Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I've Really Got to Stop Saying "Hopefully..."

As in, "hopefully it won't be another two months before I post again."

Because, clearly, it was.

And that's generally the case.

What I really need is a shock collar for when I do things like putter around playing Words With Friends or reading FanFiction (yes, guilty, but not the dumb Twilight kind. The good, occasionally by people I know, kind) instead of being productive and writing.

 Hoping....er...intend to set a new routine for myself as I need to start writing a sample for this round of Grad School applications (maybe I've figured out what I want to do with my life this time) and studying for the GRE along with knitting Christmas presents and don't forget National Novel Writing Month. I'm hoping determined to win this month.

In other news, we came through Sandy unscathed. Didn't even lose power, and spent a fairly pleasant hurricane on the couch with some wine, and some nerdy Sci-Fi shows.

On the Yarn Front- I DID finish my Rhinebeck sweater in time to wear it to Rhinebeck. Here it is:

I'm calling it the Blue Marble Sweater, and I'm exceedingly pleased with the way it turned out. I've never made something like it before. Boosted my confidence in my crochet skills.

Finally, I've finished a couple of books in the last week or two.
First, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, second in the Discovery of Witches trilogy. I read the first one for book club last year, and was surprised by how much I liked it, especially since I thought reluctant witch + dashing vampire = new and equally dull Twilight.

Not exactly. It's fluffy, for sure. But it's fun, and the characters are better. I particularly like Ysabeau, the vampire matriarch.
Also, I know a dog named Ysabeau, but that's sort of (completely) irrelevant.

Last night I finished Animal Farm, and loved it. It makes me curious to learn more about Trotsky though, because I really don't know much about him.

Now, off to think about characters and plot for NaNo.
Hopefully I'll try to post more frequently.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Hiatus Has Ended, I Hope

I didn't consciously take a summer hiatus. It just sort of happened.

I had a relatively unproductive summer, melting in the heat and humidity of Ye Olde Filthadelphia was about the extent of it. I did very little reading, very little knitting, and even less writing. I felt awful about it, but never bad enough to motivate myself to do anything other than chill on the couch, soaking up the air conditioning and trying to figure out a way to create an air conditioned bubble for myself at work, while watching Battlestar Galactica (and other nerdy shows, but we finally got to the end of that one. I liked it. Season three is boring and took us forEVer to get through, but the rest of it is good. Keep on trucking, if you get bogged down.)

Some FOs to share:

The Dovekeepers- Alice Hoffman.
I read it for book club, and flew through it. Really lovely, really easy to read, despite its very heavy content. I love, love, love strong women characters, and this was a book entirely about them. Four very unique voices, which was impressive to me, as these women had a lot in common but were incredibly different people at the same time- testament to Alice Hoffman's skill as a writer. Very interesting, because it's also loosely historical, and I'm a little bit of a sucker for that- not Tudor England though..that's been done to death at this point.

More socks for Ben: Jack and the Beanstalk socks. I f-ing ADORE the spiral pattern this yarn took. Brilliant dye job.

Seven Pane Sunset. Love the colors, do not love the itch- this wool is extra scratchy.

Finally, a link:


I'm entering this contest! It's for a free manuscript edit, from Dear Editor.com, a site that I've only recently found, but seems to be a great source of information. I'm going to recommend that you don't enter this contest, because I'd really like to win, and the few entries there are, the greater my odds.

And now, I need to make arrangements for my boy's birthday. Hopefully it will not be two months before the next post. I really will do my best (I don't just say that to make myself feel better about being a slug when it comes to blogging.) 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Everybody Lies

It's one of the first things you learn about Gregory House- he has no faith in anyone's humanity, least of all his own. I finally got around to watching the series finale of House today. I'd been putting it off because I had a feeling that it was going to be emotional (it was) and because I didn't want a series that I enjoyed so thoroughly to be over.


I'd heard rumors that there was talk of killing off the character in the final episode. In fact, Hugh Laurie himself said it in a recent interview I heard on NPR. With the revelation that Wilson was dying too, this seemed even more possible.

