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10 posts from August 2010

Pin-Up JasminAugust 31, 2010

Ahem. They released the promo pictures for Off The Needles, the knitting pin-up calendar! And I was thrilled silly to see that Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls is not only my fellow month, but she's my birth month, Miss July! And since it's much easier to blog a picture of someone else, here's Jasmin, looking sexy as hell:

Jasmin 7 copy

Look how cute she is! Ooops! Did I drop my yarn? Can you help me with that?  

For those of you not in the know (all seven of you), Jasmin and her mother Gigi run the extremely popular podcast, the Knitmore Girls. I absolutely love this podcast, and here's why: They're real knitters and lovely, lovely women. The knitting is part of their lives, it's in their blood, and they just sit and chat. Mother and daughter together, they shoot the breeze about what's gone on with each of them recently, what has and hasn't worked in their knitting (or in their lives).

Jasmin is a fellow Mills alum, something we had immediately in common. Mills women often feel an immediate kinship with each other, and when you marry knitting with Mills? Back off, everyone else in the room. When those connections are uncovered, instant BFFs are created. She's smart as a whip, has an amazing radio/podcast voice, and I could listen to her talk about burnt toast.

And mom Gigi? I'm not sure if you know this, but she's as gorgeous as Jasmin. Amazing hair, and oh, the STRUCTURE of her cheekbones. One of my favorite features of the podcast is the segment called "Mother Knows Best." Because, you know, she does.

You know what I love most about the podcast? I love hearing two women take so much pleasure in talking to each other -- Mom and daughter obviously love each other, and more than that, respect each other. The way they talk speaks volumes about their relationship. I would adore their show even if I didn't miss my mother like I do, and I love it more because of it.

Plus, Jasmin is just plain COOL. You know? You see her coming, and you think, DAMN, she's awesome, and then she smiles at you and talks to you and you think: YAY! I try to pick up any cool points she drops when I'm around her.

Jasmin 6 copy

She's blogging my picture over at her blog, because we should both  promote the calendar, but it's HARD to put up pics like these, for some reason. I can know that you read my book with its spicy bits, and I blog pictures of myself like there's no tomorrow, but I'm shy about this for some reason. (And if you'd like to pre-order one of the calendars, more pics are up HERE and by purchasing one HERE, you can help assure that they make their fund raising goal.)

Woo! August 28, 2010

I have ten minutes to do the drawing! I said I'd do it on Saturday, and so I will, but I have to hurry!

Quick drumroll.... 

GALLEY WINNERS

The winner from mailing list (I'll be giving more galleys away, make sure you're on it!) is.... E.Amber! Woot!

And the winner from the comments is.... Jody Knitnthings! Yay!

I'll be emailing you (now) and thanks all, for commenting and huzzah!

Now I'm off to bed. Yep. Mwah.

Breaking News August 27, 2010

My reading tomorrow at Rabbit Ears has been postponed! It will now be on November 7th. Sorry for any hassle that creates!

And also this, just in -- the cover of Book Two in the Cypress Hollow series in Australia, known there as Lucy's Kiss. I LOVE this cover. It goes so well with the first one, Eliza's Gift, and it's just so damn CUTE.

Lucykiss

Isn't it funny how different it is from the American version, How to Knit a Heart Back Home? (Shown yesterday, don't forget to enter that post's comments for a chance to win a galley!) I love both covers. I'm so lucky!

Win a Galley! August 26, 2010

So much catch up to do: I ALMOST FORGOT TO SHOW YOU THIS. (Because you know, that's how I am, getting books everyday. OMG! SO NOT THAT WAY!)  I have galleys of How to Knit a Heart Back Home

IMG_1511

Isn't it gorgeous? And you know what? Those sweaters up there? They're mine. I made them, with my own two hands. The needles she's using are mine, and the swatch she's "knitting" from his sweater is one I made. That's the original Cade sweater there, on the right (now given away as a prize, must make another one), and that yellow one is my favorite yellow sweater (the pattern comes with the book). I sent the sweaters off to New York, where they played around in a photo shoot and then came home to me. I love it.

(And do you see that line under my name? I'm an "author of." That's thrilling to me.)

