Manual labor

It’s that time again…not even 0500, and I’m wide awake. So what’s a girl to do? Well, if you’re me, you end up cruising Pinterest for interesting or helpful images and tutorials. My latest pin obsession? Images from medieval fencing manuals.

Yep, I’m taking it upon myself to try to learn more by…osmosis? I’m not sure what I hope to gain at this point from the diagrams, because I don’t really know how to read them properly–yet. Sure, I can see the drawing and say “Okay, so that guy is standing like so,” but when it comes to the diagrams of movements and such I’m at a loss. Lots of lines and circles all over the place. Or sometimes not even that; just static images that I guess were helpful in ye olde times for teaching fencing and rapier fighting.

I’ll learn how to read them eventually–that’s going to be part of my training as I progress in the rapier arts–but for now, they’re kind of just interesting drawings that I’m saving for the heck of saving. The Spanish Circle is especially mind-boggling, but I’m pinning it anyway.

My hope is that, once I learn how to read the manuals and translate the images into movements, I can start gaining ground in my fighting. Fencing is the first and only sport I’ve ever been remotely good at, and I don’t want to let my teacher down. Yep, I’ve finally chosen a fencing teacher who can give me good one-on-one guidance in my path. I know I’m years from any special awards or recognition as far as period fencing goes, but better to start studying now. Imagine: me, the always-did-her-homework-in-the-five-minutes-between-classes learner, actually studying stuff.

It may take me a while, but I’m going to kick this rapier training in the butt!

En garde!

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Signed, sealed, delivered

Well, it’s done… I have signed my fictional characters’ lives away.

Okay, so it might not be that dramatic. It’s actually a good thing. What I signed was, in fact, the official creative development and publishing contract for my next novel! That’s right, I am through the process of submitting and into the process of revising, editing, lather, rinse, repeat. Officially.

They’ve also written the sequel(s) into the contract, in which they get first dibs on the subsequent books. I have one drafted and at least two more in my noggin. Minimum. So Clare and crew will have many more adventures. 🙂

And for the curious, I have signed with a new publisher, Rhetoric Askew. I’m very excited about this next step in my writing journey, and I can’t wait to see the finished product out there.

Twilight zone

Today marks the official return to “mundane” life after four days of semi-immersion in medieval life (glamping and tennis shoes don’t count as full immersion, right?), and it’s a weird return. I have work, but it’s not my usual work…kind of a light day, in comparison. Then tomorrow I’m off, Wednesday I’m in an office I don’t work at much, and Thursday is another weird work day. Friday should mark the return of normalcy in the office, hectic as it is.

The transition is always an odd time for me. I have been “gone” from my mundane life for only four days, but it truly feels like a different life. I hardly thought about work at all during my off time. My life was guard duty and tournaments and marshaling and setup and tear down. It was nice, I have to admit.

Sadly, work is a necessity in life, and I must go back. I can’t just keep escaping to the current middle ages–especially considering how expensive those current middle ages are. Nope, I have to go back to reality as it were.

Time now ticks away until the Yule feast. I have barely over a month to finish two full Italian Renaissance outfits, and I am woefully behind. Good thing for that off day tomorrow, I guess. I need to get cracking on cutting fabric and pinning and all that good stuff. And finding a pattern for my husband’s garb. And figuring out how to assemble the pieces on my dress.

*Sigh* Off to mundanity now.

 

Kinda want something to do, kinda don’t want to be around people…or do I?

So here’s something about social anxiety that you might not realize: sometimes, we actually want to hang out. We just don’t know how to make ourselves approach people in order to hang out.

One prime example is me today. I had nothing to do, but I wanted to do…. something. I didn’t know what; all the things there were to do involved peopling. Go hang with my husband who was standing guard for the Queen? People. Going to an art class? People. Wandering through the vendor tents? You guessed it: people. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, this girl slept. I took a depression nap because I had nothing to do that didn’t involve being around people who were mostly strangers to me. Not exactly fun.

It’s hard to articulate. I mean, for people who don’t have social anxiety it might seem stupid. But it’s a thing. A real thing. And sometimes it pisses me off. I want to have something to do. I want to hang out. But I don’t. I don’t want to. Fucking frustrating.

It’s like wanting a cookie. But you’re allergic to the nuts in the cookie. Or rather, your brain tells you you’re allergic to the nuts in the cookie. Your brain tells you that if you eat that cookie you’ll fucking die. But hot damn, that cookie looks good.

Right now I’m among close friends, so I’m cool just sitting around. I can handle this. I’ve got to learn how to let myself relax around semi-strangers, though.

I can only take so many naps.

Big plans, but nothing much planned

It’s another full weekend as I head off to “war” tomorrow, but I have surprisingly little to do. There’s a guard shift and marshaling, but other than that my schedule is pretty much wide open. I might take a look at some of the other activities available at the event. Usually I stick to my comfort zone and hang out with the rapier crowd, maybe go shopping if there are vendors. This time, though, I may not want to stand around the battlefield all weekend, and I doubt I’ll do any shopping. So I might actually get a chance to check out some arts and crafts that might interest me.

Not having a period craft that I want to focus on seems weird to me. I normally jump head first into crafts, but nothing I’ve seen so far really grabs me in the way that modern crafts do. Illumination: I just don’t have enough confidence in my drawing/painting skills. Maybe the painting… maybe… but not the drawing. Beadwork? Meh. Weaving? That’s my husband’s gig, and he’s plenty good at it. Sewing? Yeah, I love to sew, but period clothing can be tough. Viking clothes are easy enough, but the later period stuff is more complex. I’m not sure I want to focus on that.
Embroidery interests me somewhat, but I’m wondering how much of a time-suck that will be… Not to mention the potential for arthritis flare-ups in my hands. Of course, any craft has that potential. I’m just not 100% committed to embroidery yet. But who knows? Maybe this weekend there will be a class that gets me hooked.

Godly aspirations

Well, I have my newest cosplay obsession. I went to see Thor: Ragnarok last night and now I’ve decided I have to do a Hela cosplay.

Observe:

Weight issues aside, it’s not too far of a stretch. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I look similar to Cate Blanchett, and let’s face it, Hela is a badass. (Ok, so I might have dozed a bit during the part where Thor kicked her ass… what can I say? It was past my bedtime.) 

It should be an interesting challenge. I’ll have to make a bodysuit, figure out the shoulder cutouts, and figure out all the piping and stuff.

Oh wait. I have two Italian Renaissance outfits to make before Yule. And a synopsis to polish. And revisions out the wazoo. And Christmas presents to make. And work.

Not to mention that we’re not really going to as many conventions lately. Not since this year’s Phoenix Comicontroversy. Still…it shall happen.

Some day.

In short….

Damnit. I guess I’m not getting out of writing a synopsis for my novel.

I had felt a rush of relief when the publisher approached me, but it turns out they want to follow protocol. Which is cool, I get it, but did it have to be a synopsis? Ugh.

I guess that’ll be something I work on during my short break today. And after work. And, depending on how frustrated I get with it, tomorrow morning.

Thanks to a Facebook group I’m in (gotta love those Facebook groups) I have a guideline for making the synopsis, but it still terrifies me. I just have this fear that it’s going to be awful. Laughable, even. The same feeling goes for the outline I have to do for the publisher as well. I’m a pantser; I have very little outline before I begin, so I have to basically go through and create a post-outline. A poutline, if you will. Because I am basically pouting like a petulant child over this. 

Guess I should just suck it up and get over myself.

Here goes nothing.