Oh my goodness. So so adorable. Look at this felt garland I found at Anna Maria Horner's blog. There's a step-by-step, easy enough for a sewing eejit like meeself.
And here, what some other crafty person made of it:
I may try this, but honestly, I have so much reading to do in this final month of the Cybils reading period, I don't know if I have time to be doing so much blanket stitch! I have been making little garlands of felt pom-poms and beads, those are simple, just stringing things with a needle and thread. But I don't know if I have time for any "real" craft this year. Wah. But I can't complain about the reading and the luscious piles of books :-)
So, it's December. That means NaNoWriMo is over! And guess what. I *finished* the "Bad-Ass Sci-Fi Novel"! But I use the term *finished* verrrrry loosely. I mean, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end, but whooo, is this baby rough. Like dry elbows rough. Not pretty. But. . . an accomplishment. 60,500 words of something. I kept a "secret journal" of my mental state during the process, what days were good, what were bad, and what I did to keep going, and I will edit that and post it here some time soonish.
I remembered, as I was nearing the end of this, that somewhere in the middle of the two and a half years it took me to finish Blackbringer that I did, in fact, force myself to write to an ending, any ending. I kind of forget that stage, because that version, and that ending, are so far from what the book ended up being. I've looked for that draft and can't find it, but here's what I remember: that it was vastly different from the book I ended up writing. Talon wasn't even in it!!! There was a boy character named Acorn instead, who I had to *un-create* later in favor of Talon (and once I did, the book took on a vitality that really propelled it forward); there was a long sequence where Magpie made a new skin for the Magruwen; there were irritating triplets named Trala, Lala, and Li traveling with Magpie and the crows. . . I mean, WTF? It was one of them whose hair Mags turned to worms, as Vesper didn't yet exist. But going through all that stuff that didn't work, was essential to finding the *real story.* It could be considered a "what doesn't work" draft, and every time something doesn't work, you're a little closer to finding what DOES. Like the great Thomas Edison quote: "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
This all goes into my preparations for the talk I'm doing next week in Seattle on strategies for finishing your novel. There are many ways to do it, and the important thing is to not think it's supposed to be easy. If you don't give up, but keep trying different things, you'll finish. That simple. (Simple, but not *easy*.)
Ooh! Movie news! Did you love the book Water for Elephants? I did. I loved it. Well, the movie has been announced, and the director is to be Francis Lawrence, who directed Constantine and I Am Legend, both of which I loved. So: yay! I can't wait to hear who's cast. If you haven't read this book, do. It's about a young man who, after unexpectedly losing his parents on the eve of graduating from veterinary school (during the Great Depression), hops a train in despair. It turns out to be a circus train, and he gets hired on and quickly gets caught up in the excitement and brutality of life in a 1920s train circus. (The really big circuses could only get around by train.) And yeah, he falls in love -- with both a married woman and an elephant. The book is narrated in flashback by the man in his 90s, from a nursing home, and it is poignant and beautiful and totally fun and sad and lovely and page-turny. Wheeee! (On the NaNo homepage, they suggest that this was a NaNo novel. Is it true, I wonder?)
I also can't wait for the Time Traveler's Wife movie, starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, yeeah), and Coraline. Hmm. What else? I don't know. Oh! Jim and I went with our friend Chary last night to see Let the Right One In which is a FREEEEKY Swedish movie about a 12-year-old boy who befriends a 12-year-old girl. . . vampire. Oh MAN. Vampire love story? Kinda. But Twilight this is not. It is chilling, and it is totally unsentimental. Here's the trailer:
Okay. That's all. Happy December first!