Couple of Thoughts This Halloween

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cool Links / Clicky Linky, Fibromyalgia, Games, Health, Too Long For Twitter

 

First thought:

I again surveyed my blog land, and I have about 60 draft pieces that I’m trying to edit to post. With my neurological and physical health issues, I struggle immensely to get the wording right before a migraine hits or dizziness/nausea forces me to leave the computer screen.

My goal will be to post at least one a week and CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED:

  • I am lowering my self-editing in order to get the thoughts out before I lose them. This blog has turned into more of an online journal than originally intended;
  • I need to keep posting to the outside world to stop feeling so isolated from it. Personal in nature and likely emo at times;
  • There will likely be multiple and unrelated topics within one post. I ache for brevity;
  • If you’ve not had a comment approved here before, I have to Allow it to be visible on my page. I don’t gather lists or info to sell or use either nefariously or for the Greater Good. (Morally and also, “Rawr!”);
  • My site, my rules.

Second thought, which I also posted in Twitter and Facebook:

Dunno where, but I may do an chat as a movie/game lover w/limiting health issues. Do Creators even realize when they deny their loyal fans?

I’m planning on something super short and solo, since I can’t wrangle moderating the discussion and/or Google+ Hangout, which is where I’d do it.

On this subject, please direct responses to me at VivMuse@gmail.com, as my hope is to maintain privacy and no spoilers for what the episode may contain. I’ll likely include your suggestions/thoughts/experiences.

I’m really just wanting to get the word out there, since I’ve only seen one Creator in my social media circles offer up something with folks with vision and other accessibility limitations in mind. I find myself bringing it up (likely too often) on SpecFicMedia.com Presents: Consumption ‘Cast, which is a weekly attempt to join hubby Chooch and friends P.G. Holyfield and Christiana Ellis. Last night it occurred to me that Creators, especially of visual mediums, might like a few experiences to help widen their audience of prospective future fans.

(If I get my IT guy in to help with the running of the show, I’ll consider guests, too and other than those in my dream cast, responses VIA EMAIL will be first considered, if and when I do this project.)

Related thought:

The Creator thinking outside of the box by designing a game with Accessibility in mind is the very talented musician and game designer, Russell Collins. His successful Kickstarter for his game, “Tears of a Machine.

I backed it and I’m hoping to do a review after I play with some friends (possibly recorded for posting). I’m so very excited to try it, as J.R. Blackwell and Jennifer Rogers are also a part of the project and I’ve LONG been fans of theirs. Check it out!

Third thought:

 Happy Halloween!

May your fun be safe but skurrrry! Our Housies are all sick/just getting better, so healing vibes, prayers, or sacrificial meatballs to the SMitS would be greatly appreciated. It’s a super fun night in our home, and I’d hate  for our Wee Housies to miss out on any planned fun.

Wee Housies' Halloween excitement = each of my departures via garage until it comes down, since it is now the perfect hiding spot for real spiders.
Related Thought:

I’m linking to a segment on The Daily Show with a fave new comedic actress of mine Kristen Schaal. I loved her on Wilfred and 30 Rock, AND she does/did voice work for many of my fave animated movies/TV shows, like Gravity Falls (voice of Mabel, my spirit animal) and Adventure Time.

In the segment I link to (WARNING: NSFW or with kids in the room unless you want to spend some time explaining the whats and whys of a vagina costume.), she chimes in on the annual sexy-female Halloween costume debate and presents THE best sexual female costume EVAR. It went up for auction later to benefit a charity, so if you just want to see the picture and skip the interview you can do so by clicky THIS linky.

Yes, I wanted to own it. No, I wouldn’t have ever worn it out in public, tempting as it would be…

Fourth thought: 

If I am able to type coherently tomorrow, you’ll learn one of the reasons why 2013 is Lucky ’13 for me.

