Conceptualism

Today I “met” with the book cover designer officially for the first time and got to give him my thoughts on the cover of Abnormal. Every time something new happens in the process it revs up my excitement. So close, yet so far. I want to tell you all the release date, but I still have to keep mum. But soon. Soon.

I am a few chapters in on revisions on Book 2, but I stopped for the A&S crunch and can’t remember what I was going to say next. Lol

Book 3 is tickling the back of my mind, but I have to tell it to wait its turn. If I dive into that now, I’ll squirrel and never make any progress.

Next on my list of things to do is get home from rapier fighting, shower, and eat. Then I need to use the feedback I got from my A&S judges to improve my research paper a bit. I won’t discuss the actual competition here. I won with both my entries, but my overall experience with the event was… let’s just say… disappointing. We’ll go with that. Hopefully next week in our neighboring Barony it will be better.

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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.

Guarded outlook

I spent most of the active hours of the day guarding my Queen, and it was kind of nice. She rested most of the time I was on duty, and she even ordered me to have some ice cream.

Tomorrow I try fighting at this altitude. I’m doing okay now, but I get tired quickly. It’s nine fifteen at night and my glasses are fogging up from the heat and mugginess. But I’m okay. I’ll just sleep on top of the sleeping bag until it cools off.

It’s been a strange day, time-wise. I started in the wee hours writing futuristic sci-fi on my laptop…in a tent in the middle of the woods… And throughout the day I was pretty much dressed like a Viking…. while wearing Sketchers. (My foot started hurting, and I’ll never make it through the weekend on medieval shoes like that.) It’s kinda surreal.

It will be strange to be back in real, current times. Back at work, back writing, back doing all the things I’ve been doing–but dressed normal. Well, normal for us.

Time for bed–er, cot now. See you all on the morrow.

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!

Whatever happened to the girl who could stab people for hours?

Man, the first time I put a rapier in my hand that was it. Game over, man. I was hooked.

So what happened?

Let me backtrack a bit: I started out super gung-ho about rapier fighting and fencing. I wanted to learn All The Things, and I would get uber frustrated if I didn’t get something right. I went to every practice I could, and I joined a local fencing school to get even more practice in. I did tournaments at events (even though I’m not the greatest at it)–once with a broken foot–, and I even tried melee fighting (which I am even less the greatest at).

Lately, though, and I mean for a good few months now, I haven’t been at it as much. I’ve been withdrawing from the rapier fighting and even exercise days with my rapier friends. Why? What’s got me shying away from the one sport that ever got me excited, that ever made me feel like I could be good at a sport?

Part of it, I think, is that I got burned out after Estrella War. I practiced so much that I just got practiced out. Another part might be that, for whatever reason, my performance in tournaments has dropped significantly. Not that I was ever even close to winning–I wasn’t–but I feel like I’m just flailing around, whereas before I was more focused and driven.

Another part, and it’s not necessarily his fault mind you, but another part is my husband. Due to some … we’ll say “unsportsmanly behavior” … from some more experienced, respected rapier fighters, my husband withdrew from rapier first, before I did. He didn’t want to go to the regular practices, and more recently he stopped going to the rapier academy practices as well. It’s largely a personality clash issue. Not to say that either personality is “wrong,” just that they don’t jive together well. He doesn’t want to go back, but I do…don’t I?

We’ve also been super busy; we go to more out-of-Barony events than we did at this time last year, so Sundays we’re either exhausted from traveling or still heading back from wherever we traveled when it’s time to practice.

I’m still gung ho about trying to get a rapier practice area set up on our land. I’m still plotting that out in my head. But I don’t go and actually practice anymore.

Is it because I live further away now? Well, that would explain the SCA practices, but I’m a tad closer to the rapier academy practices now, so that’s no excuse. I still love my friends and love fighting them and learning from them, so that’s not an issue. So what is it?

