Friday, December 31, 2010

Avalon (a poem)

A golden ray kisses
The cheek of an angel
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An angel whispers to a morning dove
"Awake my child and sing"
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A morning dove's song
Awakens a fare maiden
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A fare maiden employees
Her skein and needles to knit
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A day begins on Avalon
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The past:
November, 2005
After years of sharing my writing only with my long suffering husband, I began to blog. Encouraged by the number of page views, writing began to consume more and more of my time.

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August, 2006
I self-published an audiobook collection of knitting-themed short stories--Novelty Yarn. Most reviews were positive. Most, but not all. One said, something like, the short stories are too short.
I'll show her, I thought. And a seed was planted.

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October, 2009
I made a pact with myself--I will continue to submit one story, of whatever length, each month until I find a publishing house.

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June, 2010
I found Decadent Publishing House (http://www.decadentpublishing.com)

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October, 2010

I started blogging here on The Sweater Curse blog

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The future:
January, 2011
The Sweater Curse will be published
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All good things must come to an end, such is life, such is 30 Days of Decadence (http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com) Maureen O. Betita wishes you all A Howling Good New Year's Eve.
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Becca Dale invites you into her life as she reveals all on the Daily Dose of Decadence blog (http://www.decadentpublishing.blogspot.com)

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Next post: Six Senteces Sunday Submission

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bloody Words by Lou Allin


Bloody Words is Canad's oldest and largest mystery conference. This year for the first time it will be held in British Columbia's capital city of Victoria on June 3-5 though the Arthur Ellis Awards for Canada's best crime writing will be presented n the 2nd at the same venue. Guests of honour include BC's own
William Deverell (http://www.deverell.com),
Michael Slade (http://www.specialx.net),
and international bestseller Tess Gerritsen (http://www.tessgerritsen.com).
The Hotel Grand Pacific, on the scenic Inner Harbour, has been named Canada's finest hotel by Conde Nast. Agents will be on hand for interviews, there will be a short story contest, and applicants may submit thirty pages of their work for critiques. In addition to a reception and award presentation to Deverell, Michael Salde will pesent his celebrated Shock Theatre, followed by a ghost walk in search of old Victoria's spectres such as the elusive Amor de Cosmos. Founds of panels (literary, publishing and forensic) will capt the programs, and a banquet Saturday night is included in the cost of the registration at $190. Our website is www.bloodywords2011.com or come and leave a comment on our Facebook.
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June is the City of Gardens' most spectacular time of year. With its colonial, low-rise downtown, many fine Victoria reminiscent of many European cities. Visit North America's oldest China Town, have tea on the veranda at the Empress Hotel overlooking the harbor where high tea has been served for over 100 years, see the fabulous First Nations exhibits at the Royal BC Museum, or stroll through the gardens and beaches of Beacon Hill Park, all within easy walking distance of our hotel. Or take a day trip to nearby, world-famous Butchart Gardens, Glendale Gardens, or Abkhazi Garden. Downtown is a shopping mecca, but Johnson St. is where you'll find Victoria's home grown boutique industry and of course there are restaurants too numerous to mention serving local fare from our coastal waters. Saving the best for last, whales abound in the waters around the capital and you have a good chance of seeing greys or even orcas on the trips that leave many times daily from the inner harbour. Only in Victoria do new whale calves make the front page.
Come and see for yourself.
(You can have a preview at www.judyhudsonphotos.com/victoria1.hmtl)

A pictorical tour of Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, BC

If you're like me and love museums, you'll enjoy today's post. I've had the good fortunate to visit Castle Loma in Toronto (http://www.casaloma.org) and Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx4VpYeD90I). I was young and impressible when I and the visited seeded in me a passion for the past. So, you can understand, my delight in discovering Craigdarroch Castle.
I invite you to explore it with me.
As we enter the main floor hall, we see this stunning mantle piece--dressed for the season.







In the library, we read by candlelight.




We climb the stairs to the second level.



Climbing the stairs to the next level, we look up and see...










The upper level houses the ballroom.




My husband admires the instruments.



