I am so sick of hot weather. I realize that current temperatures are some places summers, but it's such a relief!
I am so sick of hot weather. I realize that current temperatures are some places summers, but it's such a relief!
Written last night, mysteriously not posted until this morning.
Well into the second week of working on a new short story, and enjoying the writing process more than I have for a long time.
It's taken me eighteen months on sabbatical to get over the deeply ingrained habit of checking every few minutes to see how many words I've written, of feeling anxious that it's taking so long to get through a particular scene, of worrying that my time and effort has been wasted if I end up having to cut some or all of what I've written and start over the next day. Not to mention the voice of my Inner Editor nagging, "That scene is boring! That description is sappy! That conversation doesn't advance the plot! Nobody's going to like this. Give up and write something else."
It's not that I don't care anymore about making progress, or writing the best story I can. I'm just not measuring my work by the same rigid, merciless standards that used to suck away all the pleasure of writing for me. I don't have an outline for this story, just a vague notion of where I want it to end up and a few scattered ideas about how to get there -- and that's fine. I don't know who the audience for this story will be, or where I'm going to publish it once it's finished -- and that's fine, too. I'm writing it because I want to, not for the money or the market or the fear of losing my career if I don't. And that's the best feeling of all.
But it's taken me all this time to get there, because I drove myself so hard for so long, running on fear and guilt and sheer bloodyminded determination, that I couldn't remember how to write any other way.
Creative burnout is a real thing, ladies and gentlemen. Don't let it happen to you.
So, we took the car in for the 10,000 mile check-up and tire rotation thingy, then went to IHOP for breakfast and a test drive of the hearphones.
The hearphones...are problematical on two fronts.
Front One: I can't keep the damned things charged. Admittedly, this files under Operator Error, but I'm not usually an idiot about keeping the toys charged, so there's some subtlety I'm missing. And it doesn't lessen Operator Aggravation to arrive at the Test Location and find that the 'phones are, ahem, critically low on power.
Front Two: Hearing my own voice in my ears is gonna drive me bugs. And this may actually be a deal-breaker. Steve urges me to give it another run, to see if I get used to it, which is fair, but at the moment what I'm doing is whispering in an attempt not to hear my own voice, which is...not really much better than sitting like a stump at a group dinner because I can't hear what anyone else is saying.
The plaque (and check) which together comprise "Wise Child's" Readers Choice award arrived yesterday. The check we deposited in the bank today while we were out and about. Here is a photograph of the plaque, being modeled by the delightful Mr. Miller.
So, my next order of business is to read another 50ish pages of the Neogenesis page proofs. Lunch is on the schedule, and, very possibly, a nap, because we not only got up at stoopid o'clock to take the car in, but we got flu shots (the high-test flu shots reserved for those of us who are temporally elongated), too.
Everybody be good.
These are quite possibly the glitziest felt applique ornaments ever.
This weekend I'll get to start putting Hallowe'en costumes together, but in the meantime, I think I'll just read.
I did manage to disassemble and re-stuff my dress form. It's been a while since she and I were actually the same size and shape, so it was way overdue. She looked pretty lumpy and weird at first, but as soon as I put a corset on her, she looked like me again.
Brought a few small things to work on. I didn't have any sewing project with me yesterday, and I nearly crawled out of my skin with boredom. So, I have some ruching to trim, and a stomacher to work on, and that should keep me occupied until the end of the day.
I should be able to cut out the top for the bridesmaid dress tonight so I can embroider it while at work tomorrow. Then, assembly on Saturday and Sunday, and I'll be done with it!
For those following along at home: The hearphone movie test was inconclusive. I could, indeed, hear the dialog in Fantastic Beasts clearly while wearing the hearphones, but! So could I without. I am forced to conclude that the speakers on the new television set are superior to those in the local movie theater.
I have not yet done the Noisy Bar test drive. I have a window of opportunity tomorrow, when I need to be in Augusta insanely early so the car can get its 10,000 mile inspection, fine-tuning, whatever. Steve has bravely volunteered to go with me, and the plan (The Plan) is that, after the car is taken care of, we shall adjourn to IHOP, which is really pretty noisy, and I will do a test there.
One of the things that's really freaky about the hearphones, besides hearing yourself talk through your ears, is that there's a option for "silence" -- which turns off your ears. Or at least feels like it's turned off your ears. No input gets through.
In other news, the page proofs for Neogenesis, the twenty-first book in the Liaden Universe®; the eleventh Liaden book we've written for Baen -- landed in my in-box yesterday. Today, after breakfast, Sprite and I sat down with our red pen and our sticky tabs and went over the front matter and the first 48 pages, which takes us through the first section/chapter.
I will now go on to other things, including working on Fifth of Five, the sequel to Neogenesis and the last book in both the five-book arc beginning with Dragon in Exile, and the last book in the arc begun 29 years ago, in Agent of Change.
Twenty-nine years ago.
Well. I guess I've earned those purple hairs.
Before anyone asks: Nope, still don't know when the eArc of Neogenesis will appear at a Baen.com near you. The last word I had, from two "Baen insiders" (editors, actually, but "Baen insiders" sounds infinitely cooler than "editor") was that the eArc would be available in September. That is the sum of my knowledge on the subject (honest!). If you need to know more, you need to write to Baen.
