Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog. It's good to have you here. I hope you'll enjoy reading about my writing and knitting exploits.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kat's Greenjeans

Works in Progress: It's autumn. Cooler weather is here. And I'm busy knitting. Knitting and buying yarn and dreaming of projects to do.
Here are a couple of pictures of one of my latest projects. It's Mr. Greenjeans in Dream In Color - Classy in Jungle Cloud. The picture does not do the colors justice. The subtle changes are striking and beautiful. Knit in one piece, love that, I'm working top to bottom and then will go back and do the sleeves and the bands.

Here's a close-up of the cabling. I love to do cables. This has been a really fun project so far. Love, love, love it.
I'll post pictures here when I finish it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fountain Bookstore Signing - October 17, 2008

Last Friday was a cold, wet, windy day here in Richmond, VA. It was also the day of my booksigning in historic downtown Richmond at The Fountain Bookstore.
Here I am with owner Kelly Justice. That's Kelly on the left looking gorgeous as usual. Don't you just love her long hair? Not only is she beautiful, but she's also super friendly and very knowledgeable about books. She is so kind to both authors and readers alike. Make a point to stop in her bookstore. You won't be disappointed.

As I walked up to the store battling the elements and trying to keep my umbrella from blowing away, I was so pleased to see a huge red banner with white lettering strung over the shop indicating an author event was being held there that day. Wow! As I got closer, I noticed a copy of my book, A CUP OF COMFORT FOR CAT LOVERS prominently displayed in the store window.

Kelly and I ran into each other outside the entrance. I was early and she'd popped out to grab a bite to eat. She instantly made me feel right at home and had a table set up for me with my books. I unloaded all of my personal items, a picture of my husband Jorgie holding our not so lovable cat Ben, a blue and white candy dish filled with Hershey kisses, promotional materials and of course, my favorite pen for signing. Photographer and fellow author, Carolyn Greene, aka The Plot Doctor, snapped shots of the event for me. She's such a good friend.

Dear friend Jackie Elston stopped by for the event. Jackie had surprised me for my birthday this year with a framed copy of my book cover. Jackie has star quality and even on a drab and dreary day, she manages to look fantastic.

Traffic was steady throughout the signing. I met many wonderful people and was happy to sign books for them. I love hearing stories about cats and the customers were only to happy to share personal bits of information about their favorite felines. I told them a little about Ben (cat) and Jorgie (my husband) since my story in the anthology is about the two of them. Here I am looking very pleased at the end of the signing.
Again, a HUGE thank you to Kelly and the whole staff at Fountain Bookstore for giving me this opportunity. It was a memorable day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My 1st Booksigning

Here I am (in the middle) with mystery authors Mary Anna Evans (in yellow) and JB Stanley (in the print dress) at Creatures 'n Crooks Bookshoppe.

This was my first booksigning. I was on hand to sign copies of CUP OF COMFORT FOR CAT LOVERS. My story about my husband and our tuxedo cat "Man's Best Friend" is #8 in the anthology.

I was quite pleased with how the event went. Bookstore owner, Leila Taylor, had everything perfect for both those of us signing and the many customers who stopped by. Adding to the day's excitement was the annual Carytown Watermelon Festival, an event that attracts a good 100,000 visitors.

Among the many shoppers to stop by and say hello and purchase a book were my grandchildren. Yes, it's hard to believe I'm really old enough to have grandchildren! You can't tell that we're happy, can you? My grandson was busy snapping pictures and I hope to have some of those to share with you also. My personal photographer for the day was my daughter. Both did a great job. And it meant a lot to have both family and friends in attendance.

Here I am signing a book. I've dreamed of this day for so long. A first signing is quite a milestone in any writer's career. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous and actually seemed to know what I was doing. But then I've rehearsed this over and over in my mind probably a million times since I was a small child.

Multi-published author, Carolyn Greene, acted as my personal assistant for the day. Here she is making sure that the customers will not be lacking for chocolate. When I couldn't find a candy dish the night before the signing, I improvised (as any creative person would) with a blue and white cereal bowl from our china cabinet.

Luckily, I not only matched the decor that Leila had for the table, but my bookcover as well. Sure, it was planned...

And here we are back home after the signing. That's my daughter, BJ, on the left, me in the middle, and Carolyn Greene on the right.

You know, it's wonderful to have a great first event of any kind. To be able to share it with those you love is even better. I was truly blessed today to have a wealth of caring people with me. Jorgie, my husband, decided to stay home with Ben. But they were at the signing in spirit and via a picture that was proudly displayed on the author table in front of me.

