Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Birthdays, brrrr, and braid.

Today is Hubby's birthday! Happy birthday Hubby! In celebration of his birthday he took off work today and since he was off work I decided to cancel my ride to the yarn shop so he could take me later. Mistake. We are still home, but it is far warmer here than it is out there, so I am not rushing out into the cold overly much today. The shopping will get done and the world will keep on spinning, despite it being a little choppier than normal plans. Still, it is a good day already.

Yesterday - this is where the braid comes in - I made my first ever i-cord in knitting! It was amazing to watch as a rope like structure appeared from three knitted stitches on a needle. It was magnificent! It made me feel quite proud and very much like a closer-to-being-accomplished knitter!

Tomorrow Hubby goes back to work and, with luck, there will be more yarn for me to play with and make pretty things with and I can perhaps get some more dishes washed (our water has frozen here and there because of the cold temps). Maybe I will relax and just enjoy being warm.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fingerless Mittens

There is a knitting project I am really wanting to get my needles into! The pattern is called Fingerless Mittens in Landscapes but it looks, in a finished project, remarkably like the picture above. The picture above is from a site called and has wonderful patterns. The Fingerless Mittens in Landscapes is front the Knitting Pattern a Day 2007 calendar I have and it is much easier to make, as it is a beginner pattern. Still, it makes me want to make them, and it also has interest from a friend for their sister who is working in a very drafty office and needs warm hands, too.
At the moment, my little mittens/gloves will just have to wait until I get a) the pair made for my friend's sister done and b) the sweater promised to my dear husband.
However, this week I have promised myself a trip to Michael's to get yarn and a couple of sets of double pointed needles for the making of the "mittens" so I can do them in time for my friend to have them to the sister before leaving from vacation.
Trying new patterns once upon a time would have made me quite nervous. So nervous, in fact, I probably would have talked myself out of even attempting them. Now I look for new patterns to try and find myself quite happy in doing them. Not everything turns out properly, of course, but this isn't as often as it used to be. Usually I am having gauge problems but am learning how to change the needles and the yarn/thread in order to attain what is needed.
Perhaps this proves, in some way, I am growing up a little as a "textile artist" (which still makes me laugh) and as a person. Actually, I think it just means I am more secure in myself than what I used to be. It shows in my writing, and now is showing itself in other areas of life when it is least expected, as in my knitting.
A night cannot pass now without me knitting something. My hands just need to knit. My mind needs to calm. I need to see the yarn taking on different shape and becoming something that is usually very cool.
Yeah, I am almost to the point of saying I am a knitter for real.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This made me smile, it's from a fortune cookie.

When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Preparations, sticks and thread: I'm ready!

Today was going to be one of those mad days of writing so I could get ever closer to the illusive submission deadline date, but, instead, it has turned out to be one of those days where it is more important to relax a little because of all of the stress this week has been.

The stress hasn't been of magnificent proportions or anything. It has merely been the stress of creative work and it has been welcomed. However, I am still continuing to miss sleep. Last night sleep eluded me the entire night. Only when the sun started coming up did I actually sleep for any amount of time. My body rested throughout the night, but my mind was active and pausing here and there on different story ideas, knitting projects currently going on as well as those planned, and ideas for everyone's birthdays which are coming up and just passed. It was a busy night for my head despite taking two melatonin to help me sleep. The melatonin levels in my brain must be very low indeed!

So, today I relax and I try and help my dear husband get over the sinuses. He has it all today: headache, irritability, stuffy nose, slightly swollen forehead, sneezing, and feeling absolutely like crap. Hopefully when he gets home I can get him to drink a nice cup of hot tea and his sinuses will clear a little for him to sleep (no, he likewise didn't sleep last night, but for different reasons). Poor baby. I am quite used to feeling ill in one fashion or another, but when he isn't feeling well it makes me worry and I so want to try and help him to feel better.

Now, I am going to knit. If it turns out nicely I may just post a picture of it for you! If it doesn't, well, you won't see it. :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

This is amazing!

