Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Wrap Up and Looking Ahead to 2008

1. Take a few minutes to reflect on the previous year. What are you happy with?
There are actually a lot of things I'm happy about when I look back on 2007. I'm happy that I've become involved with the theatre, for both social and professional reasons. I'm happy that I've found something relaxing to do in the evenings after work and after writing. The knitting is more an obsession than a hobby, but regardless of what it is, I'm really having fun with it and it helps me relax so much! I'm extremely happy that I've done a lot more writing than I have before and that I've finally gotten to a place where I feel comfortable pitching for jobs. I'm extremely happy that I was able to finish Under the Magnolia Tree and that I started on the fantasy series. Becoming involved in the fantasy story has been an interesting and fun process, and I am extremely excited to see where the story will go in the long run!

2. What are you unhappy with?
I'm unhappy that I wasn't able to finish one of my incomplete manuscripts that I planned to finish (Deadly Council) but it just goes on the list for this year! I'm extremely unhappy that I've lost a friend. I'm not even sure how it happened, but we haven't had any contact for about 8 months now, so I'm calling it. I tried to contact her many times throughout the year, a few times just to check in on her because I was worried and a couple of times because I really needed a friend to talk to and wanted to talk to her. She never returned the calls and never answered any of the emails. I suppose it takes a long time for these kinds of things to sink in with me, but I'm giving up now. I can't spend any more energy on this relationship and I don't think she even cares whether I do or not, so it's over. I'm unhappy with the work situation, but am taking steps to change it. I'm unhappy that I wasn't able to get something accepted for publication, but I will carry on until it happens.

3. What unexpected joys did you discover during the year?
My unexpected joys mostly stem from the theatre. I have met some wonderful people and have been involved in some amazing projects since becoming involved with this group! It's only getting better too, because this year we're doing a musical! I've enjoyed being a part of every production I've worked on, and have loved being a member of the board. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it's great for professional development and material for my portfolio. Two birds with one stone... how's that for efficient?!

4. What were some of the unexpected obstacles that came up, and how did you deal with them?
Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
The rejection letters were quite an obstacle. I was depressed about them at first, but decided to just keep trying. I don't know if I would have done anything differently, except maybe I wouldn't have let myself get so depressed about it.

5. What expectations did you find you needed to let go of?
I guess I always thought I'd get published when I tried, especially with this particular publisher because I thought my book was at least as good as the ones they've published before. I guess I had to let go of my ego a bit!

6. Looking ahead, how do you want to structure next year to support your writing?
I want to establish a daily writing pace and commit to it every day.

7. How does the rest of your life support your writing?
I'd say my life supports my writing pretty well right now. The only thing that gets in my way is me... usually because I want to sleep late instead of getting up early to write!

8. How can you change/compromise on the non-supportive elements?
I need to create a better schedule for myself, especially on week days, so that I can get up early enough to get some writing done in the mornings before work. I think this would be the best option, especially when I have evening rehearsals.

9. What new aspect of the writing life do you want to try next year?
I want to start pitching articles. I think it will be an interesting venture and may even pay off in the end.

10. Where do you need to be more disciplined?
I need to look at writing as a second job, rather than a hobby. I've been working on that and I did much better in 2007 than in 2006, but I still have quite a journey ahead. I also need discipline in the area of my health. I really need to take better care of myself.

11. Where do you need to ease up on yourself?
In general, I need to stop being critical of myself. I have so much confidence in my abilities, especially in my job, but I can't seem to shake the physical insecurities I've had for as long as I can remember. 2008 is going to be the year of self-esteem for me. I want to be just as confident in how I look as I am in how I perform.

I'm skipping the last few questions because I'm listing my resolutions in a different post.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


This is my first attempt at cables, so don't be too hard on me, okay? It's just a swatch, done in cheap acrylic, but I wanted to see if I could do it so here you go.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Quick check-in

I will have some photos of knitting progress and a post about what's been happening with writing and other activities soon, but this is just a quick check in. My internet service has been down for several days, and the provider is being impossible. I've come to the conclusion that they don't want my business, so I am switching today. DSL is great, but I hear that cable is faster and people I know who have cable internet in my area are not disappointed with their service. I am severely disappointed in my service and in the customer service representatives who are supposed to help me but are completely useless.

Hopefully, I can fully update this weekend, especially with pictures of my first attempt at knitting cables! I've decided cables are fun! Anyway, I'll be back when this is resolved.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Have you ever...

