Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Reading, Writing, and...Weaving?

I spent the early part of January writing a decent synopsis for The Companion, sent it off to David Farland, who promptly had a stroke and passed away two days after I sent it. I'm pretty sure my manuscript wasn't the cause, but writers lost a good friend when he died. May he rest in peace.

Of course, I did what I always do when Death enters my life, even so obliquely: I read books. The two Nora Roberts books I'd read early in the month, the remaining six I dived into. I'll post the list below.

The loom set up
in my study
Long-time readers know I'm also a weaver, although I haven't had the loom out in over six years. More personal deaths and assorted events have taken up my time -- along with finishing a certain epic fantasy (I'm looking at you, Companion!). But there's been a project nagging at me for a while and I finally decided it was time. Got it set up, dressed it, and have been weaving a table runner for the sitting room. Wanted something for the spring. Something bright and cheery.

(If you look closely, you'll see my TBR shelves in the back. Yes, shelves. Four of them. Shelves, not books.)

Jewel II pattern showing

For those of you who are also weavers: I'm using a 100% cotton thread (so this will shrink) with a 15-dent reed. The pattern is called "Jewel II" and is from Margaret Porter Davison's book A Handweavers Pattern Book. This was first printed in 1944 and contains hundreds of wonderful patterns for a 4-harness loom. 

This is a modified twill and does not use a tabby (one of the reasons I like it. Complicated treadling pattern already!)

And yes, I am still writing -- working on Volume II of The Companion. Playing around with actual titles (The Companion is my working title, not the definitive one) and will announce those when I finalize them.

Back in 2018, my hubby got me a book of writing prompts for Christmas. I started, as a 2019 New Year's Resolution, to take one each day and write from not only my personal perspective, but also from my protagonist's perspective. Basically interviewing my characters to see how they feel about things.

That lasted only a few days. Then my mom had a stroke and died two days later. I put it away in the crush of events (see above -- also put the loom away shortly thereafter as room was needed for other living) and pretty much forgot about it.

Well, I pulled it out when my characters stopped talking to me this month and have been writing nearly every day. There are two "new" characters in this volume (introduced in Volume I, play a bigger role in Volume II) and it's helped me to get to know them better. Planning to get to work on the actual story soon.

All right! My reading list for January! Short, only seven books long.

The Awakening and The Becoming by Nora Roberts (fantasy with some romantic elements; 1st two books in a three-part series. Looking forward to the next one!)
The Glass Ocean and Band of Sisters -- the first is an anthology of three authors, but Lauren Willig is one of them and she wrote Band of Sisters.
Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen by Garth Nix (fantasy)

The first four are keepers -- they've already found room on my shelves. The Nix books I'm passing on to my daughter. I've read him before and enjoyed his work, but these just didn't pull me in as well. Might be my own frame of mind, though.

So that's my month, spent reading some, writing some and weaving some!

Play safe!