wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
During a past Sketchfest, I had a bunch of bright colors mixed for another painting and rather than waste them, I sketched a flower garden. I'm not even sure whether I uploaded the sketch The canvass sat there for a while, not inspiring me.

I had a bit of blue and white paint left over from something else last week, so I picked the painting up and painted the sky in behind the flowers. It's amazing what a difference that made. There is a shadow on the canvass in this picture, which is partially obscured by the watermark.



The line from a song came to me: "The spirit of the plants has come to me in the form of a beautiful, dancing green woman."



There's a lot of detail to do still, and clearly some things are missing altogether (for instance, she needs hair), but it's a start.

Comments are welcome!
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: (Disintegrations and Defenestrations! by)
So, I recently started a Pandora station at work. I "seeded" it with Bonnie Dobson, and Pandora kept playing the same 10 songs. That got boring, so I added a couple more female singers. Some good songs played, and I liked a couple songs by groups with male singers. Beetles. Simon & Garfunkle. Stuff like that.

Four hours later, I started wondering why I was hearing less than one female singer/group an hour when the three main seeds I'd given the program were all women or female groups.

Now, don't get me wrong, I was enjoying all the songs I was hearing--what I wasn't loving was what I wasn't hearing. There are so many fantastic female artists! Where were they?

I decided to do an experiment.  At home, I started another station with all-female seeds. I've spent time over the last week sending male singers off to other stations. Even so, every 4th or 5th song is by a male artist.  Now, I've never seen Pandora list gender of singers as one of their criteria for "why we played this song"; as far as I know, that's not one of the things the program tracks.

My conclusion (based, admittedly, on a limited sample), is that It's difficult to get a whole hour of all women artists, but easy to get more than an hour of all male artists even when the station's seed artists are female.

I'm tired of stumbling over examples of how often and how easily women are overlooked in our world.

Even when there's good cheese:

IMG_20130531_114414_883
wyld_dandelyon: (Guitar Angel)
But then I spent my evening yesterday mostly working on Torn World stories, and earlier this evening messing with stupid computer issues that seem to have resolved after restarting the internet router and turning the computer on and off a couple of times. *sigh* I hate it when I'm ready to be productive and the equipment isn't.

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2012-12-28_22-43-40_533
2012-12-28_22-43-22_979

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I'll try for better pictures one of these days, but in the meantime, you can see a glimpse of what I did with my Everyday Goddess t-shirt as well as the new guitar (and the sense of  humor of the friend who took the photos, who aimed carefully to get the Christmas Star over my head).
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I did some writing and some submitting this year, though not as much as I hoped.

Like last year, I had some months where I exceeded my goal of 10 submissions per month; some months where I made some submissions, but not 10; and a few months where life got away from me and the stories that needed submitting sat on my computer, waiting for me to have some time and energy to send them out.

I have a vision for the future, some time when I no longer need a day job, that each working day will include some office hours — time to answer emails, make submissions, proofread completed work, even things like learning to convert files to mobi and other epub formats. But it's clear I need that now, maybe not every day, but every week.

I did not get as much writing done in 2012 as I had hoped — nowhere near as much as I had dreamed, certainly, but also not as much as I thought was a realistic goal. Admittedly, I did have some unplanned health crises that took up quite a bit of my time and energy, starting with My Angel falling in February, and nearly bleeding to death.

But back to office hours, the question is "When?"  I need some de-stressing and refocusing time after work, even when work and health issues don't leave me really too tired for anything else. And weekends, well, weekends are all different. Catching up on sleep, catching up on errands, catching up on laundry, sometimes going to parties or conventions or housefilks — scheduling office hours for weekends seems doomed. But I've got to figure out something.

I suppose that's got to be the first goal for 2013: Figure out some non-doomed time for office hours.

I'm going to renew my 2012 goal of at least 10 submissions per month. I think if I can set up office hours that will be doable. At least I hope so.

And writing. I want to do more writing. I wrote some short stories and poems, and started even more.  I both started and finished the Wild Snowy Chase prequel this year, and added many words to Wild Snowy Chase itself, and the end of that story is in sight. If I hadn't got sick this month, I think I'd have finished it already. Next, of course, is getting Dini and Lalya married off properly. This weekend's Muse Fusion got me too short stories, and one poem closer to that goal already. I also have several things I'm working on that aren't set in Torn World.  I'd like to finish Clockwork Dragon and my shifter mystery.

