Monday, August 26, 2013

I am Delusional.

It's days until the start of Dragon*Con, and I haven't even *started* elf #3. I get like this all the time. It's not that I can't make it, but at this point, everything has to work out perfectly. One hiccup, and there will be no elf #3. And I thought I was going to have a really light sewing schedule this year...

Pretty much, I always take on more than I can handle. I'm like this with writing too. I always think I can finish a project in a shorter time frame than is really possible. Like editing my novels. Why does it take longer to edit them than write them?

Clearly I have some areas to work on in my life, but back to the current crisis: costumes.

Elf 1: Done!
This is Liz with Zombies elf dress.

Elf 2: Done!

This is Heidi's Elf dress.

Hello Dr. Horrible Kitty: Done!


Snow White: 98% (I broke the grommet setter--I break things, it's sort of how I work)

Elf 3: 0% (but I've made the pattern before, so this really shouldn't take too long... wow, I'm really delusional!)

Sif Coat: 80%

And now back to work!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Behind the scenes.

Okay, I've started this entry three times now, and it's clear to me: I cannot brain today.

Instead of a real post, I'll leave you with a picture of the fabric that I started with for the costumes for this year's Dragon*Con.

Yup, that's five bolts of cloth, three sets of cut fabric, and a pile of interfacing.

Where they are:

Snow White: 98%
Hello Dr. Horrible: 78%
Elf 1: 5%
Elf 2: 0
Elf 3: 0%
Sif Coat: 75%

So yeah, lots of work to go, but things are falling into place.

(and the Novel is 25% rewritten, so that's something!).

Right, I'll be back in a less crazy form soon.  Maybe--I mean I'll be back, I just don't know if it'll be less crazy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sewing Season

With the end of finals last week, and the start of classes next week, that means this week is officially known as Sewing Season.

I like to take costumes to Dragon*Con, so now's the time for me to crack the knuckles, oil the machine and get to work putting my costumes together. In years past this season has started on the last day of July. This year, I slacked off, but I'm not freaked out. I've got this under control (if only novels were that easy).

I'm only doing two this year, so we'll see how it goes, but here's a little taste of what I'm working on:

Why yes, that is my freeze ray...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wait, the Princess isn't here??!! (IWSG)

Insecure writer’s support group is brought to you by TheNinja Captain: Alex, and this month’s co-hosts are M. Pax, Karen Walker, and Melissa Maygrove. 

For those of you who don’t know about the IWSG, this is the time when creators around the world lend support, vent about the process, and generally release the bad so they can take in more good. It works about like the ancient scape goat method of tying your sins onto a goat and sending it out into the wilds (usually to be eaten, but sometimes to rise above the tyranny of predator/pray situations and become super goat).

This month, I’m talking about fortitude in the process. Publishing isn’t easy; no one will tell you otherwise, but what no one really prepares anyone for is the length of time. Sure they say it, but you don’t really understand it until you’ve tried it for yourself. I remember when I first started reading bloggers' journeys to publication. I’d read about people who got their shot and their contracts, and they’d say it took forever and ever and ever. They’d say things like “It took me most of a year to revise that manuscript. I rewrote that scene ten times before I got it right.”

I’ll tell you a secret: I used to think you could edit all of the good out of a project. I used to believe that there was something magical about the first version of the words (and for some people, I’m sure there is, I’m just not one of them).

I think I got this idea from the fact that early on, it was hard to convey what I wanted. On the rare occasions when I managed it in the first shot, I didn’t want to screw it up by messing around with it. As you can imagine, you get better at that part with time and volume of work. Eventually, you get to the point where you write a scene, then rewrite it from a different angle, then for grins you give it another shot and pick which one really captures the essence of that chapter (or if you’re like me, you’ll take pieces of each version and smash them together).

For me, the realization that my very first attempt at something isn’t magical has been, well, a big deal. It also means a lot more rewriting than I’d hoped to be putting in. Now, every time I think a project is done, someone points something out, and I have to go back through and revise for some little detail (or worse some big detail).

The constant feeling like it’s done just to have someone point out where it needs to be fixed is like playing Super Mario Brothers for the first time. You keep beating Bowzer, but the stupid mushroom says “I’m sorry but your princess is in another castle!”

It seems like someone should have given Mario a map to the big castle and said, “They’re probably holding the princess in the big house.” That would have saved Mario a ton of time. Every step of this journey seems like “The princess is in another castle.”

On the other hand, I wasn’t very good at playing Mario in the first levels, so maybe I needed to work my way up to the big castle at the end. When I look back at those other bloggers who “made it” and they wrote about how they spent years spinning their wheels trying to figure out how to make it work, I realize that was the map. You have to find your own way, and all the bumps are part of the road. More than ever, I see why people quit. More than ever, I see I’m not going to stop anytime soon.

I hope I’m getting close to the castle with the princess. In the mean time, I think I’ll have some mushroom soup.

What about you? Did you stick the landing on the first go round, or did you need a few practice castles to get there? Or maybe you're like me, swimming in mushrooms.

Monday, August 5, 2013

One Fandom

I don't know how many of you hang with the other nerds, but a friend of mine let me in on a game called One Fandom.

Its pretty simple, every movie an actor has starred in, is carried to the next roll.

For instance: In the reboot of Star Trek, we know Kirk is going to be Awesome because he is the son of Thor (Chris Hemsworth plays Kirk's father for a couple minutes).

There I was watching, Pacific Rim when I realized "Hey, that Jeager pilot is Buffy's boyfriend!"

So for the rest of the day, I kept imagining a One Fandom pitch for Pacific Rim: "Buffy's boyfriend, tired of being a mere human, trains to become a Jeager pilot to do battle with the Kaiju."

Do you have any good One Fandom moments?

P.s. Go watch Pacific Rim. While it is really short on women who get to do much, it's a fantastic movie with really awesome effects (I've changed what I want to be when I grow up: I wanna be a Jeager Pilot).