Also, I seem to have lost that sweater now. I have no idea where it is, which makes me too sad to think about, so if you see it, send it home?

GIVEAWAY:

And to get myself to the post office (boy, I have a lot of things to mail), I'm going to give two of these away. Yep. I'll give one to a random commenter on this post, and I'll give one to someone randomly drawn from my mailing list (subscribe here). 

YAY! Like, super big, hollered from the rooftops, YAY! 

OTHER NEWS:

I had a great reading at Llama Llama Knit in Novato, and the women there were awesome. Hi ladies!

Llkgals 

And LOOK at their store dog, Maebe. I just died over this gal.

Maebe 

It was a hot night, and you can see how red I get when I'm warm:

Aileen

Aileen was a doll, and also brought champagne, always a lovely thing to bring. I heart champagne. 

Speaking of heat, we've had a mini heat wave in the Bay Area, and I couldn't stay in our hot house yesterday, so I drove to the coast. I went to Duartes and worked for a long time. I was definitely the only person who was working on a computer, so I felt a wee bit funny, but I had olallieberry pie after my oysters: 

Duarteslskg

I also managed to say hello to Lynn, my favorite waitress. I didn't know if she'd remember me from when I worked there in the winter, but she did. "You. You're a writer. You sat at table nine." We'd had a lovely chat then, and I wanted to give her the book, since my ranchers come straight out of conversations I've head in the old restaurant (Duartes = Tillie's!). 

Then I went tidepooling for a long while. My phone died, and it was really nice to be completely cut off (until my car started overheating. That was a little worrisome, but it worked out). 

Tidepool

Metidepools

It was glorious. This is what came in when I was out there:

Foglskg

And now, the heat wave is broken, and as I sit at my desk, my toes are cold, and I'm glad.

Also: Urban Fauna alerted me that their two year anniversary is this weekend, and they're having a sale! Goodie bags! (My book will be given away at some point, too, and that's cool.)

I feel like I'm going to be playing catch up all day. I stayed up late last night, so I slept till almost eleven this morning, and as soon as I fully woke up, I started running the mental lists of everything I have to do today. Lala's been working a temp job for about a month now, and while it was really difficult financially while she was out of work, it sure was nice to have her doing all the Life Errands. I've put off everything I could possibly put off until this week, and I can't put them off anymore. The animals need food! Lala needs her bass fixed! I HAVE TO GET A SMOG CHECK (also, someone stole my month tag off my car, so it looks like I'm trying to cover up the fact that my registration is overdue. I'm not, Officer, I swear!).

Also, I have a crap-ton of writing to get done. Where does that fit today? I don't know! But it will. I'll get it all done. But it was more important to say hello to you than start on it all, so hi. Leave a comment for a chance to win! Woot! I'll draw winners on Saturday.

READING:

(Oh, I also have a reading/spinning demo at Rabbit Ears in Kensington on Saturday at 2pm (7253 Fairmount). Would love to see you!

Fantasy MondayAugust 23, 2010

Reentry to the week is hard, isn't it? I have to do it a little earlier than most. Sunday night is when I have my "Monday," and by the time most of you are heading for work, I'm heading home for bed.

And we're all tired, aren't we? Yep.

What would perk us up? What about a little dream-weaving, eh? I'm not one of those people who fantasizes about what I'd do if I won the lottery. It's not something I think I shouldn't do; in fact, I think it does us all good to have a little mind-wander. I just never remember to do it.

So I'm going to let myself imagine for a minute, and you should do the same. What if we won the lottery? And let's say we hit it big, and had the money to do all the obvious things: invest wisely, pay off debt, buy houses for everyone in the family. What would we want once those things were paid for? (Think selfishly. You've already helped lots of people out. That's the game.)

1. An iPad for Lala. (That's silly, huh? But I sometimes feel guilty that I got one with book money in order to write books, and she doesn't have one yet (so this counts as selfish because I'd feel better). She should have one.)

2. A yellow Smartcar! And a red Mini! I can't choose, so how about both?  

3. A second home in Venice in the north part of Cannaregio.

4. A third home in the Avenues of San Francisco (somewhere to go when I get too hot in the Oakland heat. I'm a delicate flower, yo).

