Crochet, quilts, and piecing together a story

I just finished a big crochet project–in fact, it was my debut project when I decided to take up crocheting again about six months ago. The result was a huge pile of crocheted squares that I was supposed to piece together into some kind of blanket.

No two squares were the same size. This was a doomed effort, I thought.

But I decided to persevere and sew together this stupid pile of squares–what else was I going to do with them?–and see what happened. And guess what? As I pieced them together, they stretched a bit and compressed a bit as needed. They settled into their new neighbors. And they came together into something beautiful and warm.

I expected to get something that resembled a blanket, but not something beautiful.

Isn’t that what we do when we write? We create and create until we have a pile (often ugly) of characters, dialog, scenes, plot twists; and then we start putting them all together, even though by then we’re often struck by the utter hopelessness of the endeavor. And then, like magic, all the pieces settle together. They give a little at the edges, soften and bend until they meld, and finally you end up with a book that’s somehow greater than the sum of the pieces.

I guess the trick is to remember, when you’re in the midst of the ugly squares, that that’s what the process is supposed to look like!
:) Cheryl

My Writing Christmas List

  1. Peace enough to dream stories…
  2. …and characters full of heart.
  3. Love to grow them.
  4. Friends to read them.
  5. A box of fine pens to write them.
  6. College-ruled spiral notebooks with pockets and durable covers to hold them.
  7. Delicious books to savor and inspire them.
  8. An encouraging–and challenging–critique group to better them.
  9. Time to remake them.
  10. Joy in the process.

Editors, agents, publication…all those are nice, too :), but it’s good to articulate the essentials occasionally.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and fabulous New Year to everyone!


Warning: Take care with book lists!

In an effort to do my part to help the publishing industry, almost everyone on my Christmas list is getting a book this year. I took advantage of the many bloggers’ book lists to pick both familiar and unfamiliar titles for friends and family. Check out:

Great idea, right?

Mostly. Somewhere along the way, I ended up on a list that recommended Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. Sounds funny, a nonfiction book full of oddball facts perfect for one of the middle-school age readers on my list–so I ordered it. And had it sent to my in-laws.

Somehow, I missed reading the book reviews before I bought it from Amazon. Let’s just say it’s not really kid-appropo.

So check out those lists–buy books for your friends, neighbors, teachers, milkman. But make sure you read more than one review before purchasing books on another’s recommendation!

! Cheryl

Not yet OCD…

Did I mention I’m finally subbing a manuscript again? Think of me next time you click “Check Mail”. I’ll probably be joining you from my computer, wherever it happens to be at the moment….

No, I’m resisting the every-30-seconds email checks. I’m assuming that if my schedule is this busy, everyone else’s is, too. Therefore, I’m limiting my email checks to once every 120 seconds. :)

Today is a day for beautiful things in my neck of the woods. There’s beautiful snow, frozen into inch-wide crystalline designs by the extreme cold weather. There’s a beautiful book cover for my friend Amy’s upcoming novel release–it reminds me of R.A.Nelson’s cover for Breathe My Name–and I got a sneak peek! There’s a beautiful pile of new paper for me to pick up, as soon as I refresh my memory about the project to which I’m returning.

Life’s good when you’re a writer!

:) Cheryl