So many projects are currently on hold.

On the bright side I am deep into rewrites on the WIP with much tangling over world building and redifining my main character.

Summer is coming though and with the thaw everything begins to move a little faster. Good times ahead.

I’ve decided to actually start checking items off of my bucket list. My Pinterest page has a long list of things I would like to do, some of them quite complex. For example Build a tiny house and live in it for a full turning of the seasons is going to take a little more work, time, and money than Get a tattoo.

At the top of my list is of course Complete a submission worthy manuscript. However my bucket list is somewhat longer than that.

I’ve begun directing my day with an eye toward activities that will help me complete my goals one small step at a time; which in the case of Walk to Rivendell is literal.

My big push though is the goal Sew myself a wardrobe.

This goal for me has taken on loads of extra meaning in terms of promoting body positivity and self-love. I love that it challenges me creatively but also delves into a lot of other things that I want to explore like personal style, body image, and the politics behind where clothes, and by extension so many of our inexpensive goods, come from.

It has become so complex with so many interesting facets to explore and research that I decided to turn it into a blog. Partly because I already want to pictorially document the experience but also because I’ve been so inspired by many of the fat fashion bloggers that have helped me look at clothes and bodies with different eyes.

Pinterest is how it started. It is frustrating to be a size 24 and have to guess what plus size clothes will look like on your body because plus size models are often a size 14. So I sought out images of actual plus size people. Google was not helpful but Pinterest introduced me to a new world of plus size fashion and body positivity blogs. I’ve been reading for so long that now I’m kind of itching to get in on the fun.

I’m trying to get a three or four week cushion written before I begin to publish and I’m currently about half done. I’m a little intimidated by how big this project seems to be growing and I’m getting a bit paralyzed by it. It’s easy to get into a rut and let it all pass by unfinished. That’s why I decided it was time to take concrete steps to use my time to do the things I actually want to do.

I’ll be posting the Fashion stuff to a separate blog so that this blog stays properly eclectic but I’ll be sure to boast about it here when it’s up and running and include a link for anyone who might be interested in following along.

Now I’m off to do some editing. Wish me luck!

10 Random Facts about Me

One of my favorite new blogs (The Militant Baker!) did a 10 facts post and challenged others to post 10 facts about themselves. It got me kind of excited, plus I’m in full NaNoWriMo procrastination mode so here are my own ten random factoids. Hoozah!

10 facts - blog post title pic

  1. I have only begun watching horror movies in the last couple of years but now it is practically all I watch. Don’t get me wrong I had seen a few before, all under duress, but then the 2005 Dawn of the Dead broke some sort of dam and suddenly it was all zombies all the time and like any good gateway drug the zombies led me to other types of horror.
  2. As a matter of fact, I am the reason they keep making shaky cams. Diary of the Dead? Yeah! Blair Witch? Fuck yeah!  Paranormal Activity? Quadruple Fuck Yeah!!
  3. It is possible that I own more books than I can read in my lifetime unless I give up all other activities including sleep. I’m not sorry but I do wish I was a faster reader.
  4. I am the worst housekeeper in existence. Okay, not quite the worst but I’m definitely a slob. It is possible I do not actually have the ability to see dust except during full moons or something.
  5. I started getting grey hair at 17.  Just a bit at a time, so I’ve only just managed a Rogue-esque streak by age 32, but because it started so early it has never made me feel old.
  6. I was voted “class judge” in grade 7. Not as anything official, just a majority of my class mates getting together and assigning everyone roles. (We were a class of 14) I was never sure if it was because they trusted me to be impartial or if they felt I was a judgy-mcjudgy-pants. Either way I was proud of the events that prompted their decision.
  7. I have several sleep disorders that have only been partially treated successfully. Sleep has become a sort of unknowable almost magical thing that has no rhyme or reason in my life. It is just a thing that happens to me sometimes.
  8. I have three rules when it comes to buying souvenirs while on holiday. They must be small, they must have a semblance of usefulness, and they must feature the name and preferably a picture of the place being visited in the kitschiest way possible. An optional rule is that souvenir shopping is best done while drunk.
  9. I dislike collections. I live with a constant worry that I will be known for liking one particular thing. Which is not to say there aren’t groups of things I own that could be considered a collection, but I dislike considering them in a way that might make me anxious about getting rid of anything.
  10. I went to a performing arts high school and majored in visual arts.  I don’t do much sketching anymore but I miss it and have recently picked up some watercolous to experiment with.