 

Unguarded, Within Castle Walls

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Friends, No Whining, Too Long For Twitter

Edit: I’m hoping to post a review of Ravenwood Castle itself, but I first wanted to share thoughts from the social experience point of view, since that was the point. Since I never know how long a post will take me to finish, I will say that I recommend it highly. The board games on hand and the atmosphere of the great hall made it impossible not to enjoy the experience. In short, I can’t wait to go back for another relaxing visit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
About a month ago, my husband and I were invited to join in on surprise birthday festivities for a friend. It turned out to be more fantastic than we could have hoped, in spite of our high expectations and my Health Blah aggro. There were old friends (comparatively speaking, back to the beginnings of my Twitter experience in 2007), but also new friends. And it takes only a tiny bit of bravery to say that, because I feel the bond of a shared experience, even if I didn’t get to spend much time with each of them.

And while I wish I had been less shy and gotten time with everyone, I prefer to err on the side of not being a pain in the ass (whenever possible). Besides, I cannot imagine being able to retain even ONE more memory or survive one more breathless and teary-eyed laughing fit. As I was trying to gather my scattered and grateful thoughts together to do a post commemorating the heart-container-filling weekend, something triggered a recurring thought, and I’ve decided to use our weekend setting to better noodle through what I keep returning to:

Human interaction is an unpredictable roll of the dice, as ALL parties imprint on shared experiences, depending on their mood, behavior and personality.

And in this case, it was tasty. 

Invited party guests were asked to keep it all quiet, both to keep the surprise from the honoree and to avoid hurting the feelings for those that space did not allow to include. It was excruciating not sharing more, but I will say that with the right combination of people, anything is possible.

The only downside was that we were “roughing it” without internet, cell signal or HD TV’s blasting ticker tape news over a reporter talking in another direction. An insulated bubble was in place around us and we were (primarily) our only distractions. Phone calls were not easily made, people (myself included) were not constantly reaching for their devices to check for messages, tweet, post or otherwise spend their time with a mental foot in the outside world. I found myself grateful to be disconnected with others that were more appreciative to be there than to waste any real time watching for connectivity, save those with important matters to address.

More frequently, people expressed gratitude for the experience and the efforts made by all to keep it truly special and just embraced it. There were some jokes and comments made, but I don’t remember anything other than general statements like, “Well, I’d check IMDB.com to tell you what else Ryan Gosling was in, but I can’t!” Which was typically met with laughter rather than kvetching.

In regards to my Health Blahs, the weekend reinforced in me, after several occurrences, that taking the time to meditate, nap or whatever else is needed to be on an even keel, MUST be done. Not only was my experience improved by trying to manage my neurological symptoms as they arose, but I found it easier to do so knowing that my “energy” or “mood” or whatever you choose to call it, could have a negative impact on the experience for others. 

When I wasn’t feeling well, I could easily take my leave and return recharged and ready for the next fascinating and/or giggling adventure. And although he offered, it would have been unkind to allow Chooch to come with me to give comfort when I was fine, just in pain or managing some symptom or another.  Better to leave he and the others to their fun and come back to watch or join in on the gaming, if and when I was feeling well enough to, for the greater enjoyment of us all.

But as for the impact of everyone’s mood, I think it’s the same kind of thing that all that advice from the Dog Whisperer and other animal trainers (as well as those that do Super Nanny/rescuing children in unhealthy situations) all boil down to — demonstrating how crappy behavior by those in charge directly impacts the behavior of their (fill in the blank). If your emotions are in conflict, you are likely create chaos in those around you. “Taking Five” or a “cigarette break” or a “mental health break” all fall into this as well. It’s a kindness to all, practicing self-care. This is kind of an epiphany for me, since I always put my energy into helping others and then straggling to keep up when things are in motion again. 

It also helped knowing that I wasn’t alone in the need to occasionally isolate myself. Others have similar health issues, anxiety issues, creative projects to work on, or whatevs, so I wasn’t mocked or teased for being a light weight. Or any other weight, for that matter. Even without a moat, I felt utterly safe.

