stillsostrange: (Muse)
This morning, in an attempt to do some research for Changeling Hearts and in my effort to generally Try Cool Stuff, I took a glassblowing class. This was immensely fun. It was a three-hour class with two other students, and we each made a (lopsided, in my case) paperweight, witch globe/hanging ornament thingy, and a drinking glass*.

2100 degrees Fahrenheit is pretty damn revelatory, I must say. But I didn't flinch over-much, and I didn't pass out--which is a real possibility--and I only had a mild case of heat sickness by the time we were done. Which I promptly exacerbated by going to a seedy parking lot carnival this afternoon--one of those where every ride seems on the brink of flying off its moorings and killing dozens. I've replaced previous evening plans with lying in bed finishing Hemlock Grove and waiting for the queasiness to pass.

* Student involvement in the drinking glass-making process was minimal, probably because a) we would have fucked it up, and b) we were short on time.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
Untitled by Amanda Downum
Untitled, a photo by Amanda Downum on Flickr.

My costume for the Sherwood Forest faire very nearly didn't happen, as it was so damn windy in the parking lot that I couldn't attach my wings. Luckily, inside the walled and treed fairground, we made this happen. I also acquired a new spiderweb lace cloak .

I wandered around, drank a lot of mead, climbed trees, and had strangers take my picture. And now I have a photo to submit to Goths Up Trees. A rousing success, I think.

stillsostrange: (Jareth)
It's a Friday night and I'm at home with LiveJournal, prepping a last minute ren faire costume to wear tomorrow. Assuming I can attach the wings to my corset the way I think I can, it will be one of the best last minute costumes I've ever thrown together. Which considering the tragedy that was my griffin wings, might not be saying much...

And to be contrary, I have to say that my February was fan-fucking-tastic, and I can only hope March follows its example. Of course, I'm going to visit [ profile] matociquala this month and see Emmylou Harris, and then bring the Bear back to Austin with me, where we will sign books, break hearts, drink cocktails, and dance till they kick us out of clubs. So I suspect March will do just fine.

I suppose I could go back to that survey while my nail polish dries.

60. Do you believe in god and if so what is he/she/it like?

I'm agnostic, but I don't believe in gods that fit easily into human comprehension.

61. Do you believe in Hell?

Hell is other people. And the absence of god. By which I mostly mean the absence of wonder.

62. What one thing have you done that most people haven't?

I doubt I've done anything that most people haven't. Besides write the books I've written.

63. What is the kindest thing you have ever done?

I have no idea.

64. Are you a patient person?

Not when my nail polish is drying.

65. What holiday should exist but doesn't?

If you celebrate it, it will exist.

66. What holiday shouldn't exist but does?

I'm not going to take away anyone's fun.

67. What's the best joke you ever heard?

Jesus Christ walks into a bar. He hands the bartender three nails...

68. Where is the most fun place you have EVER been?

I'm not a fan of best and most and ever. I had a hell of a good time in Stockholm with [ profile] matociquala, though, and also at Hueco Tanks Park with the Partners in Climb. And Hawaii with the spouse.

69. Is your hair natural or dyed?



Sep. 16th, 2012 12:15 am
stillsostrange: (Dark City)
And my love/hate relationship with them.

I retain some tiny amount of skill with pencil and pen sketches. I enjoy them. They often come out looking as I want them to.

But I'm never happy with them when they're done. I need color. I need shading. Prismacolor oil pencils are my usual choice, but I get tired of the hand cramps eventually. And I have neither the patience or the skill to fill in a background with them. This time I tried Prismacolor's watercolor pencils, which resulted in much less cramping. I suck at dark values, and didn't use nearly enough cool tones, but I enjoyed the exercise.

The trouble comes when I want something more than colored sketch. If I want a finished picture, especially one with a background or any kind of detail, I need more than pencils or watercolors. But my skills with Photoshop aren't up to what I require from them.

Cut for embarrassment )

I'm fairly certain I can improve on this, though. I'm very stubborn, and there's always the "undo" button.

Or maybe I just need to hire someone to do all my coloring. This seems viable as well.
stillsostrange: (Stuck)
Readercon was delightful, but I'm not out of the woods yet. I missed my flight home today, and have to spend the night in Boston. Thank Cod for my spare underwear policy. Now I'm holed up in an expensively pleasant corner room at the airport Hilton, trying to decide if I'm brave enough to get on the T in search of non hotel food.

Expedia plays "Hotel California" as hold music. I want to shake the hand of the sick fuck who made that happen.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Today we went to the San Antonio Zoo, and I ogled king cobras and crocodiles and hippos, and saner mammals than us took naps in the shade.

