Thursday, March 31, 2011

Free pattern: Purse

I love this purse--not only is it stylish but it's so easy to pack. All of which make it an ideal spring/summer purse. I've knit this purse from cotton, raw silk, linen and hemp/cotton blend yarns.
You will need two balls of worsted weight yarn (approximately 210 yards/192 metres each).

Knitting needles: one set of straight needles 4.50 mm (US 7/UK 7) and two double point needles

Tension: 1" = 5 stitches

To make the body of the purse use the double knit technique.

Cast on 45 stitches


Work in pattern for 13 inches.

Pattern:

Row 1: knit one, *slip stitch as if to purl (bringing yarn forward), knit one, continue from * to last two stitches, slip stitch, knit one

Row 2: knit one, *knit one, slip stitch continue from * to last two stitches, knit two

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

This is what the double knit technique looks like on the needles.


and off...

This stitch pattern creates a lining for your purse.
Cast off two stitches at a time--a knit stitch and a slip stitch treated as one stitch.
To make the strap make I-cord

Cast on 4 to 6 stitches (depending on how thick you want your strap. The more stitches the thicker the strap.)


Work the first row in garter stitch


Once you've knit the first row don't turn your work. Instead keep the right side of the work facing you and slide the stitches to the other end of the needle. Bring the working yarn forward. Continue working in this manner until you begin to create a "tube". During the initial rows of I-cord the wrong side may resemble little ladders. Fear not, the laddering will disappear as you continue to work while maintaining tension.


Work the tube to the desired length.


To assemble the purse...

Fold the purse like an envelope. Make the first fold 8 1/2 inches down from the top. The folded piece should be 5 inches deep.

Sew the sides.

Fold the top flap down.

Sew on strap.

(Optional) Attach a button closure.

Weave in ends

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Sweater Curse (outtake)

The pity of the bully's victim is a subject I'm very interested in exploring through my writing. In fact, I have--however, that part of The Sweater Curse was weeded out. (Breathe in, breathe out) I'll offer it to you... *** I walked the schoolyard ever ready to prey on the weak, the freak--those who due to their appearance or behaviour stood out as other. * Space Cadet was my favourite quarry. She sheldom ventured inot my kingdom. She knew what awaited her there. Instead, duing recess, she hid out in the resource room while her special teacher attempted to help her catch up. * Between classes, she aimlessly wandered the halls staring at her feet or with her nose in a book. She was a zoombie who crashed into locker doors or was tripped and fell. In class, she never raised her hand. When called on, she supplied an erroneous answer in a muffled, vacant voice. * My minion and I took pleasure in her torture. It was such easy play--she was so sensitive. A casual comment here, a sideways look there then I sat back and watched the effects manifest. I knew exactly how to cut to the heart and watch the blood flow. She had no defence against our attacks. She stood, silent as a single tear trailed down her face. *** There's more...and someday...maybe...if you like, I'll share it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wool (basic knitting tutorial)


Wool

Some seasoned knitters insist that all knitters should knit with wool [natural animal fibre]. I DON'T AGREE! I firmly embrace the "KISS" principle--Keep It Simple Sweetie. When the process of learning, I do not like to pile it on. I want to learn the basics and then I want to proceed from there.


Wool requires special care. You must learn to form a ball from a hank; to block your work; and how to launder your wool garment. Knitting is a challenge to learn without piling on these additional lessons.


Synthetic yarn does not require blocking. It is sold in a form that you can begin to knit immediately. Synthetic yarn is also easily laundered--simply machine wash and dry. Knitting with synthetic yarn is knitting without "baggage."


Beyond these considerations are those of price. Wool generally is far more expensive than synthetic yarn. If you are not sure you are a knitter why break the bank on wool?


Still, wool has its allure. There is nothing like knitting with it for pure sensual delight. However, it is a pleasure best left until after you have your first couple of projects completed.


That said, there are many fine synthetic/wool blends that offer the ease of synthetic and the luxury of wool. Look for them in your local yarn shop or on the web.


(Quoted from Yarn Therapy: an introduction to knitting by Leanne Dyck. Exclusively available from the dragonfly gallery on Mayne Island.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sentences Shared: Loving Lisa

I wrote Loving Lisa--a very short story--in 2006. I rewrote it for this blog last Thursday.
***
Aster played with her ring, examined their wedding picture. Had he broken a promise? Though she tried to ignore the question-it remained. It was stuck in her brain like a seed in her teeth. She'd noticed that sweet, young thing--Lisa--hanging on his every word, swallowing him up with her eyes. Where was he right now? Was he loving Lisa?
***
Please visit the other participating authors...

