Why hello there

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You’d think I’d forgotten my blog with how long I’ve been away (other than that PSA). Sorry! Just was busy and then drained and then busy.

I ended up not finishing the Tour. With everything going on I got rather burned out, so I have some yarn, and lots waiting to be processed.

But lately I’ve been feeling more human, so here’s a generally update on what’s been happening. Mostly food, actually! Love food.

It all started when I sprung and bought myself a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I got it for fairly cheap (especially compared to the retail price), and I adore it already. Oodles. (It may or may not have to do with being able to make my favourite royal icing at any time without needing to set aside 30 minutes to hand whip egg whites).

Next thing you know, this happened:

Why yes, that is four different types of butter. From left to right–my favourite Irish butter, butter from a local creamery, some organic butter I bought, and a European style butter. Mmmm. Just before this shot I was making croissants(!) so that’s why there’s not as much as there could be.

Speaking of croissants, I’m very pleased that you can take something sludgy like this:

and a bit of flattened and beaten butter like this:

and get something quite as glorious as this:

These croissants came out much better than my last batch! So. Much. Better. They’re fabulous.

Next time I’m going to aim to get even fluffier insides, but this ain’t half bad:

Also made a batch of cookies because why not:

Not pictured are the already eaten chocolate cake and strawberry buckle that I made over the past two weeks.

I’ve actually been knitting too, though just on one project (which I want done by Halloween). The heat laying off a bit here has definitely helped, since it’s (gasp) a blanket (and we all know I don’t knit blankets so shut up).

No, it’s not grey. I have no idea why it photographed grey. I know it must hate me since it did, but that’s about par for course for this particular blanket/yarn, so no big deal. A slightly fuzzy detail of the ring I’m on now:

And another overall shot:

This thing is going to be massive. I’ve only just started ball 3, and I’ve still got a ways to go. Scary, I might get devoured by it. Welp. You’ll know where to find me!

And that’s about all I’ve got for you this evening. Keep knitting, keep cooking, and have fun!

Why are we snails brother?

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This is a thing I did while trying out the new greens I purchased (yes, they are delightfully less blue and more yellow) and the most amazing rich velvety purple-brown (Daniel Smith’s Shadow Violet, which breaks in all the best ways).

Click to enlarge, I guess, though it’s just a crappy cell phone pic. I’m still very pleased with it, I’ve figured out a few more techniques and I have decided that my new favourite brown is ochre yellow blended with purple. I also really love doing snail shells

_@_|/

This is inspired primarily by my art friend Mroo , who loves snails and who has basically caused all sorts of Snail Loki/ Snail Thor (snailbros!) shenanigans to occur. (You should check out her stuff and stuff because she’s awesome)(I know I link her every time I mention her, but really.)

I’ll tour update soon. Promises. (you can not convince me that brown for the dirt is not the best brown, look at the yellows in it and how delicious it is)

Writing Process–Example Time

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So I promised everyone that I would show how I took my writing process and created a finished story. At this point I’m going to refer you to the story on fanfiction.net and livejournal in case you would prefer not to be spoiled; if you don’t care and are just here to see how it works, well, hang in there! This is going to be a massively text heavy post.

Sorry front page, you’re about to get massively huge.

1. We start here. If you’ll recall, this is “1 sentence summary and then 1 paragraph summary that I can work with.” For Now You’ll Never be Lonely, they are as follows:

“Tony falls in love with Steve’s newest employee.”

“Tony stops in Steve’s diner just before closing to find a new waiter closing up shop. Steve secretly is crushing on Tony, but sets up the two for a dinner date anyway. Steve admits to linking Tony while drunk, and Loki overhears and slips back into drug use. While Loki is detoxing, Tony admits to liking him; Loki tries to skip town. Tony convinces him that he wants to make this work. “

The paragraph follows the typical conflict structure of setup-first conflict-second conflict-third conflict-resolution. As such, this doesn’t always work for every story (in fact, my current project isn’t following this same process at all, goes to show you).

2. Next up is the character development. As mentioned, I do this for all major characters. Tony’s looked like this:

Tony
Famous engineer and playboy; rooms with Steve because he hates an empty home.
Motivation – realizing he loves someone
Goal - explain to Loki his feels
Conflict – unwillingness to express feelings
Epiphany – Loki will be gone if he doesn’t say it
Summary – Tony is intrigued by the new waiter and feels more comfortable with him than he has with anyone in a while. He’s a bit freaked out by Steve’s confession, especially when Loki leaves afterward. He manages to find Loki outside a bar one night when he’s planning to get shitfaced due to depression, and makes Loki stay at their place till he’s clean. When Loki goes to skip town and Steve calls him, he finally realizes he has to tell Loki how he feels even if he gets hurt.

3. I return back to my one paragraph summary and turn that into a one page summary of the story. Each paragraph is basically trying to develop on the conflict it covers.