You have probably seen it already, but I had not found a suitable link, without commentary, until today. My heart just thumped loudly to see something moving that should have died out with the dinosaurs, and, at the same time, it made me sad because you tell it was really hurt and just possibly in pain. What drove it up from its depths? Should Godzilla's theme song be playing?

Progress has been made!

I am tired.

I have finged until I am tired and my eyes feel even more tired than before I found my eye drops this afternoon.

I would really like to sleep a few more hours.

Word count for 1/25/07? 22,210!


On today's agenda we have more finging and more writing, and more organization. There are a couple more things to add to this today - one of which is dishes. I need to wash dishes, not because the sink is full (because it is), but washing dishes helps me think through problems in stories. A friend of mine once said it is because of the running water and the instant gratification of getting one task completed (washing dishes is never done because you always end up dirtying up more dishes before the day is through, much like laundry). Whatever it is I am in need of washing dishes.

Now...I fing!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm Finging as Fast as I Can!

Several weeks (or was it months) ago, I was talking to a dear writerly friend of mine and was trying to say, "I have typed so much today my fingers cannot type any more." What I said was, "I've finged until I can fing no more!" Yeah, my friend was worried too for a little while.

Since then, each time I have gone to do some typing of stories and material written, it has become "fing." For the past several days I have been finging and writing on Novel #1 with a passion. Thus the absence of posts, for which I apologize.
As of today, before the final word count for today is done, I have a solid 20, 915 words down according to Word. It isn't finished. It is supposed to be mailed out on January 31st. Am I going to make the deadline? Probably not. It doesn't mean I am not going to keep trying, but I am accepting the possibility it may not be out when it is supposed to be and I am making myself OK with that fact.
Let's face it, what else can I do? This is a project of creativity not a paper on the arctic seal or declining environment of the liver colored ditty whopper (and no, there isn't such an animal to my knowledge). So, the creativity comes as it comes.

One thing I can honestly say is that the piece is progressing and I am enjoying it, although sometimes I do complain about it because the characters and problems of creating all get caught up somewhere inside my head and a scream invariably escapes me...which helps me to feel better, and I keep on going putting one word after another until sentences come and then paragraphs and images appear and not as many run on sentences as are currently appearing in this particular paragraph.

Any way, Novel #1 is progressing. I feel like I am genuinely Working, and I am. I feel like a writer, which I am. This doesn't make my life any easier at the moment, but it definitely does feel full and pleasant. I wonder if feeling pregnant is anything like this? Man, what a thought!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Have you ever...?

Have you ever noticed that when you are really excited about working on a project something always happens to throw a little glitch into the plan? Mine has been my gall bladder. It decided it did not like some food I ate last night and so I have been very careful with what I've eaten, and drunk today and will keep it up until this most recent bout is over.

The really major bad thing about this is how it affects the flow of words. The words have not been gotten to as of yet because of routines and being a housewife and taking care of said house, and animals. Still, I do expect to put down some good words today and to type in a goodly amount. It would just be so much better if it had been more words and an earlier start.

Yes, I know, we can't have everything we want, but it is still an important thing and I am really glad for it all.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Made It Through and Settling In

The house was blessed yesterday bright and early around nine thirty in the morning. Father wasn't able to stay very long because he was running a little behind on his house blessing schedule for the day. It is probably needless to say, but, the house wasn't in perfect order, it wasn't in good order, but it did make it to fair which pleased me greatly.

I worked on it all day Friday and way into the early morning hours of Saturday. I pushed myself harder than I have pushed myself in quite a while and thus didn't eat on my regular schedule and thus my gall bladder let me know how bad I had been. Dear Hubby even told Father I had over done it and hurt myself a little. Father just nodded and gave me his once over to possibly make sure he did not need his wife, who is a nurse, to call me and double check on my condition. And, much to my great happiness, Father didn't say one bad thing about the house!

About the only other moment of note was when, after the house was blessed, Father looked over to where Cappa was sitting quietly in her chair and he said, "So this is the only remaining cat you have?" Father does not like cats. He is a dog person. The look he gave the cat was not an overly pleasant one and Cappa gave back as good as she got. If Father was ever dismissed by a feline, it was then and there. It took a bit of will for me not to chuckle out loud, but Father wouldn't ever admit cats have expressions, still, it was most funny.

