Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for 'knitting'



Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Pardon the dust

I’ve been still trying to deal with so much this summer I haven’t been here much. Primarily, my parents had a house fire and we’ve been trying to get things taken care of, but a major problem is that the insurance company has been a pain in the ass. They want to underpay and have been dragging their heels on paying. It sucks. It’s also time consuming and draining.

But! Things continue apace for Shades of Memory‘s release is just about a month now. I’m really excited for you to read it.In the meantime, I’m working on plotting out some new things which I can’t discuss yet, but soon there will be a signed contract and I can make revelations to you!

I’m going to be at Fan Nexus in Spokane next weekend. Here’s my schedule. I hope to see some of you there! I will have some giveaways.

In other news, I’ve been trying to knit, and making some headway, but frankly, I’m much better at making random knots and tangles. I’ve torn out the heel of my sock project about four times now. For some reason, I can’t seem to get the hang of this heel. Ug. Anyhow, I put a heel in and it’s seriously ugly. I hope the heel of the mate goes better.

I didn’t do well keeping up with my garden this year. I was too focused on other stuff and ended up just not taking care of it. Had some lovely tomatoes, but should have had a lot more. Oh, and we had an ant invasion in the house. Finally had to call a pest company. Yellowjackets and ants this summer. What fun. Sigh.

I feel like asking that perennial freshman essay question: What did you do last summer?

 

 

Friday, October 14th, 2016
The update of the week

It’s raining. Pouring and windy. We’re already almost three inches above normal for the season and the season started October 1. The river looks swollen and it’s beautiful. Muscular and lovely. I did get the last of the peppers out of the garden. Plus I also got the potatoes out. Making a vat of potato beer soup tomorrow. It’s a family favorite and the fam has been bugging me to make it. Given that it’s sort of a family project to make it, so we’ll have a good time and it will be delicious and it will be perfect for the weather. Today was oddly sunny giving the big storms that are moving through the state.

We also bought a car. It’s a used Prius and it’s got higher mileage than it should for its year, but we got a pretty good deal for it and it runs well. We will hopefully save a lot of money in gas. Plus it means we have a second reliable car, which we needed. Getting used to driving a hybrid will be a little bit entertaining. Plus figuring out some of the tech, and it’s not all that high tech, but higher than we’re used to. It’s a pretty blue, too, and since beggars can’t be choosers, I figured we’d take what we could get.

Writing-wise, I’ve been making good progress on Diamond City Magic #4. It’s definitely going to be longer than the other books. The difficulty is that it’s complicated and weaving it all together is taking me some time. But if it comes together the way I’m hoping, then it may be the best one so far. One day I’ll have to give it a title. Hmmm.

I just have to mention that I watched this mystery movie on the Hallmark Channel that I taped a week ago and they are showing tons of Christmas commercials. This is unsettling at best. Plus it makes me panic because I’m already late on everything for Christmas. Don’t ask. It’s a mental thing.

I gave up diet soda a long time ago and then a few months ago went back to drinking it. As of today, I stopped again. I don’t have a good caffeine substitute. I drink tea, so hopefully that will do, but I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be feeling sort of hungover for a few days. Or a week.

I’ve also screwed up my knitting and I have to figure out how to fix it. Gah.

I kind of want to drive over to the coast and see the storm, but I also want to stay wrapped up here with a book. Anybody got big plans for the weekend? Oh, forgot to mention that last weekend we went out to the river and found a bunch of rocks. Mostly red, green, and yellow jasper, some petrified wood, and a couple pieces of carnelian. Looking forward to seeing them polished up.

 

Sunday, December 6th, 2015
Holiday prep

Is everybody else behind on holiday prep? Because I would totally like to think I wasn’t the only one. We meant to get a tree today, as the weather isn’t going to be cooperative any other day, but because of kid needs, we didn’t. I did do a major errand and laundry and bed changing, but did not dig into the cleaning I had planned. Otherwise, I am quite ill-prepared for anything holiday related. At all. Plus there is a ton of rain coming through and I have no idea if or when we’ll get outside decorations up. Am considering trying to get some into the windows to compensate.

I need to find a knitting pattern for mitts that I like. I want them to make up quickly and I’d rather they were on circulars than double points, but either is good. The thing is, and I probably won’t explain this well, but I want a separate thumb. The previous mitts I made I did in such a way that I increased for the thumb and at a certain point I closed the thumb off and finished the palm area of the mitt. That leaves a hole behind and I don’t want to do that. I want to do the thing where I put the thumb on waste yarn and finish it after. I don’t suppose anybody has suggestions?

The San Bernardino shooting hit me hard. Especially after Umpqua. I don’t have much I want to say about it now. I’m so sad, so disappointed in the people of this world, of America, of haters. I’m so sad for everyone.

Friday, July 10th, 2015
Sweet sweet coolness

After weeks of heat, today we were able to leave the windows open all day. I think the weather should hold for another few days at least. Hopefully we can get out and do some things. I’d like to go hike to a falls.

