wyld_dandelyon: (wigged Deirdre)
So, I promised a post about stuff I got at the Civic Opera sale. I got some skirts, some purple pants with cool black and gold trim (the purple is nice and the trim is wonderful, but those will need to be taken apart and used for something else), a dress that has to be altered for My Angel or taken apart and used to make a dress for me (I'm still pondering what to do about that; I had hoped that there was enough seam allowance so I could let it out, but no such luck), and a lovely deep dark blue velvet medieval jacket that will, sooner or later, be modified into part of a wizard's robe, I'm thinking something glowy and steampunky.  I will post more about those when I actually do something with them.

But the two pieces I'm sharing today are a very nice cream/white skirt and a lovely robe made of brocades that was worn in the Gotterdamerung. The biggest problem was I needed a good shirt to go with them.

I have a gold brocade shirt, but the colors just weren't right.  I also have numerous purple shirts, but nothing in a suitable cut and material.

Then I came across some brocade scraps that I picked up off a freebie table at a con recently. The white in the brocade perfectly matched the skirt, and (despite being very PINK) looked good with the robe as well. The only problem was that the scraps were too small and odd-shaped to match up to any pattern. Happily, My Angel was willing to have me drape cloth over her and pin cloth together repeatedly.  i first prepped her by putting my bra over her shirt and padding it out (she's more slender than I am), and then we went back and forth from her to me until the material hung properly on both of us.  Then I got out the invisible nylon thread, which is a pain to work with, but which eliminated the need for carefully placed tiny stitches.  I stopped and went to bed as soon as the parts that show were done; I still need to finish off the hem at the waist, at least enough to prevent the material from fraying.

Now, I'd have been better off had I come up with this idea a week or two before Maneki Neko con, but sewing your costume the night before is something of a tradition.

I also took my pet arm dragon, though she matches the brocade well enough that people often missed her on my arm.

IMG_20140906_135131_721
awwwwwdwagon
manekimeclearer

Maneki Neko was a lovely small convention, very friendly and fun.  I may write more about it later.
wyld_dandelyon: (Rainbow Margay Mage)
Loncon gathered a symphony orchestra and arranged a science-fiction and fantasy-themed concert, and it was

AMAZING

The musicians were wonderul, and the music well-chosen. I'd never really thought of Worldcon as a cultural spectacle before, but this made me realize that just like the Olympics is a celebration of one aspect of humanity at its best, Worldcon is a celebration of a different aspect of humanity at its best.

I'm sorry you couldn't all be there with me. I was surprisingly touched to hear a live symphony performance of Star Trek themes. For all the flaws in the TV shows and movies, they have adhered to the shows original vision, that not only will we survive, but we can overcome our violent past and have not only _a_ future, but a better future. It brought tears to my eyes to hear world-class musicians honoring my people, honoring speculative fiction, and especially honoring that particular vision and hope for the future.

In the light of the terrible things in the news this week, that's a reminder that I sorely needed.

I wish you all could have been with me.

If hope they made and will be selling a recording.
wyld_dandelyon: (cat is ready)
So, last weekend, My Angel and I went to Maneki Neco Con, a new little con that was held at Prairie State College in Illinois. I didn't get up as early as I had intended, and the GPS led us across the skyway when it shouldn't have, so we arrived later than planned.

We got to wander around and talk to the artists and venders, and I finally was sufficiently unscheduled to play a board game that I've been glimpsing in con suites for a few years now. It's called Pandemic, and the players cooperate to try to save the world. We won the first game and lost the second, which the fan guests of honor told me was par for the course.

After that My Angel and I found a nearby motel. The internet wasn't great, but better than at the last con I was at, and free in the room so I didn't have to check e-mail in the lobby. It's really sad that expensive nice hotels charge extra for something the low-end hotels provide for free.

The next day we headed back to the con, where I bought silly cat ears to go with my outfit, talked with Jody Lynn Nye for a while in between customers, and attended some programming. The most interesting panel was Jody talking about writing funny stories. Some bigger convention should invite her to present it!

I also went to the creative writing contest "panel". I'd expected it to be something like Filk Ontario's contest--provide a set of words early in the con and later perform the song onstage; this one was structured differently. Participants had that one hour--or rather the portion of the hour after the presenter showed up and shared theu set of required words and when the panel was scheduled to end--to write in. For the curious, they were: harpsichord, accelerate, cat, ruffled, and--oh, gosh, what was the last word? Menacing? I'm sure. Anyway, I wrote and entrusted my thumb drive to the young man to get it printed, and headed on to do other things.

