Sunday, February 12, 2012

Write Good or Die

Today I'm using a book title for the blog, although I haven't read it, it seems strangely appropriate.  And the writing quote that came up on of my gadgets was "Ass in the chair" - Nora Roberts.  Now given the level of output that woman publishes, I think it's good advice.  I'm not saying that Nora Roberts is high art.  But the woman writes and writes a lot, and I still read her stuff now and again, even though she's not the best writer.  Her stuff is mind jello.  It's like watching the Cartoon Network.  Her writing is not going to make me think or show me any universal truths or wisdom, but the stories are engaging and it lets my brain rest a bit.  And she has published a holy ton of books.

Today I didn't feel like writing.  But it was on the schedule so I did it.  And I think what I got today works, and got me much further down the road towards being done.  It might need work, but now I have stuff to work on and fiddle with, and if I hadn't put my ass in the chair, and waited until I had inspiration, I wouldn't be any further along.  Maybe someday, I could write a novel that's heading a little more towards literature, but I don't think I need to be a Writer with a capital "W".  I think I just want to tell a decent story.  So that's the road I'm on for now.  Does anyone know where I could buy a seat belt for an office chair that would work on a timer?  Because that would be cool.

So anyway to the numbers.  I hit 150,051 words and 492 pages this morning.  Given that my original goal was around 100,000 words and 300 pages, this is a little frustrating.  But there's only about a day and half left in the novel, and the wrap up. And then of course, the months that I will spend revising, but that's another topic for another day.

In knitting news, I finished the Absinthe socks last weekend during the sports event that shall not be named.  (Not because the Pats lost, but because the sports event annoys me, in general, and in specific, now that it is in February instead of January where it tends to interfere with my birthday frequently).  Not that I watched the sports event, I pointedly watched Pride and Prejudice instead.  Colin Firth version.  He's a total hottie.  In any case, I've started the sweater I'm designing with short rows.  I'm using Creative Focus Cotton from Nashua Handknits.  Adding in the yardage for the socks and the first skein of this sweater, I'm closing in on my having knitted 10 miles of yarn.  I'm at 9.77 miles as of this morning.  Yes, I know, just ignore me okay?  I think my next project will be the Sipalu bag from Knitpicks, because it will get rid of boat loads of yarn in my stash, because partial balls do not count and I think there's like twenty separate colors of Palette listed in my stash for that kit. Then I can use the leftovers towards either the dragon taxidermy project or the knitted marine aquarium project. And it will count as a kit that I owned prior to 12/31/2011, which is a requirement of the 2012 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan. Woo hoo!

In spinning news, I have 17 ounces of romney fleece dyed in cochineal and logwood grey (varying tones of purple and grey) from the Copper Moth that I'm working on.  I'm flick carding it and getting a lot of waste and a lot of broken tips.  I'm not sure how much I'll actually net once the process is over.  It's actually got so much stuff coming off of it, that I have to put something down to catch it all while I flick card.  I've managed to card my fingers quite a bit which is annoying.  Once I had a full pan of flick carded locks I started spinning it to give my fingers a break.  It's not quite the effect that I had hoped for, but I think that the colors are more separated that it would be if I had simply run it through the drum carder.

I haven't done as much as I would have liked on the cookbook, but hopefully, I can manage that soon.

I think that's all for now.  Between working on the novel and writing this post this morning, I've been stuck in this chair for three hours.  Time to go get ready for knitting guild.  Stay tuned for further updates as they occur.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Crazy Game

In honor, or disdain actually, of the Superbowl, I've used the Indigo Girls' song title as my blog post. (Oh, and I don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm changing the naming conventions of my blog.  A while ago I decided to use only song titles as blog titles, but I'm expanding it to book titles too.) In any case, if you don't know me, and weren't already well aware of this, I am not a fan of professional sports in general.  If you want to hear me blather on about why our country has its priorities profoundly out of wack, that professional sports stars should make less than janitors and teachers ought to get paid a living wage, and that our focus on professional sports is a distraction of the masses by the leading elite just like the Roman emperors distracted the masses with the gladiators to avoid dealing with problems in that society before it fell, and that we're on the edge of the fall of western civilization, then let me know, but that's really not the purpose of this blog.  Suffice it to say, that I am not a football fan and that all this hype over a stupid game annoys the crap out of me.  But anyway, moving on, as I take a deep breath and get off my soapbox again, while making  rude hand gestures at the NFL with both hands.

