Category Archives: Drama Box

Sideswiped . . . and a little more!

sideswipedSm

 

Every hero, even the accidental ones, have a beginning.

Silas’s radical theory that drafters are not replaying time as much as they are temporarily sliding into an alternate universe has never been well-received, but frankly, the darling of Opti’s research has enough clout not to care, until a professor with a grudge tries to put a permanent end to it. Love can’t alter time, and sometimes, even being able to rub out a single mistake isn’t enough.

And . . . we have a cover! Isn’t it beautiful? Best part? You don’t have to wait forever, just a few more days. Second best part? The lion’s share of it is original material, with just a wee bit of the first chapter of The Drafter added onto the end to give you a real feel of what you’re going to get. Third best part? It’s the cost of a tip at Starbucks, and  you can read it on your nook or kindle, or even your computer with the app available at their main page.

Still not sure what The Drafter is about? I’ve also got a great, albeit short video of me at BEA explaining what Peri’s, ah, issue is.

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Dragon wing backbones, how to:

FinishedWings

Dragon wing backbones are at the website today, at the bottom of the page detailing out the panel bones.  http://www.kimharrison.net/KimHarrisonsDragonWingBones.html

I’ll try to show you the basics of the feet tomorrow, but it might be a catch-up day. You tell me. Do you want more info, or a rest day for the weekend?

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Been there, done that

I grew up in a small town, going to a school small enough that you could get to know everyone in your graduating class. And though there were kids coming in and leaving, for the most part we all moved from grade to grade, all knowing each other, developing our social skills within a small set, finding our social status on the playground.

It wasn’t hard to figure out. One game of kickball would do it. And though I was never picked last, I was never far from it, usually right before the overweight kid and the special ed girl.  It wasn’t that I didn’t look like I could kick the ball, but probably because I carried around free-reading books with weird stuff on them. My favorite was one with a woman centaur on it, her bare chest carefully covered with her long hair for PG correctness. She was running from a tribe of spear-toting, plant warriors, and if I remember right the field was on fire. A man was on her back, arms and legs askew as he was carried backward just to add some spice.

Screen shot 2015-07-30 at 8.51.10 AMMy fourteen-year-old self only saw the excitement, but my forty-eight-year-old self can now recognize the satire of a naked man being carried away from a field of warrior asparagus on the back of a powerful woman. (See, she has a sword.)

Yep. I was that girl, and I didn’t mind much when I was picked last for things because I knew stuff they didn’t. i.e. what a centaur and a naked man were doing on an alien planet to begin with, much less what they had done to tick off aggressive vegetables.

Today, I am finding myself laughing, shaking my head as those same ugly feelings from elementary school unexpectedly burble up, But it’s okay. The strength is there, too, because I know why that man is riding backward, and they never will.

 

 

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Balance maintained

I’ve been watching the chit chat about the knit along, and I’m going to call for a catch-up day today instead of more new instruction. I don’t want anyone to become discouraged by going too fast. There is lots of time yet to finish these before The Drafter comes out and I hit the road, hopefully having a chance to take some pictures with some of your dragons along with mine.

BalanceSo, balance.

Last night, I got three of the worst reviews I have EVER gotten in my writing career, all in a row, all by professional outfits, not armchair reviewers. Did it bother me? How could it not? But in the end, it’s all . . . Meh. I figure I either wrote a steaming pile of rhino dung, or something that not everyone knows what it is.

Yet.

Again.

No one really knew what The Hollows was either when it first came out, and we all saw what happened to that, so I’m just waiting for The Drafter to find its audience. And it’s out there. There will be some cross over, but really, The Drafter is so different there will be unhappy people expecting to see Rachel reincarnated. (I’m not a one-trick pony, and if this is the punishment for that, bring it on.)

Did I mention balance?

This morning, a reader told me that Sideswiped, sort of a Drafter primer, is up for preorder with an August 10th release. This is the novelette (70 pages) that was giving me so much trouble last month, but I wanted you to have it before The Drafter came out and put in the hard office time.

