lhskarka: (Default)
What to do when you have
1) a garbage bag of polyfill stuffing
2) a pile of t-shirts that you love for the memories but never wear
3) also throw pillows covered in hideous upholstery

New throw pillows, of course. LOTS of them.








And so it begins...
lhskarka: (Wonder Woman)
But I am working on it.

I decided to finish up the sample stuff I had started for that game, and have it ready, just in case the opportunity presented itself to audition with the new company that's taking the license. So that's done. Nothing may come of it, but I will at least have tried.

And in other news, I actually did some of the sewing that I had set aside in my new project-oriented sewing system. Nothing big. But compared to the zero sum creativity of this year, it feels huge.

Am also back on track with some research for a short story I wrote last year that I want to expand into a YA novel.

So I think maybe I needed that day long crying jag.

*Looks into the future. Trudges towards it.*
lhskarka: (Novel)
Posting here, because hey, it's mostly private these days. I can't stop crying today.

Six years ago, my husband acquired a fantastic license to do a role-playing game based in a friend's award winning fictional world. A world that I LOVE. A writer that I really admire, both as an author and a person.

Because he had other projects that he was working on that needed his attention first, my husband asked me to do the research, and write up the world descriptions, i.e. the bulk of the game book. Character and race types, regional descriptions, various in-world organizations. He had a strong concept for it that played exactly to my strengths, involving historical research, in-world knowledge, and strong descriptive writing skills.

That's me. Those are my skills. Supposedly.

I did the reading, made my notes. Slowly. There was nothing to stop me to from writing it all up. But other projects got pushed back, and we weren't going to publish any time soon, so I let the actual writing stall out. I thought about it all the time, but I didn't do it. Except for an embarrassingly tiny amount of sample pages. For six years. Just yesterday, as I posted here about cleaning my office and getting my writing desk cleared up, the FIRST thing I had on my agenda to write was this game. I was feeling excited about it, looking forward to the new year, when I was sure we would finally publish. I was looking forward to finally feeling like I had contributed something to the business. Something well done. Something that would help us financially. Something I had actually, finally created.

Then this morning, as if the universe had felt me thinking about it and decided to squash me like a bug, I got a call from my husband. The author is taking his license back. Because we've had it for six years, and he knows another game designer who is ready to do a game right away. They were even willing to give credit, and pay, for anything I had already done.

Except. Nothing. Sample pages and a book of handwritten notes. That's it. For six years. And now I've lost my chance. It's gone, and I'm the one who wasted it.

I have never felt more like a creative fraud than I do today.
lhskarka: (Wonder Woman)
I have been stuck in a creative and accomplishment dead zone for most of the past year. And probably for a few years before that. I have been intensely frustrated by this for ALL of that time, but knowing WHAT I need to do hasn't helped with HOW to go about doing it.

As a friend said recently about struggling with her own issues, what I have lacked is strategy. No matter how many lists I came up with of Things to Do, I totally lacked a plan for how to accomplish them. So what I had were lists of ideas with nothing crossed off, and this sort of burning anger at myself for failing at being the creative person that I know I am.

But no strategy. So I searched Pinterest for some. And I found one, from a seamstress who packages all of her projects into "kits" ahead of time, so when she has time to work on something, she can get right to it, without wasting time searching for supplies.

This applies directly to my issues, as I had simply crammed 3/4s of my fabric and sewing and art supplies into an overflowing closet in our too-small three-use office space. Which gave me a lot of ideas, but meant that any time I wanted to work on something, I had to spend an hour digging out what I needed for it.

So this weekend, I decided on a strategy. I came up with a simple list, of projects that I want/need to get done in the next six months. New stuff, repairs or alterations to old stuff. Not a very long list, really. Then I sorted through the GIANT PILE of supplies and fabric, picked out what I needed for those projects only, and then packed everything else up and moved it to the basement. That stuff is heavy. I'm sure it qualified as a workout. Then I put everything in easy reach in my newly empty closet. There's a lot more room in that room now. (Side bonus.)

The second part of the strategy is that I can't get out any other stuff until at least half of the things in the closet have been finished and removed to new uses.

We'll see how this goes. If I STILL don't sew after this, I may need to have an extensive yard sale - or a bonfire. But last night, for the first time in ages, I actually did some sewing.

Next up: My WRITING desk. Fingers crossed!
lhskarka: (Wonder Woman)
This quote (from one of the easter eggs on a Lord of the Rings DVDs), has been playing through my head all morning. Since, well, I'm glad there wasn't a dolphin in the car with me.

