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12 posts from April 2010

About Saturday's SigningApril 28, 2010

Just a note, if you're planning to come to the signing on Saturday in Columbus (see here), I should make it clear that it's NOT a reading, it's a whole huge room of 300 authors (see here for list), all signing their books. And there's a five dollar cover charge. I just wouldn't want you to drive a long way to say hi, and then find out there are lines and charges. And no reading.

However, I would still LOVE to see you and say hi, iffen you wanna come by.

On The Round RoundupApril 27, 2010

1. Stitches South was awesome. I met approximately one bazillion knitters, and sold a bunch of books, and spent time with the amazing Carolina Homespun booth (Morgaine, Lann, and Nada), and grinned like a fool-idiot for hours at a time. Best parts? When strangers who hadn't ever heard of my blog came up to me and told me that they'd loved the book. One woman told me she'd forgotten to pick up her kids at school as she raced to the end of it. Heh. And I met long-time readers who felt like old friends. Oh, yay. Loved it.

2. Saw the gang.

X2_12d62a2
Look how cute the twins are with their babies, one out, one in. ADORABLE.

3. Hotels rock for sleep. I had one rough night (and the convention center kept giving me killer headaches that would almost morph into migraines and then get chased away by sleep), but for the most part, I sleep so well in hotels. Especially in this Best Western in Columbus (near the airport). Dang, this is a fine, cheap Pricelined hotel with a huge, comfortable bed, pretty furnishings, not-too-stale air, and a shuttle driver (Frederick) who puts all the others to shame (and he's a writer!). But today I move again, to be closer to the Romantic Times convention.

4. Today I get to go yarn-crawling with editor Theresa Stevens of Red Sage. We're making a tradition of it, convention-wise, and I think it's a very fine thing to do. And she rocks.

5. I am so glad we don't, have never, and never will have a TV in the bedroom. I learned last night how fun it is to flip channels (I NEVER FLIP CHANNELS) and watch dumb TV in bed. No wonder so many people do it! I'd have a serious TV problem if there were one in the bedroom. And there's nothing like falling asleep in front of Hoarders to stir up dreams of chaos. (Can't wait to get home and tear apart and reorganize my office. I will finally do it, I swear.)

6. Just ate free breakfast from downstairs. I never knew eggs could come shaped like that. 

7. More adventures coming!

Come Say Hi! April 21, 2010

I'm getting ready to travel! Woot! I'll be at Stitches South in Atlanta all weekend, at the Carolina Homespun booth. Come say hello!

And then I'll be in Columbus next week, and I'll be back at the Carolina Homespun booth on the Sunday of Maryland Sheep and Wool* so I'd love to meet you if possible.

DETAILS HERE.

And oh, my goodness, I'm at work tonight (3am, just three more hours to go), then I'll get off work, go home, try to install mobile broadband on my computer** (ACK!), finish some laundry, pay some bills, and PACK before getting on the plane. I'm not counting on getting a nap before I leave, although it would be nice. There is something soothing about dropping exhausted onto a plane, though, isn't there? It'll be like a daytime red-eye flight for me. I used to say I didn't sleep on planes, but it isn't true -- I don't sleep GRACEFULLY on planes, that's all. If you're seated next to me and I snore a bit, I hope you won't mind.

* I'll never forget when my friend Monica heard me say Sheep and Wolf Festival instead of Sheep and Wool Festival. It does, indeed, sound like that, and it is, indeed, alarming heard that way.

** Mobile broadband, through my cell phone attached to my computer -- going with this through Verizon for the two weeks I'll be gone, since it'll be way cheaper than using hotel wifi anywhere (and you can cancel it when you come home!). Here's hoping it works. We're living in the future, people. Where's my jetpack?

The Avett BrothersApril 18, 2010

Ahhhh. I just got home from an Avett Brothers show, and I'm here to tell you (again) that you should go see them when you can. They put on a show like no one else -- they just get up and play -- no real on-stage banter, just music.

And if you don't know them yet, I have a feeling you will. They're the real deal. So here's a little primer set of videos for your enjoyment.

#1 A whole show! Three acoustic songs in the NPR offices. OH SO GOOD.

#2 This is a little of what it's like to be at a show:


#3 Murder in the City.

I love this song. Oh, oh, oh. (And tonight, when he sang the last verse, he substituted "my daughter" and "her mother" for "sister" and "mother." The awwwws from the women in the crowd curled upward like smoke. 

If you buy one album, I'd buy Emotionalism. Enjoy.

Leah finds the book in Target!April 15, 2010

-1

My friend Stephanie's daughter Leah finds the book. I think no one has smiled that big to find it since *I* did. What a face!

You Know SO MUCHApril 14, 2010

I knew you did. Please know that I read each and every comment, and thank you so much for sharing with me. It means the world.

I've decided to follow the plan of the book Heal Your Headache, and forgive me if I'm not fun at all for a while while I give up caffeine, alcohol, and almost all foods I like. (NO CHEESE? NO AVOCADO?) Hey, but if it works? It'll be worth it. And if it doesn't? I haven't lost anything but a couple of pounds, probably.

