Saturday, April 1, 2023

Published again

I've been holding back some news for a few weeks, but now I can announce it - another of my short mysteries was accepted into an anthology! Before we talk about that, let's take a moment for some eye candy:

You may have spotted an anomaly on the right side of that run of stitches. Yes, I'm actually casting off a completed knit (if you don't count the braided drawstring I have to make next.) Two things to celebrate this week!

The new short story will be in the anthology for the 2023 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, to be held August 30-September 3 in San Diego. All the stories had to be set in southern California, ideally in San Diego, and while I did my research I have to say: I got plenty smitten. San Diego looks so lovely and omigosh, the weather! Never too hot, never too cold, never too rainy or dry. From my little house in Toronto it looks like paradise. I'm still hoping I can attend the conference and see it in person.


The anthology looks fantastic, too. Check out that author list! I gotta admit, I got a little teary when I saw the company I'll be keeping. MURDER AT THE MARINA will come out late August and be available from bookstores and libraries as well.

August is still a dream for me, though it was warmer here today. We still have patches of snow. I haven't needed a hat but I haven't put any hats away, either. There's still hope I might find a use for my red stripey hatcowl before next fall.

It's been so long since I've had to cast off, I keep looking at the neat line of finished stitches like they're entirely new to me! I guess I really have been knitting nothing but socks. Those get a toe graft instead of a castoff, because I make them top-down.

Not to make this a weather-centric post or anything but - we've had some sun this week! And that means interesting light on the clouds and trees outside. I always get so excited when the sun reaches through our gate to paint stripes at our side door:

I don't have the same fine painting hand as the sun, but I did sit in on a fantastic art demo yesterday with Jens Huebner, who was showing how he uses Faber-Castell products for urban sketching. It was so inspiring, with all kinds of tricks for laying down colour and/or lifting it strategically. I haven't had much opportunity to do any urban sketching lately. But I do like to take a notebook and a couple of pencils outside and draw whatever happens to be going on with the birds or slow-moving squirrels or dogwalkers who've stopped to chat with a neighbour.

I'd like to do more of that and incorporate watercolour, which Jens talked about in the demo. He uses a watercolour pencilcrayon to lay down some colour, then wets it with his water brush (which he helped design!) and - eureka - rubs his finger over it to mute and blur the colour while drying the paper so he can rush to the next set of lines. In urban sketching, speed is key, but I'd never thought of this.

And... ugh. He demonstrated how to sketch out daisies in a meadow. He broke those petals down as simply as you could imagine so we could all follow along. And I still couldn't produce a recognizable flower.

What is it with me and not being able to draw or paint a plausible bloom?? I'm starting to feel cursed. I know I should be grateful I can come up with cartoony versions, but yeesh.

Here are some other flowers I didn't produce:

This little bouquet was on a card I received recently. Quilling is not something I've ever thought of doing but I think this is just beautiful don't you? And perfect for the first week of spring.

Thanks so much for popping by and reading what I've been up to this week. Hope you have a marvellous weekend and I'll see you next Saturday!

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