A very late update

I hadn't realized just how long it's been since I posted anything here. Life has been busy but also not. I've been to London for the Sherlocked con, where I ran into a friend from Spokane and met one of my favorite fanfic writers in that fandom. I had a poetry reading last week. I've been busy with Italian language classes. I visited Croatia for a week to see one of my Canadian friends and spent the time on a little island off Dubrovnik.

My trip to London is here, and I also met Rupert Graves at the con (long enough to get an autograph and a couple of photos), which was cool. There was good food, there were some lovely fannish conversations, and there was a filming locations tour that was wonderful but exhausting.

For my trip to Croatia, you can read about that here, and both posts have lots of photos. The Croatia post also has a new poem I wrote while I was there on the island of Mljet. I was also interviewed, to a certain extent, for the Pagan History Project while there, though mostly it has left me making pages of notes about who I know, from where, and when, in little clusters on several notebook pages. We filmed a little bit of it on my camera and I have to send the files to Slippery Elm to see if he thinks he really wants to send them on to the project.

A couple of days ago, I read some of my poetry at the American Corner, which was also translated into Italian by one of my local friends. Twenty or so people showed up, which was surprising but very lovely. Anna, the translator, read the Italian and I read in English.

My Italian course at the library is over for the summer. Classes will resume in September, twice a week. I've learned a fair bit, though I'm still not that great. A month or so ago, I managed to lock myself out of my apartment in the middle of the night, while my brother was out of town - I was walking the dog and forgot my keys. I got myself help and back into my apartment using only my limited Italian, so that was a win on all fronts. I will admit I feel slightly more confident with the language since I've managed to handle a minor emergency with it.

I'm hoping to go to Klagenfurt, Austria for a few days this month, but I'm also trying to save up some money to get to Salt Lake City, UT in October. I was invited to go speak on a panel on Reconstructionist Pagan religions at the Parliament of World Religions, and have to figure out a way to get there. I've already got my membership at the conference, it's the travel and the lodging, as always, that are going to be expensive. Sadly, I'm not likely to be able to afford a visit anywhere else, and will just be in Utah for the conference. I do really wish I could see everyone, but that's not going to happen.

I got asked to look at the manuscript of a Pagan book I was interviewed for about twenty years ago. That was very strange. I'm okay with what I said back then. I don't really disagree with any of what I said at the time, but it was definitely a blast from the past. I also have a book from a blog on Italy to review for when it appears - the woman who wrote it was really wonderfully helpful to me when I was working on getting here, so I'm delighted to be able to help her out, as well.

I may have visitors in July, though I'm not certain yet. Ideas have been floated about and I've said yes, please come, but we have yet to work out details for either of the visits. I don't think I'm going to be able to get to Prague again to visit with tdancinghands before she heads back to the US, though, which makes me sad.

All in all, I've just been quite busy and then buried in virtual worlds when I'm not, so I have been neglecting a lot of things quite sorely. My brother is still staying with me, though he's going to be going to school to learn to make pizza next weekend. He's really excited about that, and has been wanting to do it since he got here in the 80s. There is apparently an appalling shortage of pizza makers in Italy and the job market for them is pretty good, so he's feeling cautiously optimistic. The school also has a job placement service, so they may be able to help set him up with something shortly after he finishes the course.

Today is gorgeous and sunny, and it's a national holiday - Festa della Reppublica - so nothing much is open today. It's in the mid-70s and just wonderful outside. (And here I am, inside, writing to you all!)

I do think of you folks often, even if I'm not saying much here. Fear not, I'm not actually saying that much on Facebook either, so it's not like I have deserted you for that particular evil empire. I've just kind of vanished into my own world for the moment. I hope everyone is doing well, or at least that you are getting on more or less okay.
2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship
September 5, 2014
5:00 pm
2014_Le_Guin_Fellowship_flyerDeadline

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, Robert D. Clark Honors College, and University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA).

Purpose: The intention of the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship is to encourage research within collections in the area of feminist science fiction. The UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) houses the papers of authors Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Kate Wilhelm, Suzette Haden Elgin, Sally Miller Gearhart, Kate Elliot, Molly Gloss, Laurie Marks, and Jessica Salmonson, along with Damon Knight. SCUA is also in the process of acquiring the papers of James Tiptree, Jr. and other key feminist science fiction authors. For more about these collections, visit http://library.uoregon.edu/node/3524.

Fellowship description: This award supports travel for the purpose of research on, and work with, the papers of feminist science fiction authors housed in SCUA. These short-term research fellowships are open to undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, college and university faculty at every rank, and independent scholars working in feminist science fiction. In 2014, $3,000 will be awarded to conduct research within these collections. The fellowship selection committee will include representatives from the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS), Robert D. Clark Honors College (CHC), and SCUA.

Fellows will:

Complete their research at the University of Oregon within a year of award notification;
Submit a 1,000-word (maximum) essay on their research topic to CSWS for possible inclusion in publications;
Meet with representatives from CSWS, CHC, and SCUA during their visit to Eugene;
Submit a separate paragraph to CSWS documenting the specific collections consulted during the fellowship;
Submit a copy of their final project or publication to CSWS;
Acknowledge the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship and its sponsors (CSWS, CHC, and SCUA) in all publications resulting from the research fellowship.

Applicants must submit by September 5, 2014:

A 1,000-word (maximum) proposal that describes the project for which these collections will be consulted, as well as the role that the applicant expects these collections will play in the project;
An anticipated budget for the research visit;
A two-page curriculum vitae or resume;
Full contact information;
Two letters of recommendation.

Applications (as PDF attachments) and questions should be emailed to Peggy McConnell, CSWS Accountant (peggym@uoregon.edu).

And a call for papers

CALL FOR PAPERS
SIXTH ANNIVERSARY SESSIONS OF
THE SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND LEGEND AREA
Online at NEPCA Fantastic: http://sf-fantasy-legend.blogspot.com/
2014 Conference of The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA)
Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island
Friday 24 October and Saturday 25 October 2014
Proposals by 1 June 2014

Formed in 2009, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area celebrates its sixth anniversary in 2014, and we seek proposals from scholars of all levels for papers that explore any aspect of the intermedia traditions of the fantastic (including, but not limited to, elements of science fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, gothic, horror, legends, and mythology) and how creative artists have altered our preconceptions of these subtraditions by producing, in diverse countries and time periods and for audiences at all levels, innovative works.
Special topics:
• Given the conference location in Rhode Island, we would also be very much interested in organizing at least one session on H. P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos.
• Given the proximity to Halloween, we are especially interested in proposal related to monsters and the monstrous, either in connection with Lovecraft or not.
Please see our website NEPCA Fantastic (http://sf-fantasy-legend.blogspot.com/) for further details and ideas. Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length (depending on final panel size).
If you are interested in proposing a paper or panel of papers, please send please send the NEPCA Paper Proposal Form (download from http://nepca.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/nepca-paper-proposal-form1-1.pdf) along with an abstract of approximately 250 to 400 words and a one to two page CV to both the Program Chair AND to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Chair at the following addresses (please note "NEPCA Fantastic Proposal 2014" in your subject line):

