Krissie: Make It Tuesday

Image I went to Sally’s on Sunday and we spent the day sewing. I’ve got three sewing machines — a fancy Husqvarna Viking Quilt Designer II that’s about 9 years old, a Janome Gem (tiny, powerful portable) and a used Bernina. Well, the Viking (Big Berthe) is in the shop, Bernadette’s feet are missing, and Gemma started screwing up when I tried to wind bobbins. I want a new to me sewing machine. Another used Viking or Bernina. Or a Janome, or any kind, really. Either a base classic or an ultra fancy familiar model like Brother or Singer. I just like sewing machines, and I use them all. But I can’t really afford a new one, but because I want one. Still, I’m haunting ebay. Grrr. I gave my beloved Lily (a Viking, my first really good machine) to Kaim for her 21st birthday present (8 years ago). Sigh. Anyway, I sewed a border onto the batik strip quilt I posted yesterday, then did a little more quilting on the Christmas tea quilt I’ve been working on for … oh … seven years, maybe. Not sure what I’ll do with it — I was making it for my mother.
I don’t really have anyone to give it to.
Might go over to sew again this afternoon — depending on what I get accomplished.
I ate sparingly (and found a free app for the iPad that I’ll also put on my phone — my fitness pal. I remembered some of you mentioned that, and NettieD was too expensive an app. I also downloaded all sorts of interesting writing apps. I’ll play with them and let you know how they do.
So what’s for today? Not sure. Making things. Working on the new story, writing. It’s beautiful but chilly (in the 50’s, I think) so no pool (maybe not for the rest of the summer, alas). But things are coming together.
“I will now count to twenty in the Indian tongue …” No, that’s the play. I will now attempt to upload a video. Be patient with me. And I’m gonna see if I can figure out how you guys can upload pictures in your comments, so we can see what you’re doing.
So, the big question is, will this work? I have two other videos plus a few more pictures, which I will dole out sparingly (too much magnificence at once can be overwhelming).
Isn’t it nice to be fabulous? What are you creating this week? Just your glorious self? Or something as well?

Krissie: Ooops (One Grecian Urn)

Tent_Teaser_Smaller Okay, I’m an idiot. The Good Wolf ate me on Friday and I forgot to post. Though in truth the Bad Wolf was gnawing at me something fierce that day (a day off) in between sleeping like the dead).
But I digress. I’m having the most fantabulous time! I manage my fall with the proper grace and decorum, though I fell again last night in the 2nd Grecian urn scene by swinging a bit too enthusiastically on the tent pole — my fellow maidens had to help me up.
I overact like crazy. I screech my lines in an arch tone, I sniff and snarl and sigh sentimentally. I’m a vision in purple (though I can’t find my purple satin gloves) whether dragging my aging husband (who turns out to be only as old as my oldest cousin) or performing delsarte positions. I greeted the mayor’s real wife as my “sister wife” after the play (chortle). Fortunately they’d seen Big Love.
No major flubs, though I almost missed my entrance when I spied Richie on his evening walk heading toward the tent (it’s his normal route when we’re not there). And last night they took tons of pictures, so maybe I’ll have some to share.
You know what’s wonderful about this? It’s just for me. It’s fun! I told myself last year that it was using another part of my creativity and it would feed my writing, and maybe it will, but that doesn’t matter. In fact, I cherish the fact that this is just so much ridiculous fun. It’s no wonder I get exhausted and can’t walk and fall when I should be sure-footed (which works well for comedy). I throw myself into this completely, I hold nothing back. Writing doesn’t exist. And I love it.
Problem is, I can’t think of another role as perfectly suited for me as this one, alas. And next year I really do have to go to RWA, and that’s right when we’re doing crunch-time rehearsals.
So we’ll see. If I’m in the chorus I can probably sneak the time off.
I acted a bit when I was young, but I wasn’t pretty enough to be an ingenue and not talented or secure enough to play character roles. I don’t know about the talent thing, but just throwing my personality around works well enough.
I’m an over the top actress and I need to embrace it.
Or at least accept it.
Anyway, I’m in such pain I can’t sleep at night, so tired I can’t stay awake during the day, but I’ve been able to float and listen to audio books when I get a chance. And I’ll be glad (and sad) when it’s over. It sure does take over everything.
Three more performances — Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then a little down time, and then I go down to see Crusie.
In the meantime, Tim has a job in Stowe, Erin’s up for a promo, and all seems well.
Since I’ve been MIA I thought I’d better fill you guys in. Pictures and reviews (unless they pan me) by the end of the week.
Oh, and Amazon is doing a fabulous promotional effort called The Big Deal, with hundreds of books at rock-bottom prices until August 4th. Included are three of my very best: TO LOVE A DARK LORD, RITUAL SINS and AGAINST THE WIND, at only $.99 each. How can you resist a bargain like that? Plus there are lots of other goodies to snap up for a little “me” time later on.
Go shopping!

