Ever the student

i have no idea what im doing

Well, it’s getting to Documentation Time for my Arts and Sciences projects, so of course I start with the hardest one: the research paper. I haven’t done a research paper since the last time I was in college–so twelve years. Twelve years rusty. Why did I choose to do a research paper again?

Oh yeah…I had a brilliant idea.

No, I won’t go into it here. I only have two very rough draft paragraphs done, and it’s going to take this whole week to get it done and up to snuff…and to document the arts project. That one should be easier, but first thing’s first.

A lot of people have told me that they do the research first, then the thing. I ended up going backwards on my arts project. I did the embroidery using stitches that I knew to be used in period times; now I have to prove that they were used. D’oh!

With the competition a week away, I have to put Book 2 on hold. I guess that’s a good thing, though, because I’m kinda stuck a bit. Not stuck-stuck, but stuck enough. I’m at that point I usually get to in my writing where I’ve reached the near-end before enough has happened. I have to add more action, more description, and/or more dialogue. I think I’ve dialouged things out, so it’s going to have to be the former two.

I started my research on local media outlets, bookstores, and libraries for Abnormal‘s release, too. There are a lot of libraries in Tucson. I haven’t finished there yet, and I still have Phoenix left to go. I plan on taking one of my half days/partial days at work to start making calls to set up potential appearances/book signings/etc. I want to have the marketing materials in hand though, so I will have to just research until then. Maybe by then I can narrow down where I want to go to plug my book.

The web media sites I haven’t really gotten into yet. I need to, but it’s a bit hard to weed out the clickbait sites and find the real entertainment/book websites. I also have to avoid the “pay to be put on X lists” sites. I want none of those shenanigans.

Proofreading is done, the publisher loves the ending, and things are moving along. I just need to finish my Arts and Sciences writing, finish the second first draft of Book 2, finish a bunch of illumination/scrolls that I said I’d do, and oh, yeah, the arts exchange project and…..I’m probably forgetting something in there. Work! Yeah. I have to work. Damn day job.

I guess that’s enough rambling for now.

 

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Crunch of a different sort

It’s crunch time again, but this time it’s not for a convention. No, this weekend is reserved not for cosplay scrambling but instead for A&S (Arts and Sciences for those non-SCAdians) entries.

I finished one of my two entries, but y still need to finish the research for the second and to write both documentation papers. Easy peasy, right?

I’m just hoping there’s enough left of High School Me and College Me to get them done. Lol Adult Me hasn’t had to write a research paper in over a decade, so we’ll see how it goes.

If I want to some day be a Laurel I can’t keep doing this, though. I think part of it is that I had so many other projects that came up between when I made Project One and the competition–which, incidentally, is a week from tomorrow. Thankfully I have the whole weekend to work on them. No events. Nothing planned. Just research.

Then, I guess, it’s back to Book 2. I’m still only about halfway through, and though I don’t have a deadline for this one, I’d like to get the second first draft done by the end of the year. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time to give myself.

Oh crap. This weekend I also planned to start contacting media outlets about Abnormal. Guess that will have to wait until I get done with A&S.

So much to do in one weekend. Let the games commence!

The battle (moor) is over

We have left Battlemoor behind, and soon Colorado will be in the rear view mirror and we’ll be staying the night in Albuquerque before we go home.

I had a great time, but I miss my Rory-kins and my River monster. It’ll be good to be home and have them happy to see me. It’ll also be nice to sleep in my own bed … and write on my couch.

I managed to get a decent amount of writing done while on vacation, but I’ve got a lot left to do. I’ve gotten my MC into a sticky situation, and I’ve got to get her out of it… but I’ve got half a book to go for that.

I met many new people and made a few new friends this past weekend. Got some good rapier fighting in, and (in a rarity only found in out-of-kingdom events) managed to get to fight only people I’ve never fought before. Won a few fights, lost a few, but thanks to my rapier teacher I’m trying a new thing where I try to remember at least one thing I learned from each fight to help teach me new things and learn how to improve. I wasn’t able to get over my shyness to ask other fighters for pickup fights, but a couple of people asked me so I did get a few non-tournament fights in.

Tuesday I go back to work and fully back to mundane life. It’ll be a little bittersweet, because I’ll be back to normal but I’ll have to leave SCA life behind for a while. Not completely behind–I never get completely away from it because I’m always working on craft projects in my off time. I have to buckle down and get my A&S projects finished when I get home. I’m not going to try for Champion this go around. Novice for me this time, but maybe for the Kingdom A&S in the fall. We shall see.

Speaking of down time, I should get some writing in while I’m sitting here in the back seat.

Battlemoor bound

Well, this morning we head off for Albuquerque, then tomorrow we’re caravaning (guess that’s not a word–spellcheck doesn’t think so, anyway) up to Colorado for our second out-of-kingdom event. (The first was Great Western War last year). It should be interesting at least. Only three of us members of the Queen’s Guard are attending (not counting the Captain), so we’re pulling five shifts at guard each, some of them double shifts. I volunteered for the double shifts I’m taking though, because I felt it was my duty as a member of the Guard to make sure the Queen is guarded. I hope Grand Court isn’t too long–I hate standing Court Guard, but it was the only one of the three mandatory guard shifts that were available that I could take.

I plan on taking at least a couple of A&S classes while I’m there–the one on leather carving sounds super interesting–and doing a couple rapier tournaments. Beyond that and guarding, it’s going to be a lot of helping out around camp. I don’t cook, so I’ll likely be doing a lot of dishes this week.

