The Conqueror

Well, I did it. I conquered my fear of screwing up and started on the boning channels for the corset. I actually got everything up to the point of putting in the boning done, and once I have the spiral steel bones it will (hopefully) finally come together.

I have to say to any aspiring cosplayers (or artists, or writers) out there who are apprehensive about getting started: Don’t be! Y’know why I stubbornly refused to use a sewing machine for so long? I was afraid of breaking something, like a needle. Know what happened the first time I tried using my new sewing machine? I broke the damn needle. But I didn’t freak out. I didn’t cry or panic. I got the instruction manual, looked up how to change the needle, and changed it. Boom. Done. The thing I was afraid of happened, and I kept calm and fixed it.

You can do it. Just try. Don’t be afraid. Or be afraid, but don’t let it stop you.


I am embarrassingly behind on my critiques for the Facebook group I’m in. These critiques have helped my writing tremendously. It’s amazing what reading snippets of different writers’ styles will do to help develop your own style.

I used to be able to knock out three or four critiques in a couple of days, but lately it’s taking me longer and longer. I think I’m so bogged down with other writing, cosplay, and art projects that I have trouble focusing.

The Whispers of Death novel is very near to being ready for submission to agents and publishers. It makes me nervous to even think of sending it out. Though I don’t think I’ll be particularly crushed if I get rejections (and I really think I have something worthy of traditional publication), the idea of actually doing this, of getting the process started and making it real is a bit daunting.

The cosplay is coming along nicely. The skirt is started, and self-drafting is tough, but I think I’ll get it figured out. I have a friend who can help me, and I think once I get the corset finished and can see how much belly bulge it sucks in (if any lol), I’ll better be able to finish it to a better fit.

Unfortunately, the art project is stalled worse than the critiques. I’m trying, but I’m artistically “stuck.” I’ve got drawer’s block. I’m thinking of moving on from the latest drawing I’ve started (which is frustrating the hell out of me) and moving on to other characters in order to have more to send in to my client. I think that once I’ve finished with the novel prep I’ll be in a better frame of mind to draw more.

Oh yeah, and I have NaNoWriMo next month. It’s coming up fast, so I need to prep that as well.

Why do I do this to myself? Lol

Flash Fiction Friday: The Dot-Com Match

Mary’s forehead shone with sweat as she stared at her captor. She had no choice but to stare, after all. He had long since flayed the skin from her eyes, pulling the raw muscles of her lids back with rusted wire to hold her eyes open. At first, the streaming tears burned as they rolled down her face; now, there were no more tears to be had, as her eyes had dried up hours ago.

She wanted to scream. She tried to scream. All that came out, though, was a muffled groan.

He had stapled her mouth shut.

When he moved out of her line of sight she cringed. In the mirror directly across from her, she saw strips of skin hanging off her naked body. Barbed wire bound her arms, legs, and head to the chair she sat in. Rivulets of blood covered what was left of her skin.

His form slowly came back into view. He had walked a circle around her, examining his work. She looked into the eyes that she had once found so charming and now saw only a monster.

His online profile had seemed innocent enough. He was young, handsome, athletic…Mary was sure she had found a great catch. Little did she know what lay beneath the surface of those clear blue eyes and sculpted jaw line.

Though she had emptied her bladder earlier when she regained consciousness to see the scalpel aimed at her head, she once again felt the urge to urinate. She knew better, though; the first time, he had doused her mutilated body with salt water collected from the same ocean in which they had swam just hours before the terror began. Mary wasn’t about to make that mistake again. Salt had dried into her crusting wounds, causing fresh pain every time she shifted her weight. She tried not to move…a difficult task when she was being skinned alive, inch by agonizing inch.

Her captor—he had told her his name was Matt, but that could have been a lie—reached over to a table beyond her view and picked up something that sounded like metal. When he brought his arm forward, she saw the object: a large wrench.

This was it. This was the end. He was going to cave her head in, crush it like a melon.

At least the torture would be over.

A wild grin spread across his once-handsome face. He raised the wrench over his head…

…and, with a crack that echoed through the small basement, a hole opened in his forehead, dropping him to the ground.

Yes! she thought. Someone has come to rescue me!

Slowly, a male form came into view. At first, Mary could only see his back. She didn’t care what he looked like, though. All she cared about was freedom.

Then the man turned around.

Once again, she was staring into Matt’s face.

“So sorry,” the other-Matt said. “My twin is something of a psycho.” He reached to the table and picked up something. When Mary saw that it was a pair of wire cutters, her muscles relaxed. He was going to free her.

Other-Matt walked over, a friendly grin on his face. He cut the staples on her lips first.

“Thank you!” she gasped. “I was so scared, I—“

He put a finger to her lips. “Shh,” he said. “You need to save your voice.” He leaned in close, his lips brushing hers before he whispered in her ear. “You see, unlike my brother, I like to hear you scream.”


A little bit of derailment on the cosplay. Not that anything’s going wrong, per se (ok, so I have some seam ripping, cutting, and resewing to do), but I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t get my novel polished and sent out, it’s not likely to get published.

There’s just one little plot wrinkle I need to iron out, then it’s off to write a query letter and send it out into agentland.

Next month is NaNoWriMo, so I can’t waste precious time on the next novel by procrastinating (further) on this one. I have to get it done in the next week or so in order to devote my full attention to my NaNo novel. It shouldn’t be too hard; I already have an idea how I’m going to “fix” the problem. I just need to get to it.

