Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Sweater Curse reviewed

Laurie Buchanan reviewed The Sweater Curse

Stitch by colorful stitch, Leanne Dyck knits a tale of intrigue with The Sweater Curse. Set against the backdrop of Canada and told in the first-person voice, the reader steps into the life--or rather, afterlife--Gwen Bjarnson.
With a physician mother who has her sights set on career advancement, and a father who's left emasculated in the wake of his wife's ambitions, Gwen is placed in the care and keeping of her Aunt Oli's loving and capable hands--gentle hands that teach her how to knit.
Her love of knitting stays with Gwen as she finds herself estranged from her family and squeezed into the lives of the upper echelon of society where trophy wives dangle from the arms of fragile, old millionaires. Drifting from house to house, she always has her knitting needles--the one constant in her life.
Like a revolving door, men come and go, drawn like moths to a flame, enjoying erotic pleasures with Gwen. Until the fateful night when she meets Jaron Cardew, a self-published novelist who sees her for what she is--an artist--and believes in her.
Drawing her into his circle of artistic friends, Jaron and Gwen become emotionally entwined. While purchasing skeins of yarn--a decadent blend of wool and alpaca--to knit a sweater for Jaron, the shopkeeper warns Gwen, "Knit your boyfriend a hat, scarf, socks--anything but a sweater." But she doesn't heed the sage advice. Knit with love, the sweater turns out beautifully--quite literally to die for!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reading (short story) by Leanne Dyck


I'm in English class and the teacher asks me to read.
Immediately a spotlight shines directly into my eyes. I'm trapped. I can't move. I can't hide. Everyone is starring at me with laser eyes that burn me. Sweat is pouring from my forehead, from my hands onto the book. A snowstorm of white dots blinds me. I peer through the storm and can barely see black marks on the white page. My stomach is tight and I feel like I'm going to throw up.
Brody, the fat kid who always sits at the back of the room, says, "Yeah, get Leanne to read. Read, Leanne, read."
His voice is distant and muffled, but I do hear him.
I also hear a loud noise--like a huge ocean wave hitting the rocks. Laughter. They're laughing at me.
I try not to hear them. I try to focus. I push my glasses up on my nose, breathe out slowly.
The first word is "I".
Followed by "saw" or is it "was". The letters dance--first 's' leads then 'w'
"Leanne, we're waiting," the teacher says.
More laughter.
I can't sound it out if I can't catch the words. I'll have to guess.
Sometimes I guess right, sometimes wrong. That's the only thing that differs--the rest remains the same.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

knitting in circles: free pattern

This is part of a larger post, but I'm currently (having an argument with my camera) experiencing technical difficulties. So, in want of the whole, I offer part.
Do you recall my pictorial tutorial on double knitting? You'll want to refer back to that post (12/17/10) because today's pattern use that technique.
I'm a lazy knitter and as such I've 're-invented' techniques so that I remain in my comfort zone.
What am I avoiding in employing the double knitting technique?
Answer: knitting with circular needles.
I know I can hear some of you, "Why would you avoid knitting with those? They're so much fun."
To which I say "Yes, maybe for you."
Anyway, today's offered free pattern:

Thirsty bottle holder

Knitting needles: 4.50 mm (7 US/ 7 UK)
Yarn: worsted weight (approximately 200 yards)
Tension: 5 stitches = one inch
1 x 1 rib stitch
(odd number of stitches)
Row 1: knit one, purl one--to end of row.
Repeat row for pattern
1 x 1 rib stitch
(even number of stitches)
Row 1: knit one, purl one--to end of row.
Row 2: purl one, knit one--to end of row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.
Cast on 45 stitches
Work using the double knitting technique for 6 inches
Divide stitches--starting with the first stitch, place every second stitch on a needle (for a total of 23 stitches). Place the remaining 22 stitches on a stitch holder.
Work both groups of stitches in a 1 x 1 rib stitch for one inch.
Cast off
Sew ribbing side seams
Next post: How to make the I-cord strap
Word count: I didn't work on my WIP.
Yes, I know--I'm ashamed.
I promise to correct that situation today.
I did start reading a very well written book--Pluto's Ghost
I, as a reader, am enjoying the read.
I, as a dyslexic, not so much.
I'll explain in a future post--maybe tomorrow.


Please visit me, I'm visiting Kiki Howell's blog today

Monday, January 17, 2011

Writing a word

Lately, The Sweater Curse has been demanding a lot of my time. Because I believe in the quality of this work, I've happily allowed it to fill my day.

Yesterday, however, my WIP (work in progress) demanded my attention.

Each writer creates in their own way.

Sometimes I write in free hand and fill several pages of a journal.

Other times, like yesterday, I work on the computer and dissect each chapter scene-by-scene, word-by-word. Reading over each scene, I add more and more detail so that the reader will be able to fully experience the story. As I read, I ask is the writing clear? Should a word be deleted or added? A paragraph? A scene? It's painstaking work. Progress is slow.

"How slow?" you ask.

Here's a month of work

December, 2010

day 17-- 21, 307 words

day 20--22,456 words

day 30--22,728 words

January, 2011

day 17--22,895 words

Slow--yes, but I will continue to write at my Muse's pace. It isn't about sped--it's about quality.

However, that said, one thing I hope to amend--divide my time equally between The Sweater Curse and my WIP. Obstacle: I don't like to empose restricts on my work.

