In His Own Words; Vanian in the Country

Posted by Melina and Denise , Monday, March 25, 2013 11:25 AM


"My moms want to go to the countries. I don't know, I have bongos and stuffs...

They talks all the times about going to the Valley. I don't know where that is but I think it's scary. Like all full of socks and stuffs. And I bet there's shoes, oh, they are too scary for me. I'll hide behind the sofa, maybe."

Mom asks, "Vanian, wouldn't you like to watch the birds and squirrels through the windows?"

"Maybe. Ummm, maybe I could play my bongos for them? You know, if they aren't too scary and stuffs. I don't like to be laughed at, so they can't do that either."

Mom, I'm sure your going to love having a big house to run around in? 

" Are we bringing my brothers and sister too?" Mom, Yes Vanian, you know we are.
"Oh, umm, I guess. I like to run and run. I love to trot up the stairs. "


Mom: "Will you want to work in a bigger library?"

"What???" Mom, "Yes, we'll have a bigger library."

"OMG! Really? Oh, I would have to train the kittens, and I'd need some new equipments. And a comfy chairs and stuffs.

"Ok, I'll go start packing mom..." Mom, "Vanian, we aren't going anywhere yet... Vanian? Vanian?"

Loose Ends

Posted by Melina and Denise , Saturday, March 16, 2013 10:59 AM


My life is pretty busy though I think most people think I spend most of my time sitting around watching reality television. Don't get me wrong; there is lots of reality TV, the more vapid the better. A Real Housewives marathon is enough to make us squeal with joy, but mainly because it doesn't require us to turn our brains on while we are doing other work.

Our living room is a production area with sewing and chainmail zones. The only thing that is a constant during all of that Etsy work is writing. No matter what else I am doing, whether at the day job or chainmailling or laying in bed trying to fall asleep, for so long all I can think about is the novel. What is the next chapter? Did that last part work? When can I find the time to get a few more pages done?

I have been driven to get the first novel done as it seems a hurdle that I have to get over. I did it and now it's in the hands of an editor because the next step is to receive feedback and learn from it. 

Where does this leave me right now?

I have been making more jewelry and spending more time on the shop, but there has been a hollowness that I couldn't explain. Like no matter how much work I did in these areas it is not really productive. What is missing is that underlying drive to work on that project that means everything to me. 

It's like my brain doesn't know what to do with the spare time.

I want to be a writer more than anything, but I don't want to be a writer without a house. Without a car. I don't want to be an unhealthy writer who doesn't take the time to take care of herself. Writing can't be the only thing I think about.

I need to work on the rest of my life and not be so single-minded in my focus. I have now idea how to do that, but I guess learning is just another goal.

~ Denise

Veronica Mars Movie! Ch ch ch changes ...

Posted by Melina and Denise , Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:12 AM

It's official, there will be a Veronica Mars movie! This marshmallow woke up yesterday to the news that it was a possibility and was glued to my computer all day watching for updates as to when it would be declared official. I know I am not alone.


Veronica Mars was a great show with amazing writing and fantastic characters but let's be real, the fact of a movie coming out should not really fit in to a blog about goals. The real news here is HOW this happened. It didn't come from network execs, who pretty much thwarted the progress of this project at every turn. No, something different had to happen if the fans were to get what they wanted and that is CROWDFUNDING!

A Kickstarter campaign was started yesterday with a goal of 2000000.00 and in one day that goal was reached! It set records along the way and showed that maybe the old way that art gets made is outdated.

No longer should we have to wait for some mucky muck with money to decide our idea is valid. I myself used crowdfunding through Indiegogo to pay for the editor who will work on the novel I wrote. The fact is that the only way I can improve is through feedback and this is the way to do it. There was no way I could afford it myself so I put out the request and so many wonderful people came through. Grateful does not begin to describe how I feel.

