Author Birthday Q&A

Hey, everyone! It’s my 39th birthday, and I thought I’d give you a chance to ask author/book-related questions about me! All day today, comment, tweet, direct message, whatever, and I’ll do my best (in between birthday celebrations) to answer your questions! Ask about my inspirations, writing process, characters, the world of Abnormal, etc.

21 days until Abnormal is released in stores and on Amazon!!!

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Not so resolute

The past few years, I’ve tried different methods of planning out new year’s resolutions–I’ve made lists of several resolutions/goals, I’ve kept 3×5 index cards on the fridge, I’ve coordinated with a friend to be resolutions buddies, I’ve narrowed it down to one goal–all with varied results. Oddly enough, the years where I’ve made long lists have been about as successful as those where I just picked one thing to focus on.

What did I decide to do this year? A big, fat nothing. I haven’t so much given up on resolutions as I’ve decided that I just don’t want to be “that guy/girl” who sets lofty goals and then fails to succeed in those goals. Does that mean I have no goals for this year? No, but I’m not aiming for anything that could be quantified as a “resolution,” and I kinda started the list long before the new year rolled around. Hell, I started working towards the list before the new year rolled around.

I want my WIP to be published. I want Book 2 to be revised and polished enough for submission to the publisher. I want to learn more embroidery and sewing techniques, both modern and medieval. I want to enter something in an SCA Arts and Sciences competition. I want to advance in rapier training. I want to keep up with the exercise routine I have with my friends. I want to not break my freakin’ foot again.

All perfectly reasonable goals, right? But I’m not going to call them “resolutions.” That sounds cliche and empty. How many people who make new year’s resolutions actually keep them? I don’t have statistics on that (and really am too lazy to Google it), but I’m going to make a blind generalization that the majority of the people who make new year’s resolutions don’t follow through to the end goal. I’m basing this not on science, but on my perception as viewed through social media and friends’ and family members’ experiences. Because third-hand data, especially data that has not actually been documented and studied, is so reliable. Hey, what can I say? Being informed and accurate is not one of my goals. 😉

I’m not saying that new year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. I’ve succeeded in several over the years. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t resolve to resolve just for the sake of resolving. If you want to make it a true “resolution” to change something in your life at the start of a new year, cool beans. If you just want to set goals for yourself at your own time and pace, that’s cool too. You do what you do, I’ll do what I do, and we’ll get there eventually.

A case of noncompliance

It’s been a strange few weeks. Yule prep and Christmas, work and sewing and events and insomnia and Goddess knows what else I’m forgetting. I haven’t felt “bad,” per se, but I’ve been feeling…off.

Could it be my crazy schedule? Possibly…or possibly it’s the fact that I haven’t been the most compliant patient in the world lately. Yeah, I know, for the meds to work you have to keep taking them. I just haven’t felt like it. Stupid, lame excuse, I know, but there you have it. I just don’t feel like taking my pills half the time.

Granted, sometimes I get home late from an event or outing and am too tired to take my nighttime pills, but I have no real excuse for missing the morning doses (which are when the majority of my bipolar meds are taken). I just don’t feel like it. Did I say that already? Yeah, well, it bears repeating. My routine has been thrown off course, and I need to get it back.

The early mornings? Still there, but they’ve been chock full of cramming for Yule and Christmas deadlines. With those two things out of the way now I should soon have my quiet time to myself again. I do have another deadline (revisions due to the publisher), but it’s not one that has me panicked like the others did. I have sewing that needs to be done, too, but it’s nothing too terribly pressing. Maybe a month, month and a half before the next project is needed.

Maybe once I get back to my routine my “off” feeling will go away. Or once I get back to routinely taking my pills. Either way, hopefully I’ll be back to my blogging, tweeting, sewing, writing self.

I guess I can get back to it. I can start behaving again. It’s not like things are going to be crazy forever. I just have to be good and take my meds like I’m supposed to.

I just don’t feel like it.

