Not long ago, ride_4ever told me about a NZ fannish get together called, er, Get Together. So, having never met a fan before in RL, partly due to nerves and partly as I had to stay home and look after Mum, I gathered up my courage and arranged to take myself to Wellington and join in with a weekend of festivities. I'm really glad I did - it was great! New Zealand's small enough that the group's a nice size and not overwhelming like a big con, and everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. We watched vids, and people talked enthusiastically about new fandoms they'd fallen into (with more vids, and powerpoints!) And there was fannish pictionary and a fannish pop quiz which my team won, no thanks to me. We had discussions about srs things like the AO3 election, and people filled up a couple of flashdrives I'd accidentally brought with goodies and arranged to send me more. In future I gather the thing to do is to bring a detachable hard drive, and I'm glad that, anxious about a looming dS fanart deadline, I brought my laptop with me rather than just a pad. Also there were a couple of hilarious dinners, with everyone talking excitedly about fanstuff over noodles or curry (I gather dinner venues are carefully chosen/traditional based on which places will put up with the noise!) So that was fun and I'd like to do it again.
There's another similar gathering in Sydney each year with cross-pollination of some of the participants between the two groups, so I might go to that next year, if I can manage the logistics of more time away and the hassles of slogging through miles of endless airports. I mostly don't like being away for long - and this will sound ridiculous I know - because my cat (see icon) gets lonely. Possum's an enormously affectionate cat and he's used to lots of cuddle sessions and sitting on me. He clearly misses me and complains vociferously for ages after I come back, even after just a weekend. He's the best cat I've ever had, with masses of personality and fur and excellent for hugging. I've had bad past experiences with catteries and he's very at home here, with his chairs and his turf in the bush, so I have someone come in and feed him when I'm gone. He's also getting on - about 11 now - and although he's okay, I don't want to stress him. So what with my endless RL work, self-imposed fannish art and writing deadlines, and hatred of bloody airports, I mostly prefer to stay home and potter about in Auckland. I'm an old bastard, after all, so I reckon I'm allowed to hunker down.
The next paragraph's about (successful *g*) diet and lifestyle stuff, and I can't seem to do cuts on DW that stay separate once you open the first (one of its few flaws compared to LJ) so skip it if you don't want to read about that.
Speaking of being an old bastard, I've been a pretty unhealthy old bastard for a fair while. Looking after Mum for the past 4 years until she died (expected, and right) in April this year took its toll, and as I did all my grieving across those 4 years, it hasn't been grief messing me up since April, but more loss of the way caring for her structured my days. I cooked reasonably healthy food for her - and have since reverted to toast, cafes and take-aways. Moving her around exercised me, and there's been far less reason to be active since April. So I've been in a slump physically, but also in terms of motivation and organisation. But. Things have changed. I got interested in anatsuno 's detailed account of being on a keto diet (at her journal, but you need to ask to be on that friend subgroup to get those posts). Anyway, the dietary system has a number of pluses, even though I quailed at the thought of not eating bread or potatoes. The pluses are - plenty of protein and fats and no worries about salt. So cheeses, whipped cream and Pho soup are in, even if crusty bread isn't. I've been doing it about a month, and it's had a dramatic effect. I can never stick to diets, but I'm finding this easy, and it's not getting harder as time passes. The protein and fat means I'm never hungry or craving carbs, so I can manage calorie restriction as well, to slowly get my weight down. It's not simple to manage - you have to read up about it and obsess slightly, and most people use a nutrient diary/calculating tool like MyFitnessPal - but I'm already a lot better at eyeballing portions rather than having to weigh everything religiously. I feel tons better already - I hadn't realised how overindulgence in carbs was poisoning me. I've lost a lot of retained water, my carpal tunnel symptoms have gone and my joints have almost stopped aching - and my usual roving tendonitis's vanished. My skin's healing better from minor injuries and my gums are much improved. I've lost 10 lbs and I feel more energetic and clearer mentally, and am gradually tackling the general entropic chaos into which my house has drifted. So that's great, and I'm sticking with it. I guess Spring may be helping, or maybe the timing's just fortuitous.
Finally, a few fannish challenges have come around which I haven't yet posted about (oops), so here's a summary of things made and received.
Ante-Up - The Losers Big Bang, yay! I wrote Clay's Eleven (The Max Job) - a ~20,000 word crossover AU of The Losers movie, where Clay brings in the Leverage crew to help. kate went above and beyond and both betaed the fic and podficced it, hot off the press, which was a blast and a wonderful complement.
I also did a complement - Cougar/Jensen kidart called Everybody's Favorite - for Don't Ask (I Won't Tell) by soniclipstick.
And we've just had the due South/c6d Big Bang go live! My Big Bang work was a 15 page comic called Dief and the Trickster, in which Diefenbaker gets...sidetracked, while rescuing Fraser. It was one of those projects I loved throughout and powered ahead with once I'd written the script. I'll do a post shortly about the art techniques I used to make it. The project felt a bit like the Losers' Tarot for last year's Ante-Up Losers BB - it seems I do well with projects full of separate packets of art. And ride_4ever wrote a complementary ballad inspired by the comic! - Come all Ye Fellow Wolves.
I also made a cover art complement for mizface and hazelwho 's magical story Rising Sun, which was huge fun as well.
One fest I'd overlooked was back in July when the SGA John/Ronon Satedan Grabass posted, and my gift to milly_gal was the John/Ronon genderswap fic I mentioned before, Don't Call Me Baby (Ronon gets swapped). Milly_gal gifted me both a fic and art, You're It! which was great drunken fun.
That's it for now, but I'll post again soon about making the comic, and about some excellent things I've been reading.