The bathroom with side-by-side tub and toilet.

Servant quarters.

A model of the castle.
Besides being a castle and a museum, it has also been a school of music and a hospital.
To learn more about the castle, please visit: www.thecastle.ca
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Today, please visit me on the Daily Dose of Decadence blog (http://www.decadentpublishing.blogspot.com)
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Today on 30 days of decadence (http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com), Veronica Lynch shares her wishes for 2011.
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And, does your story have a saggy middle Janice Hardy has the solution. Read http://storyflip.blogspot.com
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Just found a fantastic interview on http://www.thecreativepenn.com
How Machine of Death Became An Indie Amazon Bestseller with David Malki!
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Next Post: I'm going to Bloody Words, are you?

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Spark (creative non-fiction)

A Spark

It was Mom who lit the fire. She kindled the flames. She kept it lit.

Having observed my passion for knot tying, Mom viewed a knitting kit as the perfect Christmas present. The kit contained a large round neon green plastic knitting loom, bright acrylic yarn, and a short wooden needle. I learned quickly how to manipulate the yarn, loom, and needle in order to knit.

I began knitting on Christmas day and didn't stop until a peg broke several days later. However, in that short period of time I knit many tube scarves. I still recall my favourite. It was green with green and white pom-poms on each end. I wore it with pride.

When the peg broke, Mom took this as a sign that I was ready for two needles. Because of our sometimes-abrasive relationship, Mom decided to ask her Mom to teach me.

This was a wise choice. My grandma was a skilled artisan, having won many fair ribbons for her crafts. She was an experienced instructor, having successfully taught all four of her daughters to knit. Moreover, my respect for my grandma meant that I would have to control myself. No matter how frustrating knitting became I couldn't throw the needles. I knew my grandma wanted me to persevere, how could I disappoint her?

Once I had a grasp of the basics, it was Mom who guided me into a knitting class. The class was given through the local 4-H. She made sure that I completed my knitting homework.

She was always there to lend a hand when the need arose. She buoyed me up when I faltered. She wanted her only daughter to share her enjoyment for knitting.

Fortunately, our tension was so similar that we could easily work on the same project.

"Who's knitting that anyway?" My brothers teased.

"Leanne is," Mom countered. "I'm just helping her with a tricky bite."

No knitting challenge was too difficult, no pattern too tricky, no yarn 'unknittable'. She was my knitting guru.

Years passed and I moved away. Alone, my knitting was not nearly as smooth. My needles wavered. Yarn twisted, tangled, and was tossed. My eyes burned as I peered at patterns.
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Life as knitting became difficult when word came that Mom was losing her battle with cancer. I hurried from British Columbia to Manitoba to be by her side.

I have never experienced anything more difficult than watching cancer eat away at Mom. Piece by piece it devoured her. There in her palliative care room I turned to an old friend for comfort--knitting. I selected a skein of yarn and began to make a yarn ball.

"You still enjoy knitting?" Mom inquired with a twinkle in her eye.

"Yes."

"Here let me help with that." Her goal to be useful momentarily overcame all thought of pain. I handed her the yarn ball. One wrap, two wraps and then she just couldn't go on. "You'll have to go it on your own, honey." Solemnly she handed me the yarn ball.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