Now the rain has come and so has the ice. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. Some time this week it is supposed to snow. Also this week is the big week for finishing up on the novel and then out to the publisher for consideration. I am excited. A little worried. Life, currently, is good.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Moments of Relaxation

Since my gall bladder has been acting up so horribly I have had to learn to eat differently, relieve stress differently, and even stress differently if at all possible. (That last one is the really difficult one.) One of the things Oriental medicine says to do to help your gall bladder regain its energy and health is, of course, drinking tea.

For the past couple of weeks at three o'clock, I have settled myself down with a hot cup of tea -- sometimes it's coffee -- and a cookie of some sort, and just let the day settle away and permitted myself to have a breather for the rest of the day to begin. This has become one of my most favorite times of the day, and it really didn't take long for it to be that way. I look forward to my tea time any more, and when I don't have it, even on the weekends it appears, I miss it. There is just a span of time that seems empty in that bad sort of way. You know the way - when you know there is something you enjoy isn't there: the routine is broken.

Now, as time slips away toward bed, I have made myself a cup of "SleepyTime Tea" from Celestial Seasonings (TM) and am slowly letting myself prepare for bed. I haven't done this before, but I believe it is going to become one of those times I enjoy and look forward to. Letting the day go is difficult for most people, myself included, and if there is something out there that can let us "let go" of the worries of the day, then I believe it is a good thing.

Normally I am not a tea drinker. As you all know, I am a coffee person, but there is something inexorably good about teas and tea time. It was something I never fully noticed before. The truth is, I never let there be moments of the day, or evening, where I gave myself permission to relax and let go of everything, and I do mean everything like arguments, problems, worries. Slowly I have come to accept that these things are always going to be around me, in me merely because I am alive and human. But, if I give myself time to just let them go, they don't become burdens as quickly as they normally might. Instead, they are worked on differently and viewed differently.

Yes, I know, two weeks of doing this is not saying it has become one of those good habits, and I do realize there are a lot of things that can push me past those good feelings and those times of just "letting things go" - the important thing is that I am learning to do it and I am keeping it up. Willingly.

Yeah, I'm surprised, too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blossoming Yarn Addiction - or BYA

Since beginning to knit I am becoming more and more addicted to it. When I am stuck on a story or poem point I have begun picking up the yarn and knitting needles and working on whatever project happens to be on them and, in about 30 minutes I have worked a good bit on the knitting as well as gotten passed the problem point currently being thunk about.

Another thing I am slowly beginning to realize is that knitting is truly a form of instant gratification. Other projects have been attempted in the past and they have been completed, but not quite with the same feeling of good well-being and accomplishment knitting is doing for me of late. Beading is a wonder thing, and I dearly enjoy beading, but not the same as settling down with the knitting needles, or crochet hook and just working, usually mindlessly, with my hands. Unless counting is involved (and it is at some point or other), the hands just take over and even though my eyes watch the thread weaving on the needles, it is just as much a wonderful surprise to me something neat comes out of it as it does everyone else!

This leaves only one problem: A continued reason to keep going out and purchasing yarn and knitting needles. This, of course, means coming up with projects to work on. Right now I have two sweaters to do for my dear hubby and Cheyenne, as well as a possible baby blanket for a friend of Hubby's, and some socks and stockings for myself. After that I believe I am going to begin working on Christmas presents for 2007. One of those projects is going to be a knitted afghan which has me quite excited.

This is the first hobby I have attempted that keeps challenging me to progress and improve in very subtle ways. For example, if I can cable well I can do projects such as this. Today I even watched a program on DIY network about simple cabling which I found quite instructive and helpful. After seeing the program I feel more confident in tackling such a thing as cabling in the upcoming afghan project. Cabling requires thought, counting, and still you get to watch as beautiful things just seem to grow out of your hands and needles. Yes, instant gratification at its very highest!

Monday, January 15, 2007

House Blessings and Insomnia

For the past several weeks - three to be exact - I have had problems sleeping. I either could not shut my brain off long enough to fall asleep, or I would go to sleep and wake up an hour later and be completely unable to go back to sleep. Those of you who have insomnia know exactly how this makes you feel: drained, really cranky, and the thought processes begin to break down relatively quickly.

