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I got a giant, stuffed and mounted boar's head for my birthday. He is equal parts horrific and awesome. His name is Ganon. Here's a picture:

What a Boar Look at those friendly eyes!

Tonight is the Steampunk Exhibition Ball, and my hands are shaking out of sheer social anxiety. Trying to look fancy can give me panic attacks. Next year I think I'll go with coal smudges on my cheeks, wearing a dress made of a burlap sack. I'll try to sell everyone bunches of violets and gears on sticks. I'll cry and tell everyone that my cruel master will beat me if I don't sell enough. That would be fun...Oh, it'll be fine once I get there, I always have fun, it's just the stage fright that comes before a social event that knocks me down. I'll get to see everyone else's wonderful clothes, and it's possible that some of our friends will be there. I hope.

Oddly, I don't have classic stage fright when actually going on stage, that's really fun and easy.

I have a thousand things to do at home, so shouldn't be going out at all. We're supposed to be going over the galleys for the second Girl Genius novel. That will be coming out very soon! Too soon, in my opinion, I think it needed another rewrite, but our publisher disagreed. My friends have very politely told me to stop whining about how anxious our publisher is to get our books in print. I think they were gritting their teeth when they said it, so I have obediently stopped. All will be well.

I love Zelda

It's "Take your daughter to Hyrule Day!"

This afternoon I showed her how to kill dodongos. Ocarina of Time is still great.

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One old post, One new post

Oh, look, LiveJournal saved a draft of something I started writing last Summer. Here it is:

<Old post from draft> So...we went to Worldcon, and it was amazing. We won a Hugo Award, which simply blows me away. I now have three of the beauties sitting on the shelf over my computer... so the next time there's an earthquake here in Seattle, I'm going to get brained by a rocket. SO worth it.
We've now taken ourselves out of the "Best Graphic Story" category for next year, since we've now won three years in a row. The category is still an experimental one, and if we keep winning, the powers what is are likely to get bored with us and kill the category. That would be unfortunate, since there are some nominees who were nipping at our heels this time who really deserve the chance to trounce us fair and square, and if the category goes "boom" before that happens, we'll be very sad. </Old post from draft>

<New post from today> Now it's January 2012, so here's something new. It's a picture I took at the bank. I applaud the person behind this, whoever he or she may be:

stormflake
On the same day, I saw a wizard (or possibly some kind of warrior king, I can't decide which) walking down the street carrying a huge white wolf pelt. He was wearing regular modern clothes, but with the giant dead wolf and his own long white hair and beard, he really got my attention. I wish I could have had a better look, but I was going past in a car at the time. Phil saw him too, so I know I wasn't hallucinating.

I live in my own little fantasy world, and the real world seems happy to help me stay there.

</New post from today>

First Day in San Diego

We are in San Diego! Cheyenne, who is feeling forlorn in Seattle, has asked me to keep him updated on "how fun it all is," and I figure I should just make it easy on myself by keeping EVERYONE updated on how "fun" it all is. Heh. Also, this will give me a record of what we did, because I always forget otherwise...

I got all the files in, finally, so sometime in 2012 we should all be seeing a lovely new Girl Genius Graphic Novel Collection from TOR Books. Hooray! After that, there were a thousand other things to do, as there always are before a trip. I worked all night, and at three-thirty in the morning we woke the kids and bundled them, ourselves, and enough luggage for a nineteenth-century expedition into the heart of Africa, into a van headed for the airport.

I don't know... every convention seems to find me, the night before, drilling holes in things. This time, I was installing dog gates. (The dog gets to stay home with a house sitter this time.) Conventions just bring out my need to build stuff, I guess. Or at least, drill holes in stuff.

So we made it to the airport, where we met Marie. This is Marie Cooley, of Seattle's Fitting Room. You will know her if you've ever had a lovely bespoke corset made by her, or if you've read Girl Genius. She's married to Master Payne. We've stolen her for the week, she's our children's Godmother and she's here to keep them out of our hair while we work. She's also one of our best friends, and very good company, so it's fun having her along.

We all made it to the hotel in San Diego, where we all got some actual breakfast. To us it felt like afternoon, but it was actually still breakfast time in the restaurant... weird! Then we fell over and took a nap. Well, most of us did, Phil went out and picked up a rental car, then sorted out all of our boxes of convention stuff, which had arrived at the hotel ahead of us. He says he wants me to thank Shraddha Carlin and her staff at the Westgate Hotel, who were impressively helpful and efficient, and made everything go beautifully. We are both very grateful for that, dealing with all that stuff can be horrible! Thank you so much, Ms. Carlin!

Next, I woke up and Phil fell over and went to sleep. I finished lettering today's page (I hadn't finished all my work at home!) and got it posted, while Marie and the kids went out and got ice cream from the Ghirardelli shop.