Six Sentence Sunday
Suspenseful Seven Sentence Sunday

A Writer's Dream by Kathleen Gallagher

I think I've always been a writer. As far back as I can remember, I'd stare out of the window in my room and find myself in a magical land where dreams can come true. I know it sounds like I'm idealistic. Sure, I like happy endings, but most importantly, a story has to touch my heart and emtionally move me. I will admit I adore horror flicks and dark tales, as I sit in anticipatiion of a thrill, but my heart belongs to a good old fashioned love story.

*

When I was seventeen, I watched the movie with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, Splendor in the Grass. It's a tale about young love and it touched me in a way I'd never felt before. The ending was not what I expected, however, the dramatic conclusion, evoked a passion deep inside of me for story telling.

*

Splendor in the Grass, an American movie from 1961, tells a story of sexual repression, love, heartbreak and manic-depression, which the character Deanie Loomis suffers from. Written by William Inge, and the film was directed by Elia Kazan.
*
The film's title is taken from a line of William Wordworth's poem. "Ode: Intimations of Immorality" from Recollections of Early Childhood:
*
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind...
*
I still get chills when I read this verse. You may be wondering why I'm talking about someone else's work today, when I have the release of my debut novel Echoes at Dawn, in four days. Well, my desire to make an impact on someon, like Splendor in the Grass did for me is my ultimate goal.
*
Echoes at Dawn will be released from Decadent Publishing on March 30th.

Blurb
The strangely intertwined lives of a widowed woman, and a charistmatic bachelor come together in order to show that in life, there are no coincidences...only destiny.
*
Waterfront restaurant chef Madeline Young adores her job. If only her love and family's lives were as successful as her career. With a teenage son, who spends time in the emergency room for alcohol poisoning and a dementia-plagued mother, Madeline doesn't know how much more she could handle. Then her mother enlists the help of her deceased twin sister, Mary, to guide Madeline to find true happiness. An early dawn visit from the spirit directs Madeline to volunteer at the local hospitals center for addiction recovery, where she comes alive for the first time in many years under the attention of Nat Griffin.
*
Nathaniel Griffin, a part-time counselor and contractor, fascinates his clients with his lectures. In keeping with his philosophy of professionalism, Nat prefers to keep his personal life private. When attraction tests his beliefs, Nat must confront his marred past. Is he willing to face his demons or take the easier path and remain isolated?
*
Can unworldly ghosts save this couple from their own self-destructive behavior?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Please welcome Author Mindy MacKay

How/why did you start to write?
*
Everyone needs a hobby, so they say. I've always been a daydreamer, and I suppose after I left sports, all the spare time and the ideas floating around in my head were a recipe for fiction.
***
How did you become an author?
*
The same way as everyone else. Submission, rejections, form rejections (the only bad kind, as they don't give you any insight about what was wrong with the piece), more submissions, finally an acceptance, edits, more edits, a bit more editing, and voila.
***
What was your first published piece?
*
My first published work was my novel, Peacebreakers, which didn't start out as a series but became a series because I couldn't get the ideas to shut up.
***
Where was it published?
*
Rogue Phoenix Press. Great people, painless editing process, overall a good experience.
***
How long ago?
*
May 2010, so almost a year now.
***
What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
*
First off, let's get one thing straight about my writing 'career'. I'm not a writer by trade. This is the most fulfilling hobby I've ever taken up, but first and foremost, I'm a student hoping to pursue biology and medicine. I guess I can say my study of the sciences has helped me with my writing. Occasionally I come across a nifty fact or biological function I can shoehorn into a piece of fiction.
***
What inspires you?
*
A variety of things. Music, my friends, my everyday life in general. Oh, and cloudy days, when the sky is completely white like a big blank billboard. It looks like a canvas begging to be painted over, and somehow that just gets the creative juices flowing for me.
***
Please share one of your successful marketing techniques?
*
Blog tours.
***
Mad props to Leanne for having me here on her blog! (Your most welcome, Mindy. It was a wild ride.) Also a big shoutout to all my friends who read my stuff before anyone read my stuff. And good luck to Colin and Cameron in their writing endeavours, if you guys are reading this.

