Categories
Charity Cosplay Crafting Musings Sewing Stress Time Work

Revelation

I’m such a ditz. I’ve been thinking all this time that it’s my day job OT that has me worn out, but I forgot that I’ve also still been taking on work with Talk Nerdy With Us and extra responsibilities with the charity anthology project. No wonder I’m feeling the burnout!

I don’t mind the Talk Nerdy With Us work–it’s a fun job to have–and even though the anthology will be a lot of work as co-admin, I kind of enjoy the challenge. It’s frustrating when the head admin is unable to work on the project as often as I am (and he’s got a bit of an attention span problem–not to mention he’s been sick lately), but it gives me a chance to take charge and get the project moving the way I’d like it to, rather than have it sit stagnant as it has been. As our writers also have day jobs/other things going on with their lives, it’s hard to coordinate and get momentum.

Oh yeah, and there are also the cosplays I have to finish in the next couple of months. Two months. Two short, short months. I’ve got to get those finished.

So that’s my life in a nutshell right now. Work. More work. Charity work. And cosplay work.

Sheesh.

Categories
Health Stress Work

Burnout

I’m so tired. Granted, it’s 3:45 in the morning, but that’s not why I’m tired.

I’m tired of being up so early every morning. I’m tired of being the responsible one. I’m tired of giving a shit. I’m. Just. So. Tired.

Take today, for instance: a long work day with a short break. A long work day in a long line of work days. (I picked up a couple extra half days over the weekend). Now, I’m not complaining about working. I like my job, and even though I gripe about overtime the pay is nice.

But why is it so often? Why does it feel like I’m always working?

It very well might have to do with the other people who call out all the time. I’m scheduled for a half day to relieve some of the OT? Nope, someone called out, have to work the whole day…and when do I get a whole day off? Unless I request off months in advance or there’s a holiday where the office is closed, pretty much never.

I get so sick of other people being “sick.” Okay, so I don’t really know if they’re sick or not. They could have the sniffles–or they could be really, really sick. It’s just frustrating that I go to such lengths to come into the office even if I’m not feeling well but other people call out time after time. It’s exhausting, and it’s disheartening. I try not to pry into my coworkers’ lives, but what’s the deal? Are they really that sick? Are they just feeling under the weather, or not feeling like working? What gives? Do they even know how their constant calling out affects others? The stress of being shorthanded is enough to worry about without knowing I’m going to be working overtime yet again when my body sometimes can’t really take it.

I try to tell myself that it’ll be okay. Eventually, the ones who don’t want to work weed themselves out. Eventually.

Until then, guess I gotta buck up and take it like a woman.

Categories
Poetry Sleep

Haze

I wake, I shake, I look around

But my focus still cannot be found

I wake, I shake, I blink my eyes

This fuzziness has me surprised

I wake, I shake, I drink caffeine

But it really doesn’t do a thing

I wake, I shake, I feel forlorn

I cannot see this Monday morn

Categories
#design Cosplay Crafting Learning Sewing

Serge of energy

Thanks to my awesome mom and wonderful husband, I have an early birthday present–a serger to sew with!

Less than a year after I got my first sewing machine, I’ve become somewhat of a sewing addict, especially when it comes to cosplay. That’s not all I use my sewing machine for, though; I also plan on altering my scrubs that don’t fit quite right so I have more options to wear to work, and I want to make new scrubs as well.

I was getting sluggish on my cosplay work, but now that I have the serger I’m excited to get some thread for it and get to playing around with it. I’ll definitely have to practice first, because we’ve spent too much on fabric for cosplay for me to just dive right in without learning how the thing works. From what I understand (after asking in a Facebook group or two), once you learn the threading it’s not so bad, and as long as you don’t forget to take out your pins–which I take out anyway–you’re golden. I hope it’s true advice.

So once I get the thread and start practicing, I’m sure my drive for cosplay design and sewing will pick back up. Now if only I could stay awake in the mornings to do all this….