Is there anything to make you feel dumber or less capable than being in a car accident? The police officer didn't give EITHER me or the other driver a ticket. Or even tell us he was going to submit a report. Just that both of us were being impatient dumbasses, basically, who thought we could clear traffic going in two opposite directions.

And now I have a $500 deductible and probably higher insurance rates to look forward to. Awesome.

At least I wasn't hurt. I don't even have a headache. I'm just shaken up. And pretty sure that the car can be repaired.

But still.

Ugh.
lhskarka: (Wonder Woman)
I have a hoarding problem. I come by it naturally, as in it runs in my family. I'm actively fighting it, as I don't want to have the same issues that my parents are currently dealing with in their basement, or end up leaving a house full of meaningless stuff behind for my step-kids to dumpster after I'm gone. Which is what my grand parents did.

So. Magazines. A giant box of them, left behind when I moved out of my parents house nearly twenty years ago. I've been really good recently, about disposing of magazines & catalogs after I have perused them, or switching entirely to digital when I can.

I was horrified. What was in these things that I needed to save so much that I BOXED THEM UP and stored them? Was my brain going to tell me I still needed them? ACK! So I started looking. And well, instant relief.

Decorating magazines (LOTS of decorating magazines). But I have a Pinterest now. Digital Hoarding = FREEDOM from paper!!!

Also, a pile of Writer's Digests with no longer relevant writing and publishing advice, (I've got the internet for that now) nostalgic only because they are direct evidence of my parents and grandparents (they all bought me subscriptions at one point or another) belief in my writing ability. I may take a few pictures to remember them by, but I don't have to keep them.

Take that, hoarding brain!
lhskarka: (Wonder Woman)
My short list of the changes I think we need to make in this country to help prevent these tragic mass-murders from happening. Easy? No. Necessary? Yes.

1) Dear Media - Stop reporting the names of the killers. Call them gunmen, or murderers, or shooters, or killers, but do not give them the immortality of being a name in the news. It is enough that their names are part of the public record in police and other reports. Unless we are directly affected by one of these tragedies, we do not need to know. Let us remember the names of their victims, instead.


2) As a society, as a government, via a national healthcare system, we need to provide compassionate mental health care for people, within their own communities, so that more people can receive the care they need before they are driven to harm themselves and others. Giant government institutions might not have been the answer, but shutting those down and turning the entire burden of care onto families and individuals certainly isn't working.


3) We need better gun control. I have known sane, safe, reasonable people who own and operate guns all my life. I have no problem with sane, safe, reasonable people having reasonable guns. What I DO want is for both guns and gun owners to be "well-regulated", as stated by the 2nd Amendment. The best idea that I have seen on how to go about this is simple. Regulate ownership & operation of guns exactly the way we regulate ownership & operation of cars:
a) Title and tag at each point of sale.
b) Training in proper use & handling.
c) Both written and practical tests required for use.
d) Health requirements for operation.
e) Liability insurance for each gun.
f) Renewals and inspections required at intervals for both the owner & the machine.
I do not see anything in that list that a safe, sane & reasonable gun owner could argue against.

4) I would add two regulations to the above list that people probably would argue about, but they're necessary.
a) Mandatory psychiatric evaluations for first-time gun purchasers. No system can be foolproof, but having an additional filter between unstable people and guns would still help to cut down on mass-murder.
b) Federal penalties for the illegal/unregistered ownership of a gun, with a mandatory additional sentence of, say, ten years, for use of a weapon in the commission of any crime. This one has nothing to do with mental stability, and everything to do with the simple fact that taking a gun (or hell, let's be silly, a bow & arrows, or a sword) to commit a crime is pre-meditation for the potential harm of another. and that should not be tolerated.

I really don't think that any of this is too much to ask of a civilized society.

Addendum: I am seriously tired of the "if only someone/a teacher at Sandy Hook had been armed". Exactly how did that help anyone who was killed by the Fort Hood gunman?

*Steps off soapbox*
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
It was a busy weekend, and I didn't even have to leave my house, as Operation Gareth and Laura get offices went into full swing. I will have a place to write and sew and craft! Gareth will have a door to close work behind at the end of the day!

I moved a desk, two dressers, two beds, and a futon (with help). Also all of the things that were stacked on and around those pieces of furniture. And then there was the vacuuming. Soooo much vacuuming!

End result:

With the exception of the desk, which is waiting for risers to make it tall enough for a certain husband to use comfortably (antique furniture is great, except that a lot of it was designed for much shorter people), and a full size mattress & box spring that are now "spare", and I haven't decided what to do about, things are in place and ready to use.

