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e_moon60

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The Writing Life [Aug. 28th, 2015|06:30 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |awake]

Closing in on the end of the main draft of the new book, another Vatta book.  As usual at this stage I like some sections a lot--they came out doing what I wanted them to do, and they read well (not perfectly--more drafts to come--but well for this point in the process.)  Other sections are OK but in the wrong place.   Other sections represent blind alleys--something I thought belonged in this book but, on consideration, doesn't.  Some that seemed OK as I was writing do not do what I wanted them to do.  And some sections are...not there.  I jumped ahead, which seemed like a good idea then, but the gap is too big for any reasonable transition.  It's going to take one or more full scenes.

The way I work, I have a strong idea of how the story begins,  a sortakinda idea of how it ends, and some probable things that will be somewhere in between.   None of this may survive to the final draft (exactly where the story begins may shift back and forth in time.  In first draft I may start too early or too late; the ending may be similar to, but not exactly, what I thought it would be, and the events in the middle may change sequence, with some dropping out.)  So this current draft, still quite messy (messier in some places than others), is "normal."   Normal for me.  Not for every writer.
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Red, White, and Blue [Aug. 20th, 2015|05:36 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Reversing the position of red and blue on the 4th of July socks produced this:
Red-white-blue-socks-8-20-15        Red-white-blue-socks-hist
        In the kitchen while it's raining                                            Outdoors next day
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Yarn and the Knitter [Aug. 6th, 2015|10:33 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |awake]

I had very little navy-blue yarn.  I needed more, to complete the Red, White, and Blue socks that would be the color inverse of the 4th of July socks.   (Need is a relative term...knitter's need, we're talking about here.  Having conceived of a design, it's necessary (!) to make it.)

This is what I intended to order when I looked on the website for yarn last Thursday:

Yarn-Aug2015-navy1
This is ALL I meant to buy when I looked at the site.
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The Sixth Short Socks (this year) [Aug. 1st, 2015|02:23 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Yesterday, July 31, I finished the sixth pair of "sporty-shorty" summer socks for 2015.  One to go, before going back to longer socks.  This pair combined two "leftover" yarns from longer socks.  The green is Ella rae Classic, color #90, which is actually more emerald than the picture shows.   The blue is Cascade 220 Paints "Isle of Sky," unfortunately a discontinued color.  The white, bought for striping, is Cascade 220.

Mountain-vacation-shorty1430
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That Flag [Jul. 10th, 2015|12:27 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |determined]

First, congratulations to the South Carolina state legislature for voting to remove the Confederate battle flag from display on the Statehouse grounds.   Any moral deed, whenever it occurs, deserves recognition and a pat on the back.

Now we've got that taken care of...on to the larger issue, the one that's been carried like a giant pus-filled abscess in the body politic for a century and a half....a mix of racism and treason that has frustrated repeated attempts to heal the wounds caused by the treason of a region addicted to buying, owning, and selling human beings even after a war they lost, even after a lenient post-war attempt to repatriate the traitors and restore them to a right relation, as citizens, with their country.

A potent, comforting mythology developed--was allowed to develop unchecked--and poured into the ears of the young, a toxic mythology that framed the South as the gallant, brave, victim,  slavery as a misunderstood benign institution that might slowly lift "savages" from Africa into civilization,  and the real issues of the Civil War a matter of cool, rational "states' rights" rather than the hot desire to own and use other humans, and spread that practice of slavery abroad.   A mythology, reinforced in books, in movies, which the young were told justified slavery, segregation, Jim Crow laws, virtual slavery after slavery was illegal,  false accuations, physical attacks on African-Americans, including lynchings.  A mythology that spread easily from fear into hatred, and from fear and hatred of African Americans to fear and hatred of all persons of color.  A myth.  A lie.  A string of lies, one little dram of poison at a time, until the children grew up believing it all, mouthing the same words in the same tones, including the excuses they used to cover their lies.
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Mother's Colors Socks [Jul. 9th, 2015|09:34 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

