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Solstice Surf scarf

Here is the first project, part of my Christmas knitting.  The yarn is a fuzzy merino ribbon, and it is a somewhat messed up version of Morning Surf Scarf by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer from Ravelry.  I gave this to my older sister.  In spite of not going exactly according to plan, I thought it made a pretty cute scarf.  The two pictures are of the same scarf, believe it or not.  The color is sort of in between the two, closer to the darker one.

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Er, I think I bought some more fabric

I’ve been doing really well with my not-buying vow for the yarn, clothing, and the other art supplies.  I’ve been working steadily and not buying stuff.  But, er, e-quilter had a 60% off sale, and some of the fabric that’s been in my wish list for ages was on it, so, well, I guess I might have bought it.  So now I have to make 27 sewn projects before I’m allowed to buy fabric.

With all my christmas knitting, I’m down to six more projects before I will allow myself to buy yarn.  Man, I’ve got the Noro I’m going to buy all picked out.  Plus some other things.  I’ve got one project on the needles and a couple more ready to go.

I exhibited at the art show at Arisia, a Boston SF con.  I took the week off work and made as much stuff as fast as I could.  It was a great week, and I sold three things at the show so I’m pleased.  The show was kind of slow, so I was even happier to have sold something.

I’m working on getting all the pictures of my work up… I’m going to start posting tonight, and then schedule to posts to go up once a day until I get everything done.  This should keep the blog lively for a quite some time.

Nanowrimo update

You know what I hate the most about nanowrimo (national novel writing month)?  The fact that I could write 15K words, have 8 chapters on a new novel that is looking pretty decent to me, and somehow, this is considered a fail.  OK, I do understand the concept of setting this high bar so you write without your normal internal editor and restrictions, but I am still delighted that I got such a good start on a new draft.  I suggested to Alice that we stretch this out a bit, continue to compete with each other, and try to get to 50K words this winter and a complete draft by the summer.  We shook on it.

Oh, and by the way Alice?  PWN!  I clobbered your sarcastic teenage ass.  To the tune of EIGHT TIMES as long as yours.  And all you could say about it was that my wardrobe has a “compost heap” theme going.  Yep, lose the contest, so insult the clothes.

Solemn vows

These are not early New Year’s resolutions.  For one thing, they are solemn vows and not resolutions, and for another, I made them quite a while ago.

The underlying theme in all of these is trying to attack the stuff-ism, borderline hoarding disorder, chaotic over-burdening, over-scheduling, and over-spending in my life.

About last March, I vowed to buy no clothes for a year.  Preferably, nothing for the whole family, although I would buy stuff that the kids’ needed.  I took Alice to Goodwill for back to school shoppping for a few pairs of jeans– Oz still has tons of clothes he’s barely worn.  Also, I did buy a couple of exercise outfits when I joined a gym because I didn’t have much at all that I could wear.  Other than that, I’ve kept this vow.  I am debating whether boots count.  I’d like a new pair of boots.  And when March comes, I will be delighted to get a new pair of jeans as Alice borrowed my only good pair and spilled paint on them.  I’m pretty proud of myself for pulling this off.  I’ve got a bunch of things cut out down in the sewing room to round out what we need now.

I’ve also been pretty horrified at the size of my stash lately.  Everyone talks about ginormous stashes as if it’s good and kind of funny, but you know, it’s just not.  I have several family members with OCD, and it ain’t pretty.  Also, when there’s too much, there’s too much to take care of and the treasures wind up with mold or worms or other nasty things happening to them, and that’s just heart breaking.  So two new vows.  I won’t buy any fabric until I’ve sewn ten objects; I won’t buy new yarn until I’ve knitted ten projects, and I won’t buy materials for new crafts or techniques until I’ve cleared some of the old ideas off my plate.  I’m doing well on the yarn.  The sewing has been a little harder.  I made three things, and then broke down and bought a big batch of new fabric.  So now I need to finish 17 before I buy any more fabric.  And yes, I can easily make 17 outfits with fabric in my basement, easily.  And there’s so much left over that I will probably make myself finish another ten things before I buy something else.

I’ve got one knitting project down, one misc craft project, and five sewing projects completed.  My goal is to complete the goal by July, when I made the project vows.  We’ll see how it goes.

Deadlines and Schedules

I’m pleased that I’ve made all the weekly updates so far with Polu Texni.  Some of the things I thought I’d run have been delayed, but I’ve always found something to take their place, for a smooth schedule so far.  I’ve got the next few weeks queued up and ready to go, so I should be on schedule for quite some time.

It’s going to be challenging this month… my daughter asked me if I would do NanoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, with her.  It’s a challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  I haven’t been writing much myself lately, but I had all those old outlines and story ideas that I’ve been living with for years.  I picked one, and it’s been pouring out of me… wow, in the ten years since I started plotting this one, I guess I’ve done a lot of work on it.

So far I’m pwning Alice.  HA!  But she doesn’t have the advantage of stories which have been stuck for decades.  It’s a real thrill to do something like this with your daughter — I knew it was dumb to try to write 50K words in 30 days on top of everything else I’ve committed to do (committed is the operative word here) but I just couldn’t say no to her if she wanted to try it.  The Queen of Biting Off More Than I Can Chew strikes again!

Happy Halloween

Halloween is my favorite day of the year.

We weren’t doing any costume events at work this year, so I picked out the least slutty of my black dresses, my glittery bat earrings, my brightest hair gear, and more make up than I’ve worn the entire year combined.  My co-workers keep asking me who I’m supposed to be.  I say (indignantly) that this isn’t a costume, it’s the other 364 days a year that I’m wearing costumes.

I did kind of figure that even if there weren’t costumes that I wouldn’t be the only one dressed in seasonal fashion.  Whoops.  Guessed wrong.

Black Ribbon on Podcastle

The audio reading of my story Black Ribbon is now up on Podcastle.  It gave me goose bumps to hear it.  I love the reader’s voice.  I wrote this about 18 years ago, and I was happy that I still liked the story when I heard it.  It’s, um, taking a beating in the comments and forum.  It’s a really weird feeling to read all these people saying how wretched the story was… it’s not entirely unpleasant.  Am I that hard up for attention?  Maybe that’s what child psychologists mean when they talk about negative attention providing perverse reinforcement.  It’s kind of neat to get the readers reaction immediately, even when reaction isn’t good.  To my mind, the story holds up well.  Anyway, gorgeous reading, well produced, and in my humble opinion, a great story.

You can hear it at podcastle.

New Project Announcement

I’ve been working on a big new project for a couple of months now, and now it’s finally ready to be unveiled to the public. It is Polu Texni, a web magazine dedicated to speculative fiction and mixed media arts. You can see it at http://www.polutexni.com. The first issue has fiction by Adam Rurik and Jack Skillingstead, and an artist’s profile on Pat Lillich.

In connection with the new project, I’m looking for authors that were originally scheduled to have stories appear in my earlier publishing projects, A Different Beat or Dimensions of Madness. Drop me an email, I want to hear from you.

Hmmm

I see that fixing this site isn’t all positive.  With the music thingie working properly, it is now announcing to the world that I listened to “Tubular Boobular” three times in a row. Umm… my kids had the laptop?

Well, Crap, Part II

Another dumb little upgrade of the software and now the theme broke.  Oh well, I guess the site needed a face lift anyway.  I’ll have to tinker with it to get it looking right, but this forced me to upgrade all of my plugins so the little doo-dads along the side are working better than they did before.