I think Camp NaNoWriMo is scheduled to happen in March this year, which, if I don't get sick, is a much more likely month for me to make 50,000 words than November. I've always said November is terrible, though even so I managed to win one year. I have solid hopes for March.  I'd like to think of myself as totally self-sufficient, but I do find having companions of this writing journey, and truth be told, having people to compete with (no matter how nominal the competition) has helped keep me focused and writing.

I have other goals too, of course. I'd like to do a few sketches for every Sketch Fest. That's really making a difference in my drawing skill. And I want to do more music. (I won't be doing the coffeehouse talent contest this year, as once again the finals conflict with Capricon.) I'd also like to get the house in better shape. Sadly, all of these things take time, and I don't have any way to squeeze more hours into the day. I guess in the new year, I just have to keep on doing as much as I can, keep dreaming big, and living up to as many of my dreams as possible.

I also started exercising more days than not in 2012, which has made my knees stronger and happier, and even started my weight creeping downward very slowly.  That's something I need to continue. 

Overall, 2012 wasn't bad.  I kept the day job, paid bills, started exercising, dealt with disasters big and small, and didn't stop writing, drawing, singing, and living.  If I didn't do everything I'd hoped to do, well, I always dream big and plan optimistically.  I figure I may never meet all my goals that way, but I'm sure I get more done than if I planned small.  So, here's to 2012 and to 2013.

I hope we all have a safe, wonderful, creative, and happy New Year.

2012-11-27_11-54-13_874
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
So, My Angel decided to get me a really cool gift.

But I'm telling the story out of order if I start there.

Years ago, at a local store, I'd seen an all-acoustic Martin bass guitar. It was a good price, but my budget wasn't nearly good that year. It was the first acoustic bass I'd held in my hands, an all-mahogany instrument with beautiful tone. And it was, predictably, sold the next time I went by the store.

I never forgot that guitar. For a long time, it was a gentle wistfulness. But then, as my skills increased, I started noodling at playing bass lines on my guitar, and I started thinking more about that bass. Finally, I decided to look online. E-bay didn't have it; no one did. I saw some other acoustic bases of course, with names I recognized and names I didn't, but sadly, e-bay doesn't come with a sound track or the chance to pick up the instrument and play it before buying.

Would I really buy an instrument on e-bay? My friend Susan said she'd had luck doing so, but of course she and Phil know instruments better than I do. I decided I would have to stop in somewhere with actual instruments and play a few acoustic bases. I made a plan to head to Cascio, which was thwarted by life happening. So I kept looking online. I mean, why not? The all-mahogany Martin might show up.

Or not.

But I did see an instrument that caught my attention. It was beautiful--but again, to the eye, and instruments have to be beautiful to the ear as well. But how to find out? I tried U-Tube, but the one video showing someone playing this company's bass was someone with less skill than I have showing off his new one. Hard to tell.

Finally, I made it to Cascio, and played all the acoustic bases they had, though they didn't have this brand or a Martin. But it was information, and let me cross several brands off my potential list. I called a few other places (cell phones are so cool) and didn't find anywhere else to try, so I went home and looked up stores that are advertised on this brand's website as dealers, and called them. No one in Milwaukee or Chicago had an acoustic bass in stock that I could just stop in and try. I also learned that Martin isn't making the model bass I looked at so long ago; the one they are making now is significantly more expensive.

Now, I didn't want to ask a music store order something I wasn't at all sure I would want, just so I could try it out. If I did want it, that was one thing--supporting a local store would please me. But leaving them stuck with a lousy instrument, if I didn't like it, after asking them to take time to order it during the holiday season, that would make me feel bad.,

Oh, well.  I had other things to do.  And then I came down with bronchitis for the holiday.  Oh, yay.

I didn't  have focus or energy for writing, which often means I waste time online.  So I looked around online some more, and found that the bass I'd been looking at could be bought from Amazon for less than the e-bay seller was asking. 

That's when My Angel said I should order it and try it, and she'd either pay the credit card back for the instrument or pay the shipping for returning it.  I realized I wouldn't feel bad about making Amazon go to a bit of extra work if I hated the guitar, and they had 10 in stock.  So I ordered it.
2012-12-20_pretty guitar  2012-12-20_19-26-00_899 (2)

To my delight, it arrived a day earlier than promised, doubtless due to Amazon and UPS trying to keep ahead of the holiday rush. The box was huge, bigger than it needed to be, but in fine shape. Inside, was another box, not in such good shape, with a third box inside that, and inside all of that was a damaged bass guitar. *sigh*
2012-12-20_22-24-33_891  2012-12-20_22-24-16_670   Poor thing.

