Monday, September 27, 2010

I asked you that because I was extremely bored and you always write interesting answers.

Why thank you :]

Ask me anything

Who is the greatest person ever, in your opinion?

Aside from Jesus and the single-faced religious debate that would almost surely follow, my main answer is similar to when someone asked me "who is the most beautiful person ever?"

I think many people are great, but I am not someone that knows people so well that I award them a title, publicly or privately. And I must also account for the fact that most people fluctuate in their greatness, or eventually abandon it altogether. In my opinion, the main thing that makes someone great is an outlook of not caring if they're "great." Think of it this way: If you have to prove to someone that you're cool, you aren't.

I live in stories. Some of my greatest heroes are not real people. I love Sherlock Holmes, John Boy Walton and Hermione Granger, to name only a few. In this world, I know someone who thinks the best of people, which makes them great. I know someone else who is honest, which does the same, especially because it's hard to be honest with *yourself. And now, I have a question for *YOU.

Why did you ask me this?

Ask me anything

Friday, September 24, 2010

Is Anterria going to be released here in the UK in the forseeable future?

The self-publishing company that I'm going through has a system that releases it to major booksellers of the variety, and also through the Ingram booklist. That means that it will be available to any bookstore or library to buy. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "released," but I hope that answers your question :] If it doesn't show up in your local library, you could always request it.

Ask me anything

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where are you planning on going for your book tour?

It's not quite indepth as a "book tour," but I like to call it that :P The places I have planned so far are on the line of Colorado, Montana and Washington State. There are a lot more places I'd like to go, but I don't think that's possible this time around. The books will show up in libraries of places I haven't planned to visit, though.

Ask me anything

The Traveling Scarf Tradition

Traveling scarves are a long Zion Academy tradition. In addition to being an important staple of any student’s winter wardrobe, if made properly, these simple articles may offer more protection than simply from the blasting winds.

A proper traveling scarf is always hand made(talons, paws, tentacles or other extremities will do). Each stitch is infused with the elemental energies of the creator, which gives its practical uses as trans-spatial marker, temporal signature and deflector of a variety of other cosmic anomalies.

The scarves are almost unlimited in appearance, but are usually striped. The placing of sections on the article serves to organize the subtext into simpler codes, creating longer-lasting charms. Formatting of a scarf is much like formatting any other work of words -- composition depends on the function intended. There are nearly endless combinations of stitches, lengths, edgings and colors that may be used to customize this piece of wearable protection.

The following is an excerpt from the booklet ”Traveling Scarves by Doris Dwarves,” considered the primary resource on the subject:

“When undertaking the practical crafts, one must exercise caution when dealing with raw energies. Traveling scarves are no exception. A good student of the elements will take careful note of the color’s nature and be well-versed in various contexts and combinations. Several of the basic combinations follow:

Black/Dark with -
Green/Earth - physical strength, repells toxins
Blue/Water - promotes mental clarity, prevents confusion
Red/Fire - boosts stamina, Berserker state known to occur
Pink/Spirit - boosts confidence, repells violent spirits
Orange/Air - boosts eloquence, repells mishap
Purple/Time - slows or speeds time almost intangibly, attracts nightmare
Yellow/Luck - produces energy of motion and mind
White/Light - promotes contrast, enabling decisions
Gray/Somnia - boosts instinct for danger

White with -
Orange - suspends fatigue
Gray - boosts instinct for opportunity

Others -
Green/Blue - produces a calming effect, repells rain water
Green/Orange - promotes mental clarity and repells mishap
Purple/Yellow - promotes resource and heightened luck, renders negative charms inaffective
Purple/Gray - boosts instinct and premonition by dreams

“If any licensed scarf-maker, or student with Professor-signed advocate slip has any combination to add to this list, please send the information by any means practical to:

Doris Dwarves
c/o R. Blackbird
Desk 9, Tower 4, Scribe’s Division
Zion Academy, New Midnight Branch”

Scarves Registered Under Published Patterns

Crocheted Vertical Stripe

Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Pattern: Traveling Scarf -- Vertical Rendition

This pattern came about purely by chance. A few years ago I was asked to make a scarf for someone, and was given a small skein of yarn that had me cringing at the limited possibilities. So, through trial and error and weaseling the yarn into various previously unheard-of stitches, the scarf finally did what I wanted, and this pattern was created.

It doesn't use much yarn, and feeds my obsession with stripes. The uncommon stitch makes it wonderfully squishy, even if you make it as thin as the instructions below. Use scraps of all colors, or stick with two, mess with the colors to make your own perfect scarf!

There is another meaning attached to the "traveling" part of this title, which you can red about here.

~75 Yards of both colors
Size I(5.5 mm) crochet hook(or a close size)


BHDC - Base Half Double Crochet - Ch2, YO, insert hook into 1st chain, pull through, YO, pull through 3 loops, ch1, repeat basic instructions into the side of what you just made.

HDC - Half Double Crochet - YO, insert hook into next st, pull through, YO, pull through 3 loops.

LT - Leave Tail - At the beginning of a row, leave a tail as long as desired fringe, ch2 through side of last row, continue on. At the end of a row, ch1, cut as long as desired fringe, thread through the chain and pull. You'll get the hang of it.

Adding fringe.


Rows are written out from the center row. So, for row 2, you would complete it on both sides of the base row. That would make these 5 rows really 9 rows, because center+4x2=9.