It will only be released as an e book, but you can read it on just about anything now with the right app–which they usually offer at the main page. Unfortunately there is no cover yet. So if you’re curious, here’s a little something to whet your appetite. Only days away.

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Nearing cut off for shirts

GreenWingsBelieve it or not, we’re nearing the cut off for getting a Drafter Tour T. If you’re not familiar with these, these are the shirts that Tim and I put together and make available for you to wear to a signing. We try to take a “family” photo at each stop with everyone who shows up wearing one, and it has grown every year until now it’s hard to get us all in the shot. The other photos we take tend to vanish over the years, but the family photos are forever, and you can still find them on the website if you look.

To get yours, check out Bedo shirts.

To see if I’m coming anywhere near you so we can compare dragons, check out the event’s page.

BedoShirt

I know I promised you how to sew the wing backbone on today, but the copyedit for SIDESWIPED (First Drafter novella!) came in yesterday, and I had to switch to something that wasn’t video intensive, ergo, the right wing panels. I’ll have the wing backbone for you tomorrow, and then there’s a scheduled catch-up day before we start in on the feet for the weekend.

The right (red side) wings are pretty much mirror images of the left (blue side) wings, but I did make a video of that weird purl decrease from the knit side.

I also have instructions at the website if wordpress scrunches them too much.

When you’re done, you’ll have something like this.

Wings

You might notice that they are reversed with the blue (left) is pictured on the right. This is so you can see the top of the wings. When they are sewn on, the blue will be on the left of the dragon.

Instructions: Note, instructions for left wings (blue) are on this as well. If you forget any of the stitches, you can find them at the website for the left wings instructionsWingsRandL

P* from the purl side:

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Dragon Wing bones and Goodreads contest

TDhcCoverMy publisher is having a contest to give away 30 copies of The Drafter through Goodreads. If you’re not a member of Goodreads, you might want to check it out. It’s been in existence for a long time, and you can tailor it to you and your likes, keep track of upcoming books, and see what real readers are saying. It’s a great forum for readers. Here’s the link to the give-away.  Simon and Schuster give-away: The Drafter

And if you’re unlucky, or want one signed, you can get them through B&N or Nicola’s, my local store. You have to place your order by August 5th to get in on the Sept 1st shipment for Nicola’s.

Click to reserve Click to order signed copy

Click to purchase Click to order signed/personalized with a note copy

 

WhiteDragon

We are up to knitting wing bones in the dragon knit along. They are basically I cords, which if you don’t know how to knit, they are easy and very versatile in your crafting. Sewing them on to the wing panels might look tedious at first, but I find it very zen like.

Instructions follow:

Now that you have the five wing panels, it’s time to make the bones and stitch them together.

Much of what makes this dragon special is how it is stitched together. I use to hate stitching, which is why I spent so much time learning how to knit in the round with DPNs so I wouldn’t have to, but after playing with a few techniques, I’ve found it to be very zen like and one of my favorite parts, and I enjoy taking my time with it and treating it as part of the craft instead of a hated necessity. The hardest part with sewing wings is knowing where to make that first stitch, so I made a few videos to get you started. As before, I’ll give you the down and dirty directions first, then the explanation below with the video supplementals.
This is what you should end up with. And remember, don’t cut those pipe cleaners!

SewnLeftWingPanel

Tomorrow, I’ll give you the instructions for the right wing panels, and after that, how to attach the wing “backbone.”  After that we do the feet, my favorite part.

Instructions:

I cords

Knitting an I cord

Threading the pipe cleaner down the I cord and making the wing nail

Sewing an I cord to wing panels

Tightening the sewing

Move the stitching across the wing bone to start sewing a new panel on. i.e. where to start.

Finish stitching two panels together and fasten off.

Closing off the open end of the I cord between two panels.

