Uniforms of the Fleet, Vol One: Some thoughts

Uniforms of the Fleet, Vol 1

Hopefully by now you have seen the news. Had a small hiccup when the file was uploaded, and the pre-order was set to the 20th instead of the 10th. These things happen. It’s now out there.

Thank you to the people who have ordered your copy. It is also available as a print book, because my whole purpose was to do a coffee table book, rather than just another ebook. My apologies on the price, but I’m making about two bucks per copy sold, I think. I would have liked to run it through CreateSpace directly, but they don’t do the size I wanted. These new people are trying to be a competitor to Amazon, and they’ve been pretty good to work with.

Getting back to the purpose, there are twelve portraits in the book, plus ship badges and a cover.

The cover is Command Centurion Jessica Keller, on the day she took command of CVS Auberon.

Inside are the following people:

  • Yeoman Nadine Orly
  • Flight Cornet Cho Ayaka Nakamura (“Furious”)
  • Engineering Centurion Moirrey Kermode
  • Senior Engineering Centurion Iskra Vlahovic
  • Senior Marine Centurion Phillip Crncevic (“Navin the Black”)
  • Patrol Centurion Dash Mitja and Göll
  • Command Centurion Denis Jež
  • Fleet Lord Arott Whughy
  • Fleet Centurion Jessica Keller
  • First Centurion Petia Naoumov
  • First Lord Nils Kasum
  • Suvi

Because I could (my motto these days), there are ships badges for Auberon and Athena as well.

At some point, if anybody says something (hint hint), I plan to look into putting one or both onto coffee mugs, t-shirts, and maybe lunch boxes. I have not, because that can be a pain in the ass if nobody actually wants one. I mean besides me. I’m going to get a coffee mug. And maybe a lunch box. Doing patches has crossed my mind as well. Any thoughts?

The rest of the book contains information on uniforms, awards, medals, and general culture. For me, it was an exercise in putting everything down on paper in a way that made sense to those people who live outside of my head.

And also, because I’m learning to costume, and want to make myself a uniform at some point. Dunno which. Doesn’t matter. It’s for the cosplayer in me, and for anybody else who wanted to get the little details right.

And here’s the best part: I got contacted by one of you who was interested in getting copies of the prints as electronic files that he could use as screen-savers on his laptop. I didn’t have anything like that, but I have an amazingly awesome partner in this gig. If you have not gone and connected with Shannon Marie Chavez, you are missing out. She has been putting together some amazing artwork for people. Posters. Postcards. Backgrounds for your computer. Stuff. It is all her art.

My words, her eye.

The other night, I get this frantic email from her, because she’s not sure how tall everyone is. Fortunately, I’m a nerd, and have EVERYTHING in an encyclopedia file for exactly this reason. So I send her back a list (Name, height).

She’s doing a group shot. Oh My God is it gorgeous. You’re going to want it. Once she gets a little more organized, she’ll have a full website to handle these things, but for right now, either contact her directly, or reach out to me and I’ll forward you over.

When I first met Shannon Marie, I was at a book-signing and she just walked by. Liked the cover on Auberon, but it wasn’t her thing. I talked her into it. And then found out she was an artist. I promised I would make her famous, but she didn’t think I was serious. Fabulous Publisher Babe™ still giggles at that. Because Shannon Marie is turning into a pro. She’s a little twitchy still, but she’ll do fine.

Hopefully, she’ll make so much money from her art that I can convince her to do Volumes Two and Three over the next few years. Because there will be more.

So again, thank you.


Now, it’s Sunday afternoon as I write this (planning to post Monday morning, because I’m out at the farm with minimal interwebs). Out my back door, the deer have finally meandered out of sight, back around behind the barn. Momma and this year’s twins. Cute little blacktails, happily munching on a wall of blackberry bramble for me. Joy.

(Update: they went as far as the overhang and bedded down, so I need to stay over here and not go out to the composter unless I want to scare them away. Probably should rearrange the wood at some point and throw some hay down for them.)

Got the workshop finally destroyed yesterday. Burned all the scrap and hauled the final 760 pounds of wet insulation and rotted sheetrock to the dump. Need to put a magnet into the burn pile and get out around 40 pounds of nails. (Anyone skilled at building an electromagnet? Wanna come redneck with me?)

Only dirt remains.

Fabulous Publisher BabeTM is planning her own little girl-cave in its place. She won’t live with me, but she’ll be more willing to spend time out here if she has her own space to retire to, when peopling gets to be too much. Sometime this summer, the shelf for the girl-cave will be delivered. Then we’ll build it out, she and I and maybe a couple of my step-daughters who know tiling. And then she’ll have her own little backyard (well, front yard) writing office, 16’ by 12’. It will be kinda awesome. There will be a tiara party for the housewarming.

The only thing left at that point will be to rebuild the barn (old and falling apart) and turn it into my own writing office and maybe designstudio, so I can work in quiet.

After that, I want to build my own dread gazebo on the overlook (pond, driveway, trees) on the other slope of the hill, and maybe a six tatami tea room for special occasions.

When I turned forty, I went to London for my birthday. Actually celebrated on Trafalgar Square that day. Decided that I wanted something like the farm when I was sixty, and needed to work my way into it. Got lucky along the way and managed it before I turned fifty. It’s paradise on earth, at least my slice.

Mark your calendars. First Saturday in August will be the Art Colony BBQ. Artists, weirdoes, and dead critter to eat. (The critter will be eaten, not the artists or weirdoes.) My way of giving back, of building a longer table, of being a better human. And people get to meet people, and several of the artists last year came away with business opportunities. More ways to art for a living.

Does it get any better?