It’s all over when the fat man sings

So maybe it’s not “over” quite yet. I mean, it’s barely 2:00 PM. But the presents have been presented, the family ate breakfast with us, and all-in-all, aside from Christmas dinner at my parents’ house, Christmas is pretty much over. I haven’t even had a full day off from sewing and stuff–my husband just asked how far along I am on the Persian garb. I need to stop being so wicked; no rest, man, no rest at all.

I keep trying to tell myself that after Estrella things will calm down. I’ll have fewer sewing projects, I’ll be able to back away and take a break from SCA events, and I’ll have (theoretically) more time to write. That’s still two months away, though, and I have a crapton of things to do in those two months.

Did I enjoy my Christmas morning? Sure. It was nice having the family over, everyone seemed to love their gifts, and breakfast was tasty. But now, it seems, I don’t know what to do with myself. I could write, sure, but that’s work. So is sewing. And embroidery. I wanted a day off…but it’s not gonna happen. I can see that now.

I’ve been doing a lot of whining as of late. I need to quit that…along with quitting junk food and overeating, and quitting volunteering for all the things, and quitting not going to exercise (though that one will perhaps be the toughest, because I hate exercising in public and the group of friends I work out with now goes to a public gym).

Maybe I can be lazy for another week and save the above paragraph for New Year’s resolutions. Have a big ol’ list of stuff that I’m going to quit or give up or start or start back up. Who knows. I kinda hate resolutions, too. I tend to not get them done if they’re anything associated with me losing weight or getting healthier. The writing ones? Yeah, I can do those. Cosplay goals? If I can lose the weight, I can usually manage. It’s kind of a matter of how hard I want it, or how hard Thing X is. If Thing X is writing, I got this. If Thing X is getting on a treadmill to have half the town watch my fat jiggle, well, Thing X might not be a resolution I’d keep.

What will 2019 bring me? It’ll bring me age 40, hopefully around the time Escaping the Light hits shelves. That would be an awesome birthday present. Forty years old and a three-time published novelist, with two of them traditionally/indie published and one self-published. Yeah. A published sequel will be great for the midlife crisis. Maybe I can become a shut-in when I’m not at work and just churn out novels for the next, say, twenty to twenty-five years. Hit the Golden Years with a bunch of series and standalones.

It’s nice to dream, anyway…

Cries of “Excelsior!” shall echo through the halls of Valhalla

It was finally time.

He gave us ninety-five years, and he gave them selflessly. He created people, places, world’s, universes. And he created a society where geeks and nerds can be who they are. He made nerddom chic.

I know it was coming any day. I know it had to happen. No one lives forever. Not even The Man.

Still, I know my eyes will tear up when that last cameo flashes on the screen. They’re tearing up now, as I think of what the world has lost: a great man, and a creator without equal. He understood what it was to be an outsider, and he gave the outsiders people to relate to when few existed.

I’ve always been more of a Marvel girl that a DC girl. When I was four, I told my mom that I was going to marry Spider-Man. Well, Mary Jane Watson got to him first. 

I don’t really know what to say. What can you say about a man who touched so many lives? From the very small to the brightest stars in the biz, he made everyone fit in. There’s a place for everyone in Marvel.

I never got the chance to meet him. Well, I guess I had the chance, but I never took advantage of it. He was at Phoenix Comicon one year that I was attending, but I couldn’t afford an autograph. I should have stood in line anyway, if nothing else than to shake hands with the man who meant so much to so many. 

I knew it couldn’t last.

I just didn’t believe that it would really happen.

Legends are supposed to live on forever. But I suppose no matter how legendary the person, Death still wins in the end.

A Legend may be dead, but his legend lives on. In the comics he created. In the worlds and universes he created. In the hearts of everyone who was touched by his creations. In the word “excelsior,” a word that means excellence.

You were most excellent, Stan Lee.

Safe travels.


Tucson Comic Con is rapidly approaching (27 days), and I have gained too much weight to wear any of my cosplays. Bummer, right? Well, I found a compromise the other day, and yesterday I made something new.

