Monday, December 31, 2007
-Reach ideal weight by exercising and eating right
-Practice yoga at least three times a week
-Join the choral society
-Join a book club
-Join a singles group
-Find a church I like
-Read the entire Bible
-Spend more time on spiritual matters
-Send Summer to 10 agents/publishers
-Complete first Draha book and start the second one - continue planning the rest of the series
-Write a short story every month
-Join a writer’s group
-Find my ideal daily writing pace
-Complete first sweater
-Make something with cables
-Make a winter set for niece (hat, scarf, gloves)
-Attempt colorwork (maybe in the above set)
-Make a blanket
-Make a shawl
-Make a pair of socks
-Make a purse
There are actually a lot of things I'm happy about when I look back on 2007. I'm happy that I've become involved with the theatre, for both social and professional reasons. I'm happy that I've found something relaxing to do in the evenings after work and after writing. The knitting is more an obsession than a hobby, but regardless of what it is, I'm really having fun with it and it helps me relax so much! I'm extremely happy that I've done a lot more writing than I have before and that I've finally gotten to a place where I feel comfortable pitching for jobs. I'm extremely happy that I was able to finish Under the Magnolia Tree and that I started on the fantasy series. Becoming involved in the fantasy story has been an interesting and fun process, and I am extremely excited to see where the story will go in the long run!
2. What are you unhappy with?
I'm unhappy that I wasn't able to finish one of my incomplete manuscripts that I planned to finish (Deadly Council) but it just goes on the list for this year! I'm extremely unhappy that I've lost a friend. I'm not even sure how it happened, but we haven't had any contact for about 8 months now, so I'm calling it. I tried to contact her many times throughout the year, a few times just to check in on her because I was worried and a couple of times because I really needed a friend to talk to and wanted to talk to her. She never returned the calls and never answered any of the emails. I suppose it takes a long time for these kinds of things to sink in with me, but I'm giving up now. I can't spend any more energy on this relationship and I don't think she even cares whether I do or not, so it's over. I'm unhappy with the work situation, but am taking steps to change it. I'm unhappy that I wasn't able to get something accepted for publication, but I will carry on until it happens.
3. What unexpected joys did you discover during the year?
My unexpected joys mostly stem from the theatre. I have met some wonderful people and have been involved in some amazing projects since becoming involved with this group! It's only getting better too, because this year we're doing a musical! I've enjoyed being a part of every production I've worked on, and have loved being a member of the board. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it's great for professional development and material for my portfolio. Two birds with one stone... how's that for efficient?!
4. What were some of the unexpected obstacles that came up, and how did you deal with them?
Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
The rejection letters were quite an obstacle. I was depressed about them at first, but decided to just keep trying. I don't know if I would have done anything differently, except maybe I wouldn't have let myself get so depressed about it.
5. What expectations did you find you needed to let go of?
I guess I always thought I'd get published when I tried, especially with this particular publisher because I thought my book was at least as good as the ones they've published before. I guess I had to let go of my ego a bit!
6. Looking ahead, how do you want to structure next year to support your writing?
I want to establish a daily writing pace and commit to it every day.
7. How does the rest of your life support your writing?
I'd say my life supports my writing pretty well right now. The only thing that gets in my way is me... usually because I want to sleep late instead of getting up early to write!
8. How can you change/compromise on the non-supportive elements?
I need to create a better schedule for myself, especially on week days, so that I can get up early enough to get some writing done in the mornings before work. I think this would be the best option, especially when I have evening rehearsals.
9. What new aspect of the writing life do you want to try next year?
I want to start pitching articles. I think it will be an interesting venture and may even pay off in the end.
10. Where do you need to be more disciplined?
I need to look at writing as a second job, rather than a hobby. I've been working on that and I did much better in 2007 than in 2006, but I still have quite a journey ahead. I also need discipline in the area of my health. I really need to take better care of myself.
