Friday, January 30, 2009

So just where have I been all day?

Um, well, I went to my writers' group this morning : )
I'm so fortunate to have such a supportive, productive writers' group.
I went to practice for my latest gig. : )
The "gig" is a fundraiser for Mayne Island's Rest -Q Animal Sanctuary.
Rest -Q provides a loving home for 130 abused, neglected and abandoned animals. They now oink, purr, quack, snort, bark in their forever home.
The fundraiser (gig) is planned for the evening of February 14th. The evening will be full of Broadway music, poetry and delicious desserts.
Sound like fun?
I know. So many thought the same that there are no tickets left.
Then I went to the health clinic. : (
I had a silver in bedded in my thumb.
It is now out. The doctor was gentle. I felt safe in her capable hands. ...but now I'm in pain. ...okay, I don't do pain well.

"What's this about "litter" ?" you ask

Please allow me to explain.
On my Author's Den web site, ,I have collection of stories, a few articles, and even some poems. Each month I add more.
I invite you to log on and read what interests you.
The web site automatically calculates a tally of the pieces you read. At the end of each month I post your favourite piece. This month you choose...
drum roll, please

A Critical Eye

Her eyes were cold, hard, steel.

"You're so naive. You think the world loves you. You may fool some of them. You may. But you can't fool me. They don't see you like I do. They don't see your blemishes but I see them, I do. You're a weak, empty headed, school-girl seeking approval. Who cares what they think? What do you think? That's what matters. Focus on that. Have a little back bone. Show some courage. You have to think you are someone to be someone. Believe in yourself. Believe."

Morning ritual complete she turned from the mirror.

Happy Friday

Please stay tuned for the pick of the litter.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

...for want of something better to say or do

Hubby found this web site:
(please cut and paste. I'm on my ePC and for some reason it doesn't link as nicely as my desk top.)
If you're a cat person and if you like to laugh check it out.

All is well here. Although, no sun : (

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The little engine that could

First a weather review, the snow has left and the sun shines. It is a beautiful day.

Now a tale...

I had a happy childhood. I remember sun soaked days of outside play. Yet, I know my life wasn't as wonderful as memory would have me believe. I know there were times when I was disappointed, I know there were times when I cried. And I know there were times when I was frustrated.

I know this because I have sweet memories of my Dad coming to my aide over and over again. In one memory, I remember being in tears. I was crying over my inability to do one thing or another. As often happened, my Dad attempted to console me. He heard my frustration. He validated it. Then he told me the story of the little engine that could. He said that everyone doubted that the little engine could climb that mountain. The mountain was so big and the little engine was so small. All wanted the little engine to succeed. Yet doubt remained. Then he smiled and said, "but he believed in himself and was successful. Try. That's all we ask. Try. We believe in you. We want you succeed. Try. You don't know what you can accomplish. You will never know unless you try."

Its a lesson I try to hold on to. Its a memory that has helped me succeed where I thought I would fail.

A few months ago, I shared my novella with friends.

Their reply, "Its good but its not finished."

I was upset. How could they tell me that? Didn't they know how much I had tried? Didn't they know how much work I had put into it?

Still their message remained, "its not finished."

When I shared it with them it was approximately 18, 000 words in length. I thought it was finished. However, the message remained so I went back to work.

The words flowed and continue to flow.

Now it is 20, 383 words. Now I know its not done. Now I wonder if it will it be a novella or a novel. A novella is from 17, 500 to 45, 000 words. A novel is longer.

Now my mantra is: "I think I can, I think I can finish the story."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A light dusting

The snow did come and in fact is still coming. When I woke this morning I noticed that the road had a light dusting. At the time the falling snow was too fine to notice. Since then the snowflakes have increased and decreased in size. However, they still insist in their flight. Although, Hubby thinks they do want to stay in the air. : ) You have to laugh or you will cry.

Please go here and read a very interesting blog post. I'll wait here.

Reading it has inspired me to write this...

I have tried to keep my religion a secret. Like a secret agent I loomed among friends and strangers alike with my mouth shut. As a teenager, I had learned that to proclaim my Sunday activities wasn't "cool" and in fact would draw ridicule. So I remained mute but I continued to attend.