When I’m not guarding or swording or artsing or cleaning I’ll be trying to get some embroidery time and some writing time in. Writing time will probably be in the wee hours of the morning when I’m up and no sane person should be–embroidery time will be for times when I’m standing guard and the Queen is just resting or watching something (we’re supposed to have “hand work” to do when we’re not active–the benefits of the Queen and King both being Laurels) or when I’m in camp and not busy. I have to get my sister’s birthday present done, so the Outlands arts exchange project will have to be on hold until that’s finished. I found a cool howling wolf design that I think she’ll love to see embroidered.

Cell service in the area will be spotty at best but most likely nonexistent. In other words, read up on the archive if you’re interested in seeing more from me because I’ll be incommunicado. Oh, sure, some of it’s inane babble like this post, but there are some gems in there. You’ll have to read through them to find out! 😉

See you after Battlemoor!

Guard duty (heh-heh, I said “duty”)

The time has come for another out-of-kingdom SCA event, and as part of the Queen’s Guard (and one of only three Guard members attending said event) I had to pick out my shifts for guarding Her Majesty.

It’s interesting being on Guard for events. Normally at events I like to wing it and maybe plan to be at one or two things (besides rapier tournaments–whenever possible, I try to make the tournaments), but now that I’m on the Guard I have to decide what classes/things at the event I might want to do before I go raising my hand to volunteer for a shift at Guard.

The nice thing is that Her Majesty likes for her Guards/attendants/Court members to be busy with arts and crafts work as opposed to just standing around. So I get to embroider while I’m guarding, provided I’m not standing Court or some other such thing where it’s more formal. Still, that will go a long way in helping me to get my Outlands arts exchange project worked on. Of course, I’ll have to be more careful in who I let see said project, because the event is in Outlands and I don’t want the recipient to see my work before it’s done. I’ve gotten one piece done, but I plan on at least … four or five more pieces. There’s a $35 limit on materials cost, but with embroidery the cost isn’t as much in materials as it is in time, so I can make more items (provided I can find the time). I’m super excited to see how the recipient likes the stuff I make, even though they won’t get it until September.

Well, it’s about time to help a friend move. More on the Outlands event later!

I got it covered

I’d thought I had lost my Arts and Sciences project–the only one I’ve gotten finished so far–until yesterday. I gave the craft room one last sweep before I left to go visiting my potential-future-Laurel, and lo! and behold, there it was. On the floor. In a place I’d looked at least three times previously. Right between a couple of boxes. Thanks to that discovery I don’t have to redo the whole damn thing, and I was able to finish the beading on it. Next up (sometime in the next three weeks): the documentation paper to go with it. Easy peasy. Right? Well, maybe not so much, but I’ll get it done.

I got another project–well, the first part of another project–done as well. Introducing my fourth embroidered cup cover:

collage-2018-06-25-04_21_44

Done for an arts exchange project with another kingdom, but it’s not the only thing I’m doing; I’m also going to make some matching napkins, a feast gear utensil holder, and, time permitting, some coasters. Yeah, ambitious, I know, but I have a couple of months on those. The cup cover, btw, is 100% handsewn and hand beaded. No sewing machines were harmed in the making of that cover.

Yeah, it’s not perfect. I pulled the stitches too tight and crowded them too much on the white embroidery filling in the device. I eyeballed the circular edge when I was sewing the back onto the front, so yeah, not the evenest. Still, it’s pretty, and it’s I hope something the recipient will love.

I’m wondering something though…would people want to pay for cup covers like the ones I’ve made? One of them was a commission, but there were … issues with payment. Was it because the person thought I was charging too much? I don’t know, but I enjoy doing these kind of short embroidery projects, things that take a couple of weeks of stolen moments before or after work or during lunch, little snippets of creativity snuck in when possible. What am I getting at, anyway? Basically, I’m looking for something I can do that can hone my embroidery craft while still making creative things for other people. I’m just not sure there’s enough of a demand for it to make any kind of effort to advertise what I do worth it.

Here are some pictures of the others I’ve done (one wasn’t beaded because the person who commissioned it wanted to put the beads on herself):

Considering my previous failed attempts at creative entrepreneurship, I probably should just let word of mouth do its thing and if I get asked to make some, I make some; if I don’t, I don’t. I can make them for gifts or something and stoke my creative fires that way.

Who knows. Maybe this post will generate some interest? Maybe so, maybe no. I think I’m going to stop overthinking and just go do some laundry or something.

Stuck between a wall and a soft place

Can’t seem to make up my mind as to what activity I want to do before work this morning… I mean, I’ve been kicking ass on the embroidery project I’m currently working on, but I also have hit a mild brick wall in the writing of Book 2, and that really needs to be addressed. Then there’s the Viking hood I promised my husband I’d make for him (shouldn’t take too long, but I have less than an hour before I have to get ready for work right now) as well as Arts & Sciences stuff to work on. Oh, and there’s the tiny little detail of my first A&S project disappearing sometime in the last couple of weeks.

Yeah, I hid it in a “safe place” for the SCA party so it wouldn’t get stolen or messed up.

A very safe place.

So safe I can’t for the life of me find the fucking thing.

It’s not like I can’t redo it, or even that I can’t redo it in the time I have left before A&S. I can, if I push myself, but do I really want to have to do that? No. I also don’t want to have to tear apart the craft room (the last place I have to search) to find it. Decisions, decisions.

I suppose I should just work on writing. It keeps my eyes focused on the computer screen, so I can see the time and theoretically not lose track of how much time is left before I have to get ready.

In Boot News, I am free of the boot on my left foot, provided it doesn’t start hurting too much again. I guess I sprained a ligament in the middle toe, but at my two-weeks-and-one-day follow up (I went back in earlier than three weeks because of how my work schedule is) the doc said I was doing better at 2+ weeks than most people do at 3 weeks. So I did something right, at least.

Well, off I go to, y’know, do things and stuff.