Advanced notice

It’s getting closer and closer to Release Day, and in the hopes of getting some blurbs for the cover of Abnormal I’ve started sending out emails to other authors to see if they’d be interested in and Advanced Reader Copy to read and comment on. It’ll be interesting to see who bites and reads it.

I’m also doing an advanced read on another Askew author’s book (in exchange for her AR of mine), so of course I’m piling more work on top of the work I already have to do. Glutton for punishment, anyone? ‘Cause that’s me.

I had my interview for the promotion yesterday, but since there’s at least one other applicant that I know of (who is as qualified as I am, if not more so), it’s going to be the waiting game for a while. The owner of the practice has to review our resumes and questionnaires with my supervisor before making a determination. Good thing I clip my nails, because otherwise I’d be biting them in anticipation. As it is, my lip is chewed to pieces almost. Lol

SCA life is quiet for a couple of weeks, which means I get to game with friends this Saturday (better brush up on the system, because I’ve played all of one game way back in the fall) and the following Saturday is my birthday. The big 3-9, the beginning of the last year in my thirties. I’m not as freaked out about forty as I was about thirty, which seems weird, but I guess you get to a point in your life where you’re like “Whatever.” Some of my friends are taking me out for a dinner/cider tasting, which sounds like a lot of fun.

Other than that, my time is kinda my own for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I have the AR to do. Yeah, I have embroidery/sewing to work on. Yeah, I have work-work to do. Yeah, I have to finish remaking my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con. Yeah, I have marketing footwork to do. Still, it’s nice to not be running around crazy trying to catch up for a little bit.

(And yeah, all that and then some is me “relaxing” for a couple of weeks. 😉 )

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Stuck in the past, no time for the future

So with one Arts & Sciences competition behind me and another one looming this weekend, plus the interkingdom arts exchange project I’ve been working on, plus another period craft I plan on doing, plus the Kingdom A&S competition in the fall, I find myself with little time for mundane sewing. This poses a slight problem, because I have to completely remake my Dark Phoenix corset before Tucson Comic Con in November.

Yeah, November’s a ways away, and I’ve made corsets before with much more of a time crunch, but I want to do this right. I want to look nice for my “fans” (okay, for random congoers who happen to stop by my table) at the con, but the previous corset I made was entirely too big. This time I’m going to go strictly by the pattern and not try to alter it to make it bigger. A corset’s supposed to be tight anyway, right? Sure. That’s the excuse I’ll give myself when I’m muffintopping out of it. Good thing I made a shirt to wear under it.

I need to get a few new materials, too. I have the basic top fabrics, but even with some careful seam ripping I’ll need new canvas for the inner layers and some new bias binding. Oh yeah, and new grommets. Maybe new lacing. *Sigh* So there’s the money aspect I need to take into consideration.

I also have to find the time to make the corset in the midst of weekends of SCA events, gaming, birthday (less than 2 1/2 weeks to go ’til 39!), etc. Then there’s the book marketing that I’ll have to do, with potentially time taken away for interviews and in-store events, and the Advanced Read Copy of another book from my publisher that I need to read and comment on. And I applied for a promotion at work that will take up considerably more of my time than I’m currently spending on the clock. Guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

Once the corset is made, I need to try on all my costumes again to make sure everything still semi-fits. I’ve gained entirely too much weight in recent months, and I’d rather not have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the con. That means I might potentially have to alter or remake other small pieces (but not another corset–if I have to do that I’ll probably cry lol) so I can comfortably sit at the con. Yay for skirts with elastic waistbands and Spandex pants! Lol

I’m trying to also factor in for potential embroidery commissions/requests in the interim. Right now, I just have the arts exchange project and the one craft project for myself, and one little bit of “tiny embroidery.” Basically, embroidering someone’s arms in miniature, so a max of 1.5 inches wide, maybe thinner.

The future is fast approaching, but I think if I buckle down and focus I can make it there with a corset to wear. I mean, how many times now have I had the Cosplay Con Crunch to deal with?

Yeah. I got this.

 

This brainstorming episode has been interrupted by…reality

I have it all planned out. In the mornings, I will write. Or embroider. Or remake my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con so it fits. Or do some such creative endeavor. I mean, I’m up early enough usually, and my husband is either sleeping or working. Lots of “free” time to create.

Except…We have that huge SCAdian housewarming party this weekend. And my husband’s Peer is staying in the craft room. And the craft room looks like a crafting tornado hit it. FML.

I hate cleaning before I have to work, though. I have limited time in the mornings because I have to pay attention to what time it is so I can get my shower in and get dressed and whatnot. When I’m hip-deep in fabric, it’s harder to keep track. I either waste time constantly watching the clock, or I set an alarm which goes off mid-project. I have the afternoon off today, so theoretically I can get work done then, but then the problem of needing to get other projects done comes in. I have things like blood work to get. And a podiatrist appointment. And SCA scribal stuff to do.

