Posted in Ramblings

Books Books Books in Digital Form

image via google search

 

If you follow me on Facebook then you saw my comment about sorting through my books on my Kindle. I’ve owned a Kindle since 2011 and as my family (mum, sis, bil etc.) acquired their own Kindles or Fire tablets they’ve been added to my account so we can share books instead of purchasing multiple copies.  Our reading tastes crossover more often then not and sometimes we read things that we wouldn’t have thought to read as a result.

Every once in a while one of us will go on a spending spree and it makes me wish that kindle books weren’t one-click purchases and that we could add them to carts instead. (If that’s possible tell me! Because I haven’t been able to figure it out and changing one-click settings is a right pain to explain over different devices.)

All this is to say that when I decided to sort the books so that I could figure out what I have and haven’t read I was looking at 528 books.

My first thought when I saw that number was thank goodness they didn’t take up physical space because there would be no room to move.  Over the last five years I’ve been slowly culling my physical book collection. I love books. Honestly. I just don’t re-read that often.  And if I do re-read then there is something truly amazing that I connected to within the books that compels me to collect them. Of course there are exceptions…there are some books that I just feel like I have to own them in physical form but that’s not what this post is about…

So I was staring at the daunting task of sorting this library of books.  First I created two collections (because that’s the way the kindle works for some reason) : non- fiction and fiction. Then I decided to actually cull books from the list. There were a lot of freebie books that were added in the early years and I knew that they wouldn’t be missed if I removed them.  After clearing out freebies up to 2015 I stopped.  The most recent crop of freebies haven’t been read yet. Or at least, my sis couldn’t recall if she read them when I asked.

That brought the books down to 440. I then created collections for the individual series that I knew were being collected. It didn’t matter if the series was finished or not.  I wanted to make it easier for everyone to locate what they wanted to read.  Check the collection to see if you’ve caught up. Also it’s easier to see which books are missing. We’ve collected quite a few series that range a gamut of genres within fiction. It sort of surprised me. Once that was done I created two final collections that pertained to me personal. My read and to-read collections. I’m not always going to read what another family member purchases and I found that I stopped reading after a while because I didn’t want to wade through the sheer number of books just to find something I did want to read.

So I tossed all of the books I had read into a folder. GoodReads was a real help reminding me if I had read a book or not.  Of the 440 books in my digital library I have read 123 books. As of right now of those 440 books I am interested in reading 107 of them. (These numbers don’t count boxed sets as multiple books.)  I may change my mind when I get to one of them and decide that I really don’t want to read it. At least now I have a clear place to at least look.

Who knows? I might even manage to meet my GoodReads goal for this year now that I know what I haven’t read yet. I’m only two books behind schedule and I have the rest of the month! Speaking of GoodReads, I wiped out my to-read shelf there too. I’m going to start the new to-read list with books that I actual own.

Now that I have rambled along. What book are you reading? If you have a digital library how do you keep track of it? Any reading suggestions?

 

Posted in Ramblings

Featured Art by Ellen

I try to surround myself with a variety of creative people. It makes life interesting. This gem was sketched at dinner one evening before attending a burlesque show celebrating all things Tim Burton.

Posted in Ramblings

Holiday Anxiety

This post is backdated for the 5th of November. Same reasons as the day before.

With the end of Halloween we have entered the “Holiday Season”.  Actually it started just before Halloween, marketing forces love pushing things early.  It’s one of my least favorite things about the season. No sooner are the decorations for Halloween put away we are inundated with Christmas. Never you mind that there is Thanksgiving before hand – oh that’s just the “Black Friday” shopping day. (Except now it’s the ENTIRE month of November.)

I used to like the holidays. Before I became and “adult”. There are still some aspects I am still actually fond of.  Like decorating.

Something bubbles up during the holidays. It’s manic in a way. All of the sudden everything has to be perfect.  Everyone wants that Norman Rockwall Christmas ideal (even if they don’t know who Norman Rockwall is.) And if it’s not perfect you better hide because the fall out isn’t pretty. Fall out never is.