That chip on the front went with a crack that was at least 6" long where the face of the guitar was joined to the side.  There was also cracked wood at the bottom by the box where you would plug the bass into an amp--and who knows if the electronics were damaged? 

I tuned it anyway so I could at last hear an example of the brand.  It has a nice tone--probably not as good as that long-gone Martin, but quite good enough to make it pleasant to play, which is important.  I figured if I wouldn't enjoy playing it, there was no point in having them ship a replacement.

So then I took pictures, reported that it arrived damaged, got the return shipping document, hooked up my printer to print it, and packed the poor bass back up. UPS arrived bright and early to cart it away, and I went back to recuperating from my bronchitis and waiting for another delivery.

Which had not arrived when I got the notice that it had been delivered, "no signature required."  I checked the front and back doors.  I tried to contact Amazon online and was advised, by form message, to contact FedEx. FedEx could only tell me that the driver had gone home and couldn't be reached until Monday. I went back to my e-mails from Amazon about the first, damaged guitar, and got them to call me. I told them I wasn't pleased that they had shipped it no signature required, and that I figured it could be gone forever--had they asked, I would have said there was no way anyone should ship something more valuable than a couple of books no signature required to my neighborhood. Once I cleared up the misapprehension that I had reported the first one not delivered ("damaged with obvious denting to the inside box and none to the outside box suggests to me that Amazon should have inspected the item in the damaged box before shipping it out again" and "I already got the e-mail acknowledging that I had returned the damaged item and would not be charged for it"), they agreed to ship yet another guitar.

I went back to moping because I still couldn't spend my long weekend playing my gift to distract me from the bronchitis, and on Sunday, dragged myself out into the cold to try to finish gift shopping. It was too cold for my lungs, despite not being cold at all for Wisconsin in December. Christmas Eve I got up when I needed to get to my sister's party on time, and fell back into bed again. I'd gone to bed really early the night before after shopping, but clearly that wasn't good enough.  Eventually I got up and packed the stuff I needed to take with me, but I was going to be late.

After I should have left for Chicago, the guitar finally arrived, via UPS. It's just as well--FedEx might have been earlier, but had already proved incapable of finding my house.

I had to open it, and then I had to laugh.  Inside the box, there was not one guitar, but two. I tuned both; one had a buzzy string, quite fixable but why bother when the other didn't? I packed that guitar back into the box and the one I'm keeping into the gig bag I'd picked up while gift shopping, and left. I wasn't about to wait around and report the second guitar when I was late for family festivities. That could wait until I was back in Milwaukee.

Oh, but it gets sillier, my friends--on Christmas Day, the neighbor whose porch received the second shipping dropped off that box at my house, already opened. When I got back late Christmas night (well, late when compared to my exhaustion and having to work the next day), I thought My Angel had moved the box into the hallway near the front door. After work the next day, I learned it was the missing package and that it contained another two guitars!

That's right--for a brief time, I had four beautiful and essentially identical bass guitars in my house.  I also had disgruntled cats--New! Huge! Boxes! kept arriving, and I wouldn't let them play inside.

I dared not try to leave feedback in a form for this.  I made Amazon call me again so I could explain they had shipped me what they thought were three guitars, I'd already returned the first (damaged) one, was keeping one, and now needed to return three perfectly good guitars--but in only two boxes.

When the young lady was sure she understood me, she put me on hold.   After she came back on the phone, she set up the returns and thanked me, several times, for calling.

UPS arrived while I was at work and I finally have just one new bass guitar (and no Huge! New! CatToys!).

Hopefully, despite the Muse Fusion this weekend, I'll find time and energy to photograph the guitar I kept (these are all pictures of the damaged guitar), and maybe even figure out how to record a bit of it so you can hear how it sounds.  Maybe.  Figuring that recording thing out is one of my goals, sooner or later, at least. 

(Oh, and if you know [livejournal.com profile] filkart, don't tell him.  I want to surprise him.)
wyld_dandelyon: (Guitar Angel)
for a whole weekend. I went to Windycon, totally ignored the panels, and spent the whole weekend doing music and applique. Well, I did wander through the dealer's room and the art show, and tried to sleep (the bed hated me), and I went swimming briefly too. But it was a break from my usual routine, and I'm sure it would have been very restful if the hotel bed had been friendly.

And I didn't write a word--unless you count tweaking Green Eyed Friend after a tune came to me late Friday night (or early Saturday morning, depending on how you count such things).

I also spent some very pleasant time with my sister, Dragon, who spent some time drawing me, thus the new icon.

I suppose now it's time to get back into the swing of things, writing-wise, seeing as how I've been back to work for two days already.
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: (outpost picnic)
and has been since yesterday.

