Friday, November 12, 2010

Now Leia Can Kick Your Butt and Look Awesome While Doing It! Also, Authors That Don't Suck Speak Out Against Those Who Kind of Do.

Yup, just another Friday here in Coriland.  First things first, as it is Friday, you should go check out this week's installment of Gronk, the cutest webcomic about a monster that's ever been made. This week, Gronk shows us how the Patronus charm SFX from the Harry Potter films were done.

Click Here For Awesomeness!

And speaking of Katie Cook, did you know that she has a shirt design up on Her Universe?  Her what-now, you say?  Ah, let me enlighten you, then!  Ashley Eckstein, who voices Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars The Clone Wars, has recently started a line of Star Wars clothing (and some other forthcoming merchandise) specifically designed for WOMEN (and girls).  When I say designed for females, I mean not only designs that should appeal more to females, but also clothing that is actually made to fit the female body, as opposed to your basic run of the mill unisex t-shirt.

I have to admit, when I first heard about this, I kind of didn't see the point.  I have been just getting my Star Wars apparel from the guys' section since I started displaying my love of the fandom.  Though I should point out I've always been something of a tomboy, especially in my fashion sense.  T-shirts and jeans are my staple wardrobe.  But the more I think about it, and the more I see what Ashley is doing, and more importantly, planning to do, the more excited I am getting about this.  I think my two favorites are the one with the basic logo and the Ahsoka Chibi tee.

Seriously, how cute is this shirt?

Admittedly, there have been some snags in getting the line up and running.  Some people have argued that the selection isn't what they were looking for and isn't large enough, and that the prices are a bit too high.  It's running at about $30 for a t-shirt (plus shipping) right now.  While I see these points, they are all kind of part and parcel of this being a small company.  I am planning to buy at least one shirt as soon as I can fit it in my budget.  While I can understand why a lot of people don't want to pay that much for a t-shirt, I don't mind if a) the quality of the shirt is really high (which these are, from everything I have heard), and b) it is a design that is perfect for me that I can't find anywhere else.  I don't see how this is any worse than someone paying $400 for a pair of shoes they're only going to wear a few times, honestly.  Especially since these shirts will probably get worn way more often.  It's just a matter of if it is worth it for you or not, I suppose. 

I will point out, as others have, that the best way to get this company to the point where they can start offering more designs and lower prices is to go and buy something from them if you see something you like--or get someone who loves you to buy it for you if you can't afford it (Christmas is coming up, you know).

Club Jade did a lovely article explaining how awesome the existence of Her Universe truly is.  The author's main point is that, you know what, it's been thirty years since Star Wars happened, and this is the first line devoted entirely to women, who, believe it or not, do make up a large part of the Star Wars fan base.  The comments on the article consist of one of the most reasonable forum conversations I have ever seen online, especially in relation to Star Wars, even when people are pointing out their issues with the line.  Yesterday, Ashley posted a blog up on the Her Universe site addressing most of the issues that were brought up by the Club Jade article, and what she plans to do about it.  This folks, is exactly the reason why I am going to do my part to support this company.  I hope you will consider doing so as well.

I managed to finish the scarf for Flick Filosopher yesterday!  I am pretty happy with the hat/scarf set, although I think the next time I make one, I am going to tweak my pattern for the scarf a little bit.  I felt like it ended up being a shade too wide, and while the ridged effect on the ends looks okay, I am not sure it is what I really wanted for this pattern.  Other than that though I am very satisfied with the project.  Now, if only Flick Filosopher lies it as well!

Filosophy Tam by Cori 2010.

Filosophy Scarf by Cori 2010.

The set together.

The pattern for the hat was Angora Tam by Lion Brand.  I improvised  the scarf to mirror the pattern in the hat.  If you'd like to see the pattern for that written out, it is on my Ravelry page (my user name is AtlantisDragonGrl).  I used one skein of Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Aruba Sea for both items.

I want to close out the week by taking a few moments to talk about my experience so far with National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo).  I have to say, my secret hope of hopes with the project (as it is for almost every participant, I am sure), is to write something that I can maybe, eventually, get published.  I say eventually because I realize that what I am writing right now is, at best, a first (very rough) draft.  Whatever I come up with this month will be a beginning, a place to start.  At the very least, I hope that by participating in NaNoWriMo this year (and probably in the years to come), I will learn something about how I personally operate as a writer, and I will get in some good practice writing so that when I finally start working on the project that is my baby (or realize that what I think is my baby in fact isn't and find something new to nurture), I will be able to do it the right way.  And folks, this is exactly what NaNoWriMo is all about.  It's not for every writer, certainly, but for some of us, it can be the kick in the pants we need.

Regardless of whether or not I ever get a single page published, if no one else ever reads anything I write, getting it down on the page (or screen, as the case may be), is the truly important part.  I am a writer, and because of this project, I am actually writing.  For me, that is the most amazing thing in the world right now.  For the last couple of years I have barely written anything, and have been in a total creative slump.  I was still coming up with ideas, but lacked the motivation to put any of them on the page.  And now, I am 20,000+ words in on my very first actual novel.  That's something incredible, and no one can take that away from me.

I can't imagine why anyone, especially a professional writer, would want to disparage NaNoWriMo for giving people like me those feelings, but that is exactly what a lot of people are doing this month.  It is a very sad realization that since the first, many known authors and writers, when approached about NaNoWriMo have dismissed it as a pointless waste of time, or worse, gone on the record insulting it and the people who participate.  BUT, just to prove that we are not alone, the professional authors and writers who aren't dismissive jerks have started going on the defensive for NaNoWriMo, and I am happy to say that quite a few of them are people who I read, admire, or follow online.

Mary Robinette Kowal points out that her recently released novel Shades of Milk and Honey started out as a NaNoWriMo novel.  John Scalzi, spurred by her blog on the subject, posted his own entry in support of NaNoWriMo as well, and calls out the writers who are trash-talking the event to boot.  There have been a few more posts that I've stumbled across, but those two yesterday just really struck a chord with me.  Some authors have even been helping out us crazy participants by serving as a cheering section, writing pep-talk letters to be sent out to us.  Mercedes Lackey's was my favorite so far, mostly because she suggested for anyone who is having a hard time getting past the world-building aspect and just writing to maybe start out by writing some fan fiction.  It makes me happy whenever any published writer speaks out in support of fan fiction.  Sure, people have gone some weird and disturbing places with it, and sure, a lot of it is terrible.  But on the other hand, a lot of published writers started out in that forum (Naomi Novik, for one), and quite a few still dabble in it for fun.  To me it has always seemed to be the perfect forum to practice and hone my writing style.  I have to say, participating in NaNoWriMo has given me the urge to dive back into it.  And if I can find a way to do that without giving my soul back to Wraithbait, then you can believe that I will give it a go.  Once I get through November, that is.

Word Count Update:  22,073 out of 50,000

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