Friday, May 30, 2008

Welcome Back, Barbara

Ah, a week at The Clearing. Did you make any writerly connections up there? But more than that, did you get some poems out of it? I can't wait to read them. We missed you, Jenny and I.

Bob ;-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In the Weeds

Jenny, how are you? Have you heard from Barbara? Or is the Clearing one of those places where you can't e-mail anyone? I seem to remember something about that... How is your writing these days? Anything? Or is it on hold for the time being? I finished the next draft of Rialto. Thanks for the great critique. You saw just what was missing. (I saw it too, but was too lazy and self-deceiving to do anything about it.) Thanks again. See you tomorrow.

Bob ;-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Off To Camp!

Twice a year I go up to the tip of Door County, WI to a folk school called The Clearing for writing class. My kids always said that it was Mom's camp. They even told people they were checking it out to see if it was okay for me to be there when I took them to see it. Today I go for the first time in 2008 for Poetry Camp. I have my laptop and printer, my thesaurus, dictionary and synonym books, my notebooks and pencils. I also have this:

and this:

just in case the words don't come. I hope the words are waiting for me up there and that I com
e home with a handful of poems (even one I'm really happy with will be great) and a bunch of balls of yarn instead of blank paper, six pairs of slippers, and a sweater back. I really do.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One Sleeve, Two Sleeves!

Even though I spent the weekend becoming a mother-in-law (wedding stories to come) I did manage to finish the second Red Licorice sleeve!

Tomorrow I cast on the back. Dun-dun-dunnnnn. (suspense music)

I also made another pair of Guinea Pig (Three Strand) slippers with Lion Landscapes yesterday to give to my new daughter-in-law's mom last night to encourage her to relax after all her hard work making that fairy tale wedding come true. Way to go, Holly! (Unfortunately I neglected to take their picture. Trust me, they looked good and felt even better.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Missed You Jenny

My fault. (I forgot my cell at the apartment.) Besides, I probably wasn't in the best frame of mind to recieve a critique - poor pitiful me. See you and Barbara next Thursday. I should be better by then.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Writing Thing

I don't know, Jenny, but I feel completely adrift and at sea. Not that I'm in any way whining, you understand. Or maybe I am. You be the judge. Had a nice surprise, though, about halfway through the visits this morning. A practice fire drill. Yeah! The folks there took all the sirens and flashing lights remarkably well. See you tomorrow night.

Bob ;-)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Something Else...

Started in on the writing thing yesterday. It is nothing like what I envisioned. Tomorrow is the second installment. Ten to noon. I come out feeling totally looped. I have to talk with you and Jenny about it.


So Close to Being a Bad Mother

Last weekend, no, it was the weekend before... anyway, I gave my DIL-to-be the Desert Boots slippers because in the tossing frenzy before they came home from CA she tossed her old ones. (I thought, how much room could they take, but then I've been in those kinds of frenzies before so I understood.) She was happy to get them. Then last Friday DS came over for lunch and I asked if he minded that I'd made just her slippers. He got that endearing little boy pout on his face and said, "I didn't mind that you made her some first." Now, what mother can resist that? So instead of finishing the second guinea pig slipper of this yarn that I had just cast on I knit a man-sized pair of slipper boots. Lovelovelove the yarn--knits up great, nice and bulky, and the color pleases me on some elemental level--it's this in the Deep Sea colorway.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sorry, Bob...

...that I wasn't gushy enough for your overheated imagination. I liked the story a lot. I thought there were lots of excellent places in Rialto, there was just a little less on the page (for me anyway) than you imagined. I'll be anxious to hear what Jenny says too.

As for your throat "thing," so much stuff is shooting out pollen these days and a weather front moved in last night that everyone has something, either allergies or that throat "thing." Welcome to the phlegm club, Bob.

Loved the exercises last night and the results. We kick writing ass. Even a perfect stranger stopped at the table to say she liked our stuff. How fabulous is that?


Report From the Front

Slept with the window open last night. Not a lot. Just and inch or two at the top and the bottom. As a result, I've got a thing in my throat this morning. Not a frog or any such amphibian, but a thing. So let that be a lesson to me. Wait until the middle of May before venturing to sleep with the windows open. Or something like that.

Thank you for the fine and thoughtful critique, Barbara. Yesterday I was flying so high on what you were going to say about Rialto. In my overheated imagination I had you gushing all over the construction and the images, the humor and the pathos. Your critique brought me back to earth. It's just a story after all! I should get over myself! Looking forward to your critique, Jenny. And your blog-entries.

Bob ;-)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm Green...

with envy at your 3 days of solitude. I'm assuming Brian was working so you had at least a few hours a day all to yourself. Don hasn't worked all week; the only time he's scheduled is Saturday from 10-3 and this week, this one week, I'm working Saturday from 10-4. Drat.