As I don’t you guys to freak out about long this is, I’ll just link you to the google docs copy of the 1 page summary.  An excerpt of it is below:

Loki shows up at the diner because of a help wanted ad, and Steve agrees to let him start after taking a look through his references. He feels a little bad for the guy, clearly new in town, but he comes back clean from the drug testing and he’s very good with the customers. Tony comes in late one night before closing and the two flirt with each other almost shamelessly; Steve notices pretty much right off how comfortable Tony is made by the guy.

As you can see, I’ve taken the initial one sentence intro and turned it into a logical flow from one character to the next. If you view the docs page, you’ll note the different title; I didn’t have on solidly picked out till right before I finished it, so don’t mind that.

4. Major characters then get to have a one page summary of their arc through the story, through their point of view. How many of these I do usually varies; I’ll have more short summaries like from step 2 than I usually have for this step. This is for the movers and shakers the story focuses around, the ones I’ll spend most of my time in the heads of. Again, link to full page summary on Google docs, and excerpt below:

And it was… nice. He kept waiting to dread it, kept looking for any sign that Tony wanted him to be something else, or that Tony wanted to control him. He kept waiting on Tony to get pissed off about something trivial and scream at him. He kept waiting and it kept not happening. And he mentioned going to maybe something he would like, and Tony said sure, no problem, and he actually enjoyed it and liked it, and grinned at Loki like he thought Loki was just the cutest damn thing. And Loki wasn’t sure how he felt about that, so he called Natasha (because sometimes he secretly wants someone to tell him what to do and decide for him because he just doesn’t get people anymore) while he was tripping (but he kept telling himself he would stop soon because he’s scared of Tony finding out about this part of him)(one more thing to make him a monster). And she told him to suck it up and stop being a baby and enjoy himself or she would pin him down and tickle him till he stopped breathing and lay off the drugs, Loki, I know you’re half out of your mind right now (this is the first time in two weeks he wants to tell her but he doesn’t).

Already you can see that some things are different then how they actually ended up being in the story. Natasha doesn’t tell him to lay off the drugs, Tony asks Loki what he wants to do instead of Loki suggesting something, but the general feel of the character is there, and I’m starting to grasp the logic and how it all fits together.

5. And again, we expand. I do a four page summary that usually is blending the different perspectives and working through the upper logic of the story and how different things move into each other. I get an idea of the overall tone of the story here too.  Here’s the link to it; no excerpt this time. Here we have the overall structure of the story, and you can start to see how that one sentence became the 18k word monster that it is.

6. Then SCENES. This takes forever to do, and I back and forth over spreadsheets or not spreadsheets. This is also incredibly necessary; it’s much easier to move a few cells around than it is to entirely restructure and move fully written scenes around. You can see it here. Note that there’s an established flow already; I don’t suddenly decide to stop and create a cliffhanger. I group the scenes according to how I feel they will work best as chapters, and usually I end up with more scenes then I actually need (like how, early on, I show that Steve mentions hiring Loki, but then that never is in the finished work).

7- 12 are not really documented the same way (SURPRISE) because, well, I’m writing. I don’t save copies of the old story, I just write and go. When I’m stumped, I refer to my scene list–it also means there’s no “writer’s block” of not knowing what to do; just me being lazy and not wanting to write or feeling like I can’t. That sort of writer’s block is much easier to overcome when you know what happens next and write a few thousand words anyway.

And that’s really all there is. Hopefully other writers will find this helpful in some way!

TDF 2012 – Days 5-8

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Radio silence on Tour? I think not! S was in town so I was a bit more quiet on the tour front, and I feel like I’m making nooo progress. But then I took a photo of what I’ve done so far and feel a bit better.

Anyway, I worked primarily on the silvery CVM, and so it’s gone from this:

into this:

The skein photo is pretty spot on for the actual colour of the yarn. I’m very pleased with this, even if I should have let it rest longer before plying so it didn’t break so much. Next skein of CVM I’m just gonna bite the bullet and swap flyers for a higher ratio.

So for my first weekish of the Tour, I have done ALL THIS wow:

Isn’t that cool? I haven’t counted any yardages, and won’t till later I think. The green spindle is still getting added to, mostly at work/on the go because I like to be able to get some spinning done even if one evening is spent primarily processing.

In non-Tour news, I tried out those tube watercolours I got, and I can safely say I’m pretty intrigued. I think my palette is slightly more blue than I want, but I’m planning on picking up a tube of more yellow green this upcoming Saturday and a brighter yellow to help balance it out. First painting is very pleasing: I made a snail.

SNAIL.

Writing Stuff

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Hellooooo blog. I’ll have an update on Tour process tomorrow once I take a few more pictures, but for now, I’d like to drop in and point you to two separate places you can read a story I wrote using the process I described a while back.

You can read it on Fanfiction.net or over at a Silver Words, a LiveJournal I use strictly for posting writing.

I’m going to leave this up for a few days, that way you have time to read it if you are interested. It does have nonhetero relationships in it prominently, drug use, and past abusive relationship mentions. If any of things distress you, I’d recommend not reading it. You do not have to know/have seen the Avengers to get a kick out of it; honestly, I could change the names and you’d never know.

Anyway, I’ll leave it around, and then in a few days I’ll make a post on how I use the writing process I mentioned in order to create the story. :)