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Archive for July, 2012

Short Tuesday: Watching

He tried to remember who had talked him into this. His handed were slick with sweat. He dried them on his pants and continued to watch the door. No one was home yet. From his position, he could watch that door and the direction the family would be returning from.

He had been watching this house for weeks it seemed. That had been personal. And why it had been so easy to talk him into taking this job. He knew their Friday night routine. They went out for dinner at six. And returned at nine, almost on the dot. The father would have had two drinks at dinner, so would not be drunk but have a nice buzz. The mother was almost inconsequential. She would be quiet standing behind her husband. It was the daughter that held his interest.

She was the reason the father only had two drinks. She was the one that would get on to him that he shouldn’t drink and drive. She was the only one who seemed to have any fire in this family. And he wanted her.

He saw the headlights turn down the street, and his whole body tensed. He let out the warning signal they had decided on. And when he heard the answering call, knew his “friends” were getting ready to pull out of the house. They weren’t friends, he knew that. They just talked to him when they needed a lookout.

He stepped into the driveway as the car started to make the turn from the road. He would give them a few extra minutes to make their escape. Because he knew if they went down, none of them would have a problem taking him with them.

The father stepped out of the car first. And from the belligerent look on the man’s face, he thought he may have had more than those two drinks. “Who are you? What do you want?”

“My name’s Michael. I go to school with Amanda. I want to speak with you about taking your daughter to prom, Mr. Williams.”

The man sneered back at her daughter. “At least someone wants her. Yes, get her off my hands please.”

He wanted to kill the man. For the way he treated his family, and in particular for the way he treated his daughter. But, that would ruin all of his plans. So, instead he nodded a thank you and started past the car, pausing by the back door for a moment. Amanda would not even look at him though. She just didn’t know him yet, he convinced himself. He’d show her what she was missing. Then, she’d know.

***

 

Knitting Monday: Finished Project & More

Last week, I had three different projects in progress: a Thomas the Tank Engine hat, one of my cause hats, and my “secret” project(only secret because it’s a gift for someone). I finished the Thomas hat on Saturday, but am still in varying stages of completion on the other two. And Saturday night, I started working on a Minnie Mouse hat. Didn’t have much choice as my daughter started begging me for one while I was working on the Thomas hat. I haven’t gotten too far on the Minnie hat yet, but I do have some different ideas for it.

 

Finished Thomas the Tank Engine hat

I knitted the main part of this hat and did the face separate. I wasn’t sure how to do this at first, then while looking for something else, I came across a pattern for a circular coaster. I had some trouble getting started(start with 4 stitches on double point needles then increase from there), but after that it got easier. I messed up a little on the eyes, they’re not the same size or straight on the face. And I sewed it onto the hat just a little crooked. But, this is the first time I’ve done something like this, so I think it still turned out nice.

Nathan modeling the hat…and being a goofball.

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the latest cause hat. I’m working on the decreases right now. It will be a slouchy toque style hat when finished. I haven’t done this style before, so it’s something new. Hopefully will have this one finished today or tomorrow at the latest.

Just need to finish crown decreases

don’t have a lot to show on the Minnie hat yet. Only have nine rounds knitted. Going to do a few more rounds in pink(for her dress) then start with the black. then, I’ll need to figure out how to do the ears.Will hopefully have more to show of it next week(and maybe even the finished project).

The Minnie Mouse hat so far

I am nearly finished with the secret project as well, but once again I won’t be posting any photos of it until the gift has been received. I am liking the way it’s turning out though.

 

Remember if you see anything you like, you can email me at brownsnovelknits@gmail.com or visit my Facebook Page

 

Family Friday: Parades & Vacation Bible School

Last Saturday, my phone rang at seven in the morning. It was my sister-in-law wanting to know if we wanted to go with them to a parade later that morning. We had plans to go to another that afternoon, but since there were no other plans for the morning, and Cory would not be home anyways, we went. I was looking forward to Nathan’s reaction to the parade, but was not prepared for it. For the first time, Hayleigh did not have a problem with the fire trucks or anything else. She used to get really upset by the sirens. this time she was fine. Nathan on the other hand…And it wasn’t even the fire trucks or sirens that bothered him. It was the one fire department’s mascot, a guy dressed up as a dalmatian. He completely freaked out when the guy started walking toward him. Then, there were the clowns. He did enjoy the fire trucks though and the band. And the cheerleaders(seriously? he’s not even two. But, he watched those cheerleaders very close).

