Never surrender!

Okay, I've done everything I can to get my ferrets to quit turning my desk drawers upside down. Now, it's time for some ferret-proof (hahahhaha) latches! But I want something that doesn't look like I'm waiting for the baby to outgrow this phase.

Any readers have suggestions?

I dream of a latch that mounts to the front of the drawer and locks around the corner (where am I getting this from????) but a quick web search revealed nothing like that. I'd like something classy looking---it's going on an IKEA Jonas cabinet!

That's all for now!

Secret Pal 9 Questionaire

Here it is, my Secret Pal 9 questionaire. For those not interested, tune in at a more reasonable hour for content! *grin*

  1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you
    absolutely *not* like?

    Currently, I'm buried in *nCream yarns (the dishcloth cotton stuff) which I've been enjoying. I also love wool (whether for felting or not).

    I've got a couple skeins of something scratchy that have been passed from knitter to knitter like Christmas fruitcake---they remind me of twine. I'm debating the ecological consequences of just throwing them out! Other than this stuff, I haven't really met a yarn I don't like.

  2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

    I bought an Eagle "Good To Go" 6-skein tote bag which came in a nice plastic box-ish thing. So far, that's it for needle storage.

  3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

    The first time, my host mother in Chile, South America taught me Continental style (I'm a leftie). It's been so long, I thought I'd never be able to knit again. But a couple years ago, my Mom found and sent me an old Coats & Clark "How to Knit" pamphlet for lefties. And suddenly, I
    can't stop! I'd say I'm somewhere in the intermediate range. I have not tried Fair Isle or intarsia yet. I'm almost done with my first sock.

  4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

    I do. I can be found under amazon (at) galacticlore (dot) com with no spaces in there. I'm seriously twisted---at last count, I think I have 13+ lists! (It's simply 'cause I keep them sorted by topic!)

  5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

    I have Fibromyalgia which means I'm sensitive to scents/smells. I tend to go with light "hints" of scent. I don't know what group of smell it falls into, but I'm drawn to things like "Fresh Rain" and "Morning Mist" (weird, yeah?)

  6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

    Oh yeah. I think all my teeth are sweet ones! I think my favorite candy is the one in my hand. *grin* Seriously, I'm into chocolate and new things (except for "bugs in chocolate" kind of new!). If it's not something I particularly like, I'm sure Randy (DH) or Nicky (DS)
    will like it!

  7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

    I'm currently learning to spin with a spindle (and drooling over Ashford's Traditional and Joy!). I make jewelry and stitch/row markers. My Mom loves my cross-stitch but I just don't have the patience for it
    any more. (I really should gift my supplies to a worthy person!)

    I paint minifigs for our roleplaying games, I design our character sheets, I play "architect" when the mood strikes. And when I can't find any other excuses not to, I write.

  8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

    I like just about anything. Two notable exceptions: rap/hip-hop and country music. The only way I listen to music is by saving my CDs to my computer---I prefer Ogg Vorbis format, but MP3 is fine too.

  9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

    My favorite color is purple in any shade. Other favorites are jewel tones of blue, red and green. I'm iffy on yellow in that "good morning, susy sunshine" shade that makes you reach for your gun or at least a heavy object. *grin*

  10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

    Married 16 years, son almost 14. Pets? Pets???? Hahahahahaha. Do I have pets? We are actually down to only four cats! And up to seven ferrets. *grin*

  11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

    Love ponchos! I really ought to make one of those one day! I live in South Carolina. This will be my first winter here since I was 5 years old, but I don't think I'll need scarves/hats/mittens. (And since I dream of relocating back to Arizona one day...)

  12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

    Dishcloths! Socks! ('Cause they're about the only things I've really finished that I've been pleased with.) I'm not as prolific as I'd like to be.

  13. What are you knitting right now?

    Dishcloths (pretty much for the rest of my life, thanks to the generous gifting of more cotton from my Mom!), socks, scarf for a friend, vest for my Mom...I think there's something I'm forgetting.

  14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

    Oh yes! I think there's something about knowing someone made something with their own hands for me!

  15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

    I used to think I'd be able to find the "perfect" needle and get rid of all the others. But I've realized that each project has its own needle it works best with. Right now, I'm loving the single pair of KnitPicks
    Options needles I bought myself.