Passing aggression

The visit was sweet

Until it went sour

Bitterness brewed

And cut the binds

Life handed lemons

We offered to share

Not from the tree

But from our own

Words became twisted

Like the proverbial knife

Ties that bound

Sliced dangerously thin

To salvage what’s left

Away we must go

Before the tightrope snaps

Insults hurled

Shots fired

That can’t be taken back

So we leave

Guests un-welcomed

Perhaps time can heal

The passing aggression

Until then

We will let aggression pass

As we drive through the night

‘Tis the season

Just a few more days until Christmas! Not that I’m Christian, but I like to celebrate the spirit of gift giving this time of year. I think that giving presents to friends and family to show your appreciation of them is something I can totally get on board with, regardless of the religious reason for said gift giving.

I’m a little disappointed that I’m not going to get done sewing one present in time to mail it out, and that I wasn’t able to get to the post office to mail out another one. Then there’s the one I ordered last-minute the wasn’t on the Prime program, so it won’t arrive before Christmas. And it took me forever to figure out what I was getting my husband–so that will be late, too. Boo. None of the recipients mind that their gifts will be late, but I still feel guilty that I didn’t get everything in on time.

Despite the fact that I create an Amazon wish list every year of stuff I’d like to get, I’m not really concerned with what I end up getting. Its the spirit of the season, those friends and family that I mentioned before, that really matter. Seeing how happy they are with their gift(s) (or pretend-happy, depending on how good a job I did of selecting/making said gift) is what makes me happy, not necessarily what kind of haul I end up getting. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d even be disappointed in the slightest if I got no presents–so long as I still was able to buy/make for those I care about.

As the year draws to a close, I think back on my one “resolution”/goal for the new year: to get the first draft of my WIP in finished. I blew past that goal and even finished the first draft of the sequel, plus got a publishing deal. I’m still amazed that I accomplished that much.

This isn’t where I usually post my goals for the next year, but since I mentioned it let’s just get that post out of the way, shall we? Here goes:

  • I want to continue working out with my husband and my friends to gain strength and endurance (and hopefully lose a bit of weight)
  • don’t want to break my motherfucking foot again…or any other bones
  • I want to continue to learn and grow in my rapier practice–maybe win a small tournament? We’ll see
  • I want to get Book 2 finished enough to send it to my publisher for consideration
  • Oh yeah, I want Book 1 to be published. I want to see it in print in a bookstore. Maybe some book signings? We’ll see on that one, too. Oh, and to get at least started on Book 3 🙂
  • I want to make it through my current sewing project list and then some (that one might take up the entire year lol)
  • I want to do my hardest to push back some of this social anxiety to the point where I can enjoy SCA events more and not get overwhelmed by the number of people I don’t know that are around me
  • I want to learn a new art/craft. I’ve already started trying to embroider something, but that might be my “new” thing seeing as how I’ve only just barely started
  • I want to stand up for myself more. On those occasions where my social anxiety is not under control or for events/meetings that I don’t want to go to, I want to be able to say “Hey, honey, I don’t want to do Thing X; can I stay home/in the tent for it or maybe do Thing Y instead?”
  • I want to move into our own home and out of this freakin’ apartment

This probably isn’t a comprehensive list of goals for the coming year, but I think they’re all reasonable. Attainable.

I used to grab a 3×5 index card and jot all these goals down, sticking the card on the fridge for “motivation,” but I don’t think I’ll do that this year. I can keep a running tally in my head of things I’ve accomplished that I set out to do.

Speaking of things to do, I had better get cracking on the gift I’m currently working on. It’s taking a lot of hand sewing because I can’t figure out a good way to use the sewing machine on the weird angles without screwing it up.

Until next time!

It feels good to be a Lady

Last night was my husband’s first SCA feast as Feast Steward, and it went amazingly well! The food turned out great, and everyone enjoyed it.