Who is Sherlock without Watson? We've never known. It's possible that he doesn't even exist. We know who Watson THINKS Holmes is, but maybe Holmes needs Watson to exist at all. For example, together House and Wilson are a mostly complete person. But separately? House can't exist without Wilson.

Thus, I was not terribly surprised when it did appear, in the final episode, that House was dead. I guessed the twist though, as I often do. In true Holmesian style, he makes a miraculous, Reichenbach Falls return. This was the point at which I began to take issue with the direction of the finale. At the funeral, everyone whose life House has touched speaks of what they've learned from him. Wilson begins to rant, but is interrupted by the ringing of his own phone. Cue House's return, except Wilson is the only one who knows.

The end is a montage of all the characters over the years settling into life without House and they all seem to have exactly what they need. House and Wilson ride off into the wilderness on motorcycles, content to live Wilson's last days to the fullest.

It was, to quote House's final line, the last word spoken in the series, "boring."

A neatly wrapped and tied up happy ending is inappropriate for a show as dark and real as House. I wanted House to be dead. Really, truly dead. Everyone would have ended the same way anyway, getting what they needed with his death. Perhaps not Wilson, but I think it would have been more poignant if House really couldn't have faced a life without his best friend and took the easy way out.  It certainly would have been more in character.

Yes, he proved that he really did care about Wilson and could be a good friend, and yes he did manipulate absolutely everyone one final time, but he didn't NEED to. It was always clear how much he cared, despite him being a selfish sociopath/asshole. And as far as manipulative plots go, this was one of the more shallow ones. There are generally more layers.

And what happens to House? Wilson will die, definitely. Are we supposed to think House rides off alone after that? And does...what? Lives life to the fullest because he's already dead? How boring.

Finally, is it wrong that I want a completely flawed character? Not a tragic hero, which House is too, but an anti-hero. One with no redeeming qualities, but still a hero, not a villain. The equal and opposite character to Atticus Finch. Can you name one?

I'm still thinking.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

So Much for Mondays

Quick post, just to get back in the habit since I need to leave for work in a few minutes.

- CampNaNo is incredibly hard this month. I'm dangerously close to the point of too-far-behind-to-catch-up
-This is partly because I'm having terrible writer's block
-And partly because it is more important that I look for a new job so we can get out of Philadelphia this summer

-We're thinking about Baltimore, or maybe Boston.
-Back to upstate New York would be ideal for the boy, but not for me

-If you've got contacts in any of those places or info about writerly jobs, let me know.
        -I'd love you forever if you helped me out.

-I'm also trying to finish some "so long, co-workers, it's been fun-ish" presents. Here's a sneak peak at one. Sweater for the owner's baby.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This is another attempt at the short post I tried to write yesterday. But my camera wasn't cooperating. I should be knitting or writing, so I'll leave you with just a few pictures of a mural I found in Baltimore this weekend.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Creativity and Productivity

I've been trying to stash-bust like crazy, so I can justify a trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

This was a skein that I bought at Rhinebeck in the fall, and under the yellow lights of a semi-dark barn, I liked the colors I whole lot better. When I got it home and took it out under natural light, I realized that it was entirely too pink for my taste. Thus, it will be a gift for someone.

It reminds me of wine coolers, so I'm calling it the Wine Cooler Cowl. The pattern is called Chi-Town Crochet Cowl and can be found on Ravelry.

And as it was a rather large skein, I also made a hat. Which will also be a gift for someone. (Though not the same someone. This is a colorway that one person could definitely wear too much of)

And now I am off to work on my scriptfrenzy script.

Oh, what?

You're right. I DID say that I wasn't writing a script this round.

Turns out my characters are a little more demanding than I originally thought. I'd still like to finish Letters... but that seems to be taking a back seat to my script.

But hey, I'll take whatever burst of creativity and productivity comes my way.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I Should Be Writing

I realize that it's a day late, but, Happy Scriptfrenzy everyone!

I'm not writing a script this round. (Well, I might.) My plan for this month is to finish existing projects. 50,000ish more words, or as many needed until it's finished, on Letters to Myself.

