Hermit Out and About

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Hermiting is hard. My answer to “Do you want to go…” is nearly always “No.” But from time to time, I have to suck it up and go somewhere, because holding Tom hostage at home isn’t really fair. Staying in and having some adult beverages and watching Netflix used to be an option–my favorite–but apparently we don’t do that anymore. Well, I do, every night when Tom goes to bed, but I guess that doesn’t count.

Tonight is one such night, when I have to dress like a normal person and go out. There’s a 17021379_855781954559544_4158933835694194326_n“battle of the bands” at our favorite bar, The Brown Pelican, and he wants to go…so we’re going.

I used to love music, and we followed one particular band, going on multi-day roadtrips to catch several shows on consecutive nights. But a falling-out (lead singer/guitarist turned out to be a ginormous ass-crumpet) led to me no longer liking music…at all.

Back in those days, going out involved meticulous planning, with every detail of my hair, makeup, outfit, shoes, and accessories carefully coordinated. Now, I’ll get a shower. Probably.

While the main challenge is that I’ll have to converse with non-canine individuals, today has another obstacle. It’s March 31, technically spring. It’s also Easter weekend, or so I’ve heard, since I’m non-religious, and that’s considered a spring holiday. But it’s also a little chilly, with the temperature expected to be around 50 degrees this evening when we head out.

Definitely too cool for my cute summer tops. I tend to be cold, so even a short sleeved top is probably out. But if I wear a sweater, will I look like an idiot? Too cool for my new sandals…but black boots? Too winter-apparel-y?

I thought about wearing a garnet-colored long-sleeve top with my first knitted scarf, 29571342_10214115474733336_8294067764251296272_nwhich is light-weight and could be okay, but that might look like I think I’m still in Minnesota rather than eastern North Carolina.

So, what to do? Barring a meteor strike or robot uprising, we’re going. I’ll probably spend an hour standing in my closet and staring at the available options, which is almost like shopping because I go out so rarely that I find myself saying, “Oh, hey, I didn’t remember I had that.”

Probably too late to knit myself a light spring sweater, especially since I’ve only been knitting for a month and have no idea how to go about sweater-making, and it takes me two weeks to make a stupid scarf.

Whatever I end up wearing, the strategy will be what it always is, which is to reach the correct blood alcohol level to make me temporarily forget I’m a major introvert and avoid a panic attack. I probably won’t have a terrible time, but it’s not even 10 a.m. and I’m worrying about it, and that’s a lot of hours getting myself worked up over nothing.

See? I keep telling everyone hermiting is hard, but only other equally-dedicated introverts believe me.

(DISCLAIMER: As an editor, I desperately want to punctuate the graphic at the top of this post. I normally won’t use any meme with spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors, but I love Bugs Bunny too much to pass this one up.)

Lazy Video Day

I have an edit I need to finish today, which doesn’t leave me much time to work on a blog post, but I hate missing days. So you get a couple of short videos of the Direwolves and a quick knit update.

First, here’s where I am on the scarf I started. I wasn’t going to do another scarf, wanting to do something more substantial, but the Mandala yarn I wanted to use is a light 3 weight and would take me forever to make even a small throw.

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I can’t wait until I get out of the yellow and orange, my two least favorite colors. Next is pink, purple, green, then blue.

And now, on to the Direwolves. Mozzie likes to play “boop,” rolling the tennis ball to me so I’ll roll it back. Also, this is how every game ends, when Oliver gets involved.

This is a bit of what my every day is like, fending off the puppies while trying to work or relax. Not a bad life, if you ask me.

Time to get back to work. Good thing I love my job!

Flying Solo

The Husband is visiting his parents, leaving me to my own devices until tomorrow night. While this does have the potential for disaster, I don’t socialize, and motivating myself to mastermind any shenanigans, since I’d have to be both the instigator and the willing accomplice, is simply too much effort.

Really, my day won’t be much different than usual, other than not breaking from whatever I’m doing to prepare dinner and greet the Husband when he gets home from work. It’s noon, and I’ve been working all morning, around doing household things like laundry.

I did just take a short break, though, to block Scarf #2, which I did finally finish yesterday!

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Last night, I started on a new project. I had planned to do something bigger, a smallish throw, maybe. But I have it in my head that I want to use the rainbow Mandala yarn next, and it’s a 3 weight, so small stitches that would take centuries for me to make any sort of throw. So, I’m doing one more scarf. (Pattern HERE)

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That’s the photo  from the pattern above. Below is the very-baby-beginning of my scarf and the yarn I’m using.

