Thursday, February 09, 2017

What I read -- Jan 2017



“The Farmer’s Daughter” by Jim Harrison. Even though I have tons of books around the house that I want to read, my library card was expiring, and I needed a reason to go in so I took one of my books off “inactive” status. So, here we are with a book I put on my list like 10 months ago. The problem with my massive hold list at the library is, there’s no way for me to remember why I chose a certain book. It must have been for the werewolf story.

I started with no expectations, and it’s written or maybe edited in more “literary” style I guess. At least in the first story (it’s a collection of three novellas) here are a lot less commas than I’m used to, for example. That first story had a rape in it, and I sort of feel like from all the criticism I read (in general not of this story) that we’re supposed to be mad about rape in stories. Here it felt completely inevitable and didn’t bother me at all.

“Wolfhound Century” by Peter Higgins. Got it for my birthday. It was on my list. It’s a story set in a faux-Soviet Moscow (Mirgarod), kind of skewed urban fantasy, and I loved the language. Describing the gusty swirls of a rainstorm: “Rain sparrows, rain pigeons, crows of rain.” Beautiful.

“First Term at Malory Towers” by Enid Blyton. The woman at the next desk from me was referring to a colleague as one of the horrid girls from these books, so I thought in the service of more effective communication, I would find out what she was talking about, and got this from the library. It was not that long.

It was not that good either, I must say. Omniscient POV is out of style now and the shifts (sometimes within a paragraph) were disconcerting. Though the book did explain some of the quirks of my coworker’s personality. Maybe she thinks the way these girls interacted was normal? There was a huge impulse towards improving other girls, etc.

“Gemini Cell” by Myke Cole.  And since the Blyton was relatively short, I got something longer too. Military fantasy – modern military with Zombies. It was a page-turner, even if there were some moments that I thought were, I don’t know, illogical? Thinking it through, it was the military that seemed like it was making the bad choices, and of all the things in the story, that’s the thing about which MC is the expert way over me, so I’ll let it go. I assume there is or will be a sequel. What about Chang? Really fun read.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

In Process -- Jan 2017



1st draft
Instead I’m often editing in order to get progress on WWS.

However, I started something else that is probably a haunted house novel. It’s a good place for Writing Excuses exercises and just screwing around at this point. Then this great thing happened. I was driving to yoga class and had kind of an epiphany about where the story was going. So, I got to yoga maybe 5 minutes early, and whipped out a sheet of paper and spent the child pose start of the class scribbling madly. The people on the other mats must have thought I was nuts.

Editing
“Wind/Water/Salt”. Posted chapter 2 to OWW.
If I keep posting at this rate, I will do the whole novel in like two years. That’s unacceptable. I need to find a way to pick up the pace!

Connecting
Critted 6
Got back 4

Circulating
1

Knitting
Ann Boleyn (1998).  Started the month with 8 rows of the second sleeve done. The rule is, I have to finish this sleeve before I can buy any more yarn, regardless of how entitled I feel. Though actually, it would be really nice to finish the whole thing because I’d love to get rid of four boxes before I buy any more yarn. It would make me happy to be able to use some of the box space to put writing projects in, rather than just knitting projects all over the place. Now the sleeve is maybe 25% done.
Okracoke cardigan (Shirley Paden). Started the month with about 3 inches of back. Now I might have five.
Shorts (from Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael). Started with about an inch. My idea was, I wanted to make them a bit longer this time. However, I realized something about the pattern, and that is that the crotch only really works as short shorts. So, I finished one leg and then tried them on, and ripped out the leg and added three inches and still the leg was barely the right size. Then I decided the waist was too wide and started over.
Lace cuffs. I’d seen these jeans with ruffles online and then I couldn’t find them in stores or you know, Canada. So, being a crafty sort I figured I could do that myself. I went to Value Village and bought a pair of black jeans that fit reasonably well and were long enough that I could crop them and have enough fabric to work with to make the outer cuff. Then I flipped through lace books until I found a nice edging in “Knitted Lace of Estonia”.  I have finished one cuff and started the second.