Pinterest – Costume Pinny McPinny

The internet is addictive. Even when I set a specific time to do a specific task, it is all too easy to be side tracked. One of my friends shared a picture from Pinterest earlier. Never. I mean never - ever - go there unless you have a few hours to spare.  I thought: I'll just pop up a few pictures of the costumes I have made over the years. That won't take long. Ha! Don't you believe it.

I did come up for air for about an hour.  Writers Race was tonight; it is good having 'appointments'... and sticking to them.  I did manage to get the first short story edit done tonight and get some good advice from a published writer.

Then I went back to post some more costumes. Ayeee. It is not until I started trolling through the many pictures on my computer that I actually realised how many costumes I have made over the years. (and that is not all of them).

gg 96For the costumers amongst my readers, my this is my Pinterest page. I still have to find the photo albums (early 1980s) of my earlier costumes and scan them... one day. (I think I will take a break right now) This is one of the earliest ones on my computer: circa 1987 I think. It was for our D&D LARP Christmas party. Quite scary. I was a wood elf.

My first SF (fan) convention was in 1980. A Doctor Who inspired costume was one of my first costumes that I made. (I need to find the picture of it) Other costumes include Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Blakes 7, various movies and television shows with a growing list of Doctor Who costumes.

Then there is my latest (for several years now) love of Steampunk. Not only do I love writing alternative history and steampunk related stories but I love making and wearing the outfits as well.  I can mix and match. The only costume genre that has provided as much freedom in design and wearability has been historical re-enactment. Here are a few of my latest costumes from both: finishedsteam


sybil done


The most comfortable costume that I have ever worn has been my Hobbitess costume or my Sybil outfit (from Doctor Who Fires of Pompeii).   I cannot pick a favourite costume. It changes depending on my mood and the weather (I must admit).

What I can decide upon is the costumes which have been the most fun to wear... and there are a few! On the top of the (recent) list is River Song (as always), Tia Dalma which was satisfying to finish (it took years to source materials from opshops and make pieces) and was a blast to wear. Also near the top of the list was Rita Skeeter. I spent the day at the convention 'interviewing' different costumers (or cosplayers if you prefer). Most recently it was the Victoria and Otto steampunk outfit. OzComicConRitaSkeeterInterview

tia dalma 2012

riversongSo now you know what I do with my spare time when I am not writing, drawing or photographing things...


Returning characters

Wednesday is the weekly writing race held by Australian Writers' Marketplace online (on Facebook). Each week they have a different author to 'host' the race. We can ask questions, get advice, just chat or (more importantly) get an hour to sit down and write (or edit, or plan - the choice is ours) along side a group that encourages us to do so.

I 'attend' most weeks. It gives me a kick up the bum. Sometimes I get a lot done. Sometimes I just get good ideas or advice. This week I managed to finish my first edit on The Magic Lantern. I have managed to cull over 100 words. I doubt I will be able to cull the other 500. It might have to remain a 3500 word short story.

I have shared a bit more about this short story in A Kick up the ButtI rather enjoy the characters - two Victorian era doctors. One has a private practice on Harley St, working for the police as coroner part-time (he likes mysteries) and the other is an ophthalmologist/optician with upper class connections (officially there were not separate opticians until a few decades later). She is a widow who loves mysteries (hates photographers). Together they get into scrapes of the most unusual kind.  We first met them in An Eye for Detail (which I DID manage to keep under 3000 words.) I am having fun with these characters and have no doubt they will return for more adventures.

Yep. I had fun last night. :)

A Kick up the Butt

Sometimes writing a story is easy; the characters behave and are willing to be led on a merry dance. Sometimes they misbehave and insist on doing their own thing. Last week they just up and went on strike.

I have been in a bit of a writing funk for over a week; in truth, almost two weeks. I had been working on a really cool idea. I had the basic plot, two fantastic sounding characters. I had thought I was set for an easy write. Not a chance. They sat there refusing to be committed to the page. I began to wonder if I had ran out of ideas.

Then I happened to connect with one of my old roleplaying friends who had moved to the US many, many years ago. She found me on Facebook. We did the obligatory catch up and she asked about my writing. I pointed her to one of my online short stories An Eye for Detail. 

I must thank her for a kick up my writers' block butt. I decided to revisit two of my favourite characters Victorian ophthalmologist/optician Dr Viola Stewart and Police surgeon Dr Collins and their nemesis, a clandestine organisation of scientists. My friend will be happy.

The weekly writing race was a perfect time to start the ball rolling. In one hour I had over four hundred words. It would have been more if I had not had to stop for some crucial research. (I tried to write around it but I needed the information to continue).  I now have two disappeared Toffs, a happy mad scientist and a secret plot being hatched. Will our intreprid amateur criminologists survive the plot and will Dr Stewart start a new fashion trend?

Hopefully I will find out in the next few days!