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After a week of traveling and having people over it’s nice to finally sit down and share some of the things I’ve been doing (and creating) lately.

So in between doing this in Dublin and seeing beautiful scenery like in the picture above and watching sunsets like this…

I’ve also been learning how to crochet.

My grandmother and knitting instructor was right: once you learn how to knit, crocheting is a cinch.  Of course, I still managed to botch things up a time or two, which meant having the unravel half the project.  But we got there in the end.  I decided to do a market bag (this is what I think of when I see the words “market bag”) for my first crochet project since, I figure, my vegetables won’t care too much if my rows aren’t perfectly straight. Jill’s  Rust Goes Green was a quick and easy project (even for a beginner) and it was a great way to finally use up some of this bulky nylon yarn I’d been practicing with for ages.

And the finished product…

And just for fun I made these dangly wire earrings with royal blue beads. I’m not sure about  the ear hook design so I’m thinking about changing them… maybe adding a loop so that the ends clip together to form a fill circle?

Two books that have become permanent features on my nightstand these days (along with the, happily, never-ending Cold Mountain Scarf) are Melanie Falick’s Weekend Knitting and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s The Hound of the Baskervilles of Sherlock Holmes fame.  The proprietor of the tiny second hand bookshop I bought it from in the market said Baskervilles was the only book that ever scared him…  I love the classic Penguin book cover possibly as much as the expert, chilling, and somewhat whimsical story-telling.

And in the meantime I’ve moved on to a new project (two actually, but the second will have to wait until another day). Now that I can crochet passably, I’m working on my first plarn project. Here’s a sneak peak of the lunch bag-in-progress, based on Vickie Howell’s design from her book Aware Knits. More to come when I’ve finished.

Ever considered stopping your day’s writing just when it’s getting good?  If you’re like me, stingy for each rare day of free-flowing writing and wanting to squeeze the most out of them when they come, then I understand if you find this suggestion horrifying.

Starting the dernest hemingwayay’s writing can sometimes be the most rigorous part of a writer’s day.  Every writer has his own way of coping.  For all you NaNoWriMo folks out there, as well as the less-daring writers like myself, here’s a tip from a fairly successful writer.

Hemingway reportedly wrote 500-1000 words each day and stopped when he was going good.  That way he could pick up where he left off the next day.  Sometimes, he’d stop mid-sentence so that he’d have at least one-half of a sentence to write the next day.

How’s that for forethought?  How often do we just rush through an inspired days work until we’ve depleated the well of ideas?  Then what’s left for the next day’s writing?

I’m working on a short story today and I’ve decided to  try out Hemingway’s method.  If nothing else, I’ll have half a sentence written day and the assurance that I’ll have at least half a sentence to write tomorrow.



"The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate -- it is life, intensified, brilliant life." ~ Alain Arias-Misson


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