Sunday, August 31, 2014

Judge a Book by the Cover

I'm experimenting with new cover art for TAKEDOWN. I like the typography on this one (dark ops).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Knitting for Humans

Yes, I do knit for homo sapiens from time to time. These are Susie Rogers' Reading Mitts. I love this pattern; the whites are Cascade Eco, an undyed blend of baby alpaca and merino. The expert knitters at Darn. Knit. Anyway. put me onto this one, and it is fabulous.

Rocko's Modern Sweater

I just got back from Stout's Island. When I wasn't being entertained by loons, kayaking, or hydro cycling, I was knitting dog sweaters for Rocko. Rocko, as you might guess by the name of his sweater, is an Australian dog, and it's winter these days in Rocko's upside down land. He needs a sweater. Or two.

I started by using this easy pattern, and modified it somewhat, because Rocko is a classy dog. He deserves a bit more than simple.

The striped version was easy -- just knit the pattern using a different colour every four rows.

The red sweater with razorback cable (my husband calls it the "mohawk design") and ribbing took a bit more modification. For starters I used stockinette stitch. I added two inches of 3x3 ribbing at the beginning and end of each piece. I cast on 36 stitches for the back piece, and then worked a cable down the middle of the back, worked over 12 stitches. To do this I added markers after the 12th and 24th stitches, and proceeded thusly:

Row 1 (RS): Knit
Row 2 and all even (WS) rows: Purl
Row 3: Slip 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in back, k3, k3 from cable needle. Slip 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in front, k3, k3 from cable needle.
Row 5 and 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl

I used size 13 needles and Lion Brand Thick and Quick yarn.

These dog jumpers are heading to down under, but now that I've mastered the pattern I'll try making a few more to donate to a local dog shelter.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tie Me Kangaroo Down

. . . to the chair to start some serious writing.

Some of you know that I waltzed Matilda through Australia earlier this year (March-April), and since then I've been enjoying my new home and activities (swimming, knitting, learning to play the ukelele, doing good in the community) along the St. Croix river.

As I travelled alone through Australia, managing to keep my hands busy (and off the hot men), I knitted eight penguin jumpers for the critters at Phillips Island in Victoria.

The best part, of course, was listening to the amazing stories of the people I met on trains, planes, in hostels, and on the street.

Kindle Unlimited

My books are getting lots of reads via the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program. July income was eight times previous earnings.

A reader subscription to KU is free for the first month and $9.99 per month after the trial period. KU gives access to over 600,000 ebooks.

I've read a number of them already ("Flash Boys", "Capital in the 21st Century" (yes, I read the whole thing), romances, a few Kindle shorts, etc.)

Please read 10% of any book my books, which is required for the author to earn the royalty. Click to learn more about KU.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Black Sea

Black Sea: A Naval Officer's Near East Experience is now available on Amazon.

Book Description: The years following WWI were a time of revolution, mass displacement of populations and boundary skirmishes as the former Ottoman Empire was reshaped. An often overlooked period in history, these events transformed America’s military mission in the Near East and beyond. Awarded the Order of St. Stanislas by the Russian government-in-exile for aid given to the imperial Russian forces, Arthur Murray gives eyewitness accounts of the US Naval fleet activities. Tasked with protecting American interests and providing humanitarian relief, this naval officer recorded gripping descriptions of the evacuation of Crimea, and, later, ethnic cleansing atrocities in the Greco-Turkish War.

Black Sea contains the letters of my grandfather-in-law, Lt. Commander Arthur D. Murray.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

If you're dialing and getting a busy signal . . .

it's because I've been hip deep in volunteer work for the local library, where I serve on the board. It's a "working" board, because we haven't had a paid staff member at the library in many months. Good news: We hired a full-time librarian, and she starts this week.

My Big Plan: I'm going to finish my WIP and wade into new waters.

In the meantime, here's what I've been reading:

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson