Saturday, February 02, 2008

bloggers are the greatest

Wow. I know a lot of people in the world still don't get this, and probably wouldn't believe it, but it's true: blogging makes life richer. Thank you to everyone for your incredible support -- I love this community, and the circle of women (and a few good men) who I've met this way. You are all amazing! Thank you to this wonderful writing mama for the flowers that arrived today during a snowstorm -- they are so beautiful, as you see here, with the bird watching over them. And thank you to this lovely writing mama, my Penguin sister, for the unexpected and delightful phone call! And to this book blogger extraordinaire for the link love! Thank you to everyone. I love knowing you're all out there, kindred spirits all over the world, raising your own babies, writing your own books, knitting, living, reading, traveling, and staying connected through this strange little space we have all found.

Snow is swirling here, but sadly not sticking. It's still nice to see it fall. I had thought about venturing out to see a screening of The Business of Being Born (click here to see the trailer), but we stayed home instead. This morning I wrote the first few pages of a new book. Whew! It's like letting air out of an overfilled tire! That opening's been slowly inflating in my head for months; I started getting really daydreamy about writing this new book back in the fall, when I was about three-quarters through Silksinger. I wanted that newness of a new project. I'd guess most writers love the taste of something new; that's why so many of us hop around from unfinished manuscript to unfinished manuscript, because new is fun! (Neil Gaiman wrote a pep talk for NaNoWriMo for getting past this point. I haven't read it yet, but it's here.) Anyway, I've learned that the best way to never finish a book is to start a new one! So, I didn't give myself the gratification. . . until today.

I won't say much about it now, but I got the idea for this book from a dream that I had about exactly a year ago when Jim and I were in New York for the SCBWI conference. I've gotten the idea for several books from dreams, but it's always just a seed, a strange little scene that could be interpreted many ways, that is haunting enough that I wake up and lay there trying to come up with context for it and build a story around it. Well, this new book went from vague dream-idea to concrete outline last summer beside the pool (though in the shade, of course) at Alexandra's parents' house in Los Angeles, where she and I spent several lazy days -- her studying for her board exams, me scribbling in a big, fat polka-dot notebook. In that notebook I went through the full brainstorming experience, starting with the little bit I knew that had initially intrigued me, and running through all kinds of ideas that could potentially flesh it out into a full-blown book-worthy idea. Brainstorming is a massively important part of writing for me; I go into it at greater length here at Not For Robots. This is the anything-can-happen stage, and it's exciting! And, it's not really scary, because it's just playing around with ideas. For me, the scary part comes once I start "writing."

The new story is sci-fi, YA, and it's creepy and romantic and hopefully high-energy and a little horrifying. This morning was fun, and I'm glad I got the opening down. I can't hurl myself headlong into it, though, because it's back to revising Hatchling, the third and longest story from Goblin Fruit. Whew!

Also, when I went to the hospital yesterday to give blood for a number of routine tests, I took a little detour to the yarn store. I've gotten bored with knitting because I have not yet learned how to do anything but knit and purl and that sort of leaves me making scarves forever until I take a class or someting, but I did just learn how to crochet, and I'm finding it's easier to teach oneself crochet stitches than knitting stitches. It could just be me, and it could be because crochet is so much easier to correct than knitting. Anyway, I wanted to crochet a big colorful blanket like the ripple or the granny that Alicia made last year at Posie. That was why I wanted to learn to begin with, and when I signed up for a class it was supposed to be knit or crochet, and I was going to go for crochet, but then it turned out to be only knit so that's what I did. But all these months later I've barely learned to do anything, and I'm back to crochet. Whew. Long explanation! I guess knitting must be "better" because the yarn store was like 90/10 knitting/crochet, but whatever. I want to make this blanket:
Here's a close-up of the motifs:
So I got a lot of yarn, not the same as in the picture, but similar colors:
I haven't figured out the motif yet, but I will (with some help), and then I only have to make like 275 of them. Should take me about three years! But that's okay.

Oh, and Jim and I went to my parents' house last night and watched four episodes of The Wire (aka BEST TV SHOW EVER) and almost got caught up. Wow. So good). And my mom had made cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles, served with Neopolitan ice cream, so it felt like a birthday party though it wasn't. Ooh, and she also got me my first belly cream, and not just any old belly cream, but L'Occitane. Ooh la la!


Jennifer said...


That is some GREAT belly cream! I used the stuff from there and yay! No stretch marks! and you will smell heavenly too and I do think that rubbing all the Occitane cream on your belly produces a child OBSESSED with body products ( I know from experience!)... I am convinced they smell it through ones tummy!


Deirdre said...

I agree - this blogging community is one of the very best things that's ever happened to me. (thank you Miss Laini)

A few months ago I started crocheting again after not touching yarn for many years. I don't remember very much, but I've got more than enough dish cloths and scarves now. Knitting is slow and awkward for me, but crocheting ... so satisfying to see such fast progress. And so easy to correct. Knitting just made me cranky.

Left-handed Trees... said...

Congrats again...I told you before, I am completely impressed that you've soldiered through the book while also embarking on the very (physically) demanding baby-growing process! Such sweetness...

Q said...

I like crocheting better. But that could be because I haven't yet figured out how to knit.

Mardougrrl said...

Oh, I am so glad the flowers got there safe and sound. I was worried about the snow when I heard about it.

I can't wait to live vicariously through this pregnancy. I LOVED being pregnant. OK, that sounded rather more creepy than I intended LOL.

The new book sounds like so much fun! Does this mean you are basically done with Silksinger?

I am also in the little baby-throes of a new project, just brainstorming. Like you said, it's not scary YET.

What pretty knitting projects!

Amber said...

That looks like it will be perfect in your house. ;) I must start doing this, so I have something to relax my brain that THINKS TOO MUCH. lol!


Neil said...

Mazel tov on all the great news!!

She sure is strange! said...

Is the yarn in the picture yours? If it is, the worsted wool, Lamb's Pride makes some gorgeous wrist warmers! Just a tiny bit itchy but not too bad at all. I'm going to try and felt it too(not as wrist warmers though).


Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Oh please, PLEASE tell me which book that beautiful granny afghan is in. I love the color mix & shapes. Your colors are pretty close. I knit now [obsessively] but I crocheted for over 40 years. I would love that blanket on my bed and lets see ... it would take me about 1 month. Those motifs are really super easy. Sewing together & hiding the ends would take longer than the actual crocheting, LOL.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

What book did you find the octagon bedspread in, Laini?

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Or rather, I meant to say Hexagon.

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