Bob Hackey
Program Chair
RHackey@providence.edu
Michael A. Torregrossa
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend Area Chair
Popular.Culture.and.the.Middle.Ages@gmail.com

The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA) is a regional affiliate of the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association. NEPCA is an association of scholars in New England and New York, organized in 1974 at the University of Rhode Island. We reorganized and incorporated in Boston in 1992. The purpose of this professional association is to encourage and assist research, publication, and teaching on popular culture and culture studies topics by scholars in the northeast region of the United States. By bringing together scholars from various disciplines, both academic and non-academic people, we foster interdisciplinary research and learning. We publish a newsletter twice per year and we hold an annual conference at which we present both the Peter C. Rollins Book Award and an annual prize.
Membership in NEPCA is required for participation. Annual dues are currently $30 for full-time faculty and $15 to all other individuals. Further details are available at http://nepca.wordpress.com/membership-information/.

Dinner out

I went out to Emory's with aion131 and his wife last night. We had a really lovely time and they talked a lot about their experiences living overseas. I was very encouraged by their thoughts on the subject. They told me that I was doing well with the whole thing and seemed to be entirely on top of the project. They said I was making great progress and that I was, in fact, pretty well ahead of the game at this point of the process.

Today I've been sorting through more stuff. I've emptied out everything in the guest bathroom except the soap dish and a towel. I hauled a bunch of stuff out to the garage for the sale, including a garbage bag full of plastic food storage containers. More will be going out as I do more sorting and collating.

In looking at all this, I'm realizing just how close to finished with the condo end of things I really am. Everything I have left to do here consists of details rather than large projects.

I have 19 days before I get on the plane. Seven days before the moving sale.

And now I'm going to go watch the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special with some fandom friends in Livestream.

Deciding what to do with stuff and things

mael_brigde left earlyish today for Vancouver. I had some food and sorted through the other boxes we'd brought back, sorting things into different piles. I packed another box to mail to my brother, put aside some things to carry with me on the plane, and packed one box with a gift for a friend in California. Another box got packed for storage again, along with some miscellaneous other things that will also go into storage but don't make up a whole box.

Aside from that, I wrote a tiny bit on a fic I'd been working on with a friend a couple of months ago. She'd fallen out of writing for a bit but had put in a new section yesterday, so I took a little time to confer with her and write my own next section. We've set up a little more of the plot for the rest of the story and will work on it as we have time.

I also wrote a new post for my Italy blog. This one is about my appointment at the consulate and getting my visa. It's rather lengthy because I go into some detail about what I actually had to put together for the application.

The emptiness of the condo and the chaos around the edges with further sorting and boxing is pretty depressing. I did some more Italian lessons online. I've started the process of uploading my music to the iTunes cloud to try to prevent the scare I had yesterday where I thought I might have lost all my music and had to re-import everything from my iPod, though I have so many songs that it's stuttered to a halt more than once. It's still moving, but very slowly. I'll need to leave the computer on overnight and probably just shut everything down except iTunes so that it can dedicate a little more power to actually transferring the data.

I had emailed the manufacturer of my external hard drive to ask if it could be used in Italy with an adapter or if it would need a current converter. Their response was a little odd but if I'm reading it correctly, all I need is the adapter for the plug, so I can save all my music on the external drive as well as in the iTunes library. Apparently sometimes Apple will delete your music if their contract with a particular artist or company changes or expires and they won't let you have the new version for free, so it's best to just keep it all elsewhere just in case anyway. So, balance between keeping my music easily available and accessible on the iPad and the phone, and keeping things on the external hard drive along with the backups in case Apple decides to be a dick.

Tomorrow I will probably spend time hauling some sorted things out to the garage. It was suggested that for things I don't want to spend too much time sorting through or dealing with, I should have a "free stuff" pile for the moving sale. I think that's a great idea, so I'll be doing a little sorting for that, as well.

If anyone would like to keep me company for this process, I would certainly appreciate it. I also need to be able to get down to the mailbox outlet to mail the two packages, as they're too big for me to take both of down them at once if I'm walking. One of the boxes has my Brigid statue in it and it's rather heavy, so it would be a pain to deal with on foot.

Suddenly empty

Today I sold both the couches and the table and chairs. The only furniture left to sit on are the two bar stools and my borrowed desk chair. Because I had to wait for people to come and buy things, mael_brigde and I got a later start than I quite wanted, but almost $400 was worth waiting.

I mailed out three boxes of my altar things and other items to my brother so that they'll be waiting for me when I arrive. I will probably have a few more to send out. The gal at the mailbox place says that they can make a box for me to mail out my desktop in when I'm ready to send it, so that's not a worry. I just have to bring the desktop along and we'll deal with it then. She said she'll try to make the garage sale on the 30th.

We headed down to Seattle and met varina8 for lunch at a Thai place on 15th, then headed over to the storage unit, where I re-deposted some sorted boxes and one with my large framed Sarasvati poster print, and brought four more boxes home to sort through. I've sorted two of the boxes down to one with the rest being kitchen stuff and things for sale or give-away, and two more to deal with tomorrow that mostly contain altar things and bone items which may have to be left here.

After sorting through those boxes, mael_brigde took me over to the AFK. Trivia night was tonight and, though we didn't participate, some of the trivia questions triggered some great conversation about fandom, literary science fiction, steampunk, Star Trek's various iterations and the reboot movies, and other 60s shows like Man From UNCLE and Wild Wild West. I had such a lovely time.

She'll be leaving early tomorrow to head back north to Vancouver.

When I tried to play something for her from iTunes earlier today, the computer couldn't find it despite that I thought I'd moved everything over from the backup drive. I had to buy a copy of Senuti, but it neatly transferred everything from my iPod back onto my hard drive, so now all 10,000+ songs and whatnot are back where they belong. I'll arrange to have it all accessible from the cloud tomorrow so that I won't have this happen again regardless of what computer or other device I'm using and I shouldn't have a scare like that again.

I thought this place echoed before, but now it's immeasurably emptier and sounds so much more hollow. I really want this process to be finished.

Tomorrow, I'll probably list my dresser on Craigslist.

Clearing space

The suitcase/rolling duffel bag I ordered arrived today. It's for my checked baggage, and I've stashed it in my bedroom. I also received some free priority mail boxes from the post office and have packed three of them with things to send to my brother. Some of it is ritual/altar stuff, there's a little box with some of the tea I want to send along, and I have another box that I can use when I get the rest of the boxes of ritual stuff back from storage to sort through. I'm probably going to have to take some measurements and go down to the mailbox place to see if I can get a box of the right size to send the desktop computer to my brother before I leave. If they don't have one, I'll see what FedEx has and then cover it with plain wrapping paper or something, so that I can send it priority mail through the USPS, as FedEx only delivers to street addresses.