 

waiting for the parade to start

Watching the band march past

Checking out the ambulance

Later that afternoon, my mother-in-law picked us up and we went to a parade in the town where she works. They were handing out balloons and popcorn. So, Hayleigh helped Grandma with that. Then, we sat and watched the parade. This time Nathan did not like the fire trucks. And that’s pretty much all there was to the parade as it was for the town’s fireman’s carnival. I don’t know if it sounded louder there or what, but he was not happy. At least until afterwards when we went to a local hot dog shop and he got to sit in the chair like a big boy, just like he does at home, and eat his hot dog.

helping hold onto some balloons

Eating some popcorn from a cup

And Sunday night was the start of our church’s vacation bible school(or VBS). This is the first year Hayleigh went, and I’m pretty sure she’ll going back next year. It went from 6-8:30 each night, and she was so excited to go every night. Of course, she didn’t get home until about an hour past her normal bed time, and we dealt with melt downs pretty much every night. But, still she had fun and had a chance to be around some other kids. Last night was the final night and they had a special closing program. The kids all sang songs(they sent a cd home at the beginning of the week so the kids could learn the songs. We listened to it probably 50 times. I could have gotten up there and sang the song with them).
Then, they had a table with crafts the kids hadn’t taken home. And we could not find Hayleigh’s picture frame she had made. Total meltdown. So, we were given some supplies so she could make a new one at home. That made things slightly better at least.

monkey with a rain stick

Her picture frame

And a video of Hayleigh’s group singing their song. She’s right near the edge in a purple shirt.

You’re My Shelter

 

 

 

 

Writing Wednesday: Rowing Through the Summer

It’s hard to believe this is the last check-in for July(for me at least, since I don’t check-in on Sundays). This summer really seems to have flown by, even on the days it dragged. Less than a week left in July, just over two weeks until my daughter turns 5, and 5 more weeks until school starts. And between her birthday and school starting, we will be going camping with my dad and stepmom for almost a week. So, I don’t see the last month of summer being any slower. But, it’s all good because I’m still getting things done. And will continue to(except for maybe during the camping trip).

  • Continue writing every morning. Aiming for around 5000 words again.

In the last week, I have written 6 days. Sunday is the only day I did not write anything. Thursday: 658, Friday:1225, Saturday: 97, Monday: 1210, Tuesday: 770, Wednesday: 834(so far). May try to write some more this afternoon during the sprint. But, that still makes a total of: 4794. So, not quite to my goal, but pretty close. I’m averaging about 690 words a day for this month, 822 if you count just the days I’ve written(21 so far this month compared to the 17 in June and just 13 in May).

  • Have through Chapter 8 of Stained Snow edited.

Have through chapter 7 done. Planning on working chapter 8 during today’s sprint, if I don’t get to it before that. I have cut over 1000 words from it so far. not sure what my ending word count should be as this is the first novella I’ve written. Thought about aiming for between 25 & 30K, but not sure if it should be longer or shorter than that. Right now it is at 27712 and I still have 3 more chapters to go through.

  • Be through Chapter 24 of Chasing Fire

Finished reading this Saturday night. Then, I read the prequel to the Gabriel trilogy(by Steve Umstead), Gabriel: Zero Point. This was a novella and I finished reading it this morning. Starting Kait Nolan’s “Blindsight” today. So, I’ve read 4 out of the 12 books I want to for this round. Counting Blindsight, I have 8 more waiting on the Kindle app. So, if I get through all those during this round, I’ll have reached that goal.

  • Finish reading You Are a Writer

finished this last week sometime(don’t remember exact day0. really enjoyed it, and I signed up on Jeff Goins’ website to get email updates.

Things have gone really well for me the past week. Hoping they continue. I don’t see me finishing my WiP by the end of this month or even by my daughter’s birthday, like I had hoped. I still have over 40000 words to go on it. But, I will hopefully have it finished by the end of August.

Goals for next week:

  • Write every morning, shoot for 5000 words.
  • Have edits finished on Stained Snow and do another read through
  • Read Blindsight

Short Tuesday: Run

I ran. I knew he would be coming back with that knife, so I ran. I didn’t know how much time I had before he returned. I didn’t even know where he was. He could be standing right outside. Just waiting for me to make a move at an escape. But, I had to take the chance. And I knew it wasn’t just me who would pay if I failed. I looked down at the little girl at my side. I had promised her I would keep her safe from monsters. I couldn’t let her down now.

“Come on,” I told her. “We’re getting out of here.”

“What if he catches us?”

I almost told her it didn’t matter. We’d be dead either way. But, that wasn’t what she needed to hear. “He won’t. Come on.”

We started to inch up the steps, and I reached for the door over my head. I knew it would creak. It had the last time he had come down into the basement to check on us. I had also realized there was no other way out of here. So, we had to go out this door.

I breathed in the fresh air as the door opened. Then, I peeked my head over the edge of the entrance and looked around. I could not see anyone. “Come on. It’s clear. We need to run.”

I lifted her out and set her on the ground before climbing out the last few steps. “Run.” I took her hand, and praying she could keep up, ran as fast as I could.

I heard the shout behind me. I knew she would not be able to keep up with me, so I swung the little girl into my arms and kept running. I didn’t know where we were. Didn’t know the best way to run. And I knew there was no way we would escape if someone else didn’t intervene.

