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Summer camp…

It’s that time again.  Summer camp for writers…kind of.

CampNaNo starts tomorrow, 50,000 words in 30 days.  It’s the second  year that they’ve done CampNaNo over the summer, two sessions for this summer June and August.  NaNo in November is a great way to get started on a novel and the two sessions of CampNaNo would be a great way to actually finish a novel.

I will be working on the editing that I was supposed to start in January.  Hey, better late than never, right?

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Navigating time…

“The Victim curses the wind.
The Survivor waits for it to change.
The Navigator adjusts the sails.”

Be the navigator of your life.

I saw this saying last week and thought ‘yes!’  Immediately followed by thoughts of how the last few months have gone.  Last few months?  The last few years, would be more appropriate.  The last year we’ve definitely been in survivor mode, no control over the sails, the navigator position was already being filled.  We all know what I am talking about and I don’t really want to go there.  

Late March, early April, we were the victims for maybe a week.  And unsurprisingly, it sucked.  We cursed the wind and anything else that we could think of, but privately.  On the outside, we were patient, comforting and me, personally, I was funny.  I made people laugh when all they wanted to do was cry.  I couldn’t stand the tension, and I literally couldn’t stop myself from trying to help with humor.  Luckily, those who know me understood, everyone else I am guessing just thought I was loopy from the stress.   In between jokes though, I was cursing the wind.

It’s been almost two months and I’m the navigator now.  Only problem is that the boat is in terrible shape, the sails are in tatters, belowdecks is a mess and we are sailing in circles.  We’ve been so busy waiting, cursing and waiting that we are stuck drifting in the water.  (I am enjoying this metaphor so I am going to keep going.)  Even now, as we’ve gotten some repairs done, we’re just not ready to go anywhere.  We’re tired and sad, and some days it’s just too much.  

On those days I can’t help but get discouraged, another day goes by that seemingly puts us behind.  Over the last year, it feels like we’ve been away more than we’ve been home.  I am sure if I examined the exact hours I would find that we’ve been home a lot more than it feels like but even then some days it was just too much.  So, now I am trying to get back on track with the day to day as well as catch up on stuff that should have been done months ago.  Some days are good, others…not so much.  I’ve gotten my desk almost completely reorganized but it’s a constant struggle to keep it in it’s neat state.  I try not to let it overwhelm me but it’s difficult, if I can’t keep my desk straightened for more than a day, how am I supposed to get the entire house (boat?) ship shape?

At this point, I am adjusting the sails but just enough so that I don’t run us aground.  Now don’t get me wrong, this has to do with the day to day operations of the boat.  Sully, Boo and I are hanging in there.  We have good days and even had a really nice four day weekend.  We are moving forward and we will continue to do so, even though it’s all still there just out of view.  We have our moments when things hit one of us and the others rally, hugs and tears all around.   

Life goes on, whether we are ready or not.  I can deal with that, now.  I am just not ready to navigate in deep waters.  Hopefully, I can spend the summer repairing the sails and getting belowdecks in order.  It’d be nice to adjust the sails and head for smoother water.

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Timely fashion…

We spent most of the weekend at Phoenix Comicon and we were quite fascinated by some of the cosplay outfits worn by the attendees.  Boo and I were especially taken by the Steampunk costumes.  

What is Steampunk?  The basic idea is Victorian period mixed with advanced technology.  Think the old ‘Wild Wild West’ TV show or the new “Sherlock Holmes’ movies.  You can go Steampunk.com for the in depth explanation.  

The outfits are a great mix of Victorian styles with various fabrics including leather and adorned with metal pieces like gears and clocks.  I loved the beautiful pieces found at Corset Story.  Other steampunk items including clothing, footwear, hats and weapons can be found at Museum Replicas.

It’s all way cool.  Boo and I are thinking about going Steampunk next year.  Simplicity patterns were on sale this weekend at Joann’s.  Look what we found…

                    

                    

These are all available at Simplicity.com and most likely at your local fabric store.  Keep an eye out for sales because they can be pricey. 

