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.

Hypersensitive

I’ve gotten to that bend in the roller coaster again. I’d been fairly flat and level lately, but I suspect that the tracks are on a downslope as I get more and more sensitive to little things that shouldn’t bug me.

My biggest frustration stems from new knowledge that’s coming in that is slowing me down when it comes to utilization of said knowledge. I know, in theory, how to do these new things, but in practice I’m failing–big time. My mind is trying to apply the things I’ve learned and in the process I’m tripping all over myself…sometimes literally. I know that it’s a learning curve and I just have to be patient and keep practicing, but try telling that to me. I’m sure as hell not listening to it.

I’m also getting more sensitive, or maybe more paranoid, about what people think of me. Every time I hear derisive laughter and I don’t know what the people are talking about, I assume it must be about me. They’re making fun of someone and I’m weird, so they must be making fun of me. It’s not anything or anyone specific and it’s not logical in any way, but the thoughts come just the same.

These insecurities are really hitting me harder than they should, so I know it’s just my mind getting out of control again. Knowing that and pushing the insecurities aside are two different animals though; I can tell myself all day long that I’m worrying over nothing–it won’t make a difference. I’ll still find myself on the verge of tears for no good reason.

It’ll pass eventually–it always does–but it’s frustrating as hell when this part of my brain cycle hits.

To find strength in weakness

For the past several months, I’ve been stuck on book 2 of my current writing project(s). I had made the main character too powerful, too unbelievable. Too boring. Who cares about an all-powerful character who has almost no weaknesses? Meh.

I was trying to think of how to strengthen the last several chapters I wrote when suddenly it hit me: take away that power and see how she deals with it. If the lack of weakness was causing the weak writing, then maybe I should add some weakness and let it take me where it does. So far it reads much better, and it gives the supporting characters a chance to show what they can do…and they’re surprising even me.

I’ve added more than a thousand words since I started early this morning, but I’m far from done. I’ve still got entire chapters that need partial to complete overhauls thanks to this change. I sometimes wish I hadn’t gotten as far as I did before I caught on to what the problem was, but when I think about it it’s kind of a blessing. Some parts can be salvaged, and I have a general idea of where I’m going. The direction hasn’t changed much–the train’s still on the same basic track–but the implications are far-sweeping. Like, into all the future books (however many that ends up being…). Still, since I’ve already written in the general direction the story’s going I hopefully won’t lose too much time in my reboot. Well, not too much more time. There is that whole months-of-not-writing thing that has slowed me down.

Will I make it to the end of book 2/draft 1 by the end of this year? Maybe, maybe not. I blew past my goal of finishing the first draft of book 1 by the end of the year, so I’m not too worried about whether or not book 2’s draft gets finished before January 1st. I made a goal, and I accomplished it with more than half a year left over.

I think I’m starting to get this writing thing down. 🙂

 

HIITing it out of the park

Yesterday was my first day doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) at the local park with my friends, and it was great. It was exhausting and tough, but it was great. I’m hoping I can make at least two out of the three days a week that we all plan on doing, but with work it’s hard to tell what days I’ll be able to make it. The five o’clock meet time isn’t always feasible when patients sometimes don’t end until 5:15 or 5:30. Still, even an extra day or two of exercise should help me get more fit than I currently am…considering my baseline is no days of exercise lol

It’s good having good friends to hang out with again. After a long dry spell of being friendzoned by once-close friends (or having friends move away), it feels nice to have people who want to spend time with me and my husband on a regular basis. Dinner, movies, gaming, etc…it’s taking some getting used to, especially after such a long time of having nothing really going on during the week or even on weekends. It’s cool, though. Those dry spells of inactivity make me appreciate my friends even more. Like, really appreciate them. They’re huggy, affectionate people who seem to “get” me even on my off days. They understand if I’m a little down, or if I’m sore from the RA, or if I’m exhausted from a long work day/week.

Always appreciate your friends, people. They’re precious and rare and worth every second.

Leggings

I’ve found my rapier weakness (well, one of many).

I gotta watch my damn legs.

