Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting stuff done

Sorry I've been quiet. I've been knitting away on my Aran sweater, some days accomplishing a lot, and others not doing much at all due to The Other Projects (see below). The back and one sleeve are done and blocked, and I'm at the quarter mark on the second sleeve. This leaves the two front cardigan pieces, knitting the buttonbands/neckline edging, then sewing it all up, which, frankly, I'm sweating over. Can I finish by March 17? It's just under a month away.

So, The Other Projects. I'm giving up my office so that my son can have his own room. Technically he does have his own room right now, the biggest one in the house, but he shares it with my husband's home office. And O is miserable in there. Let's just say that my husband is something of a packrat and there's just no room for O to spread out his toys, or even have a friend sleep over. The plan is, O will move into my office and have the space completely to himself, and I'll move my books, fabric, sewing machine, and yarn to his old space and set up a little workstation for writing out in the livingroom. It's not an ideal set-up for work, but it's more important to me for O to have his own bedroom and some privacy. Plus, he'll have his "own" bathroom downstairs, which he'll share with visitors, of the course ... and the cats! Anyway, these plans have led to purging and cleaning, which feels great, but is time-consuming.

Then The Other Project is that I've been revising a book for electronic publication. IRL I'm a freelance writer and author/co-author. Back in the early 00s, my co-author Linda and I published a book called The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success, with a small publishing company called Marion Street Press. The book ended up being a big hit, with great reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Investigative Reporters and Editors, The Writer magazine, and, happily, readers! We followed up with a second book, The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock, and a second edition of The Renegade Writer. Unfortunately, our publisher decided to sell his press, and the new owners were ... well, let's put it this way: We missed our old publisher, Ed, who was fair, honest, and dedicated to our books. Even though our books were doing well and we'd long earned out our advances, the new owners weren't paying our royalties. Finally, we consulted with an attorney and discovered that non-payment of royalties violated the terms of our publishing contract so we could take full-ownership of the rights to our books. This was about a year ago.

Anyway, Linda and I have long been talking about updating The Renegade Writer, since the second edition was over five years old, an eternity in publishing. So I spent most of February going through the manuscript, and finally this weekend uploaded .mobi and .epub files to and and now The Renegade Writer 2.5 is live! (The Kindle version can also be purchased through most of's international sites, which is awesome because the physical book was hard to find in England, France, Japan, etc.) It feels good to have it done and out there, although I'm fretting that I've made some terrible error, like forgotten to take out the Rickrolling link I put in to entertain Linda as she proofed, hee hee. (I'm not sure she saw it ... either that, or she's chosen to ignore my childish pranks.)

BTW, what is so bad about Rick Astley? He's awesome! It's a happy tune! So, the video's a little lame, but it's waaaaay better than Gangnam Style, which my son informed me this weekend is the most popular YouTube video ever with over a billion page views. Ugh.

So besides cleaning, sorting, editing, and uploading, I've been shoveling (more snow this weekend) and now O is out of school for February vacation, so that means playing Chief Entertainment Officer, unless I want him glued to Minecraft for the next five days. How is your February going?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yarn Along, February 6, 2013

Yarn Along, Feb 6, 2013

What I'm knitting: the first sleeve of my Candide Aran cardigan.

What I'm reading: The Vows of Silence, the fourth novel in the Simon Serrailler mystery series by Susan Hill. I'm on chapter 43 and find it hard to put down, even though I know who the killer is. Hill draws marvelous characters, ones I've grown to care about. Couple this with the English setting? I'm all over these novels!

Part of Small Things' Wednesday Yarn Along.

Monday, February 4, 2013

English king's remains found

One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is Richard III. One of the few lines of Shakespearean drama I can remember years after college is the king's dying cry on Bosworth Field: "A horse, A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

Scholars have long searched for this medieval king's remains, and today the University of Leicester, along with the Richard III Society and the Leicester City Council announced that remains excavated from underneath a city parking lot are indeed the remains of the last English king killed in battle. Mitochondrial DNA from the skeleton was matched to a Canadian man who is a direct descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York.

The video above explains how the remains were discovered. A friary once stood in place of the city parking lot. The king's body was rumored to be buried in the choir area of the church. Since researchers knew the geography of the former church, once they started digging and found location markers, they were able to figure out where the choir would be. Luckily, the rumors were accurate! One thing I've never thought about is how often archaeological remains are found and we never know much about the person they once were. In this case -- what a story!