Author and Hostess of Craftlit, Heather Ordover was our guest on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird today. This was an awesome way to cap out a busy week and we are grateful that Heather’s schedule was flexible enough to join us and our listeners, too, as FRIDAYS are not our usual day!
We began by discussing Heather’s podcast, Craftlit, which is popular among crafters as an annotated podcast of classic fiction. Heather began this 10 years ago as of this coming spring. The archives contain 23 books that have been read to us a chapter or two at a time explained with the expertise of the caring english teacher that Heather has to be, with the love and admiration of the author, the story, the history…. It began when Brenda Dayne, at the time hosting Cast-On podcast, put out a call for submissions of essays on the Greek muses. Heather, based on her experiences during 9/11 with high school students very close to ‘Ground Zero’ chose the muse Tragedy, how knitting helped the students heal. Brenda’s positive response (‘Who are you and What podcast do you host?’) may have been the prod that Heather needed to get started on the idea she’d been considering, to provide excellent entertainment for our ears and brains while our hands are busy.
The faithfulness of the fans have kept it moving forward and meeting them in person has led to other opportunities, the Craftlit tour, which recently visited the Lake District of Yorkshire, England. There is another tour planned for next October to Paris!
The Madame DeFarge books came from the podcast, there was an episode during Dicken’s ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ which discussed the Madame’s crafting in the book. It was about the time that ‘WWJD?’ was popular, and Heather titled one episode ‘What Would Madame DeFarge Knit?‘ That tickled so many, that Heather was able to create a collection on patterns from various folks like Brenda Dayne, Hunter Hammersen (our guest yesterday!), Andi Smith and Erica Hernandez (who will be editing the next volume). That has since been followed by “What ELSE Would Madame DeFarge Knit?‘ and last spring the newest, ‘DeFarge Does Shakespeare‘. These were all published by Cooperative press, you can find them at this link.
Heather’s love of a good tale doesn’t stop with just admiration. From fifth grade, when she created a play, through imagining she was no Anne Frank, and into theater school and playwriting class, she realized she loved the process of creating a story. Inspired by the book, The Artist’s Way, she used the exercise of ‘morning pages’, which was three pages of non-stop writing, in the morning. She says as you work at this, it begins as a chore and becomes a ‘brain dump’ of whatever is churning on the inside. One thought that she carried was to create a young adult novel, because she liked teen-agers and read the Twilight Series and there were things about depicting young people she thought she could do better.
NaNoWriMo came along and she took that as a challenge to try, she shared her first draft with others around her who were encouraging. ‘Grounded: The Seven‘ was that book, was inspired by kids she knew while she taught high school engish. She says that when she began seeing the characters THAT was when she knew this was the story for her to write. Her story is about Rosie, who realizes she has something happening to her, and is sent by her parents to her aunt’s house in Brooklyn to learn more about it. Heather says she likes that her characters learn that they are more powerful together, she is currently working to finish the second in the series and has the plot laid out for the third in the trilogy.
You can follow Heather’s Craftlit website at www.craftlit.com, her designer page in Ravelry, that has a lot of her links too, plus she has group there, too. The Craftlit has a page to follow in Facebook.
Both of these ladies are so busy accomplishing something everyday, it’s really hard to encompass all that Marly and Heather are doing currently! The one thing that Marly wanted to hear more about from Heather is her Cognitive Anchoring project, which she promises to come back to share.
If you missed getting to hear this live it is now available as an archived episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/12/04/author-and-hostess-of-craftlit-heather-ordover also in iTunes.