Blurb for Fallen from Disgrace
Rosella Cartwright wakes up in the hospital after a yearlong coma with no recollection of who she used to be. Her only clue is that everyone around her despises and avoids her. Then, she discovers the truth: before she was hospitalized, she was the most wanted maniac of New York's criminal underbelly.
*
Disgusted by reports of her own heinous crimes, she attempts to reform herself, but her efforts are in vain as society continues to cast her out of hatred and fear. All the world seems against her until she is offered a job by Daniel Ryan, a rising executive and self-made success who hides a lifetime of inner turmoil behind a facade of cool indifference. Drawn to his mystery as he is by her irrepressible darkness. Rosella starts falling for Daniel, but love can't save her from her past. A former victim of hers wants revenge, and will stop at nothing to get it. Her partners in crime want her back by their side, though she wants nothing more to do with them. And a sinister plot of her own design, buried beneath her amnesia, is, unbeknownst to her, still very much in progress. These are the monsters she will have to fight off alone, and if she doesn't watch her step, she might not make it out alive.
***
Links: www.mindymackay.com
Theylikemehere.blogspot.com
Twitter: @MindyMacKay

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Free pattern: spring coil scarf

You got to know that if I'm ever offered yarn, I seldom if ever refuse it.
Case in point, two years (a guesstimate) a box of novelty yarn appeared on my doorstep.


The balls varied in size and colour. However, all were less than 200 yards.
What am I going to make with this?
I grabbed circular needles (4.50 mm/US 7/ UK 7) 32 inches long--from needle tip to needle tip.
Tension: 5 stitches = one inch


I cast on 80 stitches and I worked in garter stitch for approximately four inches.


What would you have made?
***
Work in progress: Turning ( a young adult adventure)
Word count: 37, 098 words
A new sentence added: They clung to her curve and accented her china doll colouring.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

...and the winner is...

The Sweater Curse short story contest is now over and now I have the difficult task of naming the winner.
Will it be Laurie's coming of age story or Kathleen tribute to her mother-in-law. Read them and you'll soon understand what a difficult decision I face. My solution, I'm sending a copy to each with my thanks.
As one door closes another opens...


Spring Garden was one of my most popular patterns and you'll be able to win it--not only for yourself, but for all your knitting friends. Look for contest details to be posted soon on the 'Free sweater pattern contest' page.
Have a fun Tuesday
***
Next post: Podcast: author reading of The Sweater Curse
***
Work on work in progress : Turning (a young adult adventure) fictionalization of my experiences as a particpant in a government-run youth group.
Word count:
36, 122 words
A new sentence added: Christmas came, Christmas went and things got really boring.

Daily Dose of Decadence: The Sweater Curse Playlist

Daily Dose of Decadence: The Sweater Curse Playlist: "In The Sweater Curse, a chance meeting between lead character Gwen Bjarnson and minor character Pathan wea..."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Basic knitting tutorial: Yarn (intro)

Quoting from my learn-to-knit/pattern book Yarn Therapy
Yarn
The Rural--Urban split
***
...Seen through rural eyes, an urban knitter need only open their front door to venture forth into the world of yarn. Rural knitter envision yarn shops on every corner. The reality may be sadly different. With big box stores vying for customers, establishing a small independent yarn shop is not easy.
Urban knitter chant, "Support your local yarn shop."
Rural knitters respond, "We would love to!"
Often shopping for yarn for a rural knitter requires a long dive to the nearest city. This shopping trip is squeezed into a long list of tasks. Not for the rural knitter a day devoted to visiting a multitude of yarn shops.
The Internet is the great equalizer. Access to a computer allows both rural and urban knitters to shop until they drop.
Start here...
***
Yarn Therapy is exclusively available from dragonfly gallery on Mayne Island.
***
Tomorrow one lucky and talented author will win a copy of The Sweater Curse.
Who?
All will be revealed tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sentences from The Sweater Curse

If you're a knitter, you'll relate to this six from the first chapter of The Sweater Curse
***
I grasped the needles as she had, like a pencil. My aunt worked the needle into the loop effortlessly. Well, it wasn't effortless for me. Finally, out of frustration, I ceased the loop, pulled it forward, and slipped the needle into it. I fought and won my first stitch. Progress was difficult, but I refused to fail, and eventually my determination was rewarded as performing the steps became smoother.
***
Enough about me.
Please visit the other participating authors
www.sixsunday.blogspot.com
http://suspenseful7ss.blogspot.com
***
Next post: Basic knitting tutorial: yarn
***
Work on work in progress
Word count: 35, 812 words
A new sentence added: Being unable to navigate her tongue over my entire name--she'd captured what she could and I became 'Leedi' to my family.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Please welcome author Dawn Brown

How/why did you start to write?
*
I've always written, but I really started to get serious about it after my son was born. Before that, I had never finished any of the books I'd started to write. So after I left my job to stay home and raise my son, I saw my chance to really make a go of writing. It was what I had always wanted to do, after all. I finished the story I was working on when I got pregnant, which was a horrible sci-fi, romantic horror thing. It was awful and lives in a drawer never to be seen by human eyes again, but I had finished it. I knew that if I finished one,I could finish another. So I started my next book, Living Lies
**
What was your first published piece?
*
It was Living Lies
**

Where was it published?
*
I sold Living Lies to Samhain Publishing.