To reward you, I'll tell you about two of the best books I've read in a while. Very different from each other, and one of them might appeal to you if the other doesn't.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake- Sarah Maclean - You might have seen me tweeting about this one. Sarah's a fellow Avon author, and I picked up her book because she's nice. (Nice people FTW!) But dude, THIS BOOK WAS SO GREAT! And people everywhere are talking about it, proven by this: In its first week (and this is her debut adult novel), IT HIT THE NYT BESTSELLER LIST! I couldn't be happier for her.

Let me just sum it up. Callie (Calpurnia) is long in the tooth (can't remember -- late twenties? Practically dead). She's considered plain. She'll probably never get married. She sits with the other spinsters while everyone else dances. Then...she decides ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP. She wants to do things! She wants to shoot a gun! She wants to gamble! She wants to ride astride! And she wants to be kissed....

So Callie makes a few changes, and she sizzles. Sarah's a great writer, and she's smart, and I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Farm City - Novella Carpenter - Completely different, this is an urban homesteading memoir set in Oakland (oh, how I love you, Oakland). I've been a fan of Novella's since I first read about her Thanksgiving turkey in Salon.com lo these many years ago, and I've been lucky enough to have been to her small farm. I've seen her bees, her goats, her chickens. She writes beautifully, unflinchingly, about squatting on unused land, raising animals and food in the heart of the ghetto (I hate it when people call it that, and then I realize that yes, it is, indeed, an apt term and I should deal with it).

Her unwavering honesty is what I like the most about her book. There's a lovely scene in which Novella needs to go find more of a certain kind of plant for her chickens, and she walks by some kids that she'd been previously scared of. She doesn't like the reaction she has to them, but she chronicles it, watches it. Witnesses it. And she doesn't solve it. Things in the book remain unsolved and broken. But things grow and are used, they are appreciated for what they are, and then they move on to their next phase. Novella witnesses that transformation with an admirable grace. I loved everything about this book.

Halp! (And Possible TMI, Forgive Me)April 13, 2010

I'm looking for some advice, friends.

The migraines, they are getting worse. I've come to (almost) the end of the road with the doctors. And here and now, I'm going to lay it out for you, because I have very little shame when it comes to spilling things on the blog (HI!), but I do understand that some are squeamish, so look away if you need to, I won't mind. This might be too much info for some. In which case, please hop over to Hipster Puppies and have a fabulous day.

My adorable, smart primary care doctor has done what she can and has sent me away to specialists. My neurologist has ruled my migraines to be simply hormonal in nature. He's put me on Topomax, which is fine, but I don't really like being on it, but I also don't hate it. I'm on a high-enough dose, don't want to go higher, but it doesn't make me feel stupid; it just makes my fingers tingle sometimes and I have a hard time staying warm (something I'd never struggled with before).

My ob-gyn has done almost all she can, too. I have tried every single birth control out there and nothing has helped. Progesterone, both simulated and natural (even the plant-based creams) don't help and sometimes make it worse. She says, after five years of trying, that we're down to two options, neither very good. (See, I also have endometriosis, and we're dealing with that, so I've got all sorts of monthly pain, ugh.)

#1 Hysterectomy, but they won't remove ovaries at my age (37), nor would I really want them to, so even if they went that route, the headaches likely wouldn't stop, since they come from hormone production.

#2 Drug-induced menopause (like Lupron) - which would be great, except for the side-effects, and except for the fact that my doc said I could only be on it for a year, and then I'd have to go off of it. Hearing this, I burst into tears.

I'm seriously at the end of my rope. I have a hard time talking or thinking about it, actually. Lately, I've been getting four or five migraines a month, either at my cycle or at the middle of it, and they're debliitating.

What I don't need: Advice on pain management. I have Fioricet and Midrin (the triptain family of meds don't help me). These two pills sometimes help, sometimes they don't. Whatever. I get through it.

What I'm looking for (kind of desperately): advice from women who have gotten through this. My lovely ob-gyn is sending me to a Pain Management clinic within Kaiser as her next step, and I'm hoping for good things from them (but no more drugs! Hate drugs! I don't want to mask all this, I want to get rid of it).

Things I'm thinking of:

A radical change in diet? I have tried acupuncture with limited success. Exercise? Meditation? More yoga? Running (which sometimes makes it worse, or used to, when I was running more). OH GOD DON'T MAKE ME CHANGE THIS MUCH! But honestly, I can't do this much longer. This much pain a month, between the migraines, endo, and cramps, is too much. I try not to complain a lot here on the blog or twitter or FB, so I apologize if this is out of left-field, but you all know a hell of a lot about just about everything. What has helped you or someone you know?

With all my heart, I thank you in advance.

*Edited to add: I'm 37. I don't want kids. If I *DID* kick and scream and MAKE them take both ovaries in a hysterctomy (although my doctor said they wouldn't -- she also said I'm in the driver's seat), what direct experience do you have with that, if any? Besos.

** More: I'm feeling distinctly hopeful after finding this book: Heal Your Headache on Amazon. I've never seen more positive reviews of a book, EVER. I sent it to my Kindle and have already read a quarter of it, and I've made another appointment online with my neurologist (this is all done in the middle of the night! God bless technology!).