A surprise for me and you

The surprise for you is this post. I usually don't post on Sunday, and I don't plan to start. However, I had to make an exception today.
Why?
Well, I'll explain.
I started this blog on October 10th. I posted sparatically for about a month, until in November, I began to post daily (with a day off on Sunday). I had a great time interviewing people, facilitating a discussion and sharing my writing and patterns.
I was so engaged in the process, in fact, that wasn't aware that a miracle was occuring. I wasn't aware that thanks to your generous support the number of page views is drawing close to 2, 000. I'm blowen away. I didn't know what to do, but I knew I had to do something. I knew I had to say thank you.
To say thank you, I'd like to share this creative non-fiction story...
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When I was growing up, Christmas was a joyous time of family gatherings, traditions, good cheer and food. Delicious smells poured forth from Mom's kitchen. This was her opportunity to showcase mouthwatering talent.
Two desserts were at the centre of these festivities: English Pud to clebrate my dad's heritage and my mom's recipe for Icelandic Vinaterta. Not surprisingly, Mom had been given the roots of her recipe from her mom, Grandma Olafson.
Grandma's recipe loudly proclaimed its Icelandic heritage with its strong ethnic taste. Mom slightly toned down the recipe to make it more palatable for her husband. I, too, far preferred Mom's recipe.
Years passed and I fell in love. Christmas was the test for my Mennonite boyfriend. How would he react to my large extended family? To Vinaterta? To my delight, he seemed at home in the company of my family.
Next, he was served a piece of Vinaterta. The first bite was foreign to him. He turned the tastes around in his mouth. Would he finish it?
"It's okay if you don't finish it. It's a unique taste," my mom offered.
"Oh, no, I like it." He took the last forkful, savouring it. "May I have another piece, please?"
Later that year we were married. Vinaterta was our wedding cake.
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This story was published in Flavours of Vancouver along with my mom's recipe for Vinaterta.


The Sweater Curse: Six Sentences Sunday

Okay, today is Sunday. In the confusion of Christmas, I forgot what day it is. Embracing, but true.
Any who...
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The Sweater Curse
by Leanne Dyck
"Yes, I'm going to design and knit him a sweater. It's our first Christmas as a couple. I want to do something very special."
"No sweater. Hat instead."
"Why?"
"Sweater Curse. You knit boyfriend sweater something very bad happen."
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Next Post: A Spark (creative non-fiction)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reporting from the Yule Log

Thank you for dropping by my blogging this rainy Christmas eve.
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Please have a sit in a comfy chair by the fire while I make my yearly report from the Yule Log.
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Each Christmas arrives with a message.
That message this year was...
I'm surrounded by abundance. My mission to share it--whether that be a smile, a helping hand, or from a donation of time.
Tonight is a special time on Mayne Island. We gather around the communal Christmas tree with others to spread good cheer. The apple cider is free and the carols flow. So don't be shy belt out Jingle Bells--no one minds. In fact, we encourage it.


Next Post: A Spark (creative non-fiction)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2010/2011

I just logged on to The Creative Penn blog and found a link
http://writetodone.com/2010/12/21/top-10-blogs-for-writers-2011-the-winners/
I clicked the click and read
Write to done
Unmissable articles
on writing
Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2010/2011--The Winners
Congratulations to the winners
I clicked on the 8th blog listed and arrived back at The Creative Penn blog. : )

My Fiancee's Sweater

My fiancee knew I only knit scarves. And yet, when I asked, "What do you want for Christmas?"
He replied, "A curling sweater hand knit by you."
I'll show him I thought. I'll knit that sweater--with Mom's help.
As Christmas quickly approached, the sweater reached completion. Then we discovered our shortage of yarn. No problem, I thought. I'll buy more.
I bought more yarn and brought it home.
"Did you match the dye lot?" Mom asked.
"Match the what?"
"The dye lot. It's a number listed on the yarn band. You match the numbers to ensure no unwanted colour stripes. Here bring me the bands and I'll show you the number."
"I don't have them."
"What do you mean? Where are they?"
"I threw them out."
"Oh, Leanne." She said disappointedly, then quickly added. "No trouble. I think these skeins match closely enough."
Sadly, Mom was wrong.
It's a beautifully knit sweater--love in every stitch. My husband still wears it. (Well, actually, I've stolen the sweater. I wear it on cold days when I need a hug from Mom and my husband.) However, he has been given clear instructions. NOT OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.
Lesson learned: match the dye lot number


Twenty years later, a rare photo of my husband and the sweater.
Poor guy, early this morning, I sprung on him saying, "Here, put this on. I want to take a picture." Then I blinded him with the flash. He's definately on Santa's nice list. : )
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Today on Daily Dose of Decadence (
http://decadentpublishing.blogspot.com) LaVerne Thompson writing as Ursula Sinclair shares her Holiday Traditions
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Today on 30 Days of Decadence (http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com) Wendy Burke shares memories of a childhood visit with Santa. A common occurance, but its how she shares this memory that will astound you--it did me.
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Rachel Firasek interviews Renee Rearden (http://rachelfirasek.com)


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Next Post: Report from the Yule Log
This is a blog tradition that I began on my Designer's Note blog. On Christmas Eve, I carry my camera with me and then at the end of the day I report back to you. We'll have a nice chat while drink some eggnog and mulled wine. I look forward to your visit.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Photos

Periodically, I like to pretend I'm a photographer. This is one of those times.


