I wanted to have an exciting post about my writing, because my shoulder is getting better and I've been able to make some progress that I'm really happy with this week, but... guys? I just... I've been knitting. And it's been great!
I learned how to knit when I was a kid, did a bit here and there over the years since, and then got back into it after my second baby (who is now turning four) because I needed something to do that wasn't "work". The added bonus to this hobby is that it's anxiety-calming for me. I can only go "this fast" with it, and it's repetitive (without aggravating my existing injuries as long as I use circular needles so the weight stays on my lap), which means I can pace out my panic. It's like going for a walk, without suffering the loss of spoons. I've been making stuff!
I had started losing interest in knitting early this year because I can't read the typical patterns, meaning I only made squares because couldn't do anything complicated or pretty, but I wanted to keep the hobby so I did an online search for 'Knitting Patterns for Beginners'.
I don't even have to be a better knitter to finish projects that look like I know what I'm doing! (Trying to innovate new things is also gives me an extra excuse to call my grandmother and chat with her, she's forgotten more about knitting than I'll likely ever try to learn.)
Jessica has a lot of her patterns for free (or low priced if you don't like working around ads), and she knits and crochets. She has training videos to learn how to do both. Her patterns and simple and the style is casual and fun. Clink the link above to check out her stuff!
Okay, I know, this is supposed to be an 'Author Blog'... knitting is creative so it counts as author stuff :p
In other, more authory, happenings, this is the show that I'm going to be at selling and signing my books! You can clink the image below to redirect to the Facebook Event and get more details. There will be about 150 vendors there with lots of crafts and gift ideas. Come visit the show if you're in Edmonton that weekend!
2. How Worlds Fall
When the first virus evolved and escaped from that hospital, we didn’t understand the heavy implications. A few of the first victims were only identified once the pandemic had started and officials exhumed remains for sample testing to see if they could get a handle on where the virus had physically come from, what earlier form it had mutated out of, and how long it had been existing as it was now. Science did do the best it could at the time, but willful ignorance and fear-mongering were weaponized early in the political popularity contests of how the world used to be, which let the virus spread easily simply because of all the believed lies. Humans spread the virus quickly, because most only suffered flu symptoms, and pretty well ninety percent of the world’s primate population was wiped out in less than two years.
First the news was that the virus was only targeting monkeys and apes. Crazy thing was that we humans gave it to them, but people wouldn’t believe the actual science. Then the virus mutated to a lethal strain for humans. Once the body count of people was too high to hide, ignore, or profit from, little localized states of emergency were called. Finally someone popular connected the dots forming the picture that health officials had been screaming about since the primates had started their decline and – as usually happens with people – wide spread panic ensued. Because, of course, when there’s a pandemic at your door, the best thing to do is congregate in large groups and protest, loot, and riot. The bits of news feeds surviving from that point in history are way, way messed up; lots of headlines of health officials begging people to just stay home and stay safe sharing the front page with the latest riots and sit-in protests.
Then the headlines started begging at rumors of a vaccine that was working on test subjects. Head scientists that were still alive flew in from all over the world to work on it at this one hidden lab that was protected by an international military force. Then they did it. The vaccine got released and cases of it were shipped all over the world… to everyone left who could pay for it.
That’s when the headlines start reporting about the bombings and raids. There are still a few places open to tourism that I’ve traveled to where I saw the glazed craters that used to be science facilities. You see, people who had control of the bombs didn’t have all the knowledge of where the vaccine was being developed, so any science facility was deemed a potential target. A lot of them got targeted. Along with universities, some high schools and – when the “nobody can have it if I can’t” mentality peaked – hospitals, care homes, and any government building.
The bad side effect of those attacks, aside from slaughtering millions and devastating large swaths of land, were that a whole cocktail of terrible viruses were released within weeks of each other and planetary weather patterns have a habit of spreading all that air we need for breathing around the globe. It got bad when the viruses do what they do best: get worse. The few labs left did the best they could under threat and, after a few years, things started to improve as the new vaccines started getting produced. The survivors finally had enough time to look around, relish in their survival, and enjoy a few moments of peace.
The stories that were broadcast after those few, precious moments were when the existing levels of panic were abandoned and fear of an instinctive level kicked in. That part of history had only news that was just banner after banner of the same headline: Where Are the Men?
It was known that survival rates of pregnancies were dropping, but a mass flood of women to invade sperm banks proved that all pregnancies failed. My mom was the researcher who isolated the virus that was killing fetuses and tested it on herself because she couldn’t live with the horror of giving someone else hope without knowing if it was false or not. She was twenty-six weeks pregnant with me when she disclosed her progress to her aide and offered her the vaccine. With primate trials having a one hundred percent success rate over twelve months of testing, and two healthy human pregnancies, my mom announced the vaccine and everyone was inoculated.
My mom became a top researcher in her field. That meant that, before the first transition, I had access to a bunch of information and history when I was a kid. Then I turned twelve and faith in science faded because only female babies were surviving gestation. The virus that had started everything didn’t just kill people, it did something to our genetics that messed with a dominant Y-chromosome, destroying it and the male DNA it carried. The X-chromosome is resilient (some New Birthers like to say impervious) but the outcome of only one side of our dual DNA was – and remains – quite obvious. Our primate cousins had all but died out at the time of the first transition, the last few all old and failing as a blatant visual to our mothers of what was to become of all of us in our autumn years.
Which is when fear and faith took over. After all, some of our greatest peaks of human population growth throughout history were during expansions of religious zealotries, so why not manufacture zealots?
A weekly blog updating on Saturdays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!