The Poison Court is becoming a real book: I need to scrap my first first chapter and write it over again with different plotty bits. I've also uncovered some poorly chosen terminology used in Kingdoms that I'll need to fix in this one. Luckily, most of it is easily explained by Isyllt's bad Skarrish.*

* She's a government spy. She knows when to take the fall for other people's screw-ups.
stillsostrange: (Elsa Bloodstone)
So, if you missed the update to yesterday's entry, my fears were confirmed. I had an abscess in my gum, which has been drained*. I have a root canal on Tuesday. This caused me to miss my father's birthday yesterday, as well as Exquisite Corpse, and will cause me to miss a chance to wear the worm suit for work on Wednesday. This makes me rather crabtastic.

On the upside, my head is no longer a pulsing mass of putrescence and pain this morning, so I can go to work today. This is a positive because a) I'm dressing up for Comic Book Day, and b) I'm seeing Avengers tonight, and I would feel guilty if I did so after skipping work. On the slightly less upside, by 9 in the morning on the 5th of May, it was already too damn hot for my costume. For fuck's sake, Texas. Throw me a bone here.

* Before this procedure:

Me: "There is no optimal outcome that involves a mouth full of pus."

Dentist: "You said it, not me."
stillsostrange: (Baroness)
I think you guys took care of J for me. I was tempted by "juvenilia," but I've talked about that so much before. Although, I did find my very terrible junior high Lost Boys homage recently. It remains amazingly awful, and not full of strip-mineable ideas like Falling Towers was. Maybe if I ever suffer a head injury* that leaves me wanting to write vampire YA, I'll revisit it.

As far as K goes, I'll turn this into an opportunity to ask the internet for advice. I agreed to dress up for Free Comic Book Day at work, and now I have two weeks to come up with a costume. Thoughts?

Morrison-era Jean Grey is easy and practical, if not much of a challenge. Silk Spectre I would be fun, but I don't know how I'd manage the hair. Typhoid Mary might also be fun, if makeup heavy. Someone on Facebook suggested Barbara Gordon, but neither spandex nor wheelchairs will be readily available. Skirts, fishnets, and even high heels and corsetry I can manage; spandex or tight leather pants are right out. Also out is anything expensive, or too difficult to maneuver through a bookstore.

Delirium would also be easy, but I'm reluctant.

* Where by "head injury" I mean "an idea."
stillsostrange: (Default)
It looks like I've grown a few new readers again. Say hello, if you'd like, and feel free to ask questions. One of you is my 400th LJ reader, which might be worth a door prize. Step right up if you'd like one.

I am currently waiting for my parents to come over with a chainsaw so we can remove the dead and dying shrubberies from out front. Every day is better with deadly power tools.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Wings: Stage 1 by Amanda Downum
Wings: Stage 1, a photo by Amanda Downum on Flickr.

Can a collection of PVC, joints, garden wire, and electrical tape become something resembling wings? We'll find out soon.

I'd originally planned to have furry boot covers, but it's too late to eBay them and the fake fur at Jo-Ann was more than I feel like paying. So I won't be a cyber/rivethead griffin.

Tonight I plan to measure and cut the PVC and wrap the wing-bones in electrical tape. Because that is how we roll here. Then I'll test the weight and stability and see what I need to do to stabilize them.

Besides buying pipe joints, I've also been to the optometrist and the bank today. At the former I made an appointment to be fitted for contacts for the first time in my life (because griffins don't wear spectacles, and I'd like to see while marching in the parade). At the latter I closed my Chase account, because a) I don't feel like paying $12 a month because I don't have direct deposit, and b) I have a credit union account already. The banker looked very sad, but really--charging me more because I don't have money is not the way to win my undying customer loyalty.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Midnight Madness is now behind me. The race lasted from around 7 PM Saturday to 5:30 AM Sunday, followed by pancakes. Four out of seven teams finished. and everyone seemed to have a good if hectic time. I was awake for twenty-four hours without the aid of coffee, for which I would like some sort of medal. I got home at 7 AM on Sunday, slept for five hours, dragged myself up, and went back to sleep at 10. I feel much better now.

This means that now I have to start working on my Halloween costume immediately. A pair of attractive mechanical wings in a week? I can do that, right?

My first idea was a wire and PVC skeleton. We'll see how this survives contact with reality. I was originally hoping that running wire down the inside of my corset would be sufficiently stable, but now I'm not sure. I may go on a quest for for a bondage harness for better attachment. The next step is figuring out how to make metal or metallic feathers that don't weigh more than my harness or my spine can support.

ETA: I just bought 10 square feet of copper foil. I pray the shipping gods are quick and merciful.
stillsostrange: (Default)
I have three chapters of That Book Thing finished, but need at least one more to have a proposal-sized chunk. My current trouble is controlling the flow of information--usually I'm told to clarify things, but this time I'm trying not to let the first chapter turned into a bolus of exposition that would choke a horse.