So I'm going to go re-read the short story that came to me earlier today, before I realized time was getting away from me and if I wanted to go to the house filk, we had to get going!

I could do another F post instead, I suppose, which would be F is for Filk - the most vital and interesting folk music community I've found. Of course, I'm biased, and have been since I found filk back as a teenager. I've found many friends in the filk community, as well as lots of good music and stories shared.

The filk was small, but there was some good music, and a chance to catch up with what's been happening with some friends, including medical problems, a car accident that totaled the car but happily didn't injure my friend, classes taken with the plan of a change of occupation, and somebody's grand-daughter announced an impromptu singing contest, giving the winner she chose the grand prize--a stick of gum! (I was interested that in announcing winners, the non-singing spouse/SOs of singers were considered part of the winning team.)

Kids often give you a window on the values they're seeing around them, but the image they mirror for you isn't always what you expect it to be!
wyld_dandelyon: A happily sleeping purple, green & gold dragon (sleeping dragon)
Every year the 19th Street Coffeehouse has a winter talent contest, right in the coldest and most inhospitable time to take yourself and your instruments out into the world.  Most years I think about entering, look at the date, and realize the finals are the Saturday during Capricon.  Oh, well, friends outrank contests, even though I am competitive enough to really enjoy games and contests.

This year, however, the final round of the contest is the week after Capricon, so I went ahead and entered.  The first round was January 27th, and I just got word that I made it into the finals!  So, if you're in Milwaukee on February 18, you can come see me compete.

In art news, I finished a couple of drawings that started out as sketches in SketchFests:

Dreaming of Butterflies will be Torn World "mystery art" which means, she will be in the non-canon gallery until she is identified as a character.  Is she your character?

Shrallan During the Flower Festival is a drawing of a character in Wild Snowy Chase.

Over at Torn World, I have a new poem:  Advice for a Young Carnal Guild Worker.  The poem itself is visible to everyone, but the backstory is reserved for Torn World subscribers.

I also have a few written entries in the Torn World Fashions & Fads contest, though not as many as I'd hoped.  Between getting ready for the Coffeehouse contest, which involved putting new strings on the guitar as well as the usual practicing and tuning and such, and life being unduly busy, I didn't have as much time I wanted for writing.  But at least I am pleased with the bits I did manage to finish. 

My Angel has been getting herself take-out pizza, which is all to the good, except I was out of Deirdre-safe pizza crusts, so I've been wanting pizza.  Today I finally got to the Gluten Free Trading Company and got some crusts, so after other errands, I came home and made spinach pizza!  I didn't have room for cookies, but I also picked up Deirdre-safe cookies for another day.

And now I'm half-asleep, so I'll wish you all Good Night!



wyld_dandelyon: A cat-wizard happily writing, by Tod (wizard writing)
I don't feel inspired to do a 2011 retrospective. Maybe this weekend.

Right now, I'm feeling more like looking forward, considering: What goals should I have in the new year?

One friend, seen at the New Year's Eve party I always go to, said he thought perhaps he should aim for more hugs in 2012. That sounds like a good goal to me. I don't know if it will get more stories written, re-grow my guitar calluses, or further any other of my long-term creative goals, but friends are important too.

I'm going to keep my 10-submissions-a-month goal that I started last year, and have already copied the spreadsheet, renamed it, and entered the first submission. I didn't make that goal every month--some months I did more and lots fell short--but it helped me focus in a positive way, when I wasn't too busy to look at it. There were also times that everything I had on hand was out already.

That leads to a clear conclusion--I need to write more. To that end, I think I should log into the chat room with the other [livejournal.com profile] toonowrimo  writers more often.  The only problem with this is there's rarely anyone in the room between dinnertime and what should be my bedtime.  So if there's anyone else interested in writing from 7 to 11 CST, let me know.  I think I'll try to do at least one word war regularly, meaning at a minimum more days than not.

Speaking of bedtime, I need to put a higher priority on sleep.  Being too tired is too much like writer's block. Who cares if it's 7 p.m.--if I'm tired enough to sleep during what is normally my most creative time of day then I should treat myself to actual proper sleep-in-a-bed.  I must remember that exhaustion--which is not the same thing as working past dawn on a night when the Muse is whispering in my ear and I can sleep in the next day--leeches away my time and creativity.  Staying up always seems more attractive than the face-hugger, but for the most part, that's a lie.