It sounds simple enough: keep the sword between you and the other guy and you won’t get bruised, right? Except most of the other guys/girls I fight against are wayyyyy more experienced than I am. And it seems others have found my weakness as well. Each week after Friday and Sunday practices I end up with more and more bruising on my legs from letting myself get struck. No, I’m not letting them hit me on purpose, but by not parrying or by getting in too close or by leaving openings in my defense I pretty much am giving them free reign to whack me in the legs.

At least now I know one of my focal areas of training: Legs. Gotta watch the legs. And head (but no bruising there, thanks to fencing masks). And arms, though I don’t get bruises on my arms as often. And, well, pretty much everything. I mean, I know it’s all important, but my Achilles heel seems to be my thighs at this point. I don’t know what has changed; when I first started fencing, I didn’t really get legged much. Now? Now I’m legged all the freakin’ time.

Am I discouraged by this? Nope. I’m still a newbie, so this just gives me more opportunity to hone in on areas where I need more practice. There’s also a rapier company that I plan on joining where learning and teaching are the main focal points, so that will help. I already have friends who help (most of whom are in the company), but I think that researching period fencing Masters–which is one of the requirements for advancement–will help me immensely. I’m a little apprehensive about it because I don’t necessarily do my best physical learning from pictures (and the Masters didn’t have YouTube in their time to document their styles). And written descriptions of what to do? Geez-o-Pete, it’s going to be tough. I’m still stumbling on the four basic parries. Is one down to the inside and two down to the outside? I know three is up, in, thrust and four is up, out, thrust…I think. So much to remember! And a lot of fencing terminology is Latin or Italian or some other foreign language that is not medical Spanish. So yeah. There’s that, too.

Still, despite all the hard work involved, I’m glad I found rapier fighting as a means of exercise and socialization. So far the local rapier community has welcomed me with open arms, which is refreshing, and I’m told that I’m doing really well for a newbie, which is surprising given my lack of coordination in all things sportsy in the past. Who would have thought that there would be any sport that I’d do well in, let alone one as technical as this.

Here’s to my continued training and growth in rapier fighting, and here’s to not letting myself get hit in the freakin’ legs! 😉

Mass Murder

Here goes nothing…I’m going to cut several chapters from book 2 because they are flatter than the screen they’re displayed on and it’s been bugging me since before the Phoenix Comicon crunch fell upon me. It won’t be the first time I’ve slaughtered thousands of words, and it surely won’t be the last. Still, I have to reread the whole mess first so I don’t kill whatever semblance of decent writing might exist amidst the rubble. I’m sure it’s not all as garbage-y as I think it is, but there’s still a burning need for a major overhaul.

One big question is: How do I tone it down without making it fall into a black hole of boring? At the moment I have a heroine who is nigh invulnerable, and that just doesn’t work. She’s got to have at least some weaknesses; if I make her beyond superhuman, that leaves no room for growth or advancement. That would be just as dull, if not more so, as having her weak and useless. There’s a balance I have to find, that line between godlike and fragile where she’s both strong and vulnerable.

I have my work cut out for me, but I’m confident that I can achieve that balance and make the action more interesting. I just have to mull it over, buckle down, and git ‘er done.

Diving back in?

Phoenix Comicon’s over. The Crunch has passed, and I have a lot more time to myself in the mornings. No rush to sew as fast as I can. I can finally get back to book 2.

Whatever happened to waiting to fix the chapters that have been bugging the hell out of me until editing on book 1 is finished? Well, I’ll tell you what happened: those damn chapters have been bugging the hell out of me.

I didn’t want to rewrite them until I finished whatever sweeping changes the latest critique may require; after all, what’s the point of going through the effort of rewriting several chapters if I might have to go back and tweak them again later? There may not really be a point, besides settling my mind and getting me back into writing mode.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet worked out how to work out the chapters. I know that the action I wrote is subpar and just doesn’t fit, but I don’t know yet how to fix it. I need to reread the drivel and meditate on what will flow better. Right now it’s pretty bland (at least in my self-critical opinion), but I think if I just mull it over for a while I can get it to be somewhat presentable.

For now, the offending chapters will stay…but their death is looming on the horizon as I crack my knuckles and chug my caffeinated drink of choice.