Rollin’ with my homies

Now that my husband and I have re-entered the world of Having a Social Life (nerd version), we’ve gotten back into RPGs–roleplaying games–and it’s taking some reorienting on my part.

I used to be able to create a caster character practically with my eyes shut and my hands tied behind my back. Need a blaster caster? Yep, I’m your gal. Healer? Yeah, I can do that. Buffer/debuffer? No sweat. Now? Now I’m making stupid mistakes in my character creation that are more than a little embarrassing, at least for a geek. Miscalculating stats, forgetting to buy certain special items that are practically necessary, forgetting major bonuses…yeah, I’m out of shape in that category. Last night’s game wasn’t a total loss, though; I blew the majority of the bad guys away in one fight, so at least I remembered how to utilize the spells I chose.

There are other social activities that we’ve been engaging in with our friends, and it’s weird to be back in that kind of mindset. Even my husband, who works from home and thus is virtually dying to get out of the apartment when he’s off work, has complained a bit about being worn out from all the go-go-go-go-go that we’ve been doing. Mondays are one thing (well, three for him really, two or three for me depending on when work ends), every other Tuesday something else, Wednesday and Thursday evenings have something on the schedule, and Fridays, Saturdays, and even Sundays each have at least one social activity with friends planned out on a regular basis. To go from zero to chock-full in a very short amount of time like this can be pretty exhausting, as we’re discovering now.

It’s cool to have friends to hang out with again, though, and I’d rather be exhausted from having too much of a life outside of work than exhausted from having no life outside of work. So I guess I’m not really complaining…more like stating the obvious.

Our friends are pretty cool, too. They have a lot of the same interests that we do, they’re encouraging, and they’re all-around nice guys. I’ve already learned a bunch from them and I can tell they’re going to provide a wealth of information in the years to come. And who knows? Maybe I can impart a little of my limited wisdom on them as well.

That’s how Having a Social Life works: You hang out, you have fun, and you just roll with it.

Can’t beat the heat

It’s mid-June. In Arizona. I’m about to head on a road trip in a sweltering car for three hours to a town that’s about ten to twenty degrees higher than our little mountain town.

WTF is my problem???

Guess I’m just a masochist or something. The conference/event/thing I’m going to is semi-mandatory for me (& not for pay), but I think it’ll be fun despite the weather. Meeting new people, learning new things, all that jazz. Plus I’ll have friends there, and my husband, so I won’t be all by myself. So that’s cool.

We’ll see how far I can take this peopling thing. I’ve been more socially active the past few months that in, like, the past decade. Not sure that’s really much of an exaggeration, either. Quite possibly literally a decade. And ​for a socially-awkward introvert, it should be interesting to see how I adapt. So far so good.
Right now we have friends in the car with us. I’m about to post this and then get social.

And melt… because the car temp gauge thing says 100 degrees.

Pants on fire

It’s that time again! Off to sew more stuff…once I re-craft the craft room, that is. Weeks after our guests have left I’ve still got the futon in bed formation and all my “stuff” piled on the cutting table off to the side. Granted, I didn’t have the fabric for these pants until Friday (and today’s my first full day sans planned activities since then), but still…I could’ve started on them sooner, I suppose.

These pants should be interesting seeing as, like the Rus Viking tunics I made, I have no true “pattern”…just tutorials and sketches I found online. I found some pretty good tutorials (http://sewsimplegarb.blogspot.com/2014/06/vikingrus-pants.html , http://pastimesofpasttimes.blogspot.com/2014/05/viking-rus-pants.html , and http://simbelmyne.us/sca/Viking/viking-rus-pants.htm –give credit where credit’s due and all that) so I think these will be successful pants.

Thankfully I don’t have to make multiple layers like the tunics. I’ll probably make some single-layer tunics next week or so, after we’ve bought more fabric. It’ll be good to get back to sewing again, though I’ll have less writing time while I’m working on that (I’m super slow when it comes to sewing). Also in my future are more multi-layer tunics, because my first attempts, while decent tunics, aren’t exactly easy-on/easy-off style tunics like the kind with buttons and all that jazz. Better for wearing over single-layer tunics if I can make them into jackets as opposed to full, non-buttoned tops.

Maybe I’ll make some different style garb as well. I mean, my husband and I can’t match 100% all the time…that would be boring–and a little creepy. So I’ll probably make an apron dress or two for myself and maybe some beaded things to go across. Again, Pinterest and Google will come to my rescue!

What I really want to try soon is making leather shoes, but it’s going to be a while before we can afford that much leather. Still, “authentic” shoes would be cool. Then I could totally go out with outfits completely made by me and brag about it 😉 Seriously though, I hope one day to learn enough about sewing and leatherworking to make full Viking outfits.