We did a few more panels and I drove to a nearby grocery store to buy some meat and cheese to make sandwiches. I had roast beef in mind, but none of the roast beef was free of wheat and corn, so we ended up with chicken. Then we watched the masquerade and a magic show, and I was given this:

Creative Writing trophy

Clearly I need a better picture, but I'm pleased.  Writing even flash fiction in less than an hour is a challenge.
wyld_dandelyon: (Scientist Geek Magician)
I'm home, I went back to work (to a mountain of mail, e-mail, and messages), yet Worldcon is still filling my thoughts.

Once Worldcon really started, I didn't get my computer open much, except for taking notes during the lyric writing workshop, and now I have bills to pay, errands to run, spam comments in my LJ to delete, and stories to finish, so if I missed something important on LJ in the last week, you're welcome to call my attention to it here.

It's way too long since I was at a Worldcon. As much as I love being in filk song circles, I kept finding myself talking to people in the corridors instead of going in and singing. Gail Bailey gave me a beautiful length of lavender tatting, too short for much besides a bookmark, though I'd rather attach it to a garment and show it off than bury it in a book.

I met people who only know me as Wyld_Dandelyon, people who had heard my voice for years on filk tapes but didn't know what I look like, and people I haven't seen in way too long. I met Stina Leicht, who was autographing next to me, watched the Hugos (and even committed haiku there). The Hugo base design this year is STUNNING--you can see it here: http://litstack.com/?tag=hugo-award, but in person the glass has a steely blue tone and simply gleams, even in the predictably boring light of a basement convention hall.  Deb Kosiba, the artist, outdid herself.

I was on some fantastic panels, especially the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (17 authors read from their work in ng an hour and a half) and Storytelling the Old Fashioned Way, featuring four writers who also have performed live in various venues.  There were dozens of panels I wanted to see, too many of which conflicted with things I was on.  (I actually drew lines through entire time slots because each slot took up more than two pages there were so many different programming items at the same time, and I didn't want to miss my own programming items). 

I also participated in a fishbowl event, where various writers sat in the fan lounge writing.  The signed original text was auctioned during the Art Auction with the proceeds going to charity.  I don't know how much it went for--I was napping at the time, after the unexpected cardio-hour on two hours of sleep wherein I rushed back and forth trying to find the person running the fishbowl event, so I could sign the printout, learned about and found a lost phone, found a stranger working the art show who had another stranger's badge, and quite thoroughly used up all the energy I'd gotten from my morning's nap.

I listened to some great live music, sat in some standing-room-only panels, read some of my work aloud, sang some songs (mine and other people's), smiled at fannish babies, handed out dozens of Torn World ribbons and postcard/flyers, sold a very few books (Subversion was popular at this event), bought a few books and CDs, got a new patch for my gig bag, resisted gorgeous jewelry of all designs (including stunning jeweled space ships) and chatted with friends new and old.  It was a good con, even if it would have been better with a time-travel device to let me do more things and get more sleep. 

If I have enough money and time off from work, in two years, I could go to Worldcon in London and then, a week later, to Eurocon in Ireland.  That would be a cool trip!  Now if I could just avoid the need to pay for stuff like car repairs and root canals...
wyld_dandelyon: (joyous icon with black border)
Ever since they replaced the dead hard drive on this computer and I got home only to have to drive all the way back to the store to have them install the wireless driver, my wireless has been unreliable. Having to turn the computer off (or pull the battery) to restore function is annoying when it happens once a week, but maddening when it happens a half-dozen times in a night. Like last weekend, when I was trying to do stuff to make the house less crazy-making, the Muse Fusion, and get ready for Worldcon all at once.

So, yesterday I got up early (for a non-work day) and headed off to make them re-install the driver. To get there, I drove on a highway, and was reminded that on the trip to Muse Con, the car had made an intermittent strange, not-loud (but not right) rhythmic noise if we hit about 65 MPH. Except that now it was doing it if I got to 50. Erg. In dealing with the infection and root-canal in two sessions, I'd totally forgotten about that noise.

So I went to the computer store, where I had to talk to a manager to get them to just reinstall the driver instead of making me choose between them doing nothing at all and them keeping the computer for a day or two to do full diagnostics. While they had the computer signed in, I drove back to the Firestone I'd passed to say "Hi, I got my tires at your now-defunct downtown location, and now I have this noise..." Hours in a hot waiting room with nothing to write upon but my Kindle and $200 later, I have a new tie-rod, rotated and rebalanced tires, and no noise.

So then back to the computer store, where a sympathetic couple said, "you haven't been here all this time, have you?" and I got the computer back. It would have been more fun to have been there, actually, since the computer store is clean, has free wireless, and air conditioning (and no Judge Judy clone-shows on a TV you aren't allowed to touch). Oh, well, I got several hundred words written.