I only spent about nine dollars on the zipper, thread, and button–much less than if I’d decided to make even one new cosplay! There are a couple of mistakes in the apron, but they’re small mistakes and nothing I can’t live with. Plus, with making it myself, I was able to alter the pattern and make a ton of pockets for markers for signing my book. 🙂

I used a pattern I found on Pinterest, and I’m happy with the results. Crafty Staci I think was the name of the woman who came up with the design. Great tutorial, great design.

So far that’s the only real prep I’ve done for TCC. I need to bust butt getting books ordered and setting up my PayPal reader with my phone and figuring out how much change to bring for cash. Every time I think I have all the plans solidified in my head, new things pop up. I’ll get there, though. And this experience will prepare me for future cons and appearances.

Cramped situation

I’m back to embroidering (did I ever really stop? Lol), and it’s starting to get to these arthritic hands of mine.

Whether I use a hoop or just hold the fabric myself, it seems my fingers get incredibly cramped and painful. I can only stitch for a little bit at a time, which is making projects take longer. Thankfully, I am limiting the number of projects I take on.

I have a Viking hood for my husband to embroider, of which I have gotten probably a quarter done. That’s my Current Project. My Next Project will be a mundane cross stitch for a paying customer. Then, Project Number Three in line will be a large embroidery that isn’t due until Estrella War in February. I hope to get some personal embroidery done in between Next Project and Project Number Three, but we’ll see how my hands tolerate it. I get so excited that people want things embroidered by me that I don’t take the time to say “Sorry, but I wanted to embroider X for myself first.” I need to do that. Take time for personal projects as well as commissions.

The Next Personal Project? I think some embroidery for a Viking Hedeby bag I plan on making. I have the handles, I have the fabric I need, and the rope for the strap will be easy enough to get, but I need to embroider the fabric before I put the bag together so I’m not stitching through the lining. Then after that? Maybe some subversive cross stitching or other such embroidery for hanging up around the house. Maybe something geeky. We’ll see…in March, most likely, because of time constraints.

I’ll eventually get to making garb and cosplay stuff for myself again. After I finish my Current Project and the subsequent pending projects. And after I finish Book 2 and submit it. And after….who knows what will come up next.

One down, three to go

The embroidery is done!

For now, that is. I still have one small project and two large projects ahead of me, though, so my reprieve is short lived. 

The book signing went well. I can’t remember if I mentioned that, but the bookstore sold over half of the twenty four copies I brought for them. Not too shabby for an hour and a half at a tiny store in a tiny town.

It was pretty cool signing my book for people. I signed a few copies of Whispers of Death when friends brought me theirs, but this was my first time making an appearance at a bookstore to sign a book. I enjoyed it, and I need to get busy planning how many books I need to order for bringing to Tucson Comic Con.

Sadly, I probably won’t be able to cosplay for TCC. I’ve gained too much weight. I don’t think I’ll fit any of my costumes, and there’s no way I can lose enough by then.

Oh well. I’ll still have a great time. 

A case of excitement

Tomorrow’s a big day for me in my publishing journey, and I can’t wait!

I have my first book signing scheduled at a local bookstore, complete with a case of books to take with me. I’ve got my markers and pens all bagged up, and I’ve got a ride to the store (my husband will have the car this weekend for an SCA event). All set–just have to make it through a busy Friday at work.

I gotta admit, I was kind of practicing my autograph a little bit when I went through my colored gel pens to find out which ones worked best. I mean, I can’t have a pen die on me mid-signature, right? And, even though my signature is atrocious and in no way legible, I want to be sure everyone gets a good one. And yeah, I’m fully aware that probably the majority of people showing up tomorrow will be friends who could easily get an autograph whenever they want–it’s the thought that counts.

Today at work is going to drag. Yeah, I’ll be busy as all get-out, but at the back of my brain my mind’s going to be at the bookstore. 

I’m also reminded today that there are only 49 days until Tucson Comic Con, where I will have a table to sell and sign books. I need to start saving up to bring some books with me; a case of books is not cheap, even for the author discount. Lol I was hoping to be able to cosplay, but I fear that life has gotten in the way of exercising the past six months or so, and my, er, size might not be the same as it was last year when I last cosplayed. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure I won’t fit any but one of my cosplays–certainly not enough to get me through the whole weekend. Oh, well. My own fault, I guess, for not making the effort to keep up with my workouts when I couldn’t make it to work out with my friends.

