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The Stars Are All Aligned

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The Stars Are All Aligned

This story is from our newletters called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

This year, Allie resolved to be more sociable. It was hard to put yourself out there, but necessary if you wanted to have a life that was more than your job. She was an Aquarius—friendly, but also private—and cherished weekends when she could sleep late, crochet, and chat on the phone. That was her restorative reward after a killer work-week. But she was tired of being alone. Maybe she needed a little less privacy and a little more friendship.

Wearing her favorite pink sweater and skinny jeans, Allie strolled the few blocks from her apartment to the Java Library. With the comfy seating and alluring bookshelves, the Java Library invited you to relax. She usually spent no more than five minutes there, always satisfied with buying her morning coffee and leaving.

Zodiac Scarf Variation with Bobbles.To see our other zodiac scarfs click here.

After buying a cappuccino, she found an empty armchair near the glowing
fireplace. Others sat nearby, absorbed in their laptops—including a man about her age with dark curly hair and glasses. Allie picked up her almost finished scarf from inside the tote Mom had needlepointed. She thought again about how when you worked on a project, it became part of you. This Zodiac scarf looked intricate, with its wedges of subtle color and adorable bobbles, but was really quite easy to figure out. She felt utterly serene as she crocheted and listened to soft background jazz.

“That looks hard,” he said, leaning forward from the opposite sofa. “I’ve been watching what you do. It’s impressive.”

“It’s a scarf,” said Allie, stretching it to display the full effect.

“For yourself?”

She nodded. “Crochet is kind of my creative outlet.”

“Like writing is for me,” he said. “I’m an office slave Monday through Friday, and a weekend poet.”

Allie’s heart skipped a beat.

“My name’s Doug, by the way.”

“I’m Allie,” she said, smiling.

“I’m going to get a refill,” Doug said. “Should I get one for you?”

She held out her cup. He took it. And so it began.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A story by Selma Moss-Ward.

Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island.

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  • I’m ashamed to say until today I never even knew you existed. After stumbling over the mention of this article and reading it (along with several others) I felt I had to know more. So I Googled your name. I expected and wanted to find an “author site” with the names of your books. Because I liked what I read above and wanted more. Also I find it unbelievable that I am the only one to comment this article. Not the only one to say I would buy and read and reread if and when you decide to publish a book, am I? So, here it is: Please consider writing fiction!
    My name is Laura, a future fan, a 26yo English-Spanish-Romanian translator from an obscure country in Europe (Romania), a compulsive reader and a (hopefully) future writer.
    Thank you for reading my comment.

    • Dear Laura,
      Thank you so much for your whole-hearted appreciation. I’ve been privileged to write for Lion Brand’s “Pattern Journal” for about a year, enjoying every assignment. You can read some of my prior stories by looking at the “Pattern Journal” archive. I seldom hear from readers, so it’s really a treat for me to read your response. Sending you all best wishes–

  • Laura Alboiu – Please consider yourself an unpublished writer, not a future writer. Do what all writers have to do at some point. Set aside time every week, perhaps every day, and just start writing the type of work that you eventually want to publish. Being a writer is a lot like being a knitter. You are one from the day you start. You may have started out spending more time ripping out knitting than adding stitches at first, but from the first cast on or the first stitch or the first word, you are a knitter and you are a writer. And someday if you keep practicing, you will be a published writer. Not all writers make a living from writing, or get a novel published. But if you are persistant, you can get an item published in a local paper or self publish a short story that you have polished until all your friends want a copy. If you are both good and lucky, you will someday reach your goals as a writer. But only if you keep working at writing. No one becomes a writer overnight. You have to love writing enough to write and write and write anyhow.

