This blog is mostly going to be my little place to talk about the novel I am writing. Which is why I stole a quote from one of my favorite tv shows, as this novel I am writing, I plan to finish, and at times.. it feels like an impossible thing. Also this is to journal my move to the UK, and starting my own business as an Indie Yarn Dyer

Denver

Anomaly Con 2011, Part 1

I want to do a good long post about Anomaly Con. I even started mentally writing it last night. But it would require downloading photos, etc.

I’ve also decided that certain things I wanted to talk about… I shouldn’t. So I won’t. Ya dig?

 

Anomaly Con was quite fun. It was quite interesting being a “vendor” type person instead of just a patron.

I will touch lightly on this, and that is it. I found most people at the con quite… negative.

I don’t know if it’s just that I have basically turned into a bit of a hermit over the last year or not… but the patrons were by and large dour and negative whilst looking at wares. This is an observation not just at my table, but something I noticed as I observed people at other artist’s tables, or downstairs in the dealer area.

Alright, I’ve said my peace on that. Now I’ll move on.

The con it’s self… lets just say I do realize it is the baby year, and there was a lot of learning experience.

The Tivoli Center is a beautiful building. The atmosphere was perfect for what we were doing. Giant copper brewery … urns? (My brain is dead, I can’t think of the word I want) lots of piping… and just amazing bits and pieces.

But, it is not a good place for a convention. To get places, you would have to walk across the entire length of the center, then go up another elevator etc. And there was one section that quite a few of us never did get to, nor could figure out how to get there. (I feel so bad for the people who were stuck in that area…)

The Asylum did not do so well at the con. I made back my booth fee, and the cost of everyone’s tickets.. So that is great. That’s the least I could ask for.

Copper Dragonfly’s hats did well and people loved the odd shapes of the hats instead of just general round ones. (By well, I mean a few of them sold)

Erin Gallagher the author did amazing. Lots of people are excited for me to finish my novel and have it out in the world.

At one point I was kicked out of my own table and told to go listen to a panel that was going on. I did. I’m glad I did. Though it was amusing, I was pretty much the only person asking questions.

But… I might have found a self publishing route that I might go with. It is a group that was created by authors who have gone the self publishing route. So, they banded together and created their own author house. Self publishing is hard work, but having resources is a good thing. And most importantly, I would retain all rights nor would I have to worry about exclusivity. So if my dream came true and Harper Collins, or Tor decided to pick me up… I could easily go with them without having to give up a pound of flesh to get out of contracts etc. What I also like about this group, is that they are inclusive of all genres. For me, that is a very good thing. After all, I’ve got several.  Aether Horizons, steampunk adventure fiction. Angel Blitz (working title), a paranormal fantasy in WW2 England. The Q2-Files (series title), a modern mystery thriller. The Happy Housewife (working series title), a paranormal fantasy set in the 1950’s.

See, I don’t just fall into one category. Then there are other projects that I’m not yet at liberty to discuss, which fall into none of the categories I just mentioned.

Now, this company is a baby company. They literally just published the first title as of this weekend. The website needs a lot of work in my opinion. (Right now it looks like a fan page for one of the authors… which I understand why it’s like that, but I would recommend making it a little less about Her Her Her.)

I am interested in this pub house because yes I had planned on doing the self publishing route. I know it means I’ll have copies of my book laying about my house waiting for me to ship out. I know it will mean me selling the hell out of my book to everyone I come across. But, going with the print on demand publishers is just bloody expensive(with very little profit), and won’t ever get me into Barnes and Noble. (This pub house needs a few more authors… well not authors, but book titles before it can be put into the big distribution list that all the shops order from.)

And there isn’t a print on demand website out there that I have discovered that can get me my novel for 5$ a book (my cost).

I think I’ll still go with smashwords, and a few other sources for the e-book editions, but that is neither here nor there right now.

 

For those who are interested in knowing the group… the website is here:  Tangled Webs Publishing

 

The weekend was not so fun because Saturday evening after we left the Con (no, we did not stay for the ball.. we were too tired) we went to dinner. After dinner we got back in the car and it didn’t start.

Oh, I had completely forgotten. The night before on Friday… we went to a concert. It was Great Big Sea. It was the final show of the tour, and the boys were having fun. I am so very glad I went.