Each office has a comfortable place for visiting children/guests to sleep.

Our two grown daughter's belongings are neatly arranged so that they can find them when they visit, and take away as much as we can force on them what they want for their own places.

The floors are much cleaner than they were on Friday. (Soooo much vacuuming.)

Future planning:

I have more crafty/sewing stuff to haul out of the cellar and store in my new office. I am really looking forward to having ALL THE THINGS organized in one room (for the first time in over a decade), so that each project does not have to begin with trying to remember where I put something, then shutting the cats in the bathroom so they can't get in to the cellar, then moving boxes/digging through boxes to find what I need and hauling it upstairs.

We have a lot of art to frame and hang up, now that there's room for it.

Note to self:

Paper hoarding is obviously still a HUGE problem for me. I plan to use the new workspace available to me to sort and get rid of massive amounts of it. Hopefully the fabric hoarding will take care of itself once I'm sewing more.
lhskarka: (Default)
A non-spoilery mini-review. Mostly, because I don't know how I could describe it well-enough to give anything away.

(First off, in case you missed it in 2008, I LOVED In Bruges, the first film from this team.)

Seven Psychopaths could be any of these things:

1) A Seinfeld episode with guns, featuring a dog
2) A commentary on the difficulties of the creative writing process
3) A commentary on the use of violence in film (using Christopher Walken as a critic)

I enjoyed it while I was watching it, then had a "WTF was that?" moment when it was over, and now, as of the next morning, I'm mostly sure that I liked it.

As Gareth said last night, it definitely owes a lot to the "Pulp Fiction" style of vignette storytelling, but that does have it's charms.

Here is an interview with the director, in case you are curious about his viewpoint.

Skyfall

Nov. 12th, 2012 02:48 pm
lhskarka: (Default)
Movie review time. Warning, spoilers ahead.

You certainly get your moneys worth as far as running-time goes. The downside is that it seemed like two entirely different movies, with the slower, smaller, less interesting one at the end.

Of the Craig films, I say it's better than Quantum, not as good as Casino Royale. Largely based on the first half of the movie.

Skyfall spoilers through here. )

52 Pick-Up

Jan. 5th, 2012 04:29 pm
lhskarka: (Default)
So, in the best laid plans category, I botched my roll on 52 finished creations (one per week) for 2010. Moving house DID throw a rather large wrench into the process, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. But I have definitely decided that I like this goal, so I'm trying it again this year.

Total count on things created and finished for last year: 12. Items included jewelry, clothing, a short story, and two computer-cozy-covers for new laptops for the teenagers. Which puts me at roughly one-per-month, rather than one-per-week. Which is at least 7 more things than I finished in 2009, so at least I'm gaining.

Here's one of the computer cozys:


Green Lantern FTW!

One of those finished things was not a novel, although it almost was - I fell short of my goal in December, and it's not quite there. We'll see how January goes.

Geronimo!
lhskarka: (Default)
Yeah, I could watch this all day.

lhskarka: (Wedding Portrait)
Happy "5th" anniversary to my wonderfully awesome partner of the last fourteen years!

Love you, Gareth!

(Let's not wait until our "10th" anniversary to visit New York again, though. :) )
lhskarka: (Default)
As the website says "For the removal of stress in office environments"

Tea and Kittens!
lhskarka: (Books)
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Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos
lhskarka: (Tit Monkeys)
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Hero, Le Pacte des Loups, Vidoq, Queen Margot, Kung Fu Hustle, Strictly Ballroom, House of Flying Daggers & Cyrano de Bergerac, to name a few.

And no. I'm pretty much against American remakes. It was a shame what happened to La Femme Nikita. I suppose you could use Desperado as an argument for American remakes, but that was more of a case of giving the creator more money and asking him to expand on his original low-budget idea. To be fair and balanced, I have heard good things about Let Me In, and the version of Let the Right One In that we saw was actually marred by ineffective subtitling.

In general though, what's the point? Learn to read subtitles if you don't know the language, people. Enjoy the experience of watching a film or several from a different culture.

When we went to see Le Pacte de Loups, the kid at the ticket counter actually warned us that it had subtitles and was in...FRENCH. *sigh*

Kat-ma

Jul. 7th, 2011 11:43 am
lhskarka: (Default)
Wherein I commit a breach of feline servant etiquette, and suffer the consequences.

Last night, I got home from work with a short "To Do" list of housework rattling around in my skull that looked like this: Load dishwasher; Change bed linens; Wash sheets; Change cat litter.

