Scrumbling – Or How I Feel Down the Freeform Crochet Rabbit-hole


Scrumble in Red Heart yarn. My very first attempt at freefrom crochet.

Sorry I haven’t posted in ages. There was enough family drama to fuel several soap operas, and I felt it was too much trouble to post positive stuff when my entire world fell apart.

The good news is that it has all worked out, for the best. So I’m ready to start sharing my adventures in crochet freeform.

I’m not the kind of person who likes having huge stashes of materials. Fiber or yarn, I want to use it up and get it out into the world in some form or another. For quite some time, I’ve been looking for good stash-busting projects.

I think I’ve found one!

In my adventures of 2014 – I cleared out a great deal of furniture and framed art. So my bedroom walls are quite bare. This little scrumble may end up as part of a very large wall hanging.

Stay tuned, I’m going to share my sources and have some fun.

Point of View—What IS It? How to Find the Perfect Voice for YOUR Story


As a writer, I use 3rd Person and I tend to ‘Lock’ the POV to one character, or at the most, two characters. The reason I’m so strict in my own work is that I was the worst type of head-hopper – even hopping from paragraph to paragraph in some places.

This is one of the ‘kinder, gentler’ discussions about POV on any blog. I did a couple blog posts on the subject and wasn’t able to stay out of rant mode. I’ve read so many really horrible ‘first person’ stories that I’ve become allergic to that POV. It’s so easy for a beginner to get locked into a ‘stream of consciousness’ mode. Any time I see 1st person, I tend to cringe. Even trade published authors can get in over their heads, er, so to speak.

At one point, in my days on Authonomy.com – I was called a POV Nazi. These days, I keep a lower profile and don’t rant so much.

I recommend this blog post to anyone who has questions on POV, and am reblogging it to Jordan’s Croft.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Geiko Caveman. Geiko Caveman.

Monday, we talked about the Three Acts of a Writer’s Journey. The first hint we might be tipping into The Apprentice Phase is we hear the word P.O.V. and panic. What is THAT? Prisoners of Vietnam? Pets of Vegans? Pals of Viagra?

We ALL know writing a novel is FAR from easy. We just make it look that way ūüėČ .

Today, I’m putting on my editor’s hat. Many of you decided to become writers because you love to write. Duh. I’ll even bet most of you, back when you were in school, also made very good grades in English. Thus, you might assume that you naturally know how to write a novel that is fit for successful publication.

Maybe you do. But, if you are anything like me when I started out? You might not know as much as you think you do.

Why?

Our high…

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Unexpected Collection


Digital Camera

These are¬†eleven of my baskets. I didn’t realize how many I have, and how many¬†of them I use almost every day. Until I needed a basket to put cookies in. I started poking around until I found the right one,¬†a small picnic basket with two handles.

There’s my blue¬†fiber project basket, three egg baskets, two harvest baskets, and three storage baskets.¬†Those are¬†just the ones¬†in this picture. It amuses me to see so many, and I really do use them all the time.

My blue fiber basket has 3 spindles and a couple of spinning wheel bobbins in it, as well as some spun yarn and fiber. it’s my ‘grab and go’ for any time I’m going to join friends at a spin-in. Under the shallow harvest basket on the right is my folded laundry basket. Yet, the clothes get folded in front of the TV and put into that little blue basket before they go into drawers.

Women have been making and using baskets for at least 12¬†millennia. That’s 12,000 years we know of, since most baskets are made of wood and fibers, there’s not much left after a few thousand years to go by. I’ll bet the craft is much older than that. Gatherers need baskets like hunters need sharp points.

I’ve made baskets from plastic shopping bags, t-shirts cut into strips and strips of brown paper. Not the kind of materials that last forever, but common recyclable materials. I stopped making the plastic ones because there’s a nasty powder that gets on my hands and up my nose. I don’t like snorting plastic dust. It makes me feel sick.

T-shirts, on the other hand, appear to be much friendlier to the body. There are dozens of t-shirts around the house that need to be recycled into something. I cut them into 1 inch strips, with a bit of thought I can make one continuous strip of t-shirt material out of the tube part of the shirt.

It’s time for me to go, gotta deliver those cookies.

Relationships and Mental Illness


I know there are people who diligently do their duty, stay married and all that. I don’t see how they do it. Maybe there is a huge difference when the person owns their illness. I don’t know, because that’s not how it is in my life.

“Isn’t not my fault,” is a statement containing a limited amount of truth. Our lives are not defined by our genetics. Our lives are defined by our choices. As in – I choose to ride the motorcycle without a helmet. I choose to play games in traffic. I choose to lie to doctors, family and friends. I choose to say terrible things to the people I’m closest to.

So that leaves me with choices of my own.

There’s nothing easy in the way I choose to live from this point forward. This is going to suck, but not as bad as doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.¬†

Today is not just another day. Today is The Day to make as many sane choices as I can. That’s not really a big deal.

But choosing to do the sane thing today, will make tomorrow just a little bit easier. 

One step at a time, going forward, not backwards.

Cautious Hope


I thank you all for the well-wishes.

My brother has come from Seattle to help me figure out how the nursing home works. I’ve learned a lot in a very short time. Unfortunately, there is much more to learn.

However, there is good news!

My Dad has gotten much stronger than I expected. He is still struggling with issues of brain damage from the stroke. However, he’s eating, which is a huge improvement, and the Physical Therapy is going well.¬†

I have discovered that I don’t like nursing homes. I don’t like the way they are always short-staffed. I don’t like the tremendous expense associated with them. I don’t like strangers taking care of my Dad.

Most of all, I don’t like the fact that I have a tendency to break out into teeth and claws when he’s not take care of the way I feel he should be treated.