I'm also thinking of resurrecting a very old screenplay and reworking it. By that I mean, keeping the basic plot and scrapping most of the lines.

In other news, Ben took me to see The Hunger Games last night. I was pleasantly surprised. Other than the nauseating cinematography, it was fairly well adapted. I'm still less than enthusiastic about Woody as Haymitch, but he wasn't as awful as I expected him to be.

Lenny Kravitz surprised me as Cinna, too.

And now, before I go write something...anything, since I haven't started yet... I leave you with a pre-blocking teaser picture of my next 12 in 2012 project.

Off to Frenzy now. Good luck to everyone writing this month! May the pages be ever in your favor.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sock Mania


I'm a little excited. Here it is as the beginning of the weekend, on my foot.

No, it's not a giant freak baby of a sock. Well, it is, but not because I messed up the gauge. It's because it's for Ben, not for me, and he has significantly larger feet than I do.

Here it is at the end of the weekend, on his foot:

Fits perfectly. I was a little amazed, and very excited.

Finally finishing this sock made me feel like a knitting superstar. It made me feel like "hey, I can make a sock. A fucking SOCK. I can do anything!"

I'm still feeling pretty good about things that I can accomplish, and I plan to do lots of plotting and writing this afternoon/evening. I'm also considering resurrecting an old screenplay and polishing it. And by polishing, I mean keeping most of the basic plot and scrapping most of the lines.

In the meantime, I have a new sock on the needles already- also for Ben.

Yes. I am aware that that is not the same colorway as the first one, and therefore, likely not its mate. It's not. I'll get to the other green one, I swear, but you see... there's this long story about how I don't have enough yarn left, and while I did manage to find the yarn label, it was yarn that I bought on sale at Loop because they weren't going to carry it anymore. The actual yarn company is out of Montana, and while they do have a website, they only sell wholesale. Which means that I have to find  a retailer that carries it. I may have to hop a bus to the city to do this. That of course doesn't make me cry, but it does mean that the second sock may take another six months, just like the first one did.

In the meantime, I'll content myself with the sock yarn that I do have.
And I'm sure I'll have more soon. Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up in May, don't you know. Who wants to go? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Onward to the Toes

I did it.

I turned the heel and shaped the gusset of my very first ever sock.


Now I just have to knit 9 inches of foot and then start decreasing the toes.

Okay, so I left this blog in the middle to go grocery shopping. When I came back, the results were up for The Book Doctors' NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza-


Anything else I was going to write about has been forgotten.

PLEASE go to the follow link and vote for me (Elizabeth Browne) to be the fan favorite. The big winner gets an introduction to an agent, but the fan favorite gets a free consult!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Why I'm Never Cooking Anything Again

Or, Domesticity Will Kill You.

I tried to be domestic today. We had a bit of leftover baguette that was getting progressively harder by the minute, so I thought I'd make crostini out of it, to go with the hummus and cheese that we have. It didn't sound too hard.

Cut the bread thin, brush some butter on both sides so it doesn't stick, pop it in the oven for a few minutes.

I, however, did not have a way to finesse the butter step, and that was where things began to go terribly wrong. Since I had nothing with which to brush it on, I settled for dipping the pieces in the butter, and then putting them in the oven.

After about 15 minutes, a few of them were good, but most of them were still a bit too greasy. So I took them out of the oven, thinking that I would let them cool off a bit, then stick them in the toaster oven to dry them out the rest of the way.

But, it turns out, when you heat up butter again, it  becomes a liquid. Go figure. And it melts and drips into the all wrong places, and starts a grease fire, making the end result of your domestic attempt at crostini this:

A possibly ruined toaster oven full of baking soda.

Thank you, person that taught me about grease fires and baking soda. I owe you one.

By now, I have cleaned out the toaster oven, and I'm hoping that it will still work, but I'm too scared to turn it on and find out. I'll let the boy do that when he gets home, since it's his toaster oven anyway.