I could hear him gaining on us and knew our chances of getting out of this were quickly fading. I set her down and pushed her forward. “Run. Get help.”

“But, what about you?” She asked, her bottom lip trembling.

“Don’t worry. Just get out of here.”

I watched as she turned and ran, as fast as her little legs could take her. Then, I turned and faced the monster from the worst of my nightmares. I knew I would die, but maybe at least she could be saved from this horror.

***

Knitting Monday: Ethan’s Hat & Other Projects

A friend of mine, one of the women from a group I joined when I was pregnant with my daughter, welcomed a little boy into her family at the beginning of July. He was actually born at the end of June, but they had to wait three days until the birth parents could sign over their rights. I wanted to make something. I had already started a little hat when another person from our group thought it would be nice if we all showered them with gifts. I ended up ripping out the hat I was making because it wasn’t turning out the way I expected(which I would have known if I paid attention to the pattern). So, I started a different little hat. It only took a couple days to finish(probably a total of 5 hours all together). It did turn out really cute. I even did some duplicate stitch to make an E for his name.

Yes, I stole one of my daughter’s dolls to model the hat

I also made a couple bibs to send with the hat. I found a pattern for a bandana bib, and made two of them in different colors. I also used two different brands of yarn, Lily Sugar n’ Cream and Loops & Thread’s Cotton Club(which is also what I used for the hat). The Cotton Club one turned out a lot softer than the Sugar n’ Cream bib did. But, they did both turn out really cute(once I steam blocked them and got rid of the curl at the bottom).

Bandana bibs. The green is the Cotton Club. The light blue is Sugar n’ Cream.

I am not able to sell bibs like these, but I am able to make the hats and sell them. Available in any size and color(as long as I can get my hands on the yarn). This and anything else can be ordered either through my Facebook page of if you email me directly at brownsnovelknits@gmail.com.
Right now, I am working on 3 different projects. One is for a gift, so I will not be sharing any pictures until it has been given to the recipients. But, I’m also working on another of my “cause hats”. I’m planning on making as many of these as I can before my friends walk and hopefully selling some of them to help her raise money. After that, I’ll be focusing on selling some to donate the money to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The other project I’m working on is a Thomas the Tank Engine hat. Debated on how to do this, but I think I’ve figured it out. Don’t have a picture of it yet, but I’m only about half done. Hopefully will be finished by next week and have a picture of the completed project. Then, my daughter wants me to make her a Minnie hat. So, it looks like that will be my next project.

Writing Wednesday: Rownd and Rownd

I’m glad I pretty much don’t plan on doing much toward my writing over the weekends. Especially during the summer. This past weekend there was a local annual festival. Each year, my husband and I help the fire department with their chicken barbeque dinner at it. My husband helps cook the chicken, and I help serve the food. The first year I helped out at it, I was about seven months pregnant with my son. We were inside that year. The last two years we’ve been outside in a tent. So, I was there from about 10:30 Saturday morning until a little after 7 that night. Saturday is usually our slower day. Should have thought to take a notebook or at least my book to read. Of course, I didn’t. Sunday I was there again around 10:30 and did think to take my notebook(and a novel) with me. As soon as I got there, it started pouring. Figured that was going to take all our business with it as well since we usually get rushed right after the outdoor church service. The rush never happened, but we were fairly steady most of the day. Still I was able to write almost 200 words in my notebook. I was only there until 5 that day, but still I didn’t get much else done over the weekend. But, I’m getting back on track this week.

  • Continue writing every morning from around 5 until the kids get up(which has been between6:30 & 7 recently). Aiming for at least another 5k.

I have written every day except for Saturday. My totals for the last week were: Thursday: 627, Friday: 1211, Sunday: 195, Monday: 1505, Tuesday: 192(very low for me. I had run out of coffee and could not wake up or focus on the words), Wednesday: 900(had coffee again. woohoo!)

That makes a total of 4630 words over the last week. Not quite what my target was, but pretty close.

  • Finish reading through Stained Snow & have at least the first 2 chapters fixed up.

I finished reading through this on Friday. And I do have the first 2 chapters done. I’ve cut around 250 words from it so far. Planning on fixing up chapter 3 this afternoon.

  • Be through at least chapter 15 of Chasing Fire

Forgot to figure in the fact I wouldn’t be home over the weekend into this goal. I’m only part way through chapter 11 right now.

  • Be at least 50% through You Are a Writer.

I passed this goal. This seems to be a pretty easy read. I’m at 61% right now. Should have it finished by next week.

Goals for next week:

  • Continue writing every morning. Aiming for around 5000 words again.
  • Have through Chapter 8 of Stained Snow edited.
  • Be through Chapter 24 of Chasing Fire
  • Finish reading You Are a Writer

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