For My Friend

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We must have seemed odd
to those who passed by
Opposites in every way
except on the inside
No need to explain Party of One
I understood you,
and you understood me
as no one else could
Over countless cups of coffee,
we pondered the meaning of life
and other silly things
And let’s not forget the music,
Junip and jazz still sing in my head
We read Maisie Dobbs and F. Scott Fitzgerald,
along with Willa Cather and Steinbeck, too
Ah, the books we treasured
and the stories we shared
I don’t have your picture,
but I’ll never forget your face
Nor how you taught me
the real source of strength
Without you there is an empty space
Thank you for being my friend,
until the very end

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Recently, a dear friend of mine passed away. While the sadness is sometimes overwhelming, so is the joy I have in the memories of the moments we shared.  Our friendship was something really special and I already miss it.

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c.b.w. 2014

Favorite Thing Friday: Embossed Leaf Socks

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I never thought knitting a pair of white socks would be any fun, so I surprised myself when I decided I needed a pair of white socks for the days when what I have to wear doesn’t match up with the socks in my drawer. This happens a lot at the end of the week or when I slack on getting the laundry done!

Thus began the great white sock pattern hunt! I wanted something simple, yet pretty to make my white socks anything but boring. As soon as I saw the pattern for Embossed Leaf Socks, I knew I found exactly what I was looking for. While the pattern looks complicated, it only uses five stitches. If you can knit, purl, knit 2 together, knit 2 together (through back loop), and purl 2 together you can make these socks!

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Embossed Leaf Socks – These are definitely not boring!

The pattern itself is extremely well written insofar as it does a really good job of describing what stitches go on what needle. Needle knitting socks can be tricky as you’re usually fiddling with three or four stitch needles and one knitting needle. Sometimes patterns assume you know how to move stitches when splitting the heel flap and adding gusset stitches. This pattern, however, is very specific and assumes nothing!

One of the things I really love about these socks is the toe. Instead of a plain stockinette stitch, purl stitches are peppered throughout the toe to create a petal pattern that nicely compliments the leafy lace of the sock.

I made one adjustment in that I chose not to do the twisted rib cuff dictated by the pattern. Instead, I went for the easier 1×1 rib. This was mainly because I started these socks on vacation and it’s tough to learn a new technique when I’m not in my usual craft space.

While I now have a pair of white socks that go with everything, now I have the problem of being afraid to wear them! They are so pretty and I don’t want them to get dirty! I’m sure I’ll get over it as I always do.

With my socks done, I’m now busy knitting baby blankets. Two of my friends are expecting – one in September and one in January. At first I thought about making a baby sweater for each, but then I realized we live in a desert and the kid will outgrow it before he/she can wear it. So, I decided a lightweight blanket is both universal and practical. Perfect.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

 

 

 

Clearing The First Hurdle

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When I sent my manuscript to my editor, I made a mental list of things I’d be willing to fight for if they disappeared or were changed beyond recognition. The list is actually very short, seeing as I walked into the process determined to stay open-minded to change.

In reading chapters five through ten, I knew one of my list items was on the horizon. And it wasn’t just any list item, it was one of my favorite parts of the entire story. As soon as I saw the heading for Chapter 10, I took a deep breath and hoped my original vision was largely intact.

Chapter 10 is a turning point in the story as this is where Ian’s secret is forced out of him. He can’t hide anymore and Amanda learns the truth behind his presence in her life. This moment between them is both emotional and magical.

What makes this particular part of the story so important to me is somewhat sentimental. It’s the first conversation I ever “heard” between my main characters, Amanda and Ian. There voices chimed into my imagination with such shocking clarity, I felt more like a transcriptionist than a writer.

The question, however, was whether my editor would see it the way I do. Her changes through chapters five through nine were relatively subtle (and extremely well done) and that gave me a little boost of confidence as I jumped into Chapter 10. That being said, I still made sure I wore my thick skin before reading even a single line. Thick skin is an important wardrobe accessory for any writer reading through edits!

After the first big breath at the start of the chapter, I don’t think I exhaled until the page before Chapter 11. Then, it took every bit of control I had not to jump up out of my chair and do a happy dance. The dialogue was relatively untouched and my original vision remained totally intact. The changes she made were quiet, yet powerful in that she made what I wrote flow with a little more elegance.

Now, I can relax a bit as one huge item on my list made it through my editor’s radar. Another big list item is coming in Chapter 12 and I’m still wondering what happened to my missing 23 pages and 7,000 words! But, for now, I’ll just bask in the fact that one hurdle has been cleared.

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c.b.w. 2014