Categories
Cosplay Crafting Diversity Plus size Sewing

Plus or Minus

I’m having a devil of a time finding good stretch faux leather leggings for my Magik cosplay. I was hoping to find some on Amazon for a reasonable price (reasonable = less than it would cost to make them myself), but it’s slim pickings.

That’s right, slim. The “plus” size leggings that I initially ordered are entirely too small. Yes, I admit it, I’m a big girl. So I thought, “Okay, that was just the brand’s sizing. My fault for not checking the size chart for that brand before I bought them. I can find something else that will work.” NBD, right?

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find attractive plus size leggings–even on a site as big as Amazon? I’ve found less than a handful of truly plus-sized pants that would work for what I want. If I was skinny like I used to be, then I’m sure I’d have found dozens of great-looking affordable leggings already. Hell, even using “plus size” in the search engine and selecting the plus size department to further narrow the search, I have found more regular-sized leggings in what I’m looking for than plus size.

As for the few plus sizes that I have found, some of them aren’t all that “plus.” Looking at the sizing charts (now that I’m a little wiser on that), some of the “plus” is like a 14 or 16 size–not really plus, people. That’s average. Average.

If I was a designer, I’d be all over some sexy plus-sized women’s wear. Something that looks just like the regular size but with plus proportions. Why can’t bigger women (like me) wear faux leather leggings? I may have a big gut, but with the corset I’m making part of that will be taken care of…and besides, I have a decent ass (for a big girl). And wouldn’t that be the challenge of the design? Making the clothing look good–and making the wearer look even better. Hidden panels to suck in all that fluff? Sure. Stretch to accommodate for the range of shapes in the plus-sized world? I’d have it covered.

Sadly, I’m not a designer. I’m just a regular cosplay sewist who needs a pattern to make anything. Granted, I seem to have a knack for modifying patterns that I find, but that’s not the same as actually designing something from start to finish. And if I have to make these pants, I’m going to definitely need to do some modifying. Proportionately, my waist is much larger compared to my hips, so any pattern I find will need some creative adjustments made. Stupid gut.

Why not just lose weight, you ask? Okay, I’ll admit that I’m lazy about exercising and I eat too much junk. But it’s not like I haven’t tried. When I started regaining all the weight I lost over a year ago (or is it two now?), I did my damnedest to keep it at bay. I ate better, drank lots of water, tried exercising every other morning before work. Not only did it not stave off the weight gain, it seemed to speed it up.

Then you have to take into consideration the medications that I take. Several of them can cause weight gain, and the few that I’ve tried to help me control my appetite did nothing for it. (Don’t worry, folks, I didn’t mix my prescriptions with over-the-counter weight loss meds. I asked my doctor for advice and used a couple medicines that he prescribed–meds that he deemed safe to take with my other medications.)

So there it is. There are people out there that, for whatever reason, can’t wear what clothing companies consider to be “plus” size…and the clothes they can wear are baggy, saggy, and completely unflattering.

This is a call out to all clothing designers: find some true plus-sized women. Real women with real bodies that have different shapes and sizes. Find these women, and make them feel sexy. Trust me, there’s a market for it. I’m not saying it all has to be stretch faux leather like I’m looking for–just something flattering that doesn’t make them feel worse about themselves.

And if you do decide to make some in the stretch faux leather…hit me up! 😉 I’m more than willing to model your design at Dragon Con this year. It’s a HUGE convention, and cosplay has become as much a fashion-centric community as New York Fashion Week or Paris or wherever the hip kids go to look cool these days.

You’ve got two months, designers. As the inimitable Tim Gunn says, “Make it work!”

Categories
Flash Fiction Horror Writing

Miranda

The winter wind cut through her like a knife, and she pulled her threadbare coat closed. Her fingers were a sickly shade of blue, matching her lips, and her tears turned to icicles before they could escape her lashes.

Miranda had been wandering through the streets like this for days. Food and shelter were scarce despite the large population. Who was going to give a meal to a nobody like her? Who would let someone like her live under their roof for the night? Nobody would. Those things were denied to people like Miranda.