You know you're living somewhere specially when you can walk out your front door and see such beauty.

Knitting for Charities

Knitting for charities is a tradition dating back to the Spanish American war (1898). During this time, knitters knit for mariners who were away at sea during Christmas-- reports the Seaman's church organization (http://www.seamenschurch.org/cas.htm)
Although, I wouldn't be surprised if knitting for charities is a even older than this reference. Speaking generally, knitters are a generous by nature.
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I 'googled' knitting for charities and found 2, 530, 000 listed sites.
Here's what I found:
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Knit a Square
...and make an AIDS orphan warm
http://www.knit-a-square.com
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Knitting Circle Canada
This site shared helpful tips on how to form your knitting circle as well as a list of charities that would benefit from your stitches.
http://www.knittingcircle.ca
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Interweave Knits--knitting charities for a Better World
On October, 2010 Interweave Knits compiled a list of charities, please view it here:
http://www.interweaveknits.com/community/charities.asp
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When selecting knitting charities, don't forget to look in your own backyard. Ask yourself (and others), what groups or individuals would benefit from my stitches?
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Others to ask:
your friends, coworkers, family members
public health nurses
your local governmental officials
Ask those working at:
local hospitals, doctor offices
local nursing homes, day care centres
police stations, victim assistnace programs
places of worship, food distribution centres
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It has been my experience that once word spreads that you are knitting for charities inexpensive or free yarn becomes easily accessible.
If you are having trouble locating yarn, recruit your local yarn shop, thrift shop or post an advertisement in your local paper.
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When selecting yarn for charity knitting, it is important to bear in mind durability and ease of care.
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This year I was able to find two groups who were looking for knitted items. I gave toques and wristers to a group who was distributing knitting to the homeless. I gave baby hats, sweaters, baby blankets, finger puppets as well as a large bag of yarn to a group who was knitting for a children's hospital. Next year I hope to continue this tradition. It's fun and it makes me feel so good.

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Question: Do you knit for charities? Which ones? Included a link.
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Today on 30 Days of Decadence (
http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com) Kelly Yeakle shares a recipe for Mulled Wine, courtesy of Wiccan Together
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I just visited Wiccan Together (
http://www.wiccantogether.com) and found a wealth of information. I'll be back.
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Today on Daily Dose of Decadence (
http://decadentpublishing.blogspot.com) Kimber An shares her uplifting, thought provoking article--All I Want For Christmas
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Next Post: a short story: My Fiancee's Sweater

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Filter words (show don't tell)

Much thanks to Barbara Sheridan (http://www.barbarasheridan.com) for sharing the link to this helpful article: http://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/filter-words-and-distancing-point-of-view/

Join Us (short story) by Leanne Dyck


Concealed by the dark night thirteen women left the comfort of their beds, the security of their homes to venture into the storm. They walked unaided by light.

The wind wrapped an invisible arm around each waist--encouraging progress. He showered each of his partners with handfuls of leaves--transforming their nightgowns into party dresses. Other invincible hands pushed back branches; flattened grass--clearing the path. The women walked on.

Their footfalls were quick and sure through a world alive with the sound of a million pipers and the swaying, spinning and leaping of a million dancers.

Wordlessly they walked on until they reached a natural clearing in the woods. Here they instinctively formed a circle. They stood--arms out stretched, palms facing but not touching.

Though the storm continued to rage around them, those in the circle were untouched. No hair was tousled, no gown rippled. They were still.