There are shelves to store the fabric in so I have easier access and can see at more or less a glance what I have–but I have to sort and fold all the fabric and put said fabric on the shelves. There are two 6’x3′ tables that are CHOCK FULL of supplies and sewing machines and what have you on top of them that I need to clear off for potluck foodstuffs that will be brought by our guests.

*Sigh* I suppose Book 2 and the embroidery projects I have will have to hold off for a bit. At least a couple of days, until I can get the craft room presentable. Then it’ll have to wait for me to set everything up in its proper place. Then…I write? I hope.

Making a list and checking it eleventy times

Well, I did it–I applied for a table at Tucson Comic Con…and I was approved!

I talked it out with my husband, and since the con is three days while Coronation is only one, he’s going to drop me off at TCC the day of Coronation, drive up to see his friend step down and get his Duchy, then drive back to Tucson to sit with me at my table. I’ve already annoyed all my local friends to try to get them to at least stop by the table (if not purchase a book or two while they’re there 😉 ), but my mind is racing with stuff I have to get done beforehand.

  • I’ve gotta get a tablecloth. That will make it look nicer. The TCC website said there would be a table provided, but no mention of tablecloth was made.
  • Square reader. Need one. Easy enough to obtain, but I don’t want to forget to obtain it.
  • Cash box/pouch? Hmm….
  • Better start plans to stock up on books to sell/sign at the con.
  • I need to finish fixing my Dark Phoenix steampunk corset. I made it too large when I initially sewed it, and even though I’ve regained some weight I’ll still need to take it back in.
  • Devise and sew a sci-fi-ish cosplay to wear one day? Hmm…. I do have a pattern for a body suit…I’d have to get my serger up and running again and remember how to use it though…And make a corset to go over said bodysuit because omg fatness lol
  • If I do do a new cosplay, a fun new wig to go with it 😉
  • Once I find out what promo materials I’ll have from the publisher, I need to make another list of display items to get, like some kind of stands to prop up books, signage, etc.
  • Tubs to carry stuff to and from the table in each day.

I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of, but that’s enough for now. I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. It’s fun to think that I’m getting back into cons and stuff, but it’s also going to be work. I won’t be able to leave the table much because I’ll have to be there so people can actually meet the author and get autographs if they want. So it’s not all fun and games. I’ll have moments of severe social anxiety that I’ll have to suck up and swallow down, because I can’t go freaking out over all the people when I paid money to be up in the thick of it (or back in a corner somewhere, which is more likely where I’ll be put. Lol)

There’s also a little thing called a housewarming party that I need to finish straightening the craft room for…I have to clear off both tables so we’ll have a place for people to sit and eat, and I have to get some semblance of organization done so my husband’s Peer has a place to crash for the night.

Oh, and I have to go see the podiatrist yet again because my left foot is either broken or has a neuroma or some crazy shit like that. There’s that, too.

The con is nigh…so why aren’t I more excited?

I’m almost done with the jacket for my husband’s new cosplay. Almost. Just a few more steps, and it’ll be finished. So why am I not elated? Why am I not filled with excitement for Phoenix Comicon and the great things I’ll get to do there?

Part of it could be sheer exhaustion. Con prep hasn’t been the most fulfilling thing this year. It’s been stressful and rushed, largely due to my own poor time management. For instance, I should be sewing right now–but I’m at a step in the instructions that confuses me, so I’m really unsure on how to proceed. That happens to me sometimes: I can’t visualize what the instructions are telling me to do (despite the pictures provided), so I get stuck. I should be done by the end of today, though. There really isn’t much left to do. I just have to get up and get going. Kick my butt in gear. Get the fuck out of bed.

The upcoming con itself isn’t upping the excitement factor like it usually does. Maybe it’s because, though I’m going as a member of the media, I haven’t even heard official word from the con about how they’re going to handle guest interviews. Seriously? I mean, it’s 4 days from the start of con; how can you not tell your media attendees what process they need to start in order to interview people?

Another disappointment in the con is the rapid-fire cancellations of some of the guests I was most excited to see. Charlie Cox of Daredevil? Cancelled. Arthur Darvill? Cancelled. Jenna Coleman? Cancelled. Ming-Na Wen? Cancelled. Sure, they are active actors and have filming commitments that came up (well, Ming-Na had knee surgery, so it’s not really her fault), but those were all actors I wanted to meet in person, either in a quick photo op or maybe at an autograph signing…Except for Arthur. Him I wanted a photo with, but I also wanted to use the few seconds of posing to apologize for stabbing him with my foam spikes at Dragon Con. This kind of thing happens every year (the cancellations, not the stabbing with foam spikes), but it never ceases to disappoint.