That’s okay; I’ll just be glad to be at my table, meeting new people and selling Abnormal to potential fans of the series. 🙂

Advanced notice

It’s getting closer and closer to Release Day, and in the hopes of getting some blurbs for the cover of Abnormal I’ve started sending out emails to other authors to see if they’d be interested in and Advanced Reader Copy to read and comment on. It’ll be interesting to see who bites and reads it.
I’m also doing an advanced read on another Askew author’s book (in exchange for her AR of mine), so of course I’m piling more work on top of the work I already have to do. Glutton for punishment, anyone? ‘Cause that’s me.
I had my interview for the promotion yesterday, but since there’s at least one other applicant that I know of (who is as qualified as I am, if not more so), it’s going to be the waiting game for a while. The owner of the practice has to review our resumes and questionnaires with my supervisor before making a determination. Good thing I clip my nails, because otherwise I’d be biting them in anticipation. As it is, my lip is chewed to pieces almost. Lol
SCA life is quiet for a couple of weeks, which means I get to game with friends this Saturday (better brush up on the system, because I’ve played all of one game way back in the fall) and the following Saturday is my birthday. The big 3-9, the beginning of the last year in my thirties. I’m not as freaked out about forty as I was about thirty, which seems weird, but I guess you get to a point in your life where you’re like “Whatever.” Some of my friends are taking me out for a dinner/cider tasting, which sounds like a lot of fun.
Other than that, my time is kinda my own for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I have the AR to do. Yeah, I have embroidery/sewing to work on. Yeah, I have work-work to do. Yeah, I have to finish remaking my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con. Yeah, I have marketing footwork to do. Still, it’s nice to not be running around crazy trying to catch up for a little bit.
(And yeah, all that and then some is me “relaxing” for a couple of weeks. 😉 )

Stuck in the past, no time for the future

So with one Arts & Sciences competition behind me and another one looming this weekend, plus the interkingdom arts exchange project I’ve been working on, plus another period craft I plan on doing, plus the Kingdom A&S competition in the fall, I find myself with little time for mundane sewing. This poses a slight problem, because I have to completely remake my Dark Phoenix corset before Tucson Comic Con in November.
Yeah, November’s a ways away, and I’ve made corsets before with much more of a time crunch, but I want to do this right. I want to look nice for my “fans” (okay, for random congoers who happen to stop by my table) at the con, but the previous corset I made was entirely too big. This time I’m going to go strictly by the pattern and not try to alter it to make it bigger. A corset’s supposed to be tight anyway, right? Sure. That’s the excuse I’ll give myself when I’m muffintopping out of it. Good thing I made a shirt to wear under it.
I need to get a few new materials, too. I have the basic top fabrics, but even with some careful seam ripping I’ll need new canvas for the inner layers and some new bias binding. Oh yeah, and new grommets. Maybe new lacing. *Sigh* So there’s the money aspect I need to take into consideration.
I also have to find the time to make the corset in the midst of weekends of SCA events, gaming, birthday (less than 2 1/2 weeks to go ’til 39!), etc. Then there’s the book marketing that I’ll have to do, with potentially time taken away for interviews and in-store events, and the Advanced Read Copy of another book from my publisher that I need to read and comment on. And I applied for a promotion at work that will take up considerably more of my time than I’m currently spending on the clock. Guess I’m a glutton for punishment.
Once the corset is made, I need to try on all my costumes again to make sure everything still semi-fits. I’ve gained entirely too much weight in recent months, and I’d rather not have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the con. That means I might potentially have to alter or remake other small pieces (but not another corset–if I have to do that I’ll probably cry lol) so I can comfortably sit at the con. Yay for skirts with elastic waistbands and Spandex pants! Lol
I’m trying to also factor in for potential embroidery commissions/requests in the interim. Right now, I just have the arts exchange project and the one craft project for myself, and one little bit of “tiny embroidery.” Basically, embroidering someone’s arms in miniature, so a max of 1.5 inches wide, maybe thinner.
The future is fast approaching, but I think if I buckle down and focus I can make it there with a corset to wear. I mean, how many times now have I had the Cosplay Con Crunch to deal with?
Yeah. I got this.

