The Joy of P. Ash

A Writer's Progress

NaNoWriMo and Indigogo!
thejoyofpash
I have never tried NaNoWriMo before. That's National Novel Writing Month, for those people looking at me like a confused puppy right now. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I'm using it to write 50,000 words of a new novel idea. I already had 3,000 words when I started, so my goal for the end of this month is 53,000 words. I have 47,000 to go. Scribbling time!

In other news, I have figured out how to work Indigogo because Gearhearts needs to raise money for a website, conventions, artist payment, and merchandise. I am in charge! Wheee! Off with her head! Off with his pants! Bring me a kitten to snuggle! *drunk with power*

Don't mind me. I'm running a bit of a fever and I'm home from day job right now. Which means I am writing. Silver lining! Silver lining and cat hair!

Anyway, the Indigogo site is this: Gearhearts! Please donate a little if you can. Everybody gets a "perk" as Indigogo calls them. If you give less than $5, your name gets listed on the website (if you like). If you give more than $5, then your name gets listed and you get all the stuff listed on the page. No reason to babble about it here. I babbled about it over there.

Yarn and Business Meetings
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So, since my last post, I have launched a storefront on Storenvy (it's like Etsy, but no fees. No sales of yarn falls yet, but it's still new. Yesterday my friend and I did some product photography experimentation, and what she can do looks WAY better than my limited skill with my iPhone and my living room.
We also learned of the importance of necks. Previously, I was displaying the yarn falls on a glittery foam Halloween skull. It worked, but it didn't look quite right. Yesterday, I obtained a styrofoam head (you know, like for wigs). The falls look much better on it. We think it's because it has a neck. Don't worry. I will still use the skull. Probably at cons.
Oh, that's right. I'll be at lots of conventions this next year. There's a slight possibility that this time next year I will have a job as a professional booth babe. Apparently, I'm bubbly. The hilarious thing is that I am most definitely an introvert. But I project this adorable, friendly image that draws people like flies. This is great at conventions. My friend Wolf, of Skybourne, needs someone to table for him. I can do that. Well, when I'm not on panels.
Because now I'll be a guest at cons through Gearhearts.
And all this because I thought it would be a good idea to have a business meeting. There was a lot of miscommunication and confusion about Gearhearts, so I invited everyone over to sit down and figure it all out. WOW! I can organize! With agendas and everything! This was three meetings ago. Now, we are on the point of launching an Indigogo fundraiser, designing merchandise, organizing our efforts to get the Gearhearts name out there, and designing a website. Holy cake! It's amazing what sitting down around a table and talking will do.

Yarn!
thejoyofpash
I love to play with yarn. This weekend, I tested out a design I had in mind for yarn falls. You know those awesome fluffy pigtails of yarn that adorn heads at clubs and conventions and ren faires? I've always wanted them, but I've never been able to justify the expense. So I just sat around envying them until I realized that I can MAKE them! So I did. My prototype turned out better than expected. Also, I am allowed to wear yarn falls to work. Squee! I shall sport awesome yarn hair much more often now.

The only unfortunate part of yarn falls is that they take a lot of yarn to make. I can't afford to make as many falls as I want to. My solution? I plan to sell them. Partially to pay for my yarn habit and partially to make as many as possible. I love the process of putting the colors together. It's like art, except I'm not frustrated by my crappy drawing skills. It's all color and texture, and these are things I love. Besides, selling falls will give me an excellent excuse to buy all sorts of great yarn!

I even have a business name in mind. Hundred Yard Hair. Because the prototypes have a little over a hundred yards of yarn in them.

In other news, yarn falls would make great earmuffs.
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Gearhearts Issue #3
thejoyofpash
Gearhearts #3 should be in stores wherever Antarctic Press titles are sold. Unless they are sold out. Then they won't be on the shelves. This is the all O. M. Grey issue. I have an interview of her in there and a review of her sexy Avalon Revisited. She's on the cover. You can't possibly miss it.

