Saturday, October 26, 2013

Not As Advertised, But Still Neat

The yarn I told Vanessa to pick for her entrelac scarf does not have the exact long strand dye method needed to make perfect blocks of color, like the scarf in the photograph on the pattern. I researched prior to starting and learned Noro or Lion Brand Amazing were the best yarns for that desired effect. Perhaps Mauna Loa is the exception to the long strand dye technique?

Nonetheless, it does look, well, amazing:

Here it is as worked so far, a little crumpled looking because it hasn't been blocked and steamed yet. That's the very last step when all the knitting is finished.

Here I've got it lightly dry blocked so you can see the variegation better.

These pictures don't do it justice; the yarn is lovely.

Also, today my book sales went up some. Yay! I'm inviting everyone who  has read it to leave a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads; if they have read the book, they'll notice my email address is in the author notes. If they review it and email me their address, I'll send a limited edition Sideshow bookmark. Only 20 available so get to reading!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I've finally started the entrelac scarf for my sister-in-law, Vanessa. I am hoping it will be a great welcome home gift when she and her husband and new baby return to the States from Okinawa. 

Here is the completed base triangles and tier one of this very complex pattern:

So far there is not a lot of variegation to the Mauna Loa yarn but I can see that this will be quite lovely when completed and blocked. More updates to come as I head off for tier two. Again, I could not do this if not for the excellent video tutorial at Very Pink a knits on YouTube. See my previous entrelac post for the links!

In other news, on Friday I will be washing wool with my friend Ginger to prepare it for the carding process. I'll take photos of the entire process and post here, from sheep to yarn. first novel Sideshow is currently in its fourth revision edition. I think we worked out all the issues from transferring electronic files to print . I ended up with several proof copies as a result. Congratulations to Sara Daniels and Kevin Kirk for winning the two spare copies. But don't worry ! If you missed it on Facebook, there's a giveaway on Goodreads through mid-November.

So tell me: made any crafts lately? What's on your "to-read" shelf? 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Greatest Show On Earth!

Chills, thrills, and kills available in the Goodreads Giveaway! Step right up folks for your chance to win! Tell your friends!

That's also going to be my new ad:
Step right up folks! Chills, thrills, and kills! The SCARIEST most THRILLING show on earth!

I would welcome feedback about the ad. What do you think? Does it grab your attention?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Like Where This Is Going

Today was a writing day; a lot of writing, all day long. I noticed on my proof copy that they dropped a word in a sentence, and they didn't put the page numbers on the proof copy either. Something to do with transferring the eBook into print format, and possibly an error on my part. In any case, the book was pulled temporarily for fixes and will be back up tomorrow. it is!

Please ignore the horrid floor; you'll recall in a post from long ago that we had to completely gut this house and, well, we haven't quite gotten around to the floors yet. But Emily's cover looks so good in print. It's so glossy! We spent some time collaborating on the next book's cover, as I was able to outline all of my chapters and write the first chapter today. That gives me a pretty good idea where it's going, although the characters sometimes make up their own minds partway through the story. I'm sure the cover we have come up with will work no matter what they do!

In other news, I have decided to install a new weekly rule in Vaughan Maison, and I am calling it simply The Reading Hour (like the Witching Hour, but not). For one hour, every Saturday, we will turn off computers, iPhones, iPods, Nooks, televisions, Xbox's, and any other electronic device. And we will gather in the living room with blankets, pillows, and warm beverages as needed, where we will all read silently for the entire hour. At the end of the hour, we can discuss our various stories, if we would like.

I'll be posting updates about The Reading Hour here, and listing the books we've read. This week's chosen books are:
Caleb: Sideshow, by Chrystal Vaughan
Chrystal: 20th Century Ghosts, by Joe Hill
Emily: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Madyson: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, by Robert C. O'Brien

And last but not least! There is a giveaway of my book on Goodreads. Just click here to enter! Good luck!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Show Must Go On

It's true; I've been hard at work writing the second book in the Sideshow series. As soon as the first book was officially published, I was able to get started on the second one. And it's started off with a bang let me tell you! My characters are speaking loud and clear.

Tomorrow I'm giving a knitting lesson to my friend Ginger, who needs some advanced technique advice. Later this weekend I'm going to start the entrelac scarf for Vanessa. Here's a picture from Pinterest of what it will (hopefully) look like:

And actually, her scarf will look a little different because she chose a different colorway for her yarn. I asked her to select from any of the Amazing Yarns by Lion Brand, and here is the one she picked:

Here is the colorway:


So hers will look a bit different but with the same diamond pattern. I have never done entrelac knitting before, but I trust in my pattern and the magic of YouTube. For any knitter who does not know about this yet, I urge you to subscribe to Very Pink Knits. The instructor is very good and the videos are clear. Here is a link to the YouTube Channel:

Specifically, here is a link to the entrelac scarf tutorial (link for the pattern is in the description):

And finally, her blog and website are at I strongly recommend her tutorials and patterns, as I have taught myself a lot of techniques from watching her. Another really great YouTube tutorial series is from Liat Giat. Just do a search for her.

I will post some updates of my progress as I go; I suspect the knitting will be slow right now since the book is on fire (giggle: one of the main characters has pyrokinesis). Until then...what's new with you? Anyone read any good books lately? ;)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Publication Blues

I have been writing, off and on, a short story that came to me a while back (I've posted a sample on here in the Stories, Poems, and Musings section under "Excerpt from Dead in the Water"). But my circus books are on hold because I have had this sense of unfinished business ever since I typed the last word. And of course, there was endless amounts of editing before I was happy (I'm not satisfied, but I am happy). My daughter, Emily, said I needed to just leave it alone finally. But still, something was missing and the characters in my head refused to speak to me until I addressed this unresolved issue.

Finally, I figured out what the problem was. The book was just sitting in my computer, in a Word document. It was going nowhere.

It needed a cover. Which my lovely daughter Emily Le Artiste provided. Here it is:

And it needed an audience. Sure, I have had editors and test readers go through it, but it needed someone to read it without any agenda other than receiving its message. How can I do that? Hailey and her friends (the characters in the book) insisted I figure it out or there would not be another word forthcoming for the second and third books. Sure, I have a good idea what's going to happen but typically those ideas don't go the way I originally intended. It's as if the story takes on a life of its own. But I digress.
How to get their story out to others? I went the self publishing route. My book is now available as an Ebook at Just turn off the adult filter (because there's some adult content in my book, boy howdy) and search for my name, Chrystal Vaughan. Here's a coupon code for 20% off until November 9, 2013: KD58U. Just use it at checkout for the discount. Additionally, once the book passes the review panel's approval for formatting, it will be distributed to Kindle, Nook, Kobo Reader, and iPad as well.
Print copies will be available soon from Amazon, once the cover art passes final inspection. Just search my name there for a print copy of the book, in about a week. I don't have a coupon yet but if they allow me to create one, I'll post an update here.
As soon as I have a copy of the book in my hand, I know that Hailey and her friends will let me back in their world. In the meantime, my short story "Dead in the Water" is nearly finished. POLL QUESTION: Would you prefer an author to release each short story as they are finished, or compile them into a book of their own? Leave a comment and let me know!
The book is now available at the Kindle store in Ebook format for $9.99! Print copies will be available at in 7 days from 10/12/2013 (so on 10/19/2013) for $14.99. The link above to Smashwords is still valid to get your discount until 11/9/2013. I welcome reader feedback as I am hard at work on the second book in the series. Happy reading!