Category Archives: artists

The A to Z Blog Challenge Theme Reveal!


by Lillian Csernica on March 21, 2017

thmrevel

Once again I shall be celebrating the arrival of Spring by participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. This will be my fourth year, and I look forward to even more fun and meeting new friends.

In past years, my themes have included Travel Adventures, Unusual Items Made of Chocolate, and Bad Sword & Sorcery Movies.

This year I will be bringing you eye candy taken from another one of my secret passions:

sm2bart2bnouveau2bheading-min

Jewelry, housewares, and a few other surprises, at least one for every letter of the alphabet! I’ll be looking forward to your comments!

erte1

Save

9 Comments

Filed under artists, Blog challenges, chocolate, creativity, fantasy, Goals, history, Lillian Csernica, romance, travel, Writing

5 Favorite Guides to Get Writing Again


by Lillian Csernica on February 28, 2017

2775df1607010fb3ca76dcbc9679c9b0

Writing is hard. We all know that. Some days we get sidetracked by avoidance behavior. Some days we procrastinate out of laziness or confusion about the story. Some days we’re just plain stuck.

Today I’m having one of those days. Here I sit, working on a blog post, when I’d meant to be making progress on my latest short story. Well, at least it’s productive avoidance behavior, right?

In the spirit of solidarity with my fellow struggling writers, I offer this list full of tips, information, and excellent methods to restart the writing engines. Enjoy!

Four Ways to Rediscover Your Passion for Writing

Nailing Scene Structure

100 Prompts for Writing about Yourself

Stop Putting Off Writing: 9 Experts’ Solutions

End Writing Procrastination Now

 

5ec4878d691f25af31f5db079c23fc6f

 

2 Comments

Filed under artists, Blog challenges, classics, creativity, dreams, editing, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, historical fiction, Humor, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, publication, research, science fiction, steampunk, sword and sorcery, Uncategorized, Writing

How to Squeeze More Words Out of A Tired Brain


by Lillian Csernica on November 6, 2016

3da74cf4e657e8fc5abcab9ba80f04c6

I’m sitting here yawning. Yesterday I left the house at 11:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until around 10 p.m. That means ten and a half hours. I spent three of those hours driving.

When I finally staggered up the stairway to my office and dropped my bags, I realized I had 90 minutes to get the day’s NaNoWriMo quota done. At midnight, that’s it. You’ve either written that day or you haven’t.

You know how your car engine sounds when you turn the key and the engine tries to turn over, but it just won’t catch? Yeah. That’s the sound my brain was making.

stock-vector-sick-brain-use-light-bulb-saline-bag-vector-illustration-flat-and-minimal-design-need-idea-223263931

I was a bit ahead of the minimum total word count for Day 5, so I was strongly tempted to just let it ride for one day. No no no. I’d signed up for NaNoWriMo, so I’d made the commitment to write every single day in November. Every. Single. Day.

I did cut myself some slack. Make it to the ten thousand word mark, I told myself. Write that much, and you’re off the hook. That meant three pages, or 750 words.

Great. Now what? <sound  of car engine failing to turn over>

32233529-creative-thinking

At times like this I brainstorm. I write down every horrible thing that I could possibly do to my characters. It doesn’t have to make sense, really, it just has to be possible within the story content already established. If all goes well, inspiration will strike, the engine of my imagination will turn over, and the writing flows.

Want some specific examples of how I torture my characters and get the day’s writing done? I’m happy to share.

540_293_resize_20130201_b4753a03bc6881e6e425640c2f5ba5ed_jpg

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under artists, creativity, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, Lillian Csernica, publication, research, Writing

The Greatest Job I’ve Ever Had


by Lillian Csernica on September 17, 2016

bellydancejob2

Yes, that’s me. Granted, I was all of eighteen.

Once upon a time, I worked as a Turkish-Moroccan belly dancer. My teacher was a delightful lady from Zaragoza, Spain. I had a genuine, 100% authentic coin belt made by a  man from Turkey. The belt had 144 diamond-shaped metal coins stamped with the image of Venus on the Half-Shell.

avshell

I performed in my high school talent show. The audience actually threw money at the stage. That in itself was funny. Then the stagehands gathered it all up and brought it to me backstage!

