knitting

Still working on the shawl I started a few weeks ago or so (omg it’s not done). I am 28 rows away from being halfway done (yay) and I have finished the skein that wouldn’t end. Now I’m on the second skein.

Yay, one skein down. One ugly ass pink skein used up and now I’m on the second one.

Working on this thing, I’ve practically buried the cat in the finished part while knitting and have realized that, by the time I’m done, I’ll be able to wrap Cricket in this and not have it drag the floor.

I’m not sure how it’s going to look until I’m done. I have an idea (a hope), but right now it just looks like a woven blanket.

And now I am wanting to be done as soon as possible, because I want to use the hideous rainbowy skeins of yarn (2, maybe 3) I have in my stash and make a new shawl, but in a slightly different way.

I also want to see if I can make a dog sweater. Because I have lost my mind and I have “big dogs.”

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stocking up on dayquil

I feel as though the thing I had last week did not go away entirely, so I told Jamie to buy me dayquil gel tabs because we went through like 2 bottles of the liquid in record time it seems. (two adults taking something that amounts to like half to a whole shot glass’s worth of liquid cough and nasal suppressant tends to kill a bottle quickly, especially when they forget the last time they took some). I’m cold, I’m tired, and I don’t want to do shit.

On the upswing of things:

I finished the novelette’s first draft yesterday, adding 350 words to the end and just stopping it where I was. I realized if I continued to stare at the computer screen, I’d just start nitpicking it to death, hating it even more, and probably either never finish the damn thing or delete it entirely. And I don’t want to delete it cuz I’ve spent like two weeks working on it and…yeah.

So, I emailed it to Jamie to see if it flows ok. I told him I’m not looking for inaccuracies, or if he finds them to make a note of it somewhere, I was just looking to see how it reads. If he finds something that sounds weird, to make a note of it and I’d look over it later.

It’s taking a lot of willpower to not pull the story up so I can start working on edits. Edits to change names of characters, edits to add descriptions where they need, edits to fix some continuity problems that I’m sure are there. Still going back and forth on whether or not to change it from 1st POV to 3rd, still have mental reminders to change the description up a bit (because terms like “cubicle wall” get really fucking redundant after a while)

small victory

Bear Hat finished! Woohoo

A post shared by Amanda Lovecraft (@alovecraft) on

As you can see, I finished Jamie’s Bear Hat. I like how it came out and I know he’ll wear it when it starts to get colder than it is now (because cold rain at upper-50s is still “too hot”)

So yay, at least one thing done.

I’m 36 rows into the latest shawl (which means I’ve got 264 more rows to go. boo), so I’m hoping I can get a bit more of it done today. I don’t expect to get a whole lot of rows in, but one or two would be nice.

The 2017 Inktober Prompt List showed up in my tumblr feed last night, so I wrote down the prompts so I can start working on some ideas. So far, I’ve jotted down ideas for 19 of the 31 prompts. The downside is, they’re not in order. They’re just the ideas that have come around while I look at the words. I’m still hoping to use them as part of the comic stuff, but as a “hey, here’s a not-so-clean ink sketch of an idea I had” because I’m not taking this thing seriously.

I’ve added a handful of words to the story I’m working on and…ugh. I just want it to be over so I can work on something else for a little while. I’m near the end, so stopping and working on a different idea just makes me think that I’ll leave it and never come back to it.

Groovin’ along

I’ve gotten 590 words in today so far. Woo, go me.

omg I want to be done with this story. I am at 6983 words. I am ready for my last-minute throw-in character to be eradicated and another character pulled away at the last minute, but dude. I’m stuck 10.5 ft away from salvation. A page and a half is what I’ve gotten done through and my narrator has made one large step to freedom. Now they’re approximately 8 ft from the doorway and I’m at the point where I can’t tell if I’m just being a wordy bastard or what.

I’m hoping that soon I’ll be done with the first draft. I asked Jamie if he’d skim through it to see if at least it flows well enough before I go and work on edits for it because I like the idea for this story (but omg why is this part taking so long).

An old idea I had years ago is poking my brain with “what happens next” so hopefully I’ll finish this one and go piddle around with that one.

I talked with Jamie about doing Inktober this year and he thought it was a cool idea. I thought it’d be a fun idea since I’m finally working through the comic and posting it on tumblr. I figured I could do a sketch, take a pic with my phone, and post it to the tumblr blog and probably even instagram and see what happens. Never know.

