Friday, August 31, 2012

Will You Be My Guest

Update:  Due to the demands of my writing life, I've been forced to discontinue publishing guest posts. However, you can still read the guest posts I have published by clicking this link I look forward to connecting with you on Google Plus, Twitter (lustful graces), Facebook (author leanne dyck) and through this blog.

Since this blog was created on October 10, 2010 it has celebrated your creativity. One way I've done this is through--what has come to be known as--Guest Post Friday. I continue to be delight by how generous my guests are. Authors have shared their journey--and through their words I've gained inspiration and encouragement. Knitwear designers have shared their journey--and to my delight offered eye candy (photos of their designs). Please revisit these guest post by scrolling on over to my Guest Post page.
I look forward to continuing to host interesting and talented artists. Maybe you'd like to pay a visit?
Here's your invitation...

Thank you for your interest in visiting my blog.
Here are the author questions (I have other questions for knitwear designers, and would be happy to send them to you)

How/why did you start to write?
How did you become an author?
What was your fist published piece?
Where was it published?
How long ago?
What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
What inspires you?
Please share one of your successful marketing techniques
Parting words

These questions are only meant for inspiration. Please feel free to add, delete or change as serves your needs. You are, of course, welcome to write a guest post instead.

Along with your post, please also send...

Author links (website, twitter, facebook, etc.)
Book info (book cover jpg, blurb, buy links, etc.)
Author photo

Guests posts are featured on a first come, first serve basis. My next available spot is November 9th. To obtain this spot, please send your post as soon as conveniently possible.
I'm looking forward to receiving your post.
Please send your email to:
Thank you,
Monday:  Knitting:  a review

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Costume sale on Mayne Island

When:  Saturday, August 25th 10 am to 1 pm
Where:  The stage on the Agricultural Society grounds
Don't miss this rare opportunity to purchase costumes (vintage clothing) from the Mayne Island Little Theatre.
Have a peek...
 Halloween is just a few months away...

 And even vintage purses...

And I snagged (for only $5)...

 My muse saw a story in this purse...
Come for the sale, stay for...

I've had a fantastic summer. The journey began in June with an at-home writing retreat. In August, I knew I was serious when I decided to stay home and work instead of leave and relax. This summer I've meet inspirational authors and my relationship with my muse has deepened. To celebrate, my muse gave me this pep talk...

A Pep Talk From My Muse

Satisfaction comes from developing your craft. Ink on paper…capturing emotion…writing deeply…capture the minute, the essence.

Satisfaction is achieved by sitting with your pen. Exercise your brain…focus…execute…breathe life into word. Build a world…watch your characters come to life…stand for something…make a point.

Don’t worry who will care. You will.
Work in progress
Word count: 27, 089 words
Next post:  Knitting: Free hand knitting patterns and tutorials 

Monday, August 27, 2012

#Cooking: A Lasagna recipe

Some people eat so they can cook. I defiantly cook so I can eat. I'm no Julia Child or Betty Crocker. However, my lasagna has received praise from family and friends alike.
I cook like I knit, and like I try to live--uncomplicated. So this recipe eliminates cooking the noodles before hand.

Preparation time:  approximately one hour
Cooking time:  one hour

2 cups (500 mL) grated cheese (I use marble)
2 cups (500 mL) cottage cheese
1 egg
1 jar (28oz/769 mL) Spaghetti sauce
10 uncooked lasagne noodles
raw mixed vegetables (I used broccoli, celery, peppers and mushrooms.)

medium bowl
9" x 13" (4L) baking dish

1. Grate cheese. Chop vegetables.
2. Combine cottage cheese, cheese, egg and vegetables in a bowl.

3. Put 2/3 cup of spaghetti sauce in the baking dish
4. Place 5 dry noodles over the sauce.
5. Place half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles.
6. Pour another 2/3 cup of spaghetti sauce over the cheese mixture
7. Lay remaining noodles on top of spaghetti sauce and top with remaining sauce.
8. Top with remaining cheese mixture

9. The uncooked dish will keep in the fridge all day or overnight
10. Just before baking, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees C.)
11. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before serving. 
Don't skip this step or you'll have a gooey mess.
And who wants to eat a gooey mess?
Not my husband. : )

It's a well balanced meal in its self. But I add garlic toast.
And I make garlic toast by...
Placing bread on a cookie sheet
Cover with melted butter
Shake on garlic spice
Pop in oven to broil until bread is dark brown--but not burnt.
As it turns out, my husband doesn't like to eat burnt toast, either.
Who knew? : )
Next post:  Writing:  A pep talk from my muse

Friday, August 24, 2012

Please welcome Authors Mike Force and Chris DiGiuseppi

-How/why did you start to write?

