Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Riddle: It is an insect, and the first part of its name is the name of another insect. What is it?

It's 2013, why don't I feel like saying, “Hurrah”? Maybe it's because, though I try not to be, I'm superstitious about the number thirteen, and a whole year ending in that number makes me nervous. (I don't know why thirteen bothers me, I have never personally had any trouble relating to that number.) Tthis year 2013 may be the time bad luck comes down on all the world, our sins and greed catch up with us and the precarious economies of the nations collapse. I have never felt so pessimistic about the prospect of a new year.

On the other hand, I think The Drowning Spool – the current title of the next book – is off to a fine start. Chapter One got a good laugh when I read it in my writers' groups. I've been busy with personal and publishing matters all through this season, in a good way. Everyone in my household seems to be in robust health. I've gained a couple of pounds but I'll be back on my diet and exercise regime January 2. There may be plenty of snow on the ground and the temperature outside is in the single digits (it dipped below zero last night!), but we have a cozy, warm place to live and a well-stocked refrigerator. I am at peace with my friends and neighbors.

But still . . .

Last night, as we have every New Year's Eve for more than thirty years, we played penny-ante poker with some good friends. There were enough of us that we had two tables going. A friend who generally doesn't do well had a great night. The cards were cold to me, I ended the night down about a dollar and a half. But it was fun, lots of cheers and funny groans and good laughter. We stopped at midnight for a glass of bubbly and a chorus of “Old Lang Syne.” I remember one year we were persuaded to skip the game and come to a New Year's Eve party. We agreed but met some of those same friends at the party – and in fairly short order five of us were in an upstairs bedroom with an old deck of cards one of us found in a drawer, playing seven-card-stud on the bedspread! There's an old “filk” song (kind of a folk song but not really) whose chorus goes: “Love it is strong, but a habit is stronger, and I knew how I loved by the way I behaved.”

The scarf I've been knitting is finished. It came out very nicely, and was such a pleasure to knit that I'll be looking to make another, this time to give away.  (The cat is Snaps.)

Do you have a pet superstition?

Answer to Riddle: Beetle


Rosalee Richland said...

First, maybe if the first 13 days of 2013 go amazingly well for you you can maybe forget the 13 thing for the rest of the year.

Pet superstition? that everything (especially bad things) happens in 3s --- so when 2 have happened, I try to imagine that the third has happened already and I just don't know about it! :-)

2013 or 2012.9999999999 - Happy New Year and keep the books coming!!!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I've always had particular good luck with the number 13, Monica, despite the usual superstition. On the other hand... well, read my blog tomorrow to see how my 2013 began!

Betty Hechtman said...

Snaps looks like a cat I had named Apricat. The scarf is lovely and you did a good job of photographing it. It's always a challenge when I try to take pictures of the finished croccet projects for my website.

Anonymous said...

Is the scarf pattern going to be included with this new book?

I just got AND THEN YOU DYE a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. Had no idea silk was considered a protein fiber. Learn something new every day.

Monica Ferris said...

I've known people who have good luck with the number thirteen. Maybe if I pay attention, I'll find I'm one of them.

The pattern for the scarf isn't one I'll include in a book, except maybe to mention it in passing. It's just: Using size thirteen (ack!) needles, cast on a lot of stitches (about thirty-five or more) and knit two, purl two on the first row, and do the same back. I used four balls of high-quality Peruvian cream-colored wool someone gave to me.