These are awesome patterns and I am already looking at fabric and color combinations.  It should be interesting to see what Boo and I come up with.  

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So not my fault…

Ok, it probably is but I’ve had so many problems with posting my blog entries lately. I have them written but installing the pictures has been difficult.  Last Sunday, I tried to post something about the eclipse and everything went wonky and I just said forget it.  I pretty much left it alone although I have been writing the more recent blog posts.  

Thanks for bearing with me, all two of you…I will post more soon.

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Council of geeks…

Friday at Phoenix Comicon

Look at the awesome art on these badges!

 

 

 

The first thing we did when we got to Phoenix Comicon was go straight to the autograph area to meet Ed Asner.  He signed the cover to “Up” for Sully.  Boo brought the DVD cover for “Elf”, he was very sweet to her.  He said that his favorite aunt had her name, not Boo but her real name. He also told her he could tell she was a good kid, that Santa always knows.  An awesome memory for all of us.

 

We did some shopping, Sully got some comic books and prints.  Boo and I got some cool Steampunk stuff.   We found these at two booths with artists from Tucson.

 

 

I have to thank Sully for both items in the picture.  I stared at the feather fascinator while Boo looked at the red ones and the purple ones.  When Boo picked hers out, Sully added this one too.  That color blue is my favorite.  I found this beautiful pocketwatch, with a rabbit and flowers in the design on the cover.  Sully just leaned toward me and said, “Get it.”  So, I did and it’s so pretty.

 

 I also got a new print at the Aspen booth.  I honestly couldn’t help myself.  I have no idea where I am going to hang this print.

I had a great conversation with Frank Mastromauro, the president of Aspen Comics.  He was really nice and funny while I looked through the prints.  We talked about how crazy cons can get and he shared some cool stories about fans he has met.  It was pretty cool.  Check out their comics at Aspen Comics.

 

Frank Mastromauro at the Aspen Booth.


 

 

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Nerd alert…

Phoenix Comicon starts today!

We’ve been going to Phoenix Comicon for years, back when they were in Mesa and now in the Phoenix Convention Center.  Last year was great, although the staff was a little cranky.  

I got this groovy T-shirt from the Looking Glass Wars booth.  The tag is autographed by author, Frank Beddor.  The Looking Glass Wars is a trilogy about Alyss of Wonderland, old story, new twist and really awesome.  Check out his books here.

                     

 

 

Sully had gotten the Phoenix Comicon VIP membership through Avatar Press.  He got a set of graphic novels, several Phoenix Comicon exclusive comics, a print set, a shot glass and a blanket.  We picked up all of that stuff on our way out.  You would be amazed at how heavy a bunch of graphic novels and comic books can be.  

Tonight, we had a good time.  Registration was quick and easy.  We wandered around and got a good idea of the convention floor.  Tomorrow we will be back to shop and get some autographs.  It should be fun, we are getting autographs from Ed Asner.  Yay!

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Eclipse viewing…

I almost forgot about the solar eclipse this evening.  Luckily I was looking at Twitter, I follow several funny people, and someone mentioned the eclipse.  I looked up the times and realized I had a little over an hour to get prepared.

I did a quick Google search and found this tutorial on how to make your own pinhole projector.  It’s from the Exploratorium, ‘the museum of science, art and human perception’ in San Francisco.  It looks very cool, definitely on my list of things to check out when I eventually get to visit San Francisco.

Here is the projector that I made from a box slightly bigger than a shoe box.

This the top, with the pinhole through the aluminum foil.   The next picture shows the little viewing window.

              

  

          

6:15 pm, Arizona time.

6:30pm

It’s great that you can really see the movement across the dot of light from picture to picture.

6:40pm

At this point, as soon as you walked outside you could tell that something was going on.  The light outside was just a little dimmer than normal.  Very cool but kind of eerie.

6:50pm

7:00pm

This is the last picture.  I went back out at 7:10 but the sun had gone down enough that there wasn’t direct light shining on the box.