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A couple things for ya.

February 1, 2013

I’ve been busy, busy, busy and now January is over and it’s the beginning of February and I’m pining for warm weather and long days.  We’ve got cold weather and short days though so no use whining… at least my allergies are hibernating through the winter.  Yay.

I’ve been doing some writing and editing, but I’ll get to that in a bit – first though, I may have mentioned our sheep at some point.  Yep, we’ve got sheep.  Sheep like to pick the coldest, most miserable time of the year to have lambs, so they should be popping out any minute, but that’s not the point.   The point is sheep = wool.  Well, sheep could = mutton too I guess, but in our case our sheep have this amazing, long, fine, soft wool.  Great for spinning.  So along with our sheep we have a spinning wheel, a drum carder, a spin dryer, bags of last years wool in the shed, a four heddle floor loom and a little rigid heddle loom that I made for my daughter.

So, my wife and my daughters knit – my twelve year old can really whip stuff out.  She just finished making a really cool hat for her brother – and I haven’t had much to do with the whole fiber art stuff until my wife suggested that I make the little table top loom for my six year old.  I looked at a couple that were for sale on the internet and one that a friend had, and it didn’t look too hard, so four dollars and a couple weeks of working on it a couple hours here and there I had a nice, fully functional rigid heddle loom.  (We bought the heddle – I tried making a heddle out of string but it didn’t work so well.

Yeah – the thing cost four dollars, total.  Pretty cool, hu?  True I had some of the wood laying around and I scrounged the other pieces from an old come-along tie down, and I carved a couple pieces from Osage Orange firewood, but I only went to the store to buy dowels and they cost $4.  Maybe I’ll take a picture and post it or something.

So once I made the loom, I had to make a warping board – that wasn’t cheap because I used oak.  I probably could have done it for about $6 if I just bought the dowels again, but I bought some nice 1x4x4 oak boards.  Not so cheap.

And then once I had the warping board made, I was pretty well sunk into the project and had to warp on a bunch of cotton yarn and then warp the big floor loom and then learn how to weave twill.  I find that when I’m doing searches for stuff like this on the internet, that there are a lot of guys doing the weaving thing… so it’s not just me.  I really enjoy the mechanics of it, plus if you think about it, the first computer ever created was a loom.  I’m just going way back to my computer geeky roots.  A string on a loom is either up or down, on or off, 1 or 0.  Cool stuff.

I’m thinking it’s going to be REALLY cool to shear the wool from the sheep, wash it, spin it, warp it, and then weave it. 

Ok, enough of that – back to writing…

I’ve got a couple project I’m working on.  Pseudopod – one of the sister podcasts of Escapepod and Podcastle is having a horror flash fiction contest just like Escapepod did last summer.  The last day for submissions is February 28th and I plan to submit two stories.  I’ve got one written and I’m working on editing it, and I have another story that I’ve rewritten nine times now and I just keep getting more and more unhappy with it.  I’m thinking about ditching it and just going with a new story.  Can’t say anything about any of the stories though because my profile there links to here and I don’t want to give anything away.  If you do happen to get here from the Escape Artists web page…  Hi!

Another thing I’m working on is one of my goals for this year – to start submitting stories and actually get at least one of them published.  Can’t get anything published if you don’t submit it.  So I went for it and submitted something for the second time in my life yesterday.  The first time was when I was 18… quite a while ago, if you must know.  Only submitted it to one place, never got a rejection notice, never got anything at all back.  Gave up.  Moved on.  Got married.  Had kids.  Had dogs, cats, chickens, goats, sheep, cows, horses, ducks, pigs… etc.  And now here I am back at the beginning sort of.  Feels kind of good.  I blame it all on listening to podcasts.

And finally, I plan on writing at least 250 words a day.  I’m kind of just making this plan right now, so I have no idea if I can keep it up, but today at lunch I wrote 300 words in about twenty minutes.  And, well,  this post is getting pretty long as well.  By the time I’m done I’ll probably have about 900 words all together that I wrote at lunch time.  Cool.

So things are going well.

The one thing that I really kind of need but don’t have right now is a couple of good beta readers that I’m not related to.  My family is really pretty brutal and honest when it comes to editing, but they’re still related to me and love me and stuff.   If anyone is interested and willing, let me know.

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