I was able to clear everything off the table and most of the breakfast bar so that there will be room for people to set food and drinks and whatnot when they come over tomorrow. I don't know for sure who or how many people will be coming, but I'll do the last of the dirty dishes from dinner when I get up tomorrow so that it's all out of the sink. I may also make some scones. There will definitely be tea.

gra_is_stor and her sister came by for a little while this evening before her sister leaves town again tomorrow to return to California. We talked for a bit and they helped me shift things around and get stuff out of the way for tomorrow's party.

A few minutes ago I responded to an email from a gal I met on Tumblr who lives in Italy -- she's going to university in Pavia and will apparently be going to grad school in Trento next fall. She was happy to hear I'd be coming to the country and offered to help me out with things if I needed it. Fangirls unite!

For getting around in Italy, I bought the European map package for my GPS and downloaded it, swapping it out for the North American maps that were already loaded. They will be on the GPS website so that I can access them again if I need to for any reason. Pretty much anywhere that I might want to go in Europe is covered, according to the website -- all of western Europe, and a fair bit of central and eastern as well.

Sunday, mael_brigde should be arriving sometime in the afternoon. Much work is likely to be done on Monday, I'm guessing. Probably at least one run to the storage unit.

Exhausted but home

I had an utterly fantastic time at Sherlock Seattle this weekend. I got to hang out face to face with folks I hang out with online, to renew contact with people I met last year, and have some wonderful conversations, and meet new people, as well as seeing a truly terrible Sherlock Holmes movie be slaughtered MST3K style, attend some fun panels, and play a Sherlock Seattle version of Cards Against Humanity.

At the end of the weekend, a little before the end of the con, I went down to join my friends Bj and SJ for their 23rd anniversary and their renewal of vows complete with an actual legal marriage ceremony that has been over two decades in coming. I saw friends I hadn't seen in a long time, and caught up with everyone, sharing what's going on in my life for the moment.

I'm too tired, really, to say much else right now. I do want to thank stolen_tea for his kind hospitality in letting me stay at his place over the weekend. It was greatly appreciated, and a welcome, quiet shelter close enough to the con to walk.

Everyone was wonderful and I found myself getting all sniffly, knowing that I'm not sure when I'll see anyone again. I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a little bit of a panic realizing that the day after tomorrow I'm getting on a plane to go to San Francisco - on Wednesday I'm turning in my visa application, and it is suddenly so very real. All this time, it has been an abstract, and has felt so far in the future, but now that moment is only a couple of days away. It's exciting and terrifying and I have no idea what will happen, but I'm going to be seeing more fantastic people while I'm down in California and will be able to say my goodbyes to them, as well.

Wish me luck.

At the con

It's been a pretty good day at the con. I've seen and talked to quite a few people that I've wanted to see, been to some good panels, and saw a hilarious new play about Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes that premiered at the con. Right now I'm at stolen_tea's place getting ready to curl up in bed. I had taken all the spare copies of my books down to Edge today and Robert bought them from me, so I'll be depositing some funds tomorrow on my way back to the con.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's programming, and on Sunday, at the last minute and at great expense, Bjoern and SJ are having what I believe is their 25th anniversary and getting legally married now that they can. They had planned on emailing the invites three weeks ago, but apparently there were some health issues so the email only went out this morning. I'm negotiating with gra_is_stor to see if she can come down to get me and we can go to the party on late Sunday afternoon, as I really need to RSVP as soon as I'm able. I'll have to call her tomorrow to check in with her again.

More later!

Feeling cranky

It was probably a good thing I stayed home today, as I have been feeling pretty creaky and achy. I do have my ride for tomorrow but haven't heard back from stolen_tea yet about the key to his place. I'll text him tomorrow when I get up and get ready to go to see what he wants to do about that. I'm sure there won't be any problem once I get down to Seattle.

Since I'm going to be there an hour or so before doors open, I may just go down to the courthouse and pick up a certified copy of my name change document before the con starts so that I can get the papers out to Rhode Island on Monday, rather than waiting until I get home from California. Better to get things out of the way early, really. I need to remember to get everything I'm taking with me all together before I go to bed so I won't have to worry about it too much tomorrow when Lyra comes by.

I did research today on voting while living overseas, and some of what I need to do when I arrive in Italy. I know my brother knows a fair bit about it, but I think I have to check in or at least register online with the US consulate in Milan as being resident in Italy when I get there, as well as dealing with the Italian state bureaucracy. There are a variety of other things that I'll have to deal with but all of that is really just pretty overwhelming for me to consider right now, and I can deal with the vast majority of it after I get there.

I need to remember to text gra_is_stor tomorrow about checking in with the DoDC+3 for the weekend. I did laundry today and walked down to the Safeway for a couple of things because my half and half went off yesterday and I was creamless for my tea this morning and yesterday.

And now, coping with stuff before I go to bed. Ow. My parts hurt.

Things and stuff

I got email back today from Rhode Island about correcting my birth certificate, and it will be pretty easy to do, and to have them add the apostille that will authorize its use for identification purposes overseas. Aside from postage (I'm going to expedite and that will cost for express mail), it will cost me less than $40 and I can get both things done at once. I spoke with my brother tonight and he said that yes, I was likely to need a copy and he'd been planning on sending me an email about it sometime in the next couple of days, so this was a good call on my part. I'll have to go down to Seattle next week after I get home from California to get a certified copy of my name change document from the county courthouse, but that's easy enough, and a quick stop at the court clerk's office. I have a copy myself but will need another from the court so I still have a copy of my own.

I couldn't arrange a ride for group tomorrow, so I called in and I'll be staying home. I'm pretty tired and am going to try to sleep in tomorrow, but we'll see how that goes.

After shrinkage today (which went well), I got dropped off on the hill and met up with varina8 for a few hours. We had dinner at the Odd Fellows, then walked down to Dilettante for tea and dessert. We talked a lot about what's going on with us, and international travel, and Italy and Slovenia, and language, and it was really wonderful. She says if I make it to Italy, she will definitely come to visit me - her family is from Slovenia and she has been there several times, and through that area of northern Italy as well. I really enjoyed my evening. When we were done, I walked over to Edge, where I caught gra_is_stor and Patrick, and we went to Sol's place so she could catch a little food before we headed back home.

When I got home, I booked us a room for Steamcon for Saturday night. We had talked in the car on the way down to Seattle about costs and other issues, and agreed that we could day trip on Friday then head over again on Saturday and stay overnight and until the end of the con on Sunday. Given that rooms are just under $120 a night and we couldn't find someone to split a room with, we couldn't afford two nights, but we are both okay with that. I told her it was up to her as to when we would go and how long we would stay on Friday, and what time to leave for the con again on Saturday, given that she's driving. She wanted to check the schedule and see what the music was like for each night, and what else she wanted to see, and we'd make a decision closer to the weekend.

