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9 posts from September 2011

ParTAY!September 27, 2011

We had a party the other day. (Let me say this up front: If we like each other and normally hang out and you weren't invited it is because Evite apparently ate half the invitations. I tried to clean it up via email where I could, but still, people fell through the cracks and I will continue to feel badly about that. But I am moving on. There. Hugs.)

It was by far the best party we've ever thrown (and we've thrown some doozies). It included some of each of my favorite knitters and writers and musicians (and isn't it awesome when someone lands in all three categories?). But that mix is normal for a Chez Hehu party (normal and AWESOME). This is why it was my favorite party:

I gave up hostessing.

In the past, I've always felt that my role as the Party Thrower should be making sure everyone is having fun. I must talk to everyone for at least long enough for them to feel heard but not to the point of neglecting anyone else. I must make sure glasses are filled. I must make sure food continues to come out and be consumed. I must mingle and introduce people (my least-liked task since having to make an introduction stresses me out to the point of forgetting my own name let alone those of the people I'm introducing). I'm a social person, and I like parties. But I vastly like attending parties at other people's houses, so I don't have to be the person who is taking care of everything (or worse, the person who feels like she has to take care of everything but actually doesn't).

So at this last party? I played music.


I got out the accordion early in the evening, and I was still playing it on the back porch close to midnight (luckily, the neighbors were invited and present). We had a clutch of rotating musicians: Lala played the standup bass and the banjo (and the guitar, I think), and Tom kicked ass on the guitar, Rom played a blow-organ (I don't know if I'd ever seen a melodica in action before), Laura played the fiddle, Carol played the uke, and others jumped in and out. Camilla, who brought the KEG of beer (!), rocked OUT on the accordion and I just kind of tried to back her up.

Now, people. A two-accordion party is perhaps one more accordion than any party needs. But I was in love and having a ball. I've never really jammed on the accordion to anything but my iTunes library, so it was a rush (and I don't think I sucked too badly. I wasn't good, no -- but I kept up sometimes with my simple playing).

And I finally got it. I'd kind of felt it with my uke playing, but this cemented it. All those times you've wondered if the musicians have more fun at the party than you do? They do. It was more fun.

It kept my hands busy. It kept my worried-hostess-mind mostly quiet (it still squawked every once in a while -- I should be mingling more! I should put more white wine in the fridge!) and it was just plain damn fun.

I didn't knit much. I didn't talk writing much. But I looked around at my friends and saw them doing the things they loved, and I saw them all talking and laughing with each other, and I was so happy.

ReadingsSeptember 23, 2011

I got some times wrong on the below post! (They are now fixed, but do make a note if you were planning on coming to Berkeley or Alameda. Please come?)

Also added:

Sunday October 16th, Keplers, Menlo Park, 1pm

And in MORE fun news: Have you read this yet?


I haven't read it yet, but I'm going to dig into it tonight. I know it's a special issue from Piece Work, but how many of these have there been? I think I've only seen one other one, but this says Fall 2011. Anyone know? Am I hopelessly out of the loop?

And Digit says he's not too old to hold paws in bed:

Polydactyl paw!


The ClaremontSeptember 21, 2011


I realize I'd almost forgotten to tell you that I have three more readings scheduled, and I'd love it if you could come. So far they're only in the SF Bay Area (sorry about that!) but I'll let you know if roam farther afield.

Sunday, Oct 2, Mrs. Dalloways, Berkeley, 4pm

Sunday Oct 9 Books Inc., Alameda, 6pm

Thursday Oct 20 Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, 7pm

Oh, and Lambtown Oct 1st! 2-5 at Piedmont Yarn's booth.

More details here. I would LOVE it if you came. I give nice things away, randomly. You might get lucky!

Speaking of lucky, I'm going out for drinks tonight at the Claremont Hotel with my dad. Now, that whole sentence is so strange to me. Do you know the Claremont?


It's a fancy-schmancy place in the Berkeley Hills. Once I went to a police department party there, and I wouldn't let the guy valet my car. I parked across the street so no one would have to deal with my janky electric windows and locks that only go up/down/lock every second Tuesday at 11:37 am.

