Rosh Hashana 5778

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:55 pm
filkerdave: (jew roll)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Rosh Hashanah and the year 5778. May all of you reading this be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

לשנה טובה

Crafty Tuesday: This is Halloween

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:33 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
We are well known for two things in our neighborhood especially at Halloween. The first is that we give comic books rather than candy and the second is a graveyard that I have been building to and working on for years to the point that people who had their picture taken in front of it are now taking pictures of their children in front of it. The two years I didn’t put it up I had people asking if we were OK or what happened.

This year I want to try something a little different and give the graveyard a theme. This gives me a month to create some new props and gravestones for the display.

I am sorting out what I can get done with that and a puppet that is on the table and Caroline’s annual Halloween costume. The difference is that Caroline is getting use to working with the sewing machine and soon will be making her own costumes.

I have been given permission to do a Scary Godmother puppet show which may see the light of day this year possibly by Halloween.

So I have ideas and some motivation now I just need to get the energy to move this project forward.

Along with this is the open call for “They Keep Killing Glenn” and my Nemo novel.

Let’s see what I can get done. I will check in next week with progress on all these projects.

I am grateful for things that motivate me.

Random Monday Writing Thinks

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:47 am
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman

One of the interesting joys of the current story-series is that I'm NOT writing a broken or restricted character - I'm writing a character who has gotten his shit together & is taking on a new, out-of-comfort-zone challenge because he chooses to.

Because the story doesn't end when the broken bits of a POV character are repaired/justified.  Interesting stuff happens after, too. And we don't have to break them a second or third time to make it interesting.

Kintsugi is about the repaired form as a whole, not just the golden seams.

This post possibly brought to you by reading too damn many "hero/ine is broken in order to BE the hero/ine" story.  Which are good and necessary stories, but not the only ones we should be telling.

filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

It pretty much kills any real social media time, especially longer-form stuff like DW. I could probably do more if I turned the computer on at night but I really try never to do that when I'm on a project. There's no reason to.

Maybe things will even out a little. I'd made a commitment to myself to write here regularly, and I haven't quite been able to do it for the past few weeks.

On the bright side, Baltimore is a nice town so far. I'm sure there are parts that aren't nice, but that's true of every city, isn't it?
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman
Watching "Some Kind of Spark" on PBS, and it is having the multiple effect of a) making me homesick, b) making me thoughtful about the ideas of passion, practice and perfection, and c) wishing once again that I were capable of reading music.

Watching kids realize that what they want is going to be a lifetime of hard work, internalize that knowledge, and then go after it, is a lovely thing.



(before anyone offers advice on c, don't. Dyscalculia makes reading music an exercise in nothing but frustration for me)

Conventional Wisdom DragonCon 2017

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:56 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
In which I take a step back but also have a lot to do.

This year I knew that I was not going to be around for the month of July so if I wanted to do the Art Show and the Puppet Slam, I had to get most of it done before then due to time constraints that I knew about in August.

By the beginning of June I had a feeling that the Art Show was a no-go and so I wrote them and said I was out this year but would like to participate next year.

By August I knew that the puppet slam piece was not happening and for a second year I found myself on the outside looking in. This was frustrating but I had to face the reality of the time I had and my energy levels so rather than throw together a half-assed entry, I told Beau that I would pass on my slot this year but want to participate next year.

That does not mean that I didn’t have anything to do at DragonCon. I had plenty of panels and a couple of things that I wanted to get done to occupy my time.

Two of the things I wanted to do had been set in motion over a year ago in one case and two months in the other. The first was to get the Nebula puppet that had been completed a year ago to Karen Gillan who knew it existed. Thanks to the help of Tony Gowell, I was able to do so. She was very happy with the result. The second was to get the River Song puppet to Alex Kingston who chose which outfit she wanted on it. She loved it and proceeded to have River and Alex have a conversation with each other. I didn’t know until later that evening that she had worked at the little Angels puppet theater in London.

I was on a variety of panels discussions ranged word usage in fandom to the American Musical. I also did my duties as head-judge for the workmanship contest on Friday Night. This gets harder every year to judge but I am up to and enjoying the challenge.

I did see my brother and sister during the weekend where we caught up a bit on life, the universe and everything. I had some excellent conversations about all kinds of topics with friends old and new.

