[As usual, two weeks lag here, if you aren’t reading this on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/blazeward). If you’d like your news fresher, and the monthly Anti-Stodgy/Redneck Chef newsletter, all I ask is a buck to help keep the lights on around here.]
Managed to get all the paper shipped for Corsac Fox Book One over the last twenty-four hours. Or rather, Fabulous Publisher Babe™ rocks.
Anti-Stodgy, because we’d never done something like this before, but now we know how difficult it is to drop-ship books out, both paper and hard cover. (Not that bad, actually.) If you backed the Corsac Kickstarter at that level, I figure you’ll see books over the next two weeks. If nothing by May 1, give a yell so we can back track.
Spring continues to unfold. I took the weekend off from writing and focused on martial arts and sewing. I’m creating a (first) spear form that incorporates a lot of things. Plus, I need to go back and watch the videos I took of a black belt in Ishshinryu Karate doing a forms competition recently, to see what things he’s doing that I need to adapt or steal.
They use a bo, which is a staff about 5’-6’ long, and ¾” thick. Made of a light wood, they can move it quickly to block, poke, strike, etc.
I’m using a 6’ pole of ash (much heavier) with a 16” sharpened steel leaf blade with boar tines on it. MUCH heavier. Harder to swing quickly than the bo. Much more deadly when I hit you.
Mostly, I focus on shoulder and upper-body work. Spinning that beast and controlling it is reshaping my torso and keeping me in better shape, which is good since I’ll turn 54 this summer. Anti-Stodgy means learning new things. It also means being healthier than most of you so that I can keep doing stuff into my nineties. Because I intend to.
Kirk Douglass was spry and active until a stroke slowed him down at 93. He still lived another decade. I wanna be like him. Doing Tai Chi contributes. Doing sword, cane, and spear forms contributes as well.
Learning to sew is also good. I finished my first ever clothing project over the weekend (see image of my Ukrainian tunic in purple attached.) I’ve done little things before, but this was pattern to worn, with adult supervision because some of the things were beyond my ability, like attaching sleeves right on the first try.
But I learned a bunch. And spent last night meandering around etsy looking for patterns of things I’d like to wear and make. Hard to do. Partly, that asshole Beau Brummell (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_Brummell) and his stupid ideas on men’s fashion that still have Western civilization in a chokehold. BORING. DULL. Symmetric.
So I went looking for things with style. Bought a pattern for raglan shirts in long sleeve, which I will chop to ¾ sleeve in the making, because honestly that’s my preferred shirt, if the weather allows. I also have some western/cowboy patterns saved. Vests. Shirts. Jackets. All too complicated for me at this point, according to the Babe, so saved against rising skill.
Found a kilt pattern that looks easy enough, except that I’m not sure I trust it until she looks.
Harder, however, is size.
Discussion on FB this morning about health, weight, and BMI (which I rate right up there with criminal phrenology for scientific basis). I’m 5’10 with what that system considered a “large” frame (can’t wrap fingers around wrist and touch), but I knew that. 48” chest. 38” waist. Vee-shape. And getting worse as I work with a heavy spear in overhead motions to build muscle.
Most patterns tend to stop around 44”. Especially older ones. In ‘Designing for People’ by Henry Dreyfus (https://www.amazon.com/Designing-People-Henry-Dreyfuss/dp/1581153120/) he has a chart showing how people would get taller and larger, both men and women, over the course of the 20th Century. Page 32 in my old edition, with Vetruvian Humans.
We are bigger than we used to be, and I’ve always been built like a tree. Always.
So I have to look for patterns that scale up past me. And better, modern pattern-makers often sell you a pdf scaled to print on poster paper (A0) so I can send it to my print shop, pick up the poster, then cut it out and pin it to the cloth.
If I can find it big enough. Lots of the cool ones I was looking at last night ranged all the way up to “skinny Chinese guy” at their biggest. (I saw one at 38” chest for XL. Yeah, no.)
But I’ll get there. Anti-Stodgy. Make a few raglan ¾ shirts in various designs that are NOT symmetric, thankyouverymuch, then look for more advanced things, like color blocking. Again, nothing that would fit for all the coolness. Might have to buy a really basic pattern for something, then teach myself how to create the parts I need to add. Got the right library, because I am a fashion nerd. (You should have figure that out by now.)
Science Officer #13 is past 20k. Expecting it to come in at about 60k when done. TBD. Got an idea for a fun short piece. Or rather, got setting and character, now got to figure out how her problem works and gets resolved in a way to make it interesting.
More news soon, but mostly just Mondaying my day.
Hope yours rocks
Chat more next week.
Shade and sweet water,
West of the Mountains, WA
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