I am, of course, planning to keep my day job in 2012. Paying the bills is a good thing, and so is health insurance, even if that keeps getting more expensive and covers less every year.  I also like having a job where I get to help people who, through no fault of their own, have been hurt. (I admit, I still do like writing fiction better. Too bad as a culture we have fallen into the attitude that nearly all creative work should be available for free.)

That brings me to another rather free-form goal--to keep stretching my skills as a storyteller, including not only my writing, but my art, music, and ancillary stuff like promoting the small-press publications I'm in.

I've committed to running the next Torn World contest, answering questions and cheerleading and trying to fill in for Ellen while [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion  is on maternity leave.  If you folks want to give me a gift, enter the next Torn World contest and harass me for links to background information or snag me in a chat room to brainstorm before sitting down to create something for the contest.  That contest will be another Fauna of Torn World contest, so stories, poetry, art, and metafiction about sea monsters, invasive insects, cute pets, and strange wildlife will all be welcome!  (If you want to give Ellen a gift, enter this month's contest, whose theme is Fashions and Fads--you're welcome to ask me for information, links, or brainstorming this month too!). 

As to my own Torn World projects, I plan to finish Wild Snowy Chase very soon, and then turn my attention to some of my other characters.  Lalya in particular has been neglected; I need to plot out more of his story and immerse myself in it for a while.

I do want to work on the Feather-Blessed Dragons story--I owe that to [personal profile] meeks  for the wonderful art she made for it, but I've been wanting to find time for it anyway.  I'd also love to finish Clockwork Dragon, and I have some ideas for stories to submit to upcoming anthologies too.

I also still want to put some of my short stories out as an e-book anthology, and maybe a few as freebie singles, but I have not yet figured out what to do for cover art.  Maybe if I can carve out more time for art, I will succeed in making some.  I'm still leery of spending money on it, since I still have bills to pay off and deferred house fixing stuff that's been on hold due to being unemployed for so long.  But that might eventually be the solution. 

In short, 2012 will be another year where I dream big and try to make a bunch of those dreams real. 

It's bedtime for me now--I have to work tomorrow, after all.  This weekend is Sketchfest, so I'll be doing some art--but in between sketches, does anybody want to war?


wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Last night I realized that my friend Susan Urban was playing as part of February Sky at the local coffeehouse. My Angel wasn't feeling well, having refused to call the dentist for weeks, so I made her eat soup and left her at home. The music was very good, including a new-to-me song about Guenevere:

She gathered her rosebuds while she might, the way the poets urge us all to do.
One kiss from that fair lady's lips might well have launched ten thousand ships,
But she was mindful of the thorns, and gathered only two.

See them perform the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2To9FW011U

While they played, I worked on the next installment of Wild Snowy Chase.

Angel continued to get worse, her cheek getting all swollen.  She finally made an appointment last week for this upcoming Wednesday, but it was clear that she needed more.  This morning, she stopped refusing to go to Urgent Care, so we got up and headed out to get her antibiotics.  She was supposed to take it with antibiotics, and I was starving, so we stopped at Red Lobster. 

She was all for stopping at McDonalds, but their food hasn't sat well in my stomach for long enough that it doesn't even smell good, and I was too hungry to want to be smelling food that would both remind me of my hunger and make me feel at least vaguely nauseous.
Red Lobster worked out fine for her--they brought her soup right away, so she was able to take the medicine--but not so good for me.  When I asked the waiter about gluten- and corn-free, he brought me an "allergen menu" (a great idea, in and of itself)--but it didn't mention corn.  On top of that, almost nothing was gluten-free, not even the fresh vegetables.  The manager tried to contact their corporate headquarters to see what was on the menu that I could eat, with no luck.  So My Angel got a free bowl of soup and I brought her home to finally get some sleep.

I guess I should stick to smaller restaurants.  At least the ones that cook from scratch don't have to hope the corporate office is open and their computer system functional to be able to tell a person what's in the food.

Then I rummaged to find something to eat here.  It wasn't inspiring, but at least it won't make me sick.  I finally ended up heading back to bed myself.  It's much more restful to sleep next to someone who's actually sleeping!  She's definitely feeling better and the swelling in her face is down.

Now I suppose I should try to finish that story...

wyld_dandelyon: (a wizard writing)
Last night I realized that my friend Susan Urban was playing as part of February Sky at the local coffeehouse. My Angel wasn't feeling well, having refused to call the dentist for weeks, so I made her eat soup and left her at home. The music was very good, including a new-to-me song about Guenevere:

She gathered her rosebuds while she might, the way the poets urge us all to do.
One kiss from that fair lady's lips might well have launched ten thousand ships,
But she was mindful of the thorns, and gathered only two.