    • Thank you Kit. I have started writing in my teenage years: poetry (even had some published) but a few years ago, because of my excessive reading and critical nature, someone (I even forgot who, it was so long ago…) told me to stop trying to fix other’s work and write my own. So today I have a box full of ideas and four novels in the making. Am still a bit shy in letting others read and a lot scared to finish them… (that is why, when I reach the middle of one I slow down and start another …) Your encouragement means a lot to me and I wholeheartedly agree with you in saying writing is like knitting. Unfortunately, my knitting also slows down when I am not sure of the finished product or if I think the person I intend it for might not like it. Thank you 🙂

      • Laura, One thing I have learned as a knitter, is that there is someone who is eventually glad to get whatever I knit, even if it is not the person I initially had in mind. So go ahead and finish all your unfinished knits. Show them to the person that you had in mind, just in case they love it, then take all the pieces that get rejected by the first person, and go find other people who fall in love with them. You can give them away or sell them, but just about anything you can knit will delight several people. In fact I recently found out that someone I know is colorblind, and therefore mostly wears fairly neutral colors and I was able to give her a scarf I had made with a delightful texture and a fairly neutral color that fits with her clothes quite well. I have had that scarf for a couple of years since I made it and not found anyone else that it would work for, but for her it was a thoughtful gift because she could enjoy the texture. Other people, seeing it on her would see it as a mild bit of color on a darker neutral background, so it looks good to others, and feels good to her.

        The other wonderful thing about knitting is that if you really dislike the end result, you can wind it back into a ball and knit something else. But don’t be too quick to do that, in spite of what people say about yarn setting into the shape it is knit in. Yarn does have a little memory but not so much that it will hurt to reuse it.

        And with words, you have an unlimited supply. So go ahead and finish a novel. Then finish it a different way. Faulkner wrote both a short story titled “The Bear” and a short novel titled “The Bear”. I never did find out which he wrote first, and why he wrote a second version. I read the short story first and I like the short story better. But they were both interesting.

        Find someone else who is a writer who is not confident about her writing, and share with each other things that you would not be willing to share with someone else. Share stuff between the two of you until you are ready to add another person. Eventually you will have something that you are ready to share with the world. It takes however long it takes. There is no right way or wrong way, there is just your way.

        As long as you keep doing it, you will get where you need to go, eventually.

        I have one sock that I knit about two years ago, and it is the only sock I have ever finished, and it does not fit my foot very well, but I don’t yet know how to make a better fitting sock. So I don’t finish the second sock because the pair would not fit well enough that I would wear them. But I don’t make a different style sock because I don’t have a pattern that I expect to be able to make fit better. Meanwhile, I have been reading more about ways of knitting socks and adjusting the fit of socks, and as soon as I can, I will make a better fitting sock. As soon as I have a pair of socks that fit well, I will undo the first sock and remake it. Meanwhile I have learned to make other things with my knitting. And the first sock comes close enough to fitting that I can use it to get an idea of whether a pattern shows promise, so I don’t make any worse socks than that first one.

        Once I succeed with the first pair of socks, I will be able to make lots of socks. Meanwhile I have made a vest and I am starting on three sweaters in different patterns with different yarns. And I am starting on a couple of slipper patterns.

        I have designed my own hats and scarves and laprobes and baby blankets and cowls, by the dozens. I am going through a bit of writer’s block at the moment myself, but it won’t last, and I will get back to writing more as the weather gets warmer. I tend to knit more when it is cold and write more when it is warm. No surprise. Just find what works for you. And don’t let anybody else tell you to do it in a way that works for them. If you need to write the first half of ten novels before you write the ending of one, then keep on writing first halves. Or maybe you need to start with the ending one time, and work toward the beginning one chapter at a time. Or draft the outline of the whole thing before you start the first chapter, so you don’t have to worry about the plot as you are developing the characters. Or develope your main character, and then work out the plot to account for the changes in your main character. Or sketch out the interaction between two or three main characters and fill in what is happening around them. There is no one right way to write. If you keep writing, you will find your way.

        And keep reading what other people have written, and keep living life and pay attention to the textures and characters of existence. Your writing will continue to improve, and hopefully one day you will reread what you have written and you will know that it is good, and you will know that it is ready to be shared, and you will find a place and a way to share it.

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