Growing up, we stayed at the Motel 6, yo. I remember parking in the far side of the lot. We'd hide with Mom in the car until Dad got the key and then we'd sneak into the room and stay there under his Single price. We camped, sleeping in the VW van. We stayed on friends' floors. I can't remember a single fancy hotel stay in my life.

So to have my dad call and say, "I'm going to be in town. Let's get a drink at the Claremont." Well, that's just weird. That's like saying, "Here, let me pour some Coors into that crystal goblet you're holding." And I am ALL about that. Contradictions. I like them. (Turns out he's at a conference, but I'm still looking forward to seeing how the other half live. Eavesdropping on the rich is a LURVELY thing to do.)

Before I go out there, I'm planning on doing a little shopping (gah, hate shopping) and some writing (yay, love writing). If I'm lucky? A nap. A good day. What are you doing?

HowdySeptember 19, 2011

It's been busy round Chez Hehu these days. I've been doing a bunch of interviews lately (my favorite of which so far is THIS ONE with Lisa Davis of It's Your Health. She is a doll, a total delight, her husband is a writer, and she's my new BFF. I swear I want to go to Boston just to hang out with her).

I've been working long shifts at the day job (which is great! yay new job!), so I'm concentrating on HAVING FUN when I get home. Yesterday I got home around 2pm, and I managed to fit in a nap,  a walk with the dogs at the cemetery, a nephew sighting, a little writing, a delicious dinner with La (she made Indian spiced salmon), and a viewing of Thor. Now that I think about it, maybe THAT'S why I didn't fall in love with the movie. I liked it, but I thought it was super-cheesy, and I can appreciate cheese on a normal day.

Gratuitous picture of Clementine's tongue:


HA! And a new pic of my party dress (Vivien of Holloway, in case you're curious -- I got the crinoline there, too, and it's amazing, floofy but not starched).


Please ignore the dusty mirror. It lives in the hallway and we actually never use it. I had to haul it out and prop it on a chair to get a full-length view of myself.

And now, back to plotting mischief! (Never fear, it's the fictional kind.)

Bits of This and ThatSeptember 14, 2011

I did a reading at Copperfield's last night, and I had the best time! There was something kind of magic about the way that a knitting audience comes together, isn't there? I read a little bit and then we chatted, and a friend mentioned she had sheep, and did anyone want the wool? And the local spinning guild president handed over her card and we talked about quitting smoking by taking up needles, and...it was great.

And the two of you who brought me presents? Thank you. You seriously touched me. I would list you here, but I'm getting so paranoid about how bad I am about names that I'm scared to spell/remember everything wrong. But I love the gorgeous yarn bag so much and the knitted Digit? Seriously made me well up. (If you read this, please email me/comment so I can thank you properly -- I was overwhelmed last night.)


You can't see the tail in this pic but it is SO CUTE, too. I am so damn lucky.

I'm fighting a dang migraine (another neuro appt tomorrow) so no more for now but I will leave you writers with an amazing post by Chuck Wendig. You all know how much I struggle with plot, right? Characters? Emotions? I'm on it. Plot? WHO NEEDS IT? Oh, wait. I do. Chuck outlines all the ways to fight your way through, right here. Enjoy.

(Oh, and I got the funniest, nicest review in Publisher's Weekly this week. It made me laugh.)

Go To BedSeptember 10, 2011

When you decide the world is too big, and there are too many things on your list to do, and you'll never get to them, and ALL IS LOST, go to bed.

When you get home and the floor - toilet - sinks - counter - dishes - corners - dogs need cleaning and you can't find a place to start, go to bed.

When you think of the word ENTROPY and all that it means, and how your little inside-the-house universe is spinning completely out of your control, and how everything is going to fall apart sooner rather than later, go to bed.

When you know you should write because you're so damn close to the end you can almost hear the exit door flapping in the wind, but the book is at such a sad part that your heart is breaking, and you'll probably never be able to write again, go to bed.

I went to bed this afternoon after a perfectly lovely RWA meeting (it was a good meeting -- I didn't see the mean reds sneaking up on me at all). Lala made me go lie down -- I wanted to FIX/MAKE/DO all the things, and I was seriously freaking out. So I went to bed. I read for about an hour and then slept for four.