Writing, knitting, creating. When we finish a book, sell a book, finish a pair of socks or a scarf, or accomplish whatever when we use our creativity, we need to celebrate our accomplishment. Today marked that celebration for me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New York City Trip

July had me traveling by train to Thrillerfest in New York City. It was a fabulous experience, worth every penny I spent on it. I attended workshops on writing taught by some of the heaviest hitters in fiction writing today. Many NY Times writers were in attendance. And we all know that is my goal - to be a bestselling writer.

In addition to attending classes, I also took part in Agentfest where 150 hearty souls in search of The agent speed dated 45 top industry professionals for 3 hours. The agents were seated around the room in alphabetical order and the participants lined up to pitch their stories to them. Each person got 3 minutes per agent. And when the bell rang, even if you were in the middle of a word, you got up and moved on. It was a very exciting experience.

I have to congratulate the people who were responsible for running Thrillerfest/Craftfest and Agentfest. Highly professional and well done. I'm so looking forward to going again next year.

Also managed to get in a couple of Broadway plays. Spring Awakening was very good. The music was phenomenal and I was captivated the whole time.

39 Steps, a spoof of Hitchcock's masterpiece, was not my cup of tea. But to be fair, I was very tired when we went and it would have been hard for anything to capture my imagination.

I also visited the UN Headquarters and was very impressed by the building, the grounds, the security and the photo gallery that was on display.

Bernadette Peters was doing her annual adopt a pet thing on Schubert Alley and in addition to seeing Ms. Peters, I also got to see Mary Tyler Moore, Peter Gallagher, Christine Baranski and Mario Lopez.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Behind the 8 Ball

Last week was super exciting. The FedEx man brought 2 boxes of my books, Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers. My hands were literally shaking as I opened the packages and held tangible proof of my writing creativity.

The book is even more beautiful in person than it was in the pictures I'd seen. My story, "Man's Best Friend" starts on page 49. It is one of 50 stories in the anthology that celebrates our feline friends.

This week it has been a thrill to sign books for dear friends and family members. The book officially comes out July 8, 2008 and I'll be in New York City attending the ThrillerFest writing convention.

The title of this post is Behind the 8 Ball because I'm about two months behind on promo. Since having a story in print and to sell is a first for me, I'm learning as I go.

My goal is to set up some local booksignings at bookstores and public libraries. I also have to have a picture taken and that's one of my least favorite things to do.

As soon as I have some definite dates and locations for the signings, I'll be sure to post them on my website (www.katjorgensen.com) and here. I hope some of you will be able to attend.

If you can't make it to a signing, be sure to check you local bookseller or online bookstore to pick up your copy. There's something for everyone in the anthology whether you're a "cat person" or not.

And to relax while all of this is taking place, I'm still knitting and writing, not necessarily in that order.

And speaking of pictures - I must post some of my sock pictures here. I've got gold to spin into yarn in more ways than one.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sidelined but not idle

I've been very busy since my last blog post. Surgery sidelined me for several weeks, but the recovery phase allowed me to do some awesome sock knitting. I'll be photographing my latest in a few days and posting the pictures here. Several are going to be given away as gifts to friends and family.

All of the downtime has also given me a chance to order more yarn (like I needed it -but hey, what's need got to do with it?) and plan some future projects.

I'm knitting a pair of Monkey socks right now from a Cookie A pattern, and I'm really enjoying them. The first sock is finished and fits like it was made for me. LOL! The yarn is so soft and caresses my feet. Can't wait until I have the other one made.

And the downtime has given me a chance to think about the mystery series that I'm writing. So looking forward to finishing the edits and starting on book 2.

My non-fiction short story, "Man's Best Friend" will be out in less than 5 weeks in A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers. I'm planning a few book signings and getting some promotional material ready. Busy, busy, busy.

To relax, I've been enjoying reading "The Lincoln Lawyer" by Michael Connelly. I can highly recommend this book. I didn't want it to end and it kept me turning the pages. Connelly is a master at plot twists, something that I aspire to.

Until next time when I have those pictures for you...


Sunday, April 13, 2008

What I've Been Up To

Writing, well actually, revising. I'm collaborating on a mystery series and we've been working on the rough draft. Today, I finished the first set of revisions. And it felt good. Really good. Even though I wrote the last couple of chapters and knew how the book ended, I found myself racing to read the pages and see how the book turned out. It's good. I like it. A lot!

Now my collaborator, Tracy, and I have to exchange our revisions and read each other's notes on what we've done. And then come to a consensus on where do we go from here on the next draft. Lots of work? Yes. But you know what? I feel like I'm taking a simple ball of clay and shaping it into a piece of art. Like in knitting when you start out with a length of yarn and a couple of needles and you create something spectacular from the parts.

At least, I hope that's what we're doing.