*** NEVER GONNA STOP ADDING TO THIS! The end of the night, I've read most of the book, and just found this synopsis on NPR.org. I think I'm going to give his method (elimination diet, no pain pills) a try and I'll let you know how it goes, before I try anything more radical.

LOTS OF EXCITEMENT!April 9, 2010

There are hummingbirds trying to feed at the iron gate in front of the house. I'm pretty sure it's not going that well.

I went ziplining yesterday. The darling Canadians set it up for San Francisco (it's free, for the next nine days, in Justin Herman Plaza), and even though there was quite a wait, it was WORTH IT.

From the top, looking out:

X2_10d53bb 

Me, getting ready to go:

Mezip
(My hands were shaking -- I was more scared than I thought I would be. It's only because I rock climb and trust harnesses that I was okay, I think.)

Looking at what I would step off into:

Downzip

And then THIS IS ME! I'm the close one, and sister Bethany is the far one.

X2_10d5d28 

And this is my favorite one:

Mezip2

You can see by then I'm hanging out and loving it. I wanted to stretch my arms and legs out and FLY. And I did.

And then, when we got down and met Lala on the ground, I went and bought an iPad.

Ahem. More flying.

Ipad1 

This is the one splurge I've bought myself with book money. (This and my Danskos!) A treat. And I'll use it to write -- the Pages program makes sending yourself .doc documents a SNAP. Ohmygoodness, so easy. Unbelievable. I tried it and my mouth literally dropped open. And I already own the wireless keyboard that it talks to, and and and.... it's a writer's dream come true. 

Plus the games are so damn cool.

(For those who want to know, I got the 32GB, and I didn't worry about waiting for the WiFi + 3G, because even with that opt-in/out AT&T plan, it's still AT&T, and I do NOT like them, and I don't plan on giving them my money. There are enough wireless hotspots in the world that my little iPad (nicknamed Eliza) will be very happy without it.)

Hoo. Big day.

And tonight! Two of my all-time favorite bands are playing, Cheetahs on the Moon and Rube Waddell in a big double-header at Bottom of the Hill, and tomorrow I'm reading at A Verb for Keeping Warm, so GOOD TIMES.

Reading in the Beast! April 5, 2010

(East Bay is pig latin, don'tcha know.)

I'm reading this Saturday at A Verb for Keeping Warm, and I would REALLY love to see you.
2703 7th St #147, Berkeley.

The reading's at 2pm, and then we'll just hang out for a bit, I think. They'll have books for sale, as well as great fiber and yarn and there might even be light snackage and there will be plenty of laughing. There always is.

Okay, business is over. Now I have to confess something.

You know how I feel about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). And by association (let's call it that), I have that tiny intellectual crush (let's call it intellectual) on Chris Baty, its founder. I've confessed it here before. It's not a national secret.

However, then he had to go and bring up the knitting. And there is now documented fiber-talk. Ha!

/swoon.

And the Winners Are:April 4, 2010

Drum roll, please!

For the $25 Barnes&Noble gift certs:

Peacecat30
RC C
Sarah St.

And for the Love Song Sweater:

Acluther!

 - Edited to add - Acluther is Anna, and it's her birthday TODAY. What a fun present! And I'll get to give it to her in person when I meet her for the first time in Maryland at MDSW! I heart the internet, dudes.

If you have any interest in cinema verite, here's the actual drawing. This is me, from bed, up and at the desk. It's not pretty, but it's GRITTY and REAL, people. (Snerk.) This is what a writer looks like. (No, really. I wear this sweater every day. Every. Single. Day.)

Lynn Gets MeApril 2, 2010

At last, SOMEONE does. Finally, a review that really gets at the REAL heart of what my book is about. Here's an excerpt of Lynn's exceptionally insightful review:

How to Knit a Love Song  by Rachael Herron is a novel with a little bit of everything. It’s primarily a book about emergency dispatchers, with a few love scenes, sheep, trucks and yarn thrown in to attract a broader audience. Don’t mistake me; those sections of the novel are not slighted in the least, but the scenes with the emergency dispatchers were what kept me riveted to the pages. I could easily picture the dispatcher clutching her headset, focused on extracting all the details of the call, and with lightning quick responses, calling in the services that would be needed to bring about a happy ending.

Yes. Really, it's a ponderous tome about emergency services, difficult to parse, and I'm glad Lynn was able to get to the heart of the matter. It should be noted she posted it on April 1st. I suppose that might have something to do with it. Ahem.

A winner has been drawn for Adrienne's book, Sweater Quest: CCR in MA - I've emailed you privately, congrats! The BIG DRAWING for the sweater and the bookstore gift certs will occur on Sunday.

And that, my ducks, is all for now. I have a Digit on my lap who is demanding all my attention.

Love IsApril 1, 2010

knowing every day that you would make the same decision you made then.

4yrs

Four years and counting. You want to do it again soon, lovey? It's been a while since the last wedding. I'm ready. I love you. Happy anniversary.