Thursday, August 11, 2016

What I read -- July 2016



“Children of Earth and Sky” by Guy Gavriel Kay. I love the way he sets up his characters, puts them in an interesting spot. And then I love how he catches them at an absolute life-changing moment. I love how he doesn’t feel obligated to keep them static. His characters evolve so much!

So this book contained what seemed to me to be like the worst-planned war ever. And I assume it’s totally based on history! Every sprint one army would leave its city and drag their heavy cannons towards a fortress. If they made it there in time, they would besiege it. If not, they would turn around and go home, so they could come back next year.

“The Peripheral” by William Gibson. When I requested this from the library, I didn’t realize it was so long. But that’s okay, the chapters were short and it was no trouble to read 100 pages at a sitting. He really kept the energy up – characters popping in and out of the peripherals, using the alternating POVs to keep the story moving. I stopped about halfway through to  figure out how he was managing those POVs actually.

So the worldbuilding was great (the lack of time paradox was useful), the characters were great (esp. the ones who appeared in both timeframes, that was neat), the plot kind of got lost for me. But whatever.

“Forever” by Maggie Stiefvater. The boy read it and wanted to talk about how MS does the things she does. He has the spirit of an editor. So I finished it, and now we can talk.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

In Process -- July 2016

1st draft
Continued Season 11 Writing Excuses exercises
 
Editing
“The Cicatrix Diary”. I seem to have abandoned this story.
“Volcano”. There was a plot but the characters were thin. Writing Excuses gave me an idea of what it needed.
“Labyrinth Moon”. So close to done last month. I had a plan for this one, which fell apart due to unrealistic expectations on my part.
“Imp Face”. The Writing Excuses exercise was about adding a subtext of Element of Wonder.

Connecting
Rejoined the online writing workshop. It was time. Put one thing up, critted one thing, got one crit that I haven’t looked at yet.

Circulating
1

Knitting
Ann Boleyn (1998).  I started the month with just the shoulder short rows done. That was five colors of the ten. When I added color 6 in, I started having angst and almost ripped it out, but then I just kept going because what the heck, and it’s fine. I knitted down to the start of the first sleeve and started that, but I think it’s too narrow and maybe too short so I’m going to take that out and do another inch of chest I think.
Folded mini dress. I had five folded pattern repeats done at the start of the month. I did two more (one more than required, but I want it a little longer) and just yesterday I made it to the split for armholes, so it’s almost done.  

Friday, July 08, 2016

In process -- June 2016

Okay, I give up on ever actually achieving my goals with this month, it being more than a week past over. Here's what I did. 


1st draft
“Water Leopard”.
Had roughly 60K at the start of the month and wanted it over. Now it’s done.
Which is good, because my idea was to do exercises instead, because I have plenty of first drafts and I’m not sure they get better. This will increase my editing time and focus I hope… I’ve started with the Season 11 Writing Excuses exercises. Though in the interest of my own sanity I also devoted about six days to my karate essay.

Editing
“The Cicatrix Diary”. Ignored
“Volcano”. Did 2nd draft. The writing excuses exercises were useful on this actually.
“Labyrinth Moon”. Changed the name and did three drafts, and I’m so close to calling it done.
“Imp Face”. Writing Excuses got me to revisit this one too.

Connecting
Did a self-editing workshop. Didn’t really connect.

Circulating
nothing but I have an excuse. It was my karate essay!

Knitting
DragonFruit Socks. Finished.
Boot Topper Socks. Finished.
Ann Boleyn (1998).  Like a crazy person, I decided to do it top-down with set-in sleeves, and apply some shape to the typical AS box. So what I’ve done mostly is figuring so far.
Folded mini dress. Seemed like a good project for vacation. Found an error in the pattern almost immediately, which Ravelry confirmed. Yay ravelry! I’ve done 5 pattern repeats of the six required, and I’ll probably do an extra one. I have plenty of yarn.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

What I Read: June 2016



“Skills Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath. This seems like cheating or list-padding somehow, but my list needs padding so I’m going with it. I read this for work. All 1200 of us at my workplace were told to read it, and I wasn’t paying $27 for the kindle edition so I got it out of the library.Then I paid about $20 to do the test.

“Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater. She’s fabulous.

“1776” by David McCollough. Apparently I asked for this for Christmas years ago, though I don’t remember. Anyway, my sister gave it to me for summer Christmas, so I read it. It was way better than I expected! Somehow although I grew up in the greater Boston area, I was unaware that the British had holed up in Boston and were besieged there. Also, the clothes. Whoever painted the cover clearly had not read the book, because uniforms were not ubiquitous for the Continental army.

Monday, June 06, 2016

What I read -- May 2016



“Lockstep” by Karl Schroeder. This has been on my list for ages, and finally I’m getting around to it. I’ve read two or three other books by him, met him when he was the writer in residence at the Merrill Collection, and follow him on Twitter. The worldbuilding in this book was really great, but that's what I remember primarily about the other of his books I've read so that's not a surprise. The resolution was surprising and satisfying. The writing was very... masculine, not very subtle.

“Newt’s Emerald” by Garth Nix. The boy got it for Christmas. He read it first and then handed it off to me. I found the first two chapters tough to get into, but after that it was smooth sailing. He found the same thing. I love his afterwords.

“Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater. Parts of this were reminiscent of “the darkest part of the forest” which I read last year, but this is from six years earlier. Maybe these are common YA tropes? She had me totally anxious for the characters in like three chapters.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

In process -- may 2016


1st draft

“Water Leopard”. Had roughly 52,000 words at the start of the month? Now I have roughly 60K and I want it done and over because I have something else I want to write. 

Editing


“The Cicatrix Diary”. Ignored
“Volcano”. Did 2nd draft.
“Labyrinth Moon”. Typed.

Connecting

Ha

Circulating

1

Knitting

Rust Damask Jacket (Takle & Kolstadt). At the start of the month I needed to do about 15” of the second sleeve done, plus the plain facing of the neckband. I just decided this sucker was going down, after way too much work including one day when I worked on it for 7 hours, it is over. I don’t hate it, but maybe I’ll resent it less in five months when it’s sweater weather again.

DragonFruit Socks. Finished the first one, started the second. 
Boot Topper Socks. Still working on the first one.