Only problem the whole weekend was that impasse which is getting into the Marriott where the puppetry track is because of the bottle neck from the Hyatt and the food court feeding into the Marriott and people trying to get out of the Marriott to go to the Hyatt and the food court. That has been a trouble spot for years and this year is no different. My one solution is to make it one way in and one way out at that point which is a manpower issue to enforce it.

And lets have a hand for all the volunteers who worked their butts off over the weekend so the rest of us could have fun. They did a good job and knew how to get you either the information you needed or where to go for that info.

A round of applause also for those who counter-protested the megaphone wielding “you are all going to hell” group who happened to be right under our window in the hotel. Between the bagpipers who placed themselves on either side of the group and drowned them out to the Drag Queens that sang showtunes to the Deadpool who dressed up as Jesus, DragonCon gave as good as they got.

Thank you to the Alanta Police department for both safety and traffic control. You got us where we needed to go without having to fight our way there. Also to the paramedic and the police officer along with the fan who was a real doctor(yes he was dressed as the 10th doctor but works at Emory) who helped a man who had a sudden seizure on the corner of the street along with the quick thinking fans who made a ring around the man so that the medical personal could do their job.

We had fun so we will be back next year.

I am grateful for DragonCon for many reasons.

Crafty Tuesday: Purpose

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:55 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
Purpose it's that little flame
That lights a fire under your ass
Purpose it keeps you going strong
Like a car with a full tank of gas


-Purpose from Avenue Q

Finding one’s purpose is one of those big things in life. And one’s purpose can change over time.

My purpose is to teach people about puppets and puppetry in any way that I can. I want the next group of people to be able to surpass anything I have done and I will give them the tools to do it with so they don’t have to re-invent the wheel (or puppet rod) each and every time.

When I see puppets that people have built because of things I have taught them or suggestions I gave them, I get a nice warm feeling in my chest.

I know there are people out there making better and cooler puppets than mine. And I am fine with that. I learn from them to make my puppets better.

At Dragon*Con I was on my panel on “So you want to build a puppet” where people bring in their ideas and we tell them how we would do it. My panelists were just wonderful and each brought a slightly different skill set to the group. The audience had good questions and we had fine answers. I learned a couple of things from my panelists and ways of doing or looking at puppets or organizing to know where your stuff is (Thank you Marty).

And I love doing things like that. I like using my brain to solve problems or come up with ways to allow people to make the critters that they want to create. If I could make that a job I would and be quite happy with it.

It was also a good reminder of my purpose and how I cannot just sit on my past work but need to continue to create and try new things.

I also got some good books that were suggested for patterning and the like. Giving me more knowledge to help people bring their puppets to life.

And there you have one of my purposes in life.

I am grateful I have a sense of purpose.

This day, this day.

Sep. 11th, 2017 07:11 am
lagilman: (Seattle Wheel)
[personal profile] lagilman

Still I remember. Until I am no more, I will remember. 
Absent friends, and the friends we never got a chance to meet. The world that ended, and the world that became.

“Bear Witness”

Years pass, decades,
The revising measure of a lifetime
Entire; I stand here still,
Not stone not metal not fire but flesh
To bear the weight, to not fail nor fall some greater trust.
Rise into the skies and ne’er come down again.

© 2012, Laura Anne Gilman

(originally posted on http://www.lauraannegilman.net/this-day-this-day/)


and for those for whom it may help, I write about dealing with the emotional and psychological aftermath for #Holdontothelight: http://www.lauraannegilman.net/gaslighting-myself-a-holdontothelight-post/

Rest In Peace Len Wein

Sep. 11th, 2017 07:37 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
I honestly don’t remember the first time I met Len Wein. I do know it was at some convention in Atlanta probably Fantasy Fair but that’s about it. I went to a panel he was doing to Chris Claremont where the topic was the X-men but some people did get a Swamp Thing question or two in. I had him sign my Giant Sized X-Men.

I would go to panels Len was on because I knew I would get at least one good story. I thought that I would love to have a meal with him because he’s such a good story teller.

Fast forward to some convention and Peter and I find ourselves with Len and some other members of the Marvel crew going out to dinner. I had been introduced to Len by Peter so he had an idea who I was. We talked about the state of comic book stores and the industry needed both men and women to be buying comics. He liked that I used a lot of Independent comics to get the women who were being drug to the story by their significant others to get them interested in comics too.

