Friday, August 30, 2013

Aerial hoop update



Last night was picture night at circus, so we aren’t really supposed to learn anything. However, I did get a skill! A few weeks ago, we started working on pullovers. This is essentially the same as a parallel bars skill in gymnastics where you grab the bar, do half a chin-up, pike your feet up and pull to get your hips over the bar. A month ago I couldn’t do it.



Three weeks ago, the coach told me if I couldn’t do it, I could jump onto the hoop and do twice as many controlled pull-downs (the second half of the skill, where you go down the same way – it uses the same muscles, but is easier because gravity helps) as everyone else. This led to an amazing set of bruises across my lower abdomen. 

Last week I tried, and I could do it if I put my feet on the sides of the hoop as I went up in order to get my hips high enough. 

Last night, I pulled over, all the way! Four times! 

Also, I learned skin the cat, because it's on my conditioning list, so it doesn't count as a new skill. 

Going the other direction (to get down by not just falling off) is the hard part.

Friday, August 02, 2013

In process, July 2013



First Draft
 “Vulgar Pony”. Short story. So I was maybe 80% through when I realized that this was an odd perversion of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, and that the idea it had started with was the one thing that didn’t fit in the story. I need to learn to be careful to just let the story end rather than dragging it out because I don’t know what I’ll be writing next.
“Lucky Kate”. I had to go back and write the middle of this story. See below. Also, in addition to 2+ pages of fish head, I had nearly a page of fish tail too!

Editing
“Imp Face”. Typed and made tons of notes for how to fix it. What’s there was a good frame, but it needed the other half of the story to be written between the lines. But this seems to be my process – write something and then put the story into it. I was sure I had printed it, but had to scour the house looking for it.
After an editing pass on it, I had a spare half hour one evening and sat down and read the whole thing again with a highlighter pen and just tagged anything I thought sucked. This was a good exercise, reading the whole thing straight through at once rather than poring over each sentence, because I could notice the boring bits.
“Chickpea”. I took this out after I don’t know how long moldering. This claims to be draft 5, and it’s nice to be able to take something out of the “ignoring” pile every once in a while.
“Lucky Kate”. This got a plot. That made it much easier to delete almost half of the story.

Connecting
Not so much.

Circulating
1 out there.
8 rejects for 2013 so far.

Knitting
“Ceremonial Armour”. KF cardigan. The bodice is ¾ done now, and I’m going to finish it before starting anything else, since once that’s done the next steps will be easy and I can start something else hard.
IK Vertex cardigan spring 2013. Less than an inch to a finished body, and the sleeves are short so this will blessedly end soon.
Penzance out of cascade 220. Waistband done.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

What I Read -- July 2013



“The Crippled Angel” by Sarah Douglass. Ed got it out of the library, and said that even though it was a book 3, it stood on its own, and was fabulous. So I read it. SD certainly has a deft hand, though I found some of the characters’ behaviour inconsistent. That might be because I didn’t read books 1 and 2. Also, a bit too much tell for me sometimes, especially of stuff I’ve been told before, or shown. Sorry to hear she’d died. The decline of Mary was fabulous.

“Rosemary and Rue” by Seanan McGuire. The boy got this for his birthday because he loved Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy, and then he forced it on me. Not that I suffered that much. We were on holiday and I was reading that endless book about French sociology, and I wanted to go seal-watching and mentioned selkies, and the boy started asking me if I’d read this, rather peeved-like. I meant to, really I did! So, I started it. Wow, it started well and kept turning up the heat. The boy was right.

“A Local Habitation” by Seanan McGuire. Forced on me by the boy of course. This one had a better ending, I thought, than the first one.

“Mechanique” by Genevieve Valentine. Library book! Circus! At the beginning it was hard to keep track of all the characters, but chapter 2 was basically a dramatis personae, only better with more detail. The short chapters were great. I loved the creeping sense of doom.

“The Warden” by Anthony Trollope. I’d come across a paperback copy of this on my dad’s girlfriend’s junk pile at the cottage, and thought about “borrowing” it, but that would be mean. And anyway, project Gutenberg had a version for kindle. Never read anything by him before. It was very funny, but at the same time it had no tension. It was like a series of events that were strung together in order to write the entertaining character descriptions. I kept waiting for the horrible thing to happen, disaster to fall, or a surprising twist that never came, but all the characters acted predictably on the courses they had set themselves. I did feel sorry for the almsmen, who seemed to be the real victims here. Interesting social commentary I guess. Something that might have been useful, probably available if I’d read the coles notes version, would have been an explanation of the relative values of the incomes discussed. I have no idea what two shillings a day adds up to in pounds, and times twelve… I have no idea what 800 pounds bought at the time, versus 80, or what the warden would have to pay for out of that.