The word for year is library.

Early this year, I read a post on Captain Awkward[1], and one of the things she mentioned–cited from the Blogess, actually–was the idea of 2013 as a library. A safe quiet space where you can get ready for something.

Maybe you spend the year recuperating from last year. Maybe you burn the Thanksgiving turkey and forget an important birthday. It’s okay. It happened in The Library. It was just practice for next year. Maybe it’s insanity, or maybe it’s just me, but somehow I think we all need a year in The Library. A year where it’s safe to make mistakes.

Probably the biggest thing for me was trying to actually commit to writing[2]. (Cat Rambo gives excellent classes, by the way, and I am not sure she self-promotes quite enough, and there’s a deal on her classes if you sign up before 2014. Just saying. I like the six-week course best.) I’ve gotten seven rejections so far and I think they’re getting easier to take, which is nice?

Other things this year: I tried to do Mary Robinette Kowal’s Month of Letters challenge, but that got interrupted by a pet health emergency. (Pet in question is fine, but leave us just say February got itself repurposed very hard.)

What else? Started staggering along to Zombies Run again after I’d stopped for longer than I’m happy with. Started reconnecting with someone I’d kind of lost touch with. Went to Farthing Party and CanCon (for the record, doing two cons in two weekends is not a great idea; that said, so glad I managed to get to a Farthing Party).

The house was cleared of about ten feet of bookshelf space and perhaps twenty-five bags-and-boxes of things that weren’t being used, or wouldn’t be used, or would be better used elsewhere, or just really needed to go. And I finished installing a cabinet. Admittedly in the bathroom we use least, but still, it’s installed.

I knit 0.76 of a mile of yarn into a sweater for my mother, and it worked. I mean, it fit and she liked it. I was terrified that I’d need to reknit half of it and the yarn store would be out of the dye lot, and…

Anyway, it worked.

And I cut my hair. Myself. (I haven’t dyed it again yet, but… maybe next year. The light of my life dug up an old picture, and I miss the purple.)

What did you do this year? What’ll you do the next?

[1] Lovely lady, very thoughtful, excellent advice, minimal Evil Bees.
[2] I had to work through a brief bout of “omigod I am admitting in public that I want to write things and care about whether I’m good at it!” to even type that. Oy, my issues.

Driveby cute, and reasons.

White-and-grey cat in a green-and-black hat. This is a hat that I knit

  • partly to stashbust,
  • partly to try out a pattern from Doomsday Knits, and
  • partly because a friend of mine collects hats for the kids at the school where she works. So.

The project is called “Rewoven Threads”

  • because Threads is really a pretty classic post-apocalyptic movie (and an incredibly bleak one, I will add),
  • because knitting a hat to give away to someone who needs it seems specifically to address some small reweaving of the broken threads of the aforementioned movie, and
  • because I needed to weave in fourteen ends.

The cat is in the picture because

  • I apparently have no sense of self-preservation.

(He is plotting my demise. Oh yes. Do not be fooled by the sad kitty-eyes.)

Tidying up.

Still over a week to go before 2014, but I have decided that now is a good time to formally note down a handful of things I have found online that I really like. (This will also enable me to close a few tabs in my browser. I am trying to get better about doing this. I have had tabs open for over a year.)

First, the artlog tag on EliseM’s LJ is often filled with lovely things. (I mention it first because the 3 Woman Sale is over tonight. January is looking to be chill and grey and unpleasant, and I am thinking something from that showing up in the mail is not the worst thing that could happen.  I am waffling particularly over a couple of the earrings.)

Second, Captain Awkward is an advice blog that is shockingly sensible, and very good on reminding people that you actually get to have boundaries, and that you can’t actually make other people feel things.

Written Kitten‘s cache is pretty amazing, since I have stuff still saved in there from… er… four months ago? I should copy that to a file and back it up properly. Also, you know, kittens.

TV Tropes is dangerously likely to be a timesink, but I think it’s nice to have tropes–these and others–layed out so explicitly and discussed. I felt kind of the same way about The Tough Guide To Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones.‘s– oh, dammit, a new issue is up. Okay, not closing that tab. Anyway. Yes. Knitty’s an online ‘zine for knitters; free patterns, articles, how-tos, assorted usefulness, lovely pictures. The latest issue seems to have a lot of cables. I love cables.

Hmh. Remaining tabs (all, er, hundred-plus of them) appear to be falling into broad categories. May sort them out and come back later – for the moment, I think it’s time to go light a fire.

Adjustment period.

