I have some complaints. Plus Mildred Pierce.


We’ve been watching the 2011 Mildred Pierce HBO series. It’s wonderful, but I am really cheesed off at Amazon Instant Video and the terrible quality that I pay money for. I guess the $99 a year for Prime is technically for shipping, but I use Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library and lots of other services offered “free” with Prime at least as much as I use the “free” shipping (all the quotes are because I pay $99 a year for this “free” stuff) and I think I should be able to actually USE the services I pay for.

BUT NO. On Tuesday, we watched on the PS3 and the video paused to buffer or some shit literally every 30 seconds, making it totally unwatchable. When we’d been watching for over 30 minutes and had seen less than 15 minutes of the episode (it’s a 5-part mini-series), we turned it off. We tried again on Thursday night and it played just fine, but the picture was weird and blurry–the way it sometimes looks for the first few seconds, but forever. We switched to Amazon on the WiiU and the picture quality improved dramatically, but Will says it is often super terrible on his work computer, where he will often put something on while he does paperwork. So it’s not necessarily a Sony vs. Nintendo issue.

ANYWAY. The series is A++++++++++++++++ and has reminded me how much I hate history fiction’s greatest monster, Veda Pierce. Evan Rachel Wood plays her in the final episode of the series (which we haven’t seen yet), but younger Veda is played brilliantly by Morgan Turner.

I’m having a hard time this week with feeling like my feelings don’t matter to anyone else, so it’s kind of hard to watch Veda being her monstrous self. Last night Grace sneered at the macaroni and cheese because “It’s homemade” (VEDA) and today Sam told me he’d rather wear a sweatshirt than a sweater I knitted, because sweaters “have holes.”



At least Grace will wear things I knitted. Too bad Sam hates cheese.

Indie Designers Gift-A-Long


If you knit or crochet, get yourself over to Ravelry post-haste and join the Gift-A-Long! A staggering 335 independent designers have gotten together to offer 25% off select patterns through Friday, November 27th. You can see a bundle of my eligible patterns here, and the complete list of designers here. All eligible patterns are 25% off with coupon code giftalong2015.

In addition to the discount, the gift-a-long is a regular craft-along, with games and prizes along the way. All of my paid patterns, and all paid patterns of the other 334 designers, are eligible. SO MANY OPTIONS.

Oh, hey! It’s Noirvember!

Here’s what I’m up to this month:


We watched Laura, which we haven’t seen in…I dunno, fifteen years? It turns out that I had misremembered a major plot point, which made the actual reveal in the movie very interesting.


We watched Sunset Boulevard, which somehow neither of us had ever seen. It was…wow. Gloria Swanson is amazing. William Holden was also wonderful as the World’s No. 1 Manbaby. Ugh, I hated Joe so much.


I haven’t done much reading, but I did crack open A Century Of Noir and note which stories are written by women (only five of them, UGH). I’m starting with one by Leigh Brackett.

My big plans for the second half of the month:


Mildred Pierce is one of my favorite stories, and I love the 1945 version. I’m really looking forward to this one!


ETA: I totally forgot that Will and I are also planning to watch Gaslight. He gave me a copy last Valentine’s Day, because he is hilarious. I love this movie, and cannot fucking believe that Charles Boyer is credited about Ingrid Bergman.

horror movies I’ve fallen asleep watching lately

So far in October, Will and I have watched: bride1

Bride of Frankenstein
Oh god, I love Elsa Lanchester so much in this movie. She needed about one thousand percent more screentime. At right (click to enlarge) is a wonderful interview with her.

The Wolfman (2010)
I loved how lovingly this film payed homage to the original, but my goodness, the daddy story was unnecessary. Del Toro’s performance was so understated he may as well have been asleep.

I hadn’t seen this movie in 22 years and I was nervous. It is remarkable–so good, except for the extremely problematic (and typically 1950s) approach to psychological issues. Wow, the first half hour! It’s a crime caper! I had no memory of that.

Dracula’s Daughter
I loved the first ten minutes of this movie. LOVED them. Then I fell into a trance. Or, like, asleep.

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
I may or may not have also fallen asleep during this one. I think I made it a whole 30 minutes. Sam offered to watch it again the next morning, for my sake, so it must have been funny.