Chris: I’ve been in law enforcement for over 20 years, through which I’ve seen many tragedies.  These traumatic events pushed me to begin writing a fictional story with a co-author back in 2008.   My initial reasons for writing were more therapeutic than anything else – it was my way of dealing with life.  I can still recall many of those people who lost loved ones asking me “Why” it happened and soon found myself asking the same question.  Although my first writing endeavour is fictional, it helped me cope with that tormenting question – “Why do people die?”

Mike: Like Chris, “The Light Bringer” is my first attempt at serious writing.  I have done short stories and poems in the past but only for family and friends to read.  Having served in law enforcement for over 30 years, I have had ample opportunity to lend assistance and consolation to those who are victims or those left behind as a result of violent crime and other tragedies.  It may sound odd, but helping others is the most important thing that we do in law enforcement.  Nonetheless, I am always left with a feeling of wanting to do more for these people.  I felt that capturing some of these events through writing may, in some small way, give hope to those who are frustrated by not being able to answer the question, “Why.”  Although a work of fiction, it is our intent to stimulate thought through “The Light Bringer” and through this book help others to find the answer to that question for themselves.

-How did you become an authors?

Chris and Mike: After the rough draft of our first book was complete back in 2008 we were introduced to our literary agent, Linda Langton, through a mutual friend.  We worked with Linda for a year and a half on edits then finally sent out the manuscript to several publishers in May of 2010.  We received a publishing offer in October of 2010 and signed the contract a short time later.

-What was your first published piece?

Chris and Mike: Our first published book is entitled The Light Bringer which was released July 1, 2011.  It has ranked on the local best sellers’ list in the St. Louis area several times and we have recently signed an agreement with a production company in Los Angeles which is preparing a television series – You can find out more our book on our  

-Where was it published?

Chris and Mike: It was published by HCI Books which was the original publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.  Our book was among the first fictional pieces that HCI published and the people there have been outstanding to work with.

-How long ago?

Chris and Mike: On July 1, 2012 The Light Bringer will celebrate its one year anniversary from release.  We have recently signed another contract with HCI Books for the second book in the series currently and tentatively entitled The Light Bringer – The Fallen.

-What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

Chris: I have been in police work since 1991 and it has been the root of my writing inspiration.  Those experiences, both good and bad, have given me a passion for the literary world.

Mike:  It has been said many times that we write about what we know or can imagine.  Chris and I are no exception.  I spent 22 years on active duty in the United Sates Marine Corps, through the Viet-Nam Conflict, the many smaller conflicts that followed and retired just after Desert Storm in 1992.  I have been in my current position as Chief of Police in a small mid-western city for the past 20 years.  Both have given me a wealth of experience with the best and the worst that mankind has to offer.  The men and women I have served, served with and known throughout these years have provided the basis for strong characters in our novels and both professions have proven essential to understanding the human spirit.

-What inspires you?

Chris: Through my time as an author I have had opportunities to meet so many people with good values.  They always inspire me when I hear their stories. 

Mike: People; good people inspire me.  There have been countless advocates who have propelled Chris and I on this journey, encouraging us, supporting us and taking us beyond where we envisioned our literary careers.  When I see how much so many are willing to give to others in need, I feel a passion for helping others as much as I can.

-Please share one of your successful marketing techniques

Chris and Mike: Network, network, network – we can’t say enough how important it is.  It may be through social media or just word of mouth – get out there and meet everyone you can and learn everything you can.  The old saying, “it’s all who you know” is exactly correct.  We met our literary agent through a mutual friend which started us on this adventure.  Also, there is value in interacting with other authors and readers through writing groups and book clubs – both of us started out in a small writing club before we were published.

Additionally if you are writing fiction, you may consider doing a book trailer which helped us with a good deal of publicity.  You can see ours either on our website above or on YouTube at

We utilized Blue Ocean Media Group for our trailer –

-Parting words

Chris and Mike: Write what you are passionate about not what you think is necessarily going to sell or get published.  Your writing is your story, your world – so have fun with it.  Since Mike and I are faith-based and spiritual people we always like to leave others with these words – In those moments of great despair, look for that clarity of purpose.  God bless and stay safe.