I don’t know what my point is, other than total relief at having found myself in the middle of a group of people in a castle in the woods that were all of a similar mind, all being respectful of everyone else’s needs for the Greater Good. All being fascinating, extremely clever and open to the experience.

And, as always, the kindness demonstrated towards my husband always makes me appreciate the giver more, since I don’t think Chooch has revealed even the tiniest fraction of just how magnificent he really is. I’m an instant fan of anyone that gets that his Greatness. I mean, just look at him, for Glob’s sake!

Again, happy birthday to all we celebrated! Especially to my beloved Chooch, whose 42nd birthday was days later. Here’s to you, my love, and a birthday we’ll never forget.

(Photo taken by the stunningly talented and utterly captivating J.R. Blackwell. Many thanks for an image that we’ll treasure forever.)

Chooch Schubert at Ravenwood Castle in New Plymouth, OH. 03/09/13

Chooch Schubert at Ravenwood Castle in New Plymouth, OH. 03/09/13

 

Dragon*Con 2012, Part 1

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Convention, Friends, No Whining

I’ve decided the 20+ draft blog posts are going to be posted with some regularity, even if unfinished. Since our family podcast, Into the Blender is having drastic changes discussed, I’ve decided to brain dump family journal stuff here. Some will require what seems like unattainable bravery, so they may not ever see the light of day. But I have two memory journals that I’ve filled in the last year or so, maybe there will be something worth sharing there if I run out of things to post about.

Rather than grabbing a stale post I thought I’d do a (To The Best of My Memory)Dragon*Con Timeline in bits and pieces. I can’t work on my photos until my craptop is rebuilt anyways. I will work on the drafts as I come to them and as my mood strikes. Some may seem out of date, but that’s how I roll now, apparently.

Of note: No matter who you are or how I feel about you, I will likely have forgotten some of our time together. Part of the high cost of having a multiple health issues requiring loopy making meds? You don’t get to choose what or who you forget. That’s why photos are so important to me. I rarely drink alcohol because of the risks of interaction with some of my medications, yet I still have a faulty memory, far more faulty than ever before. If I don’t type it here, it doesn’t make the time any less special. And the photos I’ve seen so far from hubby and friends: Bruce Press, P.G. Holyfield, Tony Miller, Timothy LeGower and many others, have been both laughter and horror inducing (sometimes I have so much fun I forget to think about camera ninjas).

So, Day 1 of our trip, to be told in a rambling fashion as things occur:
Chooch and I left NoVA on Wednesday morning and after a DMV FAIL on our part (solely our fault for procrastinating), we arrived in Charlotte, NC that evening. We stayed at our BFF PG Holyfield’s lovely home, and he cooked dinner for us and some dear and local friends, Shawn and Jess Murphy, and also a new friend. We had lots of fun and laughter, and I always love seeing them. We got to share some extra wicked giggles, and even coined the phrase that would remain with us for the whole of the weekend and beyond.

Wonderful, clever people, but after they left I’m drawing a blank on the rest of the night. I think the boys did played Gloom while I tried to stay awake? I do know there were giggles, but that is nothing new when the three of us get together. Chooch had “night before” jitters for the long drive and couldn’t sleep on Tuesday night, but slept well on Wednesday night.

Thursday morning had us out the door for the drive to Atlanta (after doing the dinner dishes from the night before, fearing the repercussions would make it impossible to reenter the house upon our return. I think after two separate years, we can include Bojangle’s as an official tradition on our D*C road trip. (BoRounds, people!) After much enjoyment on my part on the long, but too short trip road trip, we got to the hotel and headed to the parking garage to prepare to unload.

I did have a moment of lamentation over having seen no costumers yet, chalked it up to being only Thursday and then heard an engine revving in the parking garage. We turned to find the Speed Racer car pulling around a corner. Yes, we were in the right place! *sigh* Dragon*Con!

