Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, it's Thanksgiving week here in the states and it has given me much reason to reflect on what I am grateful for in my life. The list is long, so I won't relive it here, but I do appreciate this time to get away from all of the stresses and trivialities of daily life and focus on the simple things I have that many people in the world don't. At any rate, it has been a wonderful week of family, turkey and lots of knitting and reading. :)  So, without further ado... here's the update:

Reading: I finished The Sum of Our Days, by Isabel Allende. As I've said before, simply fantastic. I love her writing, I loved the ending. It wasn't saccharine, or unreal, but simple and fantastic. Her voice is so beautiful that I think she could write about cat puke and I would find it fascinating. :)
I did start reading my free book from Thomas Nelson, where I signed up to be a book reviewer. It's called In the Shadow of the Sun King, by Golden Keyes Parsons. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first. It's historical fiction, which isn't usually my style, but so far I am LOVING it. I really can't put it down. It's about a family of Huguenots (French Protestants) in France during the 17th century. The Huguenots  being persecuted for their beliefs and Madeline and Francois Clavell have hidden their two young boys to keep them safe from the dragoons, come to send the boys to be re-educated as Catholics. Madeline was a friend and possible lover (it hasn't been explicitly said yet) to King Louis as a teen and when the dragoons take over her house she travels to Versailles to plead with the King to spare her family. So far I really like it. It is fast paced and hard to put down. When I finally went to bed last night, Madeline had angered the King because she rejected his proposal that she be his mistress in exchange for sparing her family. King Louis had ordered her estate burned to the ground and took her young daughter to the convent and her husband to jail. Madeline returns home to find her house and family gone. She collects her remaining servants, brother-in-law and two boys (who have been hiding) and prepares to travel to Geneva. I'm excited to keep reading and I'll keep you posted. I do think this book would make a lovely movie- the costumes!- it feels rather like  Gone with the Wind

Writing: Well... NaNo just isn't going to happen. It's currently 10pm on Sunday night and I technically have until midnight to write my remaining 20,000 words. Not going to make it. I'm rather disappointed, but I just can't bring myself to write drivel just to write. So, I'm going back to my original plan of trying to have my draft done by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes. I did however complete my article for the January edition of Women's Edition magazine. It's about lypossage and is rather interesting. I'll let you all know when it comes out. 

Knitting: I started and finished a Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket this weekend. I really enjoyed knitting it. So simple and intriguing. It definitely looks like a blob, but folds up into a lovely little sweater. Unfortunately the yarn I used was a little thick and it will likely fit a four year old, not the six month old it was intended for. So, back to the knitting board. I'm going to look for a thinner yarn and make another. Luckily it was very quick, so I believe I can still finish it for Christmas. Otherwise I've been working on a prayer shawl, my angora scarf and Andrew's socks. I desperately want to make a sweater for myself, but I'm trying to restrain myself until I get these other projects done. 

Panic: Oh... definitely some good old fashioned panic. I was supposed to start tutoring at a center in Boulder on Monday, but will not be doing that. After some serious soul-searching, I decided I wasn't comfortable with it, for a variety of reasons. So, I resigned before I even started. Though it was exceptionally difficult, I really felt that I had to trust my gut and not start the position. Anyway, I've also thrown my hat into the ring for the 1/2 time position at Sunset and I have a friend who is trying to get me to take a different 1/2 time position at her middle school. Though that position sounds great, the commute would be 40 minutes each way, which may be too much. I suppose we'll just have to see. I'm panicking less I suppose, since I'm trying to embrace the idea that it will all work out in the end, but it's definitely difficult. We shall see what the weeks to come bring. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick update

Well, there's always something isn't there? I may be looking at going back to teaching, but only half-time. We'll have to see. I'm trying not to over think it right now. I'm really hoping that life will just work out as it is supposed to. Everything happens for a reason right? 
Well anyway... here it goes. 
Reading: I've been obsessively reading The Sum of Our Days, by Isabel Allende. I really can't say enough good things about her writing. This is a sequel memoir to Paula. It's about the years after her daughter's death, and is written in a similar style, she tells the story to her daughter so she won't be lost. It's really beautiful, dramatic (what a family!) and just lovely. I especially like how Allende sees what has happened with that clarity that only comes with hindsight, but she also never lets herself off the hook. She is quick to point out where she screwed up, which is endearing and also quite relatable

Writing: I don't know about NaNoWriMo. I'm really trying to push through this first draft, but I just keep wanting to change things, drastically. I'm not sure if this is my way of trying to procrastinate even more than usual, or if my new ideas have merit. I'm trying to just push through... but we'll see if I make it. Additionally, I don't believe I ever blogged about my articles that have been published in Women's Edition magazine. You can check out the most recent one here. I can't say I'm thrilled with the editing, but whatever. Non-fiction is not my forte, so I'm just glad that it's published. I will have another article coming out in January. 

Knitting: I've been knitting like a mad woman, not that I have any pictures to show for it. I really need to get better at photographing my work. What's a knitting blog without pictures? Well anyway, I've been obsessively working on the Noro striped scarf. It's just so beautiful. I'm trying to restrain myself from making another one. I was totally inspired by Yarn Harlot and Brooklyn Tweed. They're bad for me I tell you... :) I mean, how could you not knit one of those after seeing Brooklyn Tweed's? But, I finished it last night. I just need to weave in my ends and then we'll see what I work on. I have a number of projects on the needles: mystery stole 4; angora scarf, Andrew's socks, not to mention the quilt and sweater that I just dug out of the depths a month or two ago. But who wants to finish one of those? I might treat myself to making the Vivian. Mmmmm.... cables. Which, by the way, if you have not seen Twist Collective, go check it out RIGHT NOW! Lovely patterns and great articles. Love it!