Then I had other errands--cat food, people food, program My Angel's phone so she can call the lady she's working for at the con to confirm when she's needed--Oh. 24 hours earlier than she remembered. Glad I took the whole week off! Better give up on housework (except can't leave the fish filters another week, oh, and this stuff needs to be out of the 'fridge and in the compost, and...) um, yeah. Time to pack in a hurry AND do other stuff.

So, I never got the words transferred over from my e-mail to Word, and the internet in the room costs money, so here I sit in one of the lobby areas, where the internet is free and the sun is shining in a skylight onto my face so I'm glad I learned touch-typing, and

I HAVE MY BADGE. Fans I know (and fans I don't know) keep hurrying by, taking luggage to their rooms or engaged in the important business of setting things up. Soon, I'll need to go back to my room, where I can see the words I wrote yesterday and weave them into the story I'm working on, because there's no way to plug the thing in here where I'm sitting. But for now, I'm here, and as far as I'm concerned, the con has started.

If you're here, feel free to stop by and say hello! You can leave a message at my room, find me at Filk things, at the Broad Universe table, at programming I'm on, or "around". I would have said "at the pool", but sadly there isn't one!

Thu Aug 30 1:30-2:00 pm.....Writer Under Glass #4 in the Fan Lounge

Thu Aug 30 4:30-6:00 pm.....Storytelling the Old-Fashioned Way in Buckingham

Thu Aug 30 9:00-10:30 pm.....The Exploration of Gender Roles in SF in Dusable

Fri Aug 31 12:00-1:30 pm.....Art in an Ebook Market in San Francisco

Fri Aug 31 3:00-4:30 pm.....Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading in Grand Suite 3

Sat Sep 1 12:30-1:00 pm.....Reading: Deirdre Murphy in Dusable

Sat Sep 1 3:00-4:30 pm......Autograph Session 10 in Autograph Tables

Sun Sep 2 1:30-3:00 pm......Where's Thursday? San Francisco

That last, by the way, is just WRONG. Thursday was always in Chicago, or perhaps a near suburb. Saying it's in San Francisco--what were the programming planners thinking? That's like saying your favorite superhero is Adrian Monk.

So, what are you doing this fine Worldcon week?
wyld_dandelyon: (Frazzled Moth Artist)
So, MuseCon was this weekend. I'd taken two days off, one to do errands and pack and do last-minute prep for crazy quilt workshopping, and one to get there early.

I also had a dentist appointment a week ago, which I figured would be no big deal. Though the cleaning a few weeks ago had found a hole, my mouth didn't hurt and I wasn't getting food caught in it, so how bad could it be? Um. The one I knew about was deep and under a crown, which meant under the gum level, and the dentist found another hole too. Ow.

Being on the inhaled steroids for my asthma means my mouth sometimes heals slowly. So, when my mouth hurt the next day I took Tylenol and didn't worry about it. It seemed to be getting slowly better until Friday. Friday was weird--I couldn't focus and was tired and out of it all day.

The Singing Tesla Coils were cool though!

2012-08-03_21-40-03_442

If you get a chance to see--and hear--the Singing Tesla Coils, ypu should do so.  The man there in the middle is spinning two neon lightbulbs, which are being powered by the electricity being emitted by the coils.  He's protected by being in a "cage" made of wire--mostly chain mail.  He has insulators under his boots so the audience can see the electricity as it escapes from the metal around his body to the ground.

But the most amazing thing is that they modulate the tesla coils so the sounds they emit are not random--they are music!  We heard a bunch of different tunes, from the Mario game-theme to classical pieces, Vader's theme and of course, the Dr. Who theme.

Later that night, I managed to sing along with a John Denver song in Denver's key without once shifting octaves or squeaking--who'd have thought standing 20 feet from potentially deadly electrical charges for an hour or so would be good for breathing/singing?

The rest of the weekend was pretty much wasted, however.  The people at my workshop seemed to have a good time (though one said that having a creative thing where she didn't have to follow strict rules intimidating), but I never found enough focus to do anything creative myself.  My mouth was hurting more and more, and after sleeping 12 hours Saturday night, we got out of the hotel room and all I really wanted to do was go back to sleep!

So, yesterday the dentist called in a prescription for antibiotics  (which did clear my head) and today I went in to see him and had a surprise root canal.  My budget weeps, but I expect soon my mouth will feel better.

