Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Worth the wait

Eight years.  Four major rewrites.  That's part of Rachel Hartman's journey to publication of her book, Seraphina, available in bookstores yesterday.
There's been a lot of hype, many reviews, four (four!) starred reviews - and since she and I have been reading each other's blogs and sending each other encouraging email regarding the writing of books for several years - I was looking forward to it.  I was thrilled for her, and yet I wondered - could this book live up to the hype?

I bought it for Kindle yesterday, and I started to read.  "I remember being born."  Great first line, I thought.   I read the second line. "In fact, I remember a time before that."

Hooked.

And really, the only reason I put it down is that the inlaws are on their way here, and there was laundry to do, and also I had to sleep.  I finished it in the bath this morning, even though Kindles and baths should be mixed very, very carefully.

I was kind of braced for ...well, envy.  Rachel's been focussed and determined and passionate and gotten the job done, and gotten the book out there , and I - haven't.  (Yet.)

But I couldn't find any envy.  I was enjoying reading it too much.  This is a beautiful book, beautifully written, some gorgeous turns of phrase,  a plot that intrigues (and really impressed me!) and a really really likable heroine.  Some fascinating constructs - she thought up new things! Interesting things.  I'm not telling you what they are because, really, if you love words, and you love story, and you like a richly imagined world populated by a fantastic variety of characters ...you will love this book.  And you should go buy it, so Rachel can write another one, and another one, and another one after that.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Oh wait, I have a blog

Yesterday B wanted me to do something for him, and I asked him to please do it himself, because what I was doing was hard.

He looked at what I was doing.  I was knitting a shawl, but I was knitting from a chart, and the stitch markers weren't cooperating and I was trying not to keep calm and carry on.  I've never knit from charts before.  I was deeply immersed in a learning curve.

He may have rolled his eyes.  "You and I have a different definition of what HARD is."

***
Speaking of knitting from a chart. 

I was test-knitting a pattern for someone.

I was very pleased with myself because I found a spot where she'd missed putting in a yarn over.

I knit through Chart A, and no planets collided, and the knitting even looked right.

A wee voice in the back of my head said "Is that looking a bit loose?"

I told the voice to shut up and moved on to Chart B. 

I emailed the writer of the pattern to tell her how smart I was, successfully acquiring a new skill and all that.

The voice in my head said "It's just that hers looked somehow smaller and neater."

I rolled my eyes, and picked up the pattern, planning to comb it carefully for clues as to why this might be.

SIGH.  I have indeed acquired a new skill, but I had apparently replaced an existing skill, ie, the skill that tells you to READ THE PATTERN to find out what size of needle you should be using.

I had cast on with needles that were not one, not two, but THREE sizes too big.

Loose, indeed.