In the meantime, I'll work on something I can manage (sort of) like writing, and eat something that I don't have to cook- cheese and fruit, maybe with the few pieces of crostini that didn't go through the fire.

I will never be domestic.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Today brings you no finished objects. Except a book.

I'm still on my Artemis Fowl kick, and I just finished the 6th one, called Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox. Given the title, I should have figured out the twist, but really, I just wasn't thinking. It's nice to read something easy and fluffy just for the hell of it sometimes, and that's exactly what I'm doing now. I'm on a run of fluff. I think that's okay.

Again, it would be silly to tell you all about book six, so I won't say much except that it was good. Go read it. Series are hard to review.

In other news, I have a completed sock cuff.

Now it's time to start turning the heel.

I'm not sure that I want to do that tonight. I haven't been feeling well all day, and part of me wants to start something easy and mindless and put on Glee.

For now, I think that's what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll start that vest I keep talking about later.

Or write something. Since Mondays are supposed to be for writing, too. And I found an MFA program that I'm interested in. University of Baltimore, which I know nothing about. It's a combination Creative Writing and Publishing MFA, and I think it would be infinitely more useful than a regular Creative Writing program.

Head sufficiently spinning.

Now, Glee.

Monday, February 13, 2012


These pieces are now a sweater. It's an unblocked sweater with no buttons, but it's still a sweater. And cute, I might add.

I'm still pretty in love with this pattern.

It's so quick and easy and cute. I think it will have staying power.
Speaking of staying power... check out this flawless segue...

Artemis Fowl.

I started reading this children's series years ago- after I was already out of the target age range, but when I was considerably younger than I am now.

I'd read the first four, and then, when I went to the library in search of Melville (which they didn't have. Seriously, a library that didn't have Melville) I found the last three in the series.

Seven books, you say. Sounds a bit like Harry Potter. Yeah, but Artemis is cooler. And I'm pretty sure Eoin Colfer didn't plan to have seven books like HP, it just happened.

Artemis Fowl is for slightly younger audiences- this library had it shelved under "teen series" but we've already established the merits of this library. I disagree with the "teen" label. Young teen, PRE-teen, really.

Artemis is a boy genius (I believe he is ten in the first book, which is also a reason I disagree with the teen series label) and a criminal mastermind. He has discovered the existence of fairies and sets about trying to capture them with his superior intellect and never-ending fortune.

Of course, it's a lot more complicated than that. And I just read the fifth book, which involves demons. I can't give you the whole back story, that would take too long. About as long as it would take you to just read the first four books for yourself, because they're really quick, fun, and easy reads. So just do that.

Go read Artemis Fowl. Then come back and we'll talk about the demons.

While I wait, I'll work on turning this into a sweater vest. (A cool one, not the kind of sweater vest you're thinking of.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mondays are for Blogging

As I mentioned, my blogging has been incredibly sporadic. Sorry about that. It's a problem that I've been having lately. In a way, I sort of miss academia, because I had things that I had to do. Currently, there is nothing that I HAVE to do, except go to work four days per week, so subsequently, I find it hard to get motivated to do anything beyond that.

Okay, if I'm honest, it's hard to get motivated to go to work, too. My job is pretty damn boring right now. But because I have nothing that I have to do, I tend to fall back on the "why should I? I don't HAVE to," excuse.

Thus, new rule: Mondays are for blogging. And writing. Something, anything. Mondays are for hauling my ass to the library if necessary, just to get something accomplished.

I did go to the library today, although not to write, just to pick up some new books. Because, you know, the shelf full of unread books here isn't enough. Nope.

Weeknights will be for crocheting/knitting/reading.

But Mondays are for blogging.

I have a new finished object to show you this Monday, too. Hopefully, I'll have at least progress, if not something totally done, to show you every Monday.

Here it is, Doris Chan's Snow Day Cowl:

I absolutely love the colors of this yarn.

It's called 'Catskill' and while it isn't really the colors of the Catskills at all (not enough green. Actually, not any green, and that's a problem) it's still a really gorgeous colorway. I have a new addiction to Mobius cowls. They're genius. At least, I think they are. I'm still not totally sure how they even work- they just do.