Here, have another picture of man-made musical lightning:

2012-08-03_21-22-23_683

wyld_dandelyon: (guitar gloves)
I heard that MuseCon lost a couple of workshop leaders, and had some very last minute openings. "I don't do knitting or crochet, but I do applique and crazy quilt..."

We chatted a bit, and I slept on it.

Now I'm dreaming up steampunk crazy quilt stitches...

I hope some of you will be there!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I meant to post about green rooms at cons, but I haven't gotten to it (yet). Perhaps next week.

I also want to do my very belated con report of MuseCon 0, so it will appear in print before MuseCon 1 happens. Again, maybe next week.

In the meantime, it's late, I have work in the morning, and even better, the Torn World Muse Fusion starts tomorrow!

I hope you'll stop by with a few prompts--maybe even a crisis or two to weave into a story.
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
I meant to post about green rooms at cons, but I haven't gotten to it (yet). Perhaps next week.

I also want to do my very belated con report of MuseCon 0, so it will appear in print before MuseCon 1 happens. Again, maybe next week.

In the meantime, it's late, I have work in the morning, and even better, the Torn World Muse Fusion starts tomorrow!

I hope you'll stop by with a few prompts--maybe even a crisis or two to weave into a story.
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
With a name like Deirdre, I've become accustomed to having my name mis-spelled. It happens on mail, at work, on convention badges, and even when I get something published.

I take it in good humor, joking when I can. The best fun recently was at the Pirate-theme Capricon, where I got many laughs telling people that they'd left one of the "Arrrrrs" out of my name, until someone in registration heard the laughter and insisted on providing me with a replacement badge.

This year, at Duckon, they got my badge right--in 14 point type that no one could see at any distance--and my placards for programming wrong. I re-wrote my name on the back of the placard--but pen does not show up at a distance the way letters printed large do.

One of the panels I was on was Writing in Someone Else's World, a panel that ellenmillion had said she would have liked to hear. This prompted me to request of the audience that if they were recording, I'd appreciate if there might be some way to get a copy. No one had a recorder, but someone was taking notes, and shared them with me.

In the notes, the other three panelists were identified by name.  I was "???"

"???" isn't going to help anyone find me or my work sometime later. 

Should I have used the mis-spelled placard?  I'm inclined to think not--Google isn't likely to find me if I'm mis-spelled, and for the time being, I need to be found online.

I suspect I'm going to feel less good humor about people getting my name wrong in the future. 

Which, of course, is unlikely to be helpful. 

I guess I'll have to try to figure out something constructive to do about it.  But what?

wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
With a name like Deirdre, I've become accustomed to having my name mis-spelled. It happens on mail, at work, on convention badges, and even when I get something published.

I take it in good humor, joking when I can. The best fun recently was at the Pirate-theme Capricon, where I got many laughs telling people that they'd left one of the "Arrrrrs" out of my name, until someone in registration heard the laughter and insisted on providing me with a replacement badge.

This year, at Duckon, they got my badge right--in 14 point type that no one could see at any distance--and my placards for programming wrong. I re-wrote my name on the back of the placard--but pen does not show up at a distance the way letters printed large do.

One of the panels I was on was Writing in Someone Else's World, a panel that ellenmillion had said she would have liked to hear. This prompted me to request of the audience that if they were recording, I'd appreciate if there might be some way to get a copy. No one had a recorder, but someone was taking notes, and shared them with me.

In the notes, the other three panelists were identified by name.  I was "???"

"???" isn't going to help anyone find me or my work sometime later. 

Should I have used the mis-spelled placard?  I'm inclined to think not--Google isn't likely to find me if I'm mis-spelled, and for the time being, I need to be found online.

I suspect I'm going to feel less good humor about people getting my name wrong in the future. 

Which, of course, is unlikely to be helpful. 

I guess I'll have to try to figure out something constructive to do about it.  But what?

wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
A friend noted that my reading (divination) for her in these virtual pages was helpful, so she wasn’t surprised that my in-person (authorial) reading of two poems and a story at a convention went over well.

This led to a moment of cognitive dissonance for me, since (in my own wetware, at least) divinatory/inspirational readings are filed in some very different category than authorial readings.

I suppose you could call them both a form of performance art, and not totally unrelated, especially if you look at the immersive story readings I’ve been doing here. But the back of my brain keeps going “but—but—but!”

So, what do you folks think? Are readings and readings related? How? Why? Should they be?



Here there be critters!
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
A friend noted that my reading (divination) for her in these virtual pages was helpful, so she wasn’t surprised that my in-person (authorial) reading of two poems and a story at a convention went over well.

This led to a moment of cognitive dissonance for me, since (in my own wetware, at least) divinatory/inspirational readings are filed in some very different category than authorial readings.

