My Paper Valentine

My crocheted heart on burlap and paper. Copyright 2017 Karen Garvin.

My crocheted heart on burlap and paper. Copyright 2017 Karen Garvin.

Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s a typical Tuesday for me, my coworkers in a dither over deadlines and a pile of non-work-related writing piled on my desk that make me wonder how I manage to get involved in so many projects at a time.

I made this little crocheted heart some time ago, and paired it with burlap and washi tape to create a Valentine design for the blog. The heart isn’t glued down because I plan to use the background with another crocheted piece that I made, which is a little brown seahorse made from crochet thread.

The photo is a bit on the brown side, but the actual heart is pale pink. These small art pieces are fun to make and give me something to do that I can finish and feel like I’ve accomplished something. The actual piece is about four inches square.

Enjoy the day, and don’t overindulge on those chocolates! I’m planning to make a special gin and tonic or strawberry martini tonight.

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Thursday Writing Prompt No. 105

My latest crochet project.

My latest crochet project.

We’re well into fall and the leaves are already turning colors. I’ve been on a crochet kick lately and I’ve been making leaves from 100 Lace Flowers to Crochet by Caitlin Sainio. I have so many long-term projects on my desk right now that making a leaf or flower each day or a couple of times a week gives me a feeling that I’ve completed something. I also think I’m using the crochet as a way to focus my mind — a sort of creative meditation that helps me settle my thoughts and get down to work.

Since I’m inspired by the leaves, this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt will be, too. Wikipedia’s List of trees entry includes varieties of trees from around the world. Some of the trees have stories associated with them, such as the Guilty Chinese Scholartree in Jingshan Park, China, and the Queen Elizabeth Oak in Hertfordshire, England. Your task is to pick one of these trees with an ancient history and rewrite its story as a modern-day urban legend. The point-of-view and word count is up to you.

Writing and more writing…

This crocheted flower is made from ribbon yarn.

This crocheted flower is made from ribbon yarn.

I’ve just finished editing a nonfiction article I’ve been working on for awhile, but instead of feeling like I’ve accomplished something, I just feel overwhelmed. Or underwhelmed, I don’t know which. I’m blaming the weather but I think I’m burning out. It doesn’t help that I keep getting massive doctor and dental bills to deal with. It hasn’t escaped my attention that this year has a 13 in it. Triskadekaphobia,* anyone?

So anyway, I have a whole laundry list of things that I still need to write. I shouldn’t gripe; after all, I do bring this on myself. It’s just that I seem to be pretty much out of ideas right now. Last night I gave up on revising the article and put it off until this morning. Instead, I made a crocheted flower just so I could have a small project that I could finish and feel better. I think it helped me relax a little bit, too.

It’s less than three weeks away from the Steampunk World’s Fair, and I need to work on my airship presentation, a biography for a class, and a book proposal. But the toughest assignment is to revamp my resume and create a curriculum vitae. It’s not just the word count that makes a writing project tough!

*Fear of the number thirteen.

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 54

Even crocheted angler fish look pretty hungry. I’d stay away from those mouths if I were you — they’ve already eaten the TV remote.

I have one full week left before my next graduate class begins. I’ve been taking time off since April to catch up on doing nothing. Well, actually I’ve been pretty busy filling in that time with reading, dabbling in a few crafts, and trying to replace spoiled food thanks to a multiple-day power outage. That’s not including a host of other errands I’ve been trying to catch up on. And work has been amazingly frustrating, too.This summer has been awful so far.

What I haven’t been able to get done in life, though, I’ve tried to make up for in doing a few small craft projects that I have actually finished. Hooray! My novel is still not done, though, and that’s irritating me, too. Not because it isn’t done, but because I promised myself to work on it and I haven’t touched it. I’m too frustrated right now to do much and frankly my legs hurt from sitting at a desk and on the sofa for 16 hours a day. Okay, enough griping. I hope your summer (winter, for those of you living down under) is going well.

So, this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is a visit to the ocean, in honor of my angler fish friends pictured above. They’re from a book, 75 Seashells,¬†Fish, Coral & Colorful Marine Life to Knit & Crochet, and the pattern can be downloaded for free from Lion Brand Yarn.What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Well, nothing. Or maybe something. I don’t know. Sometimes I need to get away from the actual writing process to let a story idea develop. It’s like resting between exercise sets: the rest is when your muscles build themselves up, not during the actual work. I’d like to think the same thing can happen to writers. We need time away from the keyboard or pen to sort out those loose ends and let our imaginations wander.

So, this week you’re going to take a deep-sea dive in search of strange fish and other sea creatures. You have at your disposal a submarine, a crew, and any research equipment that you want. Since this is fiction, of course, there are no money restrictions and none of that fiddle-faddle about international waters and such. But I’m going to impose restrictions on you anyway: you must include real-world equipment in your story. No making up tricorders or sensors that detect alien lifeforms. The focus is going to be on the marine life and not the research equipment, so work with what you would realistically have available.

However, once your sub dives, what you find in those murky waters is up to your imagination. For inspiration, search “deep sea fishes” or “weird fishes” for ideas. Now, go and write about your meeting with one of these beasts. This will be primarily a story about exploration and discovery, but feel free to add romance or mystery or whatever else you want. No word restrictions, but you probably will need at least 2,000 words to do this justice. If you don’t want to put out that much effort, do a “character sketch” of your beast and leave it for another story.