After I talked with my brother, I spent a little time on Skype with random_nexus venting about a few fandom frustrations, then we talked about the fic she's working on so that she could brainstorm for the next chapter. We've got the overall outline, but we deal with each individual chapter as it comes up so that we refine and detail things. It was good to have some things to think about and keep my mind occupied.

I asked my brother if we could go see the new Hobbit movie when I got to Italy. He said he wants to see it as much as I do. If we have to wait for the base to get it, we might need to wait until January, but sometimes the cinema in Pordenone shows English language movies in English, so it's possible we might be able to see it earlier.

The government shutdown is affecting his reserve contract, so he's not sure if he will be getting out on November 1st as planned, or the middle of November, but he is pretty sure he'll be done for this contract cycle by the time I get there. Nobody at the base thinks the shutdown will last past maybe the 17th of this month; historically they don't usually last very long. The Italian government is having its own crisis right now about Berlusconi, but I was well aware of that, and they have governmental collapses often enough that they don't really affect the day to day running of the country, from what I understand. Their coalition government apparently has survived his grandstanding and there will be actual attempts at improvement, where he essentially tried to scupper everything, and his own party tossed him on his ass. The NYT notes:

Mr. Berlusconi’s attempt to bring down the government was intended to resuscitate his endangered political career as he faces a pending prison sentence, analysts say. Instead, it fractured his center-right movement in Italy, which was threatened with a wave of defections. Standing in the Senate, Mr. Berlusconi, 77, was forced to reverse himself and pledge his party’s support for the same government that he had failed to topple.

Political instability is considered one of Italy’s most endemic bugaboos, commonly blamed for the country’s inability to undertake difficult but critical economic and electoral changes. European officials are especially worried about instability in Italy, one of the largest and most important economies in the euro zone, and fretted that new elections might unleash populist anger and threaten the tentative recovery under way on the Continent.

Now the question is whether Italy’s newly validated government can approve sweeping changes to a flawed electoral system that seems designed to produce splintered results. The government was formed five months ago after inconclusive results in national elections; it is an awkward, midwifed partnership between Italy’s competing center-left and center-right parties.


With any luck this will mean there won't be any problems or delays with the consulate and the issuing of visas.

In which very little gets done

gra_is_stor got home this afternoon. I went over to help her unload the car and return her mailbox key. Mostly I really didn't do much of anything. I went with my steampunk friends for some food, and it looks like we are going to shoot for a weekday between Oct 11th and 16th for when they will come over to help with moving my things into storage. I got confirmation of my ride for Friday for the Sherlock Seattle con and am waiting to hear back about plans for key transfer for the place I'll be staying for the weekend. We'll be heading down for Seattle about noon, so I need to be packed and ready by then.

Tomorrow, shrinkage.

Now, tired. I am going to attempt sleepage.

Why I'm not talking that much about Italy

I've certainly been posting about the paperwork process, and about some of my anxieties, but I haven't posted really anything at all about what I'd like to do there, where I'd like to go, what I'd like to see. I'll admit that some of this is superstitious uneasiness. I fear sometimes that if I speak too much of something I'd like, it won't happen, or that it will somehow be taken from me. Things like that have happened before. I worry that what I say here will remain as only a damaged hope that never happened. In some ways, I consider this near-silence and all of my reminders to people that this might not come through to be that magical axiom "to keep silent" and to preserve the heart of the magic in progress.

The best things of my life have, generally speaking, been happening in about the last ten years. It's not that nothing good ever happened to me before that, but the general patterns were painful and depressing and every time I look back at it I can only thing how miraculous it has been that I survived it all. Most of my life, in that perspective, has been difficult and has seen so many things dangled in front of me that never happened, or good things spoiled, or just plain awful. It's hard to trust, even with the mantra of "it's all good," that things will actually work out for me. It has been getting a little easier, absolutely. I have incredibly wonderful friends who have been here for me through so much of it, and who have always encouraged me, and that has been an immense part of how I have managed to get through everything that has happened over the course of my life.

Yet I still can't quite manage to put the extent of my hope into words to share with others. I guard my hopes and my dreams privately for things like this, likely in part because I don't want to have others see them destroyed.

There are things that I want, things that I would love to see happen. And yes, even if they don't my life will be good and I will be happy, but there's something fragile in the core of me still that doesn't want to speak these wishes into the world only to see them snuffed out. And so I maintain most of these dreams and wishes in silence. I hold them close to my chest and try to nurture them, knowing that it is entirely possible they will happen, but that there is also a chance that nothing at all will come of them. There are moments when I wish I were braver, that I could declaim these desires to anyone who might care to listen. And in this, I can see why some of my friends say that it can be difficult to really get to know me - because some things that mean the most, I can hardly admit to myself, much less voice to another person.

As the date of my consulate appointment comes closer, I'm thinking more about these things. I feel anxiety building as it always does before I have to do something important. I fret in the space surrounding these important moments. I worry that I haven't done enough, or that I have done too much, and this applies to so many things and not just my current situation. It's under far better control than it used to be, but it claws at me still.

Today I went down to pick up the papers I'd left for faxing on Friday, and made photocopies of the visa application packet, as the consulate wants originals and a copy of everything. The place also had packets of neon orange fragile stickers for boxes, so I picked up several packages of those for the things that I may need to ship. The more notice there is about the fragility of their contents, the more likely it will be that somebody might actually pay attention. Unless they decide that breaking fragile shit is fun and just toss things around anyway. In that case, nothing is going to be very helpful.

Anyway, tomorrow is the monthly steampunk social. It looks like it'll be at McMenamin's down the road. gra_is_stor should also be arriving home by tomorrow evening sometime. Wednesday is shrinkage, Thursday is group, and Friday through Sunday is Sherlock Seattle. Next week, I fly to San Francisco.

A better, if more restless, day

Thankfully, there was no migraine today. The weather has been windy and raining and, as so often at this time of year, there are wind and flood advisories.

Now that the visa paperwork is done and I am waiting to hear back from my lender about the condo sale, I feel rather at loose ends. I was restless today and did a little around the house, along with making a salal and huckleberry cobbler. I spent quite some time on my Italian, reminding myself of just how bad I am at it so far.

gra_is_stor's kittehz are fed and all that. I wasn't eager to go out into the weather, but that is how it goes. Can't let furry critters starve or have a nasty litter box.

Part of my brain was thinking about poetry today but I couldn't get it kickstarted enough to actually put pen to paper. I did read a fair bit of a book on Venice today, and I'm nearly finished with it. Next is a book on Trieste by the same author. I did do some cheerleading for a friend who is writing a fic, so that felt pretty good.

The netbook was finally sold today. The guy who came for it had one just like mine, but the power jack for the cord on his old one had died and he wanted another. Mine, of course, was in very good condition, so he was pleased with what he got and said I was asking a reasonable price for it. Yay for one more thing out of my hair.

