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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When you go to Prague, you need a special dress

Just popping in to say we are, sadly, back from overseas. The only good thing about it is sharing my newest dress.

It's another Built by Wendy pattern, and I highly recommend it. The elastic waist is a touch fussy, but that's it.

And I thought it was a great vehicle for showing off this lovely Nani Iro fabric. Something about the flowers reminds me of summer and childhood. (This may just be because the fabric resembles a set of sheets my parents had when I was a little girl.)

This was our last night in Prague. All of our pictures and descriptions are in sets on Flickr, if you are so inclined.

I will leave you with a taste of the Aran Sweater Museum on the Aran Islands.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'm mere hours from fleeing the country, but wanted to just pop in first to let my friend, former editor and author Karen E. Olson guest blog about her new book "The Missing Ink." Faithful readers of my blog (are you still out there?) might remember Karen stopped by here a few years back to talk about her previous series of mysteries featuring a reporter in New Haven. (I devoured them of course). Now, she's tackling death and tattoo parlors. What could be better?

From the title of this blog, I can tell that Carrie enjoys a good pun. In fact, most journalists do, especially copy editors. I don’t know how many hours I pondered the best pun for a headline. Granted, I was never that great a headline writer, so my puns were sadly lacking.

Which is why I had such a hard time coming up with a title for my new tattoo shop mystery.

My publisher, NAL/Obsidian, which is a division of Penguin, enjoys a good pun as well. Their titles range from Evil in Carnations (a flower shop mystery) to Doom with a View (a psychic mystery) to Hounding the Pavement (a dog walker mystery).

I wanted something a little edgier than those, however. My book featured a tattoo artist amateur sleuth and it’s set in Vegas. Seems like it warranted something other than a pun.

The book is about a woman who makes an appointment for a devotion tattoo with the name of her fiancé, but she never shows. So I started coming up with possible titles: Deadly Devotion (sounded too religious), Disappearing Ink, Tattoo Heart, Indelible Ink, Hearts Can Lie, Tit forTat, Permanent Ink, Deadly Ink, Point of No Return, Vanishing Point, Tattered, Bad to the Bone, Skin Deep, Blood Lines.

You get the point.

I came up with 50 possibilities. My editor turned them all down. She said she wanted something “fun.” I had no idea what she was looking for.

Then my husband called me from the road. He had a great title. What did I think of The Missing Ink? I groaned, but I knew my editor would love it. And she did. So that’s the title. The second book? Pretty in Ink. And if there’s a third, it’ll be Driven to Ink.

What do you think? Do they work? What puns can you come up with for a tattoo shop mystery that have Ink in them?


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Nothing says July like a heavy shawl

Why, hello there!

With near constant ran and overcast skies, I saw no point knitting cute camis or tanks. If summer is on holiday, so is summer knitting, I s'pose. So I knit the delightful Springtime Bandit Shawl with City Tweed sent to me by the fine folks at KnitPicks.

I'm jaunty, even though there are garbage cans behind me.

This is a great pattern that fulfills my requirement of being complicated enough to keep me interested, but not so complicated that I can't watch "Mad Men" while knitting. (Five episodes into second season! So good but depressing!)

The yarn is also very yummy -- smooth and shiny and rich. I'm also not usually a fan of super tweedy yarn, but this is nice and subtle and not too heavy.

Hanging out to dry on ye olde fire escape

Very glad I finished this so that I can take it on our trip this week -- we're embarking on a heritage trip, visiting our ancestral homelands together. So on Tuesday we're headed to Ireland, Vienna, Slovakia and Prague. Can't get here fast enough.