I apparently fell off the face of the blogisphere. Real life has been non-stop since last fall and doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. But, I thought I'd take a moment to jot down a quick little post before I head to #RWA19.
I've pulled out the suitcases and started a packing list, my calendar is double and triple booked, yet I still feel grossly unprepared. There is so much to do before I leave next week. Yet, I'm really looking forward to go to my fourth RWA Nationals. I can't wait to meet new people (yes, this coming from an introvert), seeing old friends, and learning and networking.
Perhaps, what I am most excited about is that my dear friend Sara Dahmen and I are teaching a class together on the Saturday of the conference. If you write historicals or just love history, you won't want to miss it. Given that between the two of us we have about 20 years of historical reenacting experience in multiple eras, we wanted to teach a class to help break some stereotypes and allow writers to touch the past. That means, if you attend, you'll get to touch either extant objects and clothing, reproduction clothing, and maybe try your hand at making or creating objects as they used to be made.
Our class is called Hands on History: A Physical Experience into the Past. The blurb from the RWA website describes it as follows: "Nothing can make your book come alive like hands-on research and experiences. This workshop makes the past come alive with a hands-on approach to understanding the past, the truth behind some historical stereotypes and myths, and a tactile experience to help you better explain history and take your readers on a deeper journey."
Our aim in the class is for attendees to take away a better understanding that the way people walked, talked, thought, moved and interacted within their world could be very different than what we assume, or what we have been made to believe from television and film. We'll break down stereotypes, and share practical sources and ideas for really delving into the period(s) you are writing. Don't be surprised if we ask for volunteers to try things out. And, we'll likely encourage you all to attend some reenactments because, let's face it, even though you're learning, they are fun. And, that's what we want: for our attendees to have fun with history.
If you're in NYC and will be at #RWA19, come to learn, come to play dress up, come to touch the past. I hope we'll see you there.
Let us know in the comments if you're attending #RWA19 or our class!
Till next time.
I'll be seeing you.
Yes, the above title is something I hear quite a lot when it comes to my hair when it's pin curled. If you've been following me for a while you know that I desire to share the dying art of pin curls, and that I love a good retro wet set. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was blessed with a lot of hair that is extremely healthy and stick straight. None of those things are really conducive to wet sets, but I'm stubborn and I make my hair conform to my whims.
But, how did I get there? It's only fair to tell you that it's taken me seven years to get my sets to where they are today. It took a lot of work, a lot of patience (which is not my virtue), and tenacity. I also would not be here today without the help of my amazing stylist, Dez. She has worked with me every step of the way to help me achieve my #hairgoals.
When I started, I hadn't a clue where to really begin. One of the first resource books I acquired was Daniela Turudich's 1940's Hairstyles. Talk about a scare! Setting patterns? Specialized hair cuts and hair cutting diagrams? Brush outs? What was this sorcery? Stubbornness prevailed and I set to work with some help from a few people (like Dez).
The best part about having Dez as my stylist? She knew exactly what the sorcery meant. We usually talk about a new (to me) technique or something I'm curious to try at each hair appointment. I'm always learning and always striving to make my sets better.
We also have things pretty much down to a system. She cuts my hair in a modified 1940s haircut: the middy. She usually uses a razor rather than scissors, and modifies it with layers rather than a blunt cut so if I don't feel like setting it, I don't look like I have a bad mullet. It is also not uncommon for her to take out a ton of weight to make it easier for the curl to hold. It has made all the difference!
Want to see a horror story set? This was early on. The curls are squashed and barely hanging onto life. You can see the massive amounts of hair that weighed the whole thing down. I'll guarantee that shortly after the Honor Flight was finished that set fell. I've at least learned now that should my set fail me (for example if it's still wet or for some reason the curl didn't take), I can restyle it with a snood, put it up in a poodle-do a la Betty Grable, or create a back roll. While I force my hair to do as I want, I also am flexible enough to listen to what direction it wants to go. And working with it rather than against it usually results in an awesome brush out. Clear as mud?
By contrast, this is what seven years of hard work and practice (and the right hair cut that doesn't pull out the curl) looks like.
I can say I feel much more at ease and accomplished with wet sets. And that book by Daniela Turudich? It has become one of my greatest resources because the sorcery has been unlocked. Wet sets will always be known to me as "pin curl adventures," but now I can sit back and enjoy the ride a bit more.
