Category Archives: Books

Under the influence of Dune

I’ve read the book a few times. The first time, I was too young and a lot went over my head. Really, you just don’t have the life experience at eleven or twelve to really take in all of it. The second time around was a deeper, more in depth understanding. The third, yet again. I feel I’m likely about to read it again.

For years, my go to when I’m having a panic attack has been to recite the litany against fear. It’s not infallible but it does often take me out of my own head enough to at least lessen things. Now, with everything going on, it’s a very different part of Dune that seems to be taking root. My whole body seems like it is becoming a pain box. I don’t know who’s holding the gom jabbar but I swear, I’m human and we can be done now.

Fortunately, I’m now only a week away from my first appointment with a rheumatologist so we can start getting to the bottom of things, at least officially. I’ve learned a lot over the last almost two months though, about myself, my family medical history, and about the most likely culprits of all this nonsense. I also learned that ibuprofen makes me rashy. Yay me. I’m not too worried about long term prognosis really. I know the likely suspect is rheumatoid arthritis and I know that it isn’t as scary as it used to be. Medicine is an interesting and wonderful field and I have great doctors, I’m just really ready to have an official name and a treatment plan. At least then, I’m doing something more than trying to do some yoga poses or just muscle through like I should do.

Currently, I’ve got a nasty little end of summer cold to boot so, with the kids back in school, I’m curling up with my warm puppies and getting some sleep and trying to kick this stupid sniffly, drippy bit away so I can get back to just being hurty. One thing at a time please, silly body. Perhaps I’ll dig out the movie tomorrow and give it a watch. I could watch the Kyle MacLachlan version a hundred times. (And yes, it is very different but there is a place for both book Dune and that movie Dune in my life).

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Updates All Around

Set up at the Italian Festival!

I had another craft fair this past weekend and I sold a few more books which is always nice and met some very interesting people. I have to admit, I am enjoying the craft fairs more than I thought I would, even with all the other issues I’ve got going on right now. Which are much more plentiful than I’d like, for sure.

I have another craft fair coming up on August 12th also and that should be both busy and fun. I honestly never thought I’d be looking forward to events like this – it’s been a very long time since I was comfortable peopling this much so I guess I’m getting somewhere after all these years. I’m not ready for Steel City or Parsec just yet but maybe soon! (ish)

Fabric sculpture Ragamuffin is up at Nesting Dragon.

I put up a bunch of new stuff over at Nesting Dragon – I’m really enjoying the fabric sculptures. I think the Nazgul and Shadow are my favorites (Shadow is all mine and not for sale lol) but I’m branching out a bit and I’ve got some ideas… Hopefully, I’ll manage to get one done before the Peach Festival and see how it plays.

On the health front, this month has been one long round of why do I hurt. It started with the left knee, when through the feet (with cellulitis of all things), through the ankles, the other knee, and then the wrists and hands. I’ve had x-rays, blood work,  more ibuprofen than I’ve taken in my entire life leading up to this (maybe an exaggeration…), and a whole lot of questions. The only thing I know for sure is that I have some arthritis in one knee, stupid tiny veins, and a predilection for bruising. I had yet another appointment today with the orthopedic guy and I walked out with some probably nots, a script for more bloodwork, and a referral for yet another guy. It’s really a frustrating process and I’m not actually getting solid answers, just suggestions. But we think fibromyalgia is ruled out at least so that’s something. Now I have to visit a rheumatologist and we’ll play another round of a million questions. Honestly, rheumatoid arthritis would make sense with everything but I’m not calling it until a doctor does. As of now, it’s just one possible answer. The words don’t matter so much as having a plan of attack. That’s what’s bothering me the most – not having a solid plan of attack beyond try to weigh less. In the mean time, I’m just muddling through and playing with speech to text software because typing a lot hurts (I’ve split this post into three sittings as it is).

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Filed under Books, Crafting, etsy, Event, Health, Life

If it’s not one thing…

It’s a hundred others.

My legs and feet seem to be more or less back to normal (for me – I’ve always had issues with the one knee). Now it’s my hands. Bah. It is quite difficult to type right now but the more I work through it, the more limber my fingers get so I’ll keep plugging (in fits and starts). I just want to be up to par by Sunday – when my next craft fair is. I’ve been enjoying these, believe it or not.