When we got done with the concert, the car didn’t start. We got towed over to Danny’s shop, and then the car started. We risked it and went home because of how early we needed to be up in Denver. The car went up to Denver just fine.

So here we are, at a Mexican restaurant a few blocks away from Katte and Curtis’s house. The car is not working.

Katte comes and rescues us, as we were staying at her house anyway.

Curtis makes a call on his cellphone while I calm myself with a dram of scotch.

Curtis is the only man I know who can have a mechanic call him back at 10:30pm on a Saturday. And more oddly, that mechanic agrees to come out to the car at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday.

I slept not so great because my brain wouldn’t shut off, I was dehydrated, and I had a migraine forming.

The morning comes, the mechanic meets us.  We determine it looks like it’s the fuel pump thats not working anymore.

Curtis hooks up Ginny to The Beast, and I nervously steer while he tows me the few blocks to the shop. (Oh my gods I hadn’t had to do that kind of towing in 7 years… I do not like to do it at all!!!!)

Katte then takes us to the Con. She was just going to pop in and see my table setup, and ended up staying for 3 hours. She loved it. She has all sorts of ideas now. Ideas that involve The Asylum as well.. muhahahahahaa.

Von who was coming up from the Springs on Sunday for the con gave me and all my crap (and people) a ride home. Which is good, because I had no idea how I was going to get all of my crap home otherwise.

The car is still in Denver. Katte is coming down with the kids on Tuesday to go to Garden of the Gods, so she’ll just scoop me up and take me up to Denver when it’s time to go home. (I was told that Tuesday is when the car should be ready, if nothing else I can always spend the night at their house until Wednesday if needed.)

 

So it was a good and bad weekend. Lots of interesting things happened.

Oh, and apparently my steampunk name is “Extra! Extra!” as everyone remembers the badge on my hat. (At least thats what the Colorado Springs people remember me as.) So I even moved the badge to my fedora on the Sunday. We’ll see if the nickname sticks or if I find something better.

I promise to post photos once I get them all downloaded etc… but for now… here is this one.

Saturday at Anomaly Con

 

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Because I could…

I could say it’s a result of the stress I’ve been under the past couple of weeks.

I could say it’s because I have been marginally good when it’s come to my sweet intake the past few days.

I could say it’s because I won’t have anything like this for a while again.

But the truth is… I did it because I could.

 

So I had myself a bowl of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream (Blue Bell since it just came to Colorado Springs, and Mim had never had it. Being of Texas myself, I have of course had it) topped with a chocolate chip cookie.

I made chocolate chip cookies today for this weekend. I like to feed people who are helping me out, and I’d rather myself have homemade cookies than store bought ones.

I couldn’t find my usual recipe from Martha. So I am trying one of her other ones. I think this is the same recipe I used while I was in England… I thought that they were my usual recipe but I guess not.

When I was in England I blamed the difference on the butter/chocolate chips.  I am not fond of the chocolate chips I had in England (Milk chocolate. BLEGH! Give me Semi Sweet or Dark!) and the future Mother In Law does not keep butter in the house. (She runs Cardio wards in hospitals. I personally would rather have the real butter and take care of my heart in other aspects.)

My French Grandmother would roll in her grave if she knew I had used fake butter to bake with. But that is another time.

Today I used real butter, and had proper chips. The recipe I used is still different than I’m used to, but it is quite yummy in deed. Nice and cakey. Almost too cakey.

Today I also made myself some hummus. Made it for the first time. Used a mortar and pestle even. I did use a blender, but  as my blender is a tiny thing I decided to help it out by premashing the garbanzo beans.

I think the hummus was a success. It was nummy.

Next up will be to make different flavors, and also to make Edamame Hummus.

Pictured above is also some English Muffin bread that my mum made. It is always a yummy success.

For dinner Mim made crustless Quiche and I must say that I much prefer crustless Quiche to regular Quiche. I’ve never been fond of most pie crusts, and Quiche was not an exception.  I think from now on I’ll be making this version as I am fond of Quiche, but always am disappointed with the crust.

 

I’ll post the recipes up but today you are just going to get the cookies.

