Monthly Archives: May 2004

Gathering of Powered Persons

Many, many thanks go out to Ceri and Scott for hosting the third annual Superhero Party, and giving me an excuse to create one of my best costumes ever. Thank you, George Perez, for coming up with a more exciting costume than the original. Whee! Here you are, complete with one of my source pictures:

More proof that I married an archetype, and not a man at all: HRH won Best Costume for his portrayal of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.

Ad finally, rumour has it that Montreal’s F/SF bookshop never would have closed if the manager and the owner had dressed like this more often:

An excellent evening: fabulous and imaginative costumes all around; good conversation; lots of laughs. And now I have to start thinking of something for the fourth annual party. And, of course, there’s Hallowe’en first. Drat. This is the hardest part, you know: coming up with the idea.

(A veritable Who’s Who of powered persons on the guest list may be found at the Third Annual Superhero Party Gallery. Viewings of the Second and First Annual Parties are also available. All photos by Scott.)

Musings on the Art of Costuming

The costume is minutes away from being finished. Of course, the few minutes that it will take are delayed until tonight, because I can’t find the replacement glue sticks for my glue gun, and I need gold cord, too.

The snippy little pocket machine I borrowed from Scarlet won’t sew through more than two layers of fabric, I discovered to my immense annoyance, so earlier today I was hand-sewing pieces of slippery satin and interfacing, finishing off the details of a collar. I was decidedly unhappy with the results (I’m picky) when I remembered that I had a tiny glue gun left over from Yule gifts. So I dug it out and began turning bits of interfacing down, moving along happily… until the glue stick ran out.

While I was gluing, though, I thought about how I approach costuming. I’m enough of a perfectionist to want my costumes to be elaborate and perfect, with no sign of a human being having touched it in any way. However, I know they’re only going to be worn once or twice, and a costume is about overall effect. No one is going to be peering at my seams. (If they are, they belong in the SCA, not at a superhero party.) Costume purists might choke at the thought of a glue gun, but my costume experience comes from theatre, where no one is close enough to be picky anyway, and emergency repairs usually consist of spit and bubblegum. Having seen close-ups of the costumes from the LOTR film trilogy, I can say with all confidence that nothing looks the same in real life as it does on the screen.Part of the magic is having a real, flesh-and-blood, breathing person moving around in the costume, giving it life and something bigger-than-life, too.

I take pride in that overall presentation when I costume. I’ll do what it takes to achieve the effect. All that means is I’m skilled in the art of making a costume look better than it actually is. It’s an illusion.

But then — that’s what a costume is all about.

Twenty-nine hours until the superhero costume party!

Another Daily Book Update

Today’s word count: 2,360
Total word count: 32,742

I ought to have crises regarding my suitability for this job more often. No, I take that back. Really. I don’t want more crises. I’d rather sail through this with full confidence.

By the end of tomorrow, I ought to have half the manuscript officially finished. I have five chapters mostly done, another four partially done, a couple with outlines to be expanded, and two with absolutely nothing in them yet. I probably should start brainstorming on those soon.

The Depths of Despair, Starring Me

Now that I’m just a breath away from being half-done this book, I’m experiencing gross amounts of feeling unworthy and hack-like and wishing I’d never agreed to the whole thing. Mind you, it’s rather difficult when a publisher asks you to write a book; it’s damned flattering. Still, I’m currently in the depths of despair and firmly convinced that I’m just rehashing material that’s already out there, creating superficial text with no substance, not connecting thoughts in any sort of intelligent fashion, and doing a lame, lame job in general.

Things I keep repeating to myself include:

– this is a book for intermediate practitioners, people who maybe have read one or two books on the subject and want to know why and how

– this is your opportunity to myth-bash to your heart’s content

– here you may collect all the little tips and tricks you’ve figured out over the years to help others

– what would I like to see in a new book like this?

I keep slipping into the “what would I like to see” and forgetting that I’ve been reading books like this for almost a decade. My needs are not the needs of my target audience.

I stare at the words I’ve got and wonder how I can expand upon them. I think I’m getting to a point where I need feedback. Ceri helped me yesterday (her aid being worth about a thousand words!) simply by answering a question regarding what she would like to see in a chapter on correspondences, and that material will be further expanded. I have a skeleton. It needs more body mass.

So why is it scaring me so much? Why am I avoiding it? Why am I firmly convinced that this is it, there isn’t any more?

The Secret History of Fanta

Well, this is disturbing:

Coca-Cola GmbH (Ed. note: this is the German division of the multi-national corporation)

All those hippies on a hill teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony always did strike me to be a bit sinister. It turns out Coca-Cola’s swastika connection is not limited to the Robowaru incident. Coca Cola GmbH sponsored the Nazi Olympics of 1936 (and I am looking at you Beijing 2008) and only had its syrup supplies cut off upon the belated American entry into WWII. The company turned around and invented Fanta as the replacement Nazi soft drink. Who knew? An exhibition seeks to recreate Coke ads of the period that are inexplicably difficult to track down.

Coke advertised in the Nazi Army paper shortly after the invasion of Sudetenland, the ad was a picture of a hand holding a bottle of coke over a map of the world, the slogan was “Yes we have got an international reputation.”

(Found over at Ghost of a flea.)

Gives a whole new meaning to the idea of being in a position to teach the whole world anything. Brrr.