I have discovered a lovely book. I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it. It's His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. It features 2 things I adore: the Napoleonic Wars and dragons. What could go wrong? (A lot, actually. Wooden ships are flammable.) The main character is honorable and dutiful, a Horatio Hornblower type. His dragon is a sweetheart and a genius. It's like Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brien on Pern, and it is FANTASTIC. Must find #2 to see if the amazingness continues.

I finished an afghan! It took me two months to knit, but I finished it! ...And two days later my cat peed on it. Smell hasn't come out yet, but there are a couple more things I can try. This cat is sooooo lucky he's cute.

My beloved man-person and I bought a house. Yup. A house. With a pool. And shelves out the ears. And beautiful cabinetry. And two walk in closets in the master bedroom. It was such a deal and I think it will be the perfect house for us! I am excited even though this means I'll have to vacuum twice the space. I've spent all day doing housework, and I loved every second of it. I am aghast that I just wrote that sentence and I mean it.

Mermaids Accomplished and LA Traffic Sucks
thejoyofpash
Oops. I didn't realize it's been so long since I blogged. *blushes*

Some stuff happened, as stuff is wont to do. Mostly good stuff.

First, we are buying a house. My sweetheart and I have found a house we adore, and we are wading through all the paperwork that goes with purchasing it. Wading is not an exaggeration.

Second, I had another fantastic A-Kon. I spent the weekend selling comic books with the lovely people at Antarctic Press. I discovered that it's rather fun to have a balloon on one's hat. Someone handed me a balloon, and I tied it on my topper to keep my hands free. It was hit! I shall do it again, this time on purpose, the next time I am selling somethings.

The third issue of the magazine should be out soon. There were some...conflicts... with the layout and design guy. He has been replaced. But issue 3 will be amazing! I interviewed O. M. Grey (I believe I've mentioned before that I have a crush on her) and the pictures from her photoshoots are stunning.

Third, my sister has gradumutated. I went to LA this past week to see her walk across a stage. A stage in the ballroom where they hold the Golden Globe awards. It was lovely. Alas, I did not catch a glimpse of any celebrities that I know of, even though we toured Paramount Studios and lunched at Lionsgate. I'd also like to add that everything you've heard about the traffic in LA is true. It triggered my anxiety issues and claustrophobia, and I wasn't even driving! So many people! So many cars! It took AGES to get anywhere. We walked a lot, because driving the 5 blocks would have taken 30 minutes.

Fourth, I finished the first draft of a novel about mermaids. It's in the hands of the beta readers now.

Back to work for me!

Ode to Summer Glau
thejoyofpash
I met Summer Glau yesterday, and that's not even the most awesome thing that happened.
My darling man often volunteers at Dragon Con and works with the guests (you know, like Stan Lee). Each time he returns from his yearly Atlanta adventures, he has stories and autographed pictures (saying things like, "Thank you" and "You're amazing"). Apparently the Battlestar Galactica cast gives good backrubs. He is an excellent handler. He makes sure everyone has all the food, water, and potty breaks they need. He is skilled at deflecting the creepy fans. He is, in short, fantastic, and Summer Glau asked for him personally for the Dallas Comic Con this year.
I discovered that the people who publish Gearhearts, Antarctic Press, would also be at the Dallas Comic Con. So I sent a few emails asking if they wanted some company at the table. They said yes and I had Saturday off, so I went. I hope I was an effective booth babe. I know I had a lot of fun, and Doug seemed to have a good time, too.
So I met Summer Glau. She is a wonderful human being, sweet and friendly even when she's starving. I got to watch her with her fans, and she was all kindness and smiles. Also, she was delighted to meet me (apparently my sweetie talks about me a lot) and she told him I was beautiful. That made my forever. I managed not to squeal and faint, but it was hard. Also, she has an awesome sister. We shared pet pictures. Summer Glau thinks my cats are gorgeous and adorable (they are). Her sister has the cutest little mutt. He loves getting his picture taken, so he's making eyes at the camera in all his photos. He's a tawny color with perky ears and a playful doggy smile. Also, he looks great in puppy sweaters. Possibly he was a model or a dandy in a past life.
Remember how I said that wasn't the coolest thing that happened yesterday? Antarctic Press expressed interest in having me write for them. And they said they loved the Lucky K. Holliday stories featured in Gearhearts. The way they tell it, Steampunk sells for them like mad. They can't put out titles fast enough. They have about a gazillion talented artists, so they have no shortage of superlative art pieces (seriously, the detail in the Girls of Steampunk books is drool-worthy), but they want more with story. *I* am excellent at providing story. Fate? YES.

