End of the Work Week Wisdom

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So if you have been on the internet recently, you may have seen that the house the inspired Jane Austen to write the character of Mister Darcy is for sale. For a mere 8 million GBP. No big deal.

Hubbie is a hugeΒ Pride and Prejudice fan. He’s gotten me to at least watch the movies. The book drives me slightly mad, and I have never managed to finish it. (Dialogue attribution is important, kiddies.) But we have a couple ofΒ P&P callouts in our life, and we both love Mister Darcy.

So after a brief conversation about how the pound is doing in comparison to the dollar (and me having the whole thing backwards), this ensued:

me:Β  Damn. I thought we could get a steal on Mr. Darcy’s house.πŸ™‚
Jeremy:Β  “It might only cost six million!”
me:Β  We will have to pay in 8 million pounds of kitten floof, then.
Jeremy:Β  That is well within our budget.
me:Β  P-cat alone has a gross national output of, I dunno, a billion?
Jeremy:Β  Seems legit.

And all because I told one of the other cats this morning that I needed him to find me 8 million pounds, to which Hubbie, in that cat’s voice, said “8 million pounds of what?”

(And yes, all of our cats have voices. That we use when we are pretending that they are responding to things that we say to them. Doesn’t everyone do that?πŸ™‚ )

Another Norwescon

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Mug Cozy in RedIt seems that every time I go to Norwescon, I opt to do it a little differently. Last year, I had a vendor’s table. The time before that, I sort of wandered aimlessly.

This year, I’m doing a mix of things. I’m helping out Friday Afternoon Tea at their vendor’s table on Friday and Sunday, while spending Saturday attending panels. I’m also doing a reading on Friday, as a part of the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. And I’ll be tagging along with Jeremy to some of the MANY panels that he’s on this year.

Though I’m not actually selling my stuff there this year, that doesn’t mean I won’t be advertising.πŸ™‚ I plan on wearing some of my crocheted items with my costumes, and handing out cards if people ask where I got them. But I’ve also got cards to hand out for the various writing/editing projects that we have going on. I need some sort of organizer purse just to deal with all of my cards!

Our Second Kickstarter

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Last year, Jeremy and I used Kickstarter to fund an anthology that we really wanted to make, called That Ain’t Right: Historical Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley. It turned out really well, and has been quite popular with readers!

This year, we’re doing another Kickstarter, this time to fund an anthology called Selfies from the End of the World: Historical Accounts of the Apocalypse.

Selfies Art plus text

We’ve got a number of reward tiers where you can get the book, but for fans of Scary White Girl Designs, the upper tiers may be of particular interest. A $50 pledge gets you a random Decapitated Dollie (along with the ebook and a signed copy of the book), and a $60 pledge gets you a custom Decapitated Dollie (plus the ebook and a signed copy of the book). At the moment, this is the ONLY way to get Decapitated Dollies, as I don’t currently have them in my Etsy shop!

There are only two custom slots left at the time of this writing, so if you’ve always wanted yourself (or someone else) immortalized as the head of a doll, now is the time to pledge!

Back from ACNW

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We took our annual trip down to Portland for AmberCon NW (a.k.a. ACNW) last week. As usual, it was a lovely time. This is sort of the big recap post, though I may make some other posts going through some of the specific things I did/learned.

We were able to go down on Wednesday this year, which gave us an extra day of a bit of lounging about, and is something that I’m going to make sure we repeat in the future, as it’s MUCH nicer than stressing about getting down there on the day the con begins. Also, it gave me extra soaking pool time, and that is always a plus. Since we were down early, we got to go to dinner with a bunch of the con attendees. Because of the restaurant setup, we basically sat with people we knew, and only really interacted with them. The food and company were great, but it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting, in terms of interaction. Also, we found out AFTER we got down to Portland that the theater at the Edgefield was showing “Guardians of the Galaxy” that night, but we couldn’t go, since we had plans for the dinner. I think we may skip the dinner next year. We had plans to play Monsterhearts with some folks at 10 that night (the fictitious “Slot -1”), but between driving for four hours to get there and a huge dinner, we were both pooped, and ended up going to bed instead.