 Chris DiGiuseppi
Mike Force

Author links

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Discussing: #TheCat'sTable by Michael Ondaatje

In early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes, he is seated at the lowly Cat's Table with an eccentric and fascinating group of adults and two other boys, Ramdhin and Cassius. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, and into the Mediterranean, the boys are drawn in to the worlds and stories of those around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another. And later, in the darkness, they are transfixed by the night walks of a shackled prisoner--his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. But there are other diversions as well:  one man tells of his life with women and jazz, another opens the door to the magical realm of books. The narrator's elusive and beautiful cousin, Emily, becomes his confidant, allowing him to see himself "with a distant eye" for the first time and to feel the first stirrings of desire. And there is the shadowy Miss Lasqueti, who will come to reveal unexpected mysteries of the heart.

"What had there been before such a ship in my life?"

As the story moves from the decks and holds of the ship to the narrator's adult years, it unravels a spellbinding tale about the often forbidden discoveries of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding, about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.

The Cat's Table is a thrilling, deeply moving novel written by a novelist at the height of his powers.

Published by McClelland & Stewart

What attracted me to this book?  
I read The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje while I was writing A Long Way From Her. The narrator of my manuscript, nineteen years old Lyndi Wimpel, takes a journey that shapes her life. I read The Cat's Table because I wanted to see how a master handles some of the same elements I explored.

What I found...
As I began to read, I was surprised at loud the author's voice was. Show don't tell, I kept thinking. Then when the narrator finally takes over, he truly takes over and no one else is heard. 
I wondered if the author had worried that the adult voices would overwhelm the boy's voice. Or is it because the author wants the reader to test out what it is like to see everything, experience everything from a distance? The boy's view point is skillfully conveyed. And throughout the book, despite or perhaps because the adult characters are so jarring, I sought out the narrator's voice--like a calming port in the storm.

Quotes that charmed me...
'[T]hree of us were smoking twigs broken off from a cane chair that we lit and sucked at... Cassius was eager that we should try to smoke the whole chair before the end of our journey.' (p. 19)

'[W]e had barely a fishhook's evidence.' (p. 73)

'We considered ourselves good at vacuuming up clues.' (p. 73)

'There is a story always ahead of you.' (p. 181)

'[H]e was saying the line with a syrup of scorn all over it.' (p. 195)

Did page 93 prompt you to laugh?

The narrator wonders:  'Had she become the adult she was because of what had happened on that journey?' The voyage was only 21 days long and yet it had a profound and lasting effect on the characters' lives.
This made me ponder incidents in my own life where a short period of time had a profound effect on entire my life--such as my wedding day...the nine months of Katimavik...and...
Work in progress...
On August 14th,  Joanna Penn (of The Creative Penn) interviewed the author of Wired for Story. Listening to this interview, I had a break To paraphrase, Lisa Cron story revolves around seeking the answer to a question. Such as, why did Lara kill Jacob? It occurred to me that the question and answer can shape your synopsis. I tried it--and it worked so well.
And also...
Lara Cron pointed out, conflict is key in story. She suggested that one way to heighten conflict is to show the difference between what the character wants/images will happen and what does happen. 
Word count:  24, 910 words
Next post:  Please welcome Chris Force and Chris Di Giuseppi

Monday, August 20, 2012

Work and play: #photos

Each Friday, on this blog, I feature a guest post. I promote my guests on Twitter, Google + and Facebook. I'd planned to be away last weekend--catching the ferry on Thursday. Knowing that I won't be able to promote the guest post, I rescheduled Mike Force and Chris Di Giuseppi's guest post for this coming Friday. (I'm really looking forward to Mike and Chris' visit--they're my first team authors; they were generous with their questions and their book looks very interesting.)
So no guest post last Friday instead because I would be away--of island, for a break. Or at least that's what I thought. That's the thing about plans--they change. 
Around the time I should have been planning what to pack, my muse found an oasis of inspiration. Words flew onto paper. This left me with a difficult decision--stay home and work or leave and relax. 
Well, I look at achieving a steady flow of words as a gift. And, I reasoned, one I didn't want to stop receiving. So I stayed and worked.
The plan:  From Friday morning to Sunday night my fingers would be on the keyboard and my pen would be in my hand--no Internet or email.
On the whole, I did stick to this plan.
However, there were some diversions and now, to clear my conscious, I'd like to confess them.
Early Friday evening I attended Arleen Pare's book reading.