Krissie: Make It Tuesday

Photo on 7-23-13 at 10.22 AM Yeah, it looks like me. I was worried about looking more jowelly than last year, but I think that’s … ahem … age more than the F word.
Anyway, I had to make a hat to Music Man. Well, I presumed I had to make a hat — turns out I didn’t really (though I made Mrs. Paroo’s apron and 8 Wan Tan Ye girl tabards and re-made my cousins’ costumes and fixed mine, But I digress.
However, as you can imagine I come equipped with boas. And large floppy hats. In purple. So I bought a huge purple hydrangea when I was at Jo-Ann’s and set to work.IMG_0885 First, I began to drape the boa around the brim. Easy-peasy, right? I sewed it on with heavy white thread (which disappeared between the feathers)IMG_0889 Once finished, I admired myself and my craftiness (alas, craftiness is not in my nature. I can sew, I can crochet, I can knit slightly, but I can’t do craft stuff that looks at all good. The sort of stuff Jenny does blind-folded). IMG_0891
Then I remembered we had to turn up the brim so our faces don’t get shadowed by the light, so I sewed up one side of the brim and attached the hydrangea (which I’d ripped off the stem). IMG_0894
Then I tried it on, and it looks utterly fabulous. Problem is, with my hair in a topknot (Eulalie’s style) and it doesn’t stick on and i don’t have a hat pin, but I think my next craft project is a skewer turned hatpin.

Krissie: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

Photo on 7-19-13 at 9.00 AM Okay, the photos are looking a little boring. Maybe I’d better “Act, damn you.” Prepare for some poses.
So Jenny’s Bad Wolf is a different one from mine. Jenny’s Bad Wolf chows down on “you’re stupid, you can’t get anything done, you’re self-indulgent” etc. (I’m paraphrasing – her Bad Wolf says “you should be doing this, not that” which is the same thing).
My Good Wolf is the sturdy mother of Romulus and Remus. She tells me I’m brilliant, she tells me I’m funny (though my Bad Wolf makes me go too far), she tells me I’m magnificent.
Which of course I am. I’m in my element right now, and there’s something very freeing about it having nothing to do with writing, because I define myself with my writing.
But I digress. It’s been hot and humid and my Bad Wolf has spent the week sleeping. Oh, he’s popped up every now and then, but mainly he’s been working behind the scenes, getting me to commit to too much.
Today I’m writing a blog, copying the mayor’s speeches onto index cards because he’s 80 and can’t remember, heading down to Cara’s for an hour and a half of sewing, then rehearsal and notes at 2, working till 4:30, picnic on the town green (I’ll probably run home and jump in the pool), then another run through from 5:30 to 9. It’ll be in the high 80’s and very humid.
Oh, and I have to make my Pick-a-little hat today, plus I filled out a college loan application (don’t judge me) that got denied.
I’ll come home, jump in the pool if there’s no lightning (I did yesterday in the rain) and then fall into bed.
I volunteered to do the sewing (lots of it). I volunteered to do the cards for the Mayor. I volunteered to make my hat.
I volunteered to make the apron. Ye Gods.
I don’t know whether it’s GW or BW who tells me I can do all this. I think the main problem is energy. Performing is a burn-out, of course, with lots of standing and posing (One Grecian Urn!) and a bit of running on stage, not to mention the creative energy. Draining myself ahead of time isn’t a good idea.
I just need to do the best I can, and set limits when I can. I sit at any possible moment.
I’m not complaining. I’m still having the best time in the world. I just wish the damned Bad Wolf would shut up and stop raising his hand. Next thing you know I’ll start offering to do PR and then I really would explode.
So, does your Bad Wolf sign up for things that are too much?
Or does he tell you not to try at all? I’d rather have one that makes me do too much than one who tries to frighten me.
And speaking of wolves, I’ll recommend a good Werewolf romance each Friday. The first, the best, is BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong.