    I love the 10" needles in aluminum for dishcloths. I love circulars for socks. Bamboo/wood I like less---simply because ferret teeth are hell on them! *grin*

  16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

    I have a nøstypinde which I love! It's not as easy on my shoulders, but I hope it will get easier with practice.

  17. How old is your oldest UFO?

    Well, let's see... Does it count if I've started and frogged it completely multiple times? Then it would be the blanket I promised my husband in 2004 (I think).

  18. What is your favorite holiday?

    I think that would be Thanksgiving---all the food and fun and family, none of the stress of getting things and wrapping them or making a wish list!

  19. Is there anything that you collect?

    Little giraffes for my desk. I don't know if it would be considered a "collection", but I do keep adding to my stash of mini-figs for RPGs. Yarn projects. *grin*

  20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

    I currently only have a subscription to Interweave Press Knits. I'd like to get a more frequent one, but I haven't done my research yet. I'm drooling over "Knit Today", a new UK-based magazine; their premier issue was really nice!

    Namaste glass sphere needles.

    I love the Opal sock yarns Rodeo and Lollipop.

    As for patterns, I'm a sucker for stuffed animals (hedgehogs, turtles, odd-ball animals)!

  21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

    How to actually knit all the yarn I currently have, so I can justify buying more! *grin* Pattern designing is my next goal actually. Especially felting designs---that whole shrinkage thing is the hard part!

  22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

    I knit socks, yes! My foot measurements? Huh. I never actually thought of doing that. I'll update this part of the questionaire as soon as I get those measurements! Update: I'm a women's 7 1/2 - 8 shoe and my foot measures about 9 - 9 1/2 inches from heel to big toe.

  23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

    February 26---I'm going to be 37 next year! (Oh, stop counting your fingers! It's 1970. *grin*)

And that's all for now!

Inventory Time

Today my plan is to do a general inventory of my current fiction works and see where I might want to start working. It'd be nice to complete some of my works, rather than starting something new (that would also need to be completed!). I've not decided if I want to start publishing them on my website yet. We'll see. I may send one of the stories out to Analog first.

As for knitting....*groan* I've started on the vest for Mom but this yarn is really annoying! It's a little stretchy; no matter how tight I try to knit, I keep ending up with a big loop at the end of a row (which means I need to go back through the row below what's on the needles and work that excess forward and back again. The pattern's a little frustrating too. It has 3 stitch patterns and the directions say to work 13 st in Pat I, 13 in Pat II and 13 in Pat III, twice, for 3.5 inches. That means on the return you've got to work III, II, I. and you've got to keep track of which row of the pattern you're on. And the patterns don't all have the same number of rows (2, 4 and 4). This is turning into a pattern I'll have to work on when not doing anything else. Whine-y me.

At least the yarn is pretty.

Also in the knitting genre, I'm trying to encourage Nick to keep knitting as well as pushing for Randy to learn. *grin* Randy may not stick with it once I do, but I like the idea of him trying--and me getting to teach him something!

I'm sure there's other stuff I could ramble about but I'm actually eager to get on my writing inventory so I can see what's what. So...

That's all for now.

Of Ferrets and Knitting...

....I've been lax in my posting lately.

Octavia seems to be doing better in general. Her bum is looking better---not puckering quite so much and maybe getting smaller. Her back leg is improving. I'm guessing she fell and landed funny or tusseled too much and injured it. In true ferret-fashion, she's motoring around despite the injury and it's healing in its time.

In other ferret news, I think my Deaf DEW---Kittanning---may be starting to hear. Has anyone ever heard of that happening before? I certainly haven't! He's showing signs of being startled by a noise that we can't consistently duplicate. Nick startled him the other day when he entered the library and Kit's back was to Nick. Did he hear Nick or did he feel Nick coming? We don't know.

Mom's visiting with her two ferrets, Fuskers and Winnie. Winnie is the pudgiest little girl you've ever seen! Her two nicknames are "Puddin' Belly" and "Jelly Belly". She feels like she has no bones to her! Fuskers has a stunning coat that defies category. I'd say he's closest to being a sable, but he has white toes and Shetland patches on his back legs. He's got a lot of yellow-toned fur that peeks out too. Winnie is a Blaze with a coat that keeps darkening.

As for knitting...I've not been doing much of it. I usually knit when we watch tv, which we haven't done a lot of recently (despite 2 Netflix DVDs we need to watch, plus our own Stargate, season 6!). We did watch some tv a couple nights ago, but I was "plucking" my Battle Hive to put more mini-figs away before the new order arrived (see the roleplaying post prior to this one).