**
How long ago?
*
Living Lies came out in June 2008.

**

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
*
I was contract and inventory admin manager for a computer and rentals and leasing company. And I really don't believe it helped my writing at all. : )

**

What inspires you?
*
I think I'm most inspired by the possiblity of what if. I also love the idea of putting ordinary people into extraordinary situations and seeing how it all plays out.

**

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques?
*
Hmm. Marketing is not my strong suit, actually. I'm still learning as I go.

**

Thanks so much for having me!
*
It was my pleasure, Dawn.







The Curse of Culcraig Blurb


After a devastating prsonal tragedy, history professor Hillary Bennett seeks refuge in the quaint Scottish village of Culcraig, hoping to research a legend and salvage her career. Instead, she finds her hostess dead, and her hopes for the future pinned to the woman's black sheep heir.

*

The last thing Caid Douglast nees is a decrepit manor house to remind him of his estranged family, but he does need the money selling the house would bring to pay off his debts. In desperation he offers to honor his great aunt's arrangement with Hillary--if she pays him to say at Glendon House and view his ancestory's journals, he'll have the money to fix up the family mausoleum and sell it.

*

But an ancient curse hovers over the village, and the secret to lifting it lies in the journals. Will Caid and Hillary realize what they have an uncover the truth before a twisted killer silences them forever?


***


Someone was in the house with them...




"You know," Hillary said, keeping her voice low. "This house is huge. We could check each room individually, but who's to say that whoever's here won't just keep moving around as we search, eventually working their way into a room we've already checked? We'll never be one hundered per cent sure we're alone."
*
"Are you suggesting we separate?"
*
Her grip on his hand tightened. Did she even realize she'd done that?
*
"It would probably make more sense to split up. If we worked from opposite ends and met in the middle, it would reduce the chance of an intruder slipping away. But as I said, this place is huge and we're only two people, the odds of our mystery person eluding us are still pretty good. Not to mention the confusion."
*
"Confusion?" Caid tried to suppress his grin.
*
"Yes. If we separated, we could easily wind up tracking each other. At least together, if we hear or see anything out of the ordinary, we know that it has to be someone else."
*
"What an astounding rationalization."
*
She frowned at him in obvious consternation. "I think I made some very good points."
*
He smiled. "Aye, you did. I'm sure you've convinced yerself quite nicely. Did you bring the subject up simply because you were concerned that I might think you liked holding my hand?"
*
He couldn't stop his smile from widening, especially when she struggled to untangle her fingers from his, but as they entered the kitchen, he tightened his grip.
*
"Dinnae be like that. I'm just having a wee bit of fun with you."
*
She ceased struggling as her delicately shaped brows drew together in disbelief. "That wasn't here earlier."
*
"What?" He turned to the direction she pointed.
*
A brass fireplace poker lay dead centre on the battered harvest table. On the floor, a series of watery footprints stretched between the back door to the table.
*
Christ's sakes, Hillary hadn't just been frightened alone in an old, there had been someone else here.
*
But who? And

***

Buy Links


*

Author Links

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Like Magic





I wrote this piece of flash fiction five years ago. Each year, around St. Patrick's Day, I rediscover it, dust it off, polish it and share it. I hope you enjoy "Like Magic".
***
LIKE MAGIC
***
It was a crisp, cool, sunny day in mid-March. We were outside playing, as the parents came to collect their children. Soon, only one child remained. Allison swung into the cloudless blue sky--trying to be patient, trying not to worry. "Do you believe in leprechauns?"
*
The day's theme had prepared me for her question. "Oh, yes, of course. A friend of mine is a leprechaun."
*
"Really?" Her eyes widened. "What's his name?"
*
"Michael O'Neal. He's the king of the leprechauns."
*
"What does he look like?"
*
"His clothes are green, his long beard red, his leather boots black and he's as big as a minute." I measured his height with my thumb and index finger.
*
"Really?"
*
I nodded. "You know, sometimes he plays tricks on me."
*
"What kind of tricks?"
*
"He's so silly. He hides things." She giggled and I continued. "I set down my pen, my brush, my glass and then puff--like magic--it's gone."
*
"Gone forever?"
*
"No. Usually he returns what he's taken."
*
"What does he like to eat?"
*
"All things green--cucumbers, broccoli, peas, green beans."
*
"Hey, I like peas."
*
"Maybe you're a leprechaun?"
*
"No." She laughed. "What else does he like to do?"
*
"He sits on my shoulders and tells me tall tales."
*
"About?"
*
"About his long journeys and his pot of gold."
*
"He's rich?"
*
"Oh, yes, all leprechauns are."
*
"I'd like to meet a leprechaun."
*
"Someday, maybe, you will. " I looked up and noticed Allison's mom throwing open the gate. "Hey, who's here?"
*
"Mom!" Allison sang with irrepressible joy. She bounced into her mom's arms and then, like magic, Allison was gone.