Krissie: When the Cat’s Away

Photo on 7-18-13 at 9.19 AM Nobody plays. Sorry we’ve been MIA — I’ve been working my elegant buns off.
So Tuesday, our “day off” I quickly finished the copy-edits on my book, jumped in the pool and floated, ran off to the Giving Closet (our local thrift “shop” that costs nothing), went down to the Bend for a costuming meeting, somehow decided to buy all the fabric for Eulalie’s ballet, zoomed off to Montpelier (42 miles away), ate a salad at Panera with too much feta in it and I don’t even like feta — I thought that sour taste was the dressing. Then off to Jo-Anns, then to the grocery store, then home to a stomach attack that kept me in the bathroom the rest of the night. I hate hate hate stomach attacks. From the feta, aggravated by running around in high heat and humidity, I think.
So yesterday I woke up, visited the bathroom for a while, jumped in the pool, went to a read-through, went to Sally’s to make an apron for Mrs. Paroo (which ended up too small), found a dozen white button down blouses for townswomen in my ironing bag (don’t ask — I went through a black and white phase), came home, jumped in the pool, started to make dinner, was discouraged from doing so, threw on some clothes and back to rehearsal with new fans for everyone (including blank ones for the kids so they can personalize them which I stupidly but generously overnighted the day before).
So there’s a problem.
I have trouble walking, much less standing. And this requires a great deal of standing around. I cop a squat as often as I can, but I have a little delsarte ballet, I stand on stage a lot, and my knees, my calves, and my feet are in agony. Even before my knees went bad I had trouble with my feet.I do have orthotics but I’m not sure I can wear them in the play.
And I love doing this.
I’m hesitant about the knee replacement because of all the other stuff that will keep me from being mobile. But I guess I’ve got to bite the bullet.
I probably can’t be in the play next year because it coincides with the conference, but we’ll see.
Today I need to type up the mayor’s dialogue and put it on cards and be back for a run through at 1 pm. As my eldest daughter Zaneeta would say, “ye gods!”
But I’m a happy girl.
We went back at six for a three hour run through but the thunderstorm of all thunderstorms hit so we got to go home, where the lights were off, Erin, Tim and Alex were there, having chowed down on most of the dinner (why does it please me so to feed my family?) and then I just went up to bed, naked, and listened to audiobooks until the lights came on. Then Richie turned on the air conditioner for me, I ate some cherries and went to sleep.
I do need to get on the scale. Yesterday I had a breakfast bar, a bunch of pretzel goldfish, a lean cuisine meal (sesame chicken, which I can eat all the time) and cherries. Oh, and a white chocolate Kit-kat at 220 calories. Hmmm. Under a thousand calories. Better have some scrambled eggs for lunch — we have some free-range ones from a local farm. Need to keep up my strength.
The only thing that would make this perfect is if I were writing. I think I need to start on the new book, getting thoughts on paper instead of just letting it dance around in my head.
And then life would be simply grand.
Still and all, it’s pretty damned good, no matter how much pain and how tired I am.

