This month I have been on a bent to get all of my unfinished projects finished. I have a bad habit of getting most of the way done with a thing and then picking something else up. I often then forget to go back to the previous projects and they pile up eventually.
I've manged to finish the Tunisian beaded scarf (class was originally taken 6 or so months ago)
I've manged to finish the crocheted serene shell tank (class was originally taken this summer)
I finished the Doris Chan tank top, which only took me a month. I finished two pairs of socks, which is a huge thing for me since I've previously been intimidated by knitting socks.
The only project I have not finished is That Damn Coat, which I started in August of 2014. The sleeves are fiddly. I am using three yarns, alternating every two rows. So I knit 2 rounds, untwist the sleeve (which entails physically picking the whole coat up and turning it). Knit 2 rounds, untwist the sleeve, untwist the yarns (which have inevitably tangled around one another). Repeat in this fashion until your hair is pulled out.
So yeah. I am going to finish T.D.C. though, for THIS winter...or I'm going to burn it in the Spring. Either way...something will be done!
In other news I've started writing a blog-only story. Originally I wanted to post one chapter each week, but I realized soon that this is impractical as I am also editing my novel so that I can start shopping it around to agents. I have devoted a good chunk of my time to the time capsule story, of which I shared the first two chapters here and here.
I'm currently working on the last three chapters of that, and tying up some loose ends. Continuity Achievement Unlocked!
I've put aside writing crochet and knit patterns for the time being, but hope to get back to it eventually. I have a lot of fun ideas, but projects take a LONG time to finish, so writing a pattern is a slow, slow process for me. In slightly related news, I may have a skirt pattern worked out, and if it does end up being viable I'll share that here.
Hope you are all having an excellent Fall so far. I've been enjoying coffee, pumpkin everything, and cooler weather for a change.
Curl up with a good book and stay shiny!
Until November...NaNoWriMo 2015 is coming!
Sunday, October 18, 2015
(Prior chapters, in chronological order can be found here)
Melody boarded the train that warm, sunny day in Kings Tree with a heavy heart and dried tears on her cheeks. Larissa and Mya had brought her to the train station and sat with her while she waited for her turn to board the silver beast. Jack hadn’t returned any of Melody’s calls since the day he stormed out of The Leaf & Bean. She thought he would eventually come around and at least say goodbye, but he hadn’t. No texts, no calls, nothing. It was as if they had never been friends.
She had been tempted to delay leaving Savannah for another week in an attempt to resolve the problem with her best friend, but she knew how easily one extra week had the potential to turn into two, then three, and then before she knew it, Melody would have missed her window of opportunity for the internship. Larissa and Mya had left when Melody heard the call to board the train that would eventually land her in California.
As she walked through the cars to find her seat, she was jostled by an impatient traveler from behind and Melody’s purse went flying into the lap of a woman who was staring out the window. She apologized to the woman profusely and moved over so the person behind her could go around. Melody didn’t understand what the hurry was; the train wasn’t going to pull out of the station for at least fifteen more minutes.
“I am so sorry,” Melody said for the third time as the other woman handed her purse back to her.
“It’s okay. These things happen,” the woman replied.
Melody clutched the purse and continued making her way to the seat that was hers, a few rows further down the aisle. She took her seat after stowing her carry on bag, and pulled out her cell phone. No missed calls, no text messages. She sighed and send Jack one last text message.
PULLING OUT OF THE TRAIN STATION SOON. I WISH I COULD HAVE SAID GOODBYE TO YOU, JACK. I’M NOT CHANGING MY PHONE NUMBER, SO IF YOU EVER WANT TO TALK TO ME AGAIN, YOU KNOW HOW TO REACH ME.
She hit the button that would send the words across an invisible network to be reassembled in their proper order at the other end where she knew Jack’s phone would play the ringtone assigned to her. Melody had no way of knowing if he would read it, or just delete it without opening it. As painful as it was to seemingly lose her best friend this way, Melody forced herself to get over the guilt she felt at leaving her life in Savannah behind. She just hoped the internship in California turned out to be worth it.
The train had been chugging along for a couple of hours and Melody felt her stomach rumbling in protest of its empty state. She made her way to the restaurant car where a chalk board informed her that the day's “special” was a patty melt on rye and her choice of potato, vegetable, and fruit. Melody counted the dollar bills in her possession currently and decided that she had enough to splurge a bit on a real meal.
As she was placing her order she noticed the young woman in whose lap her purse had landed earlier. The girl was playing some type of solitaire game using two decks of cards. The remnants of a club sandwich and a few forlorn-looking french fries sat to one side, ignored. The other tables in the restaurant car were full of people, so she wandered over and said hello.
“Hi. Do you mind if I join you?” Melody asked.
The girl looked up and smiled, a look of recognition in her eyes. “Not at all.” She watched Melody sit down and situate her food before speaking again.
“My name is Adina.” She reached a slender hand across the table.
“Melody. What are you playing?”
“This is a solitaire game called Blockade. I love solitaire, but playing the regular version gets a little boring after a while.”
Melody nodded her agreement as she took a bite of her sandwich. “Where are you from, Adina?”