 
 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Podcast: Reading The Sweater Curse (Chapter 1-Part 8)

Today we have a surprise guest reader.

Chapter 1_Part 8










Podcast Powered By Podbean


The reader: my husband. Didn't he do a fine job. I hope he'll read for us again.
I made a mistaken--this is the last installment of Chapter 1. Now we are on to chapter 2.

***
Web Tour

I'm visiting Jess Anastasi's blog
I'm visiting Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect
***
Win a copy of The Sweater Curse
Five days left to enter
For details
***
Work on work in progress
Word count: 35, 408 words
A new sentence added: What did the military bugler say to the tone deaf drummer?

Reporting from a writing event

Last Friday (March 11th) I attended a writers' event organized by the Writers' Union of Canada.

Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape
Professional Development Symposium for Writers in All Phases of Their Careers

***

The Presenters
Kelly Duffin

*

There was a lot of information and it was shared at a good tempo. What I caught I will share with you.

*

-The publishing industry is changing. Some writer view it as a frieghtening time, others view it as a brave new world--both views presented by the presenters. We, the participants, were encouraged to keep an open mind and do our own research.

*

The presenters noticed some overall trends
-manuscripts are expected to be in a more "reader ready" state.
-authors must develop a multi-media platform in order to attract a publisher and further their careers.
-royalities are shrinking
-self-publishing is now mainstream
-literary agents are now working with small presses
-in the U.S. literary agents are working with self-published authors
-in the U.S. the sales of books are up 8%
-in Canada the sale of hardcover and coffee table books are down. All other books are stable
-in Canada we are losing 50 bookstores a year
-the industry standard for author share of ebooks is 25%. The Writers' Union of Canada suggests authors request 30-35%
-Ebooks will eventually overtake print in sales
-Bill C32 was discussed. The goal of most copyright laws is to protect the rights of the artist. C32 protects the rights of the user. If there is no election in the near future, the prediction is that parliament will adopt C32. (I say, "Let's have an election.")

*

You may recall my assignment for this event was to make three social contacts.
"How did you do?" You ask.
Well, immediately upon arriving I introduced my self to one of the presenters. (one-check). I sat at a table with five other writers and introduced myself to each (five-check). I also introduced myself to approximately three other authors including...




Canadian icon and humourist Arthur Black

So, yes, I'd say I passed with flying colours. : )



(...and you know--this is a secret--it wasn't that hard...sh-h-h, tell no one.)
***

Monday, March 14, 2011

Basic knitting tutorial: purl

Today we will put some purls on your needles.
You will recall, from last Monday's post, that the needle that is doing all the work we are calling the 'worker'. The needle that is simply carrying the stitches we are calling the 'carrier'.

Put the tip of the worker needle behind the yarn.

Thrust the tip of the worker needle into the old stitch.

Bring the yarn over the tip of the worker yarn and between the two needles. Bring the worker needle down into the new stitch.

Once the new stitch is on the worker needle pull the old stitch off the carrier needle. You now have a purl on your needles.
***
Next knitting lesson: We will talk about yarn.
***
Next post: My experience at the Writers' Union of Canada symposium
***
Work on work in progress
Word count: 34, 610 words
A new sentence added: There are roses and kisses for everyone, but there aren't any for me--not for big loser Lyndi.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sentences Shared (2)