11. Where do you need to ease up on yourself?
In general, I need to stop being critical of myself. I have so much confidence in my abilities, especially in my job, but I can't seem to shake the physical insecurities I've had for as long as I can remember. 2008 is going to be the year of self-esteem for me. I want to be just as confident in how I look as I am in how I perform.
I'm skipping the last few questions because I'm listing my resolutions in a different post.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Hopefully, I can fully update this weekend, especially with pictures of my first attempt at knitting cables! I've decided cables are fun! Anyway, I'll be back when this is resolved.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Bold and Blue - the ones I've done and am glad I did
Light Blue - the ones I've done and am not proud of
Shaded to Gray - the ones I haven't done and don't want to do
Bold and Red - the ones I haven't done and want to do
1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said 'I love you' and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly could
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing (do the rock climbing walls count?)
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them (does it count if it was in an airport?)
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Gone white water rafting
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Anyway, Christmas was good here, and today I'm just relaxing and enjoying the day off. It's raining, so I'm happy snuggling under the covers, watching Gilmore girls and drinking hot chocolate. What a lovely day!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Yes, I'm starting my first sweater. I picked a relatively easy pattern from the January 2008 issue of Creative Knitting. It's called the Ever-Cross Sweater. The pattern calls for a novelty yarn that I didn't like, but I was browsing through my local Hobby Lobby and found this Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist yarn that really caught my eye. Lo and behold, it was on sale for 99 cents a skein, so I bought enough for the sweater and am casting on tonight! Here's a picture of the pattern and the yarn. There will be progress photos as I go through the process, so stay tuned!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The final two washcloths. As I said before, the aunts already have them, but I wanted to post the last two. I'm particularly proud of the green, white and red one. I think it turned out very nice indeed! Now I'm considering a felted bag, but am not sure which pattern I want to use. More on that when I decide!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Tried writing a short story tonight, but didn't finish. I got to a certain point and then just stopped, mostly because I had no idea where to go from there. I'm going back to it tomorrow to see what I can do with it. I also did some more work on Draha in Freemind, working on a few key points that I really need to work out before going much further in the story. I really want to avoid writing myself into a corner! More work on this tomorrow too.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
First of all, I want to talk about how cool Ravelry is! If you're not a member and you knit, crochet, spin, or just like to play with yarn, you should absolutely join the waiting list NOW! Beware, though... you will spend a lot of time on Ravelry if you're not careful. Trust me on that! I joined in October and I'm so glad I did. I've learned so much about knitting and have tried things I never would have tried without the pattern database and the amazing people on the site who are more than willing to answer any questions. In fact, here's a little taste of a project I'm designing... yes, I said designing! Other knitting updates include my next two Christmas washcloths. Only three more to go! I bought some cute little bottles of bath and shower gel. I want to wrap the washcloths around the bottles and tie them with a ribbon. I think it'll make a cute gift.
We're having a Christmas party at work tomorrow. The party is always really nice, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm taking a staff photo.. it's going to be a lot like herding cats trying to get everyone together and smiling at the same time. It'll be interesting anyway. Things have calmed down somewhat at work lately. I finished the first draft on a new grant today and worked on some things related to a promotion we are having with a local restaurant and our major fundraiser, which is coming up in May. I start work on the new newsletter next week, which is great because I'm redesigning it... again! In other, work-related news (sort of) I came home to a message on my answering machine. I think it's an interview. I sent my resume to this place last week, so that's pretty fast. This is a promising prospect, and something I'd really love to do, so hopefully it'll work out!