Even the excitement of debuting our first steampunk cosplays (because let’s face it, my first attempt at steampunk ended up more burlesque) isn’t enough to get my engine revved up for Comicon. I had a lot of firsts with these cosplays. First time altering a pattern at the last minute to make it fit my husband. First time altering a corset pattern to have it fit *me.* First time sculpting with craft and EVA foam. First time leatherworking. First time airbrushing (see the pic of the fan at the top–yeah, not really well-defined flames, but I think it gets the point across…and it’s shiny). It has been a lot of work, and I might have to alter the jacket a bit to make it fit my husband, too (despite us measuring him beforehand–I am so sick of commercial patterns right now…wondering if the local community college has any classes on fashion design and patterning lol).

We’ve even got friends coming from clear across the country to visit us and join us at Comicon. That should have me super excited, because the four of us had a blast at Dragon Con. At the moment, though, I’m more…meh. No offense to my friends; I just can’t whip up any thrill for the con that usually strikes me each year.

I’m hoping that once the jacket is done I can sit down, take a deep breath, and chill for, like, half a day before the con is upon me.

C’mon, con jitters–kick in already!

Phoenix Risen

I did it! I finished the sewing on my steampunk Dark Phoenix!

Now I all I have left for this cosplay is to airbrush flames onto the fan and my husband has a plan for some kind of “flamethrower” device for my arm. The “flames” would be the fan flames, so when I used the “flamethrower” I’d open up my fan and do that. I’m not sure what kind of device it will be, though; he hasn’t gotten a solid plan down yet.

The wig needs detangling like nobody’s business, and the corset is a tad big, but overall I love the outcome. I worked really, really hard to come up with this and put it all together. I thought about fabric colors and placement of those colors, of what I was going to do about the shirt (considering that I am too big for the shirt that the pattern called for), of designing the shirt, of, well, everything. This is my interpretation of Dark Phoenix, steampunk-style.

And of course, there’s the breastplate. It works great with the fabrics my friend sold me! I really love the shine of it all. This, combined with the makeup and steampunk sunglasses, will really pull it all together.

I’m grateful for the distraction that finishing this costume has given me. Annabelle’s passing really got to me. The initial painful sadness has gone, but I still miss her. At least I was able to be there at the end. Now I’ve got to keep her death from distracting me from my husband’s coat. I’ve still got to do that.

Light at the end?

So the corset’s (mostly) done–just need to put in the grommets and lace it–and the under skirt is almost done (could’ve finished it this morning, but I left some of the pieces at my parents’ house for some reason). Next are the bloomers, then finishing the belt loops on my husband’s pants and making his jacket. Oh, and riveting the fan holster that I decided last week I was going to make out of some leather we have.

There’s still a lot of work to go, but thankfully the majority of my outfit is done. It took a lot of cutting, pinning, and sewing…a lot of yardage, but surprisingly not a lot of actual time spent working on it considering that yardage.

The jacket is going to be the most complex piece I have left. I have to admit, I am dreading it a bit. Jackets tend to frustrate the heck outta me. I get to certain points and have to step away for a few minutes (or hours) until the instructions “click.” Sometimes the pictures on the pattern instructions don’t make sense to me at first, and I have to think about it. Like, I don’t understand spatially how things go together to make the finished piece. You have piece #X that needs to be sewn onto piece #Y, but the way it looks in the picture seems to defy the laws of physics. Or something.

I’ll be glad when these cosplays are done and I can move on to more SCA garb-making. As much trouble as they gave me size-wise, I enjoyed making the rapier tunics and would like to get started on new, more complex designs for “everyday” wear. Y’know, event garb for times when my husband and I won’t be fighting. I’ll admit that the layered tunics are heavy and a little hot when the temps get up there (it is Arizona, after all), so single-layer tunics will be nice for off the fighting field and pants would be a plus. Wearing pajama pants that aren’t quite long enough is a little embarrassing, even though I don’t even know if anyone can tell they’re pajama pants. People can certainly tell they’re not long enough, though: my socks show. A lot.

I also need to make us “period” (Viking-era) shoes and leg wraps to complete the looks. Or we need to find appropriate shoes that look Viking-era. I’ve seen lots of tutorials on how to make the shoes, but I’d rather avoid all that leather sewing and molding and stuff. I just can’t imagine it being very comfortable, but who knows. I might do it just to prove to myself that I can.

Oh yeah, and bracers. We have enough leather for bracers right now (would need to buy more for shoes), so I have to figure those out eventually. Not right now, because the cosplay comes first, then pants and single-layer tunics and leg wraps, but eventually.

Then of course there’s the embroidery I want to learn to do on our garb….

…Why do I take on so many projects at once? Lol