I spent a majority of the time sitting at the table because of das boot. I did get up a few times, though, most notably for the Order of Precedence procession and *drum roll please* my Award of Arms! My husband got his as well, so now we are Lord and Lady. 🙂 I gotta admit, I teared up a little when Her Majesty was going over her speech about why she was giving me the award.

My husband and I are apparently unusually active in the Society for as new as we are, so our AoA was presented fairly early on, for our kingdom at least. Some people play for years and years before getting their AoA, but we’ve only been playing since March. We have taken on a lot in that short time though, such as our Baronial officer positions, the Queen’s Guard, and of course his feast stewarding.

I never thought I’d be so happy with such a seemingly little thing. “Lady.” It’s kinda cool. It feels good to be recognized for the hard work I’ve done. Sure, I get thanks all the time, but this is something I can take and frame and look at as a reminder when I start feeling like I’m not appreciated or recognized.

Our scrolls turned out pretty cool too; they’re even coordinated. Check it out:

Those birds are freaking cute!

The next big thing for us will be Estrella War. It’s the biggest war in our kingdom and I think one of the biggest in the SCA. My husband has been to a couple of Estrella Wars, but this will be my first. It should be interesting. I’ll be getting my Oleander, another award (one that’s given to all female fighters their first time on the Estrella battlefield) there. I’ve been making the belt favors for it to help out.

The other highlight of the event last night (for me at least) was the response to the garb I worked so hard on. Everyone loved the gown I wore and apparently they loved my husband’s garb as well. I didn’t get a picture of him in his outfit, but here’s my dress:

I had a lot of help, but I’m still proud of how it turned out. It was pretty comfortable. I still have tweaks I want to do to it, like making detachable sleeves, but it was completed and that’s what matters.

Now we’re off to Star Wars! A good treat after all that hard work.

Hanging by a thread

It’s almost here: the Yule feast that my husband’s in charge of cooking. The theme (which you may recall if you follow this blog) is Italian Renaissance. As Viking personas, we had no Italian Ren garb. None. So I’ve been scrambling to make two full outfits.

Did I mention I have no clue how to make period-accurate Italian Ren garb? Yeah. There’s that. I had patterns for my husband’s clothes (which, being “costume” patterns and not “historical” patterns, are not quite period-accurate either), but I needed a lot of help with my garments. Thankfully there are some really kind, really helpful ladies in our barony who were willing to give me their time and attention so I could be properly attired.

I’ve still got a few things to finish, but with (hopefully) a half day at work today, I should be able to finish everything in time. I have to:

  • re-sew the snaps on the stomacher of my dress because the dress ended up needing to be taken in a bit more (yay!)
  • add the buttons to my husband’s pants (and the belt loops he requested for extra security; not “period,” but they’ll keep the pants up lol)
  • finish the sleeves, collar, and hem on his shirt
  • add as much fancy trim as I have time to slap on there
  • iron the damn things

Once the sewing and ironing are done, I have to bust my butt to clean up the craft room and transform it into a guest room again. I have accumulated quite a bit more fabric since the last time I cleaned/straightened in there, so it looks like a trip to Wal-Mart or some such place is in my future so I can get more storage for all that crap. Then, once our guest is gone, I have to bring things back out again so I can try to get the one Christmas present I plan on sewing done before the holiday. I doubt I’ll be able to, though, and it makes me feel bad. I know I had a lot going on lately–sickness, injury (oh yeah, forgot to mention: I broke another bone on my foot back at the last war event), work, and garb–but that doesn’t stop the guilt from eating at me.

That’s not all in the sewing department; I have gifts for the women who helped me, a tournament prize, more garb (with a February deadline this time–easier Viking stuff), and assorted odds and ends that I want to make. Seriously, I have a list. Typed up. Because I’m a nerd.

Why am I typing this instead of cranking out garb? Well, I’ve gotten to a step that I can potentially skip, but I need to wait for my husband to wake up so I can ask him if he minds if I omit the step. He’s been stressed enough about the event, though, so I’ll let him sleep. I can find other things to do until then.

But as soon as he’s up and has made a decision, it’s back to the grind.