My family lives in a rough three hour radius from me but visits over this past year have been few and far between. Very far between. I FaceTime once a week at least with my mum. I haven’t really talked to my sister much during the past year for a variety of reasons. So technically, aside from a reduction of actual visits, it’s pretty normal for my family.

I suffer anxiety every time my husband asks me what we are planning on doing for the Holidays. I love my family. I don’t look forward to spending time with them during the holidays at all.  At least not currently. In point of fact, I’d rather not.  And all of the sudden I feel like the worst daughter/sister/aunt ever.  Because no matter how I might try to explain myself the only thing they hear is “I don’t love you.” Which is so not the case. But there will still be resentment and guilt laid at my feet for it. And I will feel guilty for it.

Maybe by next year I’ll figure out how to enjoy the holidays again…

Posted in Ramblings

November Reboot

Well it’s been a while hasn’t it. Months. And it’s November. The month of writing furiously to reach 50k. Otherwise known as Nanowrimo. If you’ve been following me here for any length of time you know that I’ve been participating in the event for a good while now in some way. The past few years it’s been more as a cheerleader for others who are attempting the madness for the first time.

This year I think I’m going to use it to jump start some of my creative processes again. The motivation to push forward with Loose Endings has been lacking of late and I think it’s partly because I’ve been doing a lot of planning and not doing.  Which can suck the creative joy out of just about anything. And that makes for a very dull and unhappy Charlie. (It also leads to Charlie buying all the things which is not a good idea.)

So. Starting with this post. I am going to attempt to get back to my creative roots and do some writing every day for the month of November. It could be a post about what I’ve been up to or an actual piece of fiction. Whatever it ends up being, there will be something new to read at some point every day this month at Room7609.

If there is anything you would like me to write about drop me a comment.  I’ll happily accept topics and/or writing prompts in the form of sentences, a single word, and even a picture. It would be interesting to make this endeavor a little more interactive.

Remember that if you were following me at Loose Endings you will only see business stuff over there. You need to follow/subscribe to this blog (Room 7609) in order to follow my November endeavor. Update your blog readers if you need to.

 

Mucb Love

Charlie

 

 

Posted in Ramblings

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

No. We can't.

A few months ago I was having a conversation with someone that didn't understand what the hub-bub was all about when across the country states/cities started to vote to remove civil war statues from certain areas. I tried explaining why it was time and that it was a great idea to move them. (Not destroy – move them to a less prominent place for example a museum.) [not that museums aren't important]

I'm not sure that I managed to give an explanation that satisfied their question. Often these conversations end with "I don't care what 'they' do. It doesn't effect me personally." 'They" being whomever it is being discussed at the time. This mindset baffles me and at the same time doesn't surprise me. It is very much an American mindset.

What bothers me is the eventual question of "Why can't we just get along?" That gets asked. You don't want to hear that the reason is because you don't care (unless it effects you). Because that means you have to acknowledge your privilege (and understand what that is) whatever it may be and where it comes from. And admit that everyone is not treated equally or even fairly. In order to get along you have to care even if it doesn't effect you.

I know I am privileged. I also know that I can not compare my experiences to others when it comes to things like BLM and LGTBQA Rights – but I know that I will always stand up and fight for them. Because in my mind it's the right thing to do. Just as I will always fight for Women's Rights. Social Justice… Equality.

The events that occurred in Charlottesville this past weekend were not about equality or social justice. No. They were about fear and hate. And if you think that the events don't effect you or anyone around you. You need to wake up. Because this effects us all.

….more later.

Posted in Ramblings

A-Kon 28

And here we are. My post about A-Kon 28.

 

Before I get started here’s a little history:

I’ve attended Leesa and Me at A-kon 9this convention once before. Way back when. Seriously. I went to A-kon 9. I was 23. I remember the year because it was the first time I dyed my hair purple.  (That  is a story by its self.) Here’s one of the only pictures I have from the convention.  What I remember most about A-Kon 9? Tons of Neon Genesis Evangelion (I may have purchased every single OA music cd ever), and finding Ryo-Ohki (Tenchi Muyo!) to take home with me, as well as having a great time at the Hard Rock cafe in Dallas.

