ROW80, Handywoman by Kate Davies, A New Film, and Kill Your Darlings

am experimenting with a new drop cap today, from a gorgeous alphabet by a Swiss designer!

I've got three recommendations to share, of a book, a film, and a blog post on how to kill your darlings (a phrase from Stephen King).

The book is Handywoman by Kate Davies

"Paralysed by a stroke at the age of 36, Kate Davies' world turned upside-down. Forced to change direction, Kate took a radical new creative path. Handywoman tells this story.

This is not a book about Kate's triumph over adversity. Rather, it is her account of the ordinary activities and everyday objects that stroke and disability made her see differently. From braiding hair for the first time to learning how to knit again; from the lessons of a working-class creative childhood to the support of the contemporary knitting community; from the transformative effects of good design to developing a new identity as a disabled walker; in this engaging series of essays, Kate describes how the experience of brain injury allowed her to build a new kind of handmade life. Part memoir, part personal celebration of the power of making, in Handywoman Kate reclaims disability as in itself a form of practical creativity.

Kate Davies is an award-winning knitwear designer and author writing on many topics from disability and design to textile history and women’s history. She’s published nine books about hand-knitting, lives on the edge of the Scottish Highlands and is inspired by her local landscape every day."

This description doesn't give a sense of the full breadth of the book, which touches on inspiration, creativity, good design and the need for intuitive designs in all of our lives and surroundings, plus celebrations of Shetland and of crafting in general. And Bruce the dog! I was moved and inspired by many passages in the book, and would recommend it for everyone, whether you're looking for community, ideas, elegance, travel, the history and meaning of braiding, medical treatment, or simply something unexpected. And, of course, knitting!

I've still never successfully completed a Fairisle project. I keep drooling over patterns and wool and saying "someday", when I don't have school or young kids or stories to write or... But There is no someday. I simply have to start.

Have a scroll through the gallery of the book on the Handywoman site.

The film is as-yet-unmade and is called The Night They Unleashed Hell.

Follow the twists and turns of it's production, and the vagaries of filming in Canada, England, and Switzerland, on the Facebook page of The Night They Unleashed Hell!

As for killing your darlings, I came across a post by the Thesis Whisperer on 5 Ways to Kill Your Darlings. Two that I haven't tried before but seem like they could work really well are:

"1) Use that strike through tool. You know – the one that does this neat thing. Back in the day, way before word processors were invented, we used to be pretty good at the old strike through for dealing bits of text that weren’t quite right. Then someone invented liquid paper and it was all downhill from there. The strike through function enables you to keep the text where it was and use it as a reference as you write around it. You can always un-strike through if you decide the original was better and you’re right back where you started, no harm no foul as they say.

2) Move the questionable text to the footnotes. This technique works on the principle of out of sight, out of mind. The footnotes give you a place to let the words go gently into that good night as the poet Dylan Thomas once said. By the time you come to your final polish you are usually in the position to pull the trigger and kill those darlings because the words clearly aren’t needed anymore."

As for ROW80, I'm at 15,000 words in the new novella, Summer Blaze. Two scenes and the epilogue left to write, before I can edit some more!

Why, of course I have a YouTube playlist for it already!

Which inspirational book have you read recently?
How do you kill your darlings?


The Night They Unleashed Hell - good title.
Hi Deniz - love the idea of the drop cap - did not know that's what they called it ... I saw Shana: The Wolf's Music ... a Canadian, Swiss film using local people of the Lower Nicola India Band near Merritt, BC ... fascinating ... just about to go and get together with someone who knows more than I do ...

My recent book is in my #WATWB post out yesterday ... take care and cheers and good luck with all those projects - Hilary
Beth Camp said…
Love this post so full of ideas -- interesting book to add to my TBR pile, neat glimpse behind the scenes of a movie-in-the-making. What I liked best are those suggestions on how to kill my darlings, especially as I'm working on method (poison, bludgeoning, car attack). Ah, the joys of writing! Have a great week ahead.
I think Kate's story is especially poignant; I think that a lot of us, including myself, don't realize how important certain senses and abilities are until we lose them or until they're negatively impacted by our health.
I like the strike-through method. I usually write out first drafts by hand and cross out what I like or don't like, and then I type out later drafts on my laptop. That way, I have a rough draft of what I originally wrote that I can consult later.
Nas said…
I like the sound of Kate's book. It would be interesting to read as we all know what happens when we lose some senses and abilities.

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