Then she saw him: the man who would be her savior. He had clean clothes, a healthy glow to his skin, and, perhaps most importantly, kind eyes. Gullible eyes. The sort of eyes that would see Miranda’s tattered clothes and unkempt hair and immediately want to take her in and take care of her.

Their eyes met, and he granted her a dazzling smile. The first person to smile at her in a week. This was going to be too easy.

“Evening, miss. Looks like you need to get out of this cold. Would you like to come with me somewhere warm with plenty of hot food?”

Trying to force some of the frigid blood in her veins to make its way to her cheeks, Miranda found that she didn’t even have the energy to blush. She needed to get warm and fed, soon as possible. She managed a wan smile in return and nodded thanks.

Taking her hand in his, the handsome stranger introduced himself as Rick. Rick’s gloved hands took her bare ones and rubbed them until the feeling started to come back. Then, with a warm arm around her shoulder, he led her a few blocks until they came upon a two-story brick house.

The house was Rick personified: warm, comforting, inviting. Miranda especially liked the inviting part.

Rick led her across the threshold, arm still around her, and shut the door behind them.

Miranda could hardly contain herself. She could smell her dinner, and it made her mouth water. Turning to face Rick, she grabbed his shouldes and opened her mouth wide, ready to–

***

Rick stared at the vagrant woman’s head as it bounced on the floor like a bloody basketball. That one had been too close. Damn vamps were getting bolder. Approaching strangers on the street? Whatever happened to the days when vampires were classy and seductive? This one looked like death itself as she walked through town.

Shaking his head, Rick dropped his blade and got to work scrubbing the floorboards. Where there was one of these things, there were usually more.

He had a long night ahead of him.

Categories
Health Insomnia Sleep

The eyes have it…or do they?

As many of you know (probably from the timing of these posts), I tend to wake up on the early side of early. Sometimes it’s due to my cat being a dick, sometimes it’s weird dreams, and sometimes I just wake up because my body thinks it’s done sleeping.

But is it? I thought my body was done sleeping when I woke up at 2:45, eyes wide open. This morning I keep dozing off at the laptop, hands hovering over the keys, eyes drooping of their own accord. I could put the laptop away and go back to sleep–or rather could have gone back to sleep…now it’s about time to think about getting ready for work anyway. I’ve even had most of an energy drink and my morning Adderall. This will make for a very long day at work today.

It’s weird how I ended up being such an early riser when I used to sleep in as long as possible. It all started when I got a bout of insomnia, and I’d wake up between 1:30 and 3:00 every morning.

Enter Rory, the cat that’s as much a joy in my life as a pain in my ass. He’s a smart cat…sometimes too smart. He taught himself to play fetch. He taught himself that getting in the carrier and going in the car 95% of the time means a trip to visit the other animals at my parents’ house. And he taught himself that I’m “supposed” to be up between 1:30 and 3:00 every morning.

Since we adopted him while I was having my insomnia, he assumed that being up that early was my normal state. When I finally started being able to sleep until “normal” times, he decided that this was not right and proceeded to wake me up every morning between 1:30 and 3:00.

Hence the cat trained me. Thankfully, I now usually don’t wake up until around 2:45 to 3:30, so I guess that’s a bit of an improvement. I go to bed much earlier than I used to, so it kind of balances out. I get roughly 7 hours of sleep a night, even on nights when I have to work super early the next day. Not too shabby. Still, it makes for some long days.

Usually I’m active in the mornings, either writing or sewing or doing some other such semi-productive thing. This morning, however, I just could not muster the energy to walk across the apartment to the craft room to sew on the final touches of my husband’s next pair of cosplay pants. All I have to do is hand-sew some belt loops on (I’d machine-sew them, but my husband tends to be rough on belt loops and I’d rather not have one of them rip off in the middle of a con–best to sew them on by hand where I can put extra stitches in places that a sewing machine just can’t get to), so one would think I’d be eager to get them finished so I can move on to the next thing. One would think.

