Make Anything!, Edit for ROW80, Spudzi and ComicCon!, and a New Artist

What would you make if you were enrolled in a class called How to Make (Almost) Anything?

I'm not sure if you have to follow the curriculum, or are allowed to design your own projects.

I'd love to learn, oh! so many things, especially how to:

1. put together a basic computer

2. develop film

3. custom build a cabinet or any other wooden furniture

4. brew wine and beer (ok, I realise they're not about to teach this at a university...)

And so on, maybe even learning how to bind a book. The closest I've come is, for editing purposes, printing my novels two-pages-per-sheet and hole punching them to fit a five inch binder (I ought to take photos). They sort of feel like very hardcover big books.

Happy to say I'm still loving my new schedule, though, and am on track for ROW80, editing every Monday and Wednesday night. There are parts of the story that aren't so bad! They'll be even better once I move everything around; this story seems to have been drafted in a more disjointed fashion than most.

Meanwhile, discoveries!

1. If you missed the Phoenix ComicCon (and I don't often mention ComicCons because I'm still miffed that I discovered Neil Gaiman too late to meet him at the Montreal ComicCon a few years ago), author Sam Sykes has an awesome run down of the event, told from the point of view of the Mr Potato Head stand-in for John Scalzi. He's got everything in there - Daleks, Diana Gabaldon, Wil Wheaton, K9 - and a TARDIS!

2. A gorgeous blog, created by a local artist: Shari Blaukopf's Sketchbook features a new drawing or painting every day! Here's a fun one from a recent visit to the Montreal Redpath Museum:

triceratops, by Shari Blakuopf

3. Thanks to Fraeya, I just learned that I've got 300+ books on my teetering To Read pile (counting the 180 listed on the left of this blog). I need help! Or more time off work.

What have you discovered lately?

Look out for me on Misha's blog tomorrow, where I'll be talking about querying. I sent out a handful more queries for Rosa's story last week, and I'm still using the letter that Matthew was so helpful with!


Unknown said…
That course sounds amazing! I always thought that there should be a course on the basics of civilization - basic hunting skills, farming, bread and beer making, blacksmithing, tanning etc. The kind of skills you'd need post-apocalypse when you're rebuilding society.
Nadja Notariani said…
Well, I cannot speak for beer making, but my husband and I have our own wine label (Three Deuces)! I'll have to feature a post about it - and one day, I'll write a story with wine making as a backdrop. My dad has been making wine for years - and it's pretty tasty if I say so myself. Surprisingly, it's quite easy. Our last batch was an off-dry white, Gewurztraminer. Delish! My dad's most coveted wines are his Cabernet and his Pino.

Best of luck with the query letters.
Hi Deniz .. there's lots of courses I'd love to take - which in due course I'll get there - so I don't have to teach myself!! Photoshop, digital photography, computer first-aid, re-doing my blog, learning WP, and so it goes on ..

Good luck with whatever you decided to do .. particularly the editing .. and now the querying - that takes some art I gather .. excellent you had Matthew help you..

Happy summer days - cheers Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
Yes! I agree completely, Jamie. I'd love to see if I'd be able to do those things. Starting with starting a fire...

Oh my, yes, please do a post on the wine Nadja! Do you guys deliver? :-)

I thought of something else, Hilary - I need gardening courses! I'm so terrible at taking care of plants...
Naina Gupta said…
That binding thing kind of reminds me when I used to 'write' stories and staple a bunch of papers together to make them look like a book.
Melanie Macek said…
There are so many things I would love to take a class about. Too few hours in the day. I'm curious to see what you learn about.

Never made wine or beer, but I've gotten pretty good at making homemade jellies and I tried my hand at pickles for the first time. They're so good!

Good luck with the queries.

Carolyn Abiad said…
300+ books in the TBR pile! That is a scary number. You need to schedule some time on a nice beach so you can catch up. :)
DL Hammons said…
I'd love to learn how to put together a computer also! I've come this close to trying it several times...and always chicken out. :)
Zan Marie said…
Well, I have bound a small book in crafts class. If you call cardboard, fabric, and book binder tape a book. ; ) That's not too hard and you could do it for yours too.

Other than that, I want to take watercolor classes. I'm at least contemplating a three day workshop on it in July. Cross your fingers. ; )
S.P. Bowers said…
I don't know what I'd make. Maybe a bed so I could crawl into it. I know hubby would make something that exploded.
Matt said…
For #1 - I've done this several times now. The hardest part is putting together a shopping list with all the right parts. I bug one of my engineering buddies for that. After I have all the pieces, then it's sort of like adult legos.

For #4.5 - The bind a book thing. Before I decided to delve into self-pubbing, we wanted to give my sister the story I had written for her in, well, book form. My wife did the cliche: asked Martha Stewart...

Yeah, there's an app for that. Or something. In any case, we followed the steps. It turned out pretty neat, made a great gift. Then we vowed to use CreateSpace forevermore. :-)
Unknown said…
I think I might make a Tardis. Just so I could have the satisfaction of saying I'd made one.

Good luck with your queries! I sent out another round this morning.

Carol Riggs said…
Yikes! 300+ books on your to-read pile! Um...maybe I shouldn't look at mine. I'm sure not that many, but too many. I'll get to SOME of them eventually. :) Your Make (Almost) Anything class sounds like a GREAT idea!
Eden Mabee said…
A "How to Make (Almost) Anything class... We'll I'd learn how to blacksmith, how to build a decent kiln, how to make a decent pie crust... oh, yeah. ;-)

I guess the book binding thing hasn't been too much of an issue here. I worked as a student aide for a librarian who also restored antique books; he taught me how to handsew a binding, and glue and set the end plates and cover of a cloth/leather bound hardcover book. It's not as hard as it looks, but it is extremely time-consuming.

And 300+ to be read books... Oh, my. That'll slow you down a bit. Just keep up with that Monday/Wednesday schedule, Deniz.
Talli Roland said…
What a fab course! I'd love to learn how to make a rocking chair. Sigh!
Deniz Bevan said…
I think I did that a few times in high school, Naina!

Ooh, I'd love to make jam someday, Melanie. I used to help my grandmother, but have never done it on my own.

The sad part is, Carolyn, some of those books have been there for ages. They'll probably never get read...

I don't think I could do it without someone guiding me, DL!

Watercolours sounds lovely, Zan Marie. Hope you share your paintings!

I love that bed idea, Spesh. Though explosions sound fun too [g]

Legos, eh, Matt? I love Lego! And Martha Stewart, of course! :-)

I'll help you, Sara!

I wish they offered the class at a local university, Carol!

Thanks, Eden! I'd like to try blacksmithing, and making a decent pie crust, too!

Lovely idea, Talli!
300+ books on the TBR?! I always wonder how and when I'll finish my 200 already on my Kindle!

I'd love to take courses on photoshop.

Good luck!
I discovered Pinterest! Hehe.

I'd like to take a photography and learn how to develop film too :D
Beverly Diehl said…
What I "should" take in a class like that is something useful, like how to use Photoshop or something I could use for blogging.

I would probably TAKE is laser etching or quilting or something that would be horribly impractical and cost me vast sums of money.

Hang in there with the queries, it's GREAT you are sending 'em out.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you, Romance!

Maybe we should all take photography classes together, Carolina!

I know what you mean, Beverly - I'd love to take a crochet class. Laser etching sounds like fun!