55 Word Rapture

Sometimes I write very (very) short stories. Today is one of those times.

Jefferson Harris’s private rapture happened at 4:17 on Friday, at the corner of Lakewood and Broad. He was waiting to cross the street, hurrying to get back to the office, when the clouds parted and God spoke to him. “It is time.”

Afterward, people sometimes remarked on the small scorched spot on the sidewalk.

I am thinking of putting together a chapbook of these very short stories, and possibly some of my other work. Would anyone be interested in such a thing?

Great Northern Knits

Horizontal_Logo_Web-01 (1)

Did you love Twin Peaks? I bet you did. I actually did not…but let me explain! I didn’t see it when it aired, but instead watched it in one marathon viewing ten years later. There was a lot to like, but the timing was bad. For one thing, I was just not in a good headspace. But more importantly, I’d seen ten years’ worth of film and television that came after Twin Peaks. Seeing the original was like looking at a prototype of a way cool invention before the inventor got it working right. (The exact same thing happened to me with Reservoir Dogs. I was unimpressed because I’d already seen alllllll the movies that emulated it.)

BUT ANYWAY. There is a lot to love about Twin Peaks, even if it doesn’t really work for me. Black coffee and cherry pie is my favorite meal. And of course, Audrey’s sweaters are perfection. In fact, the show is full of delightful knitwear (and some that is most assuredly NOT delightful. It WAS the tail end of the 80s, after all.)

I met Leah in 2009 when I started teaching at the local yarn shop where she worked. We hit it off right away and became close friends. She is also a knitwear designer, and we’ve worked together a lot. To my great sadness, we haven’t yet collaborated on a project, but we’ve contributed to each other’s projects in many way. We’ve photographed each other’s samples, and she makes most of my diagrams. We talk yarn and styling and bounce ideas off each other.

When Leah moved to Chicago a couple years ago, I was super bummed. But she has been busy and I’m so excited to share a project she’s working on with another lovely designer, Teresa Gregorio.

Great Northern Knits is a book of knitting patterns based on Twin Peaks. None of the sweaters are lifted from the show, but rather they are all inspired by it.





They are running a kickstarter campaign to help pay for printing costs. The rewards are FAB. Digital and print copies of the book, individual patterns from both designers as well as many of the best indie designers in the business (including yours truly), delightful yarn bundles, and more! I have backed the project and chosen the hand-painted tote bag reward, but I’m trying to talk Leah into making me a Great Northern mug for my damn fine coffee.

Won’t you please support independent designers and make this collection happen?

13 Years

I’ve been blogging for, um, a while. I guess it’s even longer if you count my manually updated website from 2001, but let’s call it 13 years since that’s what I have archives of.

Every year when I have to pay my hosting fees and renew my domain names I think about throwing it all out and starting over, but I don’t like the throwing it all out part, however appealing a fresh start may be. So I keep plodding along, blogging less and less frequently. It’s bumming me out.

This is not a farewell post. I intend to keep blogging. But.

I am also starting a new thing. I’ve signed up for TinyLetter and am sending out emails about writing. (P.S. I am writing again.) If you’d like to get those emails, sign up here: tinyletter.com/noirbettie


We Are Unable To Pay Authors At This Time.

Dear Editors,

I am unable to submit to you at this time.

I spent four hours working on a story that spilled from my fingers as though they were suddenly possessed. I typed through countless distractions as this story forced its way out of me. My daughter interrupted me every four minutes the entire time I was working. That probably sounds like an exaggeration. I will be honest with you: it was probably more frequent than that.

I don’t have any lack of ideas. But it takes a long time for me to figure out how to tell a story. Once I edited a story for at least five years before I realized it needed to be switched to present tense if it was ever going to work. This one, though? Less than a week from inspiration to draft. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before. It really was like something had taken over my body.

When I was done, I felt like I was worth something for the first time in four years, which is coincidentally how long it’s been since the last time I wrote a story.
You cannot have my self-worth in exchange for a contributor copy.

Yours Sincerely,
Annika Barranti Klein

I wrote this last fall, and am reminded of it as I look for markets to publish the story I refer to. The options are awful. It is astonishing how many people seem to think it is okay to build a business based on a product they do not value.