I really need to finish "Her Scarf" (see the left panel "On the Needles"). And it's sad that I've all but completed my first sock (need to Kitchner it) and I haven't gotten back to it. I've got the second sock cast on and a number of rows done, but it's in that range of not-quite-mindless with a k2p2 rib.

I'm also still in dishcloth heaven. Mom ordered me the Mason-Dixon book (Yay!) and another book I don't know much about. I was telling her about Big Girl Knits and she ordered that one last night.

She won't let me pay for them, so that means in sneaky-daughter fashion, I have to find something she wants and buy it for her. *grin*

That's all for now.

Wow, that was fast!

I found a great online store the other night that sells Reaper miniatures at really great prices. I ordered early on the 5th of October---enough to get free shipping! (I'm such a sucker. But really, I was planning on buying all of the figs and dice that I did at some point, so why not do it now and not pay for the shipping. Make sense?)

Anyway, the package arrived this afternoon! That was fast. And everything was exactly right. If you're looking for a good place to get some miniatures, check out Miniature Market. I'm saying this only as a satisfied customer, YMMV.

In this shipment, I got 9 dice sets (GM bribe) and 10 mini-figs. I'm the only one in the house that likes to purchase figs that aren't "planned" for a character of mine. Based on the way Reaper discontinues older models, I want to get the good ones while I can. This means we have a surplus of townsfolk and various other people to use, but not a whole lot of the "monsters" we encounter on adventures. I guess I just buy the good-looking mini-figs. Of these, Werner Klocke has my vote as an outstanding sculptor.

That's all for now.

Time to get back at it...

It never fails: the weather starts cooling and my mind starts turning towards writing again. This time, I'm relieved because it's been a long hiatus and I was starting to question whether I wanted to continue writing or not.

Some of you know I applied last year for Clarion West and didn't make the cut. It was a busy summer. I was Matron of Honor in a wedding the week Clarion would have started. A week before the wedding (and Clarion), was the car accident.

[rant] And if that isn't a clue that drinking + driving = bad things, you need your head examined! I was evacuated by helicopter to a trauma hospital from this accident, thanks to the f*ckers who thought Coors Light went well with Sunday driving. [/rant]

I still don't know which event, if either, has caused the dry spell in the writing. I've had a number of ideas, started writing on them and plffft. Nothing. It lays there on the page like rotting pasta. (My what an attractive image. Hope you weren't eating dinner and reading this!)

But now, I'm feeling the urge to get back to work on the first novel and figure out that ending. Get back to the second novel and do a complete revision. Get back to the third novel and....hmm, maybe trash it and start over. I don't know.

Mom has been bugging me to get back to the writing because she thinks I've got talent. Awww. That's what moms are for, aren't they? I've shared a couple of my favorite authors with her and she'll call me the minute she finishes one of my borrowed books to tell me my writing is so much more colorful or my characters are better developed. *grin* Everyone needs someone like my Mom in their corner!

Randy gives me my critical reviews, challenging me to write better and more concisely---'cause I can go on and on! He blows no sunshine and pulls no punches, so when he likes my work, I'm tickled. Since he reads the genre almost as voraciously as I do, I think that's a good thing.

But it all comes down to the publishers. And so far, my vision is not what the publishers want. Which brings me to the reason for the year-long crisis of faith with my writing: why do I write?

I'll say first and foremost, because these stories keep pouring out of me and I have to write them down and see where they're going. But there's a part of me that wants to help bring the science-fiction shelf back to its heyday---a heyday that was already dwindling by the time I started reading it.

I'll admit it'd be pretty damn cool to walk into a Borders or Barnes & Noble---or even browse Amazon.com--and see one of my books on the shelves. And it'd be even cooler to have people out there I don't know who love my characters as much as I do (or more!).

So, I'm still debating whether to start posting my stories on my website and letting them "be free" or keep fighting the fight and get paid for all my hard work. And that has added fuel to the hiatus which is hopefully ending. Right now, I think I don't need to have all those answers to decide to keep writing. I'm going to slide back into it, with the same love and joy of it I had before and not fret the publication for now.

Once again claiming myself a writer, I can still say, "That's all for now."

But there may be a sequel. *wink*

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