Well... that's about it for now. I'm not putting in a panic section as I'm trying desperately not to panic at the moment. We'll see how long that lasts though. 

Friday, November 7, 2008


Well, what an eventful week is has been. I can't even express how excited I am about the next four years in this country. I hope that President-elect Obama will be able to continue to inspire people the way he did during his campaign. I'm also very glad that the election was uneventful. No replay of the 2000 election or anything. I was a supply judge for my local precinct. That meant I was an election judge, but sort of the judge in charge. Overall it was pretty uneventful. Most people in Colorado had either voted by mail or voted early, so we didn't have a lot of turn out at the polls. That was nice. No one had to wait in line and we had very few problems. Though first thing in the morning there was an altercation between a poll checker and a security guard. It was so ridiculous. Why can't we all just get along? I don't understand why people have to be negative about things. I've felt this way a lot in the last few days as I read friends' and family's negative comments about Obama winning. Regardless of who won, we're going to have to work together to get anywhere and a negative attitude isn't going to help anything. Anyway, I'll get off of my soap box now and get back to my regularly schedule blogging. :) 

Reading: Well, because we had such a slow election day, I was able to get a couple of books finished. I finished Paula, by Isabel Allende. I always love her writing. It is just so beautiful, lyrical and real. It sounds like she's sitting next to you telling you a story. This book was no differnt. The story of it is quite sad. Allende's daughter, Paula, has fallen into a coma because of a rare illness and Allende write the book as a letter to her daughter so "she doesn't feel lost when she wakes up." It's a beautiful story of Allende's life and a really gripping account of South American history, which many of us American's don't know much about. The poignency of Allende finally coming to terms with her daughter's condition is heart-wrenching and the love of their family will make anyone want to be an Allende. Truely beautiful, as always. 
I also finished Warrior of the Light, by Paulo Coelho. Coelho is so inspiring and I usually feel as if I'm not quite getting to the depths of his novels. I enjoyed Warrior very much, but feel like I'll need to read it again and again before the deep meaning really sinks into my life. Given it's format, short one page stories and reflections, I believe that it would be a good book to read just one page a day and really meditate on the meaning of Coelho's words in my life. Sometimes I feel like my brain just isn't quite ready to learn things. Still, a lovely book. 
So, I'm currently in a bit of limbo with my books. I've been keeping a more "spiritual" book on the shelf to read as well as something that I think can help me with my writing. I've picked upOpen Mind, Open Heart, by Thomas Keating as my "spiritual" book. I've been taking a contemplative prayer class at church, and this is the book that goes with it. However, I'm not sure what to read next for my other book. I had started Catch-22 quite a while ago, but haven't been able to bring myself back to it yet, and I don't know if it would be a good influence on my writing right now. We'll have to see. I'd like to read something that I think my own book would sit in the shelf next to... not sure what that is though. 

Writing: Well... the writing has actually been going much better. As I said earlier, I signed up to do NaNoWriMo. I'm currently behind in my word count, (I'm not counting anything that I wrote before Nov 1st) but it is coming along and the pressure of churning out 50,000 words in a month has helped me somewhat to let go of the perfection that I had been seeking. I can't say that what I've been writing is any kind of good, but it's at least out and on the page. I figure I just need to get a first draft done and then I can go back and spend years revising. :) At some point I might get the courage to post bits of the novel here, but we'll have to see. 

Knitting: Well, somthing has to fall of the deep end doesn't it? I haven't been knitting much at all. I worked on my pink prayer shawl some on Tuesday and Wednesday, but just haven't been motivated. Andrew's socks are still confounding me. I think I might have to frog them and start over. It's justnot working to try to double the bottom of the sock. The Mystery Shawl 4, which I now know all the clues to, is also still languishing in the bottom of my knitting bad. I just haven' t had the attention span to work with lace and beads. I'm also working on an angora scarf, which I'm starting to think may be completely impractical as it sheds ridiculously and I think I'll have bunny fur up my nose constantly. We shall see though. I have a deep hankering to make myself a sweater, but am not sure that I have the time or money to currently contribute to such a project. I also don't want to get into more startitis than I already have. I don't need 12 million projects on the  needeles sitting unfinished. I need to get some done before I start any more. 

Panic: I did have some close call panic attacks on Tuesday morning. I was so worried that something was going to go tragically wrong with the election and it would some how be my fault. All went smoothly, except the checker/gaurd thing, and the outcome makes me happy as well. So, it hasn't been too panicky a week. I did get an email from an old professor asking if I would be interesting in applying for an elementary literacy coach job. Not sure how I feel about that. I don't know if I really want to go back to teaching. But I decided that I'd inqure about the application process and see where we go from there. I haven't heard back from anyone yet, so maybe I won't have to worry about making a decision at all. :) The job front still sucks though. Maybe some day someone will call me back. I just keep trying to have faith that everything will work out in the end and that it all happens for a reason... sometimes it's just so hard to keep trekking through the dark though. :/


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