Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rape is Rape

In Montana, a teacher ended up having to serve 30 days for raping one of his 14 year old students.  Here is a link to the story:

The reason given is ridiculous.  The girl acted older than her age.  It doesn't matter how she acts.  The fact is she was 14 and as her teacher the man knew she was 14.  I don't care if she danced naked down the hallway - he should have kept all his body parts to himself. 

Sadly the girl killed herself during the process of prosecuting the man.  I feel he should be charged with murder because his actions led to her death.  I know this is harsh but is it wrong? 

Typically, men like this pray on the same type of person.  If there are other victims out there, my guess would be that they won't come forward.  What would be the point?  Frankly it amazes me that any woman reports a rape because once it is reported she is typically raped again by the system.  There are almost always accusations of whether she asked for it. 

Rape is not sex.  It is about power and control over someone who is physically weaker than the attacker.  How a female is dressed should not provoke an attack.  No means NO.  Drunk, drugged, or impaired means NO. 

We are supposed to be an advanced and enlightened culture.  Unfortunately, we still live in a society where half the population has to be afraid of the other half.  Women still fight for control of their own bodies and access to birth control.  Why? 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New - Last - Semester of Classes

In just under two weeks, I start my last two classes.  When this semester is done, I will have earned my second degree.  I'm both excited for this and a little sad.  I won't be crazy busy all the time once I'm done with this degree. 

I looked at master's programs and none of them sold me.  I think the next thing for me will be to spend a lot of time writing.  Whether I get the grant I put in for or not, I have two books ready for publishing.  I am in the process of editing two other books.  I have a third one I'm working on writing - whether it will finish the story or not I don't know. 

My writing has been on the back burner since I started school again.  I never feel like I have time to just sit at the computer and write.  Once I get started, the words just flow so I am looking forward to spending more time writing. 

One of my goals after I graduate is to spend more time submitting my work for publication and contests.  It is always good to put my work out there to see who likes what and what needs more work.

This semester I have a grammar class.  I know many of you are groaning over that but I'm actually looking forward to it.  I have already started reading the book.  My second class is a publications class.  It is with my favorite instructor so I'm sure I'll get something out of it. 

Before classes start, I am going to enjoy a short visit from Stephanie, crochet time, and as much down time as I can cram into the next few days.  Stephanie will be home for a long weekend.  We are going to get two very short visits from her this fall.  It will be fun to have her here by herself and get a bit of one on one time.

One more semester and then on to other things.  It will be good to move forward and focus back on my writing but I'm going to get the most out of the last semester.   

Friday, August 9, 2013

Yarn is wonderful... Yarn on sale - HEAVEN!

Recently, Vicki asked me to make a few things for her to give to her co-workers.  They are small items and I don't have a problem.  She emailed me the colors and I went to my lovely wall of yarn.  I pulled out all the colors I had but I discovered I didn't have them all.  This meant I had to go yarn shopping.

As you saw in the last post I also made a scarf for Ana and in doing so I used up one of my colors is Sashay yarn.  I love the colors of that particular scarf.  I actually wrote down the color so I would remember it the next time I bought yarn. 

It became obvious to me that I was going to have to go yarn shopping.  The types of yarn - ruffle and crochet cotton - I needed do not go on sale often.  My thought was I'll start with what I have all the colors for and see how far I get.  Ana came to visit and after seeing her with the scarf I realized there was a lot I wanted to try with that same color.  The ruffle yarn is $5 - $6 per skein and crochet cotton is about $2.25 per skein.  This is an investment. 

I get emails from all my favorite craft stores - Michael, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics, Herrschners - letting me know about specials and sales.  Herrschners runs yarn sales all the time but I hadn't seen any with these two items in particular.  Then I get a Michael's email - I've just been deleting without looking at these (it's a time thing) but for some reason I looked at this one.  Good thing I did - they have both these yarns on sale. 

The other issue then is money - I was looking at my budget and thinking I really can't afford to go get a lot of yarn.  I'll have to keep it to the bare minimum.  This is just sad because if there is a sale on crochet cotton in particular I want to buy all the colors I can because I go through them quickly.  In my head I was considering payments for the week and having this internal debate about being good and not buying yarn and splurging and buying yarn. 

As I realize I am of course going to do the responsible thing, I got a payment for editing.  Perfect!  I can now splurge a bit on yarn.  It's been a crummy week for me - sinus infection, lack of sleep, weather induced pain for my arthritis - I've been a lot grumpy this week. 

Last night I determined I was going to stop at Michaels on the way home from work.  Their store is not user friendly at all.  From the door that doesn't open automatically to the narrow clutter filled aisles, this is a store that is difficult for me to get into and move around.  I took my scooter though and grabbed a basket - that was not fun - but I get back to their yarn corner and just had fun.  I grabbed all the colors I needed (except for one that I'm not sure they even make).  It was fun to look at the colors and think of the things I would make and who would like what colors.  I think I rolled around the two aisles several times looking, adding up money, and enjoying selecting the colors. 