Buried in a notebook, I found a seed, I planted it, and this is the tender, young fruit that was produced. Is it an apple or a fig? I have no idea. Take a bite... Do you like it?
***
She rose from the chair as if a marionette. Her legs kicked out--not bending at the knee. Eyes closed, she staggered through the living room. A trail of spilled magazines, torn newspaper, and broken vases were left in her wake. Thud. A foot hit the wall, but she didn't fall or flinch.
(unedited)
***
Enough about me.
Please visit the other participating authors
www.sixsunday.blogspot.com
http://suspenseful7ss.blogspot.com
***
Next post: Basic knitting tutorial: purls
***
Work on work in progress
Word count: 34, 350 words
A new sentence added: Any time now she's going to start.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Please welcome author Marie-Nicole Ryan

How/why did you start to write?
*
I first started writing agains becasue the characters in my head just wouldn't shut up.
*
How did you become an author?
*
I wrote a book (LOL). I wrote a book and it was published. If you're talking about my journey, that's a much longer answer. I first dreamed of writing a romance novel bakc in the late seventies, but that was before the PC. I next did some fan fiction and met a multi-published author who encouraged me to join RWA which I did in 1998 or so. I completed my first novel in 2000 and started sending it out to agents and editors. It garnered no interest, but I immediately started my second novel, LOVE ON THE RUN, which was published in 2002 by a small press.
*
What was your first published piece?
*
LOVE ON THE RUN was my first published book, but it was the second one I completed.
*
Where was it published?
*
It was first published by Wings ePress in May of 2002. I regained my rights in 2007 and it's now published by Samhain Publishing
*
How long ago?
*
2003 and 2007
*
What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
*
Before embarking on my writing career, I was a nurse case manager in a large city hospital in Nashville, Tn. I also received an associate degree in interior design. I firmly believe no life experience is ever wasted, so when I have injured characters or need to describe a setting, I'm good to go.
*
What inspires you?
*
All sorts of things inspire me: a news clip, a chance remark, a character.
*
Please share one of your successful marketing techniques?
*
Are you serious? (Yup) Honestly, I don't think I've ever done anything that I could actually document was successful, meaning that it related to actual sales figures. I think a professional looking web site is a must. I'm not sure anything else does any good except writing the best damned book I can.
*
Parting words
*
Thanks so much for taking time to interview me and let me tell you about my book. I love to hear from readers, and I have a Yahoo news loop where I make the occasional announcement. I have an author page on Facebook and I certainly won't take it amiss if you "like" me.
***

HOLDING HER OWN
Blurb
Pretending to be newlyweds is a dangerous game...particularly when you're falling in love.
*
FBI Special Agent in Charge Chaney believes in doing things strictly by the book, and she's determined to prove her father's position in the federal government has nothing to do with her new appointment. To her way of thinking, Agent LeFevre is a screw up and bound to trash her operation and career.
*
Agent Jake Lefevre is used to running undercover ops his way, and he's not too happy with his new boss, Caitlin Chaney, an FBI accountant, whose undercover experience is limited at best. He needs a partner who cna hold her own, not a prima dona.
*
Jake and Caitlin's cover as newlyweds at a New Orleans casino is tested from the very beginning as they learn to live together and convince everyone else they're madly in love. Their mission to investigate money laundering is almost compromised from the moment Jake discovers Caitlin's boss and CFO is someone he loved as a teenager.
***
Author Marie-Nicole Ryan's links...
Web site: http://marienicoleryan.com
Blog: http://marienicoleryan.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/marienicoleryan.author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/marienicoleryan.com
***
You may purchase Marie-Nicole's books by going to one her publishers or to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Fictionwise, etc.
Samhain Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Fictionwise

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dear reading writers, some questions...

First...
Much thanks to author Deanna Wadsworth for her crash course in networking. Did you catch it? Please visit her blog
Her class came just in time--I'm attending the "Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape" symposium this Friday (organized by The Writers' Union of Canada).
This is what I'll be wearing...



(You may recognize this cardigan. I featured it in a prior post. The problem was I had run out of yarn. My solution I broke down and bought more.)

and this what I'll be holding...




(The business card (with my photo on it) I designed, printed and cut--it's not that professional, but it better than a scribble on a napkin.)

Deanna has challenged me to make three social contacts during this event. Let's see how I do. I'll report back.
Here's my excuse, in case I need one, I'm an introvert and socializing is challenging for this dyslexic.

Now...


Okay, so, with the understanding that the only silly question is the one not asked, here are some questions for you...
Writer's maxim: show don't tell
How much do you show?
How you decided what to show and what not to?
Is it ever appropriate to tell? When? Why?

