Back to the business of living

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Back from vacation, re-cooperating from eye surgery, and getting into the groove! Feels good.

Vacation in Montana was awesome . We spent lots of time relaxing at our cabin up at Flathead Lake, drinking gin and tonics, and taking day trip with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law whom I adore.

We shopped in Missoula, where I found rich,  hand-dyed yarns, took trips to Big Fork to dine at Show Tyme and shop, and this year we drove up the Going to the Sun Highway, an incredibly scenic area of mountains, vistas that went on forever, mountain goats, deer, elk, and snow, yes snow in August.  At Glacier Park we saw two bears meandering across a trail, dangerously close to the road. In thirteen years we’ve been going to Montana, I’ve never seen a bear .  It was a highlight for me.

My husband, aware of my knitting obsession, found a knitting shop in Polson, which I’m sure he secretly regretted mentioning. I’ve been known to spend hours and hours in knitting boutiques and book stores. I found  yarn for mittens and forest green wool for a felted purses. My grand  daughter liked the purse so much that I made one for her to carry her ballet slippers in. Her’s is purple–Bieber Fever  purple. Turns out, knitting and looking down were just what the doctor ordered after eye surgery for a partially detached retina. I knitted. I knitted neck warmers, potato chip scarves, fringed scarves. I knitted baby hats in bright pumpkin, turquoise, and sunny yellow, and now I’m beginning to knit purple baby hats with green stems and leaves. Once I figure out how to post pictures, I’ll have to get some up on this site.

The good news, no, great news is that after seeing the retinal surgeon today, I can drive again, only need three out of the seven eye drops three times a day and not four, and don’t have to spend my life on my side or looking at my feet when I wasn’t laying down.

I feel like I’ve been sprung from jail!  My friends were wonderful, coming to visit and keep my spirits up. And while I appreciate everything they and my husband did, it makes me tingle knowing that I can take care of myself again. YAHOO!

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A Dangerous Visit to the Local Yarn Shop

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A visit to the local yarn shop is more expensive for me than a visit to any of my favorite book stores. How can that be????

I really don’t need any yarn. It’s stuffed everywhere. Yet I came home this afternoon with four beautiful skeins and directions to make two lovely, make that magnificent (after the $$ of the yarn) cowls or shawls.

I couldn’t resist the softness of the mohair. Sometimes, it’s the elegance of jewel colored fiber yarns. Once I touch them, I’m a goner.

I recently bought a tall cabinet with six or seven deep drawers to house various-sized straight steel and wooden needles, plus a set of teak; magic loop needles in a dozen sizes, tape measures, patterns, skein upon skein of yarn, cable holders, place holders, tapestry needles and more. It’s great to finally have it all in one place, except it really isn’t in one place, because some it it is stashed in the laundry room cabinet and the closet in my home office.

Not too long ago, I faced the space issue with books. Once I touch them, similar to touching yarn, I’ve deposited enough DNA on it the book that it becomes mine. I don’t always read every book, but still, I must have it–just in case. That said, I do read most of them.

.Rows of books in book cases and in little corners of my office somehow spread to perching themselves on the hall cubbies, bedroom tables and guest room night stands.

Enter Kindle. Worries gone. No one needs to know how many books I buy until I reach my Kindle limit of 3000. Who-hoo!

I think we all have our little (or growing) addictions, don’t you?

How do you store the things you love? Books? Yarn? Stamp collections? Hummels>  First editions? The plethora of little gifts from your now-grown kids?

Gearing Up

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Gearing up to begin my rewrite is a process on so many different levels. 

The office is now I’m cleaning the office. I want everything in place before I start. Clean cabinets, clean office space. No pens, papers, sticky notes, laying around to distract me…everything where it belongs.

The longer I wait to begin the better focused I am. I’m like a steamroller and nothing can stop me–goal is to be finished with the rewrite by October 31 because on November 1st, I will participate in the NaNoWrimo to begin a draft of the next novel….ideas are a poppin’!. 

I’m reading and rereading feedback, checking editing books to learn more, adding scenes in my  pink and black notebook and tracking characters and their traits on 3X5″ cards with the character names at the bottom. I’ve stacked and taped them vertically in a file. I can easily lift the card up to see what I need to know….I’m really  organized!!! I love it.

Many writers are challenged when it comes to organization. I know that’s a generalization, but as a writing coach, it’s one of the things we work on a lot. And certainly, I can identify with them! I’m one of them.

How about you, what keeps you from being organized? Or how do you stay organized? Or what suggestions might you share with other writers?

The Organized Writer might help! http://www.organizedwriter.com/

Play Date with J.D.

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Today I took my six year-old grandson, JD, on a playdate. Our idea of how things would work out were a little different.

My idea: Pick him up, take him to lunch with my husband “Rickrooni” as JD calls him, head over to the Behring Museum in Blackhawk, look at the high-profile cars in the museum, feed the ducks, have an ice cream cone, run into Games Unlimited to pick up a little toy for him, and drop him back at his house.

HIs idea: Pick him up, go directly to Toys R Us. Buy stuff. Big stuff. Take him home. Make him lunch while he played with his new toys on our ‘buying’ date. Hummm…

So off we zipped to Toys R Us. JD walked up and down the aisles for about twenty minutes before I realized that he might be overwhelmed by floor to ceiling toys. It also took me that long to realize that my suggestions on what to buy were like steam — and evaporated about that quick.

After close to forty-five minutes, we were at decision-making time. It came down to two toys: a black and neon green saucer that hovered above your hand with a laser gun to shoot it down or a crane that came with everything but a driver. But, before making this crucial decision, JD had a few questions:

Will the toy hover up to the ceiling and stay there? For how long? Will it hover, then crash? Will it hover until it runs out of battery juice? Well, if it comes with batteries, how long do the batteries last? How long do battery packs last? If I get the crane, will the hand-held remote raise the crane? If it does, how high? Will it lower it, too? Does it beep when you back it up or is it done with the remote? Why do you suppose that there are only two knobs and not three? Which one should I get?

Rickrooni and I got the giggles. When we were out of answers, which didn’t take long, we found a Toys R Us ‘team member’ to give us a hand.

JD grilled him to the point that the very patient young man finally said, “I think you could design your own toy and sell it here, buddy. I don’t think I can answer any other questions for you.” JD scrunched his face up, “Why?”

“Because you asked them all!” replied the sales person…but with a smile.

We left the store with the crane. One would think it was the end of the story, but it’s not…we got back to JD’s house, his mom was home from errands and she helped JD take off the packaging, untwisting all of the twists and unscrewing all of the screws that held the crane in the card board box. JD put it on the floor and grabbed the remote. My daughter and watched with big smiles on our faces.

“Hey Nan,” he said, “Didn’t you say that the remote raised the crane?”

I swallowed hard. “Yes,” I croaked.

“It doesn’t,” he said.

Guess where we went next?

Welcome :-)

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Hi!
Thanks for dropping by. My blog, Wordknits, is about two of my passions: writing and knitting. The have a common thread (no pun intended). Whether knitting alpaca yarn or unraveling skeins of words, I’m spinning — stories or socks.

My latest writing project was just returned from a New York editor with a wonderful note saying that it was a great draft of a first novel. It’s a ‘draft’ I’d like to point out that I’ve been working on for five plus years. So while she appreciated my writing there’s lots to do.

In preparation to begin, I drove to Office Depot yesterday and bought large index cards after I’d stood before the plethora of cards for twenty minutes. I arrived home and hid them upstairs in my messy office so didn’t have to look at them.Later, (much later) I cut the clear plastic covering off the cards and went back and forth like a swing wanting to make a decision, but unable. Did I want to use the flourescent ones or the white ones ? Did I want to assign each character a particular color? Would it be too distracting? Would plain, boring white cards with colored lettering be better? If I used the white cards I could easily see the colored pens, but if I used the flourescent ones, then the colored pens would  be washed out by the neon color. Would the bright ones bother my eyes?

See what I mean? 

 So, I left the house and found a place to have a manicure. This is the best of procrastination. Once I figure out where to begin, I’ll dig in. That ever happen to you? That you don’t know where to begin so you don’t? Every so often, I peeked into the office just to make sure the cards hadn’t run off on me. So far, they’re still there–calling me like one of those songs you can’t get out of your head. ARGH!

All of the above said, I really love my book, Nineteen Darby Way. It’s about deceit, love, disappointment, growing up…and more! Stay tuned.

My latest knitting project, leg warmers for my grand daughter, has been frogged more times than I can count. I think the yarn is wearing thin and they aren’t finished yet! For those of you who know about knitting, you understand. For those of you who don’t, ‘frogging’ is the term used for ripping knitted yarn out when one, that would be me, makes an error — ribbet, ribbet! Get it?

The pattern is so simple yet I’m ‘frogging’ my hair out, picking up dropped stitches, wondering why I suddenly have too many, and where mysterious little holes in the yarn come from. I hope I  finish them before she outgrows them! Again, stay tuned!

And welcome.