Clawing At Skills

So, my mum has taught me to purl.

Three days ago she demonstrated but it went flying over my head. We sat down, I demonstrated what I was doing, and about one stitch in she identified the problem. About half an hour later I’ve managed it. I’ve knit one row and purled the next.

This is for an iPod cozy, or something of that ilk. Have I said this before, that I’m planning an Etsy store? Well, I am, and once I’ve mastered (should it be mastered, as I’m a woman?) knit-purl-knit I plan to tackle multi-colour knitting.

More to come on the Etsy store. For now I have to do a lot more K-P-K and not botch my casting-off.

Oh, and tomorrow’s Collaborative Novel update comes to you from Co-Author.

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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Miscellaneous


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Word Count

I’m on the fence here.

See, I love word counts of all size. Thin books or thick, odds are there’s at least one on my bookcase.

Short word counts for a poem: I’ve been known to put twenty words to a stanza, have three stanzas and ten words of opening/closing lines. Even with my terrible maths, that equals eighty words a poem. I like this because it’s weightier than a haiku, and the format suits me. It’s not a sonnet in Shakespeare’s sense, but it generally gives me enough room to toy with words and fuss with meaning. I’m of the opinion (and I apologize now for any pretension) that when you limit your word count each word you do pick carries more meaning.

Longer word counts: flash fiction, short stories, novels. One time I tried a poem, then it ran to about forty lines and was vague enough that I didn’t like it as a poem. I decided it was basically an outline for a short story. Still mapping out general ideas on that, and have muttered promises in the dark of night that one day I’ll self-publish. (If Sarah mutters something in the dark of night and no-one hears, did she say anything?)

This isn’t to say I automatically appreciate a long word count. For instance, some of the Harry Potter books were made a bit weightier by exposition – running through a brief What Happened Last. If I did this I’d probably slash it from my novel, though I can see the uses of it.

I also find that my word count relates to my own habits, when speaking in conversation. Sometimes I’m verbose – have you ever sat down to chat and found yourself in a much longer conversation than expected? Sometimes I’m not, I convey meaning through one or two words. It kind of depends on my mood: sometimes I want to tell a lot and sometimes I don’t. Overall, I guess I just write to my moods, I don’t always track word counts. (Come back in November, ask how my Word Count Spreadsheet And PowerPoint are going) I don’t write to meet a specific word count, I write to express.

(Sorry for any pretension. I’ll be going now)

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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Daily Prompt


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set the date.

date set, find someone
to accompany you.
five or six hours
tiring yet exhilarating.

pick up gown and
headpiece, perfectly fitting.
wrangle another outfit together
ready for photographers.

an hour of travel
is acceptable here.
today the world smiles
upon you, thrilled.

the ceremony begins.

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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Poetry


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Theme By Theme

Today’s Blogging 101 Assignment: Try at least three other themes.

I like playing with the theme of my blog, and I think I could probably say I’ve already done this one too.

Every year on the anniversary of my first post, I change the theme. I consider this as a present to my blog – if my blog can have a birthday it can get presents, and I enjoy the change of look each year. Stops it getting stale, is my thought. My first one, though it took me about a year to realize, was something a bit weddingy, a bit bridal. As I’m neither a wedding planner nor a bride I had really no need for either, which brings me to…

The second year, during which I had the random-polka-dots one. It had a bold black heading and polka dots at the top of the screen, and by the end of the year I was tired of it. It was pretty, but boring. And this brings us to the current theme.

I now have something decorated in a chocolatey tone, because it’s chocolate, and it looks like a page from a journal. This last point appeals to the side of me that still writes on paper, that still gets satisfaction from filling a notebook up entirely.

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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Blogging 101


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Thought Scramble

The dreaded freewrite.

Time to write. What do I write, what do I say in ten minutes?

Exactly ten minutes but who’s counting? How do you judge ten minutes on a digital clock anyway, the kind that doesn’t show seconds? Argh. One minute down, but I think it’s more like thirty seconds.

I feel very clever now I’ve learnt how to cast off my knitting. Finished my first item for the future Etsy store, a little coin purse the size of a credit card. Don’t know how I’m going to fasten it, thought of one of those snappy clips but then the coins could still come loose. Zips might work. I really do need to start that store.

Now working on a sock for an iPod, same shade of blue as the coin purse.

Almost a month and I haven’t heard back about that SEO job for which I applied. Back to the drawing board, on with the job search.

I wonder how I’m going to tag this.

Keep thinking about certain things. Did something the other day, nothing illegal or bad or anything, and it was the kind of thing that doesn’t feel quite real. I would say more here about it but that would spoil the poem I have planned.

Another two poems coming up soon, and one notebook almost full. Maybe I’ll sift through and find the best, compile them into a book of poetry. Do people still read books of poetry? Six minutes gone.

Oops. I should’ve written down the other poem idea while I thought of it, it’s gone now. Wait, no, it’s come back. Eleven days. Wonder if someone will get the double meaning. No, they probably will, people who blog are smart.

Just took a moment to recognize how bad I am at maths, the university maths department is losing no sleep over my choice of English major. Actually if I did major in maths that’d probably be an indication we’re in a parallel universe. “I subscribe to the theory of multiple universes but in none of them is Sarah a maths major.”

I wonder what maths students do? Do they just focus on numbers, is there a history of maths and theories? See, this is why I took English, because you get to read books and write essays.

One minute remaining.

And while I was adding on to that other little paragraph I finished up my tenth minute, so done.


Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Daily Prompt


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Dream Reader

Today’s Blogging 101 Assignment: Publish a post for your dream reader and include a new-to-you element.

Alright, here’s a little confession: I did this some time ago quite apart from any writing challenges, Daily Prompts or other ideas. Two pieces are generally new to me: one, I titled it with numbers. To look at the numbers there’s no logic to them, no sense. If you’re looking for sequential numbers, they are not here. Why did she put these numbers together, in this way, I imagined people wondering. No-one has guessed or asked, but to me it makes sense.

The second new thing is the bracketed stanzas. I won’t share with you the purpose there; I shall leave it up for you to think about. Generally I don’t put things in brackets – I like to be straightforward. Well, as much as I can be when my intent might be to misdirect you.

Ooh – one other thing. The length. Those of you who are very familiar with my poems will see that I generally go with a fourteen-line structure. One opening line, three four-line stanzas and a closing line. Yet this poem fits none of these.

As an aside, I daresay this is one of my favourites.

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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Blogging 101, Poetry


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the haunting

you’re here even when you’re not.

tall dark shadow or a
somber pale ghost, beckoning me.
draw my attention to you
entranced, i can’t get away.

and you’re here, there or
wait, maybe there or here.
either way i remain trapped
stuck fast by your scrutiny.

and so it goes that
sleep should be my respite.
this secret peace should be
mine but it never works.

i don’t dare sleep lest i dream of you.


Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Fiction, Poetry


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