I did all right, especially considering the less than favorable weather and my necessary early exit – the knee just wasn’t going to cooperate anymore.

This Sunday, I’ll be in Weirton at the Italian Festival at the Serbian picnic grounds if all goes well and the weather looks pretty favorable so far (fingers crossed they stay that way.

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Music and Writing

I have been listening to the same handful of songs for about a week. I know there is something in my brain that this particular list speaks to. It’s right there, just beyond my fingertips but it’s coming. The more I listen to the songs, the closer it comes. I don’t know yet exactly what it is but it feels pretty desolate and angry which feels about right for right now. I really don’t think it’s a short story. I think this is a new book brewing and I don’t think it’s related to any of the ones I’ve written before. I see big, sweeping battles amidst a barren landscape full of fire and smoke and I’m pretty sure that’s not Earth’s surface they’re fighting on.

This playlist consists of mostly Black Veil Brides with a little Godsmack, Metallica, and Sisters of Mercy thrown in for good measure. I’m looking for more in that vein right now. I’m open to suggestions if you have them, especially a female lead with a sound/feel somewhere between Otep (a little too aggressive for this project) and Myrkur (a little too ethereal for this project).

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Filed under Books, WIP, Writing

Post-Craft Fair

So, I’m home and (mostly) unloaded with an ouchie knee and tired feet but I’m very happy with the overall results of the day. I cannot begin to tell you all how relieved I am to have this first event out of the way! I was far more nervous than I probably needed to be but I didn’t have any panic attacks and I peopled pretty well and I didn’t even get sarcastic once! You could say that today was a pretty big deal.

It probably helps that my friend was at the table next to me.

I went in with absolutely no expectations, which I think was very helpful. I talked to a bunch of people, I sold a few books, a few boxes, a few bookmarks, an Alice in Wonderland inspired miniature topiary, and a few magnets and I bought myself a pretty octopus bracelet. I came out way ahead on the day and I’m actually even looking forward to doing it again. I’m calling today a win all over – not just for my goals but for me in general. I really did expect to have trouble with the people part of it.

For those of you playing along at home, you’ve still got a short bit of time to enter the contest to win one of my books!

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Filed under Anxiety, Books, Crafts, goals, Life

Happy Contest Day!

Today is my first ever table at any event anywhere and so we’re celebrating. I’m going to give away at least one book and the rules to play are incredibly simple!

First: Like my Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/sarahwagner53

Like me on Facebook, share this picture or this post and maybe win a book!

Second: Share this image (doesn’t matter where: Twitter, blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. They all count.)

Third: Let me know you did both of those things – in the comments here, on Twitter, on Instagram, or on Facebook.

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Filed under Books, contest

Craft Fair

Craft and Vendor show at the Holiday Inn in Weirton

Tomorrow I’ll be going to my first craft fair armed with books, business cards, and some rather geeky crafty type stuff. If you’re able to get to Weirton, you should come by and say hello!

I’ve got copies of Hunter’s Crossing, Eldercynne Rising, Hardwired Humanity, Guardian of the Gods, Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse, Sha’Daa: Pawns, Sha’Daa Facets, Sha’Daa: Last Call, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery. I also have two poetry samplers, one of fantasy and horror poems and one of more literary type poems.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making other things also. Some salvaged comic crafts, some Nazgul, a few sorting hats, a couple of pinhead hearts, and some things that are very different for me. I’ve got a trio of fabric face sculptures: Shadow, Lucy, and Nimue. I kind of like them and I’m not sure I’m not keeping Shadow.

If you can’t make it to Weirton to see me in person, not to worry! Come back here tomorrow for the details on how to win a book!

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Filed under Books, Crafting, Crafts, Event, Geek

Nerves in Advance

I have many days, a few weeks’ worth in fact, before my first ever table at an anything. I’m starting small, at a local craft fair to sort of stick my toe in the water and see how I do. I’ve got the books in. In fact, the last box arrived today. I’ve got some geeky crafty type stuff ready to go as well. If you liked my Nazgul or my sorting hat, and you’re going to be near Weirton on the 30th, here’s your chance!

