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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Holiday Crafting

It never fails.

Every holiday season I attempt to make things for people and then life happens, and general holiday hub-bub gets in the way and few, if any, crafts actually make it into folks’ hot little hands.

I even started early this year…amend that. I started as early as NaNo and my other distractions allowed. Bah.

Projects for this year included:

  • A Duck Tape Creeper stocking for my pirate mister
  • A lamp for my cousin*
  • Recipe cards for my aunt
  • A knitted red wooly cap for my friend
  • Various photography projects such as a Christmas card featuring our new little person


But that really only kind of happened.

The lamp is 85 percent complete. I (mostly) followed the tutorial but ran into some issues. Like the fact that I thought I had a better place to cut the wires other than right at the socket. Cutting them at the base may have worked, but I haven’t had the chance to test it out yet as when I bought the lamp base from Ikea I neglected to get the right size bulb. also, the light saber does too wobble and I am not sure if that is acceptable to my perceived level of personal craftmanship.

The recipe cards made good sense in my head, I just ran out of time before our Christmas Eve’s Eve celebration with my aunts. Turns out though that the intended aunt has a unique way of storing her recipes and delaying this one a bit will be a serendipitous thing. Now I can adjust my plans in order to accommodate her filing system which will greatly enhance the likelihood that she’ll try some of the veggie goodness I am sending her way.

I know better than to attempt knitted projects for Christmas unless they are already complete by the month of December. But she commutes to campus this year and a bit of her day consists of waiting out by the bus shelter. It’s cool though. Classes don’t start back up for another couple of weeks so if I knit like a fiend for the next couple of days, she might get it before May.

Meanwhile, we now have a garage door that opens and closes when you push a button and Mr. Pirate will be using part of his use-it-or-lose-it time off next week to sand the floors in the baby’s future room and in the library. As a result, we’ll be able to start putting the pirate/ninja baby’s room together soon.

So yes. Life is good and happy end of 2012 y’all!

*April, if you’re reading this, pretend to be surprised anyway, okay?



44,972 Words: My Personal Best Novel

This year I did not win NaNoWriMo and that’s okay.

Last night at our final write-in at IHOP, with an hour left until midnight I realized that I couldn’t keep my eyes open and that the “words” I was typing were pure gibberish. I had 5,028 words left to go and I just threw in the universal survival towel.

I am not a quitter by nature, but realizing that I’d been awake for almost 24 hours, that the platypus fetus was getting really uncomfortable and fidgety, that greasy diner food just wasn’t going to cut it, and that I’d technically finished the story some 3,000 words prior gave me permission to be done.

That’s why I consider this year’s novel my “Personal Best.”

This November a lot of life stuff happened.

  • My big sister got married in the Bahamas.
  • I had a cold for the entire month.
  • I am four months full of baby in the making.
  • Took said fetus to its first funeral.
  • As a result of said funeral, scrapped my two first attempts at writing this month’s novel and started over, from scratch, on day 14.

Yep. For this year, good enough is in fact just that

For the last five years, NaNoWriMo has become my personal tradition for November. I send my inner editor packing for the month and set out to write those 50,000 words of a beautifully  awkward rough draft. Over the course of writing a novel in a month characters appear and disappear. Names of places get changed, altered and expanded for additional word count padding and in the end I have some sort of sloppy story frame on which to hang future revisions.

Because after all, you can’t edit a blank page.

When this whole writing a novel thing caught on as an actual thing that people do, it spelled the end of the someday novelist. As in, “Someday I’d like to write a novel.” I first heard about NaNo while in college when a friend started talking about the novel she was writing. In a month. Like right before the end of the term. No big deal.

My jaw dropped a little because as an English major I think I was still holding onto this silly belief that you need someone’s permission to write something that big. You know, like a professor or at the very least, a publishing house. But that was before the Kindle and major online self-publishing made having an idea for a novel — no matter how caffeine-fueled and two-bit the idea is — a practical reality.

Or at least, that’s how I see the upward trend in NaNo’s popularity. There’s a young writer’s component now wherein middle and high school age students write novels in conjunction with their regular English class curriculum. They even have another month, and another event set aside for writing screen plays. And at the end of the day, the whole thing is run by an eight-person nonprofit. Really, it’s pretty epic.

I have found community through NaNo. In Georgia, I’m pretty sure that meeting the local not-Atlanta branch of writers and being adopted by them helped keeping me from going completely insane. Here in Colorado, it’s nice to know that once a year I can just drop in to people’s lives and be there without any other commitments attached.

So this weekend, my pirate mister and I are going to work on tending to the mountain of dirty dishes in the sink. Play video games, get out and go for a bike ride and resume being functional adults.

Maybe I’ll even get out of my pajamas.