"Oh, Mother Gaia, we feel your power," someone cried. Those who recognized the voice weren't surprised that it belonged to Holly McIntosh--owner of the Croaking Frog Clothing Boutique. Intelligent, gregarious, charismatic--she was a natural leader.

"Mother Gaia, we feel your power," a younger voice chirped in imitation. That voice belonged to Rome--Holly's niece.

Other voices joined in the chant and the volume rose from a merely audible whisper to a roar that overtook the storm.

Mother Gaia heard and responded. A white lightning bolt leapt from palm to palm. The women fell back but not down--Mother Gaia held them. She picked them up and held them in a 45-degree angle in mid air. The women closed their eyes and rested in their Mother's hand. As they rested they dreamed--of creation, of transformation, of harmony, of peace, of beauty, of love.

Mother Gaia whispered in each woman's ear, "Tell me, my child, of what do you dream?"

And the women shared their dreams.

Mother, May I
Mother Mary
Mother Goddess
Mother may you

Create me, hold me, transform me
From virgin to mother to crone

Blessed Mother
Mother Creator
Mother may I

Create, hold, transform
From virgin to mother to crone

The divine love
The power of three

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Sweater Curse sequel: six sentences sunday

This Sunday, please continue reading the sequel to my soon-to-be published thriller. This work is unedited.
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Weaving in the Ends
(or Sweater Bliss)
(which title do you perfer?)
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She had worked six inches of moss stitch by the time the door was pushed open.
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She heard him walk up to her desk. Head bowed, needles clicking, she knew she looked like an ineffectual secretary.
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"I have a two o'clock appointment," he informed her. The clock above her head read five minutes to.
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"Please have a seat," she said without looking away from her knitting.
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Monday: I share my Santa Hat pattern.
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Wednesday: please remind me to sign up for Six Sentences Sunday, thank you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Knitting: an one act operetta

It took place in the Agricultural Society hall on Mayne Island, a few years ago.
In the front row were knitters. I knew they were knitters because of what they were wearing--knitted garments--and by what they were doing--knitting.
I stood on a small wooden box, facing them, as I read...
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Click
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Time was we were safe. Sure there was an underground movement...but they were unorganized and weak. The movement attracted only the socially undesirable. We could sleep at night knowing that our loved ones were safe.
Click...click...click Those days are gone.
Click...click...click Listen do you hear it? They are becoming stronger.
Click..click...click They are becoming organized
Click...click...click Young--old, male--female, no one is safe.
Click..click..click How can we stop this madness
Click..click..click We must boycott certain stores
Click..click..click We must protest certain meetings
Click..click..click We must burn certain publications
Click..click..click We must ban certain websites
Click..click..click We must scorn those associated with the movement. It is the only way.
Click..click..click Guard your loved ones
Click...click...click Keep them safe
Click..click..click We must be aware
Click..click..click We must be alert
Don't let the knitters win!
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The knitters stood up en mass and charged toward me. I retreated as they sang.
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The weather outside is delightful
But, my dear, you're rather frightful
As long as we love it so
Let us knit, let us knit, let us knit
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The operetta was short, but oh so sweet. It's one of my favourite knitting group memories.
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Please visit me http://decadentpublishing.blogspot.com as I discuss Finding A Critique Group
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On http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com Deanna Wadsworth writes about another type of sweater curse--the curse of The Ugly Christmas Sweater
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Rachel Firasek's interviews Lynn Rush at http://www.rachelfirasek.com
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Next Post: The double knit techique and a free oven mitt pattern
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Six Sentences Sunday: I will be participating. Hope you will drop by to read.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How A Lifetime Is Measured

Today's post, a tribute to Kathleen Ann's mother-in-law and all the women like her--who with their gentle generosity cast a lasting spell.
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How A Lifetime Is Measured
Her pace is slow
She shuffles across the floor
Hand-knit slippers dust the boards with every slide
Snug in her armchair she savours yesteryear as she would homemade cherry pie

Sit a spell, witness her transformation
Her aged hands reach for her wands
Two metal sticks to conjure
Yarn dances merrily: it is under her spell
Shape shifting to your amazement