See them perform the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2To9FW011U

While they played, I worked on the next installment of Wild Snowy Chase.

Angel continued to get worse, her cheek getting all swollen.  She finally made an appointment last week for this upcoming Wednesday, but it was clear that she needed more.  This morning, she stopped refusing to go to Urgent Care, so we got up and headed out to get her antibiotics.  She was supposed to take it with antibiotics, and I was starving, so we stopped at Red Lobster. 

She was all for stopping at McDonalds, but their food hasn't sat well in my stomach for long enough that it doesn't even smell good, and I was too hungry to want to be smelling food that would both remind me of my hunger and make me feel at least vaguely nauseous.
Red Lobster worked out fine for her--they brought her soup right away, so she was able to take the medicine--but not so good for me.  When I asked the waiter about gluten- and corn-free, he brought me an "allergen menu" (a great idea, in and of itself)--but it didn't mention corn.  On top of that, almost nothing was gluten-free, not even the fresh vegetables.  The manager tried to contact their corporate headquarters to see what was on the menu that I could eat, with no luck.  So My Angel got a free bowl of soup and I brought her home to finally get some sleep.

I guess I should stick to smaller restaurants.  At least the ones that cook from scratch don't have to hope the corporate office is open and their computer system functional to be able to tell a person what's in the food.

Then I rummaged to find something to eat here.  It wasn't inspiring, but at least it won't make me sick.  I finally ended up heading back to bed myself.  It's much more restful to sleep next to someone who's actually sleeping!  She's definitely feeling better and the swelling in her face is down.

Now I suppose I should try to finish that story...

wyld_dandelyon: (outpost picnic)
So, the fan GOH at Windycon decided to bring a guest, a harpist who had never been to a filk.

Such things happen, you say, and of course that's true.

But go thou and look at her Kickstarter campaign video--she made this and started raising money to make cool filk videos before ever going to a science fiction convention: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1242097495/erin-hill-the-sci-fi-harp-girl-makes-a-music-video

I got to be part of her first filk ever!  Thanks, Hugh!

Go, check her out, regardless of whether you have money to support her efforts. 
wyld_dandelyon: (outpost picnic)
So, the fan GOH at Windycon decided to bring a guest, a harpist who had never been to a filk.

Such things happen, you say, and of course that's true.

But go thou and look at her Kickstarter campaign video--she made this and started raising money to make cool filk videos before ever going to a science fiction convention: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1242097495/erin-hill-the-sci-fi-harp-girl-makes-a-music-video

I got to be part of her first filk ever!  Thanks, Hugh!

Go, check her out, regardless of whether you have money to support her efforts. 
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I was SO tired Friday it wasn't funny. We got to the con way late, probably as a result of me just being too tired to move fast once work let out. So I was good Friday night, and went to bed early (well, early for me at a con) intending to be well-rested for Saturday.

I woke up way too early with a terrible headache after dreaming that I was in a deep dark lake full of algae (and had been there for far too long) and I had to keep trying to swim up to the surface to breathe. I took my asthma medicine, ate some cheese for the protein, looked futilely for Tylenol, and sat up reading for a bit without ever really getting wide awake or into a state where I felt I could sleep again. Watched an Indian wedding procession under my window, sad that I was too far up to see details of the saris, the white horse, the decorated red umbrella, and all the mens' clothing too. But still, that was cool. Finally, I went swimming, which relaxed my back and neck, woke my appetite, and left the headache still pounding.

Happily, Ops had Tylenol after that, and I took allergy meds for good measure, and slowly the headache started to resolve. I avoided the music workshops, figuring they wouldn't help the headache any, and went to the jewelry-making workshop (where I gathered mostly leaf-, moon-, and heart-shaped beads and added them to some I'd brought with me to make a necklace) and then the sketching workshop. Did a pretty good demented happy cat there, though too small to really do anything with it. Then I went to the poi-spinning workshop. That was fun and left my shoulders feeling remarkably good. Then, of course, [livejournal.com profile] ericcoleman 's wedding.  (Does his beautiful wife have a LJ?  I can't remember.)

I looked at the food available in the room and decided I needed meat, so I went to one of the hotel restaurants. Didn't find anyone along the way, so I was again reading, but it was pleasant. A bunch of people from the Indian wedding came in while I was eating, keeping the staff very busy indeed. I guessed at tax, added a generous tip to be sure, and gave the nice man behind the bar cash before running to catch the [livejournal.com profile] s00j  concert, where I proceeded to spin poi some more and do veil dancing with two other women.  And the Alligator conga dance, of course. 