 

And the next time you most likely hear from me will be after Denver’s first ever Anomaly Con. I am quite excited. It’ll be my first time selling anything from The Asylum in a public setting. I will also be harking my scribblings. Yup, as an author. (Well, it’s my artists table that I’m paying for … so it’s not quite being there officially as an author.. but hey, my Asylum.. my rules!) Yup, Aether Horizons will be at the Con. I’m quite excited. It will make me feel all official like.

 

Martha’s Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges and set in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

 


Sometimes you fly…

Happy Imbolc to everyone who celebrates it. For me it certainly has been poignant. It’s about rebirth and renewal. Getting rid of the old, and bringing in the new.

Today I took a leap. I’ve decided I’m going to have a table at the Anomaly Con here in Denver this March.

This is big for me. Very very big. Like, starting tomorrow I need to dye my bum off so that I’m ready. I’m sure I’ll either be far too overstocked, or I’ll be understocked. I’m okay with being overstocked. I’ll be thrilled though if I sell out of everything and am understocked. I of course won’t expect this to happen, so I will be presently surprised if it does.

This will require me finding my costuming that I’ve packed away. But it will give me a chance to wear the awesome awesome new hat I have that was given to me as part of the Pay It Forward 2011 from my dear friend Kristen.

Isn’t it awesome? Don’t you wish you were me right now with such an awesome hat? Well, you can buy one of your own from her brand new shop (I’m so proud and excited for her) on Artfire: Copper Dragonflies. You really should check her out. She doesn’t have hats up in the shop right now, but send her a message and she’ll make you one.

It means also that if you don’t hear from me for the next 2 months, it’s because I’ve fallen into a vat of dye and drowned myself. This is very possible people. Yes, I realize that I’m possibly biting off more than I can chew, especially with still needing to finish the Sherlock club.. but I’ve never been one to do baby steps. I dive into that deep end and learn to swim. Wait.. no.. I’ve got a better analogy. One quite fitting.

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” – Neil Gaiman

Well, I’m determined to fly. I never thought I’d get the chance to do an event like this. Certainly not in the US. I might not get something like this in the UK. So I might as well take that leap. After all, this witch just might prove that she can defy gravity. (Alright, how many more analogies can I throw in this paragraph structure?) (Oh, and photograph taken from here.)

I’ve got many big plans for this year, and this wasn’t even one of the original plans! This year is definitely going to be my year.

I’ve lost 21.6lbs as of writing this. I don’t know if I’ll reach my goal before the end of this diet, but I am okay with that.  I am happier with my body, my self, my business, and my life. The only aspect that I am not happy with is still not being with my hunny. But there is nothing I can do about that.

My hunny though is striving to make me happy. He bought a rug for our place. Oh yes, we found a place. It’s small and dinky, but it’ll work for us right now. But as I was saying, he bought us a rug. A rug I had said I liked. When I first saw this rug, I fell in love with it. But I told him I liked the gray one, and not the purple one. I told him this because he is not fond of purple. The gray was nice, and would look nice in the house (our main carpeting is a dark blue). So I was fine if he wanted that one. What did he do? While he was shopping in IKEA (which by the way, I love IKEA. I grew up in Ikea. I am sad that the Ikea here in Colorado will not open till next year… I’ve been wanting this store to pop up in Colorado the entire time I’ve lived here) He got us the rug. He got us the rug for a mere fraction of the original cost.

And he got me the purple rug. I love him for it. He knew the purple would make me happy.  And it would look good with the blue carpet. (The other choices besides gray and purple was this “sand” and a yellow green)

To any men reading my blog.. it’s little things like that which win over girls hearts.

As the first month of the Sherlock Holmes Yarn Club is now over and done.. (and I’m scrambling to get this 2nd month in the mail asap!) I can now share with you photos of what you are either enjoying in your house or missing out on.

