Sunday Roundup

Status
100 words a day/100 days — at 32 days now. Sitting down to write the words has almost become second nature, with shows the muscles are coming back. This puts me in a good place for the class that’s starting in two weeks, where I will have to do some exercises.

Knitting — Not much to report here except that I put more rows on the sleeves of the diagonal jacket, mostly over the past two days. With the holidays (and end of year madness at work) over, I’m planning to devote more time to this.

Books — Within shouting distance of the end of three books, but much of my reading has been clearing out samples on my Kindle App. When I feel broke, I have a tendency to download samples because it’s retail therapy without spending money. Sometimes, it’s led to books where the author is new to me or that I might not have picked up otherwise, but a number of times, I read, delete and move on. I will note that Kindle often provides a much more generous sample than the Nook does.

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Everyone is doing New Year’s Resolutions, but I thought this one Lora of LitDiva was one I should add to my list:

5. Fold clean laundry and put away rather than fishing matching socks from pile on living room chair.

Yeah, done that too many times myself.

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Over on The Debutante Ball, Deb Eleanor has some great quotes from Henry Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt had another quote which is one of my favorites: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” New Year’s is for believing and finding those dreams and their beauty again.

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And, on a perfectly silly note, Alastair Stephens shares an instructional video on how to survive a zombie attack during the holidays.

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On the knitting front, Sheri at the Loopy Ewe has posted her first quarter challenge: cables. The Loopy Ewe is one of my favorite on-line yarn pushers, where I spend more money than I’m ever willing to tell my husband. (He reminds when I said I wasn’t going to buy more yarn than I could fit in a single small plastic tub.)

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If you love beautiful costumes, check out this post from Enchanted Serenity of Period Films on Edwardian weddings. As someone who recreated a Regency Scottish Court presentation gown for her wedding, I’m a sucker for things such as this.

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The Intern compares manuscript revision to keeping the car she bought cheap — really, really, really cheap — running on a trip across country. Very funny, and very true in many ways.

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And, finally, I have discovered my small white cat hisses when he’s out of sorts. We’ve gotten used to him hissing at odd moments, but as I composed this, he was attempting to get comfortable on the couch and couldn’t because of where I was sitting. Finally, he just sat his fuzzy little butt down and gave a mighty hiss, letting the world know his displeasure. Trust me, he’s got a much larger will than his size would indicate. Probably one of the reasons this runt of the litter survived.

Sunday Roundup – Boxing Day Edition

Status
100 words a day/100 days — Still going, having completed 26 days as of this writing. Whereas I’m starting to see the value in not saying “I must write X number of words of fiction every day that is original and assigned to Y project,” I think the idea of letting your mind wander and writing something every single day is a good one. For one thing, it’s getting much easier at this point to sit down and bang out 100 words. After being away from the keyboard for a while, the muscles are feeling better for being exercised regularly. Which reminds me; back to the gym tomorrow after work.

Knitting
This was somewhat sidelined this week with Christmas insanity. I’m still working on the sleeves for the diagonal jacket, haven’t looked at my PI shawl at all and while I’ve made a good start on my shawlette, still haven’t touched it in a couple of days. Did manage some knitting last night when I finally managed to catch my breath for a few minutes, but that’s another thing I need to get back to this week.

Books
Have been reading this week, though the Thalberg bio has been proving very dense and Wolf Hallhasn’t seen a good chunk of time devoted to it. Am about halfway through another Christmas themed anthology, which I’m hoping to finish today.

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Aside from helping to get the muscles back in shape, my efforts at writing 100 words per day have created another side effect: a new character has popped into my head and started to come to life on the paper. I don’t know quite what to do with him yet, but he has a story to tell and I’m going to let that develop for a while and see what happens. It was Christmas Eve when I realized this was happening, that Harry Poirot (he prefers you pronounce it “Perrot”) had his own tale to tell. Usually, when this happens, I go diving in great guns, determined to get it all on paper now. This time, I’m going let him develop a little, discover who he is and what story he wants. He’s a lovely character, saddled with an unfortunate name and a con artist grandfather (who’s partially responsible for that name), who’s finding himself stuck in a situation he really doesn’t want to be in — and it’s going to be a comedy.

He’s just a small glow at the moment, though, so I’m going to let him grow and not push as I normally do.

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If you need some new wallpaper for a new iPad or computer (or just need to change your background), Enchanted Serenity of Period Films is featuring some lovely ones.

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We had rain here much of the week, which produced a gorgeous rainbow on Wednesday afternoon. Since we don’t usually have the atmospheric conditions for those here in Los Angeles, this had everyone oohing and ahhing. I was in a meeting when it happened and we all stopped to look out the window. The LAist blog has some pictures — and, yes, we could see the full curve from our meeting.

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Over on Writer Unboxed, JC Hutchins has a marvelous post on not asking your characters “why,” but “why now?” There’s some definite food for thought there, especially since I’m heading into the discovery class I’m starting in a few weeks.

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I know everyone has probably seen this already, but if you haven’t it’s worth a couple of minutes. “Silent” monks sing the Hallelujah Chorus at South Kitsap High School, Port Orchard, WA.

