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. 😉 )

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.

Project-ions for the future

I’m not quite sure how it keeps happening, but my project list for Estrella War and beyond keeps growing…not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.  😉

This is how my sewing project list began (a few weeks before Christmas):

Sewing projects:

  • Italian ren
    • Doublet
    • Shirt
    • Belt loops/buttons/buttonholes
    • Fix snaps on stomacher/dress
    • Hem dress
    • Underskirt?? (if time!)
  • Christmas gifts
    • Makeup bag
    • Wine bottle bags? – make anyway, if no time save for later gifts
    • Bento boxes for carol/titia??? (if no time, belated gifts)
  • Garb/sca
    • Linen pants x 2
    • Fighting tunic (chris)
    • Viking coat (aimee) ??
    • New fighting hood (embroidered/layered)
    • Feast gear utensil holders?
    • Thread snipper holder (leather?)
    • Belt favor? (embroidered?)
    • Leather cover for sword guard?
  • Accessories
    • Wallet/card holder/checkbook cover
    • Purse organizer
    • Key case thingie for keychain
    • Mug caddy thingies
    • bento box for tourney prize
    • knee pillow thing
    • moar headbands?
    • Notions bags?
  • Cosplay
    • Re-make phoenix corset!!

This is the new(est) version:

Sewing projects:

  • Italian ren
    • Doublet
    • Shirt
    • Belt loops/buttons/buttonholes
    • Fix snaps on stomacher/dress
    • Hem dress
    • Underskirt?? (if time!)
  • Christmas gifts
    • Makeup bag
    • Wine bottle bags? – make anyway, if no time save for later gifts
    • Bento boxes for carol/titia??? (if no time, belated gifts)
  • Garb/sca
    • Linen pants x 2 **
    • Fighting tunic (chris) **
    • Viking coat (aimee) ??
    • New fighting hood (embroidered/layered)
    • Feast gear utensil holders?
    • Thread snipper holder (leather?)
    • Belt favor? (embroidered?)
    • Leather cover for sword guard?
    • Embroider Chris’s fighting hood
    • Embroider pieces for ends of belts for gifts to visiting king/queen **
    • apron dress/underdress
    • embroider apron dress
    • cup covers (embroidered)
    • Viking-style hood for Chris (embroidered)
    • Another Viking hood for me (not for fighting) – embroidered
    • Sew trim onto garb
  • Accessories
    • Wallet/card holder/checkbook cover
    • Purse organizer
    • Key case thingie for keychain
    • Mug caddy thingies
    • bento box for tourney prize **
    • knee pillow thing
    • moar headbands?
    • Notions bags?
  • Cosplay
    • Re-make phoenix corset!!

While I have made it through some of the list (the crossed-off items), I seem to keep adding more and more things to do, particularly in the SCA/garb category. Notice a pattern to the new things on the list? Yep, I have decided that embroidery will be my “thing” in the future, so now I want to embroider as much as I can before the Baronial Arts & Sciences competition. I still can’t decide what I’m going to submit as my embroidery piece, but I want it to be one of the newer pieces (so I’m not wearing the stuff and consequently spilling on them before the competition).

I’m in the middle of two projects at once: the bento box that’s to be used as a tournament prize (I had to put it aside until I could get plenty of binding, which I now have) and my husband’s new fighting tunic. I accidentally got the sleeves on that a touch really big, so I have to take them in before I finish. Thankfully, I hadn’t fully assembled the tunic before I had him try it on, so that’s a blessing. I do, however, need to acquire buttons for it. I guess he wants buttons.

I feel like I’m missing something in this list, but until it comes to me I’ll just have to keep working until the list is more manageable. Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to keep adding to it until I physically can’t sew any more. Lol

Crunch of a different kind

Anyone who has read this blog for a decent amount of time may be familiar with my recurrent Con Crunch–the time when a convention nears and you’re scrambling to finish your cosplays in time. One could almost say I have chronic Con Crunch, or Triple C. No matter how much I try to plan, I never seem to be able to get my costumes done without a last-minute scramble.

The SCA has proven to be no different. I seem to always be in that Crunchtime zone where I worry that I won’t finish the garment(s) before the event I’m making them for. Prime example: the Italian Renaissance-themed Yule event that’s in less than two weeks. I have my camica done, my outer dress mostly done (still need to hem it and adjust a couple things due to my recent weight loss), and my husband’s pants mostly done. I still need to make his shirt and doublet, though, and–if there’s time–an underskirt for the dress. Since I made mockups of the shirt and doublet, I know it won’t take too terrible long to get them done once I have a chance to just focus, but I have one little problem…

I think my right foot has somehow gotten re-injured. Like, it’s hurting bad enough I worry that it might have become re-broken. Seriously, the only thing that helps for any length of time is to wear the stupid fracture boot that I got from the podiatrist this past February when I first broke it. Here’s a photo of the x-ray for reference:

broken-foot

Yeah, that circled part is the nice little break with the nice little chunk of bone was taken off. According to the podiatrist it was pretty much healed after a few weeks in the boot, and he told me I didn’t really have any restrictions. Cool beans, right?

