Category Archives: inspiration

Hola 2013!

2013 is here! And quite a year it’s going to be. In two weeks I’m going to apply to Clarion West at the very least and also possibly to Clarion (there’s something going on in my day job that I want to see through before deciding on whether to apply to Clarion). And whether or not I get into Clarion there’s all kinds of awesome things coming up all through the year!

A couple of years ago I enrolled into a Creative Writing class at the learning annex and until my schedule started conflicting this last fall, I’ve been attending it. While I was there I we met biweekly and each meeting we got a writing prompt as homework. And in one of those homework prompts I had a young woman at her grandmother’s funeral. Then the next time I just continued her story and the next and the next. Now it looks like the schedule conflict won’t be going away anytime soon and I want to get back to that story so starting next Wednesday I’ll start publishing the scenes I’ve already written here and when I run out, start writing new ones, probably biweekly based on writing prompts you guys will hopefully provide me with.

As of May the dog will be old enough to start competing so I’m kind of looking forward to humiliating myself on the field of (obedience) battle.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 Year in Review

Fireworks by Corey.C
Fireworks by Corey.C

So that’s another year almost completely spent and while I definitely feel like I should have done and accomplished more, it has been a really good year. And especially here at the blog. This was my second year of blogging on WordPress and this year you all viewed my blog almost five times as much as you did last year. Mind you, I’m still pretty freaking far away from from the page views of pretty much anyone (this blog gets for example pretty much the exact same amount of views per month as the community blog – Nörttitytöt – I co-edit does every single day) but I still get a warm fuzzy every time I see my page view stats. So here’s a great big thank you to you all even though I have no idea where all of you suddenly came from. Where DID you come from?

In January of this year I started co-editing a community blog, the aforementioned Nörttitytöt (Geekgirls in English) and let me tell you it has been an amazing experience. So many bright and wonderful geekgirls with so many interesting and fun things to say. I feel privileged to be a part of the community that has sprung around the blog and moreover I feel privileged to be so involved in such a cool project.

On the writing front this year has been not only pretty methodical but also very productive. I’ve managed to finish the first drafts of many a short story and about half of a novel which is much more than I managed last year. Also I really think the quality of my writing has been better this year than it has in previous years. I think I may also be on the verge of getting the hang of middles which have always been my weak point in any story. No sales this year either but to tell the truth I haven’t been as active with sending my stories out as I should have been so that’s all on me. But on the other hand this year we also decided that I would be applying to Clarion and/or Clarion West for next summer which would be such an awesome and scary experience that I can’t even tell you. There’s no guarantee that I’ll get in but even the thought of applying is exciting and butterfly-inducing and something that totally makes my day.

Then there’s also all the other ways this year has been good and all kinds of wonderful that I’m not going to share here because a girl’s got to have SOME privacy.

This turned into a surprisingly sentimental post. But what can I say, it’s been a very good year.

Useful skills for humans

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

I believe strongly in knowing how stuff works and my work history reflects it. I’ve been a sailor, a gardener, an office temp, a warehouse worker and now a programmer trying to become an author. Besides all that I half grew up on a farm and know a lot about the skillset that comes with that. By now I know how to do a lot of those things in Heinlein’s list above and then some. The thing is I think that list is inherently lacking (as it is no doubt meant to be). Here are some skills that I would add to the list.

Knit a sock
While it can be deemed debatable whether or not being able to knit Shetland wedding ring lace (basically a shawl knit so fine that the whole of it can pass through a wedding ring without difficulty), it cannot be debated that everyone needs socks. Especially if you’re lost on some desert island, because socks equals civilization, amirite? And if you need more convincing, the Samurai actually knit socks and gloves during times of peace to gain more income. And you can’t seriously claim to be cooler than a Samurai.

In light of that, here’s a video of how to start knitting socks:


(part 2, part 3, part 4)

Spin your own yarn
Lost on a desert island or even a distant planet, how will you knit your socks (or wedding ring shawls) if you don’t know how to spin your own yarn? This is something I have yet to learn so I’ll have to learn it right along with you.

As usual, youtube to the rescue:


(she also has tutorials on how to prepare the stuff about to become yarn

Make a fishing net
So last summer we started to Steampunkify our bedroom because I really, really wanted to and my husband is an incredibly patient and awesome man. While the process is still ongoing, one of the ideas I have for it is a purple ceiling lamp that doubles as a hot-air balloon. And for that I would need a net. And while I learned all kinds of knots during my seafaring life, I’ve never made a fishing net. So I learned how to make one. Youtube to the rescue!

There are probably lots of survival skills that might come handy on an alien planet and I don’t think I’m ready to survive even on Earth. So I put this to you, dear readers, what other essential skills should humans know?