I did get decent writing done this week. Book 3 of  Diamond City Magic is getting close to done. I hit a bit of a snag today when I couldn’t remember where in a book I included something, or if I put it in and took it out again. I didn’t find what I was looking for in the first two books, but it could be earlier in this book. So I still have to dig. Annoying. I’ll look tomorrow, I think.

I also started a new knitting project. It might be a Christmas present. Hush. I know it’s far away, but if you’re knitting, you have to start much earlier. This is a fact. I also found a cool crochet hat pattern I want to try. I’m still not that great at reading patterns, or following written patterns–I get confused–so it can be a slow process. The one I started tonight has fairly simple cables and repeats, so it’s making up reasonably quickly. Using some yarn out of the stash. Given I just added to the stash, this is a good thing. Also, crochet projects make up faster. Just saying.

Tomorrow will hopefully be some yardwork, some writing, and hopefully some fun stuff. Next week the boy starts a summer “camp” which is more like a class. He’s excited about it.

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Books I’ve been reading

I’ve read about five books in the last few weeks that I haven’t reviewed here. Mostly they didn’t thrill me and I didn’t feel like talking about them. They were okay, but not particularly good or bad. Well, one was kinda bad. Anyhow, if I didn’t get them from NetGalley, I don’t feel obligated to review them. And even then I don’t. If I don’t like it enough, I send a note the publisher saying so. Mostly I prefer to review books that I find meaty to review. By that I mean interesting problems, or damned good reads, or books that move me in some fashion. These others have simply been fine. Entertaining on some levels, but nothing I care to spend time on reviewing.

Tomorrow, or almost today, is a doctor day with the boy. I don’t have to drive this time, so I’ll knit on the way up, read through the two appointments, and knit on the way home. I hope I have enough yarn for these socks. I put a horrible little light blue cuff on the the top of the first one. The bind-off was too loose for my taste. It’s a short sock and very wearable, but I bought a book to learn how to do better socks. Anyhow, have to do the second sock of this pair first.

I need to figure out a good pattern for a baby blanket. Crochet or Knit. Haven’t found anything I love yet. Starting to think about making stuff for Xmas gifts. I know, crazy, but since it takes time, I figure I out to start thinking.

Still worried about dad. No real change yet. Spent the evening with the folks and that was nice. Tried to go out and see the Venus/Jupiter conjunction but couldn’t find it. I don’t know if we weren’t looking low enough on the horizon. Thinking about heading outside to try again. And then sleep.

 

 

Sunday, February 15th, 2015
Bright, bright, bright, sunshiny day

It was a gorgeous day today. About 65 and brilliantly sunny. Crocuses and primroses are blooming in the yard. We took the dogs walking out in a big park downtown. 90 acres, lots of trees. It was delightful. I also met with my knitting teacher to figure out how I’d screwed up my knitting, which was worse than I thought, but we mostly fixed everything. Next time we move on to the next steps.

The boy did acupuncture for the first time yesterday. It may be helping. It’s too soon to tell. I am hoping. I got him to exercise twice today, and that’s a big plus.

I’ve been getting some writing done, along with some reading. That’s all good.

Here’s a little snippet with of the WIP:

He held his hand out. She made herself take it, gripping firmly through her gloves. She didn’t like touching mages. She pulled away, shoving her hands into her coat pockets and curling them into fists.

“Hagen tells me you can read the room,” he said.

Cady’s lips tightened. She forced a smile. “Hagen says a lot of things. Some are even true.”

“Can you read the room?” he demanded.

“Probably.”

“Cady,” Hagen chided, his hand on her shoulder tightening.

Blaze flicked him an irritated glance, which won him a point in her book. The enemy of my enemy . . . Not that the bald giant was her enemy. He’d done everything in his power to protect her since she’d left fieldwork.

That earned an inward grimace. Left it. Like she’d had a choice. Yet here she was, about to go back out where all the boogeymen waited, including Blaze Watkins. Hopefully he didn’t plan to put a knife in her back. Hagen insisted the she could trust the mage, had shown her all the files on him. Or at least the files Hagen wanted her to see. She had no doubt there were more hidden somewhere.

Blaze Watkins had had a stand-up career with the PCIA, and then had gone private after he’d disobeyed orders he didn’t like. Most of that episode had been redacted, but Hagen claimed the mage had had good reasons. Which, coming from the head of the PCIA, could be viewed as a positive endorsement. But then again, only some of the things Hagen said were true. She usually found out which when she was hipdeep in a shit creek with crocodiles chewing her ass.

“You aren’t sure?” Blaze asked.

“I never am until I am,” she said. She bent down to pick up her pack and slung it over her shoulder, dislodging Hagen’s hand in the process. “We’re burning daylight.”

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
multiple things make a post. One hopes.

I do my twittering through Hootsuite. Hootsuite remembers my password. I, however, do not. So I was trying to go on to Twitter for some reason I no longer remember–it’s been hours, already–anyhow, Hootsuite may remember my password, but I don’t. I had to decide if I should reset the password, which would mean resetting Hootsuite, or just say forget it and worry about it another time. I went the lazy route.