Since I’ve started typing this I’ve woken up a bit. My eyes no longer droop, and I’m just about ready to start getting ready for the day.

Bring it on, world!

Categories
Celebrity Social Media

Twit for Brains

Man, I can’t seem to tear myself away from Twitter for very long this morning. Usually by now I’ve written a blog and chatted with a few friends and maybe done some cosplay sewing or writing or something. Yeah, I’ve gotten a little of all that done today, but for some reason I keep going back to Twitter.

What keeps us locked on social media? Why do we keep hitting refresh or view (x) new tweets or some such thing? I mean, sure, some of the people I follow I genuinely want to know about…but some are news pages, and some are people I’ve followed that I’ve never bothered to unfollow (generally people who don’t post anything other than book ads–not that I don’t advertise my own book from time to time, but I’ve learned to try to keep it at a minimum…not constantly).

Facebook isn’t as bad, unless one or more of my friends are online. Then I’m just messaging back and forth, learning about their day or sharing mine. But Twitter…man, some days I need a twelve-step program. Even now I want to log back in, to check and see if there’s anything worth retweeting or replying to. I want to see what the trending hashtags are, and see if I want to be trendy and use one of them.

For live tweeting it can’t be avoided, obviously. You have to be on Twitter, and you have to refresh frequently to keep up with the other live tweeters. But in day-to-day life? I don’t know about that, man.

I also get caught up in how many of my tweets get liked or retweeted. Just this morning a celebrity liked a tweet that I sent in reply to one of their tweets. If you’ve read my piece on Talk Nerdy With Us about “social media fame,” you’ll know my opinion on that–yet I still get excited.

Good thing for me that it will soon be time to get ready for work. I’ll have no choice but to leave the Twitterverse behind for a while as I take my shower and get dressed. Then, once I’m at work, Twitter will have to disappear until I get my lunch break or go home.

Bye-bye, Twitter. I’m sure I’ll see you again soon.

 

Categories
Novel Reading Self Publishing Writing

(Not so) well read

So Kindle has this thing where if your book is enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited deal, you can see how many pages a person has read if they have downloaded your book through Kindle Unlimited.

Somebody has been reading my book! But they’re not very far in…eleven pages one day, three the next, then nothing for a few days, then twenty-five pages yesterday. (And there’s no way to tell if it’s all the same person or different people, so I don’t know if the first two days were people who got bored partway through or if all three days read are the same person.) Still, even if they’re all from different people, at least one person got a good couple of chapters in yesterday. I’ll keep checking it to see if any more pages get read. I’d love to be able to watch as someone reads all the way through.

Still no reviews after my free promotional period, but I’m not surprised. A lot of people download books while they’re free then take their time reading them. I’m sure plenty of those nearly 600 people have lists of books that they want to read, so I’ll try to be patient.

Haven’t written anything new in the WIP, but I’m planning on possibly rewriting the beginning once I have a better idea of what my world is like. And now, more pre-surgery-shift Internet laziness!

Categories
Comic books Cosplay Crafting Geek Writing

Coat of arms

Next up on the cosplay list: the coat for Shatterstar.

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More color blocking to work out. I’m going to start either tomorrow or the next day on the mockups for that part. The pattern I have is kind of complex, with lots of pieces, so it should be interesting to see how the color blocking will work into that. I may have to do some big modifications to the pattern. I’m feeling more confident about that sort of thing with each new thing I sew.

Very excited to get my serger later this week. I’ve heard that it makes things much easier (once I get the hang of it). It should prove interesting to say the least.

All of this cosplay is putting my work in progress on hold, but it’s given me time to reflect and realize that I really wasn’t ready to start it yet. Some of what I’ve written is good material, but it doesn’t have a solid foundation at this point. I need to reflect more on it and build up more of the world before I try to lay down a story in there.

Tomorrow I start again.