And I left with her book in my hand.

'In Leaving Now Arleen Pare, winner of the 2008 Victoria Book Prize, weaves fable, prose and poetics to create a rich mosaic of conflicted motherhood. Set in the volatile 1970s and '80s, when social norms and expectations were changing rapidly. Leaving Now is the emotionally candid story of a mother's anguish as she leaves her husband to love a woman. In this second book, Pare masterfully blends aspects of her personal journey with her own version of a well-loved fairy tale. Gudrun, the five-hundred-year-old mother of Hansel and Gretel, appears hazily in the narrator's kitchen--presumed dead, all but written out of her own tale, but very much alive. Gudrn spins a yarn of love, loss and leaving, offering comfort and wisdom to the conflicted young mother. 

Raising children is not for the faint of heart, all parents know the anguish of parting from a child, even if for the briefest moment. Leaving Now is for mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. It is for anyone who has ever lived in a family.' (From Caitlin Press' web site)
(Link to Caitlin Press--scroll down to Leaving Now

I forgave this diversion because, after all, it is one of my tasks, as a writer, to network. It wasn't my fault that the evening was so enjoyable.

Saturday I spent at the Mayne Island fall fair. Here's a taste...

I forgave this diversion because, I felt, attendance was my civic duty as a Mayne Islander.

I spent Sunday wading in words. This Thursday you'll be able to judge for yourself how well this went when I report my manuscript's latest word count.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend whether it was work, play or a little bit of both.
Next post:  discussing The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

Thursday, August 16, 2012

submitting: A Love Letter (short story)

A Love Letter

We have always had a special relationship. When we meet you woed me with your clever tricks. You were never the same way twice. Sometimes your "b" looked like a "d". Sometimes your "p" looked like a "q". I was surprised to hear that you didn't entertain everyone in this manner.

Later our relationship grew and I learnt that you could be collected into a group. I was informed that this group was read as a word.

Ah, how your words danced before your eyes. Sometimes "w-a-s" danced. How it waltzed. How it jigged. How it jived. Watch it now as it twists into "s-a-w". Amazing! Thrilling! Yet you only danced for me.

Your behavior does make our relationship challenging.

Words dance before my eyes...unclaimed. Sometimes I am forced to guess at your intent. You are always a puzzle, a surprise. You intrigue me. You entertain me. You embarrass me.

Do you remember the time I was reading you to a group of children? I thought we were having a merry old time until one of the children stopped me. It seems you had fooled me yet again but you hadn't fooled the child. Never mind, it was long ago, and I have forgiven you.

It doesn't matter to me that your relationship with others is easier and more harmonious. 

My passion for you grows stronger every day.
I'm delighted that Karen Berner has published this flash fiction piece on her blog. Scroll down to August 16th
A word or two about this story...

For many years I felt that dyslexia was an obstacle I had to overcome in order to become an author. In fact, I used it to keep myself in a comfortable nest. Safe and warm, I had an excuse not to shot for the stars--not to attempt to become an author.

But the wind blew and my nest rocked when I heard of authors such as Jules Verne, Agatha Christie and John Grisham. They didn't let dyslexia stop them, I was forced to realize.

And, then, I lost every last twig from my nest when I watched a documentary called Journey into Dyslexia. I sat transfixed as those interviewed helped me see some common misconceptions regarding dyslexia. The major one being that it is a limitation.

Dyslexics are driven to create. Our inner lives are deep pools of inspiration. Now I'm beginning to value my mind for the amazing tool it is.
Work in progress
I'm on a little bit of a high this week. My clever muse has led me down a path that is so brilliant. I can't wait to share it with you. In fact, if I could you know I would. But, sadly, we all must wait. But know this, I'm having tons of fun writing.
Word count:  22, 162 words
Next post:  There will be no guest post this Friday. I will be away from my computer.
Where will I be?
I could be at Arleen Pare's book reading
'On Friday, August 17th from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Arleen Pare will be reading from her new book Leaving Now. Leaving Now is a beautifully written story of a young mother who must leave her two sons to follow her heart.' (quoted from the MayneLiner)