I didn't buy one thing that wasn't on sale.  I saved $21.  I didn't break my budget.  I got five skeins of the ruffle yarn and twenty plus of the crochet cotton.  I picked some colors for specific people, some because I knew I was out, and some just because I liked them. 

When I left the store, I felt wonderful.  My mood was happy and I was looking forward to working with the yarns.  I even started one of the projects for Vicki last night.  Now I have to get the colors organized for my projects for Vicki and the rest need to be added to my wall.  I do think I'll be using one or two of the ruffle skeins this weekend too. 

My weekend plan - after the errands are done - dvds, crochet hooks, yarn... heaven!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

More Projects

This weekend a friend of mine – Ana – visited.  I had a wonderful time just chatting with her.  It had been a long time since our schedules meshed and we had been able to get together.  So this last week I made her two small gifts. 

This long scarf was made with Sashay Twist yarn.  I love the way it turned out and the colors in it.  I’ll be getting this again to make more goodies with it.

This was made with scrap yarn – I had a partial skein left from some other project and hoped it would be enough to make a scarf / cowl.  I also put on there buttons from my mom who gave me a bag of old buttons.  They matched it nearly perfectly and fit Ana’s style.

Vicki picked out this yarn from one of the big buys I’d done.  There were three skeins and I was hoping it would be enough for a shawl for her. 

This is the back of the shawl wrapped around my sister Alicia.  The color is purple, blue, black which doesn’t come through wonderfully in the picture.

Here is the front – it ended up being long enough to wrap around her.  I am certain Vicki will love it. 

The shawl took me about three days to finish – it is a simple mesh using triple crochet and chains. 

The scarf for my niece is a combination of techniques.  I did a zigzag scarf for the base.  Here are the directions:
Ch 5
Row 1:  DC in 4th ch (counts as 1st DC, dc in last ch (3 dc)
Row 2:  ch 3, dc in each st
Row 3:  ch 3, turn piece, work 2 dc in end of row (with turning chain counts as 3 dc)
Repeat rows 2 & 3 until piece is long enough.

 When the scarf was long enough, I did the chain and leaf technique I used on Vicki’s valances with the crocodile stitch.  I worked my way randomly up the scarf making it look like a vine and leaves.  Then using blue and purple I created simple flowers to add to the ends of the scarf.  She will get it on Monday and I hope she likes it. 


Today I’m moving on to two more projects that have been sitting in my basket for a bit.  I’m not sure how long they will take but I’m hoping to finish them up soon.  I have a long list of holiday gifts to make and want to start on them before the craziness of the next semester starts.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


This summer I had a long list of things to get done.  I’ve done almost none of them.  My only excuse is I got distracted and overwhelmed by the moves going on in my life.  Now at this stage I just want a bit of peace before the next semester begins.  I have about three weeks before work becomes totally crazy. 

My romance novel I got some of the prep work done for self-publishing but I also found one more place I may submit it to.  I will have to read through carefully to see if it fits the guidelines.  If it fits the guidelines, I’ll submit one more time before I attempt to self publish. 

Moon Affirmations I’ve submitted to one more publisher as well.  I’m hoping to hear sooner rather than later on it to see if they are interested.  I hope so if not I will be going the self-publishing route on that one too. 

My Magic series (working title – fantasy novel series) – I finish editing what I think will be the first novel.  This story I started in November 2010 and I’ve been working on sporadically since.  The story in its entirety is 600 pages plus and I’m not done with the story.  In the last two weeks I’ve edited the first 200 pages.  As I read I thought what was I thinking and rewrote about ten pages of material to make it better adding in a couple of scenes and filling out other scenes.  I think total page count now is just over 200.  I’ve got all these edits in the computer (need to make a back up of these edits – soonest possible). 

Next I’m moving on to the second book in this series (or the second 200 pages).  I am going to edit it while I let the first book sit and stew for a bit.  Ideally I’d like to edit the second book quickly (maybe a week) and then read through the rest to see if I can work on the tail end to finish the story.  I think this is too much to hope for before the semester starts though.  It may have to wait until January. 

Each time I come back to this story, I fall in love with it.  I enjoy the characters, the plots, the world I’ve created.  It is one of my favorites right now.  I haven’t decided whether I will try the traditional publishing route with this or just do self-publishing.  I do know that I’m going to be very protective of it.  Right now it feels like a new born baby (yup almost three years old but still newborn to me). 

Hopefully I will continue to make progress for the next three weeks.  After that all bets are off as I will be in SUPER busy mode with two classes.  Oh and one other thing I want to get done in the next three weeks – read the four books I bought for my two classes – should be fun huh?  I’m actually looking forward to the grammar book – yup geek I know.  I found another book I really like too.  It is The Emotion Thesaurus:  A writers Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.  It gives a definition of an emotion, physical signals, internals sensations, mental responses, cues of acute emotion, cues of suppressed emotion.  It will help in editing to liven up stale description – so if I say a character was shocked – instead of saying shocked I could say they character suddenly stiffened – it sounds simple but when you are doing an initial writing saying the simple term is easy and then making it better as you edit is not always easy so this gives a list for the emotions.  I think it will be a good reference book.  

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...