***
Work on work in progress

Word count: 33, 768 words

A new sentence added: They were solidly built, had fair complexions and board, round faces.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Sweater Curse (Ch 1: 7)

My deepest apologizes, my sound man (husband) has been sick. I was hopeful that we would still be able to do the recording, but Tuesday came and Tuesday went and we just weren't able to get it done. I'm hoping that he will be healthy soon (so, I'm sure, does he).
***
In place of a Podcast, I offer text...
***
The first item I knitted was a garter-stitch scarf. My aunt cast on twenty-five stitches and handed me the needles. When I finished knitting. I gave it to her to cast off.
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After examining my work, she declared, "Your stitches are well-formed. Your tension perfect."
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I was so proud. "Now what?" I asked, eagerly.
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"Now, I will teach you the purl stitch," she said, demonstrating.
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"It looks so tricky."
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"At first, it does seem hard, but it will get easier. I know. I'll tell you a little story about Pall." Pall was my youngest cousin. "It will help you remember the steps. One day, Pall was full of Loki's mischief, he walked around the garden." My aunt put the tip of the working needle behind the yarn. "Came in the back door." She thrust the tip of the working needle into the loop. "Danced around the kitchen." Brought the yarn over the tip of the working needle, between the two needles. The working needle was brought down into the new stitch. "Finally, he hopped out the window." New stitch formed, she pulled the old stitch off the carrier needle.
*
She worked a few more rows, and then it was my turn. Once again I practiced, and eventually, used both the knit and purl stitches to make a hat for my doll.
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"To shape the hat, you will need to learn how to decrease," she said.
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"Decreasing only sounds difficult. All you do is knit two stitches together."
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My education continued until I could cast on and off, knit, purl, decrease and increase with ease.
***
Next Post: Dear writing reader, a few questions...
***
Work on work in progress
Word count: 33, 066 words
A new sentence added: When my dream solidified into reality, nestled in one of my palms were two chocolate bars, dangling from four of my fingers were key chains and I was scanning a large display of magazines.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Sweater Curse reviewed by Deborah Warner

Title: The Sweater Curse
Author: Leanne Dyck
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Length: Short Story/ 87 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by Deborah Warner
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Review
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Alone, waiting, held captive in a grey area of betwixt and between, Gwen Bjarnson purpose is unknown. For her to understand the end she must revisit her past, leading her on a path of rediscovery.
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She has moxie, she has style, and men find her charms hard to resist. She knows how to play the role of seducer. Gwen is a product of her environment, the skeptical nonbeliever of all things good. Taught at an early age that the true measure of a person is based on wisdom and not beauty, Gwen rebels against values placed on her with a hardening of the heart and non-compliance, forever disconnecting herself from the institution called family.
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An undeniable pessimist consumed with thoughts of opulence and grandeur. Gwen focuses those aspirations in her ability to create unique pieces of art, manipulating yarn in any form that she desires into an attention grabbing garment. All of this could not be accomplished if it wasn't for the help of her lover, confidant, ego booster and muse, Jay Cardew. He's the guy you want around if you want a tender push into fame.
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Gwen and Jay are a mix match sorrowful couple wanting their heart desires, they are two deserving characters. This is a story told from Gwen's perspective, given insight into her despair. Unusual appearance of secondary characters make for a mixture of comical, complex and sometimes sullen story.
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There's a mysterious presence looming throughout this story that Author Leanne Dyck manages to engulf the reader in. I found myself totally engrossed in Gwen's world as she wonder on her life's journey determined to break free of the circumstance that has captured her, lingering her in a perpetual state of torment.
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If ever there's someone to cheer for then Gwen is the one. Take a seat as you become consumed in her quest for redemption, searching for unconditional love of the one who will become her path to salvation. Go out and pick this one up, you'll find yourself immersed as well. I recommend The Sweater Curse for all who's looking for life to give them a break.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Basic knitting tutorial

How I knit
While I knit and purl, the knitting needle in my right hand does all the work so I call it the working needle. The knitting needle in my left hand simply carries the stitches so I call it the carrier.
1. Put the tip of the working needle through the centre of the old stitch.

2. Wrap the yarn around the working needle.

3. Pull the yarn through the old stitch. Then pull the stitch off the carrier needle. Eventually all the stitches will be transferred from the carrier needle onto the working needle as the working needle becomes the carrier and the carrier becomes the working needle.
***
(Information taken from my learn-to-knit/pattern book Yarn Therapy--exclusively available on Mayne Island. I will write more about this in future posts.)
***
Web Tour
*I'm visiting Marie-Nicole Ryan's blog --please visit me
*This Friday I will be attending a Writers' Union of Canada workshop. I'm excited not only for the opportunity to learn, but also to network. True, being an introvert, social interactions are challenging--but I'm preparing to step outside my comfort zone. If you too find networking a challenge, you'll be interested to read erotic author Deanna Wadsworth's three part post on Networking. Read part one here
***
Work on work in progress
Word count: 32, 632 words
A new sentence added: Moved by the music, I raised my arms to twirl and whacked someone in the back.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Six Sentences Shared

Here are six sentences from a piece that currently has no home--meaning it's not a work in progress or a stand alone. Enjoy.

