have a lot to do at work and a big headache is bugging me.

I’ve been working on the second of M’s Tofutsies socks. And when hedgie saw the picture of the otter sleeping bag I was making, he decided to try and make something fun out of the current socks.

Tofutsies Socks 08

Maybe a tent? This is one of the things I have discovered about Tofutsies yarn. I need stickier needles with it. However, the gauge does change when using metal and bamboo needles, so I can’t use dpns for the second sock. I can, however, use dpns for the HEEL of the second sock. And it works so much nicer.

Tofutsies Socks 09

I think the sock works better as a canoe than a tent.

Oh! Don’t want to forget to mention this - I got my Ravelry invitation! Yay! I’m on there as bookwyrm if you want to be my friend.

That’s all for now. Going in search of Advil.


Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday Fiver & Funky Bits

So, I've been messing around with my template a bit. I've been trying to get the main column to be a fluid width without messing up the graphics. But that's not going to happen. So, instead I am going to use occasional "read more" cuts so that the entire post doesn't clog up the main screen all the time. But in the process of getting this to work, it looks like there's going to be "read more!" tags at the bottom of all of my posts, whether I used that option or not. So all of my back-dated posts are going to have pointless links. Only the ones from today will have anything on them. Sorry about that. I'm learning HTML/XML all on my own at this point, and have no idea if there's a way to fix it. And frankly, I'm a bit annoyed at it right now, so I'm not sure that I care. (Ask me again after I have a chance to relax. I might care then.)

ETA: Thanks to the Hackosphere, I have fixed it so only posts (newer than this one) with summaries have the "Read More" link. Yay!

Friday Fiver: We're simply mad

  1. Are you attracted to the naughty or the nice? ~ Both, depending. Initial attraction is often the naughty because they have (in general) more self-esteem. But long term? The nice, all the way.
  2. Do you let your dirty laundry pile up? ~ Who doesn't? (Read: yes. And don't tell me if you do yours before it has a chance to pile up. I don't want to hear about it.)
  3. What's the last excuse you made? ~ I'm tired. As an excuse for not making much sense in a conversation. Of course, it was more a reason than an excuse, but who's keeping track of that?
  4. Do you play it safe or do you take risks? ~ I usually play it safe. Or, at least I think I'm playing it safe. Sometimes I realize after the fact that I was taking a huge risk and just didn't realize it.
  5. Friday fill-in: Let's go to bed and s....leep. ~ I really do mean sleep. Not other s-verbs that happen in bed. I'm too tired to think about bed + anything else.
Have a great weekend!


Friday Snippets: the Introduction

Well, I think I figured out where I went wrong before when trying to start up Friday Snippets. If this post stays up, we'll know that I got it to work. Because if I don't get it to work, I'm taking the post down just like I got rid of the previous non-working Friday Snippets post.

FYI, Friday Snippets was started up by Holly Lisle as a way for writers to share with each other. This is meant to be a fun thing, and no pressure or requirement. For me, it's partly a way to get initial feedback from a wide variety of people and partly a way to enjoy my writing.

This is the prologue for my current main WIP, code-named SS. It's in 2nd draft form at the moment, which means it's anyone's guess what the final (and hopefully eventually published) version will look like. I'm starting with the prologue; seems like a logical place to begin Friday Snippets. From here on out (assuming this works) I may jump to favorite scenes in no particular order.

This material is copyrighted by the author (me). It is in draft form, will possibly be cut from the final version, and is probably still buggy. Do not quote or repost it anywhere or in any format. Thanks.

SS: Prologue

He stands at the slot machine, pretending to read the pay table but really watching her as she prepares to leave. Her shift is over, she is going home, and his chance has come. His chance to make the Master happy.

He tries to decide how to approach her.

He could introduce himself, but he will have to make up a name. He doesn’t remember his name. And then he will have to remember the made-up name.

No. That is too complicated. He does not need a name.

He will just follow her.

And the other servant of the Master, who waits outside in a car, will follow him, and together they will grab her.

This time they will get it right. The Master will have no reason to punish him.

She leaves, slinging her large purse over her shoulder as she walks out the front entrance. He follows, one of many vacant-eyed gamblers down on his luck. Her auburn ponytail bobs ahead of him.


She is the right one.

Want to join Friday Snippets?


Thursday, June 7, 2007


Elephant Statue

There are times that I feel sorry for animals in captivity. It's not the way they were supposed to live. It's not natural.

But then, we don't live in the way we were naturally supposed to, either. We cage ourselves in little metal boxes or a bit bigger wooden boxes, and we perform tricks. We run mazes, just like the mice do.

We jump for the shiny red ball, too.

Dolphin 01

My mom, however, reminded me that these animals are doing an important job. They are being ambassadors, teaching us often silly humans. Reminding us that we share our world with other creatures. Beautiful and intelligent and wonderful creatures.

Orca 02 Elephant 01
Tiger 01 Lorikeet

We don't usually give enough thought to animals. Many people think that they are beneath us, and not worth spending time or money on. I know that most of my readers disagree, at least to an extent, because so many of you are cat lovers. But if this is an issue that is truly important to you - if you are concerned at all about the state of our wildlife and the incredible variety of creatures that lives on this planet - I urge you to say something. To get the word out.*

To remind others that we are not alone. And that we have a bigger job in this life than just getting a bigger car, a better house, a larger paycheck. We are supposed to be Stewards of the Earth.

It's about time we acted like it.

Dolphin 02
So long, and thanks for the fish!