After the concert, I drifted slowly, fighting exhaustion, toward the room intending to take my asthma meds and head back down with instruments for the filk.  I was almost finished with my book--less than a page once I'd done both inhalers with pauses in between so each dose would have time to take effect before the next one, which is always helpful for singing.  I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to finish the last few paragraphs of the book.  I fell into bed, figuring that was a better choice than snoring over the live music.

The next morning, I went swimming briefly again, just enough to stretch out my now stiff-and-sore back and shoulders.  There was a music and energy workshop by [livejournal.com profile] s00j  and then a laid back folk jam where I finally got the guitar out for a while.  After that there were closing ceremonies, and I was still tired.  Next year, I think I'll take an air mattress.

I had planned to set up to paint like I did last year; that didn't happen.  Neither did making an alligator-blinkie (the first blinkie style that has tempted me to spend part of a convention soldering).  Nor did I work on the sewing I'd brought.  But I did manage to share a bit about Torn World despite this convention being so different from a standard SF con, and some of the Torn World postcards I had made were taken away from my hand and others from the freebie table.  Several Ellen Million Graphics cards left the freebie table too.

And despite being in a tired-fog all weekend, and having a headache that lasted most of Saturday, I had fun. 
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
I was SO tired Friday it wasn't funny. We got to the con way late, probably as a result of me just being too tired to move fast once work let out. So I was good Friday night, and went to bed early (well, early for me at a con) intending to be well-rested for Saturday.

I woke up way too early with a terrible headache after dreaming that I was in a deep dark lake full of algae (and had been there for far too long) and I had to keep trying to swim up to the surface to breathe. I took my asthma medicine, ate some cheese for the protein, looked futilely for Tylenol, and sat up reading for a bit without ever really getting wide awake or into a state where I felt I could sleep again. Watched an Indian wedding procession under my window, sad that I was too far up to see details of the saris, the white horse, the decorated red umbrella, and all the mens' clothing too. But still, that was cool. Finally, I went swimming, which relaxed my back and neck, woke my appetite, and left the headache still pounding.

Happily, Ops had Tylenol after that, and I took allergy meds for good measure, and slowly the headache started to resolve. I avoided the music workshops, figuring they wouldn't help the headache any, and went to the jewelry-making workshop (where I gathered mostly leaf-, moon-, and heart-shaped beads and added them to some I'd brought with me to make a necklace) and then the sketching workshop. Did a pretty good demented happy cat there, though too small to really do anything with it. Then I went to the poi-spinning workshop. That was fun and left my shoulders feeling remarkably good. Then, of course, [livejournal.com profile] ericcoleman 's wedding.  (Does his beautiful wife have a LJ?  I can't remember.)

I looked at the food available in the room and decided I needed meat, so I went to one of the hotel restaurants. Didn't find anyone along the way, so I was again reading, but it was pleasant. A bunch of people from the Indian wedding came in while I was eating, keeping the staff very busy indeed. I guessed at tax, added a generous tip to be sure, and gave the nice man behind the bar cash before running to catch the [livejournal.com profile] s00j  concert, where I proceeded to spin poi some more and do veil dancing with two other women.  And the Alligator conga dance, of course. 

After the concert, I drifted slowly, fighting exhaustion, toward the room intending to take my asthma meds and head back down with instruments for the filk.  I was almost finished with my book--less than a page once I'd done both inhalers with pauses in between so each dose would have time to take effect before the next one, which is always helpful for singing.  I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to finish the last few paragraphs of the book.  I fell into bed, figuring that was a better choice than snoring over the live music.

The next morning, I went swimming briefly again, just enough to stretch out my now stiff-and-sore back and shoulders.  There was a music and energy workshop by [livejournal.com profile] s00j  and then a laid back folk jam where I finally got the guitar out for a while.  After that there were closing ceremonies, and I was still tired.  Next year, I think I'll take an air mattress.

I had planned to set up to paint like I did last year; that didn't happen.  Neither did making an alligator-blinkie (the first blinkie style that has tempted me to spend part of a convention soldering).  Nor did I work on the sewing I'd brought.  But I did manage to share a bit about Torn World despite this convention being so different from a standard SF con, and some of the Torn World postcards I had made were taken away from my hand and others from the freebie table.  Several Ellen Million Graphics cards left the freebie table too.

And despite being in a tired-fog all weekend, and having a headache that lasted most of Saturday, I had fun. 
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Move your cursor over it without clicking. Then click once on the square box therein, and play some more. And then play it back!

How am I going to resist this tomorrow at work?
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Move your cursor over it without clicking. Then click once on the square box therein, and play some more. And then play it back!