I’m feeling a lot of trepidation when I think of sending out my novel to potential agents or publishers. The weird thing is, I’m not afraid of rejection letters; I’m just anxious about starting the process.

Just a few more days. Then I can get started and, hopefully, not be so nervous.

Work of Art Wednesday

Yes, I forgot about Work of Art Wednesday. My bad. I’ve been so focused on writing and cosplay that it completely slipped my  mind.

Here is another one of my pieces that is available for sale:


Sorry for the bad photo, but it’s an 11″x14″ and my scanner isn’t that big. If you are interested, comment here or message me on whichever social media site you see this on. 🙂

Tomorrow: Probably more writing and/or cosplay-related stuff. Because I am a woman obsessed.

The Tale of the Tape

Just measured myself for the skirt I’m self-drafting for my next cosplay. Ouch. The numbers burn.

I can still, as the illustrious Tim Gunn says, “make it work,” but I have to rethink my approach. It will be tougher to get “right.” Unless I can lose weight.

Then again, if I lose too much weight I run the risk of the skirt being too big in the end. If I choose one of my alternate approaches, it could be taken in. It would be difficult to do for someone with my (lack of) skill, but possible.

Yeah. I think I’ll do that. Make it so I can take it in if I manage to lose weight. If.

The Write Stuff?

I mentioned before about the Cosplay Closet Essentials posts I’ve started writing for Talk Nerdy With Us. So far the results have been positive, but how long will that last?

As an artist, I’m plagued with insecurity. Is this painting any good? Is the cosplay I’m sewing going to turn out? Will my novel get published?

Will people like the articles I wrote?

Don’t get me wrong; I love the interviews. I love doing most of the work myself: approaching the cosplayers for an interview, writing up the questions, editing and posting the articles for review. It makes me feel good when I’m able to organize something myself. But is that something good enough?

Artists, at times, can be fragile creatures. We put our souls into our drawings and our paintings, our sculptures and our clothing, our poetry and our prose. Think of Harry Potter: every piece of art that is created from the artist’s muse is like a horcrux. Souls torn into a million pieces, each one weakening the artist a little yet making the artist strong enough to live forever.

Some people might say that an interview isn’t the kind of writing that can be considered “art.” I disagree. I put just as much of myself into an interview as I put into a detailed drawing or my latest cosplay. I don’t just phone it in–except for phone interviews. I guess technically I phone those in. But that’s beside the point.

These Cosplay Closet Essentials posts are my horcruxes, just as are my paintings, drawings, and stories. So think about that the next time you read an article that you don’t agree with.

You could be dissing a part of someone’s soul.

To dream or not to dream

I have decided that, entertaining though they may be at times, having ultra vivid dreams sucks.

There are some nights when I wake up from one of these dreams and I can’t go back to sleep. Not necessarily because said dream was a bad dream per se, but because the dream felt so real that it’s unnerving. I just don’t want to go back to sleep and experience that again.

Perhaps that’s part of the reason I feel so tired all the time. I don’t get proper rest even on a night when I sleep “well.” How can you feel rested when you’ve just lived an entire day in twenty minutes? The mere concept is exhausting.

Some people say you should write down your dreams and use them as story fodder, but who wants to read a story about going shopping for Christmas decorations after a half day at work? Sure, I could turn it into some kind of quirky tale where everything goes wrong. Or maybe an inspirational story.

Or maybe I need to go back to bed.

NaNo, NaNo

It’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month. Though I’ve been terrified to participate in the past, I’m going to give it a shot this year.

You’re supposed to start with a blank slate (i.e. no words written until November starts), but I’m going to start with a work in progress and just only count the words I add from my initial word count. Can I get 50k words written in a month? We shall see.

I’m usually half planner-half pantser. (Yes, that’s a writing term; writing by the seat of your pants.) I plan the general storyline, but I let the story evolve as I go. With my first manuscript, I kinda sorta knew how it was going to end, but one character showed up out of nowhere to help out. I was surprised by it, and it was my story! Lol

Given that this is my first time participating, I am of course apprehensive, but I’m also stubborn and determined. So there’s a good chance I can get this done.

Can I win? Most likely not, because I don’t think I’d be eligible with the story already being in progress before the challenge starts. Do I care if I win? Most definitely not, because I’m doing this to get a draft out & practice writing faster and longer.

Well, off to get ready for the “real” job. I doubt I’ll ever make enough money writing to do it full time, but it sure feels good to have confidence that I will be published some day and see my book in a store.

Slow Rider

Okay, so my pace was not the fastest…still, I managed to get in half an hour on the exercise bike in my apartment complex’s “gym.” I took a friend’s advice (she’s majoring in kinesiology–I think that’s the word–so she knows much more than I do about proper exercise) & set the resistance to kinda medium. It felt good to get that workout in, even though it wasn’t much.

I had been considering going on pre-dawn walks in the neighborhood, but my husband was concerned for my safety so he got a key to the gym from the apartment management. I guess they don’t give keys out to all the residents because they had problems with people stealing stuff, but he paid the refundable deposit & got me the key so I can go work out in relative safety. Just a short walk to the exercise room, and the door locks behind me.

This, I hope, was just the first of many days exercising in the mornings. I want to make this a daily thing. I can’t keep being unhealthy. I already eat things that are horrible for my body (is it my fault that patients and coworkers keep bringing cookies, brownies, and doughnuts to the office?), but I’m trying to change that. It’s slow going, because I don’t have the best impulse control when it comes to food. I’m a picky eater, but the things I pick are loaded with sugar and/or carbs.

I’ll lose this extra weight some day. It may be slow going, but at least I’m going.