Category Archives: Conventions

And The Corset Training Begins

SMermaid01 So my lovely steel-boned corset from Orchard Corset arrived today, and I may have been squealing like a 6-year-old because, while I intend to cover it in a temporary skin of hologrammatic turquoise fish scales for costume purposes, it wound up going damn well with my costume color scheme as is. According to the website it’s grey, but it looks dark teal when put next to the costume fabrics, which is perfect for my needs. I was going to leave it in the scale skin for future costume events, but it’s just so pretty I may take it off so that I can wear it to other things.

Then again, I may not have to. Did I mention that corsets happen to be one of Ramón’s fetishes? When he found out he was going to have to lace me up daily so that the corset would be seasoned before RT2016, his eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. If I play my cards right, I may get some more of these in different colors over the coming months, tra la.

So anyway, we put it on. First off, I was absolutely delighted that it did indeed fit my heroically sized frame and that the modesty panel in back covered everything but an inch-wide gap. I’m not worried about that since it will be closed once the corset is properly seasoned.

SMermaid03(An aside — seasoning, or breaking in, a new steel bone corset is important because it allows the corset time to adjust to the shape of your body, reducing the chances of popped stitches or warped busks, and it also allows your body to adjust to the idea of compression. Satin corsets like these should be worn for a few hours each day for a week, while cotton or brocade corsets can take two weeks. For more information on seasoning, here’s a useful video from Orchard Corset.)

Secondly, I discovered that I need to pull this down just a tad because the waist is sitting a little high, which shoves my boobs up right under my chin. That being said, I was extremely impressed at how comfortable it was to wear. I could breathe, I wasn’t being uncomfortably pinched anywhere, and man did my posture improve. Also, I got one hell of a kiss from Ramón after he finished lacing me up.

Thirdly, I need to make sure I wipe all the dust off my mirrors before taking future pictures. That’s a NASA t-shirt under the corset, by the way. Gotta make sure my geek cred is current.

RT Costume Preparations Continue Apace

MermaidWigSo, yeah, I kinda changed my mind about what I wanted to wear to Cirque du Punk at RT’16. Since I write a lot about sea gods, water mages, mers, selkies, and the like, i thought it would be more appropriate if I showed up as a steampunk mermaid (Lady Amphitrite, Queen of the Seas and one of the big draws on the circus midway).

Thanks to the ease of internet shopping I purchased Worbla thermoplastic, a blue-grey corset, and a golden trident last night. Today I picked up sixteen yards of assorted fancy fabric for a frigging steal (and also for my costume). Then I went to the Dallas Vintage Shop (oh, my God, it’s where good costumers go when they die), came a little, and bought the nifty wig shown in the picture. I was going to get an Ariel long curly red wig, but then I saw this beauty and simply couldn’t say no. In my heart, I think I may well be a drag queen.

The rest of the evening was spent sorting through two different pattern packages and cutting out the pattern for a pale teal off-the-shoulder chemise that will form the base of the costume. My underbust corset will get an outer layer of shimmering turquoise fish scale fabric, and sometime this week I’ll be making a deep teal steampunked mermaid skirt with a metallic striped gold and teal bustle. And when the Worbla gets here I’ll be making myself a spined golden tiara encrusted with pearls, paua shell cabochons and rhinestones.

Why, yes, I go a bit overboard when it comes to costuming. But by God you are not going to be able to miss me at RT this year.

And the RT Preparation Begins

And by that I mean putting together my outfit for Cirque du Punk (I already had all the travel arrangements booked, tra la). Today I started looking at my closet figuring out what I did and didn’t have for my costume.

As it turns out, I have quite a lot thanks to my SF writing career and habit of going to cons. I have a lovely set of pewter granny boots, a brown coachman’s hat, steampunked goggles, a dark brown silk underbust bustier trimmed with dark red and gold ribbon, my choice of two white blouses to wear underneath, and a wonderful copper choker that I made when I first started my Etsy store and no one has purchased. Well, sucks to be them because I’m taking it back.

That leaves a skirt, jacket, and accouterments. I just bought a rather nice pattern for cancan/saloon girl/etc. wear that will allow me to construct a bustle skirt and matching jacket, and my local Hancocks is having a sale in a few weeks so I can run amok finding the appropriate fabric. Even better, I found some truly awesome Nerf pistols at Target that I will be steampunking up for my outfit, and I may well bat my eyelashes at the leatherworker in the house to make me a set of holsters. Still have to figure out if I want to wear bloomers or just tights underneath, and in that case whether or not I want a slit in the skirt (I’m thinking yes), and I can’t decide between lace gloves or fingerless leather driving gloves. Decisions, decisions.

Also, a parasol — yes or no? Granted, it would interfere with drawing the blasters, but I do like a good parasol.

Who Am I, And What Did I Do With Myself?