It has only been recently that I have timidly begun to reveal my true Christian identity. I have tried to be respectful of my audience. My intention is not to convert or even to spread the good news but simply to be true to my own heart.

I don't initiate these conversations. I simply reply.

Sometimes my comments have been meet by heavy signs. This reaction prompts me to hide once again in the shadows.

However, to my surprise and delight, mostly my comments have been meet with understanding. Who I am, who I really am was only a secret to myself it seems.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Its a crisp day here on the sunny isle of Mayne. The radio warns that snow will return. And in further news...I missed the early morning ferry and have troubles of another nature...
What I want to do is have a double knit button band on my cardigan. I thought I could knit the band and the front at the same time.
So I tried...
Double knit band with 4 x 4 ribbing. It didn't work.
Of course, I thought, the double knit band needs something more stable than ribbing.
So I tried...

Double knit band with two yarns worked in Stockinette stitch.
As you can see it didn't work either. The double knit is just too heavy.
Do I have another idea, you ask.
Why yes, I say. I will have to knit the button band and the cardigan fronts separately.
The key will be to measure and measure carefully.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reading time

When I lived in the city, when I commuted to work I brought a book with me. On lunch breaks and while I commuted I read. I so enjoyed my read.

Now I don't live in the city, now my work is ever-present so I have scheduled reading time into my day. Reading time was once scheduled for bedtime. However, this didn't work. I was just too tired. Hubby is a night owl, so by the time I went to bed I hit the pillow, my eyes closed and I was asleep. I had no time to read. Now reading time is at three o'clock and lasts for an hour. By three I have put in a good day of work and am ready for a break. And besides I consider this reading time as part of my work.

Right now I'm reading three books. I choose an uplifting book, a book that educates and a work of fiction. I'm mainly (although, I have occasionally strayed from this path) a fiction writer so inclusion of a work of fiction makes sense. Currently, I'm reading Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins. This is my second reading of this book. The first time was about ten years ago. I don't, as a rule, re-read books. The other exception was Ethan From. I first encountered Ethan From while in high school.

The uplifting book that I'm reading is Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. It is easy to pooh-pooh books like this. I've even done it myself.
"Oh, the things you'll learn it that book you've only heard one hundred times before," we say.
This is true but how many times do you need to read something in order for it to stick. Many religions are built on one uplifting book: the Holy Bible, the Koran, the Torah. Worship involves the reading and re-reading of one book Sunday (or Saturday) after Sunday.
And it may be the same lessons that you are learning but it may take years to learn them. It may take someone phrasing the lesson in certain way to enable you to finally learn.
As well, there are negative, destructive books out there. Books that can and do fill your mind with junk. I'm not calling for censorship. I'm calling for balance.

The educational book that I'm reading is Nancy Lamb's The Art and Craft of Storytelling: A Comprehensive Guide to Classic Writing Techniques. This is a well-crafted, informative book that I believe every writer would benefit from reading. I have learned so much. I hope the lessons stick. I don't like marking books up with highlighters but I'm gravely tempted to commit this art to this book. I want so badly to retain the information. Taking notes rarely works for me. I have a bad habit of not reading them. However, highlighting does seem to. You see I don't like marking up books but I am capable of doing so. Not only am I capable of using highlighters but I'm also capable of writing in the margins. Please forgive me.

So that's when, where and why I read.

Happy reading,

Friday, January 23, 2009

A day full of opportunities

This morning I woke up to a sunny day.

Its a day of errands. Unfortunately, Sammy - one of my cats - has to go to the vet. There is something wrong. We need to find out what. Then I have to go to Coastal Creations. They have now closed permanently. Its sad news. Coastal Creations was very good for me - business wise. I have yet to find a suitable venue on Mayne Island to replace it. ...but I do have faith that I will. Today I must pick up my remaining inventory and cheque.

After my errands, my day is full of opportunities. I may work on my front yard for a while. It is in need of some serious TLC. That's the thing about Mayne Island's long growing season. The weeds can take full advance of it.