Tomorrow I'll go pick up some papers I left at the mail outlet for faxing, and photocopy my visa application packet. Tuesday gra_is_stor and ingvisson are supposed to be home from San Francisco. I need to try to pack up more things, even though a lot of the stuff that's still unpacked is stuff I'm actually using. These last things are the hardest stuff. I don't want to leave it all for the last minute, and I don't really want to leave the place entirely bare of personality and decoration, and it's a hard boundary to walk in deciding what I want to store and what I want to keep out and have to deal with later, when things are down to the wire.

After I get back from my visa appointment, I need to see if I can round up some friends for a large run of boxes and stuff down to the storage unit in Seattle. I don't want to worry about it just yet, as I have Sherlock Seattle coming up, and two appointments at the VA this week. I do need to email both the person whose place I'm staying at and the gal who is giving me a ride to and from the con and coordinate things like picking up the key to the apartment. That, though, I can contemplate tomorrow.

For now, curling up with a book. I want to see if I can finish this one tonight.

Friends and migraines

I've been sort of migrainey most of the day, though that didn't stop me from enjoying visits today. I was expecting man_of_snows and his husband, who came by mid-afternoon for some late lunch at Emory's and tea here afterwards. We talked for a couple of hours, I think, before the headache got to be too much and they took off for parts north.

I went to lie down and got an unexpected call from alfrecht, who had been at Concentric Circles today out in Redmond and wanted to stop by on the way back to Anacortes. T was driving and came along; we went over to the pizza place next door so they could grab some food, and I grabbed a little bit of dinner myself.

When we got back from dinner, I asked if alfrecht had heard about Welcome to Night Vale. Upon receiving an answer to the negative, I decided that they required this knowledge and so played the first episode for them. There was great amusement. I showed them the passport photos I got the other day. T's opinion was that I looked like the sort of person who wrote romance novels. I suppose that's not too bad if one is attempting to lull bureaucrats into complacency. I can't remember the exact word she used to describe the look, but I was pretty amused.

After they departed, I caught up with email and such, and talked with some other friends online for a while. I just got home from gra_is_stor's, where I was feeding her kittehz. It's probably time for me to try getting some sleep. When I laid down this afternoon, the DoDC+3 insisted on being all tucked up against my chest. I don't usually take naps, so he knew I wasn't feeling well. It was nice to have a little furry heater right there, as I had been feeling a bit chilly. I might be coming down with a cold, as I've been sneezing a bit today. I hope it doesn't get to that point, though. I really don't need that right now.

I'm debating whether I want to use one of my tylenol with codeine before I try to sleep tonight. I might be able to do without it; I am feeling a bit better than I was earlier today.

A place for the con, yay!

Thanks to the wonderful and awesome stolen_tea and his roommate, I have now got a place to stay on the hill within walking distance of the con! I really appreciate it, and thank you both for your willingness to give me a little space and make my life a bit easier!

Irish class went pretty well for me today, which was a pleasant change from how things have been lately, what with the exhaustion and my inability to focus much. I spent a fair bit of the day considering more stuff for the visa application and thinking about what to say in my letter to my brother. Beyond that, I didn't do much. It was nice to have a day where I wasn't really doing anything physical, or too emotionally draining. I'm thinking my next project for thinning things out will be going through the glassware in my cabinets - I have about a bazillion vases and really only use a couple of them regularly, so I need to sort them and put the ones I'm not keeping out in the garage for sale or some other method of disposal.

Dealing with the kitchen cabinets is going to be a bit of a challenge. It's not that there are a lot of them, but deciding what I need to keep and what to get rid of is going to be a bit of a challenge. Some things I've used a lot, but not very recently. I'm not entirely certain if I should get rid of them or not, though I will probably err more toward the "get rid of" end of the equation. If I'm in a studio or a small one bedroom in Capitol Hill, I'm unlikely to be inviting ten people over and making a whole turkey dinner again anytime soon. That narrows down the amount of stuff I actually need to keep.

Then there's the "yes, I'm keeping these, but should I pack them or should I leave them out because I might need them again before I have to move?" issue. You wouldn't think sorting through kitchenware would be such a complicated issue.

Anyway, exhaustion. It is eating my brain. As are the insomnigrackles. I need to slay a few and try to get some sleep.

In which things are not quite as they seem

The contractor arrived this morning right about 9am, when he was supposed to. There is a big hole in the bathroom ceiling, all plastic tarped over so that the room is usable. Contrary to what the initial guy from their company had said, the leak upstairs is current and not good. The insulation in the ceiling was soaked, not "bone dry" as previously reported. I can only conclude that the probe the guy was using was not working at all for some reason. At any rate, yes, they are definitely going to fix it, but they have to also go in to the place above me and fix the leak in the bathtub in that unit that has been causing this damage. The contractor will be back again next Saturday, but might also have time earlier this coming week to come in and work on it. He said he would keep me posted if he was able to come earlier. The project should be done by the end of next Saturday if all goes according to plan.

I'm not entirely certain everything will go according to plan but, regardless, I don't have to pay for the repairs so I'm okay with the situation. The contractor will probably tell me more next time I talk to him.

Today I sold the cargo bike! A couple came up from Seattle and had a look, reinflated the tires for a test-ride around the parking lot, and declared it a good enough deal that they didn't even try to haggle on the price. Finally, success! I knew I was pricing it reasonably and that it was only a matter of finding the right buyer. Apparently somebody down in the Seattle area is selling something similar for $900, so they saved several hundred by driving up to Everett and buying from me.

Through the suggestion of an online thread, I found a link for a form for what appears to be the invitation letter my brother needs to send. It looks like a thing that will have to be filled out when I actually have an appointment with the consulate, as it has an expected arrival date blank to fill out. It also apparently declares that he would be responsible for me for time eternal or something like that, if it's accepted. He knows I wouldn't be a financial burden on him because I have enough to take care of myself quite well over there, so with any luck he won't have any issues with the document.

I am beginning to wonder if the possibility of getting my brother over here to go to the consulate with me for my appointment (when it happens) might be a good idea, as several people noted that the consular employees tend to be more inclined to talk to "the man of the family," if you will. I don't have a male traveling with me, obviously, but if my brother is going to invite/sponsor me over there, then perhaps having him at the appointment with me, as well as his paperwork, might be useful. It certainly couldn't hurt that he would be able to talk with them in Italian and he'd have a better understanding of the generalities of the system than I do. Anyway, I sent him the link for the form and asked him to check in with his friend at the town hall to see what comments she had about it and what to say on it if this is indeed the proper form. I'll email him later and ask him about the possibility of coming over for a couple of weeks while we get that worked out, once I'm ready and have an appointment.

Another box got packed and hauled out to the garage today. I sorted through the box of photos and photo albums and reduced the volume considerably, getting rid of duplicates, blurry photos, over/underexposures, extraneous pics that no longer have meaning, and the like. I think I cut the volume of actual photographs down by more than half, which was a very good thing. The actual process was a bit emotionally rough, as going through the photos dredged up a lot of memories, some of which were not the best.