How am I going to resist this tomorrow at work?
wyld_dandelyon: (Polychrome Wizard)
The photos here, as my friends here requested, are from my Dance of Leaves dress, which I was working on during the Tricky Pixie concert, which as I remember is where I left off in the story last night.

Eventually, as must always happen, the music ended and the lights brightened again. I had brought some of my own fairy gold (the chocolate sort), and gifted the performers after the Tricky Pixie concert. Dragon shared her artwork, and promised to send the original if we can get an address.

And then we headed off to feast our eyes on visual arts, our heads full of music.

Sadly, in the art show, I realized I had only one of the beautiful amethyst and quartz earrings I’d made still dangling from an ear. The other ear was sad and naked. We checked all the likely spots, in the process picking up a bit of cloth that had fallen from my appliqué project during the concert, and which must have been hidden under a chair before the denizens of that place rearranged the chairs—the concerts used a wall as backdrop, but the masquerade was to use the glass windows and doors on the side of the room instead, so when we returned to the same place a few minutes later, all the chairs had been magically moved.

Then My Angel fled to take a nap, as if a field of poppies had stolen all her energy. Dragon invited me to dinner, and we discovered that all the tables in the restaurant had been reserved. We were invited to wait in the bar for an hour. Dragon used words of power, and they admitted that yes, indeed, they could serve dinner in the bar as well. I challenged the restaurant to feed me safely, and they succeeded most elegantly, and the food (stuffed flounder for me and seafood risotto for Dragon) was delightful. So, reportedly, was the lobster ravioli we took back to My Angel. And I heard the dealers’ lament that during the Tricky Pixie concert no one was there to buy things but the other dealers. As Dragon said, everyone who was anyone was at the concert.

And then there was more music. I didn’t quite make it to the Ninjas’ concert, though I played music with them both the night before and the night after.

It may have been a fae blessing, or perhaps the simple mundane blessing of a government that banned cigarette smoking in hotels, but my voice got stronger all weekend, if you discount a few wobbles after 3 am. One of the handles to the bag holding my laptop came apart—but as I was bending to pick it up, so the laptop wasn’t jostled. I was able to tune the autoharp to itself by ear so I could do a request without spending a half hour on retuning every string.

After a modicum of sleep, while packing up to get out of the hotel, I found the missing earring, which had fallen into my sewing rather than wandering off to serve as an accidental toll for my passage.

Then, there was more music! I think the dead dog filk was possibly the best open filk this weekend, perhaps because everyone was relaxed, and no one had to worry about preparing for a concert or running off to a panel or event. Filkart ended up on the other side of the room, which was fine for the songs we do together that I have memorized. When he did a song where I needed to see the words, I borrowed the seat next to him, but soon stood up, since the fey magic, though strong, didn’t extend far enough to let me see through his guitar neck. And I even ended up playing guitar standing for two songs—something I haven’t done in ages. I was having so much fun, and despite mundane standards suggesting I’d had less sleep and should therefore be tireder than when I arrived, I felt energized.

Of course, finally, we had to head home. We set out to reverse the path we’d trod (well, driven). But Faerie didn’t want to let us go, and I finally had to resort to Modern Technology to start to banish the hold on our travels and let us return to paths we were familiar with. Verizon was, no doubt, pleased to add a GPS charge to my bill.

The road grew treacherously slippery, and the voice in my ear kept telling me to make a u-turn. And even when, at last, we arrived in sight of our home there was danger there too. The road was littered with police vehicles, five marked vehicles, one of them with a spotlight trained on a house across the street. We didn’t go look to see that the police had a spotlight on the back door, though you know they did. Very quietly, we unloaded the car and headed inside to feed the cats.

Far too late, I fell into bed, only to have the police bring in a paddy wagon with a megaphone at about 3 am, so My Angel and I could hear them (in English and Spanish) spend most of an hour talking two guys out of that house. “We have a warrant…we have permission to gas the house…come out with your hands up and nobody will get hurt…we don’t want to gas the house, please come out….”

Eventually, while I tried to get enough sleep to be professional and efficient at work, they succeeded in getting the two men to come out, and by the time I left for work the next day, everything looked perfectly normal and safe. I never heard what all that was about and I wonder, which realm is truly more mysterious?

Now, having returned from the real Windy City, I should get back to my alternate Windy City.  November is more than half over, and I have many words to go.

In other news, the editor liked the surprise collaboration story!  I'll share more details when I have them.  That, too, was a creative magical journey of sorts.

What magical things have you been involved in lately?

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