Monday, October 26, 2009

The Best is Yet to Come.

For those of you paying attention to my continuing practice of naming blog posts after songs, Tony Bennett's version of this song was the recessional at my wedding. I thought it was appropriate then and I still do, but in many other ways as well. I'm hoping to be a late bloomer in a lot of areas. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

In writing news, I now have 53 double spaced manuscript pages and 15,967 words. The goal is 100,000 words roughly or the end of the story. As many of you know, I've been trying to write for years, but it never really seemed to happen. I would plan characters, outline the entire plot, do a time line if it was complicated, and then I'd write 3 pages and drop it. I had a conversation with my friend Laura the other day about the draft this time, and why I'm actually getting anywhere with it. I think it's because this time, I planned the characters, and that was pretty much it. I took one scene from an exercise I did for an online writing class a couple years ago through Writers Online Workshops (Writer's Digest people), and I just started. I didn't even know what my plot would be. Now I have a vague three sentence idea of where I'm going, but it's just coming out as I move along. It seems like I just have to sit down for an hour and I have another 1,000 words.

I've been trying to figure out why I'm actually writing this time after so many failed attempts, and I think it's because I don't know where I'm going, so it's interesting. Every time I outlined everything, I was bored because I already knew what the story was going to be. Secondly, I think I have really and truly given myself permission this time to write utter garbage. If I don't worry about what other people will think when they read it, words end up on the page. I've been trying to do 20+ double spaced pages before I will allow myself to go back and revise what I just did, and I only get one rewrite of that material before I move on to the next 20+ pages. That way I'm not procrastinating by revising the thing to death.

I've been keeping a notebook in my purse to write bits in odd moments, and it's amazing how much you can get done while you eat lunch, or when you've got a minute to wait for something. I end up adding and revising when I type it in, so even bare bones sketches of what's going on in my nearly unintelligible handwriting ends up adding a lot more.

In fiber news, I think the third pattern change of the sock has done the trick. I've finished the heel and I'm half way down the foot of the sock. It's nice to work on small easily completed projects for a change. I'm saying this now, until I pull my next dumb masochistic knitter's trick. Shockingly I skipped Stitches East this year, even though it was in Hartford. I decided that it was too much time in the car and that my bank account couldn't handle it, and it's not like I couldn't go stash diving for years before I run out of yarn. So I let it go this year. I'm really going to try to make the attempt next year though.

Stay tuned for further updates from this station.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Black and Blue

Today was the Breast Cancer Walk. I would just like to express my sincere hopes that the organizers might think that June would be a good month to switch to having the walk. It rained and snowed. We only walked 3 miles, but because I was soaked and cold, I think I've had more muscle pain than I normally would. (Six ibruprofen has not put a real dent in the pain yet). I walked with my mother-in-law, Joanne (in the pink hat), my aunt-in-law Debbie (white hat), and my cousin-in-law Kelly.

Joanne went to Target and picked us up some pink gloves which were much appreciated. I also realized today that I don't have any sort of rain coat or windbreaker. I know I had some dollar store ponchos I keep on hand for NH Sheep and Wool (it rains every year), but I couldn't find them. I brought umbrellas but the wind keep turning them inside out, so there really wasn't a point in using them. It's amazing how soaked a Wellesley sweatshirt can get.

I've done the walk in Concord several times over the years, but I have not ever done one in Manch Vegas. We started at the Fisher Cats stadium, and the march started with the local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians playing the bag pipes. I took really sucky pictures of that, and they remain sucky after I've cleaned them up on photo shop, but I'm putting them here anyway.

In other news, I finished Shawn's really boring hat. I slept oddly on Saturday night. I dozed off around 7 pm and then slept till 1 am, and then I was up from 1 am to 4 am, then slept from 4 am to 7:30 am. So the three hour stretch between 1 am and 4 am while I was watching random stuff on the History Channel allowed me to finish Shawn's hat. It was a quick knit even on #5 needles and sportweight, as I finished it in seven days. Well, eight I guess since it was done 4 hours after midnight. Doesn't Shawn look so thrilled to be modeling it??