Because DAMN, I woke up productive today. Got the car safety inspection knocked out at the same time as the oil change, stopped off at Sprouts and got healthy stuff for lunch and dinner, came home and balanced my checkbook, filed all unfiled personal and business receipts in preparation for tax work this week, paid all the bills including the mortgage, filed THAT paperwork, and put away all the swag bag makings and cleaned off my design desk (granted, my office still needs to be cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed, but I figure I can do that tomorrow). I even have laundry from Wild Wicked Weekend churning through the machines and posted a thank you in the FB group for the awesome organizers and attendees.

In other words, it’s amazing what happens when your perimenopausal uterus eventually gets its shit in gear and generates a period, which means that all the excess water you’ve been storing like a good little camel finally, FINALLY begins to drain away. And yes, that’s TMI, but I’ve had serious-ass cankles going on since the 21st, look like Ms. Michelin Man in all the pics from the weekend, and had to keep taking naps so that I didn’t wind up snoozing on one of the ballroom tables. The human uterus is proof positive that there is no Divine Engineer because no tech worth their salt would come up with an organ that wreaks this much havoc on the rest of the body.

Anyway, yeah, feeling better and am working up a plan of attack for the rest of the week which will include much writing, getting the taxes ready for our lovely accountant, and as much cleaning as I can handle without falling over and crying. Onward to March!

(Oh, and yes, I watched the Oscars last night. Stunning wins by Mark Rylance and Brie Larson, mystifying win by Sam Smith, and I absolutely loved all the snarking going on.)

Wild Wicked Weekend (aka THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!)

You may remember earlier in the week that I was rather nervous about attending Wild Wicked Weekend here in San Antonio. Yes, I’d attended RT last year but I wasn’t signing and could thus skulk about the periphery and not worry about being “on.” For WWW, however, I was one of the signing authors and would be visible, which made me somewhat nervous.

Yeah, I know how ridiculous that sounds. Thing is, I know how to be chatty as hell in my SF writer identity but doing the same thing as Nicola would be new, and I wasn’t sure how well my personality would go over at a romance convention.

KelliAs it turned out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. First off, the trip down here took a half hour less than I’d expected (and by taking the 130 toll road I got to drive through some astoundingly picturesque countryside). The con was booked at the Menger Hotel, which is this gorgeous blended Victorian hotel with adorable rooms, a stunning lobby, and is right smack next to the Rivercenter Mall and across from the Riverwalk (which would become very important later). I checked in, was shown to my corner room with decor I kinda want to steal and bring home with me, then went down to the ballroom to register, drop off my raffle gift basket, and say hello to Sidney Bristol.

Somehow, I’m not sure how, I wound up staying and watching the introduction of the gorgeous male hosts for the con, most of whom are professional erotic dancers and put on, um, quite the show for us (I understood then why we were encouraged to bring lots and lots of singles). Evernight Publishing had sponsored a host named Kelii, so I made sure to grab a picture with him which I will not post here because I really should know better than to wear that shirt in public. Instead, here’s Kelii’s publicity photo. You’re welcome.

Friday was a bit more low-key, however, which turned out to be a good thing for me. WWW is designed to be more of a relaxacon than something where you’re scheduled every moment of the day. With that in mind, I had breakfast with Sidney and some new friends, ambled back to the ballroom for more chatting and a 40’s themed lunch and costume contest, then went up to the room to take a nap.

I wound up sleeping until 7:30 PM, mainly because my knees and Achilles bursae had been killing me due to doing a fair amount of walking around the hotel (lovely corner room? Yeah, situated diametrically opposite the ballroom in the hotel layout). Realizing that I simply couldn’t wear the slip-ons I’d brought, I decided to skip the trip to the local BDSM venue (ironically because I was in too much pain) and hobbled over to the Rivercenter, where I found a Footlocker and made a salesman very happy by purchasing an outrageously expensive pair of Asics that had arch support sent directly from heaven. A final stop at Johnny Rockets earned me dinner, then I hobbled back to the room to write and sleep.

An aside — do not fuck with your footwear if you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. If you wear something that provides good arch support, it fixes a lot of knock-on problems such as swollen Achilles bursae (the liquid-filled pads at the back of your heels) and aching knees. Granted, it then puts the burden on your muscles, but those are supposed to be working anyway so it’s good for them.

As a result, I woke up full of beans and with feet that felt (and looked) like feet and not like bastionadoed body parts. I made it to the ballroom in time for the lecture on the BDSM lifestyle by practitioners, followed by lunch and chatting with Sidney, Kelii (who is as charming as he is sexy), Blake (another one of the male hosts) and one of the lecturers. After that, it was time to head back to the room and grab books for the signing in a room just off the gorgeous hotel pool.

The signing? Went astoundingly well. I would like to state right now that I was hugely impressed by all the people who stopped by this newbie’s table to chat and buy books. It was a totally positive experience and makes me want to come back next year.

Also, my Square card reader still works, so points to me.

Which bring us up to now. I’m sitting next to an open window listening to people walk in and out of the Rivercenter and letting my phone recharge, and around six or so I’ll head back downstairs for dinner and the awesome female illusionist show scheduled for eight. More later when I get back!