Category Archives: knitting

The Storm

I sit here in Burlington, VT, watching the news about this great storm that is hugging the coast of New England. I lived in the Boston at the time of the blizzard of ’78. Very few people mention the storm that dropped around 20″ the week before the blizzard. It was so hard to dig out from the blizzard because the snow from the earlier snowfall had not been completely cleared.

This storm that is now laying waste to the coast will probably not hit us much, if at all, in Burlington. They predict 2-4″ and that is a notoriously whiffy projection here. With that forecast in the past, we have gotten between 0″ and 10″. So no one I know is placing any bets on this storm. Every map I’ve seen so far has an upper snow line either just above or just below us.

I have volunteered to man our workshop all day tomorrow. The regular morning person has had to drive home twice this year in treacherous conditions and is reluctant to do it again, understandably. I can walk to and from the workshop reasonably, although I regret that it’s uphill on the way home. I doubt I will have many visitors tomorrow, and I will use the time to write, knit and play games. Hopefully, mainly writing!

Ooh! The latest map says we don’t get anything!

New yarn

Michael’s had a big sale on yarn this week, and I got enough to get me through the rest of the year, I suspect, especially if I get back to work on Novel #2. The most writing I’ve been doing is for my creative writing class. We have done little that is up my alley, if you know what I mean.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for fantasy in the class room, since we are spending a lot of time on poetry and, recently, flash fiction. As I told the professor the first week of class, my problem is prolixity, and short might be well out of my comfort zone. I suspect I proved as much with my two pieces of flash fiction. Here is the shorter of the two pieces:


Jersey was the best dog I ever owned. He was playful, generous, even tempered and gentle, a medium sized dog with some hound in him. He was about a year old when I brought him home from the shelter. We got into the habit of walking to the park every morning at about 8. There was an area set aside for dogs with a short fence to mark it.

One morning, after I had loosed Jersey into the dog run, as he was playing with a chihuahua, a boy climbed over the fence. I didn’t see him at first but he came into my field of vision as he ran toward the dogs. Laughing, he picked up the chihuahua by one back leg and started swinging him in a circle. Jersey barked at the boy, without result. Jersey then jumped and grabbed the hand holding the smaller dog. The boy dropped the chihuahua, and screamed. The boy’s mother and the chihuahua’s owner raced to the scene. The mother screamed at me about my vicious dog. The chihuahua’s owner screamed that my dog saved her dog from an abuser.

When a hearing was held on the vicious dog complaint, the chihuahua’s owner testified that Jersey barked at the boy before biting him and only bit him enough to get him to drop the chihuahua, who suffered a dislocated leg in the incident. It made no difference. Jersey was sentenced to death. There was no possibility of appeal.

I chose to give my short version of the story as well: Dog bites boy, Dog dies.  I offered this in homage to Ernest Hemingway who wrote the best short fiction ever:  For sale: baby shoes. Never used.

And if you must know, I wrote the shorter form before I assayed the larger form. It helped in the conceptualization, at least.

Novels and knitting

My first novel, Fantastical Trips, of which I have written before is off at the editor, and I do not yet have an ETA on its completion. Nor do I have a clue as to how much work I will have to do upon its return to me.  I should therefore seize the time to work on my second novel, already nearly 55,000 words, while FT is being edited. Or not so much. I have gotten into knitting, and am unlearning all the bad habits I’ve gotten into, knitting nothing but skinny scarves as a form of meditation. Making real things requires more concentration and a different kind of meditation. I am currently sitting here typing in a figure eight scarf that I made in less than a day. Woo-hoo. It required that I knit in the round, that I both knit and purl, and that I manage five strands of yarn at the same time.. Needless to say, it was a challenge, but I am wearing the fruits of my labor right now, and avoiding adding another shirt because of the warmth I feel from the new scarf.

I want to get back to my second novel, tentatively called The Wandering Way, but I ended my last writing on it in early October; I have a half sentence at the end of my writing to that day; and I have no idea what the intent of the sentence was, why I was receiving no signals from my characters, and why I have such difficulty getting past the partial sentence. If this be writer’s block, I can see why it is so feared by all. With the days getting much shorter, I have looked forward to many productive days, but they are not there except in knitting. Help! This is not how I imagined it.

I am about to read the two pieces for tomorrow’s workshop, which I lead, and I’m hoping that they will inspire me to figure out what is going on in WW, or at least a suitable work-around to the present problem. So I will go off now to “work” and hope it inspires me to work!

New habit

I don’t know why it’s happening, but for the last month or so, I’ve been doing a lot of all-nighters. Sometimes it’s writing, or reading, but tonight I’ve been looking at knitting patterns, most way beyond my competence, and yarn that could break the bank. To top it all off, a friend has sent me a long short story to proofread, and I couldn’t put it down.

So what do you all do when you don’t go to bed at night? I’m sure plenty of people have all sorts of hidden reasons for not sleeping. I know one person who claims she knows when she’s due for a nightmare, and if she stays up all night, it loses its turn in her dream cycle. Wouldn’t that be nice?

When I stay up all night to write, I actually produce some of my more inspired twists and turns in my work in progress. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work if I force myself to stay up. It only happens if the sleeplessness is organic. And mine is organic tonight, since I slept most of the 36 hours leading up to 1 pm today. I may have overslept myself. I had a light bug, with headache and stomachache and I slept it out of me. Now I’m not tired. But this is the only writing I’m allowed to do until I send Fantastical Trips off to the editor.

So you readers get the nonsense I am producing in the wee hours of the morning. Or at least it will still be the wee hours next week when daylight savings time has been put to rest. And with that, I bid you all a good morning!