A note to my friends on Capitol Hill - the Sherlock Seattle con is coming up the weekend of October 4-6, to be held at the Broadway Performance Hall at SCCC. Is there any chance one of you might be willing to let me crash at your place on a couch or something the nights of the 4th and 5th so that I can walk to the con and not have to cadge a ride down and back every day? I'd be happy to buy you dinner or something in return. I'm quiet and pretty self-contained, and I'll be at the con probably until late-ish in the evening, so I wouldn't be cutting into your personal space all that much, I hope. Even if all you have is floorspace, I can bring my backpacking air mattress (tiny but really effective) and a sleeping bag to sleep on for two nights. Anyway, if you're willing, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

In which more piles are shuffled

I spent a fair bit of the day today too dizzy to sit up too much, but got things done anyway. I walked down to the mail outlet and posted the next-to-last box from all the folks who have bought books from me. I'm still waiting to hear back from Geordie, because he wants stuff shipped to Canada and it's going to cost damned near as much as the books did to ship it. I may just have to hang onto it until he gets back from Spain and comes to visit.

Yesterday was Irish class, and some further book shuffling, and I packed three more boxes of poetry books. I've got another shelf of poetry to go and then I start on the poetics and writing shelves. Today I put all the cds in boxes and stacked them, then cleared all the books off most of the surfaces here in the living room, stacking them on the floor in somewhat more orderly piles. I've got a few more piles to go but needed a break.

I wrote a couple of thousand words yesterday in my fic but nothing today because it was a little much for me, though I did a bunch of work on my Italian, both online and some basic grammar exercises.

Due to a bank thing (it worked out in my favor) I spent half an hour or so on hold and talking to people at BECU. All is well, but it was a bit of a surprise. I cancelled the dvd portion of my Netflix account and am sending the last dvd back to them. I just haven't had time to watch it and I don't want anything to get lost while I'm in the middle of all this; I sometimes watch things streaming, even if they don't have everything available at the moment. That bit is a little frustrating.

The contractor called about the water damage in the guest bathroom, and they are sending somebody out at 2pm on Friday to have a look and make an estimate for the condo association. I still have heard nothing back from the realtors (if nothing by Wednesday I'm doing a web search on people who specialize in short sales and getting someone on board for real). I called Mary and will be trying to get my books down to her in West Seattle. gra_is_stor didn't have time today, won't tomorrow, and Wednesday through Friday are going to be busy for me. It's looking like I won't get this stuff out of here until next week sometime. ingvisson has still been driving Sol's car, and that broke down, so he can't help with this.

After everything else, I ordered an Italian dictionary of the not-pocket variety so that I can actually read the entries a little better, and so that I'll have somewhat more vocabulary to work with as I'm learning. I spoke briefly to an old fandom friend and will be giving him a bunch of X-Files/LGM stuff that I don't want to just let go off into the aether; I do have to get rid of it for space purposes but I'll feel better having it go to a fellow fan. I may end up doing the same with all the SGA stuff I collected.

So anyway, lots of tiny things done. I know I'm making progress but it feels like I'm moving in geological time. Glaciers move faster. I remind myself that I'm fighting this huge physical issue on top of all the other crap I usually deal with, so I'm really doing pretty well. Still, I'm way too easily depressed of late because of how stressful things are, and having to depend on everyone else's schedules and situations in order to accomplish things.

Delayed by website malfunctions

Yesterday I tried to get online to update folks, but LJ was having trouble and I couldn't get in to read or to post. Thankfully, it appears to be fixed at the moment.

Yesterday was a dental visit to the VA. The minor pain I'd been having in one tooth turned out to be the grand canyon under one of my fillings. They had to remove the filling (which I expected) and the intern said they might need to do a root canal. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, but they did have to rebuild a huge chunk of the tooth. It's possible this filling may need to be replaced by a crown if there are any problems with it, but we shall see. I have a late June appointment for a cleaning and we can check things out again then.

Overall, still tired, still dizzy. I have an appointment at Otolaryngology tomorrow, and gra_is_stor will drive me there. I finished up a story and posted it, and it has been getting some nice comments, so I feel pretty good about that, at least.

One of the things that I've noticed is that some kinds of music (like the Hildegard concert) make the dizziness worse. It's by no means the only thing, nor the only kind of music, but it was very very noticeable while I was there in the cathedral. I get this effect at my desk while listening to the ipod sometimes, as well.

A little while ago I was trying to get into a jar of sauerkraut from a local company and it was the most impossible thing I think I've yet run into. The lid to the jar was plastic and I eventually ended up having to literally break the lid off the jar in order to get to the stuff inside. I went to the company's website and left a comment about it. I swear, my hands are going to be a mess for hours after this. It's hard enough getting into jars already - I don't need to have to use a fucking pickaxe to get into things. Anyway, the kraut is nice, but I can't go through that again. Just, no.

Yesterday, memberships for the Sherlock Seattle con went on sale, so I got mine.

Working on my life

Tickets to NYC were bought yesterday. I'll be flying in late on the 30th of May and leaving early on the 4th of June. I have a place to stay when I get there, and someone to go to the event with. I need to talk to a few of the other folks I know there and see about going to places I want to see. There's a bar there with a TARDIS, and I want to see the Cloisters and the NYPL while I am there. I figure that will probably be about all I can stuff into the few days I will be in the city and still preserve my energy and sanity.

Saturday gra_is_stor and I went down to Seattle for the Sherlock Seattle picnic. We had a great time; she hadn't been expecting much but got into some of the conversations folks were having. She figured it was going to be all fandom all the time, but this crowd isn't really like that. Yes, we love our fandom, but we also talk about all kinds of other things. After the picnic, we went to Mirch Masala for some pre-concert dinner, and talked with one of the gals from the picnic.

At the Medieval Women's Choir concert, we saw Brandy and Ted, and also Denny and Rebecca. The concert was glorious, all Hildegard music, with their soloist Marian Siebert, who is just incredible. After the concert a bunch of us went to Charlie's. I saw a text from thewronghands about tea and mochi. I was invited to come up with gra_is_stor, as things were still going, but it was late and the DoDC+3 was still in his crate, so we came back home.

Sunday I had a migraine and so I went to lie down in my room while the Irish class happened. I just didn't feel well enough to deal with it at all.

Wednesday I have a dental appointment and Friday I've got one at Otolaryngology at the VA, so that'll be one more step toward trying to figure out what's happening with me. Still dizzy, still not making any progress toward clearing that up at this point. It's exceedingly annoying. I'm getting a tiny bit of fic writing done, but that's about it.

I sent in an email about being a fic/writing panelist at the Sherlock Seattle con this fall. One of the local fans asked if I wanted to be on a panel she's doing and I said that sounded like fun, so we'll see what happens.

