I am NOT a Failure.

As I revise the second volume of my series, “The Red Cloak,” I am beginning to second, third and fourth guess my choices. Soon, the whole plot (which I already completely rewrote once) seems like garbage. Ugh. Writers- you already feel my pain. Readers- time for props to all your favorite writers. We suffer. Oh, how we suffer for you! As much as I know this too shall pass, it stinks being in the middle of the mire right now. Yes, the story isn’t perfect. It needs work. But- it will eventually reach okay-ness.

Somewhere in my battered notebook I have recorded the quote- “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor…clutter is wonderfully fertile ground.” (Anne Lamott) These are much needed words today. I am knee-deep in clutter. Good thing I’m short.

Enjoy this video from my favorite YouTubers (not a type of potato)- Blimey Cow. If you only knew how much these guys put me to shame with their talent…I feel good being in their company of mutual self-doubt. We all feel it. There’s a devil on your shoulder, too…am I right?


“The Red String” Reviews!

This post is all about tooting my own horn.
I am a satisfied writer. “The Red String” is my first novel and I honestly feel I did my best.  Of course, I am certain there are many ways in which I can improve. Writing fiction is quite subjective and there comes a point when an author has to accept their work despite what others say and only listen to criticism which is constructive and construct.
I learned this bit of knowledge during the editing process. If I couldn’t defend my reasoning against the criticism, it was open to change. For example, I almost made the engine room of the ship the setting for a pivotal conversation before being told that engine rooms are very loud places. But I kept Aaliyah‘s name despite the criticism that it was too unusual and I should change it. (I found the name from a list of popular baby names from the year the character would have been born, so I felt confident in keeping it- for all the Aaliyahs out there…)
Thank God for constructive criticism!
So far, the reviews online and in person of “The Red String” have been amazing. People often begin by telling me they couldn’t put it down. I absolutely love hearing that! It’s the best!
I wanted to share the online reviews with you...

October 30, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase

I was hooked from the very beginning as events in Ainsling’ s life promised to change her world forever. The characters come alive in this high-tech medical futuristic novel with twists sprinkled throughout its pages. From the very beginning of this book, my interest was captured; my curiosity piqued. Great book, Ms. Prokop. I will be watching for the next one.
Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

Intrigue draws the reader in to the futuristic novel. It is imaginative, realistic and keeps moving through the pages – will be interested in reading further novels in this series too! Twists and turns kept the reader guessing – enjoyed the real characters within.

Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase

A fast-paced read and hard to put down. A great first book for this new author. Could tell it was well researched. Looking forward to the next installment of this series!

December 12, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase

Imaginative story of a distopian future where friendship is difficult and medical ethics are exchanged for potential financial advantage. Is hope stronger than a thin, red string? That’s the question. The plot takes a few twists along the way to keep the reader engaged. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series. Good work from a new author.


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Knitting from “The Red String”

“Also, she had become addicted to a very unusual drug- knitting. She blamed Nurse Cheng for that. One day, she was walking through the atrium area of a hospital wing and noticed Nurse Cheng teaching another patient how to wrap a string around a needle, slide it down, create a loop, and then slide it off. She moved along loop by loop, magically creating fabric. Ainsling was fascinated by it, so she begged Nurse Cheng to teach her too.  Now she was addicted! Scarves, blankets, hats, and even socks were in abundance in their tiny apartment, created by the skilled movement of her own two hands.”

-from “The Red String” Chapter 2- “The Chick” 

I love to knit. And crochet. And spin. It’s very addictive. I was compelled to include knitting in my novel somehow- especially with a title like, The Red String!” So, not only did I make one character a knitter, I created three knitters !!! It’s the least I can do. (And it’s simpatico with the theme…)

Here are some connections, inspirations, and knitting-related excerpts…

“Where did you get this blanket?” an older woman asked with a shocked tone in her voice. He wondered if she thought he had stolen it. Imagining how strange he looked with a loudly colored blanket wrapped around him, he was embarrassed.
“What? This? My friend made it.” He hesitated before the word ‘friend,’ but decided there was no better word. To his surprise, the lady suddenly smiled wide.
“I think we have the same friend,” she said and pulled out her scarf to full length. It was a variation on a similar kaleidoscope of yarns constructed in the same mitered squares pattern. They looked like fraternal samples of the same patchwork quilt.

-from Chapter Five- “The Good Boy”

Modern Quilt Wrap pattern link-


“Li followed the woman for a few blocks and found himself in an old store that had walls loaded with displays of yarn. It was spilling out from every crevice. The nurse led him over to a whole wall dedicated to the color red. Fuzzy rouge red mohair, shiny ruby silk, and warm, russet red wool were waiting to be touched and knitted into something special. Ellen smiled at his eyes widening, taking it all in.
“Look, Li. It’s a whole wall of ‘destiny’ red! Let me buy one for you. I have a little left in my budget,” she said, glancing at her hand which contained her chip.
She helped him pick out a soft cotton and wool blend. He’d never purchased yarn before, so he was glad she was there.”

-from Chapter Five- “The Good Boy”

The yarn Ellen buys for Li from the wall of “destiny red” is a cotton/wool blend. This is in homage to one of my favorite yarns (from my husband’s home state of Nebraska) Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.


Maybe you like knitting too. Maybe you should try it and see…

“Should I teach you something now?” she asked playfully.
“What? Knitting? Please!” He rolled his eyes.
“Oh, yeah, you probably couldn’t do it anyway,” she said, prodding at his ego.
“Fine- if it’ll get you to be quiet and stop asking me annoying questions- I’ll do it. Once.”
Ainsling smiled mischievously to herself.

-from Chapter Four- “The Lessons”