I’ve been quite productive today but I’ve noticed a growing sense of anxiety and exhaustion around the work I’ve been doing – so I’ve opted to take some leave. This may seem odd given there’s a worldwide lockdown in place, but for my own wellbeing I feel I need to commit to not dialling in to work remotely for a few days next week.
Lady M has also booked some time off from her work for similar reasons. We would have been going to Portsmouth Comiccon and possibly looking at next week off to recover anyway, so in the grand scheme of things its not too different from what we would have been planning.
Its thoughts like that which remind me just how the convention and cosplay circuit has been hit, and by extension our little hobby and our connections with the friends we’ve made there.
Its why I’m continuing to get involved with daft cosplay collaborations – yes its fun to dress up and be silly, but the conversations and planning behind the scenes have been wonderful for keeping in touch and celebrating the creativity and oddness of us all.
If it raises smiles and lightens people’s days during lockdown then all the better, and I can take heart from that.
I’ve been feeling out of sorts most of the day – a combination of head fog and a rattling in my chest that I can’t quite pin down to heart or lungs. It’s only really been the last half hour that I’ve decided its the lungs, but the worry hasn’t helped me through the day.
Sensing that I wasn’t too perky, Lady M prescribed pizza and daftness – which is how we’ve just finished a double bill of Marvel films: Antman and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel and it has done the job of distracting me and raising my spirits through music and light banter. Just what I needed to switch the worry centres off.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Antman films. I love heist films, and the daft childlike spirit of the original and its sequel are like a comfort blanket – largely because of the ensemble cast who seem to be having fun making them. That sense of fun shines through more and more when I watch Captain Marvel too, despite the efforts of the space fascists (Kree) to be oh so serious. They’re not high art films, and they know it, and when I need a distraction that just fits the bill – and I say that as a very very long-term Marvel fan.
I’m back on the data cleansing today, removing out of date remarks and correcting errors where encountered. Its a painstaking process that even with my glasses on requires taking semi-regular breaks.
What I am noticing as I work through the spreadsheet and system is the sheer diversity of our customers. It is wonderful. Sometimes there are whole families with sequential entries where they’ve all joined at once, but more often than not a single digit difference at the end of the card tells a story of the range of people in our community that have walked in through the doors and joined up for their card.
Its something I’m aware of when working with the public every day, but something about working through each entry is reinforcing it for me, and reminding me of how lucky I am to work with so many varied individuals
We got back into the swing of things last night in D&D – with a mix of derring-do and investigation, but also tears and laughter in moments of heartfelt roleplay where these new adventurers began to come to terms with the harshness of the life that they had chosen.
Chief among the causes of their introspection was that the stories and songs they had been raised on didn’t talk often about what it felt like to have to make life and death decisions over their friends. The fighting had been sudden and unexpected and nearly seen two of their number cut down in the first moments of their career. Briar, as a child of retired adventurers in particular, was shocked at the realisation that these feelings must have been felt by their parents.
There was also concern about who or what the undead had been before becoming what they were. What lives had they lived? Had they had friends and family? What had led them to die and then be so darkly reborn?
Others in the group took to singing and drinking and dancing to cope – celebrating their lives and raising the spirits of all around them. For some there was study, or the quiet discipline of knitting quietly and watching everyone else.
The former introspection was roleplayed beautifully and brought tears to people’s eyes, the latter celebration turned into a celebration that had everyone in stitches with laughter. An overnight recovery for the adventurers and players – but with the knowledge that a dark mystery remained to be explored with the discovery of an overgrown staircase leading deeper into the hill.
I’ve been thinking about doing a version of Wolverine based on the film Logan, possibly crossing over with the comicbook Old Man Logan – after all I’ve got the grey coming through in the beard and am nery twice the age if some of the cosplayers around me.
So I bit the bullet this week and after asking around for recommendations bought a set of claws that would be Con safe as they’re made of plastic. A couple of days later, they arrived:
I think I’m going to have fun with these… oh, the bruising is makeup rather than Lady M attacking me for making her jump with moving so quietly around the place. I quickly threw this test together after filming for the Nerd OD project. Not pictured: the grey tracksuit bottoms I was wearing to slob around the flat…
Yesterday I got my backside into gear and dressed back up as Captain Boomerang for the next Nerd OD video, singing some lines for a rendition of We’re All In This Together from High School Musical. I toned down the blood and gore for a more nuanced healing black eye and duly prance around for the camera for a few minutes to try and do a one-shot grab of footage.
That mostly worked, but there is an outtake and blooper or two included in the footage I’ve uploaded to the guy compositing it all, so we’ll see what ends up in the final version.
Included in all that was the following addition material thats gone towards the fight video:
All in all, not a bad diversion, and I’ll link in the finished result when it gets completed in the next few days!
Wait, what, how? I’m not quite sure how the week has managed to drag and and yet zoom through at breakneck speed, but here we are and I’m two glasses of gin down with Great British Menu on the TV.
So I really can’t complain, and I even have some spoons rattling in my mental drawer.
I still need to do the singing cosplay filming, but the plan is to do that tomorrow. What I have done though is taken steps to assemble a version of Wolverine as per the film Logan. I just need to find a suitable wig.
I think we may do some online nattering tonight, draw the DDC together to talk nonsense and possibly play some Cards Against Humanity. Here’s to relaxing for the weekend.
Taking time for myself seems to have been the right decision yesterday as I was able to focus much better today. Its been another day of data cleansing, and catching up on emails, but also of rearranging some furniture in the flat.
I’ve wanted to open up the corner of our main living area that has a mass accumulation of cables, phone points, and general tech for a while as its been quite cramped. A lot of the tidying I’ve done the last few days was aimed at clearing the sofas off so I could shift one up closer to the piano and swap a low coffee table round to be against the wall on the other side.
This has meant being able to shelve and present our recipe books in a more usable way, and mean that I don’t have to perform a delicate dance round and between sofa ends to answer the phone. It does now mean that I’ve now got more stuff back on the sofas but its all odds and ends I’m in the middle of rationalising, discarding, or relocating anyway, so its all Just As Planned. Honest.
Hopefully the ability to focus will remain as I attack the next tranche of data, but even more importantly I’ve got to video some more clips in cosplay for another couple of projects. More on this… later…
A quick update on the long-gestating novel. Barring a few little linking passages I’ve typed up most of the first draft of the novel. and have the rest in various notebooks, including some alternative takes on scenes. Hooray, but now begins the big edit and reworking of major bits because my focus and tone has shifted as the characters have evolved, and some of the stuff that I’ve come back to read now has me noticing all kinds of plot holes.
So. The current plan now is to streamline some scenes, remove some others, add another couple of viewpoints to see if they work, and try not to throw my laptop across the room. Well, at least more than a couple of times.
This is actually a big deal given I started this with a Nanowrimo in 2011 (I think) and then have wandered all over the place between copywriting as a freelancer, then deciding I needed some regular income and becoming a library person again. I just need to knuckle down and carry on doing this slog. I’ve learned a lot about the sheer grind needed to write long-form stories – and every short story and fiction fragment here and in other places have been learning steps along that road. Nothing is wasted effort. If I say that often enough then I’m sure I’ll believe it at some point.
Now to do battle with Amazon again and see if they’ll accept my bank details for self-publishing at any point.