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For this pattern, I am using a lighter yarn than I have so far, and a smaller size needle (a 6). I had to learn a double decrease (slip 2 knitwise together, knit one, pass the two slipped stitches over), and purl 2 together through back loop.

I actually had about 15 rows done last night, then made a mistake. I wasn’t very far, and had not yet placed a lifeline, but I saw the error while I was still on the same row. I was picking back to the error…and I dropped it. Stitches dropped and slipped down several rows. Since I wasn’t far along, I just frogged the whole thing and started over.

Now, time to take the Direwolves out for a few minutes, then back to work. I need to edit at least 20 more pages today so I can finish the round tomorrow. Once I hit today’s page goal, I can work on Scarf #3 while watching the new episode of The Magicians and then continue my binge watch of Jessica Jones.

Slow and Steady Setbacks

I thought I was going to finish the zig-zag scarf, my second-ever knitting project, yesterday…but nope. I’ll explain why in a minute, but first, I did officially block my first-ever scarf yesterday.

I’m pretty pleased with it. There are definitely mistakes, but I’m not too worried. However, it’s spring in eastern NC, and I don’t usually wear scarves anyway, but we’re going downtown Saturday night, and it might be cool enough to wear this as an accessory with a garnet-colored top I have.

Scarf 2 is long enough, but I’m trying to end on a part of the colorway I like. I was sure I’d finish yesterday, worked on it a bit in the afternoon, then when I started again in the evening, disaster struck.

The pattern isn’t that hard, and I’ve been working on it so long it’s rather mindless, as long as I take a second as I start each row to remember where I am. But if I become too mindless, I sometimes lapse into knit stitches on the purl row, and I did it again. I noticed the ridge a couple of rows later, and was glad I had a lifeline.

Turned out it was good I had two lifelines, kind of like a back-up parachute. When leaping out of a perfectly good airplane, it’s fairly certain you’re going to need that first parachute, unless your goal is to see how deep a crater you’ll make when you hit the ground. It’s nearly as certain I’ll need at least one lifeline upon occasion, since I’m still so new to knitting.

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Lovely, lovely lifeline

But when I got to the first lifeline, something was wrong. It didn’t look…right. Sigh. Back-up parachute time. By then, I was sweating, because if the backup chute failed, I was just going to have to start flapping my arms and hope for the best.

I was very, very meticulous as I reached the lifeline and began putting each loop back on the needle. Then I figured out where I was in the pattern–I always put the lines in rows 10 and 20 of the 20-row repeat–and deduced I had the needle in from the wrong direction, and had to feed it (so carefully) onto another needle going the right way.

Heart attack averted, but the 15 or so rows I had to frog amounted to at least an hour and a half of work. Not a huge deal, as while working on a crochet lace tablecloth, in which each round took several hours once I reached a large diameter, I once took out multiple rounds, or about two days’ worth of work.

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But I really wanted to finish the scarf yesterday, block it today, and start something new.

I have a new circular needle, smaller size, arriving today, which I think I’ll use on a small blanket, but I really want to order THIS, a full set of ChiaoGoo stainless steel needles with interchangeable cords. Spendy, but I figure I’ll come out ahead in the end, rather than ordering each needle size and cable length individually as I need them. Yes, I can justify nearly anything once I decide I want it.

Do you have a favorite full set of knitting needles? If so, tell me fast, before I one-click the ChiaoGoo set!

Submission Call For Romance Stories

Are you a romance author…or would you like to be? Crave Publishing has two anthologies currently open for submissions. The deadline for the first is coming up fast, though, so don’t wait! My email is in the submission calls posted below if you have any questions.

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We are looking for stories featuring a couple in which one (preferably the male, but not required) is insanely rich, possibly famous, powerful, and lives a dynamic, luxurious lifestyle. Think of how they meet, in a funny, dramatic, traumatic, or even adversarial way, leading to an unlikely romance with lots of heat and indulgent details.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:

• Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
o 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
o Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
o Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
o If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
• Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

DEADLINE to submit the story is 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, APRIL 6, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)
Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about APRIL 21, 2018 if their story has been selected.