All you have to do is browse through Kickstarter and Indiegogo and you'll see tons of amazing projects that are worthy of funding. Dance, art, writing, film - ventures that have traditionally been dependant on an 'industry' deciding if they are valid, and by that I mean money-making, now have the chance to see the light of day if enough people think they are interesting. For any artist, even small time wannabe writers like myself, this is an EXCITING prospect! And when I think of how it could help Melina and her painting career I can barely contain myself. She is so talented, but the art world is so very incestuous and insular, and her butt-kissing skills so very lacking, that this could someday be exactly what she needs.

The success of the Veronica Mars campaign is not just exciting for us fans, those two who participated in the Veronica Mars Hunker of 2006-2007, but for every artist in every field who may have worried they would not get the support of the industry they were trying to infiltrate. A campaign this size can only bring more attention to the idea of crowdfunding, and we will all benefit from that.

For now, later Marshmallows!

~ Denise

Feeling Naked!

Posted by Melina and Denise , Friday, March 8, 2013 8:19 AM


I received an email from the editor I will be working with to tell me that she will be starting on it during the week of March 18th. Time frame! Now I know exactly when the worst of the terror will set in.

I feel like a wimp. Unless it involves speaking in front of people, which is shocking as I have such a big mouth, I don't generally feel like I am going to vomit at the thought of doing something. I spend most of my life without barfy feelings. But the thought of having someone else, a total stranger, read something I have worked on for so long and critique it is horrifying. It is also necessary.

Luckily, I can handle criticism where writing is concerned. It is possibly the only area in which I have any confidence. This just confuses me that much more; why am I so frightened?

I think the bottom line is that I can handle general criticism, but what if she comes back and says "You have been deluding yourself and you have no talent and you can never be a writer go whistle!" OK, maybe not the last part, but you get my drift. I've always had great feedback on my work, but that was mostly from people who are a little biased IE. friends and family. And it was also about short pieces I wrote. Writing a novel is a totally different story, which I learned with every page I completed.

I try to focus on this as a learning process, but I can't lie and pretend that I am not scared and feeling more than a little exposed. What keeps me sane is that I am also pretty darned proud of myself for taking this step in spite of the vomity feelings.

With all of this talk of writing, I should probably link to a few stories I have had published to give an idea of what I have done. Here they are: HimThe WarningGrandfather's Day.

I am going to sip my ginger tea to settle my tum tum and wait out the month.

Babies, Babies, Babies

Posted by Melina and Denise , Tuesday, March 5, 2013 9:41 AM

I love kids. In fact, I am kind of a baby fanatic. When I worked retail, if a baby came into my department everything stopped until I was done cooing and loving on them. Truth be told, I always thought I would be one of those people who had 10 kids, but as my life went on I just never hit a time where I felt like I was ready. I could still adopt; it is not out of the question. But I discovered something that sort of took me by surprise: I love animals!

I don't just mean dogs-are-cute, cats-are-fluffy kind of love. It is more than that. I have come to believe that my purpose in life is to take care of those animals who may not have a home, who need love. We have 4 cats who were rescues and they are the babies I never predicted having.

Banshee
Vanian
Solstice
Sherlock (photobombed by Banshee)

I am vegan because of my love of animals. I dream that someday I can start a farm sanctuary. I try to wrap my head around how someone can hurt an animal, wear fur or skins, hunt endangered species. I can't! I can't imagine my own comfort being more important than the suffering and death of another creature. It confuses me and makes me sick. My life would be easier if I COULD understand, but it is too much.

Right now taking care of my babies is the way I put my life's purpose into action. They need me. Someday I will be able to broaden my reach. More animals who need love. And maybe that is what I am meant to do instead of being birth mom.

I am OK with that.

~ Denise

Working My Way

Posted by Melina and Denise , Saturday, March 2, 2013 10:51 PM

So, as Denise has said already in this blog, we are doing what we can to fulfill our dreams.

A part of that is working very hard on building our business, and for us, that means quite often special orders. Custom requests.

I personally love the challenge and the back story of doing something specific for the customer.

This is a photo essay of one I recently completed.



As you can see this was a custom book cover, and this is the process of making one. Custom pattern as well.

Till next time, keep on truckin'.

~ Melina

I am so proud of how Melina's custom business has grown since we started the shop. I guess it was inevitable based on how good she is at what she does.

~ Denise