The fact of the matter is, I’ve never done something like this before and I really am quite nervous about the whole thing. I shouldn’t be. I come from two people who could convince most people that dihydrogen monoxide was polluting our water supply. My children have that gene too – the performance, the desire for applause. I have it too in a far more introverted way. I realized the other day that I might not be as gregarious, charming, or loud as my parents or my children but ultimately, I’m after the same thing – validation from people I don’t know! That’s really what writing books is, isn’t it?

I far prefer sitting back here, on this side of my computer screen instead of on a stage or behind a table, but, it’s a little hard to get my crowing heard from inside my house, shouting into the storm that is the Internet and full of people just like me. So, out into the world I must go. Maybe it won’t be as bad as I’m expecting. Maybe it’ll actually be fun and I’ll sign on to do more. Maybe a lot of things.

So, I’m sticking my toe in the water and maybe I’ll find myself at Steel City Con or Parsec down the road a bit.

Just for a head’s up – if you haven’t liked my Facebook page, now might be a good time as I’m going to be having a giveaway on April 30th (the day of said local fair). What I’m giving away will be revealed on that day.

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Filed under Anxiety, Books, Crafting, Life, Writing

Busy Girl

Today was IEP day for my youngest kidlet. It went well, as it usually does, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a twist of nerves and flooded with research in the days leading up to it. There’s a lot going on with him and, even though he is getting better at speaking neurotypical, he’s not there just yet. There are still things he needs a little bit of help with. I’m fortunate to be in a district willing to work with me, even when my ideas maybe aren’t the most orthodox ones. I know a lot of other parents have had problems working within the system, even specifically this system, and I am so grateful that I have had such a comparatively easy road for both kids.

I’ve also been helping my stepmom go through my dad’s things. Some things hit me harder than others. I was doing pretty well with the whole thing until I started looking through his slides. He was a phenomenal photographer who had such an amazing artistic eye for framing and focus. I may be looking into what it will take to do something interesting with some of those – maybe pairing his art with mine. I wish I’d seen some of these images before – I’d have suggested this project directly to him. But it’s a long way off and there’s a lot I’ve got to do before I can do a project like what I’m thinking about.

There’s one image in particular that I’m just struck by. We were in Spokane, WA then, I think I might be four in the picture. I’m wearing a bright red winter coat and it is the only real color in the image. I’m feeding the ducks and swans in Riverfront Park with the pavilion and the clocktower in the background. There is no one else in the picture. Not the old lady with the bag of breadcrumbs. Not a single soul on the grass on the other side of the river. No one on the bridge. I cannot remember a time when there weren’t people milling about everywhere there. It was always one of our favorite places to go on his weekends, puttering around with those birds. Oh, how I loved those swans. It’s a striking image and I really want to do something interesting with it. But I suppose I need to get a print first as it is only a slide.

I’m not getting a lot of usable writing done – it’s all a little too maudlin right now – so I’m doing more editing. I’m polishing up a few things to get ready to send out. I think being in this weird zone is actually making the editing easier because I’m not being drawn to five or six other projects I want to write also.

Dad’s Nikon is a lot different than my Pentax but I think I’m going to dust them off, load them up, and teach the kids how to take proper pictures this summer. If I knew how to do developing, I might just do the whole shebang but I’ll settle for lighting, color, and composition matched with shutter speed, exposure lengths, and that sort of thing. I think it’ll be a nice thing to be able to pass that along. Plus, we’ll maybe figure out if the cameras have any appreciable difference in quality.

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Filed under Autism, Books, kids, Life, Memories

Passion Projects

Some projects have good sales potential and broad appeal, others, not so much. I’ve found it is most hit and miss with poetry. I’ve had a fairly decent number of poems published by various publications over the years and it’s something I write that I don’t necessarily share with everyone.

A few months ago, I got a bug under my skin about a particular project, a linked progression poetry chapbook mostly dealing with anxiety, depression, and letting go of the toxic stuff in life. I don’t know if there is much call for it but I feel like there might be, like maybe there are others who would find it interesting.

I’ve played around all day with formatting, binding options, cover options, and all that jazz. I’m probably going to offer the chapbook in a few formats but initially, it’ll be hand-stitched with a glossy cover. Release day will be soon but I want to make a fair number of copies to have on hand.

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Filed under Books, Poetry, Publications, WIP, Writing