Know what? When I woke up, the world was lovely again. Mean reds gone. Ka-bap. It took me forty-five minutes to put the house to rights (longer to mop the floor after I dropped the milk glass, but oh well), and chaos is again neatly corralled.

I'm even going to write a bit more, too, until Lala gets home, and then I'm going to hang out with her and do something fun and silly like play Zombie Dice, because there is no fun like a game that involves counting brains and shotgun blasts.


NorCal folk, Please come see me in Petaluma? Copperfield's, 7pm. I'm really excited.

ALSO: September 6, 2011

If you're local, will you consider coming to my reading at Copperfield's in Petaluma in one week? You know me, and I'm convinced that NO ONE WILL COME, and I'll be there all alone, and they, the store that has hosted the Yarn Harlot and all the attendant madness, will look me up and down and say, "Really? That all you got?" 

This is the stuff of nightmares.(Literally.)

So if you come, I promise to read a REALLY juicy section from the new memoir (but I haven't decided which section -- those of you who have read it, thoughts? The mama-sweater one? Can an audience take it?). And I will have prizes. And hugs. And we can go for wine afterward (yes! That!)

140 Kentucky St, Petaluma, CA
 Tuesday September 13th, 7pm

Also, if you can't make it there, I'm launching book three (!) in the Cypress Hollow Series, WISHES & STITCHES and promoting LIFE IN STITCHES in San Francisco next month.

Bookshop West Portal
80 West Portal Ave, San Francisco
 Thursday October 20th, 7pm

Same terror for that, natch. Please come?


Talking about hospice and the little mama over HERE today.

(And quickly, a Digit update for those of you didn't see it on Twitter. Our trip to Vegas was awesome (Cirque du Soleil O! Spa time! Massage!), but while we were gone, we heard from our petsitter that Digit's paw was hurt. We were getting home the next morning, so I took him to the vet first thing. She x-rayed the paw and palpated it (because obviously she has a DEATH wish) and concluded it was sprained. And the way it was sprained? She thought by its positioning, he'd probably gotten it from bap-bapping another animal. Like, perhaps, Clementine, Digit's mortal enemy (she cowers when we say the word Digit as in Here he comes! Watch out!). So this: He sprained his paw beating up a dog. GOOD GOD. As soon as he gets off the pain meds, we're talking about kitty prozac, because that is just ridiculous. Terrible cat.)

Those are the pupils of a cat on Big Meds.

E-Book In The House!September 1, 2011

I told you I'd tell you when it was available, and A Life In Stitches is now out digitally (as well as in paper)!

I'm dancing around, throwing confetti made of yarn! (IS there such a thing? There SHOULD be.)


Available for:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook

Apple iBooks

More yarn confetti, confetti for everyone! (Seriously, I hope you like it. Let me know what you think.)

Digit Update

This week, Digit has created a ruckus and has looked funny while doing it. He got some weird infection in his chin, and had to be anesthetized to fix it. He's now in a cone, but he's feeling much better and we're happy to report that he is just as terrifying to Clementine as ever.


See? I'm torn between thinking he looks like a lion or King Friday XIII.

And now, you know what? WE ARE GOING TO VEGAS. Three years ago, we were going to go -- Lala has never been -- and we had to cancel, but not this time! I made an appointment for a massage, and I'm going to spend time at the pool with a cold drink in one hand, a book in the other. I'm not a gambler, but I'll probably put some quarters in the machines, and La is interested in checking out the roulette, I believe.

The animals can't wait to get rid of us because their favorite petsitter is coming to stay -- she's active in the Bay Area punk scene and we always tell her it's okay to have her friends over. When we come home, our house smells like delcious lentils and later, at live shows, total strangers come up to me and show me pictures they have on their cell phones of our dogs. It's an odd, friendly feeling.

So yep. The book is now officially all the way out, and we're on the road. Oh, heck yeah.



I had no idea How to Knit a Heart Back Home was coming out on audio today, too: Audible link. Now both the first two novels are available that way!


And this: If you've read any of my books? Will you consider giving them a review on Amazon/BN, etc? No matter if they're good or bad, reviews are a great thing and make books happy and in turn, make their authors VERY HAPPY. Thank you so much!