Wander the Web 51

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

For all my writing friends. 

When street art and architecture work together

A summer camp for composing video game music? Awesome.

The craftsmanship on these embroidered animals is impeccable. Plus, they’re cute. 

A day in the life of Vanessa Knight of Able Ground

The Daily Routines of Famous Creatives

5 Secrets to Success

Tag-along with a robot to see the Tate Britain after dark. 

Found Lisa Congdon’s blog which is both vibrant and utterly exciting. Loved this peek into her sketchbooks and the Word for the Day.

Wander the Web 10


Once ripped, the re-knitting of this tangled yarn pile has taken a lot longer than I thought it would. At least garter stitch makes it easy to read and knit at the same time. I’m rarely so caught up on my RSS feeds as I have been these last few days. Next up, that backlog of ebooks. 

Finding Freedom and Writing Memoirs with Meg Warden (via Rowdy Kittens)

Nuance AKA dancing with light. 

Ever wonder about different ways to finish handspun? This “Finishing Yarn” post on the Knitty Blog samples 5 different methods.

INeedAPrompt.com has churned out some interesting writing prompts. My favorites so far are “A fearless rabbit on the International Space Station,” and “A blushing octopus in the morning.” It’s customizable and good for a laugh even if you don’t have writer’s block. 

After watching this video about making multiple pom-poms at the same time, I have pom-poms on the brain. Won’t be able to resist much longer. (via All Untangled)

While we’re on the subject of pom-poms, make a giant one in 60 seconds. (also via All Untangled) 

I would have loved to live in this tiny house during college.

May is for Writing: Week 3

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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I’m going to be honest here. My writing goals went out the window last week. My daily word count was 0 and I didn’t even read any books. Why the sudden lack of progress? Life turned wonderfully sideways. In two weeks I’m getting married and moving cross country. In the mean time, I have to DO ALL THE THINGS! that come with planning a wedding and prepping to move over 2,000 miles west. Any farther and I’ll end up in the Pacific Ocean. 

Ironically, the combined craziness of wedding planning and moving cross country seems like the perfect thing to write about. I feel that that I should be judiciously documenting the next few weeks but I need all the sleep I can get. Ah well. This is what memoirs are for, after all. I do feel slightly guilty about not writing but I am getting ready for a marvelous adventure with my best friend. The writing can wait.

May is for Writing: Week 2

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Writing is hard. Writing everyday is even harder. I’m sorry to say that daily writing wasn’t something I managed last week. Some days my brain was so frazzled I just paced back and forth. Other days, I just stared at a blank screen before being completely unexcited about what my fingers typed up. There were a few good days though when I didn’t have to force the words out my head. 

The days where things were easy, where the words seemed leap onto the screen, were when I tried something new. Instead of trying to force a story or an essay from the ether, I captured my ideas. I wrote about backstory and tried to make sense of dreams. I wrote about questions that I wanted answered. I wrote outlines and paragraphs of descriptions. Whenever I thought something might be great to write about, I didn’t file it away in my brain for later but sat down and wrote everything out. No detail escaped the brain dump. Might not have much in the way of first drafts but I’ve got all I need to write them.

If you’re having trouble writing something new, let no idea escape. Record everything and sort the good from the bad later. After all, you never know when you’ll find that one perfect seed.


May is for Writing: Week 1

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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We’re only 6 days into the month so May is still new and fresh. I’m writing everyday. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. Most of the time, I play things by ear have no idea what I’m going to write until my fingers bungle about on the keyboard for a few minutes. Once the words start coming though, I don’t want to stop. I might take a break for yarn but words keep flowing in bits and pieces. When enough pile up, it’s time to go back to the page. 

The day before this project started I wandering around bookstores and trying to decide between Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I’ve heard amazing things about both books but decided to begin with On Writing. I devoured that book. I stayed up past 4 AM several nights just to finish. The first half of the book and several postscripts acts as a short memoir. The second half contains King’s sixteen rules of writing. Reading about the life and practices of an author I’ve been following since my early teens was a welcome peak behind the curtain.

Rule One: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” 

I’ve already got the reading part covered since I’ve made a concerted effort to read more books this year. My handy spreadsheet, complete with pie chart, tells me I’ve read 25 books this year and that I’m in the middle of 3 others. Voracious reading is there to teach you how to write through observation. I really hope I’ve learned something from the hundreds and hundreds of books I’ve read over the years.

So May is all about working on the writing half of the equation. During the first few days I gave myself 15 minutes but I quickly switched to a minimum word count of 500 instead. Depending on the day, 15 minutes could only see a few sentences or it could see a whole page. Going for a word count lets me ignore the ticking clock and just get some words on the page. They might be horrible but you have to start somewhere. So far I managed to write more than 500 words per day, everyday completely separate from anything I’m working on for the site or other projects.

Writing, compared with last month’s project, daily knitting on the Norma blanket, is so much harder. Last month I had a pattern, numerous charts, and all of my materials. The work - aside from the actual knitting - was already done for me. The knitting could get boring because I knew what was ahead of me. When it comes to writing, I have no clue. It’s a wild and welcome adventure.

May is for Writing

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Lately, the end of the month has been a curious time for me. I’m often staring off into space or making  lots of “hmm” noises. Sometimes, I’m resting my chin in my hand, staring off to the side, and murmuring all at the same time. Why am I acting so weird? I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do for my next monthly Incremental Project. It’s not like I don’t have a list. I just can’t settle on any one thing until a day or two before it’s time to start.

The project for May was obvious but I didn’t realize it at first. Writing. Daily writing at that. There were no less than three things telling me to focus on my writing though there seem a lot more in my head. 

The strongest push came from last week’s 4th Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week. 7 days worth of blogging about knitting, color, aspirations, and more knitting. I almost didn’t participate but decided to suck it up and try anyway. Last week pushed me to try new things and to think about the blog and my writing in a different way. I made an infographic for the first time and tried a wordless post. The wordless post was the hardest of the whole bunch. I wanted so much to write a few sentences about Trouble the Cat and enjoying curiosity but I let it go for the time being. Not writing made me realize how much I need to write. It’s not a question of wanting to but needing to. 

The second push to writing came from ZenHabits and a timely post entitled, “Why You Should Write Daily”. There was just too much sense for me to ignore.

The Alchemy of Writing” and its second half were what first put the daily writing idea into my head.  Tim Ferriss interviews Fred Waitzkin, the author behind Searching for Bobby Fisher, about writing and the creative process. It’s inspiring and makes me want to get typing.

Now that I’ve decided to write, the only question that remains is what to write about. It’s Day One and I have no clue. Suggestions are greatly appreciated. The plan so far is to start with OneWord.com as a warm up. You get one word and 60 seconds to write a few sentences. Afterwards, I’m dedicating 15 minutes to writing...something. Maybe I should just randomly bang on the keyboard and see if something intelligible comes out.