She knits away the years
Memories loop together revealing a young mother cherishing her wee babe.
A layette knit in baby blue
Now she knits in khaki green as her Johnnie straight and tall marches off to war
Tears combine with prayers to bring her beloved home
Watch closely, as years drop as stitches, returning youth
her novice hands become clumsy
We are witnessing the sorcerer apprenticing her craft
Stitches executed under the watchful eye of her guide--her own grandmother
"Spin me a yarn," the once young girl begs and secrets are shared

Stitches, rows, skeins--her life is measured in these

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Favourite Sweater short story by Kathleen Ann Gallagher




Kathleen Ann Gallagher writes: I have always loved sweaters. I don't particularly like winter, but I do like the warmth and comfort a sweater brings. I needed to find a Christmas gift for my mother in-law Mary, who was always cold, and sat daily in her recliner crocheting slipper socks. She handed them out to the entire neighborhood and anyone else she met. She kept a box of multi colored hand made socks by her door. When visitors left she would advice them to take a new pair. She never took no for an answer, so I have a set in every color.

I decided to try a specialty shop in town that carries vintage items along with antiques, candle, Christmas ornaments, and hand-crafted assorted gifts. You can spend an afternoon sifting through the eclectic mix of goodies. I spotted a gorgeous pink sweater that had tiny specks of white weaved into a lovely detailed pattern. It had a pretty pin with purple stones in front to hold it closed. It felt soft and cuddly and I thought it would suit her perfectly.

On Christmas Eve she opened the box and held the sweater up to her face. I don't want this story to sound sad in any way, but I knew this might be her last Christmas. She was in her late eighties and in failing health. She continued to crochet the slipper socks wearing the pink sweater through the winter. My mother in-law peacefully passed away in April.

The day came to clean out her house, which is never easy. We spent an entire day filled with memories some sad, most joyous. I found the sweater lying across the back of her chair. I smiled when I saw it. I took the sweater home with me and I feel a warm embrace whenever I wear it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How-to form a knitting (writing) group

My friends and fellow critique group members
in the Agricultural Society Hall
during the Christmas Craft Fair

I am the co-rejuvenating partner of the Mayne Island writers' group. Starting that group was so easy.

I was at a house party and made a casual comment to a friend. I said, "I'd like to start a writers' group." Well, one thing led to another a few short weeks later the Mayne Island writers' group was formed.

I'm the founding member of the Knit Witts of Mayne Island. Starting that group was more challenging.

Why?

Well, I was new to the island and the knitting group was the first group I formed.

Taking the initiative to establish the group was a good experience for me, I learned a lot and would like to share some tips with you.

Group Dynamics

While planning the first meeting, consider what type of members you like to attract. If you wish to attract retirees schedule your meetings for the daytime. If you want the 9-5ers, schedule your meeting in the evening.

Venue

-The venue should reflect the tone of the group. If you want to party all night long, why not meet in a bar. If you're a little tamer, meet in a cafe, library, or yarn shop.
-Ensure that your location is easily accessible by public transportation.
-Consult with the owner of the venue before choosing it. Make sure that they are happy to have your group meet in their facility.
-At least initially, I would advise meeting in a public location.

Advertise

I posted a note in my local newspaper. You may also wish to make posters and distribute handbills.

As the group continued to meet, I learned many more lessons. I will share tips in future posts. On Thursday, December 16th, on the Decadent Publishing blog (http://decadentpublishing.blogspot.com), I will discuss finding a writers' critique group.
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Jamaica Layne has written a fascinating, informative post about Twelfth Night: A Medieval Holiday Tradition. To read it, please visit http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com
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A Christmas present to you from the fine authors of Decadent Publishing--a series of author readings. First up is Robert C. Roman
Enjoy. I did.
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Next post: Decadent Publishing author Kathleen Ann Gallagher shares her submission to the Your Favourite Sweater contest. Please visit Kathleen's website: http://kathleenanngallagher.net/