“Myrtle Beach. I’m heading to Santa Barbara for college.” Adina dealt a few more cards and studied the tableau before her.
“Oh! I’m going to California, too” Melody said, excited. “I’m headed to Los Angeles. I majored in film and landed an internship out there with one of the movie studios.”
“Congrats,” Adina responded. She pursed her lips, and then gathered the cards into a large pile and began shuffling them. “My parents were less than thrilled when they discovered I had been accepted to a university in Santa Barbara. They thought I would just go to Coastal like they both did. Santa Barbara has an amazing art scene though, so it’s hard to turn down.”
Melody nodded again. “Parents often find that the plans they make for their children diverge from what the kids eventually want. My parents wanted me to stay in Savannah and work for a local news station. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I’ve never been to California. I’ve never even traveled by myself before now. I am ready for an adventure.”
“Me too,” Adina agreed. “Santa Barbara and LA aren’t that far from each other, are they?”
“It’s a couple hours depending on traffic, I think,” Melody responded. “I’m going to get an apartment in Santa Monica though. I don’t want to live right in the middle of Los Angeles.”
“You haven’t started looking yet?”
“No. I’m going to stay at a hotel for a few days while I look and get settled into my new job.”
“Is it a paid internship?” Adina asked.
Melody tilted her head, “Barely. It pays minimum wage for the first year. After that, if the studio decides to hire me on permanently, I will have to negotiate my salary.”
“So it has it’s good and bad side. What will you be doing?”
“I am not sure yet. I am hoping for camera operation or something along those lines,” Melody said. She finished her sandwich and downed the last of her drink.
“Thanks for letting me sit with you,” Melody said as she rose, “It was nice meeting you.”
Melody cleared her dishes and garbage from the table before making the short trek back to her seat. She stared out the window for a while, eventually falling asleep from the lull of the train rocking it’s way down the rails.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
(Prior chapters in chronological order can be found here)
Adina looked over her shoulder one final time at Jessica and Charity who were waving goodbye enthusiastically at the Amtrak in Kingstree. She smiled, felt the tears pooling at the corners of her eyes, and finally boarded the train. It took only a few minutes to find her seat and stow her carryon luggage in the bin. She put her carry on bag under the seat in front of her after digging out a paperback book and her MP3 player. Her friends were still visible from where she sat, so Adina waved back and smiled again before settling into the plush seat.
After dialing up her road trip play list, she opened her paperback. The train was scheduled to pull out of the station in about ten minutes. Her thoughts were distracted from the book, though, by the memory of her going away party the night before. Lauren had finally warmed up to the idea of her only daughter setting off on a journey across the country all by herself. She and Charles laid out a compromise in which Adina promised to call once each day and come home for holidays. In return they gifted her bank account with a sizeable lump of cash to get her started in her new life in Santa Barbara.
She had called her long distances friend Jordan Heller in Goleta to ask if he could make some appointments for her to look at apartments when she arrived. Adina had a reservation at a motel for a week, and was hoping she could take care of class registration and apartment hunting in that time frame.
Adina’s attention was pulled back to the present as the train started moving; the chuff-chuff of the engine as it worked to lug a multitude of half-packed passenger cars behind itself. She lowered the window and let the breeze filter in, breathing the fresh air before it mingled with the fumes of the train’s exhaust. The metal beast began to pick up speed and eventually the train was moving too fast to be worth the whirlwind coming through the window. Adina went back to reading her book, whiling away the hours until her first layover in Savannah.
In Savannah, Adina disembarked from the train. She could still feel her insides moving at 150 miles per hour. Stretching her legs out by hopping around a little bit, Adina slung her hand bag over her shoulder and walked into the train station, looking for a vending machine. She had foregone the expensive snacks from the restaurant car and had munched some trail mix and sipped from her own glass water bottle instead. The trip to Savannah hadn’t taken very long, only two hours or so, but Adina’s leg muscles were protesting nonetheless.
She found a bank of vending machines inside offering a plethora of options for her snacking pleasure. After making her purchases, she stowed her loot in her shoulder bag and walked through the gift shop, looking for post cards. She found a couple that were Savanah-themed and bought four: three for folks back home and one for her travel journal.
The layover was only thirty minutes, so Adina boarded the train, flashing her boarding pass at the tired looking ticket-taker. She resumed her seat and spent the remainder of the layover making out postcards for Charity, Jessica, and her parents.
Eventually the train began its slow, laborious attempts at travel again. Last minute stragglers were still looking for their seats, and as Adina was opening her paperback, the train lurched and a purse landed in her lap startling her.
“Oh, my. I am so sorry,” a woman said.
Adina looked up at her and smiled. She picked up the purse and held it out to a girl who looked like she was barely old enough to vote. The girl wore her hair in a medium- length French braid with the tail hanging over one shoulder. Her eyes were open and honest, in a shade of green Adina had never seen before.
“Quite alright,” Adina said, smiling at the young lady. “These things happen.”
The girl smiled and took the proffered purse before resuming her journey to her seat, which Adina noticed was three rows back from her own. She put her headphones back in and resumed reading her battered copy of Cabinet of Curiosities while munching on her vending machine lunch.