I worked on Draha a bit tonight. I didn't add anything to the words, but I did go back and clean some things up a little and I added some items to my Freemind outline. I'm thinking about working on some short stories, maybe one a month starting in January. I want to make an effort not just to write the big pieces, but to also work on some smaller pieces while working on the others. I tend to stay sharp when I have a lot of irons in the fire.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
I got some news today that a neighbor's house was robbed this past weekend. That freaks me out A LOT. I'm so used to living in an area where you really don't have to lock your doors (even though I actually do keep my doors locked at all time) and to know that someone actually broke into a house in my quiet little neighborhood really upsets me. I have to wonder where someone's head is when the break into someone else's home and steal things. I wouldn't dream of taking something that belongs to another person, so what makes them think they can? It's just horrible. Okay, climbing down off my soapbox now. Sorry about that!
Writing news... I wrote some more on Draha today. I still have to finish the story before I go back and add lots and lots of detail to it. Oh, and dialogue. I didn't really put much of that into the story either, because I knew I would be going back. I wanted to know the story and the characters before I put a lot of dialogue into it. I've never done it that way before, so we'll see what happens.
Knitting news... I'm almost finished with dishcloth #3 out of 6. I'll be honest, I'm loving the dishcloths, they are a lot of fun, but I'll be glad when they are finished so I can get back to Noah's blanket! Also, I'm designing a blanket based on a fairly common stitch pattern I found. I think it's going to be very cool. I told myself I couldn't start on it until after I finish the Christmas gifts, though!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Haven't posted in a few days, but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing! I'm actually writing more than I thought I would right now, and I feel very good about the progress. Notice I didn't say I feel very good about the writing itself. Yeah, it's going to need a lot of work. But that's what a first draft is, right? It's a skeleton, a place to start. I do think it's a good start, though. That's something anyway. At least it's not the useless story I started at the beginning of NaNoWriMo. That wasn't going to go anywhere. At least this work I'm doing in November is moving me toward something I really want; the completion of the series that has been living in my brain since I was a child. That's the goal. It's bigger than NaNo. It's bigger than me. I have to stay focused on that. And that's what I'm doing. It's not about NaNo anymore. It's about creating the world and telling the story. It's going to take a long time, but I will finish it.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
My first lace project! Check out the pretty holes. I'm so happy about this square, although I did have to frog it a couple of times to get it right. The first block was a "beginner" block and this one was an "intermediate" block. I'm thinking of going for an "advanced" block next, just to see if I can do it! I can't do cables yet, simply because I haven't bought a cable needle, but that will be the next knitty purchase I make! Well, and some double pointed needles, probably a set like the bamboo straights and circulars I got from eBay. I love them!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Two day wordcount: 4,758
Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent knitting a writer's block: none, but I'm planning to do a few rows before going to bed
Current mood: Awesome!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Two day wordcount: 10,206
Time spent writing: I have no idea
Time spent knitting a writer's block: 1 hour
Current mood: Pretty good, although I'm feeling a little OLD today!
It's my birthday. This would normally be a happy statement, but I feel so old today! (I'm 31) I won't go into the whole "I feel like I haven't accomplished anything" speech because it's useless and I don't want to repeat myself. Anyway, it was a good birthday. I spent the day with the kids, which is always nice. Yesterday and today I worked hard on the story. I think I may add dragons to the mix. Things are always more fun with dragons! I'll have to go back and incorporate the dragons into the earlier parts of the story, but I'm sure it can be done. It'll be fun. Anyway, that's it for now. I'm off to have dinner with the family.
Friday, November 16, 2007
11/15-16 wordcount: 6,264
Current mood: Can't stop me now!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Today's wordcount: 2,385
Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 5 minutes
Time spent knitting a writer's block: none
Today's soundtrack: Firefly Soundtrack
Today's mood: determined
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Current wordcount: 7,426
Today's wordcount: 3,823
Time spent writing: 2 hours
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 10 minutes
Time spent knitting a writer's block: 5 minutes (finished one!)
Today's soundtrack: Serenity Soundtrack
Today's mood: determined
Well, I sat down and worked really hard today, and I'm feeling better about the novel. I actually got some writing done! If my spreadsheet is right I just have to write 2500 words per day to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. I think I can do it. I'm not going to give up because I believe in the story and I want to write it. Even if I don't hit 50,000 by the end of November, I'm going to keep writing. I have a long road ahead of me with this story, and I'm not giving up until all five books are written. And published.
