The Writing Prompt Project – Shipwrecked

My head is pounding, and my mouth feels like sand. How much did I drink last night? I open my eyes and everything is too bright. Why is the sun in my face? Did I pass out on the deck? I could have sworn I made it to bed…
I snap awake in full on panic mode when I realize I’m outside. On a beach. And there is actual sand in my mouth.
“What the fuck?” I choke out, clawing at my tongue. I freeze when I see a scrap of blue flowered fabric clumped next to me, and shakily reach out a hand to grab it. That was the bedspread in my cabin. God, what had happened to the boat?
I stagger to my feet, heart sinking at the wreckage that has washed ashore. How am I even alive right now?
A sob escapes me and I clutch the fabric to my chest. I frantically look around for signs of civilization. There have to be people somewhere. I wasn’t that far from the mainland, I must have washed up on a resort or something.
It only takes me two hours to walk the island, and by the time I get back to the wreckage I’m thirsty and feeling hopeless. I don’t know where I am. There’s nobody here. And I have a week before I’m due home, so nobody will be looking for me. 
The realization crushes me and I drop to my knees in the sand. Why did I have to crash on a beach? I fucking hate sand so much. And now I’m going to die in it.
I don’t know how long I’m there, but my skin is hot. I need to send a message somehow. 
A few feet away is a bottle of Jameson’s whiskey. Because of course there is. How fitting would that be, my final words in my favourite booze? 
I open it and down the last mouthful, relishing the burn that is sure to make my dehydration worse. I carefully peel the label off and smooth it out on my thigh. Using my thumbnail, I carve a message into the waxy paper, secure it in the bottle, and whip it into the waves.
***
I don’t know how long it’s been. Im delirious with thirst and hunger and heat and am flopped in the wet sand. I feel something bump my toes and drag myself up to see. 
All I can do is laugh. It’s a Jameson’s bottle.
I weakly open it and pull out the message.
‘I fucking hate beaches’
***Prompt provided by Emerald over at Adventures in Homemaking!

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Vivid Returns!

Well, it’s been awhile since the A to Z challenge, and I still have not posted. For that, I am sorry! Time slips away with an infant in the house. :) 

But I have lots planned! And I have been working on a project that I can share with you. My girl Emerald over at Adventures in Homemaking challenged me to share an old novel of mine on Wattpad, and I counter challenged her to share one of hers! So my previously self published novella, Silent Pictures (Vivid Episode 1) is being serialized here.

So far the Prologue is live, with chapters being uploaded every Monday. I am equal parts nervous and excited!

I also dusted off my copy of Wetlands, so I can finish those recaps. Because I know everyone is dying to know how it ends. ;)

See you soon!

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The Stephen King Marathon – The Running Man

This is another of the Bachman books, and one that I was crazy excited to reread.
runningman1I remember thinking of the Running Man when I read the Hunger Games for the first time, and upon this reread I wondered if Suzanne Collins was inspired by this book when she came up with the idea. It definitely feels like the Hunger Games could have been an homage to the Running Man.

I read this book in only four sessions, it’s so intense and fast paced. Right from the get go, stuff is happening, and in typical Bachman style, it’s pretty fucked up. Dystopian future, televised game shows that pretty much guarantee death, and an Orwell-esque government. There’s something wonderful about a character living in poverty totally sticking it to the man by playing the man’s game but playing it their own way.

I honestly can’t sing enough praises for this book. It is fucking fantastic. I kind of want to watch the movie now, although I really just don’t understand how they figured Arnold Schwarzenegger was a good fit for Richards. I was picturing somebody more… I don’t know, not Arnold-y.

For The Dark Tower Fans: Nothing really, except for King’s beautiful writing.

Fear Factor: This book isn’t all that scary, unless you start to think about what it would be like if our world ended up like the one in the book. If killing people on live television was a thing, and humanity just ate it all up. It’s really fucked up to think about. That’s what King does as Bachman, though, he really makes the reader examine the human condition, and how deep our depravity can go.

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The Stephen King Marathon – Cujo

I apparently had forgotten a lot about this book. I read it originally when I was a teenager, and all I remembered was a woman and her kid trapped in a car with a mean dog outside. There is so much more.

Grrrrr...

This book is fucking awesome. It had been so long since I’d read it. I look at his newer stuff like Under The Dome, and am so in awe of his ability to make a small town’s inhabitants so interesting. I was amazed to read something from so long ago in which he does the same thing, showing that he was gifted in this skill from the get go. Most of the book takes place in the lives of two couples, each with a child and a massive set of baggage and troubles. It’s so immersive and interesting, even though there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on. And because Cujo gets rabies right at the beginning and it slowly sets in over the course of the story, I found the dread and anticipation just building up in me. It is an intense ride.

I especially love the way that King writes from the point of view of the dog himself. He’s very good at vocalizing how I would imagine the thought process of a dog would be. I really felt the madness setting in, and found myself feeling badly for what Cujo was going through. On the flip side of that, now that I have a child, I was absolutely panicked at the thought of being stuck in a car in the heat of summer trying to protect my kid from a rabid St. Bernard. It was an intense ride.

