2015 Goals: June Status Report


1. Work towards getting The Muse published.

Chapter 1 has officially been deleted! I am now in the final stage of restructuring Chapter 2 as the new beginning. The trick was keeping in mind the list of things agents hate to see in an opening chapter, (see Killing Chapter 1). The more I mulled over this list, the more I realized it applies not only to agents, but readers as well.

Gone are all the references to weather descriptions, the sky, and a main character waking up. With the new beginning, the reader is dropped right in the middle of the main character’s life. Bit by bit, her story comes into focus without any sort of an information dump. I’m liking the breadcrumb approach a lot more and I think this set up allows my main character’s personality to take center stage.

Next on the agenda is doing another read through to make sure the rest of the novel is not impacted by the deletion of Chapter 1. I’ve got to dig through each section to ensure there are no references to anything that was mentioned in the old beginning. There are a few things I’m already aware of from memory and I’m sure I’ll find more!

A writer’s work is never done!

2. Start writing Lineage.

My muse is starting to talk for this project. I’m anxious to see where she takes me.

3. Submit poetry.

Once again, I participated in the Poetic Asides community via Writer’s Digest. As always, I find the prompts challenging and the community inspiring.

I also completed another month of National Haiku Writing Month’s daily prompts via NaHaiWriMo’s Facebook Page. June prompts all started with the letter R and were quite challenging. Still, I managed to write one or two haikus each day.

4. Don’t give up or get distracted.

Free time in the summer can be a blessing for a writer, but also an invitation to distraction. There are always so many things I want to do! Luckily, I was able to find a nice balance between writing and other projects each day.

5. Be flexible.

My journal is coming with me to the wilds of Oregon this week. I’m anxious to see what will inspire me.

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And let’s not forget the word of the year:


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How are you doing with your 2015 goals?

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c.b.w. 2015


Favorite Thing Friday: Veil of Rosebuds Socks


Sometimes I’m looking for a challenge when I pick up my knitting needles. After knitting some relatively simple ribbed socks, I decided to try a lace sock pattern called Veil of Rosebuds, (via The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Anne Hanson). I’d been drooling over this pattern ever since I got the book last year.

A fancy pattern deserves fancy yarn, so I dug through my stash and found a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Arco Iris. This fabulous merino wool is soft, sturdy, and a joy to knit. The best part, however, is the color scheme – gorgeous shades of green, brown, dusty pink, and golden yellow.

A great pattern + beautiful yarn = awesome socks!


Veil of Rosebuds Socks in Malabrigo yarn (Arco Iris)

The pattern is extremely well written, which I’ve come to expect from The Knitter’s Book of Socks. The pattern stitch is written out both in list form and as a chart, (it’s nice to have a choice!). In addition, detailed instructions on stitch counts for each needle made it so easy to follow each phase of the sock (i.e. leg, heel, toe).

It’s tricky to keep track of lace stitches on the needles because of constant stitch increases and decreases. One missed yarn over can screw up the entire row!  To keep better track of stitch count, I placed markers at the end of each 14 stitch pattern repeat. After each 14 stitch repetition, I counted stitches to make sure I had the required 14 stitches for each section between the markers. If I don’t get the right number, I know I missed something and I don’t have to unknit an entire row to find it.

This sock marks the first time I’ve knit a short row heel on needles. I’ve done countless short row heels (and toes) on a sock loom, but never on needles! It’s quite a different experience. It’s a lot harder to spot wrapped stitches. Again, I used markers in front of the last wrapped stitch so I didn’t get lost. Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out and loved the absence of a gusset (picking up stitches is a pain!).

The last fun part of these socks was the arrival of my new sock blockers. These plastic forms allow me shape socks for photographs and maintain the shape of socks that try to shrink during washing (I’ve got a pair that partially felted and this should fix those right up size wise!). I love them!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015




A new chapter of black out poetry begins! As I continue to explore this medium, I’m trying out different styles of obscuring text including line patterns and rubber stamping. In addition, I’m using new source material – a classic YA novel. I found A Separate Peace by John Knowles on the library discard shelf. It’s clearly seen better days and I think its about time this battered edition was reinvented into a beautiful collection of found art.



It’s been 115° for the last week, so I figured this was a good one to get Round 2 rolling.

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Black Out Poetry: c.b.w. 2015
Source: A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Stamp: Sun With Face Soleil by Rubber Stampede

More Black Out Poetry

Where to Write?


When I started writing seven years ago, it was easy to find a place to write. There were four bookstores within a 10 mile radius of my house, all of which had coffee shops with free Wi-Fi. It was a writer’s paradise with unlimited space and inspiration.

Being a coffee shop writer, I loved having the ability to change my atmosphere by simply choosing a different freeway exit. Each coffee shop had it’s own feel and I could choose which one fit what I was going to write that day.

Over the last few years, my options have dwindled considerably. First, Borders went out of business, taking with it two of my writing locations in one shot. Then, back in December 2014, a Barnes and Noble disappeared from the radar. There goes favorite writing spot #3.

Only one writing spot has managed to survive and I’m lucky that it happens to be my favorite. But here’s the thing – even my favorite spot can get stale after a long stretch without a break. Without a change of scenery, inspiration and motivation runs dry.  I see the same people every day (although I love the people that work in my favorite spot) and see the same things.

Sameness brings a certain level of comfort (which I often enjoy), but I’m starting to get antsy and even bored. Writers need spark and I am seriously in danger of losing my spark. I’ve tried writing at home, but there is so much distraction thanks to one husband, five furkids, and the TV. I need to be out and about with endless background activity and conversations to wake up my muse.

There is a nice little Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf nearby and I am starting to explore it’s possibility as a new writing spot. The only issue I’m having has to do with the coffee. It’s good, but it’s not my muse juice. I may have to experiment with the menu to see if there’s some magic elixir hiding somewhere in the latte options.

I live in a city that has almost no stand alone coffee shops. Maybe its because I live in a desert where cold smoothies are the thing or maybe there simply isn’t a coffee culture. Almost everywhere I’ve been from Europe to Asia, I’ve always been able to find a coffee shop. I’ve written in coffee shops in London, Killarney, Florence, and Shanghai, which makes it even more baffling to me that I can’t find a decent coffee shop/writing spot where I live.

Part of my writing goals for the summer includes scoping out new writing spots. I don’t want my favorite (and last bastion) to become that blah spot I once liked, so I have to find some new places to put into rotation. Hopefully, there is a magic spot or two waiting to be discovered!

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Where do you write? I’m open to all possible ideas!

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c.b.w. 2015