Posts Tagged ‘pumpkins’

Detour To The Next Big Thing

November 8, 2012

Between hiding from the political telemarketers, getting back to the tyranny of the daily routine after my mom’s visit, and gearing up for my pre-holiday fretting, the sewing room went into free-fall:

The view from the hall

 

The view from the sewing machine

There was a little time for creativity – the pumpkin carving, for instance. My kids both found images to copy and transfer to their pumpkins. Not trace, copy; like art students have done from the beginning of art instruction. Meredith carved a witch on a broom in front of a full moon, and Alexander carved the Sith lord who killed Qui Gon. And my pumpkin, the one from the fiber artist who loves Halloween? I carved a candle.

Can you see the face?

Maybe next year I’ll be more adventurous.

In the meantime, a writing friend of mine, Marlene Dotterer, tagged me for a blog chain. Marlene writes science fiction and fantasy, at one time had her own business as a free-lance personal chef, and is a birth coach. Marlene and I are in a science fiction writing critique group – the wordsmith equivalent of a friendship group. You can read her blog about her next big thing here.

This blog chain is about the latest writing project of the taggee. I get to tag other people, and the people I picked are:

V.Z. Byram, who writes poetry, historical fiction, and spy thrillers. She isn’t a quilter, but she sews with her grandkids. She was born in post-WWII Europe to refugee parents, whose stories formed the basis of some of her work.

Violet Carr Moore, who is one part of Carr Twins, a former foster mom, and a writer of devotional material as well as mysteries. She also is not a quilter, but used to sew period costumes for Civil War re-enactors.

J.K. Royce, a retired attorney whose “simple” snack buffet will make you weep for joy, and who writes hard-boiled crime thrillers. She has made one quilt, which proudly hangs on her wall, and (I believe) might be persuaded to make more someday.

Elaine Schmitz, a quilter, quilt judge, quilt lecturer, and writer. I had the privilege of helping her edit her cookbook, Recipes & Recollections of My Greek-American Family. She also writes fiction in a variety of genres.

So, here is my Next Big Thing Q&A, ten questions you may or may not want to ask about other things I do:

What is your working title of your book?

When Chenille Is Not Enough

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is the sequel to Death By Chenille, the quilting science fiction book I wrote with Ann Anastasio.

We had a few loose threads, so we thought we ought to weave them into something fun.

What genre does your book fall under?

Quilting Science Fiction, which is a new genre that Ann and I created. We also created the musical comedy genre of Quilting Vaudeville.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love to see Sigourney Weaver play the main character of Susan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Quilters save the world, again, then set off for outer space.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

We’ll be self-publishing. That’s what happens when you create new genres – people get a giggle out of what you’re doing, but the marketing department doesn’t have a clue how to sell it! Ah, well.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

We’ve been working on this book a little over a year, which is a huge improvement over our last book, which took fifteen years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I hope you could find some similarity with Douglas Adams, because he was absolutely hilarious, and that’s what we were going for in the Chenille series – a good laugh.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Ann and I wrote a quilt design book. An editor found our project interesting, but since we didn’t have a name outside of Northern California, we didn’t get a contract. We thought if we wrote a novel and made our reputation we could get someone to publish our design book. You know, when you don’t know something is hard, you jump in with both feet. Fifteen years later we published Death By Chenille as an ebook, started a sequel, and think about that design book now and again.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Ice cream figures prominently, as does a crazy quilt.

The Last of the Livermore Coffee

October 31, 2012

“I just finished the last of the Livermore coffee. I guess it’s time to go home,” my mother said on the morning she flew back East. Since she was flying into Hurricane Sandy, I was even less happy about her leaving than I normally am. The flight went well, Sandy didn’t cause much damage in her part of Maryland, and we’re already planning next year’s visit. That’s the good news.

The interesting news is the thought train her joking comment produced. No one here drinks coffee, so I only buy it when my mother comes to visit (we have a coffee maker just for her – it lives in the garage 50 weeks out of the year). Buying the right amount of coffee to last her entire trip is a fun challenge, which I usually lose. The same is true of fabric buying – do you get only enough for the project at hand, or do you buy extra? If I buy exactly what I think I’ll need that guarantees I will miscalculate, mis-measure, and mis-sew. If I buy more, the project will come together perfectly and I’ll discover I don’t like the fabric at home nearly as much as I did in the store.

I also thought about the emotional reaction I have when a sentence starts, “This is the last of . . . .” There will be tears shed when I have to say, “This is the last of the Halloween candy.” I don’t always have that reaction to the last of a fabric, no matter how much I loved it. There are times, however, when the last of a certain fabric sends me into a tizzy. I have strips and squares on the side of my batting wall, the last bits of fabric I adored and can’t seem to let go.

Here is the vase I made with (almost) the last of the fabric Mom and I used for the box:

Mom loved it, but had already stuffed her suitcase and carry-on bag. This may end up in her Christmas box.

I haven’t had much time to do anything in the sewing room, except make it even messier (yes, that is possible – difficult, but possible). Today being Halloween, there’s no chance I’ll get to those precariously stacked piles. This is my project for the day:

Waiting to be carved

With both the kids home, I bought a pumpkin for each of them and one for me. Some traditions are too much fun to let go.

I leave you with another tradition that I know my husband wishes I would give up – birds in the centerpiece (and the fuzzy pictures to document them):

A fuzzy Halloween bird for you!

[insert bird here]