I could be at the Mayne Island Fall Fair

Who wouldn't be? It's tons of fun.
Go to the Mayne News blog, for more info. Scroll down to '87th Annual Mayne Island Fall Fair'

I could be here Writers' Festival -in my dreams, I am. : )
'August 16 - 19, 2012 -- Sechelt, BC
Join Canada's longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers' (quote from their web site)

But where will I be? 
There lies the mystery.
I will be back:  Monday, August 20th

Friday, August 10, 2012

Please welcome Author Terri Giuliano Long

Talent: Have It Your Way
I once read that within five years of completing their degree only ten percent of MFA grads are still writing. I may be wrong—I’ve never conducted a study—but if I were to guess, I’d say most of those writers gave up because somehow, battered by poor sales, a harsh inner editor or snide remarks from others, they concluded that they had no talent.
MFA grads are by no means the only writers who experience these jags. I’ve lost count of the gifted authors who’ve wondered aloud about whether they had talent, their confidence pummeled by rejection, poor sales, a bad review. I’ve struggled with the question myself.
Talent is a slippery, indefinable thing. If we can’t define it, how do we know what it is?
What is talent, anyway?
The problem is, the definition is subjective and depends largely on values and taste. To some, talent means that an author writes lyrically or wins literary prizes. For others, it’s all about taut plotting or monster book sales. Even these definitions are vague. Which prize must an author win? An online contest? The Pen/Hemingway Award? The Pulitzer? How many books must an author sell? 10,000? 100,000? 1 million? 50 million?
Stephen King defines talent this way: “you wrote something for which someone sent you a check . . . you cashed the check and it didn't bounce . . . you then paid the light bill with the money.” Considering that a light bill can be as low as $10, I applaud his generosity.
But what does King’s monetary criteria say about a writer like John Kennedy Toole, author of the posthumously published masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces?
The editors at Simon and Schuster admired Toole’s writing, yet ultimately rejected his novel, because, as one of them put it: “your book isn’t really about anything.” In 1969, after several failed attempts to revise his unpublished book, Toole committed suicide.
If we can’t define talent, how do we know if we have it?
If publishing success equals talent, then Toole, who couldn’t find a publisher for his novel, had no talent—at least not in his lifetime.
But wait—
After Toole’s death, his mom passed the manuscript to the novelist Walker Percy, who shepherded the novel through publication. In 1981, A Confederacy of Dunces won the Pulitzer Prize. The book has sold 2 million copies and been translated into 18 languages.
So Toole had—what?— posthumous talent? This anecdote might be humorous, if not for the fact that so many writers buy into this or other equally spurious definitions of talent.
Who but artists are judged on the basis of whimsy or taste? No wonder we’re insecure.
One Percent Inspiration, Ninety-nine Percent Perspiration
Thomas Edison said: genius (talent) is one percent inspiration—ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Not all of us are inspired, surely not always. And genius, it’s commonly assumed, is a birthright, beyond our control. Perspiration, on the other hand, we control. Equating talent—or genius—with hard work motivates me; it puts me in charge of my future.
One of my grad school professors told this story: the admissions committee, having reviewed the application of one candidate, was about to reject her. The woman, they felt, had no talent. Surely, she would fail. Maybe because there were not enough candidates that year, they gave her admission.
This woman, this no-talent writer, wanted success, and she wanted it badly. For three years, she busted her butt. And what happened? She emerged as the finest writer in the program.
“If you have energy but no talent, you can still be a prince.” Jeffrey Archer
Natural ability—deep insight, a facility with language—may shoot a determined, hard-working writer into the stratosphere. But even a brilliant writer, if lazy, is doomed to fail.
Next time the demons arise, remember this advice from bestselling author Jeffrey Archer:
“Never be frightened by those you assume have more talent than you do, because in the end energy will prevail. My formula is: energy plus talent and you are a king; energy and no talent and you are still a prince; talent and no energy and you are a pauper.”
We may never reach the heights of Stephen King, John Kennedy Toole or Jeffrey Archer. We may not want to, either. If talent is subjective, and I believe it is, then we can define it on our own terms. No reason to accept or internalize the beliefs or criticism of others. They’re often wrong anyway. The critics panned James Joyce’s masterwork, Finnegan’s Wake. Today, it’s considered a giant in the literary cannon. Yes, critics are often wrong.
This, to me, is tremendously freeing. I’ll stick with Edison’s vision of talent. Inspiration may come. But I’m not holding my breath. I’d much rather roll up my sleeves and dig in!
How do you define talent?

