Sunday, November 27, 2005

Winter Mittens

These are fingerless gloves with a mitten shell attached that I just finished. The pattern is from Knitty. It was a good pattern, except some parts seemed unclear, so I quit following it for the fingers and just knitted small tubes. They turned out kind of lopsided, but it's not noticeable. You were supposed to put the stitches on holders and then pick up stitches and it seemed really awkward to do that, so I didn't. Also, the pattern was way too big, so I had to knit it twice and change it the second time. Other than that, I think they turned out pretty good. The yarn was a Knitpicks sock yarn, which I liked, because it's soft.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Buy Nothing Day

Today is Buy Nothing Day, which is to counter the holiday consumerism. I don't really get why today is supposed to be such a big shopping day. I wonder when it happened, that you're supposed to go out and buy a bunch of presents today. I don't like the whole consumerist part of Christmas. The idea of giving people small gifts seems good, but now it just seems to be a consumerist frenzy. The whole period around Christmas doesn't seem much different from other times, people are just buying more presents than they do normally. People buy tvs, electronics, and whatever during the rest of the year, and now they just buy more of them.

It would be different if they saved up to buy things during this time of year, and it became something special, because you wouldn't get nice things, except for one time a year. But people are getting those same things all year round, they just get more piled on top of it. I just think people have an overconsumption problem, where they have too much. It reminds me of the last Christmas I spent with my family, and there was this little girl there, who was related by marriage or something. I had never met her before. But, the amount of presents she got was ridiculous. When she opened them, she just tossed them aside and just went on to the next one. She had so many, it was like nothing was good enough, and she just wanted to know what was next. I guess most kids are like that, or can get spoiled like that, but it isn't good, and I think people should try to control their consumption of products.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I've been working on the NaNo novel and am only about 2000 words behind. I took four days off at some point and it really set me back. I like writing it, even though the writing isn't all that great. I think I can see why some authors start adding in characters and have the action come from their point of view, like omnipresence. It gets boring to write from the same character. Or maybe my character is just boring.

I took this picture at the coast, and it's actually looking out onto a bay. The area where this was near was a touristy street. It always seems like the tourist areas are the worst. They all seem to have candy shops, leather shops, jem and polished rocks, or something like that, and t-shirt shops. The only people are usually older retirees. I don't know why people want to go to tourist places when they travel somewhere. You don't see the actual place you're going, but instead a themepark type version of the place, which is more like being at the mall. Everything is filtered and turned into products.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Characters

I am currently working on this fingerless glove, which is almost done. I had to change the pattern, because the designer only put one size on it, and that turned out to be gigantic. It's done with sock yarn, which is tedious, because it takes so long. But I like the colors.

My NaNo novel is still several days behind, and I'll have to write five pages a day for the rest of the time to catch up. I figured out a subplot, which took up some time. Otherwise the conclusion would have come too fast, and the character would be wrapping up the ending for half of the novel. One thing is that it's difficult to tell if the characters have different personalities. Sometimes it seems like they all have the same characteristics, unless I push them to become almost stereotypes. I've heard that you should show the character's personality through their reactions or thoughts, instead of just telling the reader. That is definately more difficult, because you have to construct the situation, then think of how that type of person would react. I think that to write good characters, you have to know a lot about psychology, and different personalities. It would be hard to write for a character really different from yourself. At this point, I'm not even trying any of the more subtle points of characters and psychology. I'm just trying to write anything so I can get up to 50, 000 words by Nov. 30.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Novel and the Ocean

I recently went to the coast for a day, and went to a marina. I went to the ocean too, except I couldn't stay there long. It's so harsh, because it's always windy and cold, even during the summer. The Pacific Ocean, at least where I am doesn't make you want to swim in it, or even go near it. I imagined going out on a boat in the ocean, and it doesn't seem fun at all. I've also been to Florida and swam in that ocean and it's strange how different it is. The Florida ocean is warm and calm, and you can see through to the bottom. I didn't really want to go near the Oregon ocean, because it seems so much more dangerous.
I've also been working on the NaNo novel, which is difficult. I'm about 5000 words behind, so I have to write ten pages in the next two days. My story doesn't seem interesting enough, so I think over these next ten pages, I have to introduce a subplot. I want to keep the focus on the main character, though. I generally don't like it when there are a bunch of different characters and you get all their perspectives, so the reader knows things the characters don't. It seems more interesting to get the perspective of one character, because they don't know everything, and the events are skewed towards what they think. I think if you write a sweeping epic, it works to have a global view of lots of different characters, but not in a short novel. I've read books where the author will suddenly introduce a new character, and you're forced to read about them for a while, when I care more about the original character. That's something I don't really want to do in my novel.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Thirty Day Novel

I saw the web page for writing a novel in thirty days and thought it was interesting. I've wanted to see if I could write for a while now, since I've read a lot of books, I thought it would be easier to write a book. Also, I like to see what other people are writing at the same time. It's harder than I thought, since it's difficult to write natural sounding dialogue. The timing of the action has to be right, and it hard to know when to move the action along or go into more detail. I think I have the problem of making the male characters sound too much like women. It's hard to know how to make them sound like men, without making them completely macho and stereotypical. So far though, the plot is turning out different than I thought it would, which is good. The story is about a woman who goes back to her hometown to confront her father and deal with her past, but meets someone unexpected on the trip there. That's what it is so far. I'm not sure where to take the story next, and according to the thirty day schedule, I have to write about 40 pages by the end of this week.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fat Activists

America's Waistline - The politics of fat. By Laura Kipnis
I disagree with fat activists who say they are perfectly normal, and there isn't an obesity epidemic. According to some of them, that is just their body type. I think that it is true that most people aren't naturally thin, with a thin frame. But there's a difference between someone who has a larger frame and is stocky and someone who weighs over 300 pounds. I think the fat activists could say that is their natural body type, if there aren't all the problems with diet and exercise. I really doubt that there were extremely obese people a few hundred years ago, or during a time when everyone didn't drive everywhere and eat fast food all the time. They seem more of a causuality in a time of an overabundance of fast food and extreme marketing of a fattening lifestyle. Most of the fat people I've met may have a different body type, but they also don't exercise at all and eat fast food all the time. The fat activists claim that it's perfectly healthy to be obese, but if you can barely walk up a flight of stairs, how can that be healthy?
On the over hand, I do think that how they live their life is their business. It is really presumptuous to tell someone else how to care for their own body. If people want to smoke and eat fast food every day, they should be allowed to. But they shouldn't claim that they can't help it when they become unhealthy, or say they have a different body type, and it's out of their control. I guess that's what bothers me about fat activists, is that they act like they can't do anything about their obesity. But unless you have a thyroid disorder, you must have eaten a lot of junk food or been totally inactive, in order to gain 100 or 200 pounds. It's like having an addiction and claiming it's completely out of your control, and that it's your natural state of being. It's giving up in difficult circumstances. I guess they can do that, but I don't like that the fat activists are trying to say that obesity is totally normal and healthy. It's like saying that your addiction completely controls you, and you give in and don't even try to improve yourself.