"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Prey (Short Story)

". . .A short story is like a kiss in the dark. . .and if I should kiss you in the dark, do not be afraid; it is only because you are my love." -- Stephen King

I was going to just delete this post, but I couldn't do it. I figured if I pulled it the least I could do is offer an explanation to those of you who might actually come back to reread it. I've changed the title and am currently in the process of revising this story for publication. That's all I can say right now, but please keep an eye on the blog for further updates. Believe me, when it happens, I'll be screaming from the rooftops.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No, I Haven't Fallen off the Face of the Earth

Nor have I forgotten about my dear followers... Truth be told, my plate's been a bit full, as usual, and I've let the blog slip a bit since Christmas. The good news is that I've spent the past week not just catching up but getting a bit ahead. (Yay ME!) I've actually been keeping up with at least one of my New Year's resolutions as well as pushing forward with new designs. So here you go, the big rundown (and a shameless plug):

Basketweave Scarf by Sarah Blalock 
I only made two resolutions this year which are both self-serving in a good way. Of course, many of my fellow bloggers already know this because when they asked on their own blogs about resolutions, I freely shared this information. First, I've decided that I'm going to finally teach myself how to knit. Well, actually, purl. You see a few years ago, when eyelash scarves were all the rage, I bought a kit and taught myself how to knit. I made a bunch of scarves in all sorts of fabulous colors using all sorts of fabulous specialty yarns. Everybody got scarves for Christmas that year. Then. . . well, I sort of lost interest and packed up the needles and a bunch of unfinished projects and moved on. Still, I found that knitting was a heckuva lot easier than I thought it would be and decided that "one of these days" I'd give real knitting a shot. I chose two patterns specifically that I wished to attempt. My goal was to begin them some time around Easter and have them done before Labor Day, but I've already finished one and begun another. If that was all the knitting I completed this year, I'd be happy. The important thing was to finish both projects. The full story will need a blog post all its own, so I'll just leave it at that for now.

Second, I decided I really needed to read more. This decision was a result of my downloading the Kindle app for PC. Of course, I downloaded the app (free from Amazon.com and available here) some time in November, but didn't even begin reading anything until December 29th! You see, I have a tendency to jump into things and throughly overwhelm myself. In typical "me" fashion, I began searching Amazon for free Kindle books and found that there are literally tens of thousands available if you share my areas of interest. I'm a nut for pre-20th century European literature and most books written before 1923 can be found for free or at ridiculously low prices. Between downloads and my Amazon wish list, I've got enough books to last me years if I never stop reading except for meals and bathroom breaks. However, I figure if I stop eating, the bathroom breaks would be greatly reduced. The problem is that I had given myself so many choices that I couldn't decide where to begin.

So what happened around Christmas that got me reading? Although I was an English major (who never finished college) I hadn't read a real book in several years. In fact, I'm not certain when I stopped reading or even which book was the last I read in it's entirety (the last one I started and didn't finish was Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan), so getting back into the habit wasn't so much difficult as it was "not so easy." Choosing a title was the hard part. Thankfully, a friend of mine gifted me with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. That was better than hitting the Staples EASY button. I LOVE vampire stories, can't get enough of them as a matter of fact, so good or bad if the book's got a vampire in it, I'll at least read the first few chapters. I began reading Twilight on Wednesday, December 29th and finished Breaking Dawn (the fourth and, for now, final book in the series) on Wednesday, January 5th. I won't go into a full review. After reading the Twilight series, I needed more vamps, so I read The Bite of Silence by Mary Hughes (be warned, this one's vampire erotica and NC-17). Then I started Cries of Vampira, a novella by Sean H. Robertson. Thus far, I've read the first chapter and closed it for now. I was having trouble focusing on it because there were crochet projects that beckoned for my attention. Now my goal is to finish 20-30 books this year. I've posted a list at the bottom of my blog page so I can keep track and give each a rating. My current count is ten books finished and six more started.

Bread Basket Kitchen Set
NOW I can talk about my real achievement: my latest crochet projects. You see, one of the reasons I've been reading so much is that I can do it without overworking my hands which, after finishing my Christmas projects, were in agony. The weather of late hasn't helped. I'll be seeing a rheumatologist soon to make it official, but I've pretty much already been diagnosed with arthritis. The wear and tear put on my joints in my many years of retail (you only think all retailers do is ring a register and snap their gum) has completely caught up with me at this point. I won't go into the full history here. . .Suffice it to say I'll never be able to work in brick and mortar retail again. Anyhow, the Bread Basket Kitchen Set is finished, posted, and selling on Etsy and Ravelry. I'm also working on a couple of other ideas including a second towel to coordinate with the Bread Basket collection. I've been playing with some of my favorite crochet stitches so I can offer some really pretty items that are also fairly simple and quick.

Enjoy the pictures and check out the new patterns as I post them, will ya? Give me a reason to keep my aching fingers busy!