When it comes to him and his care, I’m not a nice person. I’m a raving bitch.

I’m not proud of that. It’s kind of embarrassing.¬†

Still, we managed to get him the bladder cancer surgery he needed. The doctor used the laser like a scrub brush to abrade away the cancer cells. Dad was back to his room the same day. He slept yesterday, and was fine today. I’m pleased, it was a load off my mind!

Thanks again for the well-wishes!

Sorry for the Silence


I am sorry that I haven’t updated this blog in over a month.

My father had a stroke and is in a nursing home, an ordeal by itself.

However, I was also forced to leave Jordan’s Croft, by my husband’s mental health issues.

Everything is up in the air.

I’ve decided to do no blogging on these issues. I’ve got a couple of books to finish, so that’s what I’m doing.

I’m okay, for now, just displaced and very, very angry.

Building a Killer Email List


I’ve created a mailing list for Icy Road Publishing. You can blame David G. for it. LOL Because I’ve ‘known’ him for several years, on Authonomy and beyound, I’m willing to not only FOLLOW his advice, but to tell others about him.

The ONLY thing I’m going to do with it is send out announcements for

So Soft – Just Don’t Pet Him!


Grumpy closer

 

Look at that face! Isn’t he the cutest darn thing?

He hates being petted, which is just TOO bad because he’s SO SOFT! Last winter I’d corner him in the stall and pet his neck and he’d scream “Ewwww!” and stamp his little bitty feet. I’d laugh at him. “Too bad, Grumpy. Get over it! You’re just SO soft!”

I’ve spent most of the afternoon on the back porch, playing with Grumpy’s fleece. I’ve picked it. Carded it. Spun it and plied it.

It’s just so¬†soft!

I don’t know what I’m going to make with it. It’s very fine and a soft creamy white.

Digital Camera

Look, you can just grab a handful and spin it just as fine as froghair, with a drop spindle. My wheel makes it into yarn so fast, the stuff just flies onto the bobbins. The yarn I plied an hour ago needs to be measured and weighed so I know about where I’m at with it.

I’ve discovered how to wash it – just soak it in water for a week. Change the water every day. Use soap and hot water the first day, leave it in the sun the rest of the week. This is a very slow process, but the fleece is just as soft and clean as it can be…after a week. If I go any faster, I get FELT. You can’t agitate this stuff. Even spinning it in the washer felts it.

Now the sad part is that Grumpy appears to have the coarsest hair of the three alpacas. But his is the longest, and the cleanest. I bag it up an ounce per bag – soak it and forget it.

I’ve got more fleece from Atlanta, but I haven’t tried to wash it up yet. I’ve washed one¬†ounce of black llama and an ounce of mouse-colored llama.

Last weekend we went to Wampum Stompup farm. I saw the most beatiful alpacas. Fawns, red-browns¬†and blacks that had some really dreamy looking fleece. There was one red-brown that I’d really like to buy. If he were fixed, which he isn’t.

She breeds her males. I just want geldings. No females, no babies – though her babies are adorable. They are just so hard to keep up. She’s got to deworm hers every 10 days because of some weird worm that comes from the deer.

I deworm mine twice a year. The chickens have developed a taste for Alpaca Poop that defies logic. They like it more than they like horse manure.

Well, the tractor repairman is here, gotta go!

**********

Had to make the picture bigger so you can get the full squee from that cute little face.

I’m Asking for Votes


Best Novella

Best Novella

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I have become a finalist for Best Novella of 2014 – however – in order to 'win' I need at least 20 votes. Your vote would go a long way to helping put 'The Emissary' in the top spot.

This is the link where you can vote: e-Festival of Words – Best Novella

You must register in order to vote. It’s free and I’ve never had any spam from this site.

“The Emissary: Journey” the first book of “Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse.” I’m getting ready to send the second installment of the series to the copy editor.

“The Emissary” is a horse story as well as an adventure tale. The McLeod sisters use their horses to fight, as the Roman’s did, and as sentries with a keen sense of smell. I have always thought that horses were a better choice for the Zombie Apocalypse because of their instincts and the fact they eat grass not gasoline. The bow is the weapon of choice for the McLeod sisters because bows are quiet and arrows are reusable. The McLeods prefer stealth and agility over loud engines and bullets.

“The Emissary” is about how women could survive the Zombie Apocalypse – without the sterotypical roles of helpless-female or heartless Amazon. It’s my way of exploring the Apocalypse from a completely female point of view – cooperation, team work, empowering the weak and protecting the helpless, with a touch of humor.

The McLeod sisters are down-to-earth girls who have complete confidence in their training, their horses and each other. The Davidson clansmen who think they’re superior with their trucks and machine guns are in for a surprise.

Please feel free to get the e-book here:

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse it is free on Smashwords.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon US The e-book is $0.99 here.

The Emissary: Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse – Amazon UK The e-book is 0.99 here.

In a world where the dead walk the land, Bethany McLeod must leave the safety of her fortress home to take her sisters Alexis, Dani and Julie cross-country to Fort Chatten, Kentucky. Alexis McLeod is a healer, nurse and pharmacist, eager to prove herself at Fort Chatten. Led by Bethany, the four sisters risk their lives to help the struggling Davidson clan.

It’s just three years since the Zombie Apocalypse. The McLeod and Davidson’s clans survive in a world where the muerto viviente – walking dead – infest the cities and towns. Armed to the teeth, the sisters are horse archers, a light cavalry quiet enough to avoid the muerto, or fast enough to outrun them. Militia, marauders and mad-men abound, the stinking dead walk the land, eating everything in their path.

Can four women and six horses make a hundred mile journey through the Zombie Apocalypse and arrive alive? What will they find if they get to Fort Chatten?

This story is suitable for all ages.

Don’t go change that channel!