Thursday, we were able to sleep in a little bit, and enjoy a leisurely morning. Jeremy had a massage scheduled, and I went to the soaking pool again, because I love it so. Then we had a late lunch with some friends, and then I had told people I would run a game (the fictitious “Slot 0”). I wound up running Parsely, which is a game that one of our friends loaned to us before the convention. It’s a pretty simple game–the GM is the parser from an 80s text-based video game, and the players are the person playing the game. They take turns giving the parser commands, and the parser responds like an 80s text-based game would. Apparently, according to Jeremy, I may have gone off the rails with this from the beginning. He was sitting nearby working on game stuff, and was REALLY confused by what I was doing. I had fun, though, and I think my players did too, even if they were a bit frustrated with parts of the game. Apparently, there was a chunk of the rules section that I was supposed to read out loud, to let them know what the basic commands were. Oops.πŸ™‚

Thursday night is the opening reception, which ends up being a bunch of people who you haven’t seen for a year or more all trying to talk to each other at once. Kinda crazy. There’s also food at the reception, but not much that I can actually eat. I got by okay on some cheese and salami.

Slot 1 is the only official slot on Thursday. I run a game called “Lady Faiella’s Finishing Academy” in that slot. The characters in that game are children (or grandchildren) of the elder Amberites, and they’re all between the ages of 13 and 15. This year’s shenanigans involved randomly appearing holes in Amber that took you to another Shadow, which the players managed to solve after some investigation. This game felt really short and disjointed to me, but I think that the players had fun in spite of that. I know there was also a LOT of time spent out of character in this game, because when you haven’t seen people for a year (or more), there tends to be a lot of chatter. I’d like to try to minimize that next year, so that we can get more playing time in.πŸ™‚

Friday is the day of three slots: 2, 3, and 4. For the first time ever, I officially took a slot off. But in reality, I took slot 2 off so that I could run a game for “the littlest Amberites,” a.k.a. the 5-8 year old children of some of the convention attendees. I had five kids in that age range in my game, which was quite a handful. But I did have plenty of other adults there to help me keep the kids organized. I had the kids make sort of free form monster characters–they had names, something they were good at, and something they were bad at. And also pictures, because I quickly learned that giving the kids paper and crayons was the best thing ever. The characters were a Creeper from Minecraft, a dragon, a ghost with a camera phone, a tickle monster, and a skeleton that threw ice cream. There was a bit of LARPing involved, primarily from the tickle monster. And once I set them loose on the “plot” (one of your teachers is missing!), there was much running around and bouncing off the walls. They even got me to wedge myself between the wall and a wardrobe so that they could “get the teacher out of the ice”.

After that, we spent some time making dungeon maps. After two of the kids went off to have lunch with their parents, the remaining three kids and I made some keys, treasure chests, treasure, and dragons (which were origami fortune tellers, really). I ended up spending about 3 hours with the kids, and then had to go deal with a brief work issue that had popped up. But the kids apparently had sufficient fun with me that they wanted me to play in the soaking pool when I saw them there later, and I got a request on Monday morning from one of the kids that next year, our game should BE in the soaking pool.πŸ™‚

Slot 3 was one of the games I was playing in, which was a Fiasco game. The playset wound up being one that I have played before, but every time you play Fiasco, it’s a little bit different. In this case, I got to be one of the two members of the ’80s girl pop band “Double Kreme,” which sang a bunch of songs with ridiculously suggestive lyrics, despite the reservations of our very Christian band manager. We had a ton of fun, even if most of our characters really watched their lives go down the tubes.

Slot 4 was a long-running game that I’m a player in–C.J.’s Weird West game. I play Prudence Early in that game, who is one of the two crazier of the four Early sisters. Also, we are named for the virtue we exemplify least. So yeah. I’m trouble.πŸ™‚ In this session, Pru steered her attention way from Wyatt Earp, and instead fixated on the very fine mustaches of some new gentlemen who had joined us. She also provided a mustache to the one gentleman in the group who lacked one. And we actually made a little bit of headway on the plot, too, which is much better than last year, when we ran away from the plot. We also had a quite fine selection of adult beverages in this game, though I mostly stuck to my “totally not a martini” martinis. Because smoked garlic is amazing, and I will drink gin only if it’s appropriately disguised with other things.

Saturday has only two slots–a long morning slot (5) and a reasonable evening slot (6). And because I pretty much mostly run in the morning slots, I had another installment of my Firefly game, “Dust in the Wind,” to run in slot 5. This was the fifth year of running this game. The characters are Independents (Browncoats) who are currently trying to lead the Second War for Independence. There were many shenanigans, though a good chunk of the game wound up being the characters debating which of the horrible options offered them they might pursue. In the end, the answer was “none of them,” because they were pretty sure they were all a trap.πŸ™‚

Slot 6 was the other game that I played in, which was a diceless Mage game in the vein of “Master and Commander” or “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Really, it’s more the former than the latter, but we went to Port Royal, so I couldn’t help but think that Captain Jack Sparrow could make an appearance. I played the ship’s surgeon, and also got to go on an exciting expedition looking for new species in Jamaica. I had a little trouble in this game, as I was beginning to feel like I was coming down with a cold, and I was also very tired. But I stayed up until the end of the game, only fading out a couple of times… I think.