About Terri
Terri Giuliano Long has written news and features for numerous publications, including the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. Her debut novel, In Leah’s Wake, began as her master’s thesis. For more information, please visit her website. Or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Blog.

About In Leah’s Wake
A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine, more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years, just wants her sister's approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly together kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life...until Leah meets Todd, a high school dropout and former roadie for a rock band.

As Leah's parents fight to save their daughter from a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties, their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Justine observes her sister's rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family—leaving her to question whether anyone loves her and if God even knows she exists.

Can this family survive in Leah's wake? What happens when love just isn't enough?

Margot Livesey, award-winning author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, calls In Leah's Wake, "A beautifully written and absorbing novel."

CTRR Reviewer Recommend Award
Book Bundlz 2011 Book Pick
Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites - First Place
Reviewer-nominated for Global eBook Award, 2012
Named Top-Title, IndieReader Discovery Awards, 2012

Praise for In Leah’s Wake
 “In Leah’s Wake is an astounding story of a family in transition.”
--Tracy Riva, Midwest Reviews
 “Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”
--Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog
“Multiple ripples of meaning contribute to the overall intensity of this deeply moving psychological drama.”
--Cynthia Harrison, author of Sister Issues
"Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender."
-- Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Take One Candle Light A Room




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Thursday, August 9, 2012

How I #write

(photo taken by Byron Dyck)

I think one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received regarding creating is to remain open to inspiration. On Monday, my friend and artist Terrill Welch wrote a blog post she entitled:  Sold! Art and other adventures... After recounting her full-time painting and photography adventure since March 17, 2010, she asked, what is your personnel practice when engaging on a new creative learning curve?

I set out to write a reply but discovered I was writing a blog post. Here it is…

Thank you for the wonderful account of your adventure—in words and paintings.

To answer, I begin to write a story by focusing on the beginning and end. I then develop a point-by-point plot outline. With my tightrope constructed, I start my death-defying journey.

My muse calls to me, from the ground below, “Do a leap.”

“Really? Here? I don’t think I…”

“Come on. You can do it. It’s fun.” Or, more forcefully, “Do it. Now. It’ll be much more interesting. Don’t bore me or I’ll leave and you’ll be on your own. You don’t want to be on your own. Do you?”

I don’t—so I do. And, I find, to my delight, I gain more confidence and my writing skills are sharpened. Soon, I find, to my amazement, that I’m doing jumps, flips, somersaults—all without looking down.

Sure, occasionally I do fall. But the net catches me and I climb back up the ladder.

Even though I’ve crossed the tightrope many times, in many ways, each crossing feels much like the first. Each holds its own challenges and triumphs. I still get goose bumps. I still wonder if I’ll ever get safely to the other side.

“Look at me. Look at me.” I call, waving my arms. “I’m crossing now.”

Author J.L. Murray wrote about her writing process in a post titled Ode to Writing

Monday, August 6, 2012

how to double wrap stitches

From my email inbox...

Corky asked me to explain the double knit technique...

Row 1:
stick the tip of your working needle into the old stitch;

wrap the yarn around twice; 
pull the yarn through and remove the old stitch from the needle.
Proceed in this manner until the end of the row. 

Row 2:
Treat each of these double wrapped stitches as one stitch

stick the tip of your working needle into the old stitch; yarn the yarn around once; pull the yarn through and remove the old stitch from the needle. 

Now, why not use this new technique to work this scarf--as Corky is.

Adriene asked...

I read your blog and was hoping you would be kind enough to offer me some assistance.  I have just seen a photo in a fashion mag of a sweater i want to knit- what i am looking to hire is someone who can write a pattern based on the photo- it's a very simple sweater, no sleeves, no fancy stitches and a drapey cowl neck but i don't have a creative gene in my body- i've spent hours trying to find someone who can assist me and you are my last hope- i am simply exhausted by the search.  If you can offer me any guidance i would truly be very grateful, thanks for reading this note.

I'm busy writing. However, I'm hoping that one of you would be able to help Adriene.

If so, either leave a comment or email me at 

Thank you to Corky and Adriene for their emails. I really appreciate their help with my blog. If you have questions, comments or suggestions you'd like me to address on this blog, please ask. I'd love to hear from you.
Next post:  submitting:  flash fiction story published and...