This brainstorming episode has been interrupted by…reality

I have it all planned out. In the mornings, I will write. Or embroider. Or remake my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con so it fits. Or do some such creative endeavor. I mean, I’m up early enough usually, and my husband is either sleeping or working. Lots of “free” time to create.
Except…We have that huge SCAdian housewarming party this weekend. And my husband’s Peer is staying in the craft room. And the craft room looks like a crafting tornado hit it. FML.
I hate cleaning before I have to work, though. I have limited time in the mornings because I have to pay attention to what time it is so I can get my shower in and get dressed and whatnot. When I’m hip-deep in fabric, it’s harder to keep track. I either waste time constantly watching the clock, or I set an alarm which goes off mid-project. I have the afternoon off today, so theoretically I can get work done then, but then the problem of needing to get other projects done comes in. I have things like blood work to get. And a podiatrist appointment. And SCA scribal stuff to do.
There are shelves to store the fabric in so I have easier access and can see at more or less a glance what I have–but I have to sort and fold all the fabric and put said fabric on the shelves. There are two 6’x3′ tables that are CHOCK FULL of supplies and sewing machines and what have you on top of them that I need to clear off for potluck foodstuffs that will be brought by our guests.
*Sigh* I suppose Book 2 and the embroidery projects I have will have to hold off for a bit. At least a couple of days, until I can get the craft room presentable. Then it’ll have to wait for me to set everything up in its proper place. Then…I write? I hope.

Making a list and checking it eleventy times

Well, I did it–I applied for a table at Tucson Comic Con…and I was approved!
I talked it out with my husband, and since the con is three days while Coronation is only one, he’s going to drop me off at TCC the day of Coronation, drive up to see his friend step down and get his Duchy, then drive back to Tucson to sit with me at my table. I’ve already annoyed all my local friends to try to get them to at least stop by the table (if not purchase a book or two while they’re there 😉 ), but my mind is racing with stuff I have to get done beforehand.

  • I’ve gotta get a tablecloth. That will make it look nicer. The TCC website said there would be a table provided, but no mention of tablecloth was made.
  • Square reader. Need one. Easy enough to obtain, but I don’t want to forget to obtain it.
  • Cash box/pouch? Hmm….
  • Better start plans to stock up on books to sell/sign at the con.
  • I need to finish fixing my Dark Phoenix steampunk corset. I made it too large when I initially sewed it, and even though I’ve regained some weight I’ll still need to take it back in.
  • Devise and sew a sci-fi-ish cosplay to wear one day? Hmm…. I do have a pattern for a body suit…I’d have to get my serger up and running again and remember how to use it though…And make a corset to go over said bodysuit because omg fatness lol
  • If I do do a new cosplay, a fun new wig to go with it 😉
  • Once I find out what promo materials I’ll have from the publisher, I need to make another list of display items to get, like some kind of stands to prop up books, signage, etc.
  • Tubs to carry stuff to and from the table in each day.

I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of, but that’s enough for now. I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. It’s fun to think that I’m getting back into cons and stuff, but it’s also going to be work. I won’t be able to leave the table much because I’ll have to be there so people can actually meet the author and get autographs if they want. So it’s not all fun and games. I’ll have moments of severe social anxiety that I’ll have to suck up and swallow down, because I can’t go freaking out over all the people when I paid money to be up in the thick of it (or back in a corner somewhere, which is more likely where I’ll be put. Lol)
There’s also a little thing called a housewarming party that I need to finish straightening the craft room for…I have to clear off both tables so we’ll have a place for people to sit and eat, and I have to get some semblance of organization done so my husband’s Peer has a place to crash for the night.
Oh, and I have to go see the podiatrist yet again because my left foot is either broken or has a neuroma or some crazy shit like that. There’s that, too.