My mother liked soft mid-green (either warm or cool-tone), dark green, rose, and burgundy together; the living room carpet was rose, the drapes burgundy (with white sheers that quickly became cream with age between them), walls painted an interesting cream (I got to watch the painter mix the paint),  sectional sofa upholstery in a mid-green with slip-covers in summer (that my mother made herself) out of a slightly lighter green with pattern elements of rose, burgundy, and cream.  I didn't have any burgundy yarn, but as I was looking at a full skein of Bernat Sesame in "Bottle Green" (from my mother's stash, yarn at least 50 years old)  I thought at once of making  a pair of socks in "her" colors.
Mother"s-colors-2
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Life in a Wet Year [Jul. 6th, 2015|10:05 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |awake]

It's not wet now--things are drying up rapidly--but the frequent soaking (and sometimes flooding) rains have really made a difference to our summer after five years of stark drought.  The creek is running.   Fish fry are back--tiny almost glass-transparent minnows a half inch to an inch and a half long are swimming happily in the shallows.  Dragonflies I haven't seen for years (the American Rubyspot damselfly, the Great Pondhawk) are back down at the creekside.  Scat reveals that the fox and coyote are eating meat and bones again, not just cactus fruit, berries, and someone's dogfood.  We lost a lot of mature and very young trees, but some of our prairie transplants (root divisions from grasses saved from construction sites)  hung on and are taking advantage of the moisture.

Lg-big-bluestem-west-grass1377

That green clump right in the middle of the picture is big bluestem, Andropogon gerardii, one of the four dominant tallgrasses of the southern tallgrass prairie (switchgrass, Indiangrass, and Eastern gama are the others) and that clump was only about six inches across when planted.  It's started putting up its flowering stalks (not flowering yet; the stalks go up first.)  This is the one I worried most about, and...it survived and now it's spreading.
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Religious Belief and Civic Duty [Jul. 3rd, 2015|12:42 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |determined]

Way back in Bible times, Jesus recognized the potential conflict between religious belief and civic duty when--asked if Jews should refuse to pay Roman taxes--he held up a Roman coin and said "Whose face is this?"  Caesar's, said the crowd.  And Jesus said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God."  In other words, pay your taxes, and then treat other people well: feed the hungry, house the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, care for each other.  When Roman soldiers or officials came to ask him what they could do to be saved, he didn't tell them to leave the army or their job, but to do their duties faithfully, without cheating, and without using their status to extort money from the people over whom they had power.

In other sermons, Jesus told his listeners not to show off their religion--neither in open acts of charity, nor public prayer, nor (even in private) long extended prayer as if God didn't know what you needed.   He told them not to judge others, not to assume they were perfect and others were not. 

Later Christians have had a problem with the actual words of Jesus, including on the subject of how to reconcile their religious belief with their duties as citizens--their secular duties.   To bring it to the present (skipping over the intervening history for the moment) too many of today's Christians in this country see their duty as mistreating fellow citizens on the grounds that they are the righteous ones who are truly following Jesus.   When it comes to civic duty, they assume imposing their own narrow theological views on everyone (regardless of others' beliefs) is the same as being a good citizen.  And it's not.  And Jesus never said it was.

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The Fourth Is Coming, The Fourth Is Coming [Jun. 30th, 2015|05:54 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

And naturally, with a convention and travel coming up, I needed something to knit.  I hoped to get these mostly done by the time I was on the train back,  but someone said "You'll never finish those by then," so...I did.

4th-of-July3 and another view    4th-of-July1

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Old Yarn [Jun. 23rd, 2015|11:09 pm]
e_moon60
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Fifty years ago, more or less, my mother was knitting me sweaters with a lovely yarn, Bernat "Sesame".  100% wool, permanently mothproofed, colorfast, it came in 2 oz sacks called "Pull Pouches", with a little plastic cllosure at the top that the yarn could feed through. The wool stayed safe and untangled in the plastic bag, and it was very convenient packaging.   When I dug past the acrylic stuff at the top of a box of my mother's yarn stash, there were some of the bags of "Sesame" in various colors, the perfect opportunity for striping socks.   The wool was as soft and "bouncy" as I remembered, a lovely feel in my hands, and I tried it first in very narrow stripes (1-2 rows...and then in the "frame"  of a shorty sock.  This is what the packaging looked like:
Bernat-Sesame
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