I'm liking Rialto. See you Thursday. Haven't seen or heard Jenny since sometime last week. I wonder if she ran away?


Fern Feet *Edited*

I'm still on the slipper jag, even though I should be knitting on my Red Licorice sweater sleeve. I am knitting on it, I am, aiming for at least 8 rows a day, but I can't resist quick knits. I promise to "sleeve" while I watch TV after supper. Cross my heart.

These are made with this pattern and Patons Rumor, which is evidently discontinued because it's not on the Patons site. Too bad, because it's nice acrylic and alpaca yarn. The only change I made to the pattern was I used US 11 straight needles for the first 18 rows so the stitches stay on the needle and don't sproing off the recommended US 11 DPNs.

*I decided to give these to Mom for Mother's Day anyway. She'll figure out a way to get them on, I'm certain. And I had the idea of whipping up a pair for each of my roomies at writing camp in Sept. so I'll have to make a few more pairs. Aw, too bad.

Bare Knees

I really don't have a whole lot on my mind this morning, but I thought I should try and get it said anyway. So, today I'm going back to work after a nice three-day weekend. Everyone should have one from time to time. Especially you, Jenny. I know how much you love your job. You have said as much, and I trust that you were not being ironic at the time. And so, enjoy this exquisite weather. I am off to spend some quality time at Luna Cafe, sucking coffee and reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Bob ;-)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Secret Projects Revealed

Last night was the couples wedding shower for our son, David and his bride, Abby which means I can finally put pictures of the things I made for them on the blog. The shower was hostess-ed by six of Abby's mom's friends and it was very nice and a lot of fun. Abby's brother and his wife came from Minneapolis too. The food was terrific. What is it about hors d'oeuvres that makes you want to eat only them? I could have stood next to the kitchen island and scarfed down cheese and rumaki (water chestnuts wrapped in bacon) and taco dip and cheese and dates wrapped in bacon (to die for but they're really hot right out of the oven) and did I mention cheese? The main meal was 3 different kinds of brats, German potato salad almost as good as Mom's, sauerkraut, some yummy baked beans and a grape salad. I'd never had it or heard of it but it's red and green grapes in a sauce of vanilla pudding and sour cream topped with brown sugar and chopped walnuts. Now that's my kind of salad. Oh and nearly everything had Nueske's bacon in it or on it. That's the best bacon on earth. So basically we ate cheese and bacon with some pudding-topped grapes on the side. With apple kuchen and cream puffs for dessert. Everything was delicious. For entertainment there was a beer and wine tasting game, which I totally sucked at, and a song or two by Jane who can really sing but can't come to the wedding. Then the gifts were opened. Finally. I was getting impatient, I can't imagine how eager David and Abby were. Fortunately, our gifts were a big hit because we worked hard to make them just right. I crocheted a ribbon and pearl purse for Abby and knitted a stuffed beer for David (it says Laundry Room Ale on the side which was the first beer he ever brewed--in the laundry room of his army barracks in Ft. Lewis, WA). Here's a pic of them opening Don's gift, a treasure chest full of things for them to take on their honeymoon to Bonaire. Get your minds out of the gutter! It's pictures, brochures and restaurant recommendations from Bonaire that Don collected when we were there in January to share with them. Tsk. You people.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


That's what I liked most about group. Just laughing. Any time I can be less serious about myself and whatever's on in my life is golden. You may get a chuckle or two from Rialto, as well. What I'd like you and Jenny to do is to pay special attention to what Kyle thinks. When you read Rialto, the question (or one of the questions) you should be asking is: is Kyle thinking the thoughts of a 19 or 20 year old. I was concerned that he may be having thoughts too mature for his age. Oh, and how is it going with the soap?

Bob ;-)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Desert Boots Done!

Actually, I wouldn't recommend wearing these in the desert since they might be a bit too warm but their real name is Dorm Boots and I don't live in a dorm and the name of the yarn color is Spring Desert so I'm calling them Desert Boots. I could call them Dessert Boots when I'm eating my nightly bowl of ice cream but then I'd feel like I should be having dessert for breakfast too since I wear them when I get up in the morning and I try not to eat dessert for breakfast. Sometimes I do, but mostly I eat healthy things like bagels or cereal or, if I'm feeling very healthy, oatmeal with dried cherries. Anyway, here's the picture of the finished Desert Boots.

I'm quite impressed that I managed to knit two pairs of house slippers out of 4-55 yd. skeins of yarn and have about a half a skein left over. Imagine that.

Slightly Reinspired

Thanks, Bob, for a fun night at writer's. It was a relief to actually be able to write two exercises. I was beginning to think I'd lost it. Not that I ever really had it, but I like to think I had hold of a tiny corner of whatever "it" is. I'm looking forward to reading the rewrite of Rialto.