Have a peaceful and relaxing Boxing Day — and if you’re heading for the mall to attempt after-Christmas sales, be careful out there.

Sunday Roundup

Status
100 words a day/100 days: Eighteen for eighteen. I’m not producing anything of significance at the moment, but the feel of sitting down at a keyboard and banging words out is coming back. Before all the distractions started, this was a very natural thing for me and it’s a good feeling to recapture. It also means that when I do actually get into working on the idea that I’m going to do for Storywonk, the writing muscles will be feeling much more in shape.

Knitting: Have started the sleeves for the Diagonal Jacket, so I may actually be into putting that together by the end of the year. Then I get to start on my vest that I have some lovely Malabrigio Rios waiting for. Might take a short pause form the jacket and work on a couple of small projects today.

Books: Finished Kissing Santa Claus, a Christmas-themed anthology, and am over half-way through Wolf Hall. That makes four books for the month finished, so I’m reading more than one a week. I’m very grateful of my electronic devices; they’ve helped immensely with this.

Social Media: I know, I know. Everyone says writers are supposed to put themselves out there on Twitter and Facebook. I have the accounts — and have decided that I’m not going to deal with it until the New Year and make a fresh start. Right now, it’s took crazed and I’m slowly bringing things back into my life so they all have space and nothing gets crowded out.

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Disneyland was absolutely gorgeous on Monday, but next time we go in December, we’ll avoid going on the very last day all of the annual passes are active. There was quite a crowd, more like the summer, because it was the last day the lowest level of the annual passes (available specifically for folks who live in Southern California) would be active for the year. We have a slightly higher level, so a day or two after would see the park much emptier. Still, it was very pretty, especially Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

The day was surprisingly warm, which probably also accounted for the locals coming out. Very strange to drive into the parking lot at Disneyland and see nothing but California plates for rows and rows and rows.

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Funniest moment at Disneyland: two dads with strollers talking to one another as they walked along and one says to the other, “Did you see Sherlock on PBS? Man, it’s incredible! You’ve got to get the DVD. They’ve updated Sherlock Holmes and it’s good.” I should do a post on Sherlock at some point, because if you haven’t seen it, you really should.

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While Monday was sunny and warm, the weekend is cold and wet. Mu-Mu has the right idea.

For me, I’ve got to get ready for church, so I’m off. Have a good Sunday.

Sunday Roundup

Status
100 words for 100 days: Am now at 11 days straight. It’s getting surprisingly easy to get the words done, which is good; writing regularly hasn’t been a habit for a while, so these baby steps are good for getting my feet back under me.

Knitting: Blocked the Aeolian Shawl, though I think I need to re-block the edges because they aren’t pointy enough. Have finished the right front of the Diagonal Jacket and am currently working on the back.

Books: Finished A Countess By Christmas. Started another book that proved a major Did Not Finish. Am finally reading Wolf Hall, which I bought months ago.

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Signed up for the TBR Challenge for 2011. My husband has informed me this isn’t an excuse to buy more books. Of course, he’s not the one managing the Kindle library…

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Treated myself and signed up for the Discovery session of Storywonk that starts on January 16. I’ve been looking for a method to compromise between my urge to be a total and utter pantsers and the feeling I need to do something to keep myself from falling into large potholes a third of a way into a project. The workshop sounds almost exactly like what I was looking for, so I’m looking forward to it.

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When I am in the middle of a project, one of my standard pieces on my iPod is Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” as performed by Benny Goodman and his orchestra. If nothing else, the driving rhythm keeps my fingers moving. Below is a clip from the 2000 Tony Awards when the musical Fosse, which celebrated the work of the legendary director and choreographer, was up for an award.

There was a time when I used to be able to move like that and back in the day when i was young and a dancer, I remember practicing for hours to get my hands to move just so in the Fosse style.

Sunday Round-up

Status
100 words for 100 days: Began December 1 and have done four days straight.

Knitting: Am now on the fourth section of my Shetland Pi Shawl, and about to divide for the sleeves on my Diagonal Jacket. Did start a new project because I realized everything I was knitting is in dark colors and my eyes needed a break.

Books: Finished Scandal by Amanda Quick. Read it in about five days, so I’m definitely doing okay on the book a week idea. Started A Countess by Christmas by Annie Burrows

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Ree at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman has a hysterical post about how Charlie, her Basset Hound wraps her around his front paw. Seriously, I understand. I may have cats, but mine are just as manipulative. I mean, how can you resist something that looks like this?

Where's the Beer?

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It being the holiday season, various blogs are doing give-aways. Alison Kent is doing giveaways on even days, while the ladies at Smart Bitches are sponsoring a Hanukkah giveaway.

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Courtesy Enchanted Serenity of Period Films, I found a delicious vid in period film set to the tune of “It’s Raining Men.” The usual suspects are there (I’m looking at you, Colin Firth — not that I mind), but I will give them points for including Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter Wimsey. Clever can absolutely be sexy.

And if you love period films, check out Enchanted Serenity; I’ve learned about some lovely stuff I might not have known about otherwise.