Later, we all met Randy Milholland (of Something Positive) for dinner at Phil's favorite restaurant in San Diego, Filippi's Pizza Grotto. We got to have dinner with Randy last year, too, and he's great company, so that was a lot of fun.

Then we put the kids to bed and returned the car, then we fell over. Now we're getting ready to go out and get a late breakfast, and we'll be off and running, getting ready for the work ahead.

Carol and Alice, who are coming down to run the booth, will arrive later today. It's always good to have people to help run the booth. Phil and I can do it ourselves, but the fact that we need to be doing the "talent" thing gets in the way of our ability to make change. That is, we're supposed to be chatting and signing books and talking to people who come up and ask why there isn't a movie yet. (Because I'd rather have a video game and an anime series. So there.*) So we get slow as far as actually doing the "selling." Alice and Carol are great at the actual selling, which is, in my opinion, hard work! They have to be standing there all the time, alert to passer-by, ready to ask: "are you familiar with Girl Genius?" and ready to explain it if they say "no." They have to be keeping track of all the people with questions, and who needs what change, and which stack of books Phil and I have just signed goes to which person in the crowd around the table. I tend to hand stacks of signed books to whomever is standing in front of me when I'm done, which is usually wrong. So, yes, good booth workers are very much appreciated, especially at something like ComiCon.

So, I'll try to write more as things happen, but for now we'd better get going!

*edit: Yeah...not that I've got THOSE things, either...sigh.
Every single time I thought I was ready to export the Girl Genius collection for TOR, I found another problem. Usually, a problem that took hours to repair. Ugh.

I'm finally exporting the thing, so I'll send it in and let TOR find all the stuff I need to fix. Ugh.

That's actually all I did today. Got my hopes up and then got back to work. Over and over again. Better luck tomorrow!

a long work day

Worked all day on the files for TOR, almost done now. I'll start the endless upload tomorrow. I had to stop to fix my computer at one point, but it's fine now.

Phil has some kind of ongoing sinus misery, I taught him to use a neti pot today. Humor! (he makes the most amazing noises...) Don't worry, he saw the doctor, too. she referred him to a specialist, and told him to try the neti pot. heh.

It really was pretty funny...

Urgh. I'm going to sleep, now.

The Space Needle, Fancy Trilo Pins

Today went by so fast. We woke up late, made pancakes (birthday breakfast!) and watched the daughter open her presents. Then she disappeared for a while to play with them, and we tried to get some work done. The plan was to have her make her own birthday cake, but by the time we got everything together it was time to get going for the Space Needle, so the cake became an after-dinner project. The make-your-own-cake thing was a huge hit, though, cooking is still one of the amazing fun things both kids want to do more of. Phil oversaw that one, since my eye is still full of imaginary pins and looking at things too hard is not fun. He's better at letting the kids help with the cooking, anyway. I just want everyone out of the kitchen when I'm working, which isn't very sociable.

So we had a lovely dinner at the Needle, and I'm happy to say that the food there...well... it's no longer terrible! It really used to be that you went there for the view, and that was it... This time, the food was wonderful. The view, of course, is still lovely, and it's always fun to sit there and watch the city spin by. Also, there was a lot of dry ice involved with the meal, both in Phil's drink and in Victor's dessert. Dry ice makes everything more fun. Well, most things, anyway.

The new trilobite pins arrived today, and I've already got them listed in the online store. I have a bunch of other trilo designs in the works, but of course I have to do them a little at a time, since they're all so expensive to make. We've got other, non-trilo designs coming up, too, so never fear. I'm so glad we'll have these ones for Comicon, it was kind of a squeak getting them together in time, so hooray for that!

Getting Ready for San Diego

So, everything continues to go well, I had my follow-up and the doctor says that the horrible mess that is my eye is supposed to look like that, so all is good. It's driving me crazy, though, it feels like I have an eye's worth of eyelashes stuck in there. Yech.

Today, the mail brought... the bags for Comicon! They're red with a gold trilo/gear design, and they look fantastic. I can't wait to show them around. Everyone was in the office today, except my Mom, who is off having another wilderness adventure. There's still a lot of preparation going on for the big show, a lot of last-minute things got mailed out. Including... a box of new and used con T-shirts, most of them by Phil. Some of them are pretty darn used, but they're all clean, and we'll be selling them for a dollar apiece at the table. So if you're into that sort of thing (vintage SMOF wear, yay!) please come and see what we've got. They were threatening to start a land slide around here, and I really hated to just send them to the dust rag factory, so I'm hoping someone out there will get a kick out of them.

I also spent some time today making new bundle packs for the shopping cart, so now you can buy all ten Girl Genius collections at once, at an 8% discount, no less, or even a bundle of 1-5 or 6-10. After that, I needed a nap. 