Backlogged

Now that Phoenix Comicon is over, my work as a media attendee is in full swing. I already wrote one article during the con, but my recaps are still pending. I have one ready for editing/publication on www.talknerdywithus.com and one draft, plus at least two more to write. Alas, the day job beckons, so I must wait until later to get those taken care of.

Speaking of the day job, the realization that I’ll be back to it hit midday yesterday. I only thought about my job once during the con, and that was a moment of relief that I wasn’t working on a busy day before a holiday. It has been nice not having work looming over my head nearly every day. Not that my job is a bad one, just that it’s a lot of work and quite exhausting at times. I definitely needed the break from it to decompress and just be me for a few days. It was nice having friends from out of town as company, and it was nice to get away from everything other than the con.

I also have non-work stuff that’s been simmering on the back burner for a while. I’ve got to get back to editing/revising/writing on the new series plus more garb sewing for the SCA plus remaking my Dark Phoenix corset (omg it turned out SO BIG on me even though I made a mock-up…I have no idea what I did), and gods only know what else I’m forgetting at the moment. I think the SCA sewing will likely be first on that list, as we have events coming up where we’d like something other than pajama pants to wear as “garb.” Not that the pajama pants aren’t comfortable, but I’d like to have some more actual Viking wear. The fencing tunics were fun to make, but they’re three layers of fabric and a little hot on those sweltering Arizona days. I’m improving little by little on the rapier fighting, but I still have a long, long way to go.

Once I have the one pending critique that I’m relatively certain I’ll get back, it’s editing/revising time. I’ve got several scenes in book 2 that need complete overhauls, but I have to wait for the critique before I get to those. Don’t want to write the new scenes only to have to make story-wide changes right after. That would be counterproductive (and more than a bit stupid). The corset? That’s at the bottom of the priority list right now. It’s going to be a while before we go to another con or cosplay-type event, so I’ll leave that for any imaginary “free time” I get in the future.

Speaking of the writing, I’ve gotten back in the swing of the “free writing events” on Twitter, which is basically themed hashtags where you use a line from your WIP and the hashtag to get snippets of your work seen. It’s interesting (and good for telling which lines can be condensed into smaller, 140-or-less-character lines) and good writing exercise. Theoretically I could write new lines for the themes that aren’t in my current WIP, but I prefer to skip the themes that don’t apply and stick to my story. I want to maintain that focus on the story and keep my eye sharp for the details and nuances that are (or are not) present in the books.

Though the five-day escape from life-as-we-know-it was nice, I’ll be glad to be back in the normal routine of work, sewing, and writing. Working is rewarding despite the exhaustion, and the “extracurriculars” help keep me sane when exhaustion is on the verge of winning.

Just have to make it through today

It’s almost here: Phoenix Comicon! All I have left to do is survive a super busy work day with most of my sanity intact.

Now that I’m done with cosplay work (yes, I finished in the nick of time), I’m finally starting to feel the excitement that comes every year with the con. I’m going through the Phoenix Comicon app with my husband to see what panels interest us, I’m double checking and triple checking packing lists, and I’ve gotten the guest room tidied up for company.

A lot accomplished in these past two months or so, but it has definitely worn me down a bit. My body and mind are weary. I definitely welcome the vacation, though it will be busy.

Guess I should get ready for that busy work day. As soon as work is done–skipping town! 

Almost weightless

I have almost done it! I finished the jacket last night, the pants this morning, and just have a couple small polymer clay things to finish tonight after work and I can call these cosplays DONE.

I think, perhaps, that I have learned a valuable lesson about procrastination on this most recent cosplay journey. As in, don’t procrastinate. I theoretically could have had all this done months ago. Months. I could even have had more time for a few extra details here and there. But nooooo, I had to write. I had to stare at the computer screen for hours on end. I had to nap.

No more. Next project (sewing-wise) is more SCA garb so we have more things to wear to events than just our rapier tunics. Perhaps I can even take some time to practice and learn embroidery so I can embellish the garb and make it more appealing to the eye. I’m not going to procrastinate though. I’m going to knock it all out as soon as possible. Pants next, then more tunics (with fewer layers this time), then maybe bracers, possibly shoes…as much as I can get done.

The only problem is that I have a critique of book 1 incoming after Phoenix Comicon. That means I’ll have to balance my time between reading the critique, going over the notes, revising and refining the manuscript, etc. and working on SCA clothing. But less staring at the computer screen and less napping for sure.

Now that I’m almost done with the cosplay work, I can settle down a bit and let the con excitement kick in–I hope. So far I’m still kind of nonplussed, but I think it’s because I’ve still got some work to do. I just keep telling myself that I’ll be done with the cosplay work tonight and then it’s cleaning up the craft room (aka the guest bedroom) and packing. A lot of the packing is done since we’re cosplaying each day of the con, but there’s still things like toiletries, makeup, meds, underclothes, etc. etc. etc.

I just hope we pack all the pieces of these newest cosplays. If not, I’m going to lose my ever-loving mind lol

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

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!