How's that for commitment? :)
Oh, and here's the Writer's Block, just in case anyone wants to see. It's a simple horizontal ridge square, perfect for mindless knitting while plotting. The book is 200 Knitted Blocks, and it's wonderful!
I'll pick the next block tomorrow, but I don't anticipate doing a lot of work on it this week. I'm not spending any time knitting until I finish my 2500 words for the day for the rest of the month! When November is finished, though, I plan to make dishcloths for all my aunts. They are all very "crafty" people, so I know they would appreciate a handmade dishcloth. I found some pretty Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in Christmas colors and a great pattern with a Christmas tree on it. I think those will be fun to knit!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Today's wordcount: 2,851
Time spent writing: 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: 10 minutes
Time spent knitting a writer's block: 5 minutes
Today's soundtrack: Lord of the Rings soundtracks
Today's mood: really great!!!
The only thing I can say about the story is that it really clicked tonight! I'm really feeling it now! I think the Lord of the Rings soundtracks are helping a lot, and I read an ebook about NaNo by the wonderful Devon and that really helped kick me in the butt too, so I'm on my way to being on track again. In fact, I actually joined a Veteran's Weekend challenge and set my own goal of being at or near 25,000 words by Monday night. I'm not sure I can actually reach that, but I'm going to try my hardest to get there. If I can do that, I'll be all caught up! Actually, I'll be a little ahead!
I'm loving the story, by the way. All the planning and world building prepared me for the complexity and wonder of the thing, but it didn't prepare me for the complete immersion I'm feeling right now. I truly feel like everytime I start to write, I am pulled into the world right along with Cindy and Justin. I'm really happy with the names, too. I wanted to weave in a lot of symbolic meaning, especially with these two characters, and I think these names are great for that. The whole story is full of symbols and meanings other than what is on the surface, which is really very interesting to me because I love stories that do that, but I've never actually written one before. These characters and the world have come into my mind almost fully formed, or at least as fully formed ideas that required some research to get things right. I love tying in the elements and working from the map I drew of the islands. I even figured out what I think is a fairly clever reason why there is no magic in my fantasy story. There was once, but for a particular reason, it doesn't work right now. I wondered how I would get away with this, but a quick google search and I found a good reason!
I think I've been having trouble with this year's NaNo because I'm so unfocused right now. Things in my life are going in so many directions that I'm not sure what's going on! At work, our Very Special Guest is arriving on Wednesday, and we spent all day today cleaning and hanging new posters and photos on the walls, and just getting everything in order. Our Big Boss wants to make a good impression. I had my third interview for the university job this Thursday and I think it went well. I hope it went well. I would really love this job, I just know it. My sister's surgery is still set for the 13th, but because of our Very Special Guest, I can't take the morning off to be at the hospital with my family. I'm a little unhappy about that, as you can imagine, but I know how important this is to my organization, so I'm going to do it without complaining. Sometimes you have to do that. On top of all that, my car went into the shop on Thursday, so I had to borrow my mother's car today, but I'm getting a rental tomorrow, thanks to my wonderful insurance company! But tonight I was able to just sit down and turn everything off but the story. Again, I think the music helped. It created just the right mood. I have a hard time turning everything off and focusing on the one thing that needs attention. It's something I'm trying to work on right now and NaNo is a great place to start.
Oh, and I just found out that Misery auditions are November 19-20! Cross your fingers for me!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Someone stopped suddenly in front of me and I couldn't stop quickly enough. There was no real damage to her car at all, but look at what happened to mine! I'm so upset about this. I've never been in an accident that actually caused damage to the vehicle before. So tomorrow I get to deal with the insurance company and the body shop. Hopefully they can make Gonzo look as good as new in a short time, because I really need my car back.