So that’s my ten things. I could do twenty but the thought of coming up with ten more things to say about myself seems exhausting.

Where Magic Lives

I’ve been all over Pinterest lately and if you’ve caught the bug than you know what I’m talking about. That website is crack!

One thing I’ve noticed is that I re-pin a lot of bridges. Especially narrow people-bridges. After awhile it dawned on me that I love bridges. I don’t cross a bridge without stopping, just for a moment, before taking that first step. Driving across a bridge always feel like cheating and I inevitably crane my head, whipping it back and forth trying to see everything before it falls behind. I’ve done this all my life and yet never really been conscious of the act, the thought.

I’ve always known how much I loved shorelines, this magical place where two worlds touch, my own and a wholly different alien one. I can visit but I can’t stay in the water forever.

Bridges hold a similar mysticism for me. as a magical place, a boundary. I think I will include this in my current work in progress. It seems like just the perfect fit.

Want to see some pictures of awesome bridges? Of course you do!

Capilano Suspension Bridge Vancouver, British Columbia

Capilano Suspension Bridge Vancouver, British Columbia. This is one of the places I will visit when I go back to British Columbia.

Like something from one of the Myst games. I could live here.

Deep in the rainforests of the Indian state of Meghalaya, bridges are not built, they’re grown. For more than 500 years locals have guided roots and vines from the native Ficus Elastica (rubber tree) across rivers, using hollowed out trees to create root guidance systems.

This reminds me of the local conservation areas. So many little rustic bridges to keep the trails above the swampy ground.

This is a bridge that is just off my walking/running route. Some days I detour away from the much more spectacular lake view just to cross it.

Crossing my bridge from the homeward direction.

It’s all about the little details.

What are the ordinary things in your life that make you stop and take notice? Where do you find magic?

Not Dead and now on Etsy

So PiscesMuse and I have started an Etsy shop that caters to nerd crafters. Right now it’s all stitch markers and knitting project bags in various nerdly themes. If that sounds like something you might like then you can find the store at The Eclectic Muses or you can peruse our wares in collage form over on pinterest account. There is also a link at the top of the page now so it can always be found. If you’re not so keen on knitting and nerdery then you can probably ignore that little tabideedoo.

Coming up I’m going to be posting some new book reviews, some photos from around my town, some photos of things I’ve knit and a few other things I’ve got in the works. If anyone has requests let me know and I’ll do my best to accommodate. Oh and of course NaNoWriMo is coming up. Most excellent.

I suffer from chronic insomnia. (It is 3:46am as I begin typing this.) I occasionally use my sleepless time to write but, though I cannot sleep, I am usually too tired for brain work. Often I would watch tv or surf the internet. Until last October that is. That is when I learned to knit.

Knitting is a bit like writing. Through a series of small actions you build something larger and more complex and although you think you know what all those little bits will look like when you’re done the finished product often surprises you.

Anyway, since I caught the knitting bug, (A dangerously virulent disease! Consider yourself warned.) I have twisted many thousands of meters of yarn into complex patterns of orderly knots. I love making something useful from one looooong strand of unbroken yarn. It feels like a kind of magic. (Also it feeds my hat addiction.)

While I have no plans to turn this into a knitting blog there may on occasion be pretty pictures of yarn and projects and honestly who doesn’t love brightly coloured pictures of pretty things now and then? Probably the people who need them most, that’s who!

Oh hey! Here are some of those pictures now!

Kepi imitating a very large ball of green yarn. D'awww. (She actually curled up closer to it in her sleep. Double D'awwww.)

Silk yarn. In skein form and my (perfect) first hand wound ball.

Seriously. Is that not a thing of beauty?