I really sympathize with Charlie Hebdo and I really believe in Freedom of Speech. I even understand the “nuanced” argument of the editor that they go after religions which make political statements. Wouldn’t matter if I didn’t, though, because I do believe in freedom of speech, no matter how ugly. But at the same time, I really don’t like the way US culture and clearly other cultures all over the world, are willing to be deliberately hateful and offensive to other groups. The way we tend to go after each other as if we have a right to tell anyone else what to do. And yet . . . shouldn’t some things be stopped? Like genocide? Like child abuse? Like human rights abuses? Even if those things are legal and morally acceptable in other parts of the world?

Obviously I have no answers. I’m terribly torn. I hate knowing that if you’re black or Muslim and you’re walking down the street, everybody is a potential threat these days. I hate the way you can’t send kids out to play without worrying they’ll be accosted by a pedophile, a rapist, a killer, a gangmember, an idiot texting, a bully . . . I hate the rape culture. I wonder with all our progress in this world, how have we become so dangerous to each other? Yet I support the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. I support freedom of religion and of speech and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I also believe in the social contract, that supporting our neighbors supports ourselves and leads to a healthy nation.

These are the things I’ve been thinking about today.

I’ve been knitting and learning new things. Posted a new picture up on facebook. Unfortunately the picture is too big to post here until I shrink it. But I”m working on something new and will likely post it. It’s remarkable how well I’m doing (ie that I am satisfied with what I’ve made) in such a short time. I’ve only been knitting a month. Thanks to Devon Monk, I’ve recently learned to knit with double points in order to make mitts in the round, and I’ve managed to make a new pattern. I also read it and followed it accurately, even though it left out a key direction and I figured that out, too. I’m very proud of myself for that.

I’ve been revising Edge of Dreams. I’m planning to send it back to my editor a week from tomorrow (Jan 19th). I *think* I can get it done satisfactorily by then. Kids are out of school tomorrow, so I do have doubts about how much work I’ll manage to get done tomorrow. And then there’s the dentist appointment tomorrow for the girlie . . . .

I lulled myself into thinking that it’s almost time for spring here. It actually is, compared to the fact that Montana spring is about five months away. I expect to see the camelias starting to bloom within the next few weeks. My primroses are actually blooming. All the same, it’s not going to be spring for at least a couple of months. Of course it’s very green and warm here, so it’s not like it’s ever been the twiggy, sere wasteland of winter that happens in Montana. Which is lovely, but I prefer the green.

The boy went four days without getting sick, then he threw up for two, and today he’s not yet barfed. I’m trying to figure out what might have set him off. If anxiety somehow got to him (but on the weekend didn’t make a lot of sense), if he ate something different (didn’t figure out what), or if it could be just a normal part of healing from an ulcer (I can’t find a lot of that info on the net). Still haven’t figure it out.

Laura Anne Gilman blogged about bagels in Seattle the other day. The result was me craving bagels. I am no New Yorker, and I like fruit bagels with cream cheese. I do like a chewier bagel, but I got some at Costco and while they were not chewy really, they were tasty and hit the spot. Yum. I’ll be bageling my lunch this week, methinks. I can’t even remember the last time I ate one.

I keep thinking that I’m doing nothing very interesting, nor thinking anything very interesting, and so I’ve not been posting. I’ve got to work on that. Maybe just thinking more. Perhaps that would be a useful thing. Where on the web is the best source of world news? And US news? I tend to skip around and try to catch the evening news, but not find anything that I really like for a regular source of news. Suggestions?

 

 

 

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
Third day of the new year

Yep, made it three days in to the new year. Whoohoo!

Boy of size has been feeling mostly good, to the point of bounciness. It’s really nice to see him to happy. Course he just got up out of bed and I suspect vomiting. I suppose I’ll find out soon.

We did some cleaning and organizing today. Need to do so much more. But at least we did that much. And I made words. Here are some of them, good, bad, or indifferent (from Crossointe 5):

“You should stay here on the Root,” she announced. Her eyes had turned the color of wildfire, orange flames billowing hotly.

Shaye just smiled blandly. They’d had this conversation before, and no doubt they’d have it again. “No.”

“You can’t risk yourself. If you go back, Jutras majick will infect you—you’ll go insane or die.” Tears welled in her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. The silver drops sizzled on the wood when they fell.

______

Yep, boy got sick. I thought maybe he’d get through today without, but at least it’s only once. I’m clinging to that.

Tomorrow we hope to move some plants around to prepare for some yard work in the back yard, and go to Costco. Unless it rains. In which case there won’t be plant moving. Plus I plan to write.

I’ve been toying with this idea that wants to be written. But I am needing to research some military jargon and hierarchies. I’m likely to need some help. I’m going to have to do some research, apparently. Some is language, some is interactions, some is how systems function. Not that I have time to write this. But it may not wait.

I have been knitting and learning more. I am enjoying that, but I’d like to expand my knowledge and do some more. Socks are my biggest goal right now. And then bigger things. And color. Though frankly I lose count quickly and I’m a real beginner and don’t know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. Like how to fix my work when I screw up. At least I can do some things and my stitches are even.