Being a writer it should be quite commonplace for me to not sleep having so many words, worlds and characters running around my brain. Still, sleep is a necessary part of life. Sleep lets the body and mind rest and re-boot for another day. My re-booting process hasn't been what it needed to be in order for a proper re-start for the next day. Now, add to this that my priest is coming this Saturday, the 18th, to bless the house and you get a very real sense of almost panic for yours truly.

No, we haven't just moved into our house, but the Orthodox Christian faith has house blessings every year. If the previous year wasn't so good just like a true New Year, the possibility of the next year - 2007 for us - looks better, and it really begins to look better once we have our houses blessed. It is a good tradition to me. However, as is tradition, this also means the house needs to be relatively clean and in order. This is where I just want to hide under a rock and pretend everything will go away.

Recently I sat down and looked at each room of my house and plotted out on paper exactly what I wanted to do. When I saw that I just sort of felt as if things could indeed change and be better, plus, the way I had it planned out, I should be able to do most of the organizing with my husband having to do only those things his very short wife could not reach.

Last night I slept. It took an entire muscle relaxer and some melatonin to knock my brain out, but I slept all the way until 11:30 this morning! The end result was energy I have not had in many weeks, not to mention days. The energy was so much so that I actually cleaned up around the desk and have planned out exactly how to take care of a few other things I need to do to get the front room taken care of. If this truly works, the house will be in fairly good shape by the time Father comes to bless it!

*insert squeeeeee here*

Tonight I am going to take half a muscle relaxer and a couple of melatonin. Maybe my brain will figure out I'm supposed to sleep when I lay down and re-train it for such a purpose. Either way, I am really looking forward to tomorrow!

Yeah, I'm not one for cleaning, but seeing my goals realized is ten times better, and if it happens to entail some cleaning and house-keeping, well, so be it.

Three cheers for me!

Hoorah! Hoorah! Hoorah!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Any body got some advice out there?

Today is warm-ish here in the Bluegrass state and horse city. The sky is over-cast and it has been raining off and on. It is one of those quiet days filled with . . . quietness.

Last night was a night of sleeplessness, again. Insomnia is something writers tend to have in common and usually for different reasons. The one follow-through factor is that our brains just won't shut off. Insomnia isn't just for writers, of course, but it does seem to strike a lot of the creative types I know. For me, my brain hasn't shut down for a good length of time since I have been really pushing to get the novel finished and out on time, as well as finish the short story that is plaguing me. Although, on the short story, I can easily see it being a screenplay or even a novel, but I am having a hard time just putting it down in a short story format.

You want to know the really annoying part about this short story near-disaster? I had plans, serious plans, of getting a short story out before the end of every month this year. The story is done, of course. It isn't perfect. I believe it is well-written. So the question arises of, Do I send it out even though it is probably going to be rejected and even I can see it will probably be rejected? Do I send it off, knowing this, and thus practically guaranteeing my first rejection of the new year?

Part of me really just wants to keep with the plan, submit the story and be done with it. At least, if I do this, I will have taken up a challenge, taken up a goal and actually was working toward it. Should I just let the goal slip to the side? If I do that I am afraid I will not get the habit of writing and submitted embedded in my psyche and, for a writer, the heart.

Yes, there are difficulties in my little world today. They aren't problems, at least. In general, I do believe this is at the very least a productive difficulty or dilemma.

Any advice?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sitting Down With Cup of Tea

I proclaim this knowledge for the world to hear yet again: Writing is HARD.

Yes, I have said it before, and I will undoubtedly say it again. Why am I saying it this time? Because there is a lovely little story I'd like to actually get finished that friends, and probably editors if they read the current version, wouldn't call "meatless" as far as plot and action are concerned. The story idea is good with characters and ideas, but as far as fleshing out the story, well, it isn't happening right now. It also isn't helping I have an annoying headache, but I just can't give up on this particular story for today.