We would run into Len and, on occasion, his wife Christine at various conventions. Schedules would be hectic and it got rare that we found time that we could all sit down and just talk. There would be brief interactions and quick catch-ups but ‘Next time’, we would say, ‘Next time we will have that meal we want to have with each other.’

Now there is no next time.

We knew he had health problems. He never made a big deal about it. I kept up with happens on Facebook and gave my support where I could. So it was one of those that we couldn’t say that we were surprised but it still hurt a lot.

His work in comics was amazing. A lot of things he did behind the scenes and he didn’t trumpet all that he did. He created iconic characters that live to this day in film and television and on the comics page. Hugh Jackman jumped off stage at a SDCC to shake Len’s hand and thank him for creating Wolverine which was the character that launched his career. I remember a friend working so hard to get his Swamp Thing costume right so he could show it to Len. Len complimented him on it and made sure to get some pictures too (before digital folks so this was more expensive).

We lose a giant in the comic book industry. Peter and I lose a friend. We now have a Len sized hole in our lives that will be noticeable at various conventions

My sympathies and prayers to his family and friends.

I am grateful that I got to know Len.

A third of the way into September....

Sep. 10th, 2017 07:13 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman
 The West is still burning.  Texas is wringing out, but Florida is underwater.  Mexico is rattled.  The Northeast, I am told, is bracing for locusts.

(Joking.  Mostly.  Kinda.  Maybe.)

I'm writing again, after a summer of seemingly endless interruptions, but not as quickly as I'd like.  On the plus side, the Patreon story-series is flowing like crazy.  I guess it's true: sometimes you have to walk away from people (characters) to want to come back to them...

and ...Pietr, you spent way too much time in NYC.

"Nobody needed that kind of tsurus, without they were working off a lot of bad karma."






The Next Day of the Rest of my life

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:37 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
I had a very pleasant birthday. I went to see the Joshua Show vol. 2 by the brilliant puppeteer Joshua Holden at the HERE art space down in Soho. We went to a popular burger joint called the Black Tap: craft beers and burgers to some mighty fine burgers and amazing milkshakes. Apparently we did what few do and walked up to the bar to find a seat immediately. When we left about 22 people were waiting for about 20 total seats in the place.

Afterwards we worked our way uptown to see our friend James who had a signed program for Caroline by the cast of Hamilton. He managed to get Lin-Manuel Miranda to sign it as well, which got him a bear hug from Caroline.

Peter knows me so well. He got me a turntable so I can move my vinyl collection to MP3 and be able to play music that I don’t have on CD. Also a number of these albums that mean something to me are not going to enter the digital realm for various reasons. He also got me a Doctor Strange doll, which is very cool. I plan to put it next to my Sherlock doll and let them have adventures.

I got myself some books on prop building and working with foam or rather I got them for Caroline and me since she is so wanting to start producing her own costumes.

Peter’s birthday is in less than 2 weeks. I know it is on a Saturday because mine was on a Saturday as was Ariel’s.

So today has a couple of things on the agenda and around that I need to fit a few more things. Monday I am working my way back to the fall schedule then we will see what we can get done given the time.

Off to project one.

I am grateful that I had such a spiffy birthday.

Almost halfway through my 50s

Sep. 9th, 2017 09:25 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
54 is a funny age. I am almost half way through my 50s but not quite so it is an age and, if I am lucky, I will remember it. One of my brothers hit 50 so that makes it easier for me to figure out the age of my other siblings.

So here is my public version of my letter to me. (for the new kids on the block, I write myself a letter each year and then read it the next year. I have another letter for when I turn 60s. I have been doing this since my 20s)

Dear Kath,

Well it has been a year indeed. I swear the ups and downs keep getting bigger.

This past year you have fandom to thank that the IRS is not taking your house away. They helped us and we will never be able to thank them enough.

This past year you managed to get puppets to various people and are happy that they were amused by them.

You managed to keep a much better gym schedule so let’s keep that up.

You wore a costume to a convention in who knows how long because of a haircut.

This next year I want you to work on your follow through. You have a couple of projects that must be done so get it done. I know you can.

Let’s build some dolls this year. It has been years.

Overall you are in a pretty good place, let’s take it from there and make the next year creative and great.

love
Me
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