Sewing an I cord to a slant panel
is a bit different because it doesn’t have “ladder rungs.”

Abbreviations

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Kim Harrison’s Dragon: Beginning with Wings

GardenDragonIt’s natural and unavoidable that the people we write about have some of our character traits, likes, and dislikes, even quirks. Rachel often carried some of my “wish the world was this way” to the page. Peri is no different, but she’s a lot less like me than Rachel ever was. Peri is more like the dark sibling, and the “wish the world was this way” parts are correspondingly less moral and more sensation oriented. You’ll see my appreciation for beautiful, powerful cars, my wish for technology to live up to what technology is supposed to be with The Drafter, a society more oriented to making our footprint smaller and lighter. Peri’s world is focused more on sensational gratification than introspective musings, but she does that too.

One thing Peri and do share is, ah, knitting. I’ll be honest about it. I’m a lot better at it than her. (grin) She has trouble finishing a project, which I didn’t realize until book two, but now that I do, she’s going to have to realize it as well. Peri and I knit for different reasons, though we both appreciate the zen-like relaxation that comes from quietly using multiple parts of your brain for a complex task made up of simple things. She knits for the meditation–because it’s an Opti approved stress relief. I knit more to exercise the problem solving aspect that comes from trying to modify patterns to suit you. Case in point, my Kim Harrison Dragons, the pattern, which, after over a year of creation, I’m ready to share.

Warning: the pattern below is my own, and because this is not my day-job, the pattern won’t have the polish of professionally polished ones.

If you’re looking for the materials list, it is here: https://kimharrison.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/kim-harrisons-dragon-stuff-you-need/

I’m going to give you what looks like a lot for the weekend, but I wanted to err on the side of too much info rather than too little. If you get through all the panels, you’ll have something that looks like this:

Left wing

Monday, I’ll show you how to knit the “bones,” and start putting it together.  Tuesday I’ll give you the instructions for the right wing panels, and Wednesday, how to attach the wing “backbone.”  Thursday is catch-up, and Friday, I’ll start you on the front legs for the weekend.

I usually sew the wings together as I knit the panels so I don’t get confused on what panel goes where, but I thought this would be easier than giving it to you all at once.

Below are the down and dirty instructions, and below that, the explanation, and way at the bottom, the abbreviations.

LeftWings

The wings are five panels sewn together using pipe cleaners for support. I have found it easier to keep track of the panels if I sew them together as I make them, but for ease of instruction, I’m going to wait to touch on  I cords and pipe cleaners until next time. Downside? You need to mark your panels so you know what they are, especially if you make both the right and left before you begin to sew them together. I use blue for the left, red for the right.

If you are a novice, I’ll break the first panel down so you can see the rInc on a purl side, and a cast on on the knit side. Experienced knitters might be tempted to do a rInc on the knit side to avoid the cast on, but that will make your panel bunch up.

cast on one on the knit side, rInc on a purl:

And because I know rInc and LInc can be tricky, I’ve got a supplemental:


mark your row:

Decrease on knit and purl side:

Bind off

Panel B is almost identical to panel A with the exception of the decreases, which are only on the knit side, giving us a sharper, longer panel. For the novices, I’ve got an explanation on SKYO or Slip, knit, yarn over. (sometimes written SKPYO)

SKYO

Panel C doesn’t have any new techniques, but knowing where to do the increase is tricky. If you have any questions, here’s a video:

Panel C increases

Panel C also has an odd decrease in the cast off to help keep the wing taunt at the base. If my instructions have you scratching your head, I’ve got exactly what I’m doing in the explanation of how cast off on the purl edge.

Casting off on a purl with a decrease:

Panels D and E are almost identical to each other apart from the last few rows. The also introduce a w/t or wrap and turn, which lets you turn your work in the middle of a row without leaving a hole. I use this technique a lot, so I’ve got a video to ease the confusion on how to do a w/t.

Abbreviations

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