Tomorrow (today, actually, I see by the clock...) is my daughter's birthday, (Bastille Day!) so there was a lot of running around and hiding stuff  and wrapping things to do. I made Phil do the wrapping this time. Anything that makes me move my eyes around too much is still a bit painful. She's insanely excited, even though she already had her party with friends. She's going to be another year older, and she's still at an age where that's a big deal. Hee! We're taking her to the Space Needle for dinner, so that's exciting, too. The bouncing will not stop.

My Mom is off to the Queen Charlotte Islands up in Canada, on a kayaking trip with her friends. She says there is a huge stand of amazing totem poles up there, still in good shape and right where they belong. I can't wait to see the pictures. I'm glad she goes out and wrestles with the bears and eats the bugs, so I don't have to. (I spent my childhood camping and fishing and all that, and can safely say that I'm way more of a Grand Hotel kind of person. I love being an adult...) Anyway, Mom off being late for dinner, I mean, having adventures means that the only person packing orders right now is Alice, and when we all go to the con, she's coming, too. So while we're at Comicon, we won't be shipping any orders. We will, of course, try to get everything we can out before we go, as usual. I still have to make a big announcement about that, I'll try to get it done properly tomorrow.

One Eye Done...

I'm back from my eye procedure (yes, it was a small surgery, "procedure" sounds so much better...) and it all went well. It took twelve minutes! I can feel that the anesthetic is wearing off, though, so I've uploaded tonight's page and I'm going to bed. After Phil gets back from the pharmacy with my Vicodin, that is, I can feel a headache coming on, and I don't much want to meet it face to face.

I have a giant white bandage over my right eye. It isn't as pretty as the ones in anime. Perhaps later it can be...improved.

The good news is that I don't think this is really going to slow me down that much. Even so, I still plan to take the rest of the evening off. I got tonight and Friday's pages all sorted out before I went in, just in case there was copious misery later. So far, not so much, so I'm lucky.

Today the mail brought a used copy of: "In Strangest Europe: A Cabinet of Curiosities, Rarities and Monsters." I look forward to reading it...

but not today.

Monday's Boring Adventures!

Today was all doctor appointments. Sheesh. A physical in the morning: I'm doing great! Except in the ways I'm not! An endless Remicade infusion in the afternoon. For the Remicade, I get to sit in a comfy chair for several hours and nice people bring me hospital food. They also stick an IV in my arm. This keeps me from dying rather horribly. It's all good.

The mail brought an wonderful decaying Victorian photo album that includes an intriguing looking music box movement. I am really looking forward to getting that going again, I've never worked on one that old. It's the same mechanism as the newer ones I've meddled with in the past, so I think it won't be hard to bring it back to life, but I'll still be careful. It's a project for another day, though, that's for sure. There's way too much to do before Comicon.

I've had new "Gaslamp Fantasy Costume Appreciation" ribbons made for Comicon, so if you're all dolled up in your Steampunk finery, come by the table and claim yours. We'll be at booth 1331, as usual. I'm also having cloth bags made for this one, they'll be for sale at the con, or free with $50 purchase. I hope they come out all right, they haven't arrived just yet. Carol has been busy working on a new booth display for us, and because I've been sick, I haven't had a chance to see how it's coming along. The last I saw of it, it was looking gorgeous.

When I finally made it home from the hospital, I got to have a short nap. Bliss! Then I spent the evening working on the new interior pages (title pages and such like) for the 2012 TOR release of the color Girl Genius Omnibus. They're calling it "Girl Genius: Agatha Awakens." It will be lovely, Cheyenne and Phil did a fantastic cover for it. I'm really excited about that release, because they'll be able to get it out there to a whole lot more people than we can manage, and, frankly, at a much better price. We're such a tiny boutique company, our print runs are tiny and that drives our cost through the roof. A major publisher can sidestep that beautifully.

Anyway, I want to get as much of that done tonight and tomorrow morning, since I'm going in for a procedure on my EYE tomorrow afternoon, and don't really know how I'll feel after that. My eyes want to cross in a huge way, and I'm having a lot of trouble focusing on anything. Everything I look at is always horribly swimmy-double, and has been for a long time. It makes working on the computer very uncomfortable, and that's pretty much all I do...well, okay, it makes everything very uncomfortable, including trying to focus on people I'm talking to. When I'm all weird at conventions? Sometimes it's just because trying to look at you while I'm talking to you is hard. (It's not you! It's me!) So, yes, we're going to mess around and see if we can fix that. We're probably going to have to do both eyes, but we're starting with the one to see how it goes. So if I'm rocking the pirate look at Comicon, that's why.

Oh, yes, I also got a referral from my doctor for physical therapy massage. Woohoo! (A shout to Ray in the Bay Area--The wrist you worked on is completely better and I wouldn't have asked my doctor for a referral if you hadn't shown me how well massage can actually work. Thank you for that--I appreciate it more than I can say!)