Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Posts Tagged ‘husky

First revision of a short story – still more work to do!

leave a comment »

UntitledI just finished the first revision of my short story that I’ve been working on for awhile. First I scribbled all over it in red pen, then I set to typing up all of those changes. Since I was adding a character, many of the changes involved writing new stuff, and that’s where I always get stuck. I think, “I’m supposed to be editing!” and I get myself into a different mindset than the one that allows me to freely write rough drafts. I stuck with it, though, and now I’ve gotten one step farther in the process. I’ve only ever finished one short story before, and that was because it was for a class. Doing it again paves the way for more successes, since I’m learning more about my process and what works for me and what doesn’t. My hope is that eventually the process will go faster because I’ll be more used to it and it will become more of a habit.

Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and I’m trying to prepare myself to be immersed in my novel again. I have a lot of changes I have to make, and it will be mostly a complete rewrite. This is technically “cheating,” since the rules of NaNoWriMo are to write a new novel, but I am using NaNoWriMo as a motivational tool. Camp NaNoWriMo is cool because it puts you in a virtual cabin with cabin mates. When I first signed up, it was too early to have cabin mates, but now I have them! I’d better go introduce myself soon.

Last week, we had some spectacular thunderstorms. Gru is afraid of the thunder and lightning, but we enjoyed the storms. Storms are a perfect opportunity to hang out in a cozy coffee shop and write, or have a fire and hang out at home and write. See picture above: fire, wine, writing, and scared dog. A perfect memorial day weekend!

Advertisements

Written by nikkinbird

May 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Being busy and making kids cry

with one comment

Today was just one of those days. In the two separate half hour chunks of time I had to get things done, I couldn’t do it all, and felt pulled in so many different directions. Then I finally reached the home stretch. I prepared little baggies of goldfish for afterschool classes. I checked in all the kids for Homework Club, then marched them up to my room instead of the Library, because I’d forgotten that a staff meeting was using it today. Finally, to top it all off, I made two kids cry during homework club, one of whom was still crying when his mom came to pick him up. I felt horrible. And I still have about 5 different things I’d like to have done by tomorrow, which I’m not going to do tonight because my head feels like it’s going to explode.

On top of that, the Destination Imagination tournament is coming up fast (on March 10) and in trying to schedule extra meeting times for the teams, I’m seeing just how few calendar weeks are left for these kids to work on their projects, which they’ve barely started. I also had hoped that none of my teams would make it to the state tournament, because the fees get expensive. I found out, though, that one of the teams is almost guaranteed to go to state, because they are the only elementary team to pick the challenge category they’re in! So they are competing against noone and will advance by default!

Here is a picture that I like:

Written by nikkinbird

January 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Spinning tricks: spinning wheel mat and drying handspun yarn.

leave a comment »

It’s a delightfully rainy and stormy day here in Duluth, MN. Chris is out of town working so I’m left to entertain myself. I wanted to get out of the house, so I’m at Dunn Bros enjoying a latte. Yum! I’ve been spinning this weekend, and wanted to share a couple of tricks that I use when I spin.

On Saturday, I brought out my spinning wheel for the first time in almost a year. Since we’ve moved I kept putting off getting rubber feet to keep it from sliding on our hardwood floors. I tried some rubber feet Chris had bought for something else, little bubble-like things, but they kept sliding off because they weren’t sticky enough. I thought of getting a bath rug with a grippy bottom, but thought the wheel would slide across the carpet, too. Then, I thought of the perfect thing:

It’s grippy contact paper from the kitchen cleaning aisle at Target.

Another trick I thought I would share is how I weight the yarn when I dry it. I must be getting better at spinning, because my plied yarn seemed fairly balanced and not twisty this time, but I still hung it the way I usually do. I put one end of the wound skein around the top of a hanger. I used to put a soup can or other heavy can through the bottom loop, but recently have started hanging another hanger in the bottom to weight the skein. To make the hanger heavy enough, I put a folded towel on it. This way, the water that drips from the bottom of the skein drips onto the towel instead of the floor as it dries.

Puppy News
Gru is getting along just wonderfully at our house, and we couldn’t have asked for a better dog. The other night, when I went to Target to get my spinning wheel mat material, I brought Gru. Little did I know, I was driving straight into a thunderstorm. I could see it in the distance when I parked the car, and by the time I got out of the store it was right over us. I came back to no dog in the back of my wagon – he’d climbed over the seats and was huddled in a ball in the driver’s seat! He’s afraid of thunder, lightning, and, by association, camera flashes.

When Chris is gone, Gru sleeps on the bed with me, and he woke me up with a nose in the face this morning to let me know there was more thunder. Every time there was a boom or a flash, he paced nervously around the bed. Finally, in search of a small space to curl up in, he jumped from the bed to the top of his kennel.