Photo thanks to Reni LeBard

Dr. Watson in shades of mustards, curries, browns and gunmetal. When I think of our dear Doctor, I cannot help but think of him in those colors. Some might think it odd, but that’s the impression I always have. It is mostly due to the very first impression of him meeting Holmes for the first time. He is on my new base, a 2ply SW Sock

Hound of the Baskervilles was not originally planned. When I planned this club, it was going to be a 3 colorway club and that was it. (2 skeins of the same colorway each month) But then I had a customer ask for Hound of the Baskervilles to be included, and my imagination went from there. Hound of the Baskervilles was one of my favorites of the stories growing up. And whenever I think of it, the image of those haunted moors. So while designing this one, that’s exactly what image I used. The purple and greens and browns, the ever shifting mist of those moors. This one is shown on my 4ply SW Sock

I hope you like what I created…  Also in the months package is:

An Absinthe Lollipop, after all that was one of his vices. (Though Watson will tell you otherwise) They are from Lollyphile, but it does not appear that you can get them anymore. I guess it’s a good thing that I have an extra stash left over from this club. Muhahahaa

A random assortment of Holmes inspired Pin Badges (before anyone gets huffy.. each customer got 1 pin badge, certain people got 2 for their help in the project)

A tea strainer that is rather neat! (it’s got its own drip pan even!)

A pattern designed by the awesome Christina Scovel from Serenity Stitches.

Today I went to the printers to get this month’s pattern. It’s beautiful. But you’ll have to wait a month before you can see it! I’m also working on getting the last of the swag done, which hopefully will be tomorrow.  Then it’s back to the dye pot for me.  I’ve only got 1 more colorway that needs to be designed and dyed. I have the other colorway 99% finished. It just needs one last little treatment done to it before I can call it done.

I have been truly blessed by my loyal customers, and amazing friends.  This club was a huge leap for me, and it has taught me a lot, and enriched my soul while doing it.

Oh, I also had another Big Ass Order during all this… It was for a Sock Kit that is being put together by one of my customers.

“Bold As Texas”

I had carte blanche on the colors, so I chose: Red, White and Blue for the state flag, not to mention the patriotic tones that Texas has to begin with! Bluebonnet Blue, and a Yellow that matched the Yellow Rose of Texas.

I’m very happy with it. She’s very happy with it, and apparently the people ordering the kit are happy with it! Yay!

Well, I have more that I can announce, but I’m awfully tired. I should have gone to bed before I actually started writing this. So I guess I’ll just have to announce the rest tomorrow. Goodnight everyone, and may your Imbolc fires burn bright!


High Flying Burlesque

Okay in truth it was Low flying Burlesque, but High flying sounds better and doesn’t confuse people as much.

Yesterday I drove up to Boulder to have some trap time with Frequent Flyers, much to the annoyance of Saki as she was not allowed to go with me, and this was the first day that I’ve had to actually leave her for more than an hour or two since everyone else left for England.

Doesn’t she look absolutely disgruntled? No, this image isn’t from yesterday. It’s just one I had on my phone, and I love how disgruntled she looks.

Yup, still gotta say it… I miss Boulder.

I arrived quite early (you never really know if it’s going to take an hour, or if it’s going to take 2 hours). So what did I do? I found the studio (the last time I was there, they were at a different location), then I headed down the street to McGuckins Hardware. Oh how I missed that place. I know, it’s just a hardware store… But truth is, it’s more than one. And everyone is so nice, and they have the most cool random stuff.

I then went next door to Sunflower Market and picked up a few things for dinner. I had left the house at 4, so since it was now close to 6, I figured I should eat. (Why didn’t I eat before I left the house? Well who eats at 4??? Oh.. that’s right.. I used to when I was a slave to the tech desks. I’ve moved on. Now sometimes I don’t eat dinner till 8pm)

I picked up some bread like object, a little Jarlsberg cheese, and a tomato.  (Oh, and some two bite brownies just because I wanted them.)

Few bites of each I then headed over to the studio.

There were only a few of us in the class, other than Darla I was the only non Aerial person there. (I consider myself non aerial for this since it’s been so many years since I got on a bar that I was fresh meat again)

I immediately gouged my finger on the edge of one of my nails. Apparently when I broke my nails earlier in the day I apparently didn’t file down one corner enough. Lovely.

I’ve also realized that oh my god I haven’t worked out in nearly a month. And though weight lifting 60lbs might be good for a girl who hasn’t worked out for a while… lifting myself up is a lot harder. My god it’s been years since I had to do that. And yes, my upper body strength sucks. Due to how my body frame is, most of my awkward weight is up top. Yup, I’m top heavy. Most of my strength though is in my legs, which doesn’t help all horribly much when you are lifting yourself up.

