Monday, September 09, 2019

In Process -- August 2019

Chapter 18: Finished and posted. A consistent comment about the chapters I post is there’s not a lot of tension. So I tried to make some forward-moving tension here. Let’s see how it works! 

I think in my first draft I did a pretty good job roughing in the plot, but there’s a ton of details that are missing. I sort of feel like I’ve gone about this edit the wrong way. Instead of trying to polish each chapter, I could have done a pass all the way through with background characters, and another with I don’t know what. Okay, that wouldn’t work, I need to just do it the way I am. And in fact, now is the time for me to be introducing all those secondary characters, because Fairfax didn’t know them at the start and only is getting to know them now, and Preston and Abigail weren’t in town until now. The second third of the story really moves the story into town and opens up the characters to their greater inspection, so this is when I needed that realization anyway. That awful book about the Salem witch trials really came at the right time. 

So, I worked on my secondary characters a lot, and my map and calendar. I pulled out all my notes looking for names and characters and relationships I’d created that… I hadn’t really used yet.

Chapter 19: Added characters.

Chapter 20: Did one clean-up pass.

Started with those Jane Ann McLachlan things here because it was a better fit. I’m not attached to one opening yet, or one plot structure. The hardest part was finding a suitable notebook! I don’t want to write these on my usual scrap paper. I have been extremely resistant to accepting that one of my plots is a romance, but here we are.

Critted  10
Got back 7

FI Corset belt. Started month half done. If this is going to get finished, maybe I will not start something else until it or all the socks are done. 

Midsummer Aran (IK Summer 2013). Started the month with the sleeves just attached to the body. I could get the instructions for the divide for neckline to look anything like the photos, so I basically faked it up. I wound up with a couple of weird patches of stocking stitch on the front where the neckline decreases were, and ripped out about three inches to get rid of that, which was horrible but after all the work I put into this sweater, it was worth it. Finished Stranger Things. 

Blue skies of winter (KP 2015 FI) Except mine is yellow, on two cones. Yellow skies of winter? Eeew. I started this because this year’s rule is I can buy one ball of yarn for every cone I finish, and I need to buy three balls of yarn for Jean Moss’s Candlemas, which I want to start for Christmas. And because large portions of this don’t need attention, and I need a project that I can knit while reading the entire internet every weekend, to alleviate my guilt.

Crystalline socks (New Directions in Sock Knitting). The yarn is on a cone, so I might be able to use up a cone, and someday I will have enough yarn to make Candlemas.  These are done, so now I have to start another pair of socks, I guess.

In sewing news, I cut out a dress.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

What I read: August 2019

“The Stone Sky” by N.K.Jemisin. I had to wait for this book from the library! That sucked. But I went from 25 of 35 (15 copies) to “in Transit” in a few hours one day, so no complaints about the Toronto Public Library. About 150 pages from the end, I was sorely tempted to stay up all night to finish it, but sensibility prevailed. I haven’t done that in so long! This entire series was a delight. And Ed liked them too. 

LHC #47: “The Glass Town Game” by Catherynne M. Valente. I had three CV books on my library inactive holds list from the same date. This is the first. It’s the fattest, but there aren’t that many words per page, and there are pictures! This is the fifth CV book I’ve read, and I realized I have more of an intellectual relationship with them than an emotional one. I had no trouble setting it aside to read The Stone Sky and no trouble picking it up again, but I wasn’t really attached to any characters. The only one who I really engaged with was Victoria, when she was talking about her paracosm.
I did gush about it to someone I think should read it. And paracosms, they’re a little bit of an obsession of mine. 

LHC #48: “Telling the map: stories” by Christopher Rowe. It was probably the word “map” that got this book on the list. It’s neat the things that obsess him: Protestantism or maybe just religion and how it impacts people is very front and centre, but also how we’re trashing the planet. I could see why this book was dedicated to Terry Bisson. CR made great use of dialog doing more than one thing.
Sometimes when I read a collection of short stories it makes me think I took unfortunate criticism early on from people who don’t read short stories, and maybe I should write some short things to try to learn some skills. 

LHC #49: “People who eat darkness” by Richard Lloyd Parry. True crime set in Japan. I really liked how this book was organized – with an overarching timeline and divided into sections, and yet with relatively short chapters that would take one character or theme from start to finish. I kept wishing that book about Salem in 1692 had been organized this way. I think it was possible.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

What I read -- July 2019

LHC #44: “The Fifth Season” by N.K.Jemisin. It was on my list, so when I ran out of books and saw this at the library, I took it out. Wow, the voice was so good. I took it on a transit ride with me and kept missing my stop! Highly recommended. I forced book 1 on Ed, and he’s not complaining about it. It’s really hard to not give spoilers when he wonders about how the timelines are going to work out… 

LHC#45: “Spells of Blood and Kin: a Dark Fantasy” by Claire Humphrey. Another Toronto writer, and the story takes place in Toronto! I love books that reference things like the Dundas streetcar. I assume that’s why I put it on my list 18 months ago. It was truly fun. I hope she writes more. 

“The Obelisk Gate” by N.K.Jemisin. I kind of had to read this, after the previous volume went so well. I think I liked the first one better, but saying that is like comparing my two favorite kinds of ice cream, you know? I mean, they’re both awesome. 

LHC #46: “The Witches: Salem, 1692” by Stacy Schiff. Research for WWS. I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters in here (because it’s all true, there are a lot of people whose roles overlap, and the book isn’t really well organized) but then I realized it didn’t matter because I’m reading this more for background and to make WWS a little more grounded in its place and time. I learned lots of useful things! What did New Englanders eat back then? How close did they live together? Where did they get their firewood? Did they do exorcisms? Fortunately/unfortunately, this book was so boring that I finished a sewing project.