Sunday only has one official slot, slot 7. For that game, I ran a Monster of the Week game set in the Supernatural universe. Nobody played canon characters, but instead made a very fun array of original characters who had to go up against the Alpha Vampire in order to prevent the summoning of “She Who Thirsts.” Arguably, they succeeded at this without even facing off with the Alpha directly. But of course, as the players played out some made up “end of the episode” bits, we’re pretty sure that one of the characters wound up possessed by “She Who Thirsts.” My slot 7 games are always one-shots (rather than continuing games), though I suspect some of the players would love it if I kept running this one. Too many ideas, too little time to actually start another continuing game, though.

After the gaming is over, there’s a closing reception (with cake! That I cannot eat …), and then more soaking, and then the late night unofficial “Slot 8,” also called “S’late”. We decided to play a free-form smutty game in that slot, but we didn’t really get things going until almost 11 p.m., and most of the assembled crowd wandered off to bed before we really got going. It was very much R-rated, and we’ll leave that at that.πŸ™‚

Monday is left for eating breakfast and giving and receiving lots of hugs, which is a fantastic way to wrap up the convention. We drove home after that, and then basically collapsed for the rest of the day.

I’m already working on stuff for the NEXT ACNW, which is kind of crazy. But the players in my Firefly game wanted to do stuff between games, and I had to make a wiki for the Weird West game to contain our “fictionating,” so yeah, it’s like the con is still going on. Good times.πŸ™‚

This End of the Work Week Wisdom could not be avoided

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N: “Ultimately, I just want to tell the stories I want to tell. Genre is just the pants the story is wearing.”
C: “Your stories wear pants?!?”
N: “Your stories don’t?”
S: “Mine are usually wearing assless chaps.”
–My writer friends, ladies and gentlemen

Mostly, this started out with the top quote. But then he posted it on Facebook, and the exchange ensued. Which is awesome.πŸ™‚

It’s Friday, you know what that means!

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End of the work week wisdom time!

“And sometimes they can ride bears and snow leopards and fight the Joker. With guest appearances by Batman.”

–me, talking about my Captain Malcolm Reynolds and Lil’ Wil Wheaton plushies

Jeremy decided that I needed the Captain Malcolm Reynolds plushie, to go with the Lil’ Wil Wheaton plushie that I already had. And then I decided that they should have adventures together. So voila!Β The Adventures of Captain Tight Pants and Lil Wil.

A chance to take a breath

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With April being nearly at an end, I’m finally reaching a point where I can stop and take a breath. We’re done traveling (at least until mid-May), and I’m done with my first show of the year!

I spent last weekend vending at Norwescon. I attended Norwescon a few years back, and had a lot of difficulty being there as a fan. This was primarily because we stayed in the hotel, but I got minimal sleep (lots of noise in the hallways at night), and I was just back from a trip (because Ambercon US and Norwescon are always back to back weekends).

This time around, I had a much better time. Being able to sit behind a table 90% of the time I was there was a definite help. I could watch people walking by in their fantastic costumes, and occasionally got them to stop and chat for a few minutes, while they looked over the stuff I was selling. I also had fantastic help in the form of my friend Red, and got additional help from my friend Katie on a couple of the days. They were very good about watching the booth when I needed to run to the restroom, and checked in on me regularly when they were out doing fun stuff.

I did get to a handful of panels in the evenings, after the dealer’s room closed, but my main focus was really on selling things. Which I did, well enough. I got asked about a couple of new items. One of them, eyeballs with jingle bells inside, I had done before, and was able to whip some up quickly. I then proceeded to sell EVERY SINGLE ONE that I made. I actually ran out of my stash of jingle bells. I will be getting more bells and stocking up on those before my next show.

The other item I was asked about was crocheted animal ears, which I think are totally doable. I may not have time to work those up before my next show, but I will be making them soon and listing them online, as well as bringing them to some of the conventions and nerdy shows that I do. I’m planning on doing some on clips and some on stretchy headbands, and possibly some that can be slid onto hard plastic headbands. And while rabbit ears are probably out ofΒ the question (unless I give them some structure with wire), I think I can come up with designs for a whole bunch of other animals! So let me know if there’s something you’d like to see!