Today I also realized, besides having screwed up the story I so dearly want to tell, I haven't up-dated here any where near as much as I should have, especially since I am seriously writing again. It would actually be nice to say what I had accomplished so far today and what is expected of the accomplishment tomorrow, as well as a few blurbs and blurgs here and there about other things. I'm sorry, Dear Readers. Sometimes all the words get caught up together and all you can really do is write the ones presenting themselves, even when you know you should also be putting words down elsewhere. Since I do see the error of my ways, I heretofore resolve to correct this matter and post more regularly here in The News. Besides, how can it be called "The News" if there isn't any reporting going on?

Good point, Self.

Why, thank you, Self.

Don't mention it...too often. :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I you to The Dooce!

Being a dog owner, friend, lover, and over all animal loving person, when I began reading The Dooce's entry I began nodding my head, because my JoJo has done this almost very thing before. However, I did not bring the strange dog into my home, even if it did show me its belly! But, as I said, being a dog person, I loved this little tidbit. Go, enjoy. More later.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A New Year, A New Monday, A New Beginning

This is going to be my year. How do I know this? Because I feel it in every pore of my being. I woke up feeling pretty good about everything and the more I work on the current Works In Progress the more I can see a possibility they will be accepted, somewhere. And, though it is going to be a lot of work, I am feeling really good about it all deep down...really deep down, where it counts.

Not only is the confidence there today, and has been there since 2007 dawned, but the muse is flittering and fluttering her happy little fairy wings (yes, my muse is quite fairy-ish in my head) about me and encouraging me forward with the words and the stories and the ideas.

For those of you in the Lexington/Richmond, Kentucky area, there is going to be a writing class by Michael Garrett who is an editor who has worked with Stephen King and he is having different classes at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky in April. A friend of mine just told me about it today. It is a weekend class schedule so I should be able to go for at least one of the classes offered. You can check it out here. Tuition for the classes is just $59. I'm pretty sure I can save up $59 between now and April if I am a very good girl. Just getting there would be my only problem at the moment.

Now, back to the Ink Mines!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Something good from a fortune cookie

I love Chinese food. Simply because of this it would be silly of this not to like the sweet crunchiness of the fortune cookie. It is fun sitting around the table and letting everyone recite their fortune cookie wisdom. Sometimes it is appropriate and sometimes, well, the laughter echoes with mirth as well as a couple of confused looks here and there. What the heck was that supposed to mean, be, et.c.?

Last night we had Chinese food delivered. Hubby and I were both tired and cooking felt like one big chore. I usually eat my fortune cookie after my meal, but last night I saved it until today. It was consumed just a few minutes ago.

I unfolded my little slip of a fortune. Read it. Re-read it. And read it again. Yeah, it was one of those appropriate ones, especially since I have been wondering if I could tackle one project that is really weighing on my mind. Did I have the strength? Did I have the smarts? Did I have the drive? Did I have the will? So, you get the idea.

Do not underestimate yourself. Human beings have unlimited potential.

It is really nice when God surprises you with something neat. So, just so you know, Sir. Thanks. I really did need that.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Bears Have Insomnia

According to a report from Spain, the weather has been so warm their bears don't want to take their winter nap. Not only is Spain having a problem, but Alaska is also having problems with their bears not wanting to take Mother Nature's suggested nap! And in Wisconsin the bears are also up in arms and refusing to take their winter slumbers. A lot of people are blaming global warming, but I think the bears may have just gotten together to have a winter long slumber party. Who knows, they may pass out from all of their wild partying ways come next winter. After all, who could blame them? This winter has been extremely warm. Who wants to go to bed when it is warm and sunny outside; or, at the very least, sunny?
happy polar bears

Thursday, January 04, 2007

*wipes forehead with a gleeful grin*

It appears I have made it through the holidays with some semblance of sanity, much love in my heart, and a relatively good mood still. The computer has new memory which makes it work much better now, and I am back to working on Project 1 and Project 2 will soon be completed as well; however, the imagination may well be hijacked by a short story idea that keeps pulling at me. It sprang to life last night while my brain wouldn't shut off. I really should give myself a break from the big stories and work on this little darling. I really should.

In other news, we are still alive, as you can see. Life isn't always good, but we are still alive which leaves hope for other good things to happen.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Only one thing to say....