Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Way to My Creative Side

I feel like I got a lot done this past weekend, creatively speaking.

I hit 50,000 words in my NaNoWriMo novel and waved as my narrative just flew on by them.  That was an awesome feeling, let me tell you.  Technically, I have now officially won NaNoWriMo.  However, I am not uploading my 50,000+ word document to the site's verification engine until I have completed the story, because the challenge for me was not about reaching the word count (though that was certainly part of it), but about actually finishing the story.  I actually had a moment of panic when I realized I had passed that number, because holy cow I still hadn't made it to the climax of the story.  This was Friday night.  Saturday I had another writing date with my friend and fellow NaNoWriMo participant Miss T, and we pretty much camped out at Starbucks and Barnes and Noble for six hours giving each other feedback, bouncing ideas off of each other, and, well, writing.  Despite the post-lunch difficulty finding a seat near an outlet (my laptop has zero battery life, I may need to finally cave in and consider getting a new battery for that thing), it was a fantastic experience.  It also managed to kick my butt into high writing gear.

Ideally, I would like to finish the story this evening,, I have until midnight tomorrow to upload the story, but I would like to not be frantically working until the last moment to finish.  That kind of stress just isn't necessary.  But if that's what has to happen, then I will accept it, as long as I actually meet the goal.  I think it will happen.  I crammed as much writing into yesterday as I could.  Thankfully, Sundays are a slow internet day for me, which means more of my allotted computer time can be devoted to writing rather than reading the eight zillion blogs I follow in my feed reader.  I've gotten my characters to the climax, now they just have to survive it and let me wrap up this part of their story.  I definitely think there is enough here for another novel, maybe two.  So I do think I will be returning to this world.  I devoted a lot of time to world building, and as a result, I have a wealth of information that didn't get conveyed in this particular story but will be very helpful down the line.

I know I've said several times already how glad I am that I decided to participate in this challenge this year, but I truly do feel that it bears repeating.  In addition to getting me writing an actual narrative once more, it has also helped me to see a lot of things about my writing style that need to be addressed.  Learning your weaknesses is always a good thing if you are willing to work on improving them, I feel.  I also think that this has brought me and Miss T a lot closer to each other, which has been very nice indeed.  There's always room in my world for stronger friendships.  When we closed up shop on Saturday we discussed continuing our writing dates on a regular basis throughout the year.  I really hope we can juggle our respective schedules to make that work, because it is a fantastic idea.  So if you consider yourself a writer at any level, and you like to write any kind of prose, I strongly recommend that you consider NaNoWriMo next year.  Even if you don't reach the 50,000 words or finish your story, there is so much to be gained from the experience.

In addition to my writing, I also got quite a bit of crocheting done.  I am now done with my sweater and it is so warm and cozy!  I love how it came out.

Lady Grey by Cori 2010.

A closeup view of the pattern detail.

Action shot!

The pattern for the sweater is Ladylike Pullover (pattern # 90189AD), by Lion Brand.  It is available for free (though free registration on the site is required) at Lion Brand's website.  

Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Grey Heather (7 balls to make size L)
Hook size:  J-10

Ever since I got the sleeves attached and started working on the yoke, I have been constantly fighting the urge to slip it on and try it out, unfinished or not.  So it was nice to finally finish and be able to put it on!  While I was working on that, I also managed to burn through my Netflix DVDs and a few episodes of Atlantis with my husband, which added to my feeling of productivity. 

I also managed to wrap some more Christmas presents, we bought several for our daughter when we went to the store this past week, and several more that I had ordered from Amazon came in.  The trick is to find a place to do it where neither my daughter nor my cats (specifically, Tony) can get into the wrapping paper.  My husband found this video online and is convinced Tony would let us do this to him.  I am not so sure, but it is an amusing thought.

Speaking of Christmas and crochet, if you are looking for something crafty to do for the geeks in your life, I found some awesome crochet patterns this weekend.  I will totally be making all of these things soon.

The Cthulhu toque.  This is available in adult and baby sizes.  You can purchase them pre-made or buy the pattern for only $5 if you want to give it a try yourself.  I am totally going to be making one for my daughter next year.  Not that she actually wears hats, she takes them off as soon as we put them on her head, but still. Also, my recent online discoveries of all of the cuddly Cthulhu crafts really make me feel that I need to actually read some Lovecraft one of these days.'s an educational gift as well, right?

I also stumbled across patterns for Star Wars Amigurumi.  You can buy the set of ten patterns, or each pattern is available individually.  I need an R2D2 and a Stormtrooper for my desk, and I think Miss T has first dibs on a Yoda for her classroom.  The author has a lot of other cute patterns available as well, including a dragon and a wizard.  Ooh.

Word Count Update:  62,648
Page Count Update:  113


  1. Hi - I know it's been a while since you've completed this sweater, but I was wondering if you could help me. I'm having a hard time figuring out how the underarms are going to work.

    I'm just starting to join the arms to the body. So, I'm going across the front, then add the arm, across the back, and add the other arm, then just keep going around, making decreases in the next four rows, then starting the lace part working toward the neck.

    What I don't understand is how the underarms are going to go together afterward. Using the XS numbers (as an example), there are 9 stitches that were slip stitched and then 10 that were skipped, for a total of 19 stitches that will need to be sewn on the sleeve part. On the body side, there are only 10 stitches. So, how do I sew the 19 to the 10 so that it looks right? The pattern just says "sew underarm seams". I just don't get it.

    Did I miss something? I'm actually pretty new to crochet - only been doing it a few months - and this is my first sweater. So far, I've only done hats and scarves.


  2. Honestly, it has been so long that I don't even remember if I had an issue with this or not. It looks like there is a little bit of gather on the underarm seam when I look at mine. However, you also want to bear in mind that you will not just have those ten skipped stitches on the body to join but also the sides of the stitches from the row of the body on either side of where you joined the top of the sleeve. So the best advice I can give you is to just make sure you get each of the unjoined stitches from the sleeves attached, spacing them out along the open stitches (and side of the stitches on that joining row) the best you can.

    I know that's not terribly helpful. I am sorry. :(