5. Um. Oooh! A maid! No more cleaning the litterbox! Boy, do I hate that job.

6. Cashmere yarn. Lots of it.

That's all I've got. Apparently I don't think about it much because I don't have much of a list (I honestly thought when I started writing things down I'd have a hundred things. Huh.)

What do YOU want to buy with your winnings?

Vapid PatterAugust 18, 2010

On the plane flying home from Orlando, I sat next to the awesome Carolyn Jewel (who had been up for not one but TWO Rita's (the Oscar of romance)), and while she wrote (or didn't write) a sexy scene (I was working so hard not letting my eyes accidentally fall on her laptop screen that now I don't remember what she said she was writing), I finished going over page proofs for HOW TO KNIT A HEART BACK HOME. Page proofs are awesome in that they are the very last time you'll lay hands on your book. This is it! You're pushing the baby bird right out into traffic!

And you always find some typos that have made it through your own editing, that make it past your agent and your editor, past copy-edits and all the way to this last draft. Now, say that I noticed things in my copy-edits that needed to be added, and say I wrote them in by hand to be changed. Now, it is NOT the production editor's job to decipher my sloppy handwriting (which I do try to make clear, I promise). They add to the text what they are told (by me) to add, and that's that. I take the blame for the below HYSTERICAL mistake.

When I read that my heroine had a vapid heartbeat, I almost choked on my peanuts. It's true, my Vs do look like Rs. I'd never noticed that before. A vapid heartbeat! Oh, lord! I've known people with one of those!

In another spot, I'd added a sentence about the pattern she'd been making. That R and N certainly smoosh up close in my handwriting, and the text read that she was knitting from a patter. (Both vapid and patter obviously passed the spell-check test.) (I just wrote "past the spell-check test." I am at word overload. Please forgive the other inevitable typos in this post as I mock myself.)

Carolyn and I started howling about vapid patter, to the point that she said, "Watch! I'm putting it in my book! Right now!" Clickety click click, and she did.  

So today, I put it in my third novel because it happened to fit beee-yoo-tifully (and Carolyn practically dared me to). (That novel is coming along smashingly, by the way. I keep expecting the other shoe to drop, but it seems to be going well so far. Yippee!)

When I get a copy of Carolyn's book, she'll sign the page with vapid patter on it. And I'll sign that page in her copy of MY book.

And I here and now challenge all y'all book-writers to sneak the phrase in. It's now A Thing. Anyone who does it will get a shiny badge WITH GLITTER from me. Promise. (And when you read book three and hit that phrase, you'll think, "Huh? That sounds awfully familiar...")

Pass it on! Quick link to this post: http://bit.ly/a9Z5CJ

WinnersAugust 12, 2010

And the winners are:

Handspun: Anne (maplecorners)

Signed book: Ruth (rutababe)

Signed book: Mary McM.

I'll be emailing all of you tomorrow for addresses! Congrats, and woot! More winners soon, I'm sure. xoxo

Well...August 11, 2010

I just wrote a very boring blog, which I've erased so that you don't have to bear reading it. You're welcome. I'm not even censoring myself or acting in a self-preserving manner--it was neither inflammatory nor racy. It was just boring.

So instead, I'll tell you this:

The Sharpie Liquid Pencil(erasable, turning to permanent in 36 hours) is not the life-changer that I thought it might be. But it IS a surprisingly satisfying implement with which to edit. I hate scribbling changes and then instantly changing my mind. Adding a sentence, and then hating half of it. This is PERFECT for that, because it's dark like a pen (I wish it came in colors) but erases cleanly. I was slightly let down by it, but then I realized that was because it is, in fact, as smooth-flowing as a pen, and I hadn't expected that. I'd expected the normal pencil scritch, which wasn't there. But I'm still pretty stoked about it.

Ha! And this isn't the boring blog I erased (erased as if it were PENCIL, people). Imagine what I saved you from!

(I haven't forgotten about the drawing -- I'll do that tonight! Leave a comment in the previous post or sign up for my email list (to the right) to enter.)