Last night I went to a different Barony’s rapier practice. I got to fight a couple of people that I don’t usually fight, and that may have helped a bit to motivate me to do better. I need something more though, some extra push, to get me back in the rapier game. Maybe if I ask my White Scarf for a set day during the week to practice I will get back into things. I mean, I can’t use traveling as an excuse if it’s a work day–I’ll theoretically already be in town.

Regardless of the hows or whys, something’s gotta change. I have to get back at the stabby-stab so I can improve, learn, and excel.

I just gotta figure out tho hows of that bit.

 

Signed, sealed, delivered, HOME

We did it! After more than a year and a half of planning and building and paperwork and stress, our house is our house. We can sleep and eat and shower and live in it!

The first night went well, though I didn’t sleep any better than usual. Still woke up ass-early in the morning, but I was able to do some revisions on the chaise of the couch while my husband slept soundly, without worrying about typing too loud or finding headphones to listen to music on the laptop.

Yeah, there are boxes everywhere. Yeah, we still don’t have all the smart home stuff fully set up (though I can turn on/off lights and fans and such with my phone or the Echo now). Yeah, there’s still stuff lingering in the apartment. Yeah, we still need to clean the apartment. We have to officially change our address at the post office and numerous other places. We have to get used to driving an extra 20+ minutes to get anywhere compared to the 5-10 minutes it used to take when we lived “in town.” We’ve got stuff that we need to purchase to maintain the land and house and all that. But we’re home.

Rory and River love it. They were apprehensive at first, but once they realized they were here to stay and they had twice the space to explore as the apartment, they were all about the house. There’s new furniture and old to climb on, new windows to look out (with windowsills they both fit on), and a nice, new concrete floor to lie on when they need to cool off.

This upcoming long weekend will be a huge help in getting settled. We’re going to see Solo on Saturday (and making an out-of-town trip for it), but otherwise we don’t really have anything planned. We can take a breath and focus and get things organized. Just knowing that we have that little bit of extra time helps me relax and get out of OMG-I-have-so-much-stuff-to-do-and-no-time mode.

Revisions are coming along again now that we’re moved. I’m about halfway through a preliminary read of the edits, but of course I have to review everything a couple of times before resubmitting. After all, this is the LAST batch of edits. The LAST revisions before publication. I can’t say when publication is yet, because I haven’t been officially announced by the publisher, but as soon as I can I’ll be blasting it all over the Interwebs. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to actually utilizing Twitter to grow a fanbase/network and to start marketing.) I’ve given my publishers an open invite to stay with us should they ever come to Arizona, and there are tentative plans in the works to get some booths set up at local conventions once the book is published.

As soon as this first book is “put to bed” I’m going to get cracking on simultaneous edits/rewrites on Book 2 and SCA Arts & Sciences projects. I have to learn/write the documentation for the one thing I’ve made so far, finish the research on the research paper I plan on writing, and potentially make a third thing for entry. I’ve gone from entering just in the local Baronial Arts & Sciences competition to entering as part of a household in another Barony. Still a lot to do in just a month or two, but I’ll be okay. I just need to breathe and not stress out too much about any of it. Of course, to make the third as-yet-to-be-determined thing for A&S I’ll need a new chair for the craft room. Turns out the carefully-planned room (which is still awesome) does not have enough room for the futon I used to sit on, so I need an actual, like, office chair or something. Oh yeah, and I have to put all the crap in there away, or at least “away enough” to where I can start on the third project. At least the research paper doesn’t need to be constructed, just written and printed.

We have no less than three house parties in the works now, with one huge SCA party planned, one party for family and coworkers, and one party (date as-yet-to-be-determined) for close friends. I’m hoping to get at least some of the “rapier obstacle course” that I plan on making done by the SCA party, so we can have some er, party games. Yeah. Party games. With mutherfuckin’ swords. Hell yeah.

Lots to do, but much less pressure now.

Now that I’m home.

Home, sweet home.