So yeah, it wasn't the best day ever. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Today's wordcount: 752
Time spent writing: 30 minutes
Time spent on NaNo Boards: none
Today's soundtrack: none
Today's mood: pretty awful, actually
Due to the car accident described above and the fact that my head is throbbing and my neck hurts and I feel like someone has an evil plan to destroy my life by taking away everything I love (first the computer crashed and now the car) I didn't get a lot of writing done today. I did start the new story and it is going to be much better. The other one was just not working. I'm going to commit some serious time to catching up this weekend and I have Monday off so I can really work on it then. Right now, I want to take a Tylenol PM, crawl under my covers and forget this day ever happened. So that's what I'm going to do.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
It's going to be done in shades of green, yellow, and blue. Those are his favorite colors, so I had to use them! If this works out well, I'll do one for Hannah and one for Kohl. Well, I have a different idea for Hannah's, but I'll have to see if I can figure out how to do it before I commit to it. But at least I have a fallback! This is so much fun to knit!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Today was okay. I did a ton of editing at work. Everything that goes out has to go through me, so the entire staff emails letters and other communication materials to me all the time to approve before they send them. Today was a big day for that. I was going to start a grant, but it didn't happen because of all the editing! Tomorrow I'm going to do the grant, finish the articles for the newsletter, and do a little more work on the website. I also have to get invitations out for our ribbon cutting ceremony. All in a day's work...
The outlining for Downward Spiral is still going well. I'm really looking forward to starting it. I'm already spending way too much time on the NaNo forums, especially in the Singles Lounge. The people there are always so great! It's one thing I love about NaNo. You really get to connect with other writers and for one month you are all feeling the same emotions and experiencing the same journey. It's magical.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
My ML package came in the mail today and I love the new stickers! I wasn't fond of the NaNo tattoos from last year, so I'm really glad they didn't appear again! I'm planning to order a t-shirt but just haven't gotten around to it. I'll donate again this year too, but that will also have to wait.
I did some more outlining tonight and I think I finally decided how I want to approach the story, which is good. I like this story already. I think it's going to be good. I couldn't sleep last night so I kept going over and over what will be the opening line. I have several options, but since I can't write anything down before November 1, I just have to remember them!
I'm going to knit for awhile before going to sleep. I'm working on Noah's blanket now. I need to research patterns a little more before starting on Kohl's again. I want to choose a different one for him now that I know what the previous pattern actually looks like (a little too frilly for a little boy, in my opinion!) I had a thought about Hannah's blanket that would be really cute if I can pull it off. It would be a modification of a pattern in one of my books. I just have to do the math and figure out if I can do it.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
It was such a beautiful day! The one cache we didn't find was near the Pitcher Plant Bog, which is a preserved area with the most interesting flowers and plants. Anyway, we thought it was along the main boardwalk, but it turns out the hiding place is a little more hidden. We found the "secret" path and went through the woods but still didn't find the treasure. The kids were real troopers, using sticks to move vines and small tree branches out of the way so that the trail would be easier to navigate. Noah even cleared the path of spider webs because Hannah doesn't like spiders. To tell you the truth, I don't like spiders either! Anyway, it turns out we stopped just short of the cache and our search was not successful. The GPS was a little wonky because of all the trees, I guess. Hannah started getting a blister on her foot, so we decided to turn back, but we decided to come back another day and find it. It was so much fun just to get outside and walk. The weather was amazing, not too hot but not too cool. We brought water with us and just had a great time walking through the woods and along the nature trails.
The blanket I started knitting for Kohl (the pretty one in shades of blue) didn't work out very well. The holes in the pattern didn't line up and it started looking very odd, so I ripped the entire thing and am going to start over. It was actually too small anyway, so it's okay. I'm going to start over, using a larger pattern. I'm afraid all three blankets will not be finished by Christmas, but that's okay. I'm not going to stress about it. That's my new philosophy... I'm not going to stress about anything anymore.