I found some con panels that talk about how to pitch to an agent and how to send query letters. I’m using them as background noise while I write and not really paying all that much attention to what they’re talking about. A few things pop up every once in a while and it’s pretty funny.

On the other side of the creative spectrum, I have made it through a grand total of 4 rows on this damned shawl.

It’s hard to work on the loom with a very determined cat who wants your lap and does not want to move for anything.

I ended up looking at some of my stash earlier this morning and realized I’ve got 3 skeins of this weird rainbowy yarn, that I re-rolled because the skeins were being a pain and I’m kind of a nut anyway, and thought that it’d look fun as a shawl. wtf, manders.

Dogs don’t like my music

As a fan of music of varying types, from centuries long-past to things released within the past couple years, I’ve found that I typically land on the same upbeat music over and over again when I want to listen to something while I clean.

Typically, this usually involves an array of 90s (pop, ska, punk, house/acid) and the dogs are displeased.

Firefly is pretty aloof about the whole thing, just as long as she gets to curl up on the couch. Bug seems to like pop more than the others, Hobbes just gives me his sad/confused-dog stare, and Cricket seems to think that it’s the perfect time to jump on people or go see Jamie.

I have noticed, however, that all of them hate Jamiroquai. Which sucks for them.

Hobbes is more of a fan of Alt/Rock and metal (seriously, cut on Volbeat or some old school Cradle of Filth and he is all about that). And they all like Voltaire.

Yesterday while cleaning the living room, Jamie cut on Spotify through the PS4 for me (because I couldn’t find it) and I found that none of the dogs like the Spin Doctors. What the hell, dogs.

Sigh, oh well I guess. Now this just means there are 5 people in the house that I can annoy with my atrocious tastes in music. Jamie’s pretty used to it (he should be after all the time we’ve known each other), but now he’s got a pair of AfterShockz headphone thingies so he can listen to podcasts while I continue to be a dork.

trudging along

+ Jamie and I watched the latest season of GoT. Jamie excitedly informed me of the 2 books coming out that are pretty much the background of the Targaryens that were cut out of the beginning of ASoIF while I texted a friend of mine discussing various theories on what’ll happen as well as the classic “never trust an off-screen death.”

+ I’ve made a handful of scarves and found a finished scarf or two that I had meant to post up to sell. Currently, I’ve finished the base of Jamie’s Bear Hat and now just need to make a new pair of ears (and I keep forgetting to grab a thicker crochet hook since the average 5mm one has decided it doesn’t like me), and I’ve started working on another shawl.

I have 5 skeins of the same colour yarn (this soft bubblegum pastel pink) and there’s nothing that I can think of using it for, so now I’m making a shawl out of it. 274 more rows and I’ll be done with it and I’ll be able to see if my initial idea for a shawl works or if it looks just as ridiculous as I assume so I can stop making them this way and go with a different idea.

+ I’m working on a story idea that is working its way determinedly towards novelette. If I can get to novelette then woohoo for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything that could even be thought of as novelette length.

I have a little post-it that reminds me of the word-length that things are considered as well as the average length of an anthology. I’m pretty sure I could create an anthology of short stories I have worked on, especially if I actually sit down and work through the ideas that I have jotted down at various times.

On the one hand, I think it’d be a learning experience on how to do it and just work on something like that. Knowing that it’s frustrating as hell to self-pub your work, especially with little to no readers who know I write and read what I write. On the other hand, I also know that I really should look over what I’ve written and “finished,” editing things and making them better. Bothering people into reading what I’ve got for some sort of feedback so I can fix things.

I could suck it up, and look for anthologies and magazines to submit stories to, and wait for rejection slips. I could create a reddit account and post some of the things I’ve got on there, but…I don’t really like reddit. (kinda strange coming from someone who loves NoSleep Podcast).

I could share the links of the stories on the NoSleep fb fangroup page. People seem to get various amounts of responses when they share things. I could share the links on tumblr, but it’s pretty hit-or-miss for the most part.

Stopping on that train of thought.

I’m working on a story that has decided it’s going to meander its way longer than I’ve expected. I’ve been able to add a couple hundred words and now I’m at 4116 words currently. Hey, not bad. Go me.