One of the things that I've noted is that sometimes certain qualities of sound cause the dizziness to be worse. The vocals at the concert, for example, were really triggering some dizziness for me. It sounded glorious, but it made my head spin. It was a fascinating sensation. I've noted that it also sometimes happens with certain types of music while I'm listening to my ipod at home. I don't know what that means but I'll be sure to mention it to the docs when I see them Thursday.

Getting out of the house

Once again sleep did not find me until it was already light out, but at least I spent the night working on the story I'm doing. I made some pretty good progress last night and will probably do some more writing tonight, crawling into bed with my laptop.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today, up in the 70s - it's still 54 here at the moment, which is about what it's been in the daytime of late. gra_is_stor came by and picked me up so we could go get groceries. I asked if she'd haul me to the mall so I could get some new jeans, as one of my pairs died a couple of weeks ago and the one I'm wearing now is about to give up the ghost as well.

Some of what I did ended up being standing waiting in one place for some time, which was more exhausting than I would have thought. The dizziness is still making things like that hard on me, and I was pretty fried when we got back to my place. She took her groceries home then came back over for a little bit to watch an episode of Raffles with me. Gods the innuendo in that show. I'm sure it wasn't directly intended but wow. Damned near inescapable and hilarious at the same time. Needless to say, I'm rather enjoying the whole thing.

Tomorrow (today really) is Irish class in the evening. Monday I have an audiology appointment. Saturday is the Sherlock Seattle picnic and the last of the season's Medieval Women's Choir concerts, presenting music by Hildegard of Bingen. Tuesday is the monthly steampunk social that most folks actually attend -- I don't know yet if I'll be going. It will depend on whether I can get a ride. I don't know if a place has been set for it or if it'll be at the AFK again. I'll have to check with folks and ask.

I'm still thinking a lot about what I need to do if things don't go well for me with the medical stuff. I'm spending too much time frustrated and depressed about it. That said, I'm doing my best to keep on doing what needs to be done; I'm staying as positive as I can, but contemplating any change like this is pretty overwhelming. I have plots and ideas, though. We'll see what happens.

Doing stuff despite the crap

Despite the fact that I'm continuing on with the dizziness and that it's remaining quite uncomfortable, I've been able to maintain at least a little bit of my social life. I got a ride out to one of the local steampunk social things, that being a small gathering for one of our folks who has been deployed for the last several months and was back for a few days before he's off again until December. Sadly, gra_is_stor wasn't able to go along, as she wasn't feeling well, but a ride was arranged nonetheless. Yesterday one of the local Mensa folks gave me a ride to the monthly gathering, which has moved up to Shoreline - there was a presentation on resources for figuring out the veracity of information on the internet. I knew about some of the available resources, but did learn a few things, so that was pretty good.

The Everett Irish lessons are happening on Sundays, and the venue has flaked out on us so they have been permanently moved to my place until further notice. Next week there won't be a class, as our two teachers (gra_is_stor and ingvisson) are going down to Portland for an immersion weekend.

Talked to my mom briefly today because she emailed about going to Atlanta and worrying about crossing the river before it floods. I was worried that it was a severe weather thing, but it's just that her husband is going to a ship's reunion that's happening there this coming week. No emergencies, yay! They should be leaving first thing in the morning. I'm guessing they're actually probably already on the road, given the time difference.

The dizziness is getting increasingly frustrating and depressing, but I am doing my best to just carry on. Thanks to everyone who has expressed support privately, or in other places on the web. You are greatly appreciated.

In other news, the Esoteric Book Conference is now selling memberships. The date is September 14-15 and I've ordered my membership. Sherlock Seattle has its dates (October 4-6 at the Broadway Performance Hall again) and will be selling memberships beginning early in May. These, at least, are some cool things to look forward to.

Crap days

Yesterday was a pretty crap day. I was really dizzy all day long and pretty down about the whole thing. I managed to beta a fic for a friend, but that was about all I could handle. I was doing slightly better today and managed to finish up the fic I was working on for an April fandom exchange, so that was pretty good at least.

I sent off email to Ian Corrigan with a backup CC to another ADF druid I know (in case Ian for some reason isn't getting my emails), letting them know that I've cancelled for Wellspring. I had kind of wanted to wait until I heard back from Ian about this before I made any public announcement, but it's been a few days since I sent my initial note and I've heard nothing. It's just time that I admitted trying to get out to Wellspring this year is an unrealistic hope. Nothing is really going to fix it before I'd have to go and I shouldn't push myself on this.

Thankfully, next Wednesday I have a visit with my shrink and can talk with her about this. That usually helps some.

I still feel like crap, generally speaking, but am trying to refrain from sinking into a morass of negativity beyond just cancelling the trip. That I can't focus enough to write nonfiction is problematic, but less important for the moment.

For those folks who were hoping to see me either at Wellspring or on my trip out and back this year, I'm sorry. I wish things were different but I have to be realistic about my situation. With any luck, maybe I can do this next year. I'm still holding out some hope for Eight Winds, later in the summer. Perhaps things will be more stable for my by then.

Making appointments

I called yesterday to the VA and made an appointment with audiology. They say the testing will take about two hours because it is dealing with dizziness and not hearing loss, which is a different set of tests. I think my usual doc believes I may have symptoms of Menieres Disease which is a problem with the inner ear. I have some but not all of the symptoms of this, so I am hoping if this is what it happens to be, it won't be severe enough to cause hearing loss. This said, a guess without testing is certainly not a diagnosis. Mom suggests that all those years of awful ear infections as a child might be contributory and she may well be right. I remember it being pretty agonizing and that it happened frequently.

My appointment is for the 15th, so it's not horribly long to wait. They do understand that I'm hoping to do a cross-country road trip in May and June so, with any luck, they can get this together without too much delay.

The dizziness continues but has eased up somewhat. Today and yesterday I wasn't dizzy all day, though I have had episodes. It's still not predictable enough for me to say I can drive, sadly. I'm considering dealing with at least some of my grocery shopping this month online, as several places do deliver, and I won't have to worry about carrying bulky items when my balance is precarious.

While I haven't been able to focus well enough for nonfiction, I've been trying to keep myself occupied with some fic writing, which at least keeps me from fretting too much. I wish I was more together.

FaerieCon and a little catching up

Mostly a little catching up because I've been so bloody exhausted what with all the traveling and stuff.

We did get down to the con again yesterday, and one of gra_is_stor's friends, who was one of the featured musicians, got us into last night's acoustic concert. It was lovely and low key and I enjoyed it a lot despite being pretty well doomed to feeling like week-dead flounder. We went to mythworker's panel with Thorn Coyle and the Grimassis and I took a photo on Thorn's tablet that Jason ended up using on The Wild Hunt today, which was quite amusing, as everyone was doing the hand on the chin looking dramatic thing that Jason does.

The concert was Faun, a German Pagan folk group, and members of Woodland and Treguenda, all of which I enjoyed immensely, though I will admit I was more enamored of Faun's global folk style. I already had one of Faun's cds but was immediately convinced that I have to get everything else they've ever done...