Have you tried pin curls or did you wear them daily growing up? What was your biggest challenge and what did you find was the most useful tip to help you achieve a great set? Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear.
Till next time. I'll be seeing you!
What a whirlwind! RWA Nationals is over for another year and I still feel like I am running around. It probably doesn't help that this past weekend I took a trip to the 16th century.
This year, RWA held it's National Conference at the Swan and Dolphin Resort on Disney World property. RWA + Disney = One awesome time for me! I apologize in advance that I didn't get more pictures of the RWA action. I am a Disney girl at heart.
I arrived on Tuesday with fellow WisRWA members, Lori Oestreich and Carla Luna Cullen, and immediately dove into the parks. Hot and humid doesn't even cover it. The weather made you feel like you were in a veritable oven. But, when one is at Disney, one powers through.
I was most excited to try out the new rides in Pandora in Animal Kingdom. I had a fast pass for Flight of Passage and it did not disappoint. Check out some of the beautiful scenery while I waited for my turn to ride.
After spending some time in Animal Kingdom it was time to head back to set my hair.
I did make it a point to hit the parks at least once each day. Even though I'll be back later this year, I wanted to visit some of my favorite haunts, eat some of my favorite foods (Can we say Jambon Buerre Sandwich and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels?), and check out some of the new things. They also announced the day after I arrived that The Great Movie Ride and Ellen's Energy Adventure would both be closing in the middle of August. I adore The Great Movie Ride, so I had to cram in a visit to that.
One of my favorite park moments was Wednesday when I went to Hollywood Studios in the morning. It has been my dream to have my pictures taken while dressed in 1940s attire down the Old Hollywood portion of Hollywood Studios. Thanks to a wonderful PhotoPass photograher, my dream became a reality. He took some stylized pictures of me next to my favorite spot. They were perfect! Sadly, I don't have any to share right now as I have not ordered them, but do watch my Pin Curl Adventures page because I guarantee at least one will go up there.
The rest of the conference was amazing. I attended some great presentations. Most notably, I learned a lot from Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan on marketing no matter what level of writer you are. They have a choose your own adventure e-book called Your A Game: Winning Promo for Genre Fiction. I highly recommend it.
I also met some wonderful new friends as well as connecting with those I don't see on a regular basis. I can't say enough about the community RWA has built. We are a community set on building each other up, making everyone feel welcome, and helping each other grow no matter what level a writer is at. I am honored to be a part of this organization.
Saturday, I attended RWA's Chapter Leadership Breakfast and Town Hall. Since I am the Vice President of Communications for WisRWA, I gained a lot of valuable information and was able to connect with other board members from other chapters. I am looking forward to taking back the information to WisRWA to help make us stronger.
I also had a blast at the RITA awards. Our small contingent of WisRWA members even had a chance to congratulate Beverly Jenkins on being the recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. She was inspiring!
Sunday was Lori's and my last day so I made it my mission to visit all four parks before we left. I rode all my favorite rides, though I passed on Flight of Passage simply due to stand-by wait times. While it poured all day, I thoroughly enjoyed having Disney time. The only sad part was that France sold out of my favorite sandwich. Oh well, guess I'll just have to get it next time I go.
I'll leave you with a picture of all of my day outfits from the conference. I, of course, dressed 1940s every day, but made sure to keep my hair off my neck. For more pictures, check out my Facebook Fan Page and tell me which outfit you liked the best.
I'm already looking forward to RWA18 in Denver! Hope to see you there!
I'll be seeing you!
As I begin my very first blog, I hope this finds you well. One would think that as a writer blogging would be easy. I do not find it so, but am willing to give it the old college try. My aim is to share fun tidbits about the 1940s era, bring you with me on some of my Pin Curl Adventures (and maybe some of my other adventures), and have a place to share news as it comes. I hope you'll follow along with me on my journey.
I'm off to RWA Nationals next week in Orlando, FL. I've been outfit planning for months. I plan to take on the heat, humidity, and threatening thunderstorms with poodle-dos, rain bonnets, and adorable overshoes as I not only attend the conference but have a wonderful time at Disney World. I expect to learn a lot, network, and enjoy being in the company of my fellow writers. If you'll be there, please stop and say hello. You can also follow me on social media to see all the highlights.
Here's to a wonderful weekend!
I'll be seeing you!
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