April? What April?
thejoyofpash
This month has sped by in a whirlwind of words, skirts, and cake. I had friends visit from San Diego for the first couple weeks, and everybody had an amazing time. Especially me, because they produced lots of baked goods while I was at work. I think my friends may be kitchen elves. We went to Scarborough Renaissance Festival, which was amazing, as usual. Much dressing up and merriment was had by all.

The weekend after they left, I was absconded with by a pair of friends who took me jewelry shopping. I discovered that I look wonderful in garnets. Of course, I had not the funds to purchase them, but my beloved man-person did! Imagine my delight when he presented me with a little silver box full of garnet necklace and bracelet! And then later, he ninja-ed a ring out from under my nose. I'd put it on hold with the shop, and when I went back, it was gone. I immediately suspected something was afoot. And it was! It's now my favorite ring ever, and it's red and silver and amazing. I love my beloved man-person!

In other news, AAAAAAAAAH! Aetherfest is coming up this next weekend. Not ready! Not ready! Too fast! Too fast! Slow down! I'm interviewing an author, and I plan to vend my poetic services. I'm going to sell Steampunk Haiku. Why? Because I can and I'm broke and what if something goes wrong with the magazines we intend to sell? Here's one I wrote last night:

Night vision goggles.
Tesla cannons in our hands.
Here, kitty, kitty!

In other news, I almost have a book about mermaids. I've just got to write the last big battle sequence and I'll need beta readers. Yay!

The Magnetic Attraction Between Cats And Yarn
thejoyofpash
I am learning to knit. Or, I have learned to knit. I have not yet learned to purl or do anything more complicated than knit. I have been delighted to learn that I don't suck. My bank account has not been delighted, because my first instinct when I want to learn something new is to buy books on the subject. Several of them. At once. And then also yarn (because you can't knit without yarn). And then a place to put the yarn. Which is already too small. I also plan to learn to crochet, because I love the afghans in my parents' house made by my great grandmother. I want to learn to make those.

Why fiber arts? It's something productive to do while working out story problems. Stuck on just how a fight scene needs to go? Knit for a while and mull it over. Debating whether to bring in a character now, later, or never? Pick up the needles. It's better than vacantly staring at cute kitty pictures on the internet, and I get sweaters out of the deal. I like sweaters. I also like kitty pictures, but you can't wear a kitty picture.

In other news, mermaids. I am having a remarkable run of productivity on this mermaid novel. So far, it does not have a name. I am pleased by my steady progress. Also, I enjoy researching bizarre stuff. For instance, last week I investigated edible fish species and discovered a ranged weapon that would work in the ocean.

I also went to All Con on St. Patrick's day. I had the day off, and I LOVE conventions. I learned about roller derby, got in trouble for droid smuggling, drooled over beautiful goggles, had my cards read, hung out with friends, talked about cats, was a damsel in distress, and kidnaped an author for dinner. A good time all around, and I learned that it's possible to roller skate in a corset (Trigger Mortis, I think I may be in love with you).

No, I Am Not Dead. Just Fine, Actually.
thejoyofpash
What's that? I have a blog and I haven't posted to it in over two months? No, that's silly! Wait... you're right. Sorry.

I've just been plugging along, working and writing. I was reminded of an old mermaid concept by a terrible screenplay my sister sent me. I was just amazed by the lack of thought the writer had put into their world-building. They didn't take into account ANY of the ways in which the sea is different from land. So I started thinking about mermaids. I've always been fascinated by the ocean, and I started a mermaid story back in high school. I've dusted it off and looked at it a few times since then, but this time I started polishing. And researching. And plotting. And world-building. A fellow author thinks I may have a three book series here.

