Daily Archives: May 6, 2004

Spellcrafting Book Update

As of the end of today’s writing jam, I am officially just over 1/7th done this book. My day’s total included 1,756 words and an hour of math; I’m working on planetary hours. My most important tip, garnered from years of pain and strife: just reduce everything to minutes right away, and save yourself unnecessary grief by using the 24 hour clock.

One-seventh done. Wow. I’m in awe.

My word count currently rests at 11,006 and for some reason, I find this incredibly amusing.

Rick And Evy Go To Sleepy Hollow

Oh look – it’s HRH and Autumn’s next Hallowe’en costumes:

“Are you kidding?” said t!, who brought over the soundtrack today (and who called it “Rick and Evy go to Sleepy Hollow”). “You guys dress like that every day. Where’s the fun in that?”

(Hey, wow – it’s rated PG-13 for “non-stop creature action violence and frightening images, and for sensuality.” How’s that for a night out?)

OOAK Work of Art no. 1

Since people seem to think my odd hobby has some coolness to it, I’m about to throw caution and my shyness to the wind and share my first project. Here’s a couple of pics of the Yule gift I gave to our local cougar:

The OOAK Morrighan Barbie wears a hand-made black linen skirt with two full-length slits in the front, laced shut at the front of the hips with copper floss. Her hand-dyed black halter top with mesh sleeves ties at the back. Woven into her left front braid is a pewter feather; another pewter feather is laced with copper floss to her hand-painted spear, along with a black crow feather. On her right hand lands a hand-made raven, wings held wide. Around her waist is tied a hand-tinted miniature of the recipient’s Craft tradition third-degree cords.

And a decent look at the feather cloak which rests on the Morrighan’s shoulders, designed to look like two folded raven wings:

I was really pleased with how the whole doll presents an air of alert motion and activity. For any OOAK fans who stumble across this post as a result of a search engine and who need to know, the Morrighan was created from a Kayla Secret Spells doll, and her face was not repainted: I managed to find one off the shelf who had a perfect disdainful yet amused I-can-see-into-your-soul look on her face that I wanted, without any touch-ups required.

The next doll I’m customising is very different from the active and alert Morrighan, however; I’m trying for a softer, dreamier look. And then there are the three dolls I have sitting to the left of my desk, who are destined to become a shadowbox scene of the three aspects of the goddess Brid: muse, smith, and healer. None of them require repainting, thank goodness, only creating original costumes from the sketches and colour notes I have in my notebook. (Yes, yes, fine: the dolls are Batik Princess, TRU Charity Ball 1997, and Grand Entrance 2 respectively. Happy, fellow OOAKers?)

There. More than I ever thought I’d let anyone know about this hobby. Hey, it’s costuming in miniature: saves money, saves time, and the result isn’t just worn once then hung in a closet.

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

(t! would be proud of this post title. It’s the name of a song.)

I’ve been all over the place this week. From the heights of confidence to the depths of despair, from anxiety attacks to listless not-caring, I’ve seen it all. And it’s only Thursday morning.

While I made dinner and he washed the dishes, I asked HRH if he thought it was my body reacting to a reduction in the dosage of medication I’ve been on for a while and thus I was overreacting (let’s hear it for hormones!), or if things were understandably wonky in my life. He pointed out that while the medication adjustment probably wasn’t helping, not only was I writing a book to deadline for the first time ever, I was teaching, preparing for a concert in two weeks, dealing with the Zombie Manuscript from Hell (now with Shifty Author!), suffering from a lack of sunlight, and had struggled through three colds in succession. He’s also of the opinion that losing my computer has thrown me harder than I think it has. (This is probably true, although it’s oddly liberating at the same time. Of course, I’ve lost all record of log-in info for my website, but that can be remedied by contacting my host and telling them that I’m an idiot and forgot to write things down.)

You know what’s really gnawing at me about the Zombie Manuscript From Hell? The fact that I’d finally reached a point where I was confident about it. I was happy with it, proud to have my name on it as editor. I was confident that it was a solid, saleable product with excellent information delivered in a sophisticated and accessible fashion to the intermediate practitioner.

Of course the info is good. The author had already published it elsewhere.

Argh.

I have no idea where this leaves us. This was supposed to be the lead title to launch the series. Part of me wants to punish the incredible dishonesty of the author by canceling the book. We’ve put so much time, money, and work into it, though, that we can’t. Think of all the rewrites, repeated edits, more rewrites we’ve done. Another option is to do an emergency rewrite on the pages and pages of plagiarized information. I certainly wouldn’t trust the author to do it, so I would likely do it instead, which puts the screws on my own book written for my own deadline.

I shouldn’t worry about this until I’ve heard what the company’s legal recommendation is. I’m creating more stress, which I really don’t need.

My contracts, which were mailed out April 14 but still hadn’t arrived as of yesterday, apparently ended up Returned to Sender because of a mistype on the address label, so they’re being mailed back to me today (and yes, the address has been corrected). It’s frustrating, because half my fee is disbursed upon signing. That means when they get the signed contract back, it goes into the 4-6 week bureaucratic process before the cheque is issued and mailed to me. It’s now delayed by an extra three weeks, which means I’ll get it mid- to late June. Then the bank will hang onto it for a month, which means I’ll finally have that money mid- to late July. The second half of my fee is issued upon delivery of the manuscript, which is due July 1. When you do the math, that means I’ll be handing the dratted thing in before I see a penny. Mind you, it also means that I’ll have the second cheque finally landing in my account mid- to late August, which is nice to count on. And sometime between now and midsummer I’ll see my editor’s fee for the second book, and the first book (if it gets published).

On top of it all, I’m restless, but I don’t want to go out. Just call me an enigma.