We got checked in and got settled and headed off for con registration. At PG’s suggestion, we did onsite registration this year instead of pre-registration, and only invested about 10 minutes total as opposed to the over 2 hours we spent in 2009. (It was in the company of Patrick McLean, so don’t feel too bad for us.) Yay for Thursday arrivals! The line for the store was longer than registration, so we skipped getting lanyards and such.

We kicked off our arrival by splitting up – PG off to get prepped for the Star Party and us to meander and find food off property. I was greatly disappointed that someone I had planned on spending the rest of the day with had something come up, but we girded our loins and decided to  have a magical time regardless. First stop: Subway! Don’t laugh, it was the closest thing to real food that was packed full of people. Then to the room before heading to the bar.

Our permanent reset point was the Hilton hotel bar, which turned out to be where we ran into most of the folks we now. As we were being seated, the waiter excitedly told us that Lieutenant Uhura was at the bar and it was the most exciting person he’d ever seen in person. Working at the hotel that hosts Dragon*Con, that’s really saying something. Sure enough, there sat Nichelle Nichols, the original bridge hottie. She was there with another woman, but that beautiful face was impossible not to recognize. She had silver hair and this low-cut blouse on, fully rocking the ensemble and we were agog. Seeing THE LIEUTENANT UHURA within hours of our arrival? Toasts all around our table for our sighting, which she quickly beat out of there when she realized people were recognizing her.

We saw many friends. We made new ones. We laughed and giggled and told stories. We ended up in our room with hubby setting up the PS3 for gaming breaks between panels, etc., and we settled back and stayed up too late, as per usual.

There are hundreds of photos that document the weekend and I’d have to go through them to identify all we saw and when. I’m too impatient and will add another post linking to my photos in Flickr, with some going in to Facebook as well. I’ll also correct any faulty memory bits. But Nichelle Nichols? That was pretty bad ass. No pictures, because we respected her clear desire not to interact at that moment, but the memory remains.

Part 2 will be coming along soon, where I will likely be documenting what I call Magical Friday. Travel tip: I never stay away from home without the gorgeous and travel tested bottle set I bought from my beloved friend’s Nineteen O’Three Etsy store. Over more than a year of hard travel use, with no peeling, fading or bubbling of the labels. They are wonderful quality and the unique designs make the exact bottle I need easy to spot even if the text is out of sight.

I have a brand new set of these bottles to give away, even though I want to keep them for always. Watch future posts for info on how to enter.

Favor: PLEASE make comments here on the site instead of in Facebook or Twitter or G+. I may never see them and will certainly never see them when reviewing posts in the future. I would love pictures linked to, stories I’ve left out, anything that could make the memories come back or the ones I do have linger longer. To feel safe to do this, some of you may need to know that…

Of Important Note: I not only don’t capture email addresses to use, I wouldn’t know how even if I wanted to sell you out, which is not my style. Even if so, I would have to get Chooch to help me, and he would refuse. So, don’t worry about US using your email address, ever. They don’t go into my email address book or anything like that. Feel free to comment. Or not. Whatevs!

We’re In This Together

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Music

Chooch and I have had countless issues and a ton of mischief to manage. Hard times, yo.  But he stopped me in my tracks the other day, and insisted that I listen to these lyrics. After the first few lines, convinced Chooch himself had written this about our recent experiences and journey, I held tight to him, crying, and listened as he read.

Color me shocked that not only did he not write the angry yet devoted song, but once he played it for me,  I immediately recognized it as one of my “faves I don’t know the name of” from one of the Nine Inch Nails concerts that I attended with Chooch.

I’m just grateful he shared it with me, as we slowly dig out and begin plans for our vow renewal sometime in the next year or so. It speaks so much to our current life.