Here he is looking very sad, trying to be in a small space between the wall and the clothes hamper:

I had to pick him up and put him back on the bed, and I finally got him to lay down by petting him. He’s gotten better about storms since we first discovered his fear. The first time we figured it out was because he woke us up by scrabbling under the bed. Now, he comes to us to be comforted, and will just lay on the floor as close to us as possible while making sad faces.

Sunny Saturday

leave a comment »

Today was a very full day. Despite a couple of inches of snow that we woke up to Friday morning, it’s starting to smell like spring around here. Most of that snow, and the accumulated snow from all winter, is all melted away now, and it was 44 degrees today! Yep, that’s right, in Duluth, when it gets to be 40 degrees, we all crawl out of hibernation and do things outside like take walks by the lake and wear shorts. Well, I myself do not wear shorts, not even in the summer, but other people were.

Anyway, this morning started with a fiber rummage sale. I wouldn’t have even known about it if Chris hadn’t spotted a sign on the side of the road! The fiber rummage sale was held in the Duluth Art Institute’s building in west Duluth. It’s an old vine-covered brick building that used to be a library. It’s awesome! I grabbed up a whole bunch of fun stuff.

rummagesaleyarnz

Various types of yarn. Big cones of wool, smaller cones of cotton, one of which is labeled as “rug warp,” balls of “weaving wool,” and three things of linen yarn. I’ll probably weave more scarves with the wool. I got the bag of cotton yarns because I’ve been wanting to try out tablet, or card weaving. I got the book Card Weaving by Candace Crockett last year and then later happened across a pack of pre-made cards for it, so I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. Inexpensive random yarns from a rummage sale seem like just the thing to practice with!

Then, for a total of $8, I got this:

rawwool

and this:

alpacafleece

The first one is labeled “raw wool” and the second is alpaca fleece. They both need to be washed and processed before becoming spinnable, but I decided this will be a learning experience. I figure that there’s a high chance that there won’t even be any very good, usable wool in that $3 bag, but it was a $3 bag of wool! It’ll be a good summer project to learn to wash and process it. I have high hopes for the alpaca, too. It’s full of VM, or vegetable matter, but already feels super soft.

After our short stint at the fiber sale, we went out for lunch, then ran home and got the pup for a walk. We went down to Canal Park and walked him on the lakewalk. We discovered that he likes going in water. Many huskies do not. Gru made many friends, human and canine, on our very long walk today. He’s so pretty and then when people approach him he flops right into them to get pet, so he’s a charmer. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog.

grusuperiorshore

All in all, a very nice sunny Saturday.

Written by nikkinbird

April 3, 2011 at 12:35 am

Doggie homecoming

leave a comment »

Today was Gru’s first full day here. He spent all of Saturday and Sunday being relayed between a team of volunteer drivers between Alabama and Wisconsin. We met him in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a three hour drive from here. Somehow, though we picked him from afar and didn’t get to meet him, he is the perfect dog for us. There aren’t many dogs that we wouldn’t like, really, but his personality is so amazing. First of all, he’s a major cuddler. He loves being pet all the time. Second, he has absolutely no interest in our cats. So they will get used to him more quickly since he won’t be pestering them. Third, he’s extremely cuddly.

Since I’m tired, I’ll wrap up this post for now with a couple of photos. Earlier, I sat down with Gru to brush him a little bit, and he fell asleep as I brushed. It made me feel drowsy, so I lay down on the floor next to him and took a nap! That might have just been the fact that we didn’t get home until late last night so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. Anyway, here are some pictures of Gru settling in!

I was ambushed with cuddles while trying to take out the trash:

IMG_2534

He likes to flop over while being petted:

IMG_2530

Once again, lulling people to sleep with his sheer bliss of cuddles:

IMG_2540

Written by nikkinbird

March 15, 2011 at 3:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Organizing my yarn stash

leave a comment »

This is the chaos in my living room right now:

IMG_2521

I’ve never thought of myself as having a yarn “stash” before. I think that’s probably because I don’t have a lot of yarn that isn’t leftovers from something. I guess I do have several untouched skeins that were purchased for a specific project and never started, but I don’t normally buy yarn with nothing in mind. Unless it’s on a trip, then I get souvenir yarn.

I’m calling it a night and finishing this sorting in the morning! Tomorrow afternoon, we go on a road trip to get our puppy! Right now he is being transported by a lovely group of volunteers relaying him all across the country to get to us! We’re meeting him in Eau Claire, WI. The person keeping him overnight sent us this picture of him:

gru

Up until now, the only picture we’ve had straight on of his face was very sad looking, so we are happy to see that he has an adorable doggie smile. I can’t wait! We’re going to have a dog!

Written by nikkinbird

March 13, 2011 at 5:01 am

%d bloggers like this: