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#design #nerd costuming Crafting Depression Exercise Fitness Health Mental Health SCA Sewing Stress Time

Slow burn

It’s starting to happen…gradually, but it’s happening. I am starting to get burned out from all the SCA and crafting and writing and work and life in general. I’m hoping the few days off for Estrella War will help, but only time will tell.
I’ve kinda lost interest in a lot of activities. I have to force myself to get my sewing work done. I drag myself through the work day. I avoid exercise when I have the slightest ache or pain whereas before I’d look forward to the chance to work out those aches. I don’t want to go to SCA baronial meetings or do my officer job. I just don’t wanna.
Part of it, I think, is that things have become so stale and routine. Yeah, some of the meetings and events may change, but for the most part it’s work/SCA/sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. Day in, day out. All. The. Time.
I’m trying to motivate myself. I’m trying to tell myself, Hey, if you get this tunic done you can knock out those pants and then it’s just some embroidery and a couple sleeves to go. I’m trying to tell myself, but I guess I’m not listening.
I hope this is just a brief funk and not a true depressive episode. I have too much on my plate to wallow in self-pity or whatever.
Speaking of that tunic, I guess I’ll get back to work.

Categories
#design #nerd Art costuming Crafting Learning SCA Sewing Time

Oh, what a tangled web we…stitch?

I’m slowly but surely whittling down the Estrella War projects as I wait for the latest edits to come back on Book 1. Bee trim sewn to my fighting tunic: done. Embroidery on one of my husband’s tunics: mostly done (hoping to finish today, in fact). Stamping of top fabric layer of my husband’s fighting tunic: done. Assembly of said fighting tunic: up next on the docket once the tunic embroidery is finished. So hoping to start on that today.
Still to do: some miniature embroidery for a couple of my husband’s projects (they’re now joint projects–gotta love teamwork!), two pairs of linen pants, and … Oh yeah, I have to find time to make sleeves for my husband’s Italian Ren doublet and figure out some way to attach them. Those are the pre-War projects I have for now.
It seems like a daunting list (especially to those of you who don’t sew or craft), but I am confident that I can get most if not all of it done. The sleeves are the most concerning for me, as I had not originally planned to make them so I skipped the step in the pattern where you make tabs for attaching sleeves, so I have to engineer something for that. Otherwise, between off days and half days in the interim I think I’ll be fine.
The embroidery on the seams of my husband’s tunic is turning out nicely. I still need to couch the stitches, but here’s what I managed to do this morning:
received_10160080813965604.jpg
The coloring is a bit off, as the red is more a true red and the yellow is brighter, but what can you expect from a closeup on a cell phone in a room with weird lighting? Lol I do see a few minor flaws, places where the stitching isn’t 100% even, but I’m getting better with each project.
Speaking of which, if I hustle I can maybe get at least half of the couching done before work.
Until next time!

Categories
#design costuming Crafting Sewing

A full day off

Barring any call-outs, I have the day off today–but it’s definitely not an off day. My plans for the day include:

  • Finishing sewing the bee trim onto my butterfly-embroidered fighting tunic (think about it for a minute…you’ll get it)
  • Stamp the fabric for my husband’s fighting tunic
  • Put said fighting tunic together once it’s dry
  • If I get time, start on the two pairs of linen pants I need to make

I also have some embroidery projects, but I want to get the sewing done while I have some “quiet time” during my husband’s work hours. Embroidery I can do while watching TV with him or something. Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway), sewing is the thing that’s going to occupy my off time for the next few weeks…at least until I finish the pre-Estrella-War projects.
There’s also some house stuff that needs to be done and laundry that needs to be folded, but those are my main goals for the day. Sewing away. I should totally be starting right now….

Categories
#design Art costuming Crafting Education fencing Learning SCA Sewing swordfighting

Resting on my laurels

So I’ve finally figured out what arts I want to focus on for the SCA…now I just have to get up the nerve to talk to several different peers (Laurels specifically) so I can get to know them and hopefully find a mentor.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’ll be at Laurel level any time soon. Years. Many years. But I think I’m ready to start getting to know different Laurels and hopefully find one who will be a good fit for me. Then there’s the ask-vs-being-asked dilemma…some Laurels want you to approach them about apprenticeship, while others want to get to know you and your work and will then eventually ask you. So I have to test the waters on that a bit before diving in. Don’t want to offend a potential Laurel by being too forward.
As far as peerages go, Laurel is the most likely one I could potentially get. Yes, there’s Master of Defense for rapier, but I’m probably decades off from that one, if ever. And of course I’m not going to be a Knight (because I am too weak for hardsuit fighting), and Pelican (the service peerage) isn’t really for me. Not that I don’t mind helping people or anything, but I just don’t have the intense drive to serve that a lot of good Pelicans have.
I’ll get there eventually, but first thing’s first.

Categories
#design Drawing fencing SCA swordfighting Tattoo Time

A sword deferred

I had so been looking forward to getting my next tattoo yesterday…unfortunately, the artist I scheduled with had a change in plans, so I have to wait until next Friday. 🙁
I’m still getting the tattoo, but the wait is a bit annoying. What tattoo am I getting? Why, I’m glad you asked. Let me show you my Photoshop masterpiece:
img001
You have no idea how difficult it was to get the sword and wings straight and even when the images I used were at angles that just would’t have worked. I spliced two different images, a geometric sword tattoo I found on Pinterest and a a geometric bird I found on Google.

Yay for Photoshop! Sword is no longer nearly as crooked, and the bird wings are nice and even.
Now, if the final image looks familiar, there’s a reason: in a few lazy Google searches, I found several winged images that said they were traditionally symbols of Valkyries. Here’s an example:
b608b0a5d71c9a6f8624d06452fddc0e--bat-tattoos-wing-tattoos Some of the images I found had a sword in place of the downward lines. Those weren’t necessarily actually related to Valkyries, but since I swordfight in the SCA and since my SCA persona is a Viking, well….yeah. A sword. With wings. The geometry isn’t too SCA-period-y, but I liked the style.
Next Friday. Perma-sword time. 🙂

Categories
#dystopian #publishing Critique Novel Sci-fi Writing

Sequella

Can’t ever make things easy for myself, can I? I think I finally figured out how to fix my problems with Book 2’s first draft. The problem with the fix to the problems? I’m probably going to have to rewrite 90+% of the damn thing.
It started innocently enough. I was thinking about the working title when I realized: the title had been intended for X to happen, but X never came close to happening. Y, Z, Q, R, and W happened, but X kind of got lost in all the other stuff that came up. Characters went off all willy-nilly and ignored the direction I wanted to give them.
My creative drive is renewed now, though, and I think if I just open a new Word document and copy/paste all the keepers I’ll have a decent start. Re-start. Whatever.
The Creative Development team at Rhetoric Askew are still hard at work with me trying to make Book 1 the best it can be before publication, but there’s still a lot to do. I’m a stage where they’ve got the manuscript hostage for edits right now, so I can only do so much of the stuff until I get it back. So once I acknowledge some folks and blurb the thing (and maybe write another 3-4 author bios in the hope that one sounds decent), I can dive into Book 2 until it’s time to return to Book 1.

Categories
#design #nerd Art Cosplay costuming Crafting SCA Sewing Steampunk Time

Project-ions for the future

I’m not quite sure how it keeps happening, but my project list for Estrella War and beyond keeps growing…not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.  😉
This is how my sewing project list began (a few weeks before Christmas):
Sewing projects:

  • Italian ren
    • Doublet
    • Shirt
    • Belt loops/buttons/buttonholes
    • Fix snaps on stomacher/dress
    • Hem dress
    • Underskirt?? (if time!)
  • Christmas gifts
    • Makeup bag
    • Wine bottle bags? – make anyway, if no time save for later gifts
    • Bento boxes for carol/titia??? (if no time, belated gifts)
  • Garb/sca
    • Linen pants x 2
    • Fighting tunic (chris)
    • Viking coat (aimee) ??
    • New fighting hood (embroidered/layered)
    • Feast gear utensil holders?
    • Thread snipper holder (leather?)
    • Belt favor? (embroidered?)
    • Leather cover for sword guard?
  • Accessories
    • Wallet/card holder/checkbook cover
    • Purse organizer
    • Key case thingie for keychain
    • Mug caddy thingies
    • bento box for tourney prize
    • knee pillow thing
    • moar headbands?
    • Notions bags?
  • Cosplay
    • Re-make phoenix corset!!

This is the new(est) version:
Sewing projects:

  • Italian ren
    • Doublet
    • Shirt
    • Belt loops/buttons/buttonholes
    • Fix snaps on stomacher/dress
    • Hem dress
    • Underskirt?? (if time!)
  • Christmas gifts
    • Makeup bag
    • Wine bottle bags? – make anyway, if no time save for later gifts
    • Bento boxes for carol/titia??? (if no time, belated gifts)
  • Garb/sca
    • Linen pants x 2 **
    • Fighting tunic (chris) **
    • Viking coat (aimee) ??
    • New fighting hood (embroidered/layered)
    • Feast gear utensil holders?
    • Thread snipper holder (leather?)
    • Belt favor? (embroidered?)
    • Leather cover for sword guard?
    • Embroider Chris’s fighting hood
    • Embroider pieces for ends of belts for gifts to visiting king/queen **
    • apron dress/underdress
    • embroider apron dress
    • cup covers (embroidered)
    • Viking-style hood for Chris (embroidered)
    • Another Viking hood for me (not for fighting) – embroidered
    • Sew trim onto garb
  • Accessories
    • Wallet/card holder/checkbook cover
    • Purse organizer
    • Key case thingie for keychain
    • Mug caddy thingies
    • bento box for tourney prize **
    • knee pillow thing
    • moar headbands?
    • Notions bags?
  • Cosplay
    • Re-make phoenix corset!!

While I have made it through some of the list (the crossed-off items), I seem to keep adding more and more things to do, particularly in the SCA/garb category. Notice a pattern to the new things on the list? Yep, I have decided that embroidery will be my “thing” in the future, so now I want to embroider as much as I can before the Baronial Arts & Sciences competition. I still can’t decide what I’m going to submit as my embroidery piece, but I want it to be one of the newer pieces (so I’m not wearing the stuff and consequently spilling on them before the competition).
I’m in the middle of two projects at once: the bento box that’s to be used as a tournament prize (I had to put it aside until I could get plenty of binding, which I now have) and my husband’s new fighting tunic. I accidentally got the sleeves on that a touch really big, so I have to take them in before I finish. Thankfully, I hadn’t fully assembled the tunic before I had him try it on, so that’s a blessing. I do, however, need to acquire buttons for it. I guess he wants buttons.
I feel like I’m missing something in this list, but until it comes to me I’ll just have to keep working until the list is more manageable. Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to keep adding to it until I physically can’t sew any more. Lol

Categories
#publishing Interview Marketing Novel Promotion Writing

Debut Askew

So I’ll admit, I haven’t been super vocal about the publisher I signed with. I’m new, they’re new, and I wasn’t sure how much “Oh-My-God-check-out-these-guys” they’d want on the radar yet. Now, though, with their debut author’s debut novel, they’re ready to, well, debut–and they’ve asked a little help from little ol’ Askewian me.
Okay, I’m throwing made-up words at you and you’re probably a bit confused. “Askewian” just means someone associated with the publishing company, which is named Rhetoric Askew. They’ve been around for a while with editing and critiquing and cover art services and a Facebook group that offers writers assitance, but publishing Askew is new to them, and I’m quite proud to be getting in on the ground floor. I can say I knew them when, they can say they knew me when, and we can all laugh about it on Oprah.
This post isn’t about me, though, or my book. (Surprise! Yes, I do know how to write about others. 😉 ) I’m here to tell you about a book debuting today called Whisper of an Angel, written by author Lorah Jaiyn. I don’t know her well, but I had the change to get a sneaky peeky of Whisper of an Angel, complete with a nifty press kit. (Haven’t seen one of those since my Talk Nerdy With Us days lol) Lemme give you a peek of my peek:
First, let’s tell you about the author. That’s always important, because it helps to know a little about the mind behind the world you’re about to enter. Here’s Lorah’s bio:

“Whisper of an Angel” is Lorah Jaiyn’s debut novel. Her short stories have been featured in several anthologies, and she has much more in the works. Her mood dictates genre blend from magic to vigilante justice. She lives in Central Florida and credits her Jack Russell as both her muse and biggest distraction. Lorah enjoys creating with polymer clay and volunteers with a wildlife rescue. She loves exploring the great outdoors and is also totally addicted to the Hallmark Channel. She can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lorahjaiyn.

Hey, Lorah, I totally like polymer clay too! (If only I could find the time for it anymore…) Still not sure? Well, I also have a convenient author interview! (I love press kits…so cool!)

Q: Lorah Jaiyn. Thank you for sitting down with us today in the Askew News Update room. Why don’t we start off with a little introduction. Tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve got to share with the world, today.

Thanks for having me. I am so excited about this book. I started out in western New York before moving to Florida right out of school. I was the quintessential rebellious teen who thought she knew everything, so I struck out on my own adventure. After a few months of stretching my new independence boundaries, I planted roots right smack in the middle of the state. I’ve been married forever, and our daughter and toddler grandson currently live in Japan where our son-in-law is stationed with the Air Force. Due to a severe case of empty nest syndrome, I’ve finally settled down and started to put all the stories hoarded in my imagination to paper, to hopefully entertain others.

Q: What was the pivotal moment where you said “You know what? I’m going to be an author?”

I remember telling my parents when I was a young teen that I’d have my first novel published by the time I was eighteen – romance, of course. Creative writing classes in high school were my favorite. My big plan was to spend a Christmas in NYCity, because that’s where all the big publishers were. Then, by the time I turned eighteen, life had taken over so it took ‘slightly’ longer than originally planned.

Q: What inspires you to create your fictional worlds and characters?

In a word, reality. I grew up reading Harlequin romances and I’m not ashamed to admit that real life is disappointing when you’re expecting perfect relationships and fireworks. Sometimes my stories contain scenes that are therapeutic and the only outlet I have that is legal.

Q: Every author has their own method to the madness, so-to-speak, what’s your writing process look like?

Get close to the deadline and panic. I’m such a pantser, always waiting til the last minute. I’ve tried outlining, but figured out that I fare better if I just blurt the story out of head and get it typed, then outline afterwards to make sure it makes sense. I also tend to handwrite first so I have something to follow when I type. I have enough partially used notebooks to stock Staples for a year. Or two. Each story needs a special notebook. Back-to-school time is better shopping than Christmas.

Q: When you develop your stories and characters, do you let them grow in front of you or do you have everything all planned out?

Both grow as I write. Trying to plan is just a waste of time for me.

Q: Tell us about some of your favorite authors and books and why you love them.

There are so many – after working in a used bookstore for years, I became very eclectic with my reading. I don’t stick to any one genre (although I avoid nonfiction, history, and biographies), but here are a few of my favorites:

Cecelia Ahern – her stories are always emotional and heartfelt, without being overwhelming.

Nicholas Sparks & Mitch Albom – oh, the feels. Guaranteed to make you cry.

Raymond Feist – Faery Tale – all time favorite horror – the only book I’ve read that actually gave me the heebie jeebies.

Rosalind James – her New Zealand series. New Zealand is my dream location and her books are very vivid with her locales.

I’m also a huge local author person. Connie Mann and Dylan Newton are two of my favorites – they are both multi-successful and have both been huge supports for me.

Q: You chose to publish your work through RhetAskew (a division of Rhetoric Askew, LLC), why did you choose them and do you feel it was the right decision?

I’ve been in several Askew Anthologies and loved the time, devotion, and detail they put into their products. This is my debut novel, and I’m their debut novel, so it was a win-win right from the start. I love the staff and powers-that-be and it has been a very rewarding process. I totally made the right decision.

Q: What did you enjoy about the Askew process?

Communication! This book thing is not easy – parts of the process are very daunting. But using Rhetoric Askew made me feel less overwhelmed, there was always someone right there to ‘hold my hand’ so to speak. I’ve never had to wonder what was going on.

Q: What do you hope your readers will take away from reading Whisper of an Angel?

I want people to close the book with the sense that no matter how bad things are, it doesn’t mean that something good won’t come along. Keep your heart open to opportunities. And because I’m a big animal person, with a special love for dogs, I want people to realize that a dog can provide a special kind of love that you may not even know you need.

Q: Where can all your Askew fans find you when you aren’t writing?

facebook.com/lorahjaiyn

www.marshallglen.com

And if I’m not writing, I’m probably sitting behind a table making something out of polymer clay, so www.facebook.com/peekemboos

So now you know a little something-something about the author. Groovy. But you probably want to know about the book, seeing as how that’s what all the hubbub’s about. The genre’s romantic suspense, but that doesn’t tell you much. Maybe the cover art will  give you a hint:
Jaiyn Whisper
Adorbs, right? And don’t worry, I’m prepared if you don’t think adorbs is enough to get you to go buy this book: I’ve got the jacket blurb as ammunition!

Sometimes second chances start with four paws.

In the small town of Marshall Glen, Sofia retreats from life following the death of her husband. Six-year-old Kady lives in foster care and hasn’t spoken since a house fire stole her family. After she saves Kady’s dog from drowning, Sofia attempts to stay locked away, but learns that—

…even though she’s given up, her heart wants to—try again.

When Kady runs away from her foster home, Sofia meets the cop in charge of the search, Brandon—her first love. Sparks fly even as she struggles with her conscience. Is she being unfair to her husband’s memory?

When random acts of vandalism turn to attempted kidnapping, Brandon helps keep Kady safe. As the danger deepens, how far will Sofia go to save a child?

Hooked yet? I have to admit, this wasn’t my usual genre, but Whisper of an Angel was definitely an interesting read. I was hooked from the start, and it made for a quick, fulfilling evening’s read. And don’t let the Table of Contents intimidate you; the chapters, though many, are short enough that you don’t get bored. I could go on, but I’m one of those who will give away the whole plot in an attempt to summarize. That’s why I haven’t gone into details of the plot of my WIPs…I’ll end up basically writing the whole story here and have nothing left to surprise you with when Rhetoric Askew gets my own work on the shelves. You don’t want that–you want to read it for yourself! I totally get that, and that’s why I’m using my handy dandy press kit to give you links, links galore!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lorahjaiyn.

Twitter: @writerlorahj

Website: www.marshallglen.com

Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Lorah-Jaiyn/e/B01MQTN0X4

Amazon Book:

https://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Angel-Marshall-Glenn-Book-ebook/dp/B078SDDRB9/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515093077&sr=8-1&keywords=lorah+jaiyn

Goodreads:  

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16150584.Lorah_Jaiyn?from_search=true

But wait, there’s more! This fantastic book is available today! That’s right, today, January 19th, is the debut date, and I just happened to schedule this post to pop up on your feed/email on the 19th (I’m sneaky like that).
Now, this isn’t just some “I’m-pushing-another-Askew-author-because-I-want-my-stuff-pushed-when-the-time-comes” gig; I really want to support another author in her publishing journey, and I want word to get out there about this book. Yeah, at the time I’m writing this I have 180-something followers here on this blog, and yeah, my average views (according to WordPress, which I think is a bit off–sometimes I have more people talk to me in person about a blog post than the stats say have viewed it) aren’t the highest…still, it’s another voice in the din, and maybe, just maybe, I got you at least a teeny bit interested.
We authors tend to get caught up in our own musings, and I think we need to remember to support each other and read others’ works. Lorah has a real hit on her hands here, and we all need to band together and make that hit happen. I know there are other writers here; surely you can spare a bit of time and energy to wrench yourself away from your own works to appreciate the works of a fellow wordsmith? I did, and it was well worth it.

Categories
#design #nerd Art costuming Crafting Critique Education Learning Musings Plus size SCA Sewing Stress Time

Listing forward

Remember that list of things I have to make before Estrella War? Well, it’s still there–and not much has changed. :/
I started on my husband’s fighting tunic, but I made the sleeves a tad too big so that has to be altered before I can put the pieces together (thankfully I assembled the lining first, so I don’t have as much undoing to do). He also wants buttons, so I have to make adjustments for that. The embroidery is coming along but slowly. His rapier hood is larger than mine, with more seams to stitch, so even though I’m nearly done there’s still a good bit of work left on it. I have to stitch the trim he made for my fighting tunic onto the garment before I finish his. I have pants to make still (not complicated, but involved). And there’s a scroll I have to complete in addition to the sewing. I’m hoping to get a good bit of the prep work on that done today between my pre-work waking up time and the scribal class this evening.
There are a couple of things I had wanted to complete that I don’t think I’ll be able to this go around. I had wanted to make a coat of some sort (Viking style, of course) to wear at Estrella, but that’s not going to happen. I won’t be able to get decent material for it prior, and it’s just going to take up too much of my time. So it’ll be a cloak to keep me warm on those cold Estrella nights, at least this war. I had also wanted to make a Viking apron dress and under dress to go with the Viking “treasure beads” I got for Christmas, but that too will take too much time. I suppose the latter is for the better though, because now I can take my time on it and use those as one of my Arts & Sciences entries.
That’s right; I still plan on entering in the A&S competition for our barony, and despite some peoples’ reservations, I plan on competing for Champion. Go big or go home, right? Besides, I have confidence in my abilities, and I have a secret 3rd project in the planning stages that I think will at the very least be interesting to the judges. It sure as hell will be interesting to me to research, and any learning is a good thing. Yeah, there’s always the chance I won’t win, and I might be judged more critically if I enter for Champion and not a couple of Novice pieces, but I don’t care about either of those. I’m in it to prove that I can do it at this point. Go ahead and naysay; there’s enough stubborn Leo in me to push on and keep working towards my goal. And if I win? It’s all cherry at that point.
I keep telling myself that things will slow down after Estrella, but who am I kidding? I’ll be busy busy busy right up until and after A&S. That’s okay, though. I can do it.

Categories
#dystopian #publishing Critique Novel Sci-fi Stress Writing

A tale to tell

Oops! I did it again … telling, telling, telling. Many authors will relate on this one: the “show, don’t tell” dilemma. I have been particularly guilty of telling too often, and in my rereading of Book 2 (which, granted, is just in its first set of revisions following a very rough first draft) I see that I have quite the workload ahead of me.
I’m getting better at the showing thing, but I have a lot of fixing to do for Book 2 to eliminate the telling. I don’t know how I put so much of it in there without realizing it, but what’s told is told and I have to un-tell it … somehow.
There’s another problem that I see after looking at my work with recently-critiqued eyes: exposition. Yeah. I got some of that going, too. I took it out of Book 1 (based on said critiques), but I worry that the point isn’t going to get across with the way I took it out. There are things that I feel aren’t explained adequately, major plot points, but I’m at a loss as to how to convey the things without telling and without boring the reader. It’s not something I think beyond my ability to do, but the fact that I can’t figure it out right away is frustrating.
It doesn’t help that I think about other series that I’ve read, and that I know the exposition is often there to quickly explain what happened in the last book, a “Previously, on … ” kind of thing that you see in TV shows, if you will. So it happens in publication all the time, right? So–why am I concerned? I guess I’m trying to predict what issues the publishers will have with the next book, and even though I see this type of thing quite frequently when I’m reading I still envision my publishers’ potential comments, and it is throwing me.
Maybe I need to back off and not worry about the second book for right now. Take some (more) time off from it and mull a bit. I don’t know. I think I’m overthinking.