Always crochet in the natural direction you would if working with a single skein and not leaving tails.

Center row(color1): LT, BHDC 210, LT
Row 2-4(alternating colors): LT, HDC across, LT

Add fringe to taste.

And that's all there is to it!
You can add as many rows to each side as you want, depending on how wide you like your scarves.

Who is the most beautiful person ever?

MEEEEE! Just kidding. Duhrrr.

I hesitate to give answers on questions like this because 1) that's quite a definitive phrase: "Most ever," and 2) I can't help but feel that these questions are somewhat leading. Because if I don't say "YOU!" I feel like there's something fishy going on.

So I will tell you what makes a beautiful person.
A certain sense of honesty and tact. A life above pressure to act, say and think true to majority. Courage, confidence, curiosity. Energy of mind. Kindness, thoughfulness. Thinking before speaking.

Does that answer your question? :]

Ask me anything

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do you have any suggestions about writing short stories?

I haven't done many short stories, mainly because I'm not very good at them. (Or is it the other way around?) But, I do have suggestions based on what's helped me in the past.

It definitely helps to tone down the idea in general. It's hard to write a short story when the concept calls for drawn maps, the fate of the universe, etc... so I'd keep the main idea down to a short sentence and try to pull off the writing as quickly as possible. In my experience, it's easier to put in more detail than take out.

I hope that helps :D

Ask me anything

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blackbird Books Update

Do you live now where you were born & raised?

Nope. At the moment, I live on the east coast. I used to live in the Northwest. I think that's where I got my love for terrible weather.

Ask me anything

Monday, September 13, 2010

Free Knitting Pattern: NinGinn Gauntlets

a set of US6 DPNs or circular needle
cable needle
some scrap yarn

CO 40

Round 1: *K4, P1* repeat to the end
Round 2: *K4, P1, BC, FC, P1* repeat to the end
Round 3-5:*K4, P1* repeat to the end
Round 6:*BC, FC, P1, K4, P1* repeat to the end
Round 7: *K4, P1* repeat to the end

Repeat rows 2-5 three more times.

Using scrap yarn, knit 7 sts.
Put the seven sts back onto the left-hand needle.
Using working yarn, continue in pattern for 2 repeats.

BO in pattern.


Pick up 7 sts from the bottom row, 7 sts from the top row.
Knit 5 rounds in pattern. BO loosely, in pattern.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

...well, she's 'fundamentalist' (spelling?) so she's basically not allowed to read HP or anything *really* exciting. It's rather hard to come up with story ideas for her...

Is it just Harry Potter or all magical/supernatural stories? I know of people who are strictly against Harry Potter, but are happy with Mary Poppins, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc. Without knowing the finer points of what her family believes about fiction, that was my first thought.

If they want to exclude supernatural elements altogether, I would suggest historical fiction. It's not usually my first choice, being more inclined to flying books and glowing things, but I've read some historical stories that were amazing(Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes, the Dear America series). Your friend might even like to write something around the time of the Bible.

Ask me anything

Friday, September 10, 2010

My friend wants to write an 'exciting' book and she wants me to help. Suggestions?

Well, that all depends on what her definition of "exciting" is. Is it dragons and swords, car chases and explosions, or highschool drama? First, she needs to mull it over a while and let herself be led to what she wants to be "exciting."

After she decides what general style she likes, there's one thing that I tell *everyone* who wants to write: Put yourself into the story. There's nothing new under the sun, so don't stress about "oh no, that's in another story!" stuff. It may be the same premise but, if you really make a story your own, it will have a different spin, because you are a unique writer.

Ask me anything

How many novels have you written?

As in, finished the rough draft of? Three. There's "Blackbird,"(see previous question) "Anterria" and "Midorein."

Anterria is just about to be printed, and you can request it at your library or buy it from my site once it's up and running. Midorein is the next in the series, which will hopefully come out sometime next year.

Blackbird is a huge artistic rant set in a vaguely victorian city, with lots of bad weather and dust. I don't know that I'll ever polish it. It's still there, though.

Ask me anything

How did the nickname Blackbird come about?

Originally, it was the name of a character of mine who was inspired by some costumes from victorian movies and the Beatles song "Blackbird." The novel is still on the shelf but, while writing it, I noticed that the "Blackbird" of the unnamed city was quite like myself and, therefore, I started using the name for chatrooms and random things like that.

I've kept the name so far because it's since developed more into "me" than the old character. It doesn't refer to "blackbird" the species, but "a black bird," which encompasses crows, ravens, etc, which I think are quite beautiful :D And, if you know me at all, you might find some similarities between our aethstetic.

Ask me anything

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Knitting Pattern: Lolita Bows


Size 1(US) knitting needles
a small ball of scrap yarn.
tapestry needle that works with your yarn.

(these bows use almost nothing)
Gauge isn't really important for these.


CO 11

Work in stockinette for 48 rows.
Work Kitchener stitch to join the end to the finished edge of the beginning, set aside.

CO 5

Work stockinette for 15 rows.

Flatten the larger piece you sewed together, with the invisible seam in the center.

Position the smaller piece over the middle of the bigger one, and pull the ends together.

Work Kitchener Stitch to join the end to the finished edge of the beginning.
Weave in ends however you see fit.

Attach to a headband, pin to your lapel, into your hair, or anything else you might think of! ♥