Then I may work on my novella. Strange the more I write - the more I have to write. One begins to wonder how long this story really is?

Then I may work on my cardigan. The back and sleeves are now done. I have cast on for the front but I may frog and cast on again for the fifth time.

Right now, though, I need to make breakfast. What shall I have? Will it be cereal or eggs?

Yes, indeed, my day is just jammed packed full of opportunities.

Happy Friday

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A gift to enjoy

Yesterday I enjoyed the Christmas present that Hubby gave me this year.

What was that gift, you ask.

Before I tell you that, let me tell you this...
A couple of years ago, Hubby's body began to retaliate against years of ill treatment. Not only was there pain but there was also lack of mobility. Thankfully I knew of a talented, young massage therapist who lived and worked on the island. Thankfully I encountered her at a meeting. Thankfully I had an opportunity to set an appointment for Hubby. I told her that I wasn't too sure how "into" this Hubby would be. He is definitely not a horse you can led to water. Fortunately, though I had waited just long enough and he was willing to try anything to improve his situation. So he went, he enjoyed, and his situation improved. He is now Dove's walking, talking billboard.

This Christmas Hubby bought me a gift certificate for a massage guessed it...the exact same therapist. The irony wasn't lost on Dove.

He gave me a gift certificate for a massage...
Me the person who likes at least four feet of personal space
Me the person who tenses when touched

I do recall attempting to receive massages in the past. It usually result with the masseuse suggesting rather loudly that I "Just relax". Their frustration clearly heard by all. However, Hubby pointed out that Dove wasn't a masseuse. She was a massage therapist.

Regardless, needless to say, I was apprehensive about accepting the gift. She was still going to come closer to me that four feet. She was still going to touch me.

Baring all that in mind, what made me change my mind? You may ask...and I will tell you.

-I knew and trusted Dove
-I had fallen over the holidays...very hard...on my back. I was still in pain.
-I thought it might help my IBS...anything that even hints of helping my IBS I'm for. (Well, within reason)

So, yesterday I arrived for my appointment. I was still apprehensive but immediately Dove reduced my stress. I crawled up on the table...still apprehensive. Once again Dove assured me that I was in charge. That I could stop the treatment at any time. Reassured I drifted off and let her work.

It was to be an hour long treatment. It was to be... and it was...but it sure didn't seem like it. I could still be on that table.

If you live on Mayne Island...if you can get to Mayne island...if you are in need of a massage...if you have ever thought of receiving one. Run don't walk...Meadow Dove Lang, registered massage therapist...her number is...(250)539 0627 You will be so glad you did.

And, no, in no way did she pay for or in any other way force me to write this. Actually she doesn't even know that I'm writing, it will just be our little secret. Except that I don't mind if you tell the world. a walking, talking billboard.

Relax and release the tension

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mayne Island blogs to read

here are two...

My friend Amber Harvey writes a blog. Please check it out at:
Amber and I attend the same writers' group on Mayne Island. In her blog, she writes about her writing and her life on Mayne Island.
is the blog for Mayne Island's Rest Q Animal Sanctuary.
The sanctuary provides a permanent home for abused and neglected animals. As you will understand, providing such a home is very expensive. On February 14th I will participate in a fund raiser for the sanctuary. The doors will open at 7:30 pm. The evening will be full of music. No, I won't be singing. I will save your ears that. Instead, I will be reading two poems: one written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and one (humbly) written by me.
Please check out the entire site. It is worth a through read.

About yesterday....
I watched President Obama on TV - I heard him on radio. He stood so straight, so tall. Yet, the weight of the world is on his shoulders. I wish him all the best. I hope he is kind to Canada.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The fog rolls in - the fog rolls out

The sun shines through - the sun is blocked. And so the battle continues.
And does it look like we care much?

Except that Hubby and others who wished to leave the island on the early morning ferry were unable. This meant that Hubby had to work from home today.
And we say, "Hip, hip, hurray!"
All day long it really felt like I lived on an island...with the ferries' fog horn gentle sounding in the background. Romantic? You betcha.
(Some may say that its a good thing that it felt like I lived on an island...because that's what I do. However, those people are far to logical for me.)