I must say, I felt awesome hanging upside down. Just hanging for about a minute, my spine immediately decompressed and I was feeling good.

This led to problems later though. When I felt things release in my spine, it must have shifted or tweaked one or two of the nerve clusters. Because about 20 minutes later I got immediately nauseous.  (So that puts it at about 45 minutes into the class) I mustered on for a little while, but realized I wasn’t going to be able to get on the trap again without risking blowing chunks.

It had nothing to do with spinning, or being upside down. It just was the nerve cluster situation. This wasn’t the first time this has happened, so I know it wasn’t me not being able to handle being upside down etc.

So for the rest of the class I did the routine just on the floor (which was fine since there were 6 of us, and only 4 traps).

Part of me is disappointed that I couldn’t continue, but that’s alright. I know my limits, and I also know that I’m absolutely broken. I’ve been broken for years.

Everyone was very friendly, and the instructor whose name I cannot remember was awesome. I do remember that her burlesque name is Midnight Martini. She was quite fun.

I know what muscles I need to work on so that I can get back on the trap without being unable to move the next day.

Speaking of not being able to move the next day… yup… I’m there. I can barely move my arms… seriously even typing this hurts.  I can barely walk because of my right leg.

Surprisingly.. my back is fine. Yup.. the drive home was not painful. I honestly thought my back would be absolutely tweaking.. it’s not. It’s only starting to hurt now, but not because of the trap. It’s because of the normal “ugh there is no chair or couch in the house that doesn’t cause me pain”.

Here is bruise on my leg. Isn’t it sexy? I mean ohhh yeah.. sooo sexy. It’s going to be a nice mottled green color by the time I make it to the UK. Might have a little yellow in it too. Oh yeah… so sexy. The arms have small bruises as well, but I couldn’t get good photos of that.

Sorry the photos suck, it’s my cellphone camera, and well do you know how difficult it is to photograph the back of your own leg when you can barely move to begin with? To be honest I had huge difficulty putting on pants, I debated going with out the rest of the day, but to be honest.. it’s a bit cold lol. I call that there my $30 Bruise. Sure it actually cost me more than $30 because of factoring in the cost of gas up there, but that doesn’t sound as good. Do I regret it? Nope. I had lots of fun, even with not being able to participate in the second half of the workshop, and had nausea for the evening.

I need to clean the house and do the dishes.. But frankly.. it’s going to be a couple of hours before that’s happening.

And you might be asking yourself if I’m sad that Colorado Springs has no aerial studio at all? Yes. Of course. I cannot justify driving to Boulder, or Denver to do classes once a week. Oh, and that’s annoying… I lived in the Hampden and I-25 area for the bulk of my time in Colorado, not once but twice I lived in that area, and now it’s only NOW that they have an aerial studio. Damn them.

Which means as soon as I actually move to the UK, there will be a aerial studio set up in the Springs. Just you watch it.. it’ll happen.

Does this mean that someday when I buy my orchard, I’ll be converting a portion of the barn to a low trap studio? Yes… yes I will.

Does it mean that until I actually can buy the orchard, I’ll have to find a studio in England, even if it means taking a train for an hour each way once a week? Yes.  (After I move to the UK, I will be striving to become less broken, and will have the ability to do so… which means I can then justify getting back on a trap)

Alright.. I think I’ve sufficiantly written about last night.

Oh, and I’ve been a good girl, even though it was nearly midnight and I couldn’t see straight, I wrote a bit on the novel.

I’ve been taking part in NaNoWriMo. Not to the degree that others are, but I’ve been using it as an excuse to get back into writing every day. So even if I only write a sentence, I’m happy.

Alright, I should really go make some toast or something for brekkie… Otherwise I’ll end up eating most of these two bite brownies.

Bugs and Hisses!

Oh.. and yeah… I dyed 30 skeins of yarn in 2.5 hours. Fear me bitchez.

Oh and one last note, I’ll be reorganizing my tag categories on here, so if you see some weird stuff going on… just ignore it.