Speaking of fellow authors, this last weekend was ConDFW. Guess where I was. It was eleven different shades of awesome.

I had the chance to interview Cherie Priest, the author of Boneshaker and other fantastic works. Nothing I've read by her has been less than incredible. I love her style. AND I got to hang out with her! The con kept her busy, but she still had time to eat, so we went grabbed some nourishment together.

ConDFW seems to be a big writer convention. I hung out with lots of local and semi-local authors. Much entertaining and bizarre conversation was had. Lots of cute kitty pictures were shared. Many delightful story ideas were spawned (which is an inevitability with writers of any sort, especially when you put 2 or more in the same room). I babbled about the magazine to anyone who would listen, and apparently I was charming. Which is much better than being obnoxious.

And the panels! ConDFW had some fantastic programming. I had to choose between a panel on Ragnarok and a panel on airships at one point. I went with the airships. There was also a panel on disasters in space. I learned that fire in zero gravity is round.

I met several new people and they didn't run away screaming, so I think I made new friends. Yay, writer friends! I love writer friends. Writers all notice different details and generally have a wide range of obscure interests and odd areas of expertise. We all (including Cherie Priest, she was on this panel) tend to be easily distracted by research, facebook, and shiny objects. And cookies. There were amazing snickerdoodles.

This was the first time payday hit right before a con. This was not as dangerous as one might imagine, because I generally spend like a Capricorn, which is to say, not at all. I was ecstatic that I could actually afford to buy books and support my talented friends! I also finally found goggles I loved and could afford. The lenses are green!

What the Dickens?
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I have just returned from a jaunt down to Galveston for Dickens on the Strand. It was awesome! Even when it was raining, it was awesome!

The event itself is similar to a Renaissance Faire in that there are street performers, vendors, and people in historical costume. But of course it's entirely different. Galveston blocks of several blocks of their historic downtown area and vendors selling foods and drinks and crafts and clothing items put up tents and set up shop. There are stages which feature shows of carnival acts and musicians, plays and displays. On almost every corner stands a choir or a handbell chorus or a hammered dulcimer of a fiddle player. Out of temporary food booths cul enticing smells of funnel cake or falafel, fried chicken or spiced wine. I tried fried alligator on a stick. I did not like it. I tried sasaparilla at a booth featuring historical sodas. It was delicious.

I made all sorts of new friends. I finally met part of the Airship Isabella and the . My friends and Steampunk colleagues keep telling me stories about them and now I actually know who they are.

Ditto the Marquis of Vaudeville (a Dallas band made of awesome and talent). Everyone kept telling me "Toby is awesome." Toby is the one with the microphone and the singing. I finally met him! We shared cookies and he gave me a taco. He really IS awesome. And I'm not just saying that because he liked my story in the magazine, either.

I mixed business with pleasure a little as I took the opportunity to interview O. M. Grey. The article which I have not yet written is slated to appear in issue 3 of Gearhearts. We had a lovely time, then went for milkshakes and lattes at an ice cream parlor that was much more than just an average ice cream parlor.

I was abducted by the parade. This keeps happening to me - people I have just met drag me into parades all the time. I guess I'm just the type? This time it was the hilarious Mr. Saturday and Sixpence the Mime. They're really fun people and what little I've seen of their act is awesome.

I should here mention the bed race. Imagine the oddest thing you've ever seen. Now imagine four people pushing a decorated bed down the street with a fifth clinging to the mattress for dear life. I've heard this was an actual Victorian pastime. I love it!

There was Steampunk everywhere at Dickens. The Airship Isabella even performed a Steampunk Christmas Carol. Steampunk even had its own parade and its own square of vendors. It seemed like people enjoyed it, which totally warms the cockles of my heart.

But my favorite part was stopping for dinner with my grandmother on the way back home. Because my grandmother is wonderful.

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