The cats went to the vet recently. They’re fine, but one of them especially has started gaining too much weight (a pound a year is fine for an adult human. For an adult cat, it’s something you want to nip in the bud), so there’s no more leaving food out for them to graze. They each get a measured amount.

In practical terms, this means that they don’t eat together anymore, and that the food dish for one is taken away and the food dish for the other is brought out.

In other words, there is food right there and yet one or the other of the poor poor things is not allowed to eat. Is restrained from eating. Is, as it were, brutally starved by a cold and unfeeling human who has clearly put food out for the express purpose of torturing them.

It is amazing how piteously hungry a thirteen-pound cat can sound as he looks soulfully up at you and quavers out a question mew. (His sister is more practical, and has taken the “If the humans wake up, I am fed. If I push things off the dresser, the humans wake up. Ergo…” approach. At two in the morning. Darling  little fluffbucket.)

On a lighter note, I feel I have survived the worst of the holiday crunch, so there’s that. Now if I can just get a few more hours sleep…

Just one of those things.

This is not a happy post.

I was spending a little time on the fire-hydrant stream of Twitter, as one does, some days. And someone shared a link to a five-minute game, and the post-mortem of same.

The game is called The Day The Laughter Stopped.

It is not a happy game. It is not an unrealistic game.

In the more detailed discussion from the game creator, they also link to an article by someone I wasn’t familiar with, who writes as Film Crit Hulk. (There are many Hulks online! They often talk in ALLCAPS and refer to themselves in the third person. E.g.: “HULK’S SAYS IT ALL THE TIME, BUT THE PROBLEM WITH PLAYING DEVIL’S ADVOCATE IS THAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY ADVOCATING THE DEVIL.” (The post-mortem also contains a link to, where you can copy and paste the article in question and then change it out of ALLCAPS, if you are annoyed by the prospect of someone internet-shouting at you for the entire length of an article.)

Seriously. The holiday season is upon us. There is stress and hope for kindness and many things to get done and many people being rushed. It is okay to not read the rest of this. Trigger warning ahoy.

Security nagging.

Okay, does anyone actually have anything (either good or bad) to say about WP’s repeated suggestion that you/we/I enable two-step authentication? The backup code thing seems neat but fussy.

Closing in on Christmas, which is never a relaxing proposition. (I will grant exciting in a good way, on good years, but not relaxing.) Gift flail, card flail, and trying to figure out how many days between now and mid-January I can reasonably block off and declare to be mine and mine alone, for my peace of mind. It’s been a very busy week.

The guy who’s coming to install our new sink did call this morning to say he’d be late, but we haven’t heard from him since. I am hoping he either calls or shows up in the next ten minutes, but I’ve been hoping he’ll call in the next ten minutes for nearly an hour now, and it’s getting increasingly distracting. Lots of “but if I start X won’t I just get interrupted? Surely I will get interrupted soon, right?”

Sure it will get sorted out. Meantime… well, onwards.

(I have a holiday goal–possibly not specifically a Christmas goal, but definitely a “within the next three weeks” goal. It involves nice movies, possibly candy/popcorn, a fireplace, and the humans in the house not outnumbering the pets. I will keep this in mind as something to work towards, slowly and with grace.)

Time is slipping away.

Wow. Sixteen days with no posts. (Coincidentally, eleven days with no writing and, barring yesterday morning, twenty-one days with no running. Correlation is not causation, but I do suspect that I am looking at some correlation, rather than pure coincidence. Will need to keep an eye on that.)

Right. Words.

…I have just, for the record, spent a good three minutes staring blankly at this screen.

Today was pretty draining; I spent eleven hours and twenty minutes of it either in transit or doing work that’s definitely useful but was (today at least) kind of repetitive and exhausting. Lunch consisted of catching up with a lot of online things, which was slightly less than relaxing, if informative. When I finally got home, the light of my life and I split dinner-arranging duties, and by the time that was done I had enough energy to go out to knit night. I’m actually really glad I did; everyone was swapping “how did you start coming to knit night?” stories, and it was good to catch at least the tail end of that.

I’m actually thinking of cutting back on my knitting a fair bit – so many of the ways I spend time (writing, knitting, puzzles, talking to people except face-to-face, gaming, reading unless it’s on an e-reader) require a pair of hands free, and I might need to start prioritizing.

(I understand this is part of being an adult, or something. When I was young, I thought adults got to stay up, like, forever, and had all the time in the world. I feel that a terrible misrepresentation is being perpetuated.)