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six Sentences Sunday

My excitement over my soon-to-be published thriller The Sweater Curse has inspired me to dream.
What if...
What if you love my thriller?
What if you want more?
What if you demand a sequel?
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As I dreamed, a small bud of an idea was seeded. Here is the seedling poking forth out of the soil...
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Please note, this is unedited.
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Weaving in the Ends (working title)
by Leanne Dyck
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She pulled her knitting bag from her canvas purse and laid it on the desk. Her dark mahogany bamboo sticks felt cool now, but she knew they would soon grow warm in her hands. Around them she began wrapping milky white silk. After consulting the pattern, she added ten more stitches for a total of 80.
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Bamboo and silk is so seductive. It's a knitter's erotica, she thought as she knit.
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I look forward to your feedback.
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I'll share more next Sunday.
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Please visit the other Six Sentence Sunday sites http://sixsunday.blogspot.com
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I thoroughly enjoyed my time on 30 days of decadence. Thank you to those who logged on and to those who commented. I offered one contributor a copy of my audiobook Novelty Yarn and a copy of my cozy mystery Maynely A Mystery.
And the winner is Linda Henderson.
Please continue to log on to www.30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com and pass the eggnog.
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Monday's post: How I formed my creative community and tips on how you can start yours.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Within a Curse by Terrill Welch

Terrill Welch and I are members of the Mayne Island writer's group. She was one of the first people to read The Sweater Curse. Her skilled eye and thoughtful words helped me shape my thriller. I am grateful for her constant support.
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Note: The photo and photography featured in this post were created by Terrill Welch.



Terrill writes: Leanne Dyck's soon-to-be published thriller The Sweater Curse twists and turns as it knits a fine yarn for an artist's creativity. Her new work has me asking a few questions. What is an artist's community? How do we know if we are part of one? What is a curse? What might be a blessing within a curse? Where do we find our choice, our point of action be it a curse or a blessing?



I was blessed and cursed with a large amount of creative energy. This has influenced my life in all its aspects but particularly as an artist and photographer. Both these creative endeavours are often solitary. Yet, inspiration comes from community and from discussion with peers. This is what I call my artists community. Sometimes it has been a physical community. These days it is most often an online virtual community of facebook, twitter and blogging colleagues. These are the neighborhoods where my work is first introduced to the public. These are places where my work is supported, gently critiqued and lovely admired.
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I know I am part of an artists community because other creative beings come by, visit and engage in meaningful conversations about creativity. I know I am part of an artists community when I am shown the work of other artists and asked for my thoughts. These are rich places for me. Places I grow and thrive.
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To be cursed with an artists vision is to know that much remain unresolved, unfinished and in need of expression. The desire to express, to create is a must. The blessings come when we can create in a manner that fulfills that desire. A painting where I can capture the inner spirit of the scene or a photographer where I find something new in the ordinary. These are blessings because for a short while I am at peace. At least unitl the next moment presents itself for expression.
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Too often a blessing or a curse feels like something we have no control over, something that happens to us rather than because of us. The Sweater Curse takes this situation to the very edge, where we lose our sense of personal power and ability to decide our behaviour. I won't tell you anymore. A thriller is too easy to spoil in the telling. As an artist I must create and express my feelings, ideas and thoughts--to not would be to be only half living. The action and choice on how I create is my point of personal power and insight. May you create with the abundance of your full creative power and be blessed with an artist community of your own.


Leanne, thank you for inviting me into your creative community. I am honoured. May your readers be inspired to buy your soon-to-be published thriller The Sweater Curse.
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Thank you, Terrill, for sharing your words and your art.
Please visit http://creativepotager.wordpress.com to participate in Terrill's creative community.
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Please visit http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch to view and purchase Terrill's beautiful photography and paintings.
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QUESTIONS: Please leave a comment, Terrill will be by to reply.

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Today on 30 Days of Decadence (http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com) Leslie Soule writes about The Most Awesome Gift Ever!
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On http://www.decadentpublishing.blogspot.com Rita Hestand is participating in Just the Facts Friday.
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I will be participating in Six Sentences Sunday (http://sixsunday.blogspot.com). You don't have to go any where, do anything--except log on here.

