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!

3 Comments

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.

1 Comment

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Crafting, Crafts, Event, Geek

It’s Weird Now

It’s weird knowing I’m not about to get a call to tell me, again, all about this day 38 years ago, including the bit where I was fortuitous enough to go ahead and be an emergency birth so insurance would cover it and my parents would get to go home with not just a baby but a full refund because they’d prepaid all the hospital fees for childbirth. No one is ever going to tell me that story again.

Honestly, I didn’t realize just how much I talked to my dad until he wasn’t there to talk to. I’ve had a very long time to deal with missing my mom. I’m only just getting the hang of missing him too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Time to Have The Talk

Probably not the one you think. I would just like to urge everyone to talk to their at risk loved ones about the scammers that call and try to tell you that their computer has a terrible virus and they need to pay them right now to fix it. If I hadn’t called at exactly the right moment, my stepmom might have bought it. They can be very convincing. Not only is that not how it works but, if she did have a virus or malware, we’d have that taken care of locally by people we know and trust. So, consider this a PSA, please talk to your at risk loved ones – anyone who might fall for a telephone based scammy scammer or a popup scammy scammer and put a plan in place so that they know what steps to take in the event of a virus. Even if they forget about the scams, they aren’t going to pay someone over the phone if they know to call your local fixitallperson first.

Seriously, why do people have to be awful to each other? It’s not like my poor stepmom hasn’t had enough to deal with this year.bah. I do hope karma has something to say to them eventually.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

2 Comments

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Autism, Books, kids, Life, Memories

What’s in a Name?

I picked up a little snippet of an idea I jotted down a couple of years ago and am running with it. I see it growing up to be a short story, just this side of novelette most likely. It’s a rough length but once it’s done I can muck around with it until it’s a more saleable length. The problems I’m running into are all in the names. I do not like my placeholder names at all. It does not fit this woman at all. It does not fit her boss or her friend. I did get two names right but the rest will not work.

Sometimes names are easy. Sometimes I use a baby naming website. And then there are those other times when a regular name just isn’t going to cut it. I like to use ingredient lists for my fantasy characters. Take a syllable of this chemical and a syllable of that chemical and bang, you’ve got Tenorack (from Eldercynne Rising) and Ketryl (from a story that may never see daylight).

I suppose for this one, I’ll go back to a baby naming website since, even though it’s fantasy-ish, it is earthbound and contemporary. Have to find a name for a bad-ass government agent that doesn’t sound too happy. The name she has right now is much too happy to keep calling her.

2 Comments

Filed under WIP, Writing

Trying to get back to things

I’m finding it very difficult to get back into my routine, into the swing of things. For the last several years, it was not unusual to get a text or three during the week to see how many words I’ve written, what projects I was working on. As much as it might have been a little frustrating because when I’m rolling, I’m rolling pretty quick. I appreciated the fact that he was interested.

He was pretty much my only cheerleader. I have other supportive people but most of them don’t read and especially don’t read the genres I write. He didn’t read fiction much until he started being my first reader. He is, was, the only person who has read all of my books, all of my stories.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do now. He was my sounding board and my fact checker. I have all of these suddenly open positions and no applicants to fill them. Nor would I really want to right now, they wouldn’t stick a random “d” in the word genre or lecture me on the proper naming genders in Russian families or ramble about whatever crazy random bit of information that is absolutely integral to whatever story I’m editing.

I’m not very good at this grieving thing. I get all the steps mixed up and somehow there seem to be more of them in my stairway. Funnily enough, acceptance seems pretty low on the climb, just after blank and before irrational what-ifs. I know everyone is different but I’m a wallower. Not really in my grief, because the actual grief part is mostly done-ish, but in my memories. Certain things become so intrinsically tied to a person that you can’t do them, go there, see that without thinking of them.

I’m trying to get myself put back together and there will be brighter, shinier, happier things here soon and eventually there will be new words. I don’t quite know what to do with them now but I’ll figure it out. I was writing before he took an active interest (before I started taking it seriously) and I’ll write again soon – other than poetry which is just coming to me faster, muddier, and sloppier than usual. I’m just going to have to restructure my rituals now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

RIP Joe McBride

Joe and Kathy McBride

Joe and Kathy McBride

Joseph Boyd McBride, 68, of Weirton, WV passed away February 24, 2017.

Born in Levelland, TX on July 31, 1948, Joe was the son of Cecil Elmo McBride and Geraldine (Williams) McBride. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BSA in Agricultural Economics and later from the City University of Seattle with a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

He was a jack of all trades having worked in bookstores, pet stores, direct sales, and as a teacher. He was an accomplished motivational speaker and corporate trainer. He traveled the world with his wife, Kathy, with Toastmasters, BNI, and Spokane’s sister city program, making friends wherever he went.

He wrote training guides, speaker guides, and marketing strategies including work in Master of Sales and Master of Networking. He joined Toastmasters International in March of 1983 and remained active in the organization until his passing.

He loved to cook and experiment with different styles of food, different techniques of preparation. He enjoyed gardening, telling stories, reading and watching Jeopardy.

He is survived by his loving wife Kathy, his daughter and son-in-law Sarah and Rob Wagner, his grandsons, Dakota and Logan, his sister and her husband Sandra and Charles Whittington and nephews Barry and Wade and their wives and children, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He will be missed.

His Toastmasters district posted a memoriam online.

If you would like to hear a little speech, his district posted a video a while back from, I believe, one of the Toastmaster competitions. It should be set to start at his portion. If not, it starts at approximately 11:36.

In 2000, after a viral heart infection, the doctors said he wouldn’t get another five years. It’s a very good thing for those of us who love him that he never did much care what the doctors said. We were very lucky to get almost 17 years more. So, even though we all would have liked another few decades, we’re glad to have gotten what we did.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life