"I found Sally sitting on her kitchen floor. Her knees were drawn to her chest as she slowly rocked back and forth. Prone on the floor next to her was a body I recognized as her husband--a large knife embedded in his back. She struggled for words, but all I heard were sobs. Word by word, I added each and finally understood. "What...do...I...do...now?" she asked.
(unedited)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Leslie Soule

How/why did you start to write?
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I've been making stories up for as long as I can remember. When I was little, it started with writing prompts given by my teachers. Later on as a teenager I tried my hand at Fan Fiction, which is where you try to write stories in the same style as an author you like and I soon found out I was horrible at that. For a long time, I only wrote journal entries. Then in college I began taking creative writing courses and really getting into writing fiction. After that, I was tuck working retail and to stave off the intense boredom I felt, I found that writing was a good way to fill the time up and look busy at the same time. That's how my fantasy novel Fallenwood was born, actually. It began as scribblings on the backs of receipt tape pieces that I would gather at the end of the day and record into a word document as kind of a therapeutic exercise. It was also like my own revenge against the "Empire"--they could have my body, but not my soul.*How did you become an author?
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I guess I "became" an author when I got on board with Decadent Publishing. This happened after many years of trying to get published and being rejected time and time again. I even began keeping a notebook where I would tape in rejection letters from publishers and magazines. It got to be pretty big but it was like a collection. So anyway, that's a long way of saying that I know how hard the writing market is to break into. But I think I really became an author when Decadent picked up my short story "The Devil's Bidding."
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What was your first published piece?
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My first published piece was "The Devil's Bidding" which is this short story that I felt compelled to write when I was in college and it's about a guy who gets so depressed that he sells his soul on an online auction website, never suspecting that the devil might be bidding. I decided to write about this idea after a friend of mine in college showed me that some guy had put up a "soul certificate" on Ebay and was supposedly selling a piece of his soul in order to get money for college tuition and textbooks.
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Where was it published?
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It was published with Decadent Publishing. I actually started off as an editor with Decadent and then on a whim, decided to submit some of the writing I'd done and was delighted when they accepted.
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How long ago?
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"The Devil's Bidding" was released back in September of last year. Since then, Decadent has also accepted and published my stepfather's novel The Temple of the Heart, and my fantasy novel Fallenwood will be released on Friday, March 4th of this year.*What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
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Before embarking on my writing career, I was a college student working on my English degree and that definitely has been an asset to my writing. One of the ways it's been an asset is that it's exposed me to a lot of great literature that I might not otherwise have come into contact with. I think every writer should have a good amount of knowledge of the literature that's already out there, if for no other reason than to make sure that what you write isn't simply a duplicate or thinly-veiled copy of something that's already been done.
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What inspires you?
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I love the forest and mythology and anything with an "Old World" feel to it. I also love martial arts and I've been fascinated by monster stories since I was little. That explains why I love the book I'm currently reading--Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It has both ninjas and zombies in it. LOL!
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Please share on of your successful marketing techniques?
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Umm...I'm a relatively new author, so I'm still in the process of testing out different marketing techniques to see what works. Personally, I love sites like Night Owl Reviews and Coffee Time Romance as far as marketing goes. These sites seem to have the idea of book promotion nailed down pretty well.
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Parting words
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Be yourself with your writing. And write a little bit each day. That's all it takes. : )


Blurb:
Fallenwood--a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood's power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal--the catalyst for all the land's magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.
Excerpt:
The dragon's eyes glowed, for a flickering moment, with white light.
"Ash," the dragon continued, "Welcome to Terra Illumina...or as it is more commonly known, Fallenwood." The a fierce roaring laugh erupted form the stone, as though the dragon thought the new name a joke. "A dark, difficult, dangerous path lies before you, Ash Kensington."

Ash's heart grew heavy. In truth, she knew that she was destined to some terrible, dark fate. For so long, her life was filled with sadness and doubt, and one horrible thing after another. What else can I hope for?

"But Ash, you must not lose hope. Our world needs you..."
***
Leslie Soule's Website and Blog