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Showing posts from February, 2014

Why Do You Write?

Why do you want to write?
What is it that drives you to string words together to form sentences, paragraphs and stories?

Do you dream of walking along a beach (maybe even living in a cottage by the sea) where you can write to your heart's content?

Do you see yourself as the next great novelist who sky-rockets to the top of the NY Times' list?

Do you simply enjoy stringing words together? Is it a means to heal or to think?

Every writer has a different reason to write. They sound similar sometimes, but what drives the writer is as unique as the individual. I started writing because I couldn't find enough books to satiate my reading addiction. I continue to write for much the same reason, but along the years other elements have added to my list of what drives me to write.

"The Pen is Mightier than the Sword" I write because I have no voice, and for others who are voiceless. I write because through written words, I am able to explore trials and troubles in new lo…

I don't like kids, and I don't play the piano

As a female in a conservative church, I was expected to love little babies. I can still remember people giving me strange looks when I said I didn't want children of my own. They gave me strange looks when I didn't ooh and aah over the new babies in the church, or jump right into nursery duties.

During my teen years, adults signed me up to help in the nursery or junior church not because I wanted too, but because they felt I needed to serve the church in that way. I hated it when people told me to do something I knew I didn't want to do. Eating my vegetables is one thing; watching kids is an entirely different topic.

Now, because I am of a certain age, most people expect me to have children. This is true across the board, so it's not something exclusive to the church. What is exclusive to the church is the misconception called 'the gift of singleness' anyone not married by the age of twenty-five, but I'll get to that in another post.
  Because of my intr…

Adult Peg Looms

Today we'll finish up the peg loom rugs.

When you have woven the three rugs, you end up with three individual rugs that are too small for much of anything, but when combined, turn into something better.

Yet, when you sew the rugs up, you end up with a larger rug. The rugs measure about 1 foot by 2 feet individually, so when they are finished, it is a 2' by 3' rug. Still small, but not impractical. I attempted to sew them down with the sewing machine, but the edges were too thick to go under the foot. Needle and thread are the best use way to finish them up. For those concerned if it will hold up in the wash, it  did. A second way to bind them together would be to crochet them together if you have enough fabric to do so. I have a terrible time of crocheting squares together, so I chose the needle and thread option. Also, it doesn't show in the finished product. You can start at one of two places: the one that combines the two parallel pieces or the perpendicular pie…

The Beauty and the Brains

When my mom was little, she took one of those IQ tests schools offered, and tested fairly high on the intelligence scale. I say this because I never took one of those tests, but my mom is often astounded at my intelligence.

On our continuing theme of Women and the Church, intelligence is one of the sensitive areas people don't like to discuss. Well, to be more accurate, we do discuss it, but when it bites us in the rear, we don't know what to do.

I attended Christian (Protestant) schools for ten years. My first six were spent in Maryland while the last four were spent in New York. The first six were at a school that averaged around 400 students from Kindergarten through Grade 12; my second school averaged around 40 students, Kindergarten through Grade 12. To put this into perspective, it wasn't until my last year at the second school did the entire student body compare to my one grade level at the first school.

Culture shock would be putting it mildly.

Elementary, My Dear…

Big Kid Looms

Last Saturday, I posted about a loom my sister made me, and my first three attempts at rug weaving.

This week and next week, I'm going to step you through the process to create the rugs. The first step is to cut down the material you will use. The screws on the loom are 1" apart, so it works best if I cut my material into 2" strips.

For the short end, I cut the strips to 32" and the long ends are 54". I sew the ends together, and loop them around the screws.

I found it actually easier to put the short side loops on first followed by the long ends which I weave. The only reason is that I have less to weave. Once finished weaving, the edges are bound off.

The process is actually easier with a crochet hook (N-13 or a P-15 size), but below is a second possible way to bind the edge off.
To bind it off, the loop you are binding off needs to be put over the next loop. It works better on a crochet hook, but you can also use your finger as well, depending on the tens…

So You Want to be a Writer - Education

Becoming a writer, in one regard, is fairly easy; on the other hand, it takes work and dedication. To change Boromir's quote: "One does not simply wander into writing."

