Tiny Steps

I know many of you follow Annie Cholewa who recently shed her anonymity by buying a URL in her own name and even has a snapshot of herself on her About page. One of her current posts was a source of inspiration for today’s post because she’s a writer, an eloquent one who talks about interesting and diverse topics. Her participation in the meme somehow made me think of how I used to want to be a writer.

I’ve mentioned this before, but as a child, I used to get up early and write at my Scandinavian, rolltop desk. I believe most of that was Robotech fan fiction, none in my possession anymore sadly enough. I remember in elementary school I had some material on that bright, yellow paper and a classmate was reading it. Our teacher took it from him to read. I was so nervous because I had profanity in it and I thought I was going to get into trouble. However, she looked at me and commented, “This is pretty good,” and she then gave it back to me.

I’ve read on several of your blogs how bloggers are writers. This was like a validating point to me because I think most of the time, I think of writers as those who publish articles, books, and poems.

Annie’s post fueled me to go on Pinterest where I have a writing board. I started searching for example, “blog topics” and “journal prompts.” I found a few more ideas to add to my board. And thus, these findings made me decide that I will try to slip in a post now and then to practice different writing styles.

This inspirational and motivating quote from this website I feel is a proper jumpstart to future writing posts:

“This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”
-Natalie Goldberg

I never got into scrapbooking but this idea was something I felt I could handle. Because I only use the basic template on WordPress, I created my version via Microsoft Word 2013, printed it out to scan, and then it was uploaded like a pic:

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This piece is simple by all means but was fun to do. Thank you for reading the first of my little steps.

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Aloha.

Mahalo plenty for your sweet encouragement and support on Sunday’s YOP post. I was warmed by your cheerleading over the small progress I had accomplished. I also loved how a few of you wrote, “Eating an elephant one bite at a time. It all adds up,” & “One bite of the elephant down, and soon it will be consumed.” What clever sayings. I haven’t heard of these before.

With the humidity (No storms but there was lightning and some rain two nights ago; didn’t even hear all that.) San Francisco’s been having the parks are usually wet, especially in the morning. However today, it was betta on our side of Golden Gate Park so after restockin’ our frig and pantry, I took ‘da keiki to one of our city’s many parks – Alta Plaza.

I got to enjoy the view while knitting:

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And my sweet keiki got to play to her heart’s content:

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Doesn’t her smile make you smile?

Remember that mitt I was workin’ on? I won’t bother showing you but it’s been totally frogged. I had made a stupid mistake and I just didn’t have the heart to CO that yarn for a third time. Then I thought I’d use something more fun to motivate me. However, I went through a whole episode of warring between using a colorway the recipient would like vs. what I like; then it moved onto maybe I’ll gift it to someone else; but it went back to the color issue. So this third, Christmas gift and I are having a timeout.

In good news…

I jumped back up on that other horse and am almost done with this infinity scarf:

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I’m on the fifth panel and it should be enough for a twist and a loop over. I’m halfway through this last part – 10 pairs of medium and light stripes. There’s still sewing the ends together and maybe SC a border around the whole thing.

Do any of you read Tracey’s blog, Clover? She is such a sweetheart who has fun with her beautiful granddaughter, who knits fearlessly through wraps, and whose kitchen I wanna visit. Well, this woman has blogged about a swap she had participated in last year or earlier this year, something I thought would be fun to do but was too busy with PTA.

Lucky for me, there is a summer one organized by Amanda of Sweet Potato Claire. It’s all about homemade/handmade + if you want to, add a few items from your hometown. I’m excited because it’s a simple, sweet swap and not about spending a lot of money.

For now, I will only show the yarn I used for the handmade portion:

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This is Madelinetosh Vintage in kelp. Isn’t it lovely? I love its bold saturation.

While knitting it up, I was reminded of why this brand is one of the favorites of our Ravelry community. My gosh, the feel and the weight? It’s worth every penny.

My tummy’s hungered so off to make lunch.

Aloha.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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Annyeong haseyo. Despite the wetness that’s letting up in the city, my Monday started off well with a solid, stitch ‘n bitch session. I tried out a new omelette and two new members joined our group at Squat & Gobble, a mother and daughter duo. They were fun and witty. Princess Jellybean got to meet another with her name that doesn’t happen often.

I got a two-fer this time around with this paranormal romance:

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This eBook contains “Christmas Pride” and “Shaw’s Tail.”

In “Christmas Pride” Mace Llewellyn is a lion shifter who not only is part of a rich family but just got out of the Navy SEALS. Back home in New York, he is on the hunt for the girl he’s had a crush on as a scrawny and nerdy kid.  Desiree (Dez) MacDermot grew up in the Bronx and is now a tough, NYPD detective. She always had a soft spot for Mace but because she was seen as inferior by the Llewellyn sisters in her childhood, this peace officer developed a complex of sorts. A Pride lion is found dead, shot execution style like a human, and so the human and lion’s separate paths merge into one that not only exposes the detective to the shifter world, but also sparks up a fiery relationship.

“Shaw’s Tail” features Brendon Shaw, another lion shifter who owns a hotel chain with his siblings. As handsome and tough as he may be, he gets beaten up to the verge of death until a pack of wolves rescue him. This shifter is then protected by Ronnie Lee Reed, a former wild child/wolf who wants to change her ways. She then becomes the lion’s main hunt to mate with for life.

