wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
A few days ago it was Mother’s Day, and—as is usual on my Facebook these days, because I have friends who care deeply and passionately about our world and the people in it—there was a lot of politics on my wall. One of the things on my wall was a friend (admittedly not a Clinton fan) who expressed horror that Hillary was willing to accept support from Republicans. In her mind, that was proof that Hillary doesn’t share any values with liberals.

And I cringed. This was, after all, Mother’s Day, a day when we all—liberals, conservatives, the apolitical, and people whose politics are best described on some other axis—celebrate our marvelous mothers or console our friends who had the misfortune to be born to mothers who aren’t so marvelous. We all value family, just as we all value warmth when it’s cold. Like today—cold and rainy, prompting me to reach for something warm. I tried a sweater, and it was too scratchy. With all the political uproar, I wanted more comfort than that.

There’s this old silk jacket I have. I bought it at the thrift store years ago even though it was a bit threadbare because the colors—purples and blues and greens—are marvelous and it fits gently around me and it’s so soft and sensual. It feels good, like a warm hug made of rose petals. It was old when I bought it, and now the outer silk is pulling apart in strips and shreds. Periodically, I pick this jacket up and give in to the illogical urge (why not just replace it?) to take satin scraps or shapes cut from old silk shirts and patch the areas that are the most tattered.

I pick it up today and put it on long enough to warm up a little, and rip it some more trying to put my phone into a place that, as it turns out, is not the pocket after all. I look again at my Facebook and see more vitriol against that other mother who hopes to help the world from the big white house in DC, and I take the jacket off again. I cut a bit of purple from a ripped silk sleeve I’ve been using to clean my glasses and start stitching it to the coat, and I feel comforted.

Our social fabric is tattered right now, pulled apart by low income and bigotry and fear. But we can’t just throw it away and buy a new one. Someone has shared a quote showing that Trump thinks he can get the nation through hard times by not paying our debt. I sigh. I so very much don't want to see more things like that, so I switch over to Live Journal on the computer and read a poem where a policeman tries to help a person with superpowers who has PTSD. Then I listen to an interview of Hillary, so I can close that tab on the web browser. I enjoy listening to Hillary when she can actually talk about her hopes for what she can accomplish if she’s President, and it’s easier to sew when I’m listening instead of reading. I reflect that our world is kind of like the poor super-kid in the poem, broken and traumatized and scared.

The bit of purple silk stitched firmly to the sleeve, I go looking to see what I can find that’s suitable to put next to it. Our youngest cat, Nebula, is sleeping in a box of material, and is quite bemused when I pull the box out and dig through things around and under her. She blinks at me, strange human, and I rub her under her chin. I find a scrap of white brocade not much more than an inch wide, and some blue satin and green brocade, and part of a tie whose off-white lining could work. And a hairball. Ugh. I brush the old dried mess into the trash and consign that bit of cloth to the laundry, along with some clothes that will probably be donated.

Then back to my old jacket with safety pins and material. I cut and lay down several more pieces and pin them in place. Some of them will doubtless get moved around as I stitch, but it’s a plan. I thread the needle again and continue. The lovely smooth texture of the silks and brocades calms me. It feels as if each stitch is sending healing energy out into the world, a gentle prayer or bit of kind sympathetic magic to help us all in our quest to make the world a little healthier, a little less ragged, and a little more beautiful.

I use up the thread on my needle and tie it off. Next is a spot where the original fabric is just gone, the rough lining showing through. It reminds me of the places where lies and hatred have hurt me and people I care about, but I smile, because here on this jacket I can fix things. More green, I think, to cover this spot. Green would look good. We could use more green in our politics too, and fewer lies. More kindness and less fear. I pin and I stitch, and I send my good wishes out into the world, and in my head is a line from science fiction that has, contrary to all expectations, become popular culture: “Make it so.”
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: (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?
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?
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Brief updatery.

The cape I made for Foodie-Friend is done, after WAY too much pinning. Way way WAY too much pinning. I got frustrated enough that I forgot to take pictures, except for one rather boring one showing the pattern for the sleeves, which I had to tape together and which is longer than my large dining room table. I don't even have a picture of the finished project.

And it took way too long, so I'm behind on some of my scheduled writing.

And on garden work, though the rainiest October in
[I wasn't paying that much attention to the weatherman] also has affected that! I don't have nearly enough leaves on the roses; I should be able to gather some this weekend, when it is supposed to be done raining, but cold. Sigh. At least we don't have snow!

The sparkly serpent story is still mostly finished, but is now more than twice as long. It told me it needed additional scenes. So I may not get it done in time to submit it to the Action Adventure issue of Crossed Genres. Oh, well, I'd rather have a good story than a prompt one. However, Oh My Muse, please take note--both is good.

And since I have that goal, this is just a quick status post, so I can get back to writing.

And to finishing the artwork for another Torn World contest (for which I am, in part, using brushes bought with the prize from the first Torn World contest). (Going to the store with Dragon, who went to the Art Institute of Chicago, and having her explain the various uses of different brushes that I hadn't previously been using, was fun, and I meant to blog about it, but didn't get to it. Yet, anyway, though it would no longer be a current events post!)

This is also your official warning that I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year. My plan is to not allow that to delay Fireborn chapters, but it may well interfere with #fridayflash. Or it may simply determine what universe my Friday flash fiction is set in.

However, if there's something in your journal you want my comments on during November, please feel free to send a message or otherwise call my attention to it; I will likely be reading less so I can write more.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
Brief updatery.

The cape I made for Foodie-Friend is done, after WAY too much pinning. Way way WAY too much pinning. I got frustrated enough that I forgot to take pictures, except for one rather boring one showing the pattern for the sleeves, which I had to tape together and which is longer than my large dining room table. I don't even have a picture of the finished project.

And it took way too long, so I'm behind on some of my scheduled writing.

And on garden work, though the rainiest October in
[I wasn't paying that much attention to the weatherman] also has affected that! I don't have nearly enough leaves on the roses; I should be able to gather some this weekend, when it is supposed to be done raining, but cold. Sigh. At least we don't have snow!

The sparkly serpent story is still mostly finished, but is now more than twice as long. It told me it needed additional scenes. So I may not get it done in time to submit it to the Action Adventure issue of Crossed Genres. Oh, well, I'd rather have a good story than a prompt one. However, Oh My Muse, please take note--both is good.

And since I have that goal, this is just a quick status post, so I can get back to writing.

And to finishing the artwork for another Torn World contest (for which I am, in part, using brushes bought with the prize from the first Torn World contest). (Going to the store with Dragon, who went to the Art Institute of Chicago, and having her explain the various uses of different brushes that I hadn't previously been using, was fun, and I meant to blog about it, but didn't get to it. Yet, anyway, though it would no longer be a current events post!)

This is also your official warning that I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year. My plan is to not allow that to delay Fireborn chapters, but it may well interfere with #fridayflash. Or it may simply determine what universe my Friday flash fiction is set in.

However, if there's something in your journal you want my comments on during November, please feel free to send a message or otherwise call my attention to it; I will likely be reading less so I can write more.

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