Normally beginning around kindergarten, we are taught the A,B,Cs which become at, bat, and cat. From there we can learn simple sentences, The cat batted, and develop the sentences into simple stories, The cat batted at the bat.

Throughout elementary school we learn grammar; some of us learn about diagrams (one of my favorite parts of grammar), whereas others never did. We learn how to organize thoughts to inform, amuse or persuade, and there we stop for the vast majority of the people in the world. Most of us retain our writing abilities through e-mails, blog entries, letters or other communique in business or education, but very few actually pursue a career in writing.

Some of those who pursue writing actually pursue another primary career be it in criminal investigations, education, or politics. Often …

Act Like a Man ... even if you are a Woman

I will warn you that this post isn't from an immediate situation, but is the result of a comment made on the radio that exemplifies the struggles I think women face in Christianity. I've left and ignored churches over their position concerning women in the church, and it is a topic I explore in my books.

I heard on the radio this comment (not verbatim, but close): "Be strong, act like a man. Now, Ladies, I can say this because it's what the Bible says. Be strong. Men are always stronger than women, so Paul is telling us to act like men. Be strong ... in the Lord."

Of course, because women are weak; because women aren't strong; because women cannot stand up for themselves; because women are emotional ... because, because, because.


What about this other quote: "When you choose to marry, you are also choosing to not be unmarried. That's a good choice. It's not just that we're choosing the good, but we're also choosing to not do the wro…

New Project - Adult-sized Peg Loom

Have any of you played with those peg looms aka potholder looms? The photo to the left links you to one sold on Amazon.

When my sister and I were little (like under ten) we played with these a lot. Probably made a hundred potholders between the two of us. Neither of us cared much about design - we just enjoyed making things that we could actually use.

In January, while researching something on Pinterest, I found a photograph of an adult peg loom, and promptly sent the image to my sister to see if she could make one. As my sister and I grew up, I went to the fiber arts, while she went to carpentry. The first project had some technical glitches (the boards broke), but the second project succeeded.

The second loom measures in at 30" by 18", but the actual weaving width is 27" by 15". The finished items measure in at 23" by 12". The shrink is almost four inches all around, which was a little more than I expected, but within the limit I built into the origi…

So You Want to Be a Writer

Starting a new series targeted for everyone who wants to be a writer. Some of the fits under the Writer's Toolbox Series, and some of this is more for those looking into a writing degree.

When I started looking into writing for my degree, I wanted to be a journalist. For some strange reason, I had thoughts of Lois Lane, Ellie Warne and John Murphy running through my brain (honestly, I think I was born too late). John Murphy, for those who don't know, was a lead character in the Zion Covenant's first book, Vienna Prelude; Ellie is in the later Zion Chronicles series, Gates of Zion. John is a newspaper journalist in pre-World War 2 Europe; Ellie is a photojournalist in 1947, Palestine. Both series are written by Bodie and Brock Thoene.

For me, writing came naturally. I enjoyed reading, and I enjoyed telling stories. When we moved from Southeastern PA to Western NY, I started writing novels to keep myself occupied. I left friends, family, and a small town to live in farm c…

Time Travel

Two of my favorite genres are historical fiction and mysteries; therefore, when I find a historical mystery, I typically at least attempt to read it. Sometimes, it depends on the time period though. (Check out the Bridgette ni Brian Facebook page: if you could travel back in time where would you go?)

I like the Georgian Era, including the later Regency because I think the clothes look cool, and because it's such an interesting time period. You have the Jacobite Rebellions in 1715, and 1745; American Revolution in 1775, the whole Napoleon thing, French Revolution, exploration of new worlds and the beginnings of the modern world.

Another time period I would like to visit begins in 1910 and ends in 1950; it's the time period that truly bridges our modern world with the old world. Then of course, I wouldn't mind taking a trip back to Ancient Egypt, or China, or Abbasid Empire, or Al-Andalus, or a half-dozen other time periods. Thankfully, I have books, because there is no way…