Well, that “crushing” fracture (as the doctor diagnosed it; to this day I still have no clue how it happened) has been increasingly painful since I decided to wear my medieval period shoes for a couple of days at a recent event. Now, I’ve got gel insoles in them, but they’re not memory foam like my beloved Sketchers–which I ended up changing into for the remainder of the event after the medieval shoes started making my right foot hurt. Or at least that’s what I thought was the cause…now I’m not so sure.

Did I take a wonky step in those shoes and not notice? Knowing me it’s entirely possible, but it’s also possible that there’s something else going on. Something less sucky, perhaps? Regardless, I won’t know until I see the podiatrist again in a couple of weeks. Lucky me didn’t have enough openings at work to be able to get in any sooner. So it’s been over three weeks of moderate to severe pain in my right foot, with another two to go.

Oh, yeah, and I also have trouble controlling the sewing machine pedal with my left foot. So there’s that adding to the already stressful #currentmiddleages crunch. Yeah, no, let’s not use that term again. The alliteration is all well and good, but it feels a bit forced. Costume Crunch? That could work. The garb is essentially medieval costumes, after all.

Fingers crossed that there’s not a bone crunch mixed in with this Costume Crunch. I won’t find out until after the Yule event, so I have to suffer for a little longer.

Speaking of crunches, I suppose I should get cracking on the shirt and/or doublet.

Except this boot is keeping the pain at bay.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

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.

Another year gone by

Here it is: 38. Feels about like 37. And 36. Et cetera et cetera, ad nauseum, whatever. It doesn’t even feel a year closer to 40. It just feels like another year.

I’ve gotten a lot accomplished in the last year, I guess. Completed two full cosplays in record time (for me); finished the first draft of two different novels; started learning rapier fighting; taught myself how to sew Viking garb and stuffed animals…not too bad of a haul for a year.

Oh yeah, and there’s that house thing. Starting the process of building a home from the ground up. I suppose I should count that in my accomplishments. That’s more of a joint venture, though. The husband and I are in it together, through the thick and thin of it. Six and a half years together, five years to the day since he proposed, and a little over four years of marriage.

Do I have any special hopes for this birthday? Well, I have a few things I’ve been hoping for gift-wise, but that’s selfish stuff. I hope that work goes well. I hope that I get to leave work early enough to make it to the city for birthday dinner. I hope my friends enjoy the restaurant we’re meeting at. I hope for a free dessert. I hope the drives to the city and on to my in-laws’ are smooth and uneventful. Lots of hopes, but mostly just hoping for a good day with friends and family–after work of course.

Yep, I’m working on my birthday. I do most years; it’s kind of just another day in the grand scheme of things. Sure, sometimes I request for a vacation day so I can spend time with my family or take a day/weekend trip or just chill at home, but not always. There was even one time where I worked at two different jobs on my birthday. You gotta do what you gotta do, after all.

I’m wondering when the impending big 4-0 is going to hit me. For 30, it hit exactly one month before I turned 29; I was suddenly filled with anxiety and dread over reaching that milestone, which now seems insignificant. Will 40 be the same? Will I become obsessed with the notion that I’m “old”? We’ll see.

Counting down

It’s getting closer–another birthday, another step closer to 40. I wasn’t worried about 30 until a month before I turned 29, and so far 40 is not causing undue stress, but it makes me wonder about my life and where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

As far as major life events, my 30s brought me a husband and the ability to call myself a published author. Granted, I self published, but it was published nonetheless. Before I’m 40 I’ll be a homeowner, and I’ll be inducted into a HEMA rapier/swordfighting group. I’ve gone to pop culture conventions and cosplayed, and I’ve learned how to sew. I’ve gotten a great job that keeps me engaged and is almost never boring. Life’s pretty good.

So what will 40 bring? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but here are a few of my hopes for it:

  • Become traditionally published
  • Learn enough swordfighting techniques to be able to teach as well as train
  • Become adept enough at sewing to be able to make more things and sell the things I make (while making some semblance of a profit)
  • Lean some elements of clothing design to where I can devise my own patterns from measurements that I take

That’s not all, but I think those are reasonable goals. Not quite bucket-list-worthy (except for the publication) but still things to shoot for and work on. I’d have to sit and think about what I’d want on my bucket list. What activities or life events do I want to tick off before I clock out? Maybe I’ll do that one day soon…

As the dust settles

Now that I’m winding down from the most recent event, I have to take a moment to think about what I want to do next.

For the first time in months, I don’t really have anything I have to do in the mornings. I could sew. I could write. I could do a lot of things, but there’s nothing so pressing that it can’t wait. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

I suppose I should enjoy this rare free-play time, but it has been so long since I’ve had time like this that I’m not entirely sure how to handle it. The feeling that I’m forgetting something vitally important is nagging at the back of my brain. How can this be?

This seems like the most opportune time to write, I suppose. Didn’t a famous individual once say, “When in doubt, write”? A (cursory) Google search doesn’t show it, but we’ll say it’s been said before. Book 2’s lackluster “ending”-in-progress needs to be amped up, along with several chapters leading up to it. There’s a rough idea of where it needs to leave off in my head, but when I wrote the last words (or are they the last?) it just fell flat. Time to find a way to add to the sense of urgency…and to fix those goddamn holes.