I saw this meme and thought it looked interesting. I've done one of these before, but the list is different, so I wanted to do this one too! My code is listed below:

Bold and Blue - the ones I've done and am glad I did
Light Blue - the ones I've done and am not proud of
Shaded to Gray - the ones I haven't done and don't want to do
Bold and Red - the ones I haven't done and want to do

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said 'I love you' and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly could
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing (do the rock climbing walls count?)
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them (does it count if it was in an airport?)
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Gone white water rafting
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone out there is having a great Christmas! The kids were here last night and they opened their gifts. It's always chaos, but fun. They seemed to like what I got them, which is always good. We had a big dinner, which was good - as always. So all in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. Oh, and my parents liked the gifts I got them too, which made me happy, and they surprised me with some great things! My sister gave me a pair of PJs, which I wore last night to sleep in and they were so comfortable. She also gave me a puzzle that says "Let's put the fun back in dysfunctional," which makes me wonder if she thinks I'm dysfunctional! I was glad to get a puzzle because the one I bought to fulfill my "put together an entire puzzle" entry in my 101 in 1001 list is missing some pieces because the kids decided to throw them around the room. Now I have a new one and I promise I will complete it! My favorite gift was from my parents - a "boombox" for my iPod. I've wanted one for awhile, for occasions when I want to listen to something from the iPod but can't use the headphones, like in the pool or the bathtub. I've wanted one forever and just haven't been able to buy one. Thanks, mom and dad!

Anyway, Christmas was good here, and today I'm just relaxing and enjoying the day off. It's raining, so I'm happy snuggling under the covers, watching Gilmore girls and drinking hot chocolate. What a lovely day!

Friday, December 21, 2007

knitting milestone: starting first sweater

Yes, I'm starting my first sweater. I picked a relatively easy pattern from the January 2008 issue of Creative Knitting. It's called the Ever-Cross Sweater. The pattern calls for a novelty yarn that I didn't like, but I was browsing through my local Hobby Lobby and found this Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist yarn that really caught my eye. Lo and behold, it was on sale for 99 cents a skein, so I bought enough for the sweater and am casting on tonight! Here's a picture of the pattern and the yarn. There will be progress photos as I go through the process, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

and the fundraiser begins again...

Planning for the new fundraiser is kicking into high gear now since the new year is almost upon us. I updated the packets the way we usually do and was getting ready to send them out when my boss said she thought it should have a little more "flavor." I asked her if I could change everything, including the logo, and she said yes! So I spent some time yesterday creating a new logo and a new packet. It was actually a lot of fun. I do think the event is going to be better in 2008 than it has ever been in the past. We're moving to a new venue, we've changed the name so that we can include restaurants that are not specifically "gourmet" places, and we're changing the atmosphere from "sit down dinner" to "great big party," including two cash bars (one inside and one outside) and a dance floor. Anyway, work is pretty good right now and I'm happy about that.

I was going to finish my Christmas shopping tonight but it was raining like crazy when I got off work and another cold front started moving in, so I decided I didn't want to get wet and cold. I'm meeting my mother for a shopping trip after work tomorrow. It should be a lot of fun. People look at me like I'm crazy when I say I enjoy spending time with my mother, but I don't care. We are more like friends now than mother and daughter, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

The short story is still not working out. I haven't written a short story in forever, so I think it's a matter of getting used to the format again. I've been doing some more research on publishers and agents for various projects, and I've been checking some freelance job boards. I have yet to pitch anything, but I'm lurking the boards trying to summon the courage to actually pitch. I obviously have a long way to go before I can do this for a living!

I'm working on the felted bag I mentioned before. I don't really have a pattern for it. I'm just sort of knitting until it's the length I want it to be and hoping it will work out okay! I had some wool left over from my felted box project, so I'm using that right now. It looks like I'll need a little more of it, but I'm going to get it in another color for two reasons: #1 I want the bag to have more than one color and #2 I lost the labels that came on the yarn so I have no idea what the dye lot number is so I can't buy the same one. I'm thinking I want the front and back to be one color and then the bottom, sides, and handles to be the other. It could look cool. We'll see! I'll post pictures when I have more progress. There's really nothing to see at this point.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Last washcloth photos

The final two washcloths. As I said before, the aunts already have them, but I wanted to post the last two. I'm particularly proud of the green, white and red one. I think it turned out very nice indeed! Now I'm considering a felted bag, but am not sure which pattern I want to use. More on that when I decide!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Holiday stuff
I was a bad blogger last week. Tis the season, I guess. I spent most of my week nights finishing up my Christmas shopping. I use the word "finishing" rather loosely because I still have several gifts to buy. I did take care of my sister and her husband and they are always the most difficult, so I feel great about that. We also had several rehearsals for the Christmas musical at church, which took up a lot of time.

I finally finished the washcloth gifts for my aunts. I gave them out on Saturday at our extended family Christmas celebration, and they were quite a hit! The aunts loved them. I'll post some pictures a little later. I did take some, but I can't get to them right now. One aunt even gave me a bunch of yarn she had left over from various projects when she found out I had learned to knit. She had a lot of Christmas yarn left over from a blanket she crocheted, not enough for another blanket, but plenty for new Christmas stockings for each of the kids, for my sister, and my parents! There may be enough for me to make one for myself as well, but they come first. I have no idea how to make stockings, but I'm sure I can find a pattern on Ravelry!

I did do some writing during the week but I haven't checked the wordcount, so I can't update the meter. I'll try to do that tonight after the writing session. Now that the gifts are wrapped and the washcloths are finished, I can do some serious work on Draha.