After a bit, the list looked like this: Load dishwasher; Change bed linens; Wash sheets; Change cat litter.

At that point, via teh intarwebz, the husband saw that there was a Sporting KC match on, and we went off to our local bar/pub/watering hole to watch it. One game, some socializing and a couple of drinks later, we came home, watched the latest True Blood episode with Teenager 2: Electric Boogaloo, and went to bed.

Except: Guess who disapproved of my failure to finish my list? That would be the little cat who decided to pee smack in the middle of our freshly-made bed while we were out. And our other nice sheets were still in the wash.

Half-an-hour later, bed stripped, new laundry started, CATS LITTER FUCKING CHANGED, bed made with mis-matched sheets (alas!), we finally got to sleep.

This morning, the saga continued. As I was leaving the house, I had to deal with the efforts of an industrious spider that had spun a web across our door during the night. I did not walk through the web (thankfully, massive freak-out avoided), but as I was clearing the doorway with a stick, I stepped on the now rain-soaked bag of old cat litter on the back step, which broke and spilled all over the place. So I got to clean it up AGAIN and haul it out to the trash can. *sigh*

To finish off my morning, when I parked for work (now rather late), I realized that 1) It was raining, and 2) I had left my umbrella in my office the night before.

For the rest of the day, I shall be concentrating on "What Can Possibly Go Right?!", as the answer to the opposite question does not bear thinking about.

Kat-ma: 1, Me: 0
lhskarka: (Default)
More organization. After careful study and consideration, it has come to my attention that I need an iPod or other MP3 player. This announcement brought to you by a dining room table covered in cassette tapes and CDs. Gareth has most, if not all, of the music on these objects in digital form. I am the only one in the house who has no way to play digital tunes. This needs to change. The only problem is that I really don't want to ditch some of my taped stuff. Thankfully, yet again, Think Geek has got my back: USB tape player converts cassettes to MP3s

Also spent time with friends. Hooray for hanging out with friends! Had a lovely time with [livejournal.com profile] berkie, [livejournal.com profile] cartoon_goblin, [livejournal.com profile] matt_the_brit, [livejournal.com profile] sherwood21 and the LJ-less Kemme clan over the weekend. The only downside was trying to attend the "Taste of Lawrence" festival before fireworks on the actual 4th. The food was good, the company was great, the temperature was decent, but the humidity was devastating. Ended the evening with a few drinks and returning home to collapse from heat.

I did discover that the new digs are close enough to our downtown area that I can watch the city fireworks from home, so that was nice. If we're in town for it next year, I may suggest an evening cook out and viewing from our roof.
lhskarka: (Default)
I need to be better about taking pictures at cons. I have a cell phone with a camera, AND a digital camera, and yet...no photos.

This was my first time attending Origins, but my second time attending a con in Columbus in the last 12 months. Overall, I rather liked it as a convention. If I were looking to go strictly for fun, I'd probably even prefer it to GenCon. Origins seems like a large-size regional con, and strikes a nicely managable middle-ground between hotel cons which can be too small to keep me entertained, and GenCon which is now so huge as to be overwhelming. (You can't even really "do GenCon" anymore. It's simply too large for any one person to see everything, or get to do half the things you might be interested in.) From a vendor perspective however, I'm not certain that Origins is as neccessary as it used to be for exposure, unless you really want to cover the Ohio market.

Highlights include:

Spending time with the Brits who head up and write for Cubicle 7, as they are lovely people and we see them far less often than I'd like. Damned Atlantic ocean!

Being introduced to "Rastamouse". Totally not kidding. It's a British kids show featuring a crime fighting Rastafarian mouse and the Easy Crew. (In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, yes, there has been some controversy over racism over it.) I just think it's a damned cute show. Plans are in the works to make Jamaican meat pies and drink dark&stormys and Red Stripe while watching a Rastamouse marathon. "Makin' a Bad Ting Good!"

Coming home with a shiny new copy of "Die Profundis" 2nd edition.

Playing Battletech in the Icarus! Some Battle-techie used his internet-fu for logos and names, and came up with the art we used in our old Firefly campaign for one of their pods.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic


Lowlights:

Not getting to play Mouseguard. All the sessions were sold out. Alas!

Spotting old-school wooden chess sets and vinyl roll-up boards at the Chessex booth, getting excited, and then forgetting to buy one! Ack!

The virus/ear-infection/whatever-it-is that I picked up on the plane on the way there. It's now a week later, I'm home, I'm on antibiotics, and my ears & throat STILL HURT. Boo.

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