Release date is planned for JULY 24, 2018.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

 

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Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: Forbidden. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

Sometimes there’s the one person everyone thinks is totally wrong for you. The one with whom you have nothing in common, or the one your friends warn you is sure to lead straight to disaster. We are looking for stories featuring an unlikely or slightly scandalous couple. Maybe it’s a boss or professor, someone from the opposite side of the tracks, an ex you swore you’d never speak to again, or your best friend’s brother. No step-sibling or step-parent stories, please.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:
• Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
o 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
o Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
o Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
o If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
• Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

DEADLINE to submit the story is 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, JUNE 8, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)
Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about JUNE 15, 2018 if their story has been selected.

Release date is planned for SEPTEMBER 25, 2018.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

HOT New Releases

It’s another busy Tuesday for us at Limitless Publishing, and our imprint, Crave Publishing, and the theme for this week seems to be bad boys. Be it mafia or motorcycle clubs, there’s plenty of dark, steamy romance to satisfy even the choosiest reader.

Take a look at what we have for you, and be sure to stop by the Limitless Publishing and Crave Publishing Facebook pages for this week’s giveaways!

First up, Demons by J.L. Drake, book 2 in the sizzling Devil’s Reach Motorcycle Club series. I’ve been Jodi’s editor for all her books, and must admit I’m a bit partial!

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Trigger…

I thought the light would bring redemption.

Salvation.

But it only brought the Devil to my doorstep.

My demons are breaking through, and the reaper is moving closer.

My weakness has been exposed, and there’s only one person who can calm this hell…

Tess…

I broke a promise to myself, and now I’m paying for it.

I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be a part of this hell.

But I don’t have a choice…

The reaper is riding bitch on our backs.

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The Preacher’s Daughter, first in the new Rough Riders MC series by Shelly Morgan

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Angelica…

I’ve always been the preacher’s daughter, their perfect little angel. 

But I won’t be their angel anymore. It’s time for me to live my own life.

Little did I know I was stepping straight out of my safe dream…into a nightmare.

The only one who can save me now is a man my daddy calls a devil—a criminal with a leather jacket and tattoos. 

But he makes my heart beat…makes me feel alive.

No matter how strong he is, though, hell will claim me again.

Torq…

She’s too good to be true—too good for a man like me. 

But I knew the first time I saw her, I needed to claim her and make her my own.

There are men evil enough to hurt the innocent, defile the sacred, like my Angel. 

Those men must die.

I’ve already saved her once. I’ll gladly go to hell and back to do it again.

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How about an anthology featuring twelve all-new stories by an amazing cast of authors…for only 99 cents? Craving: Loyalty includes stories about hot mafia men and women, and other heroes and heroines on the darker side of romance.

loyalty

Loyalty.

Noun.  ‘A strong feeling of support or allegiance.’

For some, loyalty can be bought. For others, it’s earned. But the thing about loyalty—it can change in an instant. All it takes is one act, one decision, and loyalty shifts to betrayal in the blink of an eye…a sin which cannot go unpunished.

Not in this world.

But sometimes things happen beyond our control, forcing our allegiances to change. Like the mob enforcer who wants nothing more than to seduce the assassin hired to kill him. Or the FBI agent who falls for the woman whose past holds ties with the mafia.

Yet, no matter the reason or motive, the consequences of betrayal are always deadly.

Because in this world everyone is…

Craving Loyalty

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Weekend Craft Update

This weekend was a mixed bag of knitting. I continued work on the current zig-zag scarf, and it will be done soon.

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I got a little bored with it, though, and am getting twitchy for  what’s next. I did the sample swatch below to try out the stitch pattern for the blanket I want to make.

It doesn’t look as intricate as the pattern photo, though. It could be the yarn. That blue isn’t what I plan to do it in; I have two cakes of Lion Brand Mandala yarn in “gnome” (rainbow) that I was going to use, but it’s a lighter weight and would take forever to make a big enough throw. So now I’m not sure. I might use some heather gray yarn I have around.

I have several rows of the Mandala yarn on circular needles right now, and I think it’s too lightweight, but I wanted to get the feel for using circular needles. I love the stainless steel points on the ChiaoGoo needles, but the way the cable slightly restricts movement  and having to be careful not to tangle yarn around it will take getting used to.

This morning, I finally blocked my first scarf. I don’t normally wear scarves, but this is lightweight and I might be able to wear it to an event this Saturday night, as it should be cool after dark.  We shall see.

That’s pretty much it. I binge-watched season 2 of The Santa Clarita Diet, then was sad it was over, so re-watched seasons 1 and 2 again. They need to have 50-episode seasons, and new seasons monthly, for at least ten years. Seriously. I love this show, Netflix, so get on that, okay?