I have an interview this afternoon. This one is very important to me. It's the job I've wanted since I started school. Actually, this job is the reason I decided to study public relations in the first place. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, December 10, 2007

stripey washcloth

Another Christmas gift finished! Only two more to go! I'm pretty happy about the way these are turning out, and how quickly I have been able to complete the last two or three. My knitting is getting faster, no doubt about it. I'm loving the diagonal pattern. It's so easy and is great practice for increasing and decreasing. I should finish the one I started tonight fairly quickly tomorrow and will cast on the last one as soon as I'm finished with it. The last one is going to be fun, a combination of colors that I have left in a mitered square-type pattern.

Tried writing a short story tonight, but didn't finish. I got to a certain point and then just stopped, mostly because I had no idea where to go from there. I'm going back to it tomorrow to see what I can do with it. I also did some more work on Draha in Freemind, working on a few key points that I really need to work out before going much further in the story. I really want to avoid writing myself into a corner! More work on this tomorrow too.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

migraines suck

The migraine started Friday afternoon and didn't end until this morning. I've never had one that long before. It was pretty awful. I took the migraine medicine yesterday and it helped alittle, but didn't get rid of it completely. So needless to say, no knitting or writing done yesterday. I slept a lot of the time and when I wasn't sleeping, I was lying in a dark room. Luckily, it's over today and I can go about business as usual. That means laundry, which is hardly exciting, but something I must do!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Interesting times

I'm trying a new thing. If you read this blog regularly, let me know what you think about this format I'm thinking of adopting. To help readers locate subjects they most want to read about, I'm going to use subtitles in the posts.


First of all, I want to talk about how cool Ravelry is! If you're not a member and you knit, crochet, spin, or just like to play with yarn, you should absolutely join the waiting list NOW! Beware, though... you will spend a lot of time on Ravelry if you're not careful. Trust me on that! I joined in October and I'm so glad I did. I've learned so much about knitting and have tried things I never would have tried without the pattern database and the amazing people on the site who are more than willing to answer any questions. In fact, here's a little taste of a project I'm designing... yes, I said designing! Other knitting updates include my next two Christmas washcloths. Only three more to go! I bought some cute little bottles of bath and shower gel. I want to wrap the washcloths around the bottles and tie them with a ribbon. I think it'll make a cute gift.


We're having a Christmas party at work tomorrow. The party is always really nice, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm taking a staff photo.. it's going to be a lot like herding cats trying to get everyone together and smiling at the same time. It'll be interesting anyway. Things have calmed down somewhat at work lately. I finished the first draft on a new grant today and worked on some things related to a promotion we are having with a local restaurant and our major fundraiser, which is coming up in May. I start work on the new newsletter next week, which is great because I'm redesigning it... again! In other, work-related news (sort of) I came home to a message on my answering machine. I think it's an interview. I sent my resume to this place last week, so that's pretty fast. This is a promising prospect, and something I'd really love to do, so hopefully it'll work out!


I worked on Draha a bit tonight. I didn't add anything to the words, but I did go back and clean some things up a little and I added some items to my Freemind outline. I'm thinking about working on some short stories, maybe one a month starting in January. I want to make an effort not just to write the big pieces, but to also work on some smaller pieces while working on the others. I tend to stay sharp when I have a lot of irons in the fire.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Knitting with Emerson

I've had a couple of questions about my "I knit with Pushing Daisies" button and wanted to be sure I said one thing. Anyone is welcome to save this button and use it on their blog! I made the button after being inspired by another Pushing Daisies button on Ravelry, and I'm thrilled that people might want to use it on their blogs too! So please, feel free to save this button and use it on your own blogs, and please, let me know if you did so I can visit you! On that note, if you have a knitblog and you happen to visit here, let me know because I want to visit more knitblogs.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Nothing much to say, other than the fact that it's getting cold... finally! Today it was in the fifties and they say tonight we should go below freezing. I don't have much hope for some of my flowers, but it's winter and they are supposed to die at some point during the winter, so I guess it's okay! I did bring some of them in. I have several cuttings from a Christmas cactus that my grandmother had on her screened porch (which she really used more like a greenhouse than a porch) that mean a lot to me, so they are inside tonight.

I got some news today that a neighbor's house was robbed this past weekend. That freaks me out A LOT. I'm so used to living in an area where you really don't have to lock your doors (even though I actually do keep my doors locked at all time) and to know that someone actually broke into a house in my quiet little neighborhood really upsets me. I have to wonder where someone's head is when the break into someone else's home and steal things. I wouldn't dream of taking something that belongs to another person, so what makes them think they can? It's just horrible. Okay, climbing down off my soapbox now. Sorry about that!

Writing news... I wrote some more on Draha today. I still have to finish the story before I go back and add lots and lots of detail to it. Oh, and dialogue. I didn't really put much of that into the story either, because I knew I would be going back. I wanted to know the story and the characters before I put a lot of dialogue into it. I've never done it that way before, so we'll see what happens.

Knitting news... I'm almost finished with dishcloth #3 out of 6. I'll be honest, I'm loving the dishcloths, they are a lot of fun, but I'll be glad when they are finished so I can get back to Noah's blanket! Also, I'm designing a blanket based on a fairly common stitch pattern I found. I think it's going to be very cool. I told myself I couldn't start on it until after I finish the Christmas gifts, though!