“We’re In This Together”
Nine Inch Nails
Circa 1999-ish

I’ve become impossible
holding on to when
when everything seemed to matter more
the two of us
all used and beaten up
watching fate as it flows down the path we
have chose

you and me
we’re in this together now
none of them can stop us now
we will make it through somehow
you and me
if the world should break in two
until the very end of me
until the very end of you

awake to the sound as they peel apart the skin
they pick and they pull
trying to get their fingers in
well they’ve got to kill what we’ve found
well they’ve got to hate what they fear
well they’ve got to make it go away
well they’ve got to make it disappear

the farther I fall I’m beside you
as lost as I get I will find you
the deeper the wound I’m inside you
for ever and ever I’m a part of

you and me
we’re in this together now
none of them can stop us now
we will make it through somehow
you and me
if the world should break in two
until the very end of me
until the very end of you

all that we were is gone we have to hold on
when all our hope is gone we have to hold on
all that we were is gone but we can hold on

you and me
we’re in this together now
none of them can stop us now
we will make it through somehow
you and me
even after everything
you’re the queen and I’m the king
nothing else means anything.

The Nine Inch Nails video posted on their Youtube Channel


Pledge my turtle love, baby.

2012 Conventions

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Convention, Cool Links / Clicky Linky, Too Long For Twitter, Uncategorized

Two things I want to announce on the subject of conventions:

My planned conventions:

Chooch and I will attend Balticon, only one week away, at the Hunt Valley Marriott in Maryland. I am shocked and gratified that this will be my 5th in attendance and 4th as a panelist!

At this point, I’ve not received my official schedule, but as of now I know that I am scheduled to be at:

  • Friday’s Meet and Greet
  • Saturday at 8 pm (I believe) in the Derby A Live Recording of SpecFicMedia.com Presents – Beyond the Wall: A Game of Thrones podcast. Come join our entire ‘cast cast as we explore the HBO series “Game of Thrones” as well as the book series. We vigilantly try to avoid spoilers, but either the cast or the audience may drop one or two. Based on our recordings to date, expect more F-bombs being dropped than spoilers. *It is known.*
  • Sunday at 10 pm in the Chase, I will be joining authors Barbara Friend Ish and P.G. Holyfield as we do readings from our works. Nothing makes me more nervous than a reading, but I hope to do it up right for my breast cancer anthology, with a tentative July release date.
  • When feeling up to it, my standard meeting points are the foyer, the bar, the courtyard or the Dealer’s Room.  Is it true there is no

I will be attending Philly Comic-Con, June 2 and will remain in Philly until the 4th for a private celebration. At this point, it appears that work obligations make keep Chooch away for this one.

We hope to make the trek to Dragon*Con for Labor Day weekend, but we will not know until closer to September if we will be able to attend or not.

TuacaCon, hosted by P.G. Holyfield and presented by SpecFicMedia.com is a virtual convention with writers, artists, musicians and performers giving their all with no travel costs! The date has yet to be determined, but the last two years was great fun and free! It is rumored that it may occur in Northern Virginia this year, and have even more folks in the live audience than ever before!

Also, if we meet at Balticon, Philly Comic-Con, Dragon*Con and/or TuacaCon, please know that for many possible reasons that I am sometimes easily confused or overwhelmed, hopefully due to one or all of my Health Blahs** or treatments. Please do not take offense if you get a negative vibe from me, in nearly all cases I can assure you that it is not you. It’s me. I am posting this here in case I have trouble verbalizing or am unaware of the issue. I don’t want a fuss made, I just want to avoid causing any misunderstandings.