 

Flash Forward:

A few months ago I was approached by the Copsplay group DatCosplayYo to fill a gap that had formed in their cosplay plans.  They wanted to know if I could step in as Slyveon, one of the 8 eeveelutions of Eevee, a Pokemon; they were planning on entering the cosplay contest at A-Kon 28.  I agreed and then learned that the portion they were entering was in fact the Skit. A category which they won last year.

I scrambled to get things together. Because this cosplay was gijinka it was decided that Sylveon would be Lolita.  I wanted it to be as authentic as possible which meant I needed to talk to someone that was familiar with Lolita. Enter Mandolin Cole. Aside from being an amazingly creative person that I consider a friend, I knew she was immersed in all things Lolita – especially clothing. With her assistance I managed to pull together an authentic Sylveon Lolita cosplay.

Here are some progression pictures:

For the record: the JSK and the blouse were purchased and then altered to fit.  I restyled the wig to add more curls and painted the “tails” of the ribbon. The ears were made with craft foam, fabric and lace.  I also added a sash.

A-Kon is now a 4 day convention, this year was the first year it was held at the Fort Worth Convention Center. It’s certainly not fair for me to compare A-Kon 28 to A-Kon 9 so I won’t.

We arrived on day 2. Just in time for the photo-shoot that DatCosplayYo had set up with ROXAS Studios for their Legends of the Hidden Temple cosplay. Shane, the photographer, was totally chill.

After walking around for a few hours in the Artist Alley and Dealers section we found a space to go over the skit before heading back to the hotel to finish last minute details. Because on day 3 we would have a full day.

Day 3 dawned hella early for several of us. We almost didn’t make it to pre-judging on time. Almost. Pre-judging is when the judges look at how the cosplays are made etc. By the time we talked to the Judges my ears were like this:

IMG_4974

Not really what you want to happen, even if it does look “cute”. I’ll be re-engineering those ears before cosplaying Sylveon again.

After the pre-judging we wandered as a group. And were stopped a lot. And by a lot, I mean every 10 ft we moved. We managed to grab some food and roam the Dealers section, where I lost my wallet. No worries, a vendor found it and sent it to the Lost and Found. The back and forth to locate where it was in the end was amusing. I was lucky that I had only stopped at a select number of vendors and it was easy enough to back-track the possibilities of where I had lost it.

3 o’clock rolled around and we set off to get ready for the actual competition. Normally the stage folks have enough time to let everyone walk the stage before the show actually starts, but things were delayed and after putting everyone in chronological order we were told that there wasn’t going to be time and essentially were expected to do the show cold.

Skits are the last portion of the Cosplay Contest. This year there were a total of 5 skits. We went 3rd. And oh my word….

I have performed at the Medieval Fair in Norman for years. There is something so very very unnerving about performing on a stage. The skit lasted all of 3 minutes. Each of the eeveelutions had roughly 8 seconds of stage time. Everyone hit their marks (even if I did end earlier than practiced) and from what we could tell, every part we hoped that would get a response received a response. It was over quickly. I’m not sure there is video of of it, but I will share it if I ever come across it.

Then we waited for the results backstage. We discussed the other skits and what our chances were. It was hard to hear when things were announced as the audio was facing the audience and we were not in the audience. But we could watch on a projection screen. It was really inspiring to see all of the different cosplays that entered and those that won. And then we heard DatCosplayYo called to the stage. For Best Skit. For the second year in a row they had won first place.

picture courtesy of Kyle McNiecepicture courtesy of Scott Fischer

It is an experience I will never forget. All of the members of the cosplay group are super nice and I am happy to have had the chance to work with them.

After winning we caught up with Shane, who was kind enough to take a quick shot of the group. (Not the above picture.) Then we walked about for half an hour before heading back to the hotel. I changed and packed my things as I was headed home that night.  And thus ended my A-Kon 28 experience.