Krissie: A Day Off

Photo on 2013-07-16 at 10.07 First of all, thank you for your patience while we changed servers. We got a little too portly for the original server, so we had to switch over and these things, as the Wicked Witch of the West once said, “must be done delicately.” But we’re all safe and happy in our new home, and all should be well.
Oh, my, the wind is blowing softly and I just got a whiff of herbs from my herb pots. Dill and basil. Lovely.
But I digress. So I have a day off from the killing pace. Yesterday I froze snow peas, made a huge tuna and whole wheat macaroni salad, floated in the pool, showed up for rehearsal at 2, learned Eulalie’s Ballet (over and over again, ye gods), went through until 5, a quick hour off where I jumped in the pool (I really love my pool), assembled the salad with too many onions (yuck), sat for twenty minutes and then ran out at 6 to work until 9 on a first act stumble-through, all in 90 degree heat. Vermonters don’t do well in 90 degree heat.
And I loved it! I’m having the best time in the world. At first I thought it was family. Not only do I have my real family, two of my favorite cousins, playing townspeople, but the whole troupe feels like family. But it’s not just that.
And then I realized it’s the socialization. The camaraderie, the people. As a writer (and even as a child) I always need a huge amount of quiet time to dream. As a kid I loved when my parents went off for the day and I could stay home alone, particularly when we came to Vermont. And while I miss Richie terribly I also relish the very few days he goes off without me.
But I also like being around people, talking to them. I love that about RWA, though there can be a burden there of all the subtext. My favorite conferences have been when I’ve shared a suite with three or four other people — it always gives us a safe place to come back to, not a lonely place to increase one’s feelings of insecurity.
We talk, we laugh, we work at rehearsals. We have one shared goal and not much ego (even for the stars and director. They have some, but they’ve earned it).
I’m just so happy doing this, even when people are dragging out of rehearsal. Even when I can barely walk and sleep for 14 hours.
I just need to find a way to translate this friendliness.
In the meantime, on my day off, I need to finish author’s proofs on a book, get in the pool, go to the local free store to look for white sheets, drive to the Bend (4 miles) to have a conference confab, drive 20 miles each way and shop, come home and get in the pool, and I bet Alex gets thrown in there somewhere.
Ah, peace.
Doesn’t matter. I having the time of my life, it’s all good.
Just gotta figure out how to keep it in my life.
(Oh, and I’m losing weight because I don’t eat much and I’m getting a lot of exercise — I don’t look it (note Wittle Wattle) but my clothes are fitting better (still in the new size clothes but some of them had gotten tight).
So win/win all around!

Krissie: Fun

Can’t find the photo but it’ll turn up — my first attempt at Eulalie’s hairstyle.  My hair is now long enough that I can screw it up into a topknot, with the added advantage that when I let it down it looks glorious.  Tomorrow’s a real burn-out — choreography/staging from 3:30 to 9 with an hour break for dinner.   I got so tired on Friday my brain shut off, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do the role.  Tomorrow should tell the tale.  It’s actually an easy role, so if I physically can’t do it it shouldn’t be that difficult for someone to take my place.

Except I’m absolutely meant for this role.  I know Eulalie so well — she isn’t me, but she has a lot in common with me.  I see her as a cross between Lucy in “Peanuts” and Margaret Dumont from the Marx Brothers’ movies.  She has a marvelously high opinion of herself ( like moi) but absolutely no sense of humor, particularly about herself (unlike moi).  And I love her, and sympathize with her, and know her heart.

So I’m going to do it if there’s any way I can.  Because for some reason it’s just so much damned fun.  I sat around listening to the first read through and it was just a series of delights.  We’ve lucked out and got a marvelous Winthrop (the little boy) and Marian is Marla Schlafel, last year’s Maria and a Tony nominee, and Harold Hill is so good I’m in awe.  It’s just such a treat to be doing.  Not sure if I’d be having as much fun if it weren’t a musical — we’re also doing Our Town and I don’t think I’d be having nearly as good a time.

I hope there’ll be something I can do next year.  The thing is, I don’t want to be in competition for a role.  I don’t like competitiveness — it’s not good for me.  So I’m hoping they’ll have a part in mind for me next year, as they did this year.  Though not every play has such an easy, juicy part.

I imagine I’ll sail through the anniversary of my mother’s death (or get through it fairly well).  I’ll probably get weepy some time in October or so when I don’t expect it — that’s the way these things work.

It even looks as if the rains will come to a stop.

I don’t understand why people like to be competitive.  The other am/dram (amateur dramatics, as Mini-me called them) group around here is a very closed, clique-ish group, and since this town has always been closed and clique-ish I don’t need to attempt to join another group like that.

Best moment so far — when someone sets a firecracker off beneath Eulalie’s skirts and swoons into her husband’s arms claiming “George, I’ve been shot.”

Unfortunately the Mayor is about 85 and weighs about 130 pounds soaking wet.  When I threw myself into his arms he staggered back, and I nearly squashed him like a bug.  Let’s hope I don’t crippled him before the run is through.

Photos as soon as possible.  It really is going to be glorious, and I won’t worry about next year until it comes.  After all, even just singing in the chorus makes me happy.
So, choreography tomorrow.  Too much time on my feet on a hot, muggy day.

It’ll be glorious.  If it doesn’t kill me first.

I’m putting this under “Making things” since it’s part of random creativity.  I’m getting anxious to write as well,

So while many of you will travel to Atlanta and do the publisher dance, I will be doing the “Shipoopi” and having the time of my life.