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Monday's post: How I created my creative community, and tips on how you can create your own.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Meet an Mayne Island artist--Terrill Welch

I met Terrill Welch at an event she organized to celebrate International Women's Day. After our short chat, I had a feeling that I had met a dynamic woman, who is living in a life of abundance.

I'm pleased to introduce Terrill.

Where did you live before coming to Mayne Island?

Naming the string of places I have called home would make a fairy ring around Mayne Island. We most recently lived in Pedder Bay on the far side of the district of Metchosin outside of Victoria. I was born in the farming community of Vanderhoof, British Columbia in the year 1958.

Why did you come to Mayne Island?

My partner and I could live anywhere in the world. David is retired and my business is flexible and international in scope. We quickly decided that we wanted to stay in Canada. Prince Edward Island was a strong contender on our list of choices. Fortunately, we found our home first before deciding on any particular geographic location and it just happened to be on Mayne Island. We moved to Mayne Island in May 2007. We now live in a beautiful eco-friendly strawbale timberframe home that was built by Tracy Calvert. To the relief of our collection of eight grown children, we have settled on the south west coast instead of across the country!


Why do you stay?

We are comfortable with the semi-rural life-style and feel like a valued part of the small community here on the island.

What do you do for fun on the island?

My most favourite island activity is to hike around exploring cliffs and seashores with a heavy digital cannon camera slung over my shoulder. My second most favourite thing is to have friends and family over to visit.

What are you employed at?

I am a full-time creative being between impressionist nature paintings, photography and writing. I have an active blog at Creative Potager http://creativepotager.wordpress.com
and an online storefront at redbubble http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch
I love community and both of these venues allow me to be connected to a global creative community that feeds my artist juices while living on a small island off the southwest coast of Canada.

What do you like best about living and working here?

...that I can!

What do you like the least?

Long-term what is least controllable about living on an island is reliable and affordable ferry service.

Why would you leave?

We are staying.

Please share parting words of advice, comments, concerns, hints or tips

A vision not lived remains only a dream--may you be living your vision!




Note: all photos were taken by me--amateur photographer.
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Please visit me at 30 days of decadence (http://30daysofdecadence.blogspot.com)
One lucky contributor will win my audiobook Novelty Yarn and a copy of my cozy mystery Maynely A Mystery.
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I had fun surfering the web today (Instead of working on my WIP, oops) and found these interesting posts. Knitwear designers J C Briar (http://jcbriar.com/blog) and Jill Wolcott (http://y2knitpatterns.blogspot.com) talk about their art. Now, excuse me, I have to write.
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Next post: Guest blogger: Terrill Welch writes "Within a Curse"
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Six Sentences Sunday, I'll be there...hope to see you. : )

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On art, on craft

The Salt Spring Arts Council produces an informative newsletter. Flipping through an old issue, I found this article penned by Gary Cherneff.

Craft is about skill and technology and as such we judge it rather objectively because standards are often codified and do not contain those tricky artsy terms such as meaning or symbolism etc. which is why it is easier to understand. Art is about knowing what you want to say and being successful at saying it. We judge it subjectively. It is harder to understand because we have to think for ourselves about meaning etc. and have to spend time learning the language of art. Both art and craft extraordinary commitment to do well.

In 2006 I wrote
If you create or find your own fibre, pattern, needles and, or use them in an unconventional way you are clearly an artist. Their is no question in my mind.
Another way to determine if something is art or craft is to ask the question why? Why are you knitting this item? Is it to serve a purpose? Say for example, you are cold so you knit a sweater--then you are a crafter. On the other hand, if you are making a profound statement by knitting the item then clearly you are an artist.
Hmmm, my words are fuel for a mighty fire.

A search engine yielded this website: http://weburbanist.com/2009/02/06/knitty-gritty-15-works-of-knit-art-and-graffiti/
Interesting, if only for the pictures.
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If you're interested in reading more art related articles, I just found a treasure chest. Log on to: http://www.artistincanada.com/
Search the topic that interests you.
You'll be lost for hours.