What else? The fountain pen experiment continues to go well. I have one pen (out of, er, four? that escalated quickly) that I'm not really crazy about, but I am declaring success.
So, that seems to be all the news. Everybody be well.
Elizabethan Dressing Demonstration - February, 2018 - Watauga, TX
Francaise Dinner - March 17, 2018, Arlington, VA
Party Like a Vanderbilt: Titanic Weekend at the Biltmore Estate - April 13 -15- Asheville, NC
Fetes Galantes - May 29, 2018 - Versailles, France
Costume College - July 26 - 30, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA
Star Trek Convention Las Vegas - August 1 - 5, 2018 - Las Vegas, NV
( So costume. Very travel. Wow. )
Whew. So much fun stuff on the horizon! The plan for today is to sketch out the embroidery for M's Versailles suit so I can start prepping pieces tomorrow. I still have to get the bridesmaid dress out of the way, so I'll pick up some fabric tonight and start draping. Hopefully I can finish it up this weekend. Then it's 100% Versailles sewing!
Sewing-wise, Titanic has been finished for quite some time. And in fact, on Friday, I went to a pop-up Vintage/costume store that I had found some vintage buckles at last year, and they miraculously had two buckles with a 2.5" opening! One was a vintage green plastic in a semi-rectangular (but more decorative) shape. Unfortunately, when I got it home, I noticed that the middle bar was broken. However, I managed to super-glue it back in, and I'm hoping it will hold. I painted the plastic, and it looks quite nice! The other is a gold-ish metal, but the oval is quite plain. However, it will work if the green one winds up breaking again.
Once I finished that, I made a fun overskirt to wear with some of my medium-length modern skirts for the Halloween season. It is a black mesh with flocked bats that I splurged on at Joanns. I have another Halloween skirt which is currently in progress. At this point, it just needs the waistband finished and to be hemmed, both of which I'm hoping to do tonight.
In between the two skirts, I also did a mockup for the commission I'm working on for two Victorian jackets. I did the fitting for them on Sunday, so my next step is to cut out the one jacket I'm making in the velvet and lining (which I have to pick up tomorrow from Joanns), and to cut out the pieces I need to alter the other jacket. My goal is to finish both of those to the point of the next fitting by this weekend, so that I can go back to sewing for myself.
I'm going to a Regency ball at the beginning of November, and I've decided I need a new dress, since I've been wearing my first LWD for practically everything Regency for the last 5 years. Still not sure yet exactly what I want, but hopefully I'll figure that out soon - probably something early-to-mid 1820s. I'm hoping I can squeak it out of the 3+ yards of blood-red silk in my stash.
In sewing-related news, I did another portrait session on Friday, and this time, there was a sculptor there! I've never been sculpted before, but it was really cool to see her progress (and she's really good!)
Obviously, I need to work. I don't need a month for an 1860s dress.
But I currently have a cold. I wish there was a cold shot like a flu shot. I was very happy with my flu shot last year...
I spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday in bed. I slept for about 15 hours on Sunday, which seems to have helped. I still have a fever blister on my tongue that is making it really hard to talk, so that's fun.
At least I'm getting to see the photos from the day, which is nice. The costumed turn-out seemed low, but it looked like there were several new people that showed up in civvies to check out the group, so that's good.
Since I don't have to rush anymore, I'm going to go back and rework some things on the sacque that I did sloppily or left off for time's sake. I only had one sleeve ruffle, when I really wanted three, so I'm going to take my sleeves apart and add the other two flounces, and the fit of the CF could be better, so I'm going to tweak that a bit. The petticoat also needs more floof. I'm planning to pick up some paper tape after work today so I can make a new 18thC dress form, which will help with fitting tremendously. I also didn't finish M's waistcoat completely, so I'm going to work on that. Hopefully I'll have enough time to finish everything well before the Georgian Picnic in November, but it's a toss up since my sister's wedding falls right between then and now, and the next few weeks might get eaten up by wedding stuff, and I still have to make my bridesmaid gown. Hopefully I can knock that out this week sometime so I don't have to think about it anymore.
Almost all of my weekends between now and the middle of October are booked. Two weekends are taken up with bridal and wedding showers, then there's a vintage airshow in Dallas, my Mom's birthday, a night at the ballet, and my sister's wedding. 90% of it isn't costume related (I may or may not make something vintage-y to wear to the airshow), with only minimal sewing involved for the bridesmaid dress, so hopefully I can get some costume work done during the week. I've really enjoyed having projects to take with me to work for when it's slow.
Next on the agenda, some clothes for M. The horsehair canvas I ordered should be here by Thursday according to tracking, so that means I can finish his waistcoat properly soon. I picked up some fabulous black brocade (at Walmart!) that he'd been eyeing, so that will become a new coat for the Georgian Picnic. There are two embroidered suit jackets that need to be done. I have the embroidery sketched out and the fabric out of storage for the red suit, so I'll probably work on it first. I have the teal silk for his other suit, I just need to decide on an embroidery pattern so I can get started. His silk embroidered waistcoat needs finishing, too, which will happen once the horsehair is in. I don't have any plans for my own costumes between now and the end of the year, so I'm going to try and focus as much as possible on his wardrobe. He needs some complete outfits!