ETA: I just saw on the I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER site that the ban on elephant ivory trade is going to end on June 15th. There is a petition going around to get a new ban in place. Please, please, PLEASE alert people to this! We don't need luxury items that needlessly cost such magnificent creatures their lives. (Knit with luxury items instead, since they are harvestable without killing the animals! =) )

The petition is here: Humane Society Petition

*Feel free to link to this post, and to use the public pictures in it, if you do choose to help me spread the word.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Writing Wednesday: June Goals

The goals post worked well for May, even if I didn’t get them completed. It did give me something to aim for, and an easy way to sort out priorities. So, we’re doing a goals post for June, too. I’m not going to try to separate writing from non-writing goals this time, however. (I am also going to try to be more realistic.)

    June Goals:
  1. Post the next chapter of SS in the OWG.
  2. Crit every post up in my OWG group, plus those who regularly crit my piece from other groups.
  3. Reach the half-way point on Phoenix’s AD crit.
  4. Get The Music Man onstage.
  5. Finish M’s Tofutsies socks.
  6. Do an initial crit of the first 6 chapters of the Naked Project.
  7. Finish Chart #4 of Icarus.

No writing goals this month, come to think of it. Just editing goals. I need to get those crits off my plate in order to feel like I’ve accomplished what I need to do for other people. I tend to feel guilty when I let things sit too long, and then they don’t get done because I’m berating myself for not doing them.

This looks like a much more believable list than last month. We’ll see at the end of the month, though - and with The Music Man heading into the final stretch (with tech and hell weeks yet to come) it may be all I can do to stay awake all month.


FO: Blood Diamond

(There will be two posts today, as it is Writing Wednesday and this is a knitting post. But… since I now have pictures of the finished Blood Diamond socks, I wanted to post them.)

Blood Diamond Socks 14
Blood Diamond Socks 16 Blood Diamond Socks 18
Blood Diamond Socks 19

They took me 2-3 months of non-exclusive knitting time to finish, but through no fault of their own. Had I been less busy, they would have been done much sooner. Diamante’s a fun pattern.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I don’t like not meeting my goals. I know that it happens, but I don’t like it.

So at the end of May I set aside the other knitting projects I had going and concentrated on the one closest to being finished: the Blood Diamond socks.

Blood Diamond Socks 10
Isn’t she such a good helper?

They weren’t finished by the end of May, but very close. I cast off in the car on the way to the aloha-and-farewell party on Sunday.

Blood Diamond Socks 11
Little helper action shot!

I still haven’t sewn in the ends, which is why I don’t have FO pictures to show off yet, but the Blood Diamond socks are DONE.

Diamante is a fun pattern, and Deb deserves kudos for the easy to understand instructions. They’re in Knitty; if you haven’t tried it and like doing toe-up socks with a gusset, I highly recommend it.

There have also been several questions about the new yarn I bought for myself. It is KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in the Peppermint Heather colorway, and I plan to use it for a rectangular lace wrap of some kind. I’m not sure how big a wrap it will make, or what pattern I want to use, but I want it to be something open and loose and airy so that I can (if I finish it in any reasonable amount of time) wear it on summer nights. It would be lovely to walk the Capitola beach wearing that. Yum.
Stash 04

It’s baby alpaca, and soft as anything. I almost bought myself some yarn with silk content for my birthday, but decided to try this instead. I’m glad I did… it’s SO SOFT! (Wait. Said that already.) Suzy likes it too, but she can’t have it. I doubt she’ll take my word for it, though.

Blood Diamond Socks 13

She sure didn’t with the socks.


Week 23 ~ Into the Rift

Week 23 ~ June 4-10, 2007

Into the Rift
- Glenraven #2
by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Holly Lisle


This is the sequel to Glenraven, a good fantasy novel about a world of magic that co-exists with our world (the "Machine World") and needs a hero(ine) from our world to come save it. Into the Rift takes place afterwards, but the focus stays mostly in our world, with both the heroes and the villains of the story gating from Glenraven and into the Machine World.

There is a little romance (but not the modern sex-heavy type) and some betrayal (but not super-angsty) and some major mass destruction (but not super gory). There are well developed characters and plot twists and complexities. It is a well written and enjoyable to read book.

That said, however, it wasn't the best book in the world. It's good, yes. But I saw the major plot twist coming way before the characters did, and so I wanted to smack one of them for a while there. The characters are nicely developed, but coming right after Talyn they don't seem nearly as well fleshed out. (Probably not the best reading order for this one... many books pale in comparison to Talyn.)

It is a good read, and certainly worth the time. It is a collaboration that uses the best parts of both writers' styles, and blends them seamlessly so that you can't tell who wrote/edited/decided on which part. Definitely a fun read.


Monday, June 4, 2007


I had a fun weekend. We went visiting lions and tigers and dolphins, oh my! (Pictures of that to come later in the week.) And we (M & I) went to a hula-themed party. Just good, basic fun. I hope your weekends were good, too.

Suzy Leid 04
I can hula, Mom! Watch!

(She got that on all by herself. I promise.)

Suzy Leid 01
*munch* Oooh, yummy - Technicolor flowers! *munch*

I also bought and made Birthday Blog Bash prizes, which was a bunch of fun. I didn’t take full, easy-to-see pictures, since I want the prize recipients to get a little bit of a surprise, but I did take a few art-type photos of them. (Though I was having an argument with my camera, and so that photos aren’t as art-y as I had originally wanted.)

Contest Gift 01

Contest Gift 02

Contest gift 04
The prizes all ready to go out in the mail…

I also, while I was at it, made myself some stitch markers and bought myself some new yarn.

Stitch Markers 02

Stash 05

It was a good weekend. Now let’s hope the good-ness continues through the week to come.