While there is some kind of danger going on, it’s only a stepping stone to getting these two pairs together. This eBook is more about the physical and emotional relationship between each couple. So yes, expect explicit language and lots of hot, steamy sex scenes. I had expected these elements although when I had read book seven of this series some time ago, there was more investigative work. However, I still enjoyed reading these first two books that set up the Pride series. I found it interesting how Shelly Laurenston created a world of shifters – lions, hyenas, bears, leopards, wolves – other than werewolves that the public is used to. It’s creative how each group of shifters have personality characteristics like their animal group. There is also humorous dialogue. Honestly, I felt like I would fit right in as I can have a short temper and foul mouth + I’m very protective of my ga-jok. Furthermore, while each species in real life stick to its own, they intermix and bond in Laurenston’s books based upon what’s on the inside rather than the outside so to speak. This parallels the issue of racism which we know is still present in today’s society.

I give The Mane Event 3.5 stars. How many stars do you give your current read/finish?

Year of Projects 4

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Ho dang, it’s Sunday already?

Aloha. Our crew is laying low today as the AIDS Walk is goin’ on and affecting traffic, not to mention, the ohana oinked out at my bruh’s house last night. What’re you up to today?

Mahalo to YOP participants who shared their observations and opinions on the launch of this fourth year. It was fun to read your comments.

Well, my luck with yarn wasn’t that great this week with other projects. My head was elsewhere. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember my goal of two rows a day for this cocoon like shrug.

Therefore, I only was able to hook five rows recently:

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I’m 25 rows in, about 6.75″ tall = 17%.

Please bear with me as this first project for Year 4 is not one of quick gratification.

Mahalo plenty.

What long term pattern is on your needles/hook right now?

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*downs 10 oz of filtered water while DJ Snake & Lil Jon plays in the background.* Drizzly, wet morning. Blanket of clouds. Yeah, it’s muggy in our city. It’s the closest we’ll be getting to rain. Your hood?

I don’t have much progress this week.

Like I had mentioned this past Sunday, I wasn’t able to meet my deadline for Court’s birthday gift. It was too long to be a cowl and too short to be an infinity scarf. So I’m halfway for now:

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You can see the three color changes above. I kind of lost my mojo for this but I’ll get back on its horse to finish it. It bugs me to have unfinished gifts around.

You may be scratching your head at this photo below:

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You may be thinkin’,  “Wasn’t this taller and had those cute stitch markers all danglin’ about?”

I measured my gauge and was off by two stitches – doh! So I let the frogs in. I have to say it can be frustrating to find the correct gauge for an in-the-round project without having to CO what the project calls for. I did knit a smaller tube of about 21 stitches on DPNs but it wasn’t accurate. I find I’m more relaxed when I knit a wider tube. While I’ve tried two other methods of swatching out there, I don’t feel the gauge is on target. I guess at least 50 stitches would be a good, in-the-round gauge swatch for me.

So here you see I’ve gone down to size two DPNs and have restarted. This is all I got done at piano lessons yesterday.

The tummy’s rumbling. Must forage for food. Good thing Jellybean and I restocked at TJ’s earlier this morn.

Bye!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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Well, I’m lucky again as I didn’t think I’d finish this book for today:

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City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare is the fifth installment in The Mortal Instruments series. Jace Lightwood – Clary’s boyfriend – is bonded to the nefarious Sebastian – Clary’s brother – through demon means in which Jace must follow Sebastian like a lower-ranked, cult follower. The Clave are trying to hunt them down. However, if one is hurt, the other is also. And it seems the only to stop Sebastian from his unknown plans is to kill him.

The younger generation take it upon themselves to use any means necessary to locate Jace and to find a way to separate him from Sebastian, even if it means breaking Clave law. While Simon, the day-walking vampire, along with Jace’s siblings and a powerful warlock work on finding a cure for Jace, Clary runs off undercover on her own, putting her own life in danger.

I am amazed at how the author was able to stretch out the series this far. These are not short books; they’re each at least over 400 pages. Just when you think business is taken care of, you are left with a slight, cliff hanger that the next book focuses on. I really like how characters are not forgotten from past installments; some are included more than others of course. Clare brings in new characters who play an important part in the whole plot and you learn new things about the shadowhunter history and about magical objects. Relationships evolve a step or two further where there are revelations and confessions.

There is a quote from page 486 that I think sums up this book very well:

Battle was like a whirlpool…Things came at you and then surged away so quickly that all one was really aware of was a sense of uncontrollable danger, the struggle to stay alive and not drown.

Something dangerous is always going on. Anticipation of each challenge is low on the happy meter but characters suck it up and bring it on. I like how Clary evolves more into a shadowhunter. This teenager is a fighter and a doer, even if it’s all in the name of love.

Four stars.

Off to nurse my throbbing gum. Had a minor procedure done at the perio.

Despite this, I can at least have fun choosing a library eBook to download.

C-u later alligator.

Year of Projects 4

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Yay! I’m happy to be able to prep this post for a wee hour liftoff Sunday.

I wanna mention how it was fun to read fellow, YOP posts earlier this week. The enthusiasm in participation is high and has an energetic, infectious vibe.

My detour project posted about here didn’t meet my length expectations so I gave up on trying to get it done by my Sunday deadline. Therefore, I was able to devote time to my Squirrel Heather WIP more:

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You’ll notice the roll is taller – 10 rows more. It’s good, mindless hookin’ during the nature documentaries I’ve been watchin’ to keep me company.

I feel better getting more of this done although it’s still a small start. Thirty-eight inches of single crochet seem like a far away brass ring, but I know in the end it’ll be totally worth it. I know I’ll be able to snuggle up in it this fall while running around campus.

Which project has been getting spoiled with your attention this past week?