Just in the neck of time

Almost (mostly) done. Just a few necklines to finish off, and the new tunics for the war in California will be finished. With, oh, 4 or 5 days to spare.
I might even get time to add some trim to another tunic or two.
A bonus is the extra time to add “war paint” to our fencing masks. Thanks to an airbrush, some paints, and a modicum of artistic talent (yeah, right), we can make ourselves more menacing on the field–or something. More visible targets? Yeah. Okay. There’s that. But still…I get to paint stuff.
There’s still a ton to get done social media-wise, but I think I can manage to wrap that up in the morning. Or something. I don’t even know what to do with that at this point. I may be in over my head, but I think once I get a rhythm down it will jive okay.
On the good-news front, I have a potential beta reader for when I have Book 1’s revisions done–thanks to Twitter. (See what I did there? Social media segue.) You see, just about every day I tweet a few lines from the WIP with various hashtags. These hashtags are kinda like weekly “looky what I can do” things, where authors get to show of nuggets of brilliance in the hopes of…well, I don’t know exactly what the point is, beyond gaining a few followers and maybe some readers when the book is finished. I think part of the point is the inherent narcissism that seems to be rampant among writers. “See how witty I am? Read my next book to see what I can really do when not under a 140-character limit!”
Speaking of narcissistic writers, I had quite the ego boost yesterday when my blog views shot up (relatively speaking) after that nonsensical post about not having anything to post. Who would’a thought? My deep, existential stuff often goes unnoticed, but write a few paragraphs of drivel and it gets devoured. Go fig.
I had something else I was going to say, something of moderate importance…but I got distracted by my own thoughts and whatever it was is now unimportant.

Error 404: Title not found

Writer’s block sucks, especially when it’s something as simple as a blog title. Or a blog subject, for that matter.
I could write about the stress of prepping for the upcoming out-of-state war event, but I’ve done enough whining about that. I could write a short story or some flash fiction, but again, writer’s block. I could write about the fact that my industrial piercing’s healed enough for me to put my freaking sword barbell in…but that’s not enough for a whole blog post. Hell, it’s freakin’ National Poetry Day and I got nothing. Zilch. Zippo. Nada.
So what am I even doing writing right now? Honestly, I don’t know. I think I’m avoiding doing any actual work, like finishing the tunics that need to be done before the event or revising Book 1 or hell, even practicing rapier stuff. But no, I’m writing a blog. A nonsensical, pointless blog.
Sometimes I guess you just need to zone a bit. Let that mental jelly ooze out. Barf up all the thoughts that have been upsetting your stomach and then wipe the bile off the corner of your mouth and go on with life.
Okay, maybe that metaphor/analogy/whatever was a little bit gross, but you get the gist of it. Basically, even when I have nothing to write, sometimes I just have to write for the sake of writing.
Perhaps tomorrow–or the next day, or the next–we’ll be back to our semi-regularly scheduled programming.

Let slip the dogs of war

I’m almost there with the tunics! Thanks to a good friend, I was able to get the tunics mostly done (three have minor things to finish, one complete cut-and-sew left to go) last week/weekend, and hopefully this week I’ll be able to put those last touches on everything.
My husband is diligently planning the food for the event. He’s the resident cook, and we’ve got a decent-sized group that we’re camping with. Between the two of us, the stress is kind of starting to suffocate a little.
Still, stress aside, we’re both excited. I should be able to get my sword barbell for my industrial piercing put in this Saturday, which means I’ll have it for the war! I can hardly wait. 🙂 The piercing is healing well, well enough that I can take my fencing mask off and on with no problems. The only irritation I have is when I wake up, and I think that having the shorter barbell in will make that better because it won’t be able to slide around when I inevitably toss and turn in my sleep.
Work is going to be hectic leading up to our departure time, which will be immediately after I get off of work next Wednesday. One week and some change. I should be able to get those tunics all finished by then.
One week and some change.
And then we’re off to war.

T-minus 9 days

Nine days and counting until my first out-of-state war. Nine days to finish three tunics (one of the four is finally complete, one only needs the rest of the trim sewn down, one is cut but not pinned/sewn, and one hasn’t even been cut yet). I have my hands full, that’s for sure.
Thankfully, I have great friends to help out and make the time pass better. One of my friends has offered use of her home’s space to do my cutting and whatnot, as well as offering her company, both of which I am grateful for. I discovered last week that I tend to operate more efficiently (still slowly, but more efficiently) when I have someone to talk to, gossip with, whatever, than when I’m in my own workspace. I think part of it is that I get distracted by things like my phone, the Internet, and other projects that are piling up as well. None of that is really conducive to finishing these tunics.
My hope is to get the already-cut tunic finished and the not-yet-been-cut one cut and maybe pinned today. That would be a tremendous weight off my shoulders as far as the deadline to finish these. Hell, I might be able to get some trim on a couple more tunics instead of just the one.
The only good thing about this deadline is that it’s taking my mind off the reason for the deadline: the war itself. I haven’t done many rapier melees, and the ones I’ve done have mostly been practice. Okay, almost all been practice. I’ve been told it’s easier when you’re in the thick of it, but that doesn’t do much to calm my nerves about it. So far, I tend to be too slow and clunky on the field, especially compared to my more experienced comrades. Even my husband is much better on the battlefield, but I sometimes wonder if that’s due to his military experience. Hell, most of them have military experience. They know how to follow orders, how to make heat-of-the-moment decisions, all that stuff. Orders process immediately in their mind, whereas I have to think about okay, what was said? Oh yeah, this. So I need to do this. By which point in time the order for “this” has passed and they’re on to another order.
Now I’ve gotten myself all worked up over it again. Geez. I guess I should put down the laptop and get my fabric and thread together. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Staking claim