PCon the week before was immense and overwhelming, in its usual way. I got good turnout and good responses to pretty much everything I participated in. The Immanion panel was only attended by maybe ten people, so it was the least successful of all the things I did, but it wasn't really my show, so I wasn't too worried about it. Having hauled a whole suitcase of books down with me to PCon, I returned with only two, and sold one of those at FaerieCon yesterday, as Thorn Coyle had introduced me to Raven and Stephanie Grimassi as being a good resource person. They are apparently working on some kind of "Celtic" tarot or divination deck, but they don't know much of anything about Celtic anything. I told them I'd written a kick ass ogam book and they were interested in having a look so I brought one along and they bought it from me.

The Irish healing deities session was well-received and well-attended. My joint session with druid_medb on spirit work and trauma was well-attended for an 11pm session. We filled most of one half of a double room, which was really good not just for the hour but for the heavy subject material. We had at least three mental health professionals in attendance, and several folks who are dealing with different aspects of the material we were addressing. We got a number of requests to bring the session back again next year, at a more reasonable hour for people from the east coast and for folks who are not late-nighters, so we'll look into having the session at 7pm one one of the days if that's possible.

Among the discussions I had with people at the con, I talked to Chris Penczak about my trip east. During the conversation I inquired about maybe teaching a session on ogam for his people in New Hampshire. He said he'd run it by his board of directors but he thought it sounded like a really good idea, so we'll see if I can get a little extra infusion of some cash while I'm out there to help with gas for the rest of the cross-country adventure. I'll email him in March to just keep the idea in front of him, knowing I'm unlikely to get any firm response until I can pinpoint a date I'll be in Massachusetts.

My next priority is NorWesCon, in late March. I've already ordered more poetry books to take along, considering I was fortunate enough to sell out of them on the first day of PCon. They should arrive in a couple of weeks. Thankfully, that's all panels moderated by other people, so my prep there is pretty much rock bottom minimum. While I was gone, the Pilgrimage photo book arrived. A couple of the photos turned out a little darker than I was quite expecting, but they are okay. I'm looking into making the book also available in a paperback edition, which will be less expensive. I would probably sell a few more of them that way. That's a task for another day, however.

This week I'm looking at Wednesday shrinkage, Thursday group, and Saturday evening is the Medieval Women's Choir concert "From Santiago to Canterbury." It's at Saint James Cathedral at 8pm, if anyone is interested in going.

Once I'm rested up a little, it's time to work on an outline and a framework for the Brigid book.

I think I've figured it out

I do think the headaches have been, at least in part, the result of constantly wearing the bifocals. Today I'm wearing my old glasses again. I've been on the computer a lot today and am feeling some eyestrain, but I don't have the migraines that have been following me around for what seems like a couple of weeks now.

Today I catalogued nearly 60 books that had been sitting in stacks here in the living room. Several weren't found in the search (this happens from time to time, when an ISBN or LOC number isn't correct), and so will eventually have to be entered manually. I was glad to be able to get a few piles of books up off the floor, though.

Email brought my schedule for Norwescon -- I'm on four fanfic/writing panels and doing a poetry reading with some other poets. It should be fun, and I'm really looking forward to it coming up in March.

Tomorrow there will be steampunky things, though I am not certain of our exact location yet. It hasn't been decided whether it'll be at the AFK or out in Snohomish again.

Too tired to say much

Went to Seattle today to hang out with the Sherlock Seattle folks and had a fabulous time. I am now too exhausted to move. I will likely update tomorrow when I've had a little brain juice restored.

Tags:

Today's adventure

I ended up driving down to Puyallup for the Sound of the Baskervilles annual Sherlock Holmes birthday party. The place was a bit of a problem to locate, and traffic was heavier than I expected, but I met some very nice folks there, a couple of whom will be at the Sherlock Seattle party tomorrow at Seattle Center. I introduced a middle-aged lesbian couple to fanfic. As a member of the SoB's, I was told I must choose a canon name (a person, place, or thing that appeared in one of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories) and came home newly christened The Giant Rat of Sumatra.

When I got home, I sent comments on a fic somebody had asked me to look over for them. Who sent along art for one of the fics I wrote a while back. Like a boss.

And to top it all off, the headache today was really mild and I was pretty much completely functional!

Not bad for a day's work.

Hitting the hay early

I'm still all headachey today, no real improvement. I'm supposed to go out to a local Sherlock Holmes society thing tomorrow in Puyallup, then to Seattle on Sunday for one with the Sherlock Seattle fandom. I need to try and get some rest and get rid of this beast, because the drive to Puyallup is going to take a while and the gathering is at about 1pm. This means I have to get up early for me.

Somebody suck the headache out, would you?

Evil weather and being busy

There was still some snow on the cars when I got out the door today. The parking lot and the roads were clear, but it was raining a lot. The drive down to Seattle and back was stressy because of the weather, and worse in the dark.

I talked with my shrink about writing and stuff, and realized that while, yes, I do need to be writing the ogam article (I got more done on it today), I am in part writing it as a way of procrastinating about the Brigid book. The Brigid book is really a huge project for me and I have such high goals for it that it's hard for me to just sit down and be objective about it and do it. I know I'll do okay, even if it takes me a long time. It can't possibly take longer than the ogam book did, can it? I mean, that took something on the order of 18 years from when I started writing about ogam to when I finally published the book, four false starts, and more angst and hair-pulling freaking out than I really needed. This is another project where I can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I stayed at Travelers for a while and even then I had to go up over Capitol Hill to avoid a stall at a downtown exit that was making I5 north from Columbian Way a parking lot. I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow's drive down for the last group of the year. I'll be down later than usual because the queer Pagan meetup is also tomorrow night, starting at 7pm, so it'll probably be 9 or 10 before I head home again, and by then traffic should be entirely gone; it'll just be late night traffic. That'll be way less stressy.

When I got home I sat down and started digging into the ogam article. When I got into it, I had three pages, one of which was illustrations. Now it's at five and about two, so I got several paragraphs in and feel like I made reasonable progress. Right now I'm mostly trying to just get the information and concepts down. Later I'll try to refine it and make it more poetic and readable. Abraxas isn't a scholarly journal, though footnotes are certainly acceptable. I do want to be able to offer both sources and analysis, but also to show the creativity of the people working with ogam in constructing magical sigils and other modern work.

The other thing I got done today was poking at a concept and general outline for a fic I want to work on after I get the ogam article done. I spent a little time in chat online with random_nexus, who helps me kick these things around until they take shape. She was, as usual, wonderfully helpful. I'd scribbled several pages of notes to myself in my small notebook while I was at Travelers this afternoon, between reading a book on sound and poetry and having some dinner. In chat we managed to refine some of those ideas a little more. I saved the notes in a doc file that I can pull up when I start to work on the story later.

I wish I had a little more confidence in my writing. *sigh*

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June 2015
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