May you always be able to find your way home
And may the warmth of the sun find you there,

Ordering books and patterns from

I have changed the order page. My hope is that the changes will make ordering easier. Your feedback is appreciated. Please email:
Thank you,

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mayne Island has been veiled in fog since Wednesday. Today as I look out my window - I can only see the first row of trees that are directly across the road. I just looked again and noticed that the fog is thickening. It is threatening to eliminate the trees from view. On a day like this it is easy to believe in magic. What the eye doesn't see - the brain conjures. On a day like this it is necessary to focus on what is immediately in hand. For you can see little else. What is immediately in hand? Why knitting of course. Knit a little - rip back - knit a little - make a change in my design - rip back - knit a little: the stuff of my life.
Have a magical day

Here is an interesting article

It was written by a man who clearly has been in and through fog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's what and who's who

There has been a lot of discussion of late, in the knitting circles I frequent, regarding the term "designer". Who is allowed to use that title? When? How? What hoops must they jump through? May they call themselves a designer if they do half the work or must they do it all? May they call themselves a designer if they have only created one design or must they create a design collection? May they call themselves a designer if they only design dishcloths or scarves or hats and don't sell patterns? May they call themselves a designer if they make minor changes to a store bought pattern? Who can answer these questions? Can they speak for everyone?

...oh, you thought I would answer any or all of these questions? ...sorry.

Take care,

PS If you do have the answers please share. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knitting something

Last year I designed and knit this cardigan. I entered it in the Mayne Island fall fair and it won a blue ribbon.

I love wearing it. In fact, I'm wearing it today. The variegated yarn used in the knitting of the sweater is called 'first spring'.

This inspired me to take a picture of the last snow on the street upon which I live...

From a friend's old stash, I was gifted this...

I don't have much of it. Perhaps two balls worth. It is wool-ease by Lion Brand Yarn ( 80% acrylic/20% wool).
I knew I wanted to knit a cardigan from it. I wanted to knit a cardigan that would fit me.
Question: how could I knit a cardigan from two balls of yarn?
Answer: you can't.
Solution: I bought more yarn in a complimentary colour
This is the back. Please excuse the photographer's in ability to capture the true beauty of the sweater. I did try but...sometimes...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Happy ending

I'm so glad that is once again accessible. Not sure what happened. Just glad its over.
I have begun designing and knitting something. I will share it with you soon.

An uneasy feeling

I just tried to log on to:
And I received a "Gateway Timeout" message.
This message left me with an uneasy feeling.
It gave me an uneasy feeling not merely because
I have no idea what the message means but also
because is my web site.
It is the site that displays not only my hand
knitting patterns but also my books. I was
overwhelmed by this uneasy feeling when I
considered your reaction. You may think that my
site is down for a myriad of reasons one of which
may be that I have run away and now live on
coconuts and bananas on some hot, humid island.
You may think that I have abandoned my pen and
my needles for a fishing pole and hammock.
Please don't think this. Its not true. I haven't left.
I'm still here. I have notified those who can help.
And with some faith, hope I, it will return.
Knit on
PS Please remember that although I may not be
here: but I am still here:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A good day

Yesterday was a good day.
Why? you ask.
Well, because I finally pulled

out from under its trap.
It felt so good to once again be zooming down Mayne Island's roads at the lightening speed of 30 k. : )
Why did I have to wait to do this?
Why was my electric bike so stored.
Well, because of this...

I'm happy to report that most of the white stuff is now gone.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It's Finished

I've been wanting to share this news with you for at least two days. ...but life happened and I was forced to wait
The news:
the vest is finished.
As you can see it is a little big on me.
The reason: it wasn't for me. It was for my patient neighbour.
How patient is my neighbour?
She is so patient that she has been waiting for this vest for two years. But as they say, good things come to those who wait and last Sunday I hand delivered the vest. And I'm pleased to say that not only did she like it but it also fits.
All together now: Hip! Hip! Hurray!