In writing news, basically, I haven't done any this month yet, because I have a word credit from January, and I was behind on my spinning goals.  But the plan today is to write a mission statement for the cookbook, and grind out as many words as I can on the novel, before I post it to the Misplaced Modifier's group site for next week's meeting.

In fiber news, I didn't quite meet my January goals by the end of the month, because in my twisted little brain the singles have to be spun and plyed (if I intend the yarn to be plyed) before I will consider it complete.  I was working on about 4 ounces of cormo roving I bought a hundred years ago (well, probably five or six years ago)  but I didn't finish it up until February 4.  But with what I had already spun up in January, met January's goal and gave me a 1.01 ounce credit for February.  Next I have 17 ounces of romney fleece dyed in cochineal and logwood grey (varying tones of purple and grey) from the Copper Moth that I intend to flick card to keep the color variation and then spin.  Of course, the flick carding process will be miserable, so I am again being a masochistic idiot.  But I think that's what the fleece wants to be, so be it.
 In knitting news, I finished one of the Absinthe socks, and I'm almost done with the other.  I have about 80 rows left and I'll be finished.  I may be able to do it today at guild. The yarn is Miss Babs Yummy in Iris and the details of the project you can find here on Ravelry.

I need to work on doing the up-sizing of the Flower Power dress set that I designed for Kate S, so that's next on the list, but in the meantime, I think I I'll be able to start knitting the short row shaped hourglass v-neck 3/4 sleeve sweater for me that I've begun designing.  The hard part of writing that pattern will be including all the short row calculations for all sizes and busts.  But I've set up an excel spreadsheet to run calculations so hopefully I can manage it.

In other news, this is the last day of my thirties.  I don't seem to be having much of a reaction to it, other than the hair thing (see my whining in my last blog post).  Also I want to give a shout out to Mary T for the Shaun the Sheep.  I found a Timmy at Target, and asked on Facebook for people to look out for a Shaun and I'd pay for it.  Mary T instead found one on Amazon and had it shipped to me as a surprise.  Thanks Mary!!  

This week I had dinner with a friend I grew up with, but had not seen in twenty years.  Which, in and of itself, makes you feel crazy old.  I think the last time we saw each other it was 1992, which was my sophomore year at Wellesley.  How is it even possible that 1992 was twenty years ago?  Of course this means that it logically follows that my twenty year college reunion is only two years from now.  Sigh.  And of course, the novel was supposed to be done by my 40th birthday, which it isn't.  Sigh.  But I had a great time and I'm really happy that my friend was willing to hang around Manchvegas for a bit before heading to Maine so we could get together.

I'm putting a gratuitous picture of Kiwi in because I was testing the new camera, which is, of course purple.  But it's also 16 mega pixels with an 8x zoom and about 18 scene modes.  Check it out here. Yes, I am a strict point and shoot kind of girl.  There's only so many hobbies I can realistically pursue, and photography just isn't going to be one of them.

I also got a set of the new 16" circular interchangeable needle sets from Webs this week.  They run from US size 4 to 10 in the set and come with two sets of end caps and keys, and a set of size markers, and two 16 inch cables in addition to the tips.  I'm quite happy with them so far, as I haven't used them yet. However, I have used their regular size interchangeables and did like them very much. They are similar to Knitpicks needles being made by the same company, but the cables seem more pliable and I like them better.  You can check them out here.

I think that's it for today's update.  Stay tuned for the continuing story of a type A personality and the Quest to complete the 2012 Calendar of Doom.