Aside from the amazing writing and the masterful tale spinning, it wouldn’t be a King novel without some hint at the supernatural. As much as this is a very real story, with actual relationship issues and a normal real world disease on the dog, he manages to inject a little bit of creepy mystical shit. The kid sees a monster in the closet and it turns out that it’s the dog, and the father has dreams that point towards where they are, it’s just that little bit of signature King that ties the book together in a neat little spooky bow.

Love. So classic and awesome.

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For the Dark Tower Fans: There wasn’t anything that jumped out at me here, but I did happen to read an article that pointed out that Song of Susannah takes place in Bridgton, Maine, where this book also takes place. So there is that.

Fear Factor: While this book didn’t have me sleeping with one eye open, it was definitely suspenseful. I was invested in the characters at the beginning, but once I got to the part in the car, there was no putting the book down. Heart racing, goosebumps, just wholly in that car with Tad and Donna.

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The Stephen King Marathon – Danse Macabre

Ok, so full disclosure. I didn’t finish this book. Aside from the fact that I was in the middle of newborn hell and was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, it just wasn’t holding my attention well enough. It’s non-fiction, and I usually love reading about what Stephen King’s thoughts on writing are, but in my desperate cross-eyed nighttime feeding state I needed something super absorbing. I tried for awhile, but just couldn’t do it. So this post is a placeholder for when I come back to it.

I just needed some good storytelling, because I ate through Cujo and The Running Man within a week and a half. So yeah. I’ll come back to this later.

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Adventures in Cloth Diaper Making – Part 3

After my second prototype was a smashing success, I set to making twenty diaper covers using patterned flannelette and white PUL purchased from Kinderel. For organic fabric in Canada, they’re great and shipped really fast too!

Stacked!

Stacked!

If you’re just joining me, here is Part 1 and Part 2 of my cloth diaper making adventures.

I’m still waiting on my snaps and snap fastening pliers to come in from KAM snaps, which is the only place I could find to get good quality snaps that aren’t metal. I found one Canadian reseller, but they seem to be continually sold out of this product. Obviously it’s in high demand!

So for today, I’m making the liners of the diapers, often called soakers.

I looked at a bunch of different kinds, and decided on a tri-fold style. Because I live in an apartment and we have to pay for our laundry per load, I’m going to be hand washing and air drying the diapers, liners and wipes, so I wanted to make sure that the liners weren’t too thick so they would dry in a good amount of time. The tri fold method means that I can have less layers of fabric, and when unfolded, it’ll dry a lot faster!

I decided on a thick flannel for a nice absorbent layer, and the cheap white diaper flannelette from Fabricland (which just happens to be on sale for $4.00/meter this week!) for the outer layer. 100% cotton wicks away moisture really well, so that means less irritant on baby’s skin!

Stack of flannel rectangles.

Stack of flannel rectangles.

In my research around the internet, I came across this article that outlines the different kinds of fabrics that work well for diaper liners, and has some general dimensions on all kinds of different liners. I measured my diaper covers, and the 12″x16″ suggested newborn dimensions fit perfectly inside. So I measured and cut out 13″x17″ rectangles to give myself a seam allowance. I got 30 out of the fabric I had, which was pretty boss.

I’ll use photos from patterned flannelette for ease of seeing what’s happening.

Bottom layer thick flannel, top layer thin flannelette.

Bottom layer thick flannel, top layer thin flannelette.

I didn’t worry about cutting terribly straight (like I could anyway!) because I used a serger all the way around the edges. If you’re not using a serger, you can use a zigzag stitch and then trim off of the excess. Or if you want to get really fancy, you can sew the fabric right sides together with a straight stitch, flip right sides out and then use a straight or zigzag topstitch all the way around the border to flatten the rectangle, much in the same way the diaper covers are made. I find the first method much easier, and really the point is for it to absorb fecal matter so I don’t think it necessarily needs to be pretty!

Serge ahoy!

Serge ahoy!

Once finished, I ended up with a nice neat rectangle, ready for maximum excrement absorption!

On my actual ones, I did a rounded edge, but corners are fine too.

On my actual ones, I did a rounded edge, but corners are fine too.

I did a test run with the pink one and soaked it through with hot water, wrung it out and hung it to dry in my bathroom. I continually checked it throughout the day and it took just over six hours to dry. I’m not officially a mom yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that I won’t be going through 30 diapers in six hours. So that drying time is pretty good for how absorbent these are!

To use these, fold both long edges into the center of the rectangle, overlapping in the center.

To use these, fold both long edges into the center of the rectangle, overlapping in the center.

 

Then place into the diaper, and voila! Removable soaker so that (hopefully) you can get extra uses out of the cover.

Then place into the diaper, and voila! Removable soaker so that (hopefully) you can get extra uses out of the cover.

So I’ve got 20 diaper covers in five cute patterns, and 30 tri folds, all ready set and go for baby! I’m planning on using the next while to stock up on more fabric in case I need to make more in the near future, or try a different tactic if we don’t like the diapers.

Just chillin on the side of the crib, waiting for snaps.

Just chillin on the side of the crib, waiting for snaps.

The adventures will continue with making diaper wipe solution and reusable wipes, and then conclude with adding the snaps to the diapers!

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