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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.

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I’ve been working on a full update of all of my creative goals but it’s actually a bit daunting to sort it all out. I have so many interests that at times I get bogged down and nothing gets done on any of them. So I’m going to use the goals update to really look at where I want to put my limited personal resources.

In the meantime here’s a shorter update of my most recent accomplishments:

  1. I’ve officially signed up for Scriptfrenzy on the website. I’m looking forward to spending a month just working on dialogue and by extension human interaction.
  2. I wrote and have half edited a flash fiction. The working title is Ape Dreams until I think of something clever. I have a strong belief that flash fictions must have clever titles.
  3. I wrote 5000 words on my Novel!! Woo! The dry spell is over! After two months of opening my novel and looking at it, pecking out a few words and trying to catch that thread I had lost, I’ve finally found my way back into it. Granted I started with a scene that was pretty easy and from the point of view of my favorite character to write at the moment but I’ve got the momentum now to keep going on those harder parts and trickier characters. Such a relief.
  4. I’ve written several synopses for short film scripts I want to write for Scriptfrenzy. Including a longer one that has really caught my attention.

After all the work I’ve put into the Monster-Post-of-My-Many-Goals it’s really good to be able to look at this list and see the things I’ve accomplished rather than all the things I’m not getting done.

The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The optimist says the glass is half full. The scientist says the glass is full, half with water and half with air. I don’t know who coined that last part but I like it. My glass is half full of the things I’ve accomplished and half-full of the things I’m going to do. It’s going to be great!

 

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I am terrified of falling down stairs. I would say I was phobic but as my fear springs from a totally rational source I am clearly right to fear stairs. The problem is that I tend to fall down them. Sometimes I trip over some dangling thing I failed to notice. Sometimes I slip on icy cement or metal stairs outside. Canada presents many opportunities to slip and fall on all kinds of surfaces, and I do, but stairs are my true nemesis.

My last fall involved a gorgeous set of highly polished wooden stairs leading into a friends basement. The 2-3 glasses of wine I’d had probably didn’t help but I have it under good authority that those particular stairs are a menace to more than just myself. They are a lovely polished-to-a-high-sheen deathtrap with a plethora of victims.

I bring this up because I am currently working on a script for Scriptfrenzy and one of my characters has a similar problem but more so. At worst I’ve sprained wrists and earned some spectacular bruises. By contrast I’ve got this character breaking limbs, getting concussions and I’m toying with a short coma. She isn’t me but she’s going to be a lot like that aspect of me, multiplied.

I’m torn between using the experience and feeling like I’m cheating because it won’t be coming from my imagination. Though in a way I guess it is because my own fear is fueled by my imagining of worst case stair-falling scenarios.

I’ve read a lot of John Irving and I think he’s a brilliant author. Many of his books consider the issue of whether writers should make up their stories from whole cloth or whether it is okay to take elements or even fully formed characters from real life. His novels tend to fall on the side of using-real-life-is-cheating. I’m curious to know if Mr. Irving himself truly believes this and has projected it onto his characters (oh the irony!) or if it is merely an opinion of his fictional characters. My own paranoia even wonders if it’s a fake out aimed at budding authors but this paranoia is the kind that just makes me giggle because that would be sort of awesome.

The result is that I sometimes feel like I am cheating when I lift elements or out of context events from real life and include them in my fictional writing. Worse I often feel like those are the parts that read as most true compared to what I had come up with on my own. This worried me for a long time but lately I’m less concerned about it. I feel like some of my truly fictional elements are getting better. I still use pieces from real life but I think I’m learning to write even fictional parts that ring true. Maybe someday I’ll learn to write without stealing from my own life but honestly, I don’t know that I will and I think I’m okay with that.

But I still worry about it. That’s okay though, I’m just a paranoid sort of person.

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