September slumps (and updates)

So Septembers come in two varieties for me: incredibly productive, or incredibly unproductive.  This September, thus far, has been strangely both.

The first week or so was insanely productive, especially when it comes to Awakenings, and I have to admit that this past week wasn’t so bad, either.  Epsilon: Broken Stars still requires quite a bit of attention before it’s ready for e-publication, so it may not see digital shelves until October, since the magnitude of the additions I decided to make (and the breadth of some of the rewrites I decided to do) were greater than anticipated–we’re talking the addition of several chapters here and a couple of unexpected subplots, which up the complexity level of the story quite a bit.  My schedule at the store last week basically meant I had to decide between sleeping and writing, and I wisely chose sleep when and where I could (I help a lot with the visual merchandising where I work, and my store manager was out of the business for a week–when we were supposed to be totally rearranging the store–so guess who got to do most of the rearranging by herself.  That’s right.).  Schedules are becoming lighter in that regard…just in time for me to prep for the 16th Annual Grand Valley Renaissance Festival in Allendale, MI, which I’ll be attending with Jude’s Chest again this year.  Something’s different about it this year, though, and that’s me bringing someone who’s never been (and therefore, since I’m there with the booth, will be requiring garb for the trip).

There goes more time.

The upshot is that as a result of the sewing break, that helped kicked some writer’s block in the sorry arse.  I’ve managed to finish Chapter 10 of Awakenings much sooner than I anticipated (I wasn’t expecting to be done with that until next week) and I’ll be able to launch into working on Chapter 11 as early as tonight.  I’ve also been getting some words down on a page for an Awakenings side story, one involving some characters that won’t debut in person in the narrative proper for some time.  The story will either serve as a filler after Awakenings: Book One is completed or will be released as an extra with the ebook version of Awakenings: Book One.

Of course, if I’ve got the cover designed, that means it should be coming soon, right?  Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no.  This is the third or fourth version of the cover that I’ve played with, but it’s the one I’m the happiest with.  However, in this case, I can fairly safely say that Awakenings: Book One should be complete on the website within another few chapters–probably by Chapter 12 or Chapter 13, but we’ll see where the story takes me.  Following that, there’ll be a time-skip forward probably a couple months, then a resumption of the (mis)adventures of our hapless heroes.  I have plans, after all.

Those plans, of course, change as I write onward, but that’s what keeps webfiction fun and interesting, isn’t it?

Speaking of…I was a guest on a podcast that’s available streaming here or as a download from iTunes.  It was a lot of fun, and I love the Webfiction World folks.  They put on a good show (even when they’re put on the spot–hell, especially when they’re put on the spot!).  Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they do a show based on Jim‘s superhero webfiction idea.

Adventures in French Hoods – part 1

So, I’ve gotten everything I need for this French Hood.  Yay!  And I’m ready to start my adventure.

I’ve gotten a pattern from Drea Leed’s wonderful Elizabethan Costuming site for a French hood dating circa 1535-1540, traced it out onto my interfacing.  Time to cut, and then bind the wire to it.

After tracing out the pattern onto my buckram and cutting it out, I proceeded to start binding wire to the buckram–I used a heavyweight embroidery thread to do this, which other than being a bitch to thread onto my needle was actually very easy to work with and did very well.

All told, it only took about an hour and a half or so for this stage.  I think I may try it with stiffer wire — I’m not sure if the wire I’m using holds its shape well enough; but time will tell.  I’ve got enough jacquard to do this at least twice.  So we’ll see what happens.  I may ask Trish about it tomorrow at game — she may have a tip or three about it.

Because I hate myself…

Because I hate myself, I’m going to try my hand at making a French Hood.  And…well…because I think it’d be fun to make one, and if I can make one, that means I can make more.  It should also keep my hands busy during Thursday gaming when I don’t need to be rolling dice, which is even better (making jewelery during game doesn’t work as well because I actually count beads as I work, which distracts me from contributing to game).

I’ve got the wire I need and some bridal jacquard I picked up on a whim and I’ve got stuff for veils and the billements coming out my ears (I make jewelery, too, duh), I just need to go get some buckram for the base of the mess.  Maybe I’ll see if I can do that on Wednesday after work.

I’m also going to try my hand at making some masks, because no one sells masks.  Or nice hats.  I should do both, I think, as long as it doesn’t make me crazy (which it invariably will, but it’s a nice thing to try at least once, I think).  There’s a lot of stuff  I think I’m going to try.  It’s a question of whether or not I actually get to it.