Here's another FO- this might be the cutest thing I've ever made.
I'm not preggers, no worries. I know a ton of people who are. I'm cool with that however, because it means I get to make more sweaters, and boy do I love this pattern. I even made matching booties with the blue, to bring that out in the sweater a little more.

Cute, right? I've already ordered the yarn for the next one.
Next Monday, I shall return. Hopefully with a finished project, and likely a book review. (Whoa, I know, I haven't done that in forever.)
Now- Pitchapolooza time! (NaNo sponsored pitch contest.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

A blog in bullets

- I'm terribly out of the blogging habit.

-Going to take a page out of Steven's book.

            -Mondays are for blogging.

                                -Seriously. Starting this one. New rule.

-Dark(ish) picture sneak peak:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Study in Purple

I've been noticing lately just how much purple I own. And the amount of purple I own just keeps getting bigger because I keep making more purple things.

For example: 

                                                                                                                                                                             And now apparently I am stuck writing in the middle of the page. 
Wtf, blogger? 
Anywhooo... That up there, is Doris Chan's Valley Cowl, made with the GLORIOUS cashmere that my wonderful boyfriend gave me for Christmas. It is now the nicest thing I own. Seriously. I love it. 
AND! What made it even better? Who should I run into at Vogue Knitting Live in the city, while I was wearing it, but Doris Chan herself. We were, she has since informed me via Ravelry, equally excited to see each other. Me, because I'd never met her and always wanted to, and she, because I was wearing her cowl.
In addition to that purple thing, I made this purple thing: necessary, as it is now winter here, but not nearly as nice a yarn. Still-- functional.
Not really sure why blogger is being such a bitch and screwing with my formatting today. I'm sorry for the scattered and rather annoying look of this blog. I don't know how to fix it. Everything I try to do makes it worse. I'd give you more details about Vogue Knitting Live, but now I'm just frustrated. So I leave you with pictures of my two purchases. Some purple (surprise!) sock yarn, and my favorite purchase- a yarn bowl. 

(Yeahr but...no but...that bowl's blue but...) Yeah, it is blue. Keepin' you on your toes. I don't know how I ever lived without a yarn bowl. 
(If you got the obscure television reference, you're my new best friend.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cut. Print. It's a Wrap!

I've just returned from a day in South Philly, watching the Mummers Parade and ringing in the New Year. If you're ever in the neighborhood and want to do this, I have one piece of advice that will save your sanity from screaming college girls, grown men dressed as babies, and little kids with air horns:

Bring a flask.

The Mummers Parade is a strange Philadelphia tradition, but it is fun to watch. Not so much fun that I'd want to come back to see it when we're gone, but while we're here, it was an entertaining way to celebrate another year.

I've heard from a lot of people that 2011 was a shitty year for them. I can't say that things happened the way I wanted them to this year, and yes I did spend more time in the emergency room this year than I ever have in my life, but overall, everyone I love is healthy and relatively happy.

Instead of dwelling on the things that didn't go the way I wanted them to, I think it best to move on. In the immortal words of Rafiki, from The Lion King, "It doesn't matter! It's in de past!"

If I was the kind of person that planned ahead, I'd look to the future. However, I don't plan ahead. Anything, really. Which brings us to the next segment, which I'm calling:

"If I Actually Kept Resolutions..."

If I actually kept resolutions I would resolve to cut back on my drinking.
If I actually kept resolutions I would resolve to get back into some kind of shape besides "extra squishy."

If I actually kept resolutions I would resolve to write. Every day. No matter how I felt about it, and no matter if I had nothing to write about.

If I actually kept resolutions, I'd prepare to apply to PhD programs by seriously thinking about what I want to do with my life.

If I actually kept resolutions, I'd make a pattern list for my 12 in 2012 endeavor and stick with it.

If I actually kept resolutions, I'd stick to a blogging schedule and tell you all about my success.

But since I don't, we'll see how it goes. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year, from Ben and me.
Oh, and the Loch Ness Monster.