As they said in Mortal Kombat:
it has begun
What, exactly? The house. Our house. The stakes marking the corners of the house are in place and spray-painted bright pink. It’s not the official “ground-breaking,” but ground was technically broken.
Our original layout for the house turned out to be an ill fit, but we changed the orientation of the house in re the road and it’s all gravy now. My husband thinks it looks pretty tiny from looking at those four bright pink stakes, but having seen how HUGE my parents’ house turned out to be after it was finished, I know it will be plenty for the two of us (and Rory). I’m super excited for construction to get started. Next week the septic guy will come out and do tests on the dirt for all that stuff. In around a month–maybe a little less–construction will begin.
By our fifth anniversary, our home will be finished and we will be in the process of moving in. I still can’t believe it. I’d never thought that I’d have a home of my own (unless you count jointly inheriting my parents’ house some time in the distant future), let alone a freshly-built one.
We’re even making plans for years and years down the line. Distant future. More than just until the current lease is up. Long-term plans. It blows my mind. I’m so beyond excited. I may be busy as shit lately, but in the background is that constant buzzing of “new house new house new house new house“…
It’s starting.
It has begun.

Into the ring

For the past several months I have been in a “deputy” position for a large volunteer/charity group. Last night, the opportunity came up for me to take the lead position in that department, and I decided to bite the bullet and submit myself for consideration.
I don’t know that anyone else would even want the position, because it’s a stressful one, but still, I’m a little nervous. I mean, I’ve only been with the organization for six months; kind of soon to take over a role like this. As far as I know, anyway. Everyone was surprised when I was made deputy after only three months of participating, so I’m guessing that six months is a little soon.
It’s going to be a lot of work, but I think I’m ready. I just have to get my lazy butt up earlier (is that even possible?) and get cracking every day. Pay more attention to the myriad of groups and pages and sites and events and … well, anyway, if I get the position, I’ll have my hands full.
Fingers crossed!

Renaissance Woman

Three and a half tunics to make in the span of about two weeks? Okay, I can do that. Two full Italian Renaissance outfits before mid December? Sure. Maybe. I think.
The first workshop for the Renaissance garb is tomorrow, and it looks to be a long, involved one. Learning measurements, pattern adjustments, making pattern pieces, etc. … and the person running the workshop suggested packing a lunch. Geez-o-Pete, what have I gotten myself into? Lol
Luckily, I have some fabric left over from the Dark Phoenix steampunk cosplay, and I think it might be enough to make my husband a doublet and use the leftovers for parts of my gown. Not enough for complete “matching” outfits–that’s just not going to happen–but enough that we can coordinate. So we still get the his-and-hers garb that my husband likes to wear.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind matching all our garb. I’d just like a little individuality from time to time. Thankfully I have enough derp-it-ness to be able to alter the garb I’m making so we don’t 100% match. Different trims or color blocking help, as well as the basic shape of the garb, specifically tunics. I make mine with a more “girly” shape, so even though it’s “boy’s clothes” that my persona wears I still have enough distinction between our things to be satisfied with that.
Tonight after work will likely be fabric shopping. Gotta get the basic stuff we’ll need for the Renaissance garb, because the person running the workshop said she plans on having us start cutting into the fabric during tomorrow’s session. Crapola. Guess we’re going to be giving JoAnn’s a good chunk of this week’s paycheck. Italian Renaissance garb was not designed to be thrifty as far as the yardage goes. They liked poof. LIVED FOR poof. The poofier the better. Not like the Vikings, who made due with a couple yards each for a piece of garb. Enough to cover you and add some sleeves (because the Nordic and Russian regions are cold as fuck and the Vikings needed the long sleeves much of the time from what I can tell).
I’ve also got a cape to make before the beginning of October, but that one concerns me much less. Big yardage to buy, yes, but simpler construction.
I probably should be working on that instead of typing this up. Definitely should be.
Into the fray I go!

To draw or not to draw

So for my first official totally-done-by-me scroll, I wanted to use my own design for the border. My own design kinda sucks compared to some scrolls that I’ve seen (okay, compared to most of the scrolls I’ve seen), so before I make it permanent with painting, I have to decide if I want to stick with “original” or go more “classic/medieval” in the design.
The first two scrolls I made (which were mostly done by me, with the Baronial device painted in by someone else) were quite simple and had no borders. The layout wasn’t quite designed for borders, so I suppose that part is okay, but I’d prefer to make it great, not “okay.” I want someone to be excited to get their scroll. I want them to want to display it, especially since this award is usually one of the first that people in our Barony receive.
So I have a dilemma. Do I stick with my original art, which is passable but not “period,” or do I find a suitable border online and print/trace (with maybe some alterations to the design)? I’m waffling.
Hopefully, with time, I’ll become “good enough” that I won’t have to worry about this. I will be able to mimic medieval style without having to research medieval designs. That would be cool. I’m pretty sure I can eventually do it–after all, I taught myself figure drawing by copying and altering comic book drawings.
Tomorrow night is our scribal night. There are going to be a bunch of us getting together, practicing and being assigned different scrolls to work on. Despite my insecurity on my own art, it should be fun.

Annual avoidance

It’s that time of year again…and again, and again, and again. I’ve overdue for a basic physical (by oh, say, 5-10 years or so…maybe 20…when did I last do it?). It’s not that I’m averse to going to the doctor necessarily; I just don’t see the point in going when I’m not sick. Or when I have a minor cold. Who goes to the doctor for a cold for crying out loud? Well, I guess me–when that cold turns into bronchitis.
About a year ago a little nagging cough rocketed into bronchitis within about a day. Thanks to whoever at Dragon Con 2016 it was that decided to come to the con sick. I appreciate it. Jerk.
I’m getting to that age when I can’t really keep putting these kinds of appointments off. I should’ve started getting my boobies squished every year or two about three years ago, but I just hate scheduling that kind of thing. I’ve got to arrange to be off work, because of course most places are only open during “office hours,” which means they’re usually closed until after I start work and close before I leave.
Speaking of being sick, I’m kind of sick of the people at work who are constantly calling out. They need to get to the doctor. Get some preventative medicine going. Or get their kids in to the doctor more often. Or see an exorcist. I’m just saying.
You can tell the ones who are truly sick, the ones who, like me, only call out when they just absolutely can’t make it. There’s a level of respect there when you see someone pushing through the work day when they feel like shit, or when they know their kid feels like shit. Those people are the dedicated ones. They understand the strain put on the company and their coworkers when they skip out on work.
Me? Yeah, remember that bronchitis I mentioned? I kinda came in to work anyway, despite knowing I was sick as shit. I got sent home within an hour or two. Hell, I was walking on a broken foot for two weeks before I even went to a doctor about the pain. Granted, I didn’t know it was broken–I thought it was just a strain or sprain of some sort–but the point is, I didn’t wuss out and take a day off until I almost literally could not walk anymore…and even then I waited for a day when I was scheduled as a trainee. Basically, I was nonessential personnel, so I knew they wouldn’t be scrambling to find a replacement.
Let’s see, I had a point somewhere in here…Oh yeah…Annual physicals and routine testing. Get it done. It may seem like some random insurance shtick aimed at squeezing more money out of you, but it’s actually kind of important. Like, catch-it-before-it-becomes-cancer-or-something important. Don’t let your work schedule stop you, either. If you need to take a day or half day or couple of hours off, get that checkup in. Get your boobies squished, have that embarrassing pelvic exam (guys, you need routine shit too–don’t think you’re getting out of this one). Just get it done.
And don’t let a minor cold turn into bronchitis just because you’re stubborn. You’ll just make shit worse and end up missing even more work because of it.

Drink myself awake

Groggy mornings are the norm for me. I wake up, I stumble around as I make coffee or a Soda Stream energy drink, and I take my pills–including Adderall–to try to wake my lazy body up. Some mornings I’m successful…others, not so much.
This morning seems to be a “not so much” morning.
I’ve been up for an hour and a half (on purpose–today’s an early morning at work), but I’m not quite awake yet. I mean, obviously I’m awake because I’m typing this, but I’m not awake-awake. I keep dozing off sitting straight up at the computer. I’ve had my Adderall. I’m halfway through a liter of energy drink. And I’ve been up for a freaking hour and a half!
If it’s not coffee, it’s energy drink. Every day, even off days. If I don’t get my caffeine “fix” on an off day, I’m sleeping away most of the day, even if I’m busy with stuff. My eyes cross, my lids get heavy, and people ask if I’m okay. Yeah, I’m okay…I’m just about to pass the fuck out back into dreamland.
This makes editing and revising difficult, to say the least. I have been staring at the same few sentences for the past hour, trying to figure out what, if anything, needs to be fixed. I can’t even tell at this point.
Speaking of points, I’ve forgotten what one this post had.
Guess I need more caffeine.