I also ripped the sock back for the second time and picked a new pattern. I'm pretty sure this one is going to work this time though. If not, I'm sticking this yarn back in the stash to age for a bit until it can tell me what the heck it wants to be.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Evening Falls

The short answer is that I think I'm fine. After another mammogram, and two ultrasounds, I was told that they think it's fiberous/glandular mass, and I got a letter with the box checked that says (I kid you not) "Probably benign (probably not cancer.) Recommended for repeat mammogram in six (6) months." This sort of thing does not engender confidence in one's health care providers. I somehow don't really feel much better. I'm sure I'll get to the point where I can ignore it again until the next mammogram in six months, but honestly, at this moment I'd like to just get rid of them altogether. I know this is probably not a healthy viewpoint, but I just view them as ticking time bombs. If it does ever happen to me, I'm telling you, I'm not screwing around, it's going to be an immediate double mastectomy even if I have to pay for it. And I know that they say that doesn't always prevent it, but in my viewpoint it sure couldn't hurt. There'd be less tissue for anything to develop in.

But anyway, on to more cheerful topics. I went camping with some of the knitters this weekend at Paula's family's camp area in Ossipee. Fred make amazing mortadella, prosciutto, onion, tomato, and mozzerella paninis over the campfire for lunch, and a meatloaf in a dutch over, baked potatoes and grilled zucchini for dinner. He made homemade marshmellows for smores and I brought the Jetboil Helios and made chocolate fondue. We also used the PCS and my Flash prototype to make hot tea and cocoa, as it was unbelievably freaking cold.

Here's pictures of Fred playing with the Flash and working with the panini maker for the fire.

It was cold. Unbelievably cold. Hard to knit cold. Alison trying to wrap a scarf around her head to keep warm cold.

It was really fun, but despite a long sleeve shirt, my Wellesley double thick sweatshirt, a fleece, a shawl, hat and mittens and two sleeping bags, I barely slept because of the cold. I kept looking at the clock every hour or so, and I think I finally nodded off for a bit between 5 am and 6 am. Given that I had to work the next day, when it got light, I packed up my tent around 7am and headed home to try to get some sleep.

It was really fun, but I think next year we need to do it when it's warmer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Thin Ice

Okay, I know I'm being overly dramatic, and that it's very common to get called back in for more pictures after a baseline mammogram, but that doesn't mean that I'm not still wigged. Apparently I have an area of density in my right breast. I thought I was pretty dense all around, but whatever. They warned me at the appointment before the pictures were taken that they might have to call me back in and I should not panic or worry about it at all, but in what world is that possible exactly? Since I got the call this afternoon, all I can think about is Liz, and that it will be six years in January since she left us. So I'm having my little spaz, venting here a bit, and then I'm going to pretend that everything is fine and that I don't have that pit in my stomach until I get the results after my new appointment on Monday. It's okay, you can move along now, nothing to see here, show's over :)

The Rainbow Connection

It's morning and I have to be in the shower in 15 minutes so I'm not late to work, but I wanted to post pics of my friend Alison modeling my shawl. There were some funnier ones, but I'll spare her. Plus the shawl looked fuzzy in them (I do have my priorities here).

I also wanted to give an update on the writing, although I have on Facebook already, so some of you may have heard this already. I broke 10,000 words! I currently have 10,238 in the computer, which doesn't count the pages I've written in my notebook when I'm out and about.

Okay, gotta run, but hopefully I'll post more soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

At Last!

At last the freaking swirl shawl is done. It's on my lovely $10 foam insulation blocking board improvised with duct tape (even in my color) which works really well. I'm hoping that it will dry quickly so I can get some pictures with someone wearing it, but for now, I'm just happy the damn thing has been put to bed.

For the knitterly among you, the next time I start one of these projects where you all roll your eyes at me and ask me if I like punishing myself, will you remind me of this moment and threaten to take my needles away from me??? I know, I know, I probably won't listen since I appear to be a masochist knitter, but try okay?