I wound the second skein (left) but it did not turn out so well. Unless you are a football fan. If you are a football fan than you should be pretty impressed.

I then knitted the yarn into this totally awesome hat! (I know my face is overexposed but this was the best picture of the hat. Look at the hat!)

Sadly I don’t think my camera ever really captured the brilliant tone of the red yarn but I will keep trying and working on this photography thing. I still love words but all the other things I do can only hone and enliven my creativity. Life is good.

Now to try this sleep thing I keep hearing about again…


Ps. I can be found on ravelry.com under the name Aurabeth. New knitting friends welcome!

Pss. If you like my hat here is a link to the pattern at Mary Keenan’s awesome knitting blog Hugs For Your Head.

Dreaming of Summer

There is much that I love about winter. It has a unique beauty to it and so many opportunities for fun activities. It also gives me ample opportunity to sport all the cold weather knitting projects I’ve embarked on since I learned to knit this fall!

However sometimes in the cold months when the sky is always overcast and it feels like everything is coloured in dull greys I get nostalgic for the warmer months. So to tide us over until the seasons change here area bunch of pictures I took on my phone last spring and summer. And tomorrow I’m going to go play in the snow so when it does get warm I won’t feel like I squandered the winter.

What is best about the spring? The bright showy flora of course!

A flowering tree in early spring

A rose-bush just outside my front door

There is a little cafe about 5 minutes walk from my house. It’s a great place that offers tasty gluten-free pizza and in the summer it has a patio sandwiched between itself and the antique shop next door. The building walls are old and worn and there are climbing vines all along them.

The vine wall on The Laughing Buddha patio.

When the sun shines down through the leaves they glow with life.

Ramsey lake is a mere half hour walk from my house.

Sunburst through the clouds

Enjoying the empty lake in the early morning...

Except for a distant fisherman...

and a lone rower...

and a few friendly Canada geese. (The canoers are late-comers.)

My balcony is a great place to hang out in the warm weather. I like to sit with my laptop and write or just enjoy the view of the creek. Sometimes I prepare food out there, especially if I have a lot of grating or peeling to do. It’s especially lovely in the rain.

A view of the trees along the creek in a summer downpour.

This winter I discovered that my only viable window for keeping plants is too cold and most of them died off. I’m sad but I’m looking for solutions and I’ll try again next year. I did manage to save the avocado plant grown from seed in the yellow pot along with a second that was in water on the counter when I took this picture.

L to R: Polka dot plant, sprouted avocado, basil, lavender shoot, dieffenbachia.

Ah summer squash, So light and delicious on a hot day. Yes I can find it and cook it in any time of year, and I do, but there is something special about a zucchini salad with fresh lemonade out on the balcony in the sunshine. The picture below is of a fabulous recipe for eggplant slices marinated in tamari (a type of soy sauce without gluten) and artificial smoke and baked in the oven about ten minutes or until chewy/crispy. It’s divine even if it’s pretending to be something it’s not.

Vegan Bacon (ostensibly)

I love my neighbourhood! It’s a lovely place full of pretty little houses and yards without being pretentious and a smattering of small apartment building and rooming houses. My neighbourhood has a very bohemian feel to it for a little mining town in North Ontario. It might be the affordable housing attracting students and artists/musicians combined with the open-minded and welcoming atmosphere fostered by the long time residents. It’s just a lovely place to live.

In the summer there are always garage sales going on but sometimes people put out stuff out for others to take. Sometimes it ‘s the usual furniture and old electronics but often it’s more interesting fare.

There were several pairs but I had to run home and get my camera and by the time i returned only this poor lone pair was left, waiting for someone to love them. I salute your pluck unwanted 80's cast-off.

Birdcage free to good home with someone more willing to embrace their inner pack rat than me. I like to imagine there was an ad on Kajiji reading "Curbside birdcage for rent - suitable for family of birds or squirrel couple without children. Pets welcome. No smokers.

As I said, tomorrow I will go out and enjoy winter while it lasts and generally be happy in the moment. Tonight I’m thinking of warm sun and swimming and all the green things waiting to grow.

Enjoying the summer day from my kitchen.


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