GiveawayAugust 8, 2010

I'm writing. Writing, writing, writing. It's hard for me sometimes to think of anything else. Ask the long-suffering Lala or my poor sisters about that. I am officially the most boring person in the world, as when I'm away from the desk I'm either working on how to get back to it or how to stay away from it without guilt (answer to the last: big long naps, that's how, under the guise of Avoiding the Cold from Hell that's going around--must rest!).

Sister Bethany pointed out that lately I write about writing, and seldom about knitting. Good point! See above.

But I have been knitting a bit. And spinning. Oh, Lisa Souza, with your perfect, perfect batts. Really, when I'm spinning her stuff, I don't want to touch another piece of fiber that she hasn't prepared, ever. I spun a lot of this: 

IMG_1464

It's 90% super-fine merino, with these little glints of colored tencel, red and yellow and pink, that gleam through, and it made a nice DK-weight 2-ply. I made this cowl (super-simple free Ravelry link) out of the first batt: 

IMG_1467

I wish you could really see how pretty it is, with those little sparkles of color here and there. The camera doesn't do it justice. SO SOFT. And I still have two batts left (now spun, they just need to be washed and hung).

It's funny, this is the first yarn that I've ripped in a long time. I tried three different kinds of scarves before realizing it needed to be a cowl. And I knew it would come to me--I just had to keep trying.

DRAWING - FREE STUFF

Hey, in apology for not being all knittified like I used to be, I feel like giving things away! I'm going to draw one random winner from my mailing list (not on it? I never spam; join up there to the right) and I'll send the winner an autographed copy of HOW TO KNIT A LOVE SONG. If you have it already, you can either have me make it out to a friend of yours, or have me make it out to you and pass your copy on to someone else!

Ooh, hang on a sec, it seems I'm feeling REALLY generous. Again, from the mailing list, I'll randomly draw a name, and that person will win enough of the Lisa Souza yarn that I made to make a cowl, just like that one up there. 

And just for fun, I'll randomly draw a winner from the comments of this post and send an autographed book out that way, too. Just tell me what's keeping you from YOUR knitting right now. 

Yeehaw! Fun! I'll draw on Wednesday.

Happy to WorkAugust 3, 2010

I think I've mentioned here before that once a week, when I switch my sleep schedule and stay up all night working, I take a sleeping pill when I get home at 7am, just to jolt myself into sleeping days for the week. Seems to work well, and because I don't take them very often, they're always strong, and always work.

This morning, after I'd drifted off into sleep, I got the hiccups. I know this because I remember hiccuping and startling awake, wondering what the hell had just happened, and then falling back asleep. Then I'd wake up for the next hiccup, only to fall immediately back into deep sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was pretty funny for someone like me who can be woken up by a whisper in another room sometimes and normally has problems falling back asleep. I have to say, it felt good.

As does sitting here in Peet's, having written for a few hours, and when I'm done with this post, I'll go to work for the night. I do love what Gloria Steinem said about loving having written. After-writing is always the best part of the day, even if it's only the short drive to work where my day starts over. That drive is happy, even if the words themselves actually sucked.

RWA National was amazing, terrific, awesome. I didn't get enough sleep (surprise!) and ended up with a migraine the night of the RITAs, but at least I made it through the ceremony and got to see my chapter-mate Elisa Beatty win the Golden Heart! We were so very proud!

I spent plenty of time in meetings and attending parties where we got to wear our best clothes and our highest heels (if we wanted to, of course -- but I did). I hung out with five of the PensFatales (oh, we missed the ones who couldn't make it). I spent time with my agent, who is SO AWESOME. I had a massage in a spa and pretended I did it all the time. I met many, many people. I decided Orlando in July is too hot to support life, and I'm not sure how they fake it, and I sat next to a hairy drunk guy on the plane and thought terrible things in his sleeping direction until he woke up and talked about being Etta James's keyboard player for twenty-five years. Just goes to show -- when I judge people, I am usually completely wrong. I should know this by now.

A wonderful, writing-filled time. And it feels so great to be back to the writing, too! I didn't work while I was gone, a conscious decision, and I feel refreshed just for being gone from the page those five or six days.

Yes. Happy. Working hard. I think those might be related.