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Creating Digital Moodboards

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For some time now, I’ve been looking for a way to easily throw together a bunch of images and create a “moodboard” that I can print out. Sure, I can open up an image editor, but my Macbook isn’t as nippy as it used to be (understatement). I finally found a cross-platform program called ShapeCollage that does just that, and I thought I’d share. It even has an online version. Here, for example is my moodboard for “writing”:

Writing Moodboard

I find my images on we♥it. Unfortunately, most of them don’t have proper sources, but as this is only for my personal use, hopefully no one will mind.

Do you make moodboards?

10th February, 2011  // Inspiration, Writing // tags: , , , , .

Old Notebooks and Story Hooks

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old notebook & polaroid

My pink notebook is all full up! I bought it from Woolworths three years ago, so it’s a relic of a bygone era. Here it is a couple years ago, sitting in November sunlight in Wales. The first few pages are taken up with notes for my (long-finished) MA dissertation on the Language poets. Then there’s the first 500 words of my 2008 NaNoWriMo which I started in London (& finished 5 days early!). The rest is filled with scribblings for knitting, plots for world domination, recipes, to-do lists, quotations, phone numbers, doodles, the usual. It’s a well-travelled notebook, and it’s pink, and I shall miss it.

the ides of nanowrimo

Here’s the replacement, already bearing up with my yearly rush of NaNo jottings. Right now it’s on this desk, among a number of odd balls of yarn and a mug of salep. I’m wearing this jumper and still feeling decidedly chilly. To the shame of my “All-Star” sticker, I am in fact a NaNo rebel; I’m aiming to write 10 short stories of about 5000 words each. The theme will come as no surprise: knitting. But perhaps the genre may interest you? All stories involve some manner of haunting or horror. How about, “it was a dark and windy night, the perfect night to sit at home and knit in her favourite armchair”*. Have I got you hooked? :) Unfortunately, I’m currently about 20,000 words short of my daily goal. Every year I go crazy trying to make 50,000 and every year when it’s over I wish I could do another month of it. Still, this is the best bit of NaNo: in the thick of it!

* Actually, I don’t have a story that starts like this, but you never know, if I get really desperate…

17th November, 2010  // Writing // tags: , , .

Pen & Penelope

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Every morning for the last four five weeks I’ve woken up with the best intentions. I would write a blog post. A blog post of such searing erudition and delight that every knitter who read it would never more see knitting in the same way. A blog post of such hilarity that there would be knitters everywhere giggling at the most inopportune moments of daily work, causing chaos in traffic and disrupting important meetings. Every day I’ve been blindsided by trivialities such as driving lessons, dentist appointments, gardening, a trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, several inspirational TED Talks, guitar playing, the snooker, bright shiny objects, impromptu cinema visits, too many good books, etc, etc. Which only compounds my belief that it’s the small, insidious, day-to-day things that you need to watch out for, and be on your guard against. And now here I am, writing this rather humble, vaguely uninteresting post… But thank you to all you lovely readers who wrote to inquire after my absence; it was entirely unintentional!


Penelope & the Suitors by John William Waterhouse

When I haven’t been very blatantly procrastinating, I’ve been a bit like Penelope (excepting the suitors, oh and the weaving), knitting by day and undoing it all by night. I’ve been pretty patient about it though, and I presumptuously attribute this to the fact that I am now no longer a “beginner”. Ripping out huge chunks of knitting, or knitting an enormous swatch just because you don’t feel like stopping – these are not actions that non-knitters or “persons who knit”, seem to understand. They stare at me in horror when I tell them it’s all got to go. All that lovely work! So I’ve taken to ripping alone and unseen, because I’m a little bored with explaining… “No really, it’s OK. It’ll save me work in the future. Besides, this is one of the best things about knitting!” I secretly suspect that Penelope loved the process of weaving as much as she loved Odysseus, or why would she hit on such a solution?

As to why my knitting wasn’t working out… It was really amazingly simple, when I stopped trying to do it the wrong way. Fortunately, Rowan Scottish Tweed is a hardy yarn that doesn’t mind a good deal of frogging and re-knitting. It’s also very rustic & well-suited to keeping warm in the country. I’m testing it right now. :)

country knitting

country knitting

country knitting

I took some shots today and the pattern should be up soon. It will be a perfect present for gentlemen (or ladies) for whom you can’t easily find gifts. If you can guess what it is, you can get a free copy! ;)

November is a busy month. There’s National Novel Writing Month, for a start. Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month is a feat I’ve accomplished twice before. It’s utterly mad, and utterly fun; you must join if only to receive the pep talks from Chris Baty & other famous authors. And if you do, don’t forget to add me as your writing buddy! Also in November is the illustrious WoollyWormhead’s Mystery Beret. How exciting! I think these two challenges will complement each other perfectly, and help me forget about the increasing gloom of winter…

28th October, 2009  // Life, Writing // tags: , , , .
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