Otherwise, I’m shy but say hi if you recognize me. Or leave a comment, @ me on Twitter (@VividMuse) or whatevs to let me know if you will be at any of these and maybe we can meet up!

~~~~~~~~

**Health Blahs – my term for my small collection of non-life threatening, yet problematic maladies.

Move Update

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Friends, Health, No Whining

The house has been on the market for two weeks now, and I think we’re finally getting used to the new layout. We have not yet adjusted to the daily cleaning-as-we-prepare-to-leave routine. At least, I haven’t. It makes me grumpy to add an extra 15 minutes prep time to go anywhere. It has made me very grateful that I started the Home-Ec 101 program again.

I’ve been visiting friend Paulette Jaxton , who helped us get the house prepped, since Wednesday evening. I don’t believe I posted about it at the time, but she twisted her ankle in the garage as we were moving things around right before the Realtor arrived to take pictures for the listing the day it was put on the market. At the time, Paulette allowed no fuss over her ankle as she was sure it was just a slight twist. After a week with the pain worsening, she went in for X-rays and discovered that she had broken the tip of the bone off on her fibula(? Anatomy is hard!). Eek! Very worried I really wanted to visit to help out if she would let me, plus we’ve been trying to visit each other while we are both without full-time employment. (I’d say during our “free time”, but both of us feel pretty pressed by our projects.)

Luckily, the break doesn’t require a cast or “boot” and she still has lots of freedom with the heavy duty brace they prescribed. Her movement is not as limited and it’s far more comfortable than the other options would have been. I just feel terrible about it, especially since it’s the same spot, the little ledge in the garage that drops down about 2 inches, that twisted my ankle in 2008 (2009?) and also caused injury to Chooch a few months ago. It’s not something we’re able to alter, and I’m severely pissed about that fact. In fact, we had just relayed the story of both injuries to Paulette the day before, joking about how the house seems to demand a sacrifice from time to time. This is no longer funny, obviously.

But we’ve had a great time, staying up late and chatting and I’m glad I finally made it up to her place for the first time. Paulette hasn’t let me fuss over her, other than doing a few tasks for her, but I can’t fault her that. I don’t like a fuss either, I just hope I relieved some of her boredom.

As for the house itself, it’s been on the market for two weeks now, and it’s been viewed twice. No word back on either, but in the current market, we knew we’d have a wait ahead of us. The crazy storm system that came through town two nights ago blew down a section of fencing, which Chooch has already repaired. Otherwise, we’re just waiting.

All Hail Balticon!

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Convention Attendance, Podcast

Balticon is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention held annually over Memorial Day weekend in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. This will be my third year in attendance, and my second as a participant.

Besides attending countless other fascinating events, I will be participating in the following:

Into The Blender Live! -Friday at 11 pm in the Chesapeake
Come join Chooch and I as we do a live recording of our blended family podcast. Last year’s live recording included a discussion on family gaming.

NaNoWriMo for Noobs – Saturday at 3 pm in the Chesapeake
This discussion includes prior National Novel Writing Month participants P.G. Holyfield, Mur Lafferty, Nathan Lowell, Chooch and myself. Come and learn what it is, and how panelists either won or lost.

Live Metamor City – Saturday at 5 pm in the Chesapeake
Attend a live recording of a new story by Chris Lester in his Parsec winning story series, Metamor City.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Prom, aka the Balticon New Media Party – Saturday at 11 pm in the Derby
Join Chooch and I as we again host the New Media Party and costume contest. Light refreshments will be served and costumes are not required to attend. Tee Morris will DJ, Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit will be the Master of Ceremonies, and Phil Rossi will perform an acoustic set after the costume contest judging.  Judging for the costume contest is expected to start at 11:30 pm.

Girls’ Rules Live! – Sunday at 4 pm in the Chesapeake
My all-female podcast be recorded live with a very distinguished panel of published authors: Philippa Ballantine, J. R. Blackwell, Christiana Ellis, and Mighty Mur Lafferty. M.A. in PA and Jett Micheyl will also be there.

There are so many talented and magnificent people that participate, I highly recommend this convention to any that have a of sci-fi/fantasy interests, and especially those with a love for new media. By all accounts, this is the best gathering of those producing podcasts and/or podcasting their written works.

Please say hello, and I apologize in advance for my shyness 😛