And in my spare time, I'm knitting socks. I'm working on the second Shibui knit toe-up sock and I'm also working on the Knitter's SOTM kit from last month (picture of yarn and pattern at the top of this post). This is knit cuff down and I'm about 2/3rds of the way down the cuff. It's a pretty pattern and fun to knit. I get bored doing ribbing designs and love the challenge of lace.

I've also been spending money ordering yarn and patterns to do more socks and a shawl or two. We'll see. I'm still very happy with the gratification that sock knitting gives me.

Plus, I love wearing them and showing them off. The best will be when I do a booksigning and can wear a really cool pair of socks.

Hope your creativity is flowing.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Cat and the Sock and My Daughter

Here's Ben and my latest sock creation, the Ariel. Doesn't he look happy? Not.
The Ariel was made out of Soxx Appeal and knitted on size 1 double-pointed needles. It seemed to take me forever to make this one sock. It may suffer second sock syndrome for a while.
Maybe Ben is just mirroring my expression. I like fast projects. It does look pretty on my foot though.

Here's a picture of my daughter BJ and me from my recent Charlottesville trip. She's neither a writer nor a knitter, but she's very creative with a special flair for floral arrangements. We had a great visit.
And no, I don't love Ben best because he got top billing on this blog post.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Luxury Socks

Here's a picture of my favorite sock. It's from a SOTM club pattern called This Way and That and refers to the cables that go every which way on the sock. The yarn is wonderfully soft and feels so good to wear. It's from Pagewood Farms and is in the colorway Prism. I'd definitely use this yarn again. The socks were fun to knit and I've received a lot of compliments on both the pattern and the feel of the finished product. And I have both socks made. It doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

New Yarn Store Discovered and Booksigning

Last week, I visited my daughter in Charlottesville, VA and discovered a wonderful yarn shop, It's A Stitch. The staff was friendly and helpful and the yarn was beautiful - but is there really an ugly yarn to a sock knitter?

I went into the store only planning to buy enough yarn to do one new pair of socks and came out with some gorgeous cream Panda silk to knit a lacy scarf and enough sock yarn to keep me busy for months.
After a sumptious dinner with my daughter and a visit to her apartment, I bopped back over to Barracks Road Barnes & Noble to catch the Romance Panel during Virginia Festival of the Book.

The panel was moderated by New York Times best-selling author, Cathy Maxwell. Cathy and I have served together for the last five years working as program co-ordinators for Virginia Romance Writers. A couple of years ago, Cathy dedicated her book "In the Bed of a Duke" to me. At the booksigning that followed the panel discussion, Cathy signed a copy of that book for my daughter. Talk about smiles all around.

The panel was composed of Mary Burton, Joanna Bourne and Patrice Michelle - all accomplished writers who had a lot of valuable information to share with the audience.

After the event was over, I was so happy to have a chance to talk with one of the most awesome and knowledgeable booksellers in the business, Sandi Cararo. During our chat, Sandi found out about my story in the up-coming Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers anthology and asked me to do a signing at the store. Of course, I said YES. The book comes out in July, so I have a lot to do before then. This will be my first foray into signings and promotion.

Yarn and books. Knitters and writers. It just doesn't get much better.
My mind was popping on the way home! And hasn't stopped yet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Super Socks

These are my first attempt at knitting socks. I call them my super socks because they were very easy to do and they make me feel super when I wear them. Made out of Paton's Kroy self-striping yarn, the pattern was a simple knit every row. Lots of fun to do and even more fun to hear people's comments.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Writing and Knitting Life

Today I met with two of my writer friends. I'm collaborating with one of them on a mystery series, and we're working on editing book one in the series. This isn't the cover for the mystery series. Read on to find out what this cover represents.

Editing is my least favorite part of the creative process. You use a different set of muscles to edit than those that you use to write. I much prefer the initial writing, but I have to admit that it is the editing that shapes the project and makes it shine.

While I'm in edit mode, I'll use my spare time to create some beauty in my life by knitting some more socks or buying some wonderful yarn. I dream about future sock projects just like I dream about new stories to write.

Both writing and knitting have been passions of mine most of my life. I started spinning stories as soon as I learned to talk and began writing them down when I was about 4. I learned to knit from the ladies in my neighborhood when I was about 7 and loved to listen to the stories of their lives and to watch as they created beautiful woolen projects.

Some exciting news - this July the non-fiction story I wrote about our unloveable cat's reaction to my husband's cancer diagnosis and many surgeries will be published in CUP OF COMFORT FOR CAT LOVERS. The title of my story is "Man's Best Friend." A copy of the cover is shown above. I'm very proud of this accomplishment.

Not only does the story involve my darling husband, our cranky cat (who we love in spite of his attitude), but it also has yarn in it. When I first saw the cover and noticed the ball of yarn, I thought it could not have been more perfect.

Until next time when I share some photos of my hand-knit socks and my yarn stash.