Here is the last new sentence I added...

'My back slammed into the seat, my head fell onto the headrest, I stared at the ceiling as I mumbled a silent prayer--Please I don't want to die'

Friday, January 14, 2011

Guest Post: author Sarah Ballance

I'm excited to welcome author Sarah Ballance. I have so many questions to ask her--so let's begin.

How/why did you start to write?

After the birth of my fifth child, I started with nonfiction for the extra income. I wrote one piece for the heck of it and submitted it to a paying market. Imagine my surprise a few weeks later when a check arrived in the mail! Two months after the payment, the magazine with my story in it arrived and I was hooked. I've since moved on to fiction--while the pay isn't as good, the creative process is a fabulous outlet to cope with being "MOOOM!" all day to five (now six) young children.

How did you become an author?

A few short months into my impromptu nonfiction career, a friend suggested I write a novel. My immediate reply was to say I couldn't do it, and the more I thought about it the more it grated on me that I said I couldn't do something. So...I took a deep breath and took the plunge. The first chapter I ever wrote was horrid. I still shudder to think about it, but my critique partner rocks. I'm surprised she's still speaking to me after that, LOL.

What was your first published piece?

DOWN IN FLAMES holds the honor as my first piece of fiction and my first published work. It's a contemporary romance with a bit of a twist at the end.

Where was it published?

Noble Romance Publishing showed me the love. I can't say enough about the Nobel family. They're just incredible.

How long ago?

DOWN IN FLAMES was released on June 7, 2010. My romantic suspense
RUN TO YOU followed on December 13, 2010.

RUN TO YOU blurb
Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout--and the tabloids--she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Maing the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.
What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

I doubled majored in biology and biochemistry in college, but never did anything with it because I married at the age of 19 and my husband and I decided we'd homeschool our babies. The first was born almost on our first anniversary, and now--13.5 years later--we have six of them. Being a mom is the only "real" job I've ever had. I have to say, staying home with six kids all day requires patience and a sense of humor and that's a DEFINITE plus when it comes to dealing with my characters.

What inspires you?

I love music when I'm writing. I think I've listened to Miranda Lambert's "Kerosene" CD a thousand times over the course of writing my two novels. One note, and I've found my groove--it's bliss!

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques?

One reader at a time. I've never approached someone I didn't know (online or otherwise) with the expectation of selling them my work, but I've been blessed time and time again with a reader contacting me after the shortest of exchanges to tell me they've bought one of my books. I may be a writer, but there are just no words for how great that makes me feel. Readers, your words of kindness mean the WORLD to your favorite authors!

Parting words

Thank you so much for having me here today. It's been a pleasure, and I'll be around to answer any reader questions or comments. Ya'll can ask me anything--even personal questions (they are the most fun, aren't they?)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Hello, welcome, thank you so much for coming.
Where would you like to sit
By the pool in the shade
Or by the woodstove as you gaze at the snow top moutains
Where ever you, it can be yours.
This is our party.
And let's get this party started.

Hope you enjoyed that. I'll be back soon with more fun. : )
Please mix and mingle--there's no telling who'll you meet.

Friday, January 7, 2011

You are invited to...

my virtual book launch/party
When: Monday, January 10th
Party all day and night
Why: In celebration of the publication of my thriller
The Sweater Curse
Please bring food, drink and music
To do this, please leave a comment with your favourite party food or punch recipe,
or link to some rad tunes.
Please help me spread the word about this party
This isn't the post that I had planned for today. I will be back with that soon. As well as with a list of all the cool places you can find me on the web today--well, a short list of three places. Three? Yes, I think so.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Knitting Taught Me by Leanne Dyck

What Knitting Taught Me

When we start a project we have no guarantee of success. Sure we may have a pattern to guide our progress and a memory of past success. Still, a million errors could occur: we may have an insufficient amount of yarn; we may have bought the wrong needle size; there may be an error in the pattern.

When we start a project, we may not consciously realize the risk we are taking. Regardless, we are taking a risk. It's only our belief that we will be successful that keeps us motivated.

When a problem does arise we are forced to find a solution.

We may toss the mess out.

Giving up on the project is difficult and some may berate us for being wasteful or lazy. Nevertheless, it is a solution.

For whatever reason dealing with the problem is beyond our ability. So we take a break. Break over, we feel that we will be better equipped to solve the problem.

Still another way to handle the problem is to seek advice. Turning to someone more knowledgeable and more experienced can be humbling. It may involve swallowing our pride, but it may be worth it. Maybe, just maybe, we will find someone who cares, and we will learn that we are not alone.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Sweater Update

First, do you remember the promise--that this...

and this...
and this...

and this...

would become a sweater?

Well, guess what?
It has...
Proud soon-to-be grandma
well-dressed and holding a baby sweater.
Now, exciting news about The Sweater Curse.
Yesterday, I sang, "They sent me the galleys! They sent me the galleys!"
My husband asked, "Great! What are galleys?"
Well, I racked my brain trying to come up with a definition. I knew...or thought I knew what they were...but....
So, I searched the web and thanks to here is the definition
Galley proof: Penultimate proof of a page being typeset for printing, before it is wet (imposed) as a page of a book.
The long wait will soon be over. The Sweater Curse will soon be an ebook.
I visit Anne Holly's blog:
Katherine Gallagher shares a fond memory from her childhood on
I found this cool book blog:
Next Post: What knitting taught me (article)