The Promised Pictures

Here are a few pictures of the sideless surcoat I sewed for Baby.

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The last stitches were done in the car on the way to my friends’ wedding. I finished the belt on the drive too. It’s a piece of an inkle band I wove about two years ago when I learned to inkle weave.

In other news, my story “Should Have Prayed For a Canoe” placed 3rd in the 2015 Mormon Lit Blitz! I’m very pleased and also surprised. I thought it a bit too silly to go far in the contest, but I suppose it hit readers’ funny bones just right.
“Faded Garden,” a poem by Emily Harris Adams, won first prize, and it was my favorite by far. You can read it here if you haven’t yet.

Happy Yarning!

My Votes Are In. How About Yours?

There’s still time to read this year’s Mormon Lit Blitz finalists and vote for your favorites. Each finalist is under 1000 words. Several are half that length or less. So put your feet up and head on over to http://lit.mormonartist.net! Voting ends on June 6th.

With the move, I’ve been too busy to finish up Baby’s new garb. But she will be wearing it this weekend whether the hems are finished or not.

Happy Yarning.

“Should Have Prayed For a Canoe”

You can now read my flash fiction story “Should Have Prayed For a Canoe” on the Mormon Lit Blitz page!

Vote for your favorite finalists between June 1st and 5th. I hope I make it into your top four!

Happy Yarning.

A Week of Flash Fiction

Have you read the flash fiction pieces posted this week on lit.mormonartist.net? They’ve been wonderful, some of them piercingly touching. I’m excited for the rest. And of course only a week left until you all get to read my story “Should Have Prayed For a Canoe.”

Voting for the winner of Mormon Lit Blitz 2015 will take place in June. Everyone votes for their top 4 favorites, so be sure to read them all.

On the crafty side of things, I’ve been keeping busy sewing, namely a dice bag for my brother-in-law and a sideless surcoat for Baby.

After my last fiasco with sewing baby clothes, I figured I better try a garment that can’t go wrong (famous last words, right?). Pictures to follow.

Happy Yarning!

Flash Fiction Finalist

My 990-word story, “Should Have Prayed For a Canoe,” made it into the top twelve in this year’s Mormon Lit Blitz!

I first heard the news shouted at me from a speeding car by my good friend Annaliese Lemmon, whose piece, “Disability, Death, or Other Circumstance,” is also a finalist. (Though it took my brain a few minutes to figure out why what she shouted sounded like “Congratulations,” rather than a more conventional “Hi.”)

You can read my piece, Annaliese’s, and the other ten as they are posted on the Mormon Lit Blitz page over the next two weeks. Mine goes live Friday, May 29th. Annaliese’s will be up on Monday, May 25th. After reading all the finalists, be sure to cast your votes for the Grand Winner.

I am elated and honored to be a finalist in this contest. May the best work win!

Happy Yarning.

Success! and a Short Short

I reached my goal of 10,000 words last month for Camp NaNoWriMo! That got Featherfolk draft III off to a good start. I also wrote a flash fiction piece for the Mormon Lit Blitz competition. Here’s hoping I make it as a finalist!

This month has been hard, but not as crazy as a November NaNo. Still, I’m looking forward to kicking back a little and getting some crocheting done.

Happy Yarning!

Camp NaNoWriMo: The Home Stretch

Only a few days left in the month. It’s been great to get words out on the page with Featherfolk, and I’ve had fun and giggles with a flash fiction piece for a contest as well.

While I came out of the gate with a burst and stayed ahead of schedule most of the month, I’m stalling out. I’m agonizing over a pivotal scene. It’s so important that I get it right.

I think I need to give myself permission to tell it wrong. At least in this draft.

Here we go: “Julia, you can mess up. It’s okay. Just write something.”

Perhaps I should put a sticker with those words on my computer…

Because it’s time to gear up for the home stretch. I’ve promised myself some sweet Camp swag if I meet my goal.

I’m going to think of this last bit as a literal stretch. Yes, I’m running out of steam and my apartment is a sty and I’m moving in a month, and my baby just woke up again, but I can reach this goal!

Happy Yarning.

This Is Not Knitted

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While my Hufflepuff scarf gradually grows, I’ve been practicing with color. I can now keep two separate strands tensioned on my left fingers while I crochet. Yes, the above swatch is crocheted! Tunisian knit stitch makes for a bulkier textile than I usually like, but it looks very neat. Rather than the “k”s of Tunisian simple stitch, it makes “v”s!

And Camp NaNoWriMo is going swimmingly. I’m even a bit ahead of schedule and having bunches of fun with my lovely cabin mates.

Let the Frenzy Commence

Remember what I said last week about NaNoWriMo-induced frenzies?
I decided last-minute to pack up my metaphorical gear and head out to camp.

Camp NaNoWriMo, that is!

My goal for April Camp is a modest 10,000 words. Minus Sundays, that means just under 400 words a day.

I’m all cozied up with writing buddies in a cabin, and we’re typing away.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Yarning!

What I Learned From Taking a Break

For a while after I had my baby, I was okay with not writing.

After a few months, I felt I should be able to get in a few hundred words a day, but I couldn’t. I felt lazy. Writers write every day. That’s what makes them writers. This maxim mocked me, making me feel even worse and lazier. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. Who was I if I wasn’t a writer?

I started to think: maybe I wasn’t meant to be a writer. Maybe I was just meant to be a crocheter, reader, and Facebook-scroller. So I applied myself whole-heartedly to those tasks.

Weeks went by. I crocheted feverishly (during naps). My projects earned me admiration from friends and strangers. It feels nice to be praised. To say, “Yes, I did,” when someone asks, “Did someone make that for your baby?”

But it’s just not quite satisfying enough for me.

I kept thinking about my story. About the characters, their struggles, thoughts, fears, friendships. Now and then I did some more research on birds and gliding. And two weeks ago I got back to work, not because I needed to “be a writer,” but because I love my stories. I’ve never been one to write “every day” (except during NaNoWriMo-induced frenzies and one crazy summer), but you know what? I think that’s ok. For me. For now.

How many times do I have to learn that it’s all about balance?

‘Till it sticks, I guess

Happy Yarning.