Austin's Midnight Madness scavenger hunt--which I'm helping run this year--is on Saturday. I've started making my clues, and need to put together prop packages for the teams. And buy a wig. And make sure all my cohorts have fedoras.

I've bought the first round of supplies for my Halloween costume, but haven't begun assembling it yet. Next week will be a frantic wing-making rush. And I need to find--Cod help us all--a pair of leggings.

The pile of gravel in my driveway is much smaller (we can park one car in it), but not yet vanquished.
stillsostrange: (Drop bears)
ZOMG, ponies?

This is all [ profile] jmeadows' fault.

stillsostrange: (Waxed Cat)
Write after my last post about being nearly done with chapter 1, I did in fact finish the chapter. It's not very exciting, but it's something. I need to figure out who my other POVs might be, and perhaps one of them is doing something exciting somewhere. I should probably get on with the katabasis until I figure that out.

Last night I discovered a new supplement to the exercise routine: Rock Band. It's not as good as really dancing, but standing and stomp-wiggling while I butcher Siouxsie and Warren Zevon* is more exercise than sitting on my butt and doing the same. And my little RB goth band is adorable.

*I sing the howls in "Werewolves of London" as perfectly as I will ever sing anything, but the dogs hate it.
stillsostrange: (Baroness)
The theme for this year's Halloween parade is a circus. It would be easy to make a fortune-teller or lion-tamer costume, but I find myself tempted to make the wings from Mechanique (even though I'm not a hollow-boned sort of creature). Heck, if I found a good mask I could be a griffin. I even have enough time left for this to be nearly a reasonable plan.
stillsostrange: (Bleak)
Yesterday was a no-good day of Alexandrian proportions. This morning I saw my accountant. I'm declaring the rest of today a Day Off, in which I will only do fun things. Fun things may include Zuma, Scrabble, internet comics, and working on a different book.

What fun things are you doing today?
stillsostrange: (fatale)
Last night, friends and I participated in Austin's Midnight Madness scavenger hunt. It's an all-night, city-wide, team-based hunt, and it is totally awesome. It began at 6:30 PM, and we got home at 6:00 AM. I am extremely groggy.

Reader, we won.

The teams met at 6:30 at Zilker Park, where we were led to picnic tables with Jenga (and Jenga derivatives) sets. Game control explained that we had a murder mystery to solve, and then made us play Jenga. My team ended up with a shitty off-brand Jenga*, and finished last. We finished, though, got our clue, and raced to the next clue. The next clue involved stereograms, which no one on my team can see. It was like the sailboat in Mallrats. After that, and one more extremely frustrating clue, we were a little dejected, but determined. But then clues started getting more fun (I just noticed that I first typed "more better"; yes, I'm tired.)--semaphore code, crossword puzzles, carnival games, a flashlight hunt through a cemetery. All the while we were finding location clues, we were also getting Clue-style weapon and alibi cards for the NPCs. At this point we were tearing through clues, and starting to catch up with other teams. A couple of teams, being made of lesser stuff, dropped out.

By 5:00 AM we had deciphered the last anagram clue and solved the murder mystery, so we sped back to the scene of the crime to make our accusation. At this point, we had called for a fair number of clues (which give you time penalties), and it was late, so we weren't hopeful about our chances, but still happy to have finished. It turned out that we were the second team to arrive, but the first had more time penalties than us and hadn't solved the mystery. Then we found out that every team had greater time penalties. That's when we started jumping tiredly for joy.

The upshot is, as winners, we get to plan next year's hunt. This is freaking awesome.

Now it's two in the afternoon and I'm groggy and sore, and I need to finish last night's coffee and make inroads into Kingdoms.

ETA: A side effect of all this is that I just woke up from a dream about finding a dead body while Das Ich was trying to set up for their show.

* I am not even joking--Jumbling Towers sucks goats. After two tries with that we grabbed the real Jenga from a team who had finished, and stacked it in no time.
stillsostrange: (Drop bears)
Belatedly, but still. We get an extra hour of it this year.

I have just finished replacing my blood with alcohol and hanging out with the Orbit people, who are all lovely. There was a reading and parties (one of which I bailed on shamefully, alas) and tomorrow there is climbing in the morning and then sushi and then an awards ceremony. And stuff. And now there is sleep. Goodnight, internets.
stillsostrange: (Drop bears)
I'm sorry, but this is the only cure for the "Eye of the Tiger" hell [ profile] truepenny and [ profile] jmeadows have inflicted on me.

Dear LJ,

Oct. 10th, 2009 08:59 pm
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie)
Today I went kayaking, and it was awesome. Best day ever!*

Love, Me

*Except for the part where my novel still isn't finished, but oh well.


stillsostrange: (Default)

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