I suppose you could call them both a form of performance art, and not totally unrelated, especially if you look at the immersive story readings I’ve been doing here. But the back of my brain keeps going “but—but—but!”

So, what do you folks think? Are readings and readings related? How? Why? Should they be?



Here there be critters!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
MG Ellington ([livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex ) also blogs over at Science in My Fiction, and in honor of Valentines Day today's post discusses Love and Brains. In conjunction with that, she has published my pantoum, Love is vital to brain development in her blog: JV's Journal.

I hope you'll go check them both out!

In related news, I did a reading at Capricon including two Torn World poems and one story, and got a good reception for all of them.  (I was nervous about the poetry, having really no basis to predict if the audience would be poetry-friendly.)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
MG Ellington ([livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex ) also blogs over at Science in My Fiction, and in honor of Valentines Day today's post discusses Love and Brains. In conjunction with that, she has published my pantoum, Love is vital to brain development in her blog: JV's Journal.

I hope you'll go check them both out!

In related news, I did a reading at Capricon including two Torn World poems and one story, and got a good reception for all of them.  (I was nervous about the poetry, having really no basis to predict if the audience would be poetry-friendly.)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Capricon

Feb. 14th, 2011 12:27 am
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Was fun. Did a lot of shop talk (showing around the mock-up of the cover for the first Torn World print anthology), panels and a reading, and even a little music, though the tail end of the cold, the sinus infection, and the asthma were doing bad things to my voice.

My sister brought my talented niece to the con, who had "way too much fun" according to her mother, and who even got an impromptu art commission and obtained a cute baby cthulhu as a result.

A more proper report later! Now to return to my slumbers, until it's time to go to work.

Capricon

Feb. 14th, 2011 12:27 am
wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Was fun. Did a lot of shop talk (showing around the mock-up of the cover for the first Torn World print anthology), panels and a reading, and even a little music, though the tail end of the cold, the sinus infection, and the asthma were doing bad things to my voice.

My sister brought my talented niece to the con, who had "way too much fun" according to her mother, and who even got an impromptu art commission and obtained a cute baby cthulhu as a result.

A more proper report later! Now to return to my slumbers, until it's time to go to work.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
http://sciencefictionmusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/novellas-worth-reading-in-panverse-two.html

Ive got to finish packing and get back to Capricon! (This cold-turned-sinus-infection-and-asthma-exacertbation really killed my ability to get stuff done last weekend and early this week, except for earning money. Though earning money is a good thing. And I am feeling better now, just not all better. Still tired, and still very glad of my meds.)

I hope to see some of you at the con!

Another picture from the blizzard last week.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
http://sciencefictionmusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/novellas-worth-reading-in-panverse-two.html

Ive got to finish packing and get back to Capricon! (This cold-turned-sinus-infection-and-asthma-exacertbation really killed my ability to get stuff done last weekend and early this week, except for earning money. Though earning money is a good thing. And I am feeling better now, just not all better. Still tired, and still very glad of my meds.)

I hope to see some of you at the con!

Another picture from the blizzard last week.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I'm unemployed again, which means I've been back to job hunting since December. Today I got a call letting me know that the people I was temping with at the beginning of the summer are looking for someone to cover a maternity leave. So I may soon be back to temporary work again. At least, I like the people I'd be working with.

But I'm ready to have a permanent job again, so I can do things like plan my time and budget my money.

I spent part of the day sending out resumes, part making phone calls, part polishing the three Torn World stories I got from this month's Muse Fusion, and getting two submitted to the Canon Board, part updating my spreadsheet of which stories I have out to editors and sending queries, and part doing chores. (Well, I sent one query, but English grammar wants items in lists to stick to parallel construction, which means it sounds weird to have a list of things that are plural and then stick in something that's singular).

I had planned to go to the bank and the post office and do other chores, until I realized it was MLK Day. Besides, it was snowing today, and slippery out, so I didn't even do the other errands. The first graders reading his speech that they showed on TV were cute and inspirational, however.

I also spent part of the day talking - well, e-mailing - both Capricon and Duckon about panels this week. I love doing panels--you get to talk to all sorts of interesting people that way.

I'll be doing a Rapid Fire Reading with another member of Broad Universe and two guest authors at Capricon, and I need to decide what to read. Any suggestions?

If you'd rather talk about panels--what panels would you like to see at conventions near me? Or anywhere, really, though I'm more likely to turn a panel idea into a real panel at a convention I can afford to attend. But I have friends who are involved in cons I can't get to, so maybe someone else will make your dream panel a reality.

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