Please allow me to reintroduce myself

(Oh, just look at that title, won’t you? I’ll do anything for a “Sympathy for the Devil” reference, I will.)

Well, hello there! Now, it’s bad form to apologize for not updating your blog — it seems presumptive to assume my adoring audience would pine for my golden words while I laze around watching Cartoon Network. So this is definitely not an apology. Instead, I’ll leap right into the talking!

I just got back from seeing Neil Gaiman at a book reading in San Francisco and during the Q&A session, he got a question he and all successful writers constantly have to answer: “What’s the best advice for a writer?” His answer: “Write. The second-most important advice is: finish.” (I preferred the first question, myself: “Are you taller than your fridge?” Answer: “No.”)

Would-be writers are always looking for the magic pen, software, morning ritual, desk arrangement, hangover cure or sleep/wake schedule that will turn them from would-be writers into capital-W Writers — anything that’s not the real answer, the one that smacks of hard work and discipline: writing is what makes you a writer.

I’ve lost touch with writing, myself. I’m paid to be a Web monkey, and Web monkeys are considered coders, not writers. There hasn’t been much call for me to write. When I think about Real Writing, my brain locks up and makes a noise like a loose belt in an old Honda. I blog here, but I’d gotten caught up in the “Oh, I haven’t been knitting much; besides, I can’t blog without a photo” train of thought, which is a treacherous one to entertain. Boring! Inaccurate! The worst kind of intolerable mendacity!

So, to hell with that. I’ve cleaned my room, sorted my yarn in a way that will probably make no sense to me a month from now, cleared my desk off and put all my scissors into an old metal biscuit tin with a cartoon of a little Japanese man on it that would probably strike people nowadays as kinda racist, and I’m ready to blog! I’m here to bring you my message, as loud and clear as I can:

If I have to look at another beret pattern on Ravelry, I’ll fucking kill myself.

Hah! I know how this game goes. Now I’ve said that, I’m immediately gonna queue four completely innovative, technically challenging, cleverly constructed and totally gorgeous berets. Fuck you, fate! I’m ready!

Really, though. Go through the patterns on Ravelry lately, and you’ll see: the zeitgeist is thirsty for berets. I even saw one on a boy yesterday! Granted, he was young and confused-looking, and it was outside an art supply store, which I think the United Nations has declared a safe haven for tragic fashion choices, but still. Not everyone has the guts, insouciant charm and cute knee socks needed to pull it off. Certainly not that poor, charcoal-smeared wretch.

Fortunately for what’s about to happen to my queue, I do, and could totally see myself in a candy-apple-red beret. I even have some cashmere yarn in exactly that color. I mean, if I gotta do a beret, why not go for one that’s not afraid to say “JESUS CHRIST, WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS GIRL’S HEAD?!”

The funny thing is, as much as I could use a hat that’s not one of the ten I already own, I’ve been hesitant to start a new project before I finish the double-knit scarf I’m working on.

I know, right? You’re gasping like landed fish right now with shock and dismay, admit it! I’m waiting to finish something. I’m getting the vapors just thinking about it.

I dunno, I think my three-year campaign to get rid of clutter is finally paying off in the weirdest way. I go into shops now, pick something up and carry it around the store for a bit, then go “Eh” and ditch it where I found it. The quick thrill of buying it just doesn’t pay off the way it did before. I guess at the wise old age of OMIGOD I’M ALMOST 28, I’m finally growing wiser. Better start checking my brain for new wrinkles and my underwear for gray pubes! It only gets better from here!