A few weeks ago, I scheduled a couple days away at a hotel so I could put my head down and get some serious word count done on my novel. When I book a hotel for work...I do just that and only that. I bring my own food, get a room with a kitchen or kitchenette, and do not go see the sights or visit friends or leave the room for the entire time I have reserved. I just work. Unfortunately, I came down with some sort of flu-like thing, so while I did get a lot of work done on the novel (the next steampunk, COLD COPPER) it wasn't the best of get-away-to-get-work-done experiences. It did however, make me realize that we were grasping the frayed edges of summer and had not taken even a weekend off for family time. So I called a quick meeting with hubby and the boys. We could all carve out exactly 3 days before the end of September: a Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We decided a quick train trip might be fun. The problem with the Monks and trains, is that every time we plan a train getaway, it falls through. Once, Amtrak shut down all their service due to issues with the underbellies of the passenger cars. Another time our car blew an engine most spectacularly as we were driving to catch the train. Third time's the charm, right? I'm happy to say: RIGHT! We caught Amtrak up to Vancouver, BC on Thursday, with a 2 hour layover in Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, we stopped at a comic shop and grabbed up some reading material. Boys read, Husband relaxed and I knitted until I couldn't feel my fingers. *happy sigh* But since it was such a last-minute vacation, we had made zero plans for what to do once we arrived in Vancouver. On Friday morning over breakfast in our hotel, we decided a day spent walking would be best since both Thursday and Saturday were 10+hours sitting on the train. We pointed at a map, and went here: Capilano Suspension Bridge It was a wonderful place to explore, and we had a great time! For the remaining hours of the day, we walked around our hotel area. We found a terrifically cluttered used bookstore I could have lost half a day in, and of course, wandered through Gastown to see the steam clock, drink some coffee, and shop the shops. Then, before dawn on Saturday, we were back on the train. Our layover in Seattle, Washington gave us time to grab some food and buy a wind-up moon rover that is currently exploring our refrigerator surface. All-in-all it was a wonderful mini-vaca. Just goes to show that sometimes the unplanned, spur-of-the-moment stuff in life is the most fun. 🙂
A few weeks ago, writer and fellow Deadline Dame, Karen Mahoney mentioned that she was going to use Facebook as a sort of writer's journal--a place to keep track of her daily writing progress. I liked that idea, and thought I might give it a try. So last week, (well, Monday - Thursday) I kept a writer's journal on Facebook. I also, (of course) came down with some sort of flu thing, so was feeling pretty crummy and whinged about it a lot. I'm undecided if I like keeping a public journal about the daily slugfest between me and the words on the page. What do you think? Is it an interesting thing to see, or is it just more noise (and whinging) in the land of the internets? In case you didn't get a chance to read the posts, I'll recap them here for your amusement. 🙂 Also, I have some cool news I've been keeping under wraps that I can now share. I will post it tomorrow! Writing Journal - Day 1: Worked on the book. 5,530 words for the day. Plot feels slow, but it's likely my impatience to just get this down so I can fix the thing. Our heroes have discovered another piece in the plot, learned some people aren't what they seem to be, and managed not to fall to their deaths. Also, there may have been guns. And kissing. Writing Journal - Day 2: I planned to get a LOT of writing done today, then drive off to a hotel, lock the door and get EVEN MORE writing done for the next two days. So what did I do? Got sick all day. Muscle aches, stomach ache, like a flu except maybe no fever. Still packed my crap up, saved all my files, bought a new notebook (and a ball of rubber bands. No, I don't know how the rubber bands are going to help me write either) cleaned house, did all the leaving-the-house stuff, attended a meeting with two of my writer friends, and hit the road. Am going to bed early in hopes I can out-sleep this horrible ick. Wish me luck. Writing Journal - Day 3 Woke up sick. Same horrible ick did not go away while I tossed and turned last night, darn it all. With water and saltine crackers at hand I got to work. I wrote 4500 words, much less than I'd hoped to get through, but even brushing my teeth made me break out in a cold sweat, so I guess I can't be too hard on myself.
What happened in the story so far? Our heroes have investigated a strange happening, revealed secrets they never thought they'd share and have discovered one half of a two-part dangerous scheme they will have to foil, or die trying. Also, I had a character Reveal Something that I had not expected. Hmm. The plot thickens. Off to bed with me and my ick. Tomorrow is a new day!
Writing Journal - Day 4 Today I wrote 6517 words. I had hoped for more (those five words may become my refrain from now until deadline, lol) but I'm glad I got that much done. In the last two days I've written 11,020 words, so that's not too bad.
What exciting things have happened? Well, there was a confrontation in a jail cell, a life-threatening crash, and oh, yes, there was more kissing. How does all that kissing get in there? A long-lost loved one arrived on scene and someone did something at great personal sacrifice to help our heroes. I have left our valiant characters teetering on the edge of all hell breaking loose. It's gonna be fun to watch them try to get out of *that* tomorrow.
You may know this guy: Alan Tudyk who plays Wash on this terrific show: You might know this guy too: Martin Freeman, who plays Watson on this excellent show: Watson wears a sweater in the show that I suddenly really, really wanted to knit! (Did I suddenly really, really want to knit it because I'm procrastinating on getting my word count done today? Um....I'll get back to you on that later.) Here's Watson's sweater: I even found a pattern for it on Ravelry, and was all ready to start knitting when I suddenly realized.... ...Wash wore a sweater I liked too, and I started knitting it 2-ish years ago and never finished it. What to do? Should I start a new sweater or finish the old? Watson or Wash? Wash or Watson? I couldn't have gotten very far on Wash's sweater. Maybe I should start fresh with my improved knitting skills. After some serious debate (ha!) on Twitter and Facebook, I pulled out Wash's sweater. Here it is: I had no idea I'd gotten all the way to just under the arms! Knit in the round, it is easily halfway done. I'm not loving the weird pulling on the stitches around the center cable, but I think this was my first cable project and I recall that spot really throwing me. I've had more cable practice since then, and could probably make the sweater much cleaner. Maybe I'll pull it back a bit, fix it up and get knitting again like a leaf on the wind! And then I'll have the coziest sweater in the 'verse to wear while I'm knitting Watson's sweater. Knit two sweaters from two shows I love? Why, yes. It's elementary, my dear.
My friend is having a baby and said hand made gifts were welcome at her shower. So I did some knitting! First, the front of the blanket: And now the material for the back... Together... And a little something else for fun: Pretty cunning, dontcha think? Pattern Details: Union Jack Pattern: Debbie Bliss To make the cushion pattern a blanket, I used bulky yarn (Loops and Threads "Charisma") and #11 US (8.0 mm) needles. Blanket measured roughly 4o x 34 inches (101 x 86 cm) Jayne Hat: Sweet Tea Soakers Yarn: Vanna's Choice Medium Needle: #8 US (5.0 mm) Hat modification: Cast on 54 stitches for approx. 13 inch (not stretched) circumference Ear flaps: Cast on 13 stitches for ear flaps knit to 1.5 inch length then decreased