I’m still on the first draft and know that I’m going to have to change some things around before I share it (because this is the “throw your friends into your story and fuck with them” story), but I’m thinking of keeping it 1st POV. I think it’s from listening to NoSleep and Chilling Tales (and various other stories) that I’m focusing more on 1st POV than 3rd.

I’m hoping to be done with it soon. Currently, I’m in the process of freaking out my characters.

Story Time: A New Kind of Moleskine

Like always, first draft (blah blah blah). This is the story that’s been poking at me for a couple of weeks and keeps getting narrated by Peter Lewis in my head. 833 words, so it’s a short one.


 

A New Kind of Moleskine

 I am a bookbinder; I make books. Various sizes and thickness. You may have seen my work on etsy.

Bookbinding has always been a fascination of mine. The calming of searching for the perfect paper, basing each piece around the texture and colour; choosing between clear, sharp edging and jagged, uneven ripples that would be the the first thing noticed after opening a brand-new book. Finding the perfect thread for sewing the folded sections to one another and deciding whether or not to use that same colour of thread when pulling all the sections together. Coming to the realization that calm, muted colours were the best to bring people a subtle happiness. This helped me decide early on to ignore the stark-white thread that I would keep coming across when searching for supplies.

You’d think that the paper that I would meticulously search for would be the determining factor of the size of the book I would make, especially since I had also decided that working with clean, blank pages would be the best. I know people do prefer pre-lined pages to write on, but there’s something so…calming about a completely blank page.

However, I had found that working with leather was going to be my determining factor for size and shape. I had grown up with a family member who sold leather pieces on the side. Large swaths of leather, scraps of leather, strings of leather you could use as bootstraps of braid for belt-making. He had many different sizes in thickness and colour and was a well of information every time I had a question.

Getting in touch with a small group of leather workers helped with any other questions that I couldn’t find answers to. The best ways to shave down the thickness, the best materials to help stretch the leather, the best glues to work with, the best place to find shears and how to keep them sharp enough to cut the leather.

At one point, I found myself in the middle of the woods, standing in front of a strung-up deer with a knife in my hand and a buddy of mine laughing himself sick. Sometimes the best way to learn a thing is to start exactly at the beginning. For me, it was going through the motions of skinning and tanning a hide. It was a great experience, but I decided to stick with my contacts.

I found that sticking with these guys helped with staying away from having to actually skin anything. I’d receive various sizes of leather. Pieces where I’d be able to make at least two average size books, with very little scraps; pieces where I could make small picture-book-sized sketch or memo pads. Thin scraps that I had left over would be set aside and put together later on to make a modern Prometheus styled notebook, which became very popular when Halloween rolled around.

I found ways to dye the leather, creating beautiful blues and greens. I thought the darker the colours, the better. Some of my clients preferred the more bleach-white that I could work with on occasion, using some old Native American recipes to get the leather as close to white as possible. Every once in a while, I’d receive an email stating that I was a murderer for working with mutilated animals. I’d reiterate what I have on my etsy store page: All leather is ethically sourced. If you are uncomfortable with this, then I urge you to find your gifts elsewhere.

Murderer? Hardly.

I’d usually shake my head and go back to my workroom, turn on some light music, and get to work on the latest piece. Measure twice, cut once. Measure once, cut once, and work around the mishap. Each book as unique as a finger print.

Thinking on unique—I received my latest batch of leather earlier. Always hand-delivered since my clients like to have their items fast thanks to this modern age of gimmegimmegimme nownownow.

The box is about the size of a milk crate and stuffed with pieces of leather. Different colours, varying sizes, but the same shapes over and over again. Long, fat cresent shapes and wide, curvy triangles. I’ll have to separate them later as I spot a few pieces with hints of freckles. Freckled leather always goes in the dyed pile. It’s simpler to hide the freckles than have to make excuses that it’s a genetic thing that happens in certain strains of rabbits.

I could call the collection of books that come out of this new delivery my “Face Book” collection. They could be diary-thick to give an air of sharing. I chuckled to myself, mulling over the idea.

Like I said, my leather is ethically sourced. Sourced from bodies donated to science and executed by whatever method their state determined. Sourced from others who are hired to go after murderers and rapists, even animal abusers. This collection comes from the latter while one of my contacts moves to another county.