My teacher often took me with her when she’d been hired for a party. During the holiday season, we appeared as part of a steady stream of entertainers at a bachelor party. Just one piece of art on the walls in that house could have put me through college. That was the night I got the biggest tip I’d ever received. Some generous soul stuffed a $10 bill down the back of my coin belt!

Ah, the places I’ve been and the things that I’ve seen….

bellydancer

10 Comments

Filed under artists, birthday, charity, cosplay, fantasy, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, Small business, travel

How We Survived a Three Convention Weekend


by Lillian Csernica on June 4, 2016

stock-vector-future-science-fiction-a-couple-of-people-and-the-robot-391532056

Hi, gang. I made it through all four days of Clockwork Alchemy, BayCon, and Fanime.I would have written this post sooner, but the sudden discovery of John being WAY behind on preparing his Final presentation/exam in one of his classes caused me to devote what energies I had to making sure he met today’s deadline. I love that boy dearly, but some days he makes me crazy.

The weekend was packed with memorable moments.  This was John’s first time really participating in conventions.  (He did make a brief appearance at the Meet the Guest Reception of one BayCon about ten or twelve years ago. We had to keep him away from the buffet and out from under everybody else’s tables.) It was a spectacular weekend!  John even won a Hall Costume Award for his steampunk attire.

FanimeJohn.jpg

Technolo-John meets Mega Man!

John had quite a few adventures, including playing the communications officer aboard the Starship Artemis. He made a light saber in one of the DIY workshops, and he discovered the joys of hanging out in the Hospitality Suite having munchies and watching “Wheel of Fortune” on a big plasma screen.  That might sound silly, but I was pleased to see John guessing the solutions with everybody else.

At Fanime, all the people in costume blew John’s mind. He’d been hoping to meet some of his favorite superheroes. Sure enough, one man was dressed as Nightwing, and one young lady wore a Raven costume. Raven told John how much she liked his steampunk outfit. That had him walking on air!

Business was good. I sold all but one of the anthology copies I brought with me.  Gave away all the beaded space-theme bookmarks and the Japanese art print bookmarks, all of which had this here blog’s URL on the back.  Shameless Self-Promotion! John got to see people asking me for my autograph as I signed their copies.  This is my idea of Take Your Kid To Work Day. Now John knows that I really am (kinda) famous.

Yarn Doll

Courtesy of Leigh Flynn

At Clockwork Alchemy on Sunday morning I had a good time teaching the Victorian Yarn Doll DIY.  Yarn colors included forest green, wine red, and navy blue, as well as what I like to call the “steampunk rainbow.” This is a yarn made up of several jewel tone colors suitable for the steampunk era. Traditional Victorian yarn dolls are either boys or girls.  Out of respect for the gender fluid community, I wanted to provide materials that were both inclusive and diverse. If you’re interested in making yarn dolls, Pinterest is a gold mine of methods, styles, and materials.

Mixy Award

This is the Mixy Award, created by Steve Mix in honor of those people who he feels deserve recognition for their ongoing contributions to fandom and the convention community.  At this year’s BayCon, Steve granted me the honor of presenting the Mixy to none other than my best friend and co-conspirator, Pat MacEwen.  Convincing her to bring the spiffy clothes and dress up on Saturday night was a bit of a challenge, because of course I couldn’t tell her why.

w0006-01

Steve Mix was also responsible for the D20 challenge.  Several of us who are gamers past or present brought our best D20s to the con.  Whenever some of us would cross paths, we’d roll against each other. Best of five was the general rule.  Whoever won got to keep all the dice involved in that particular round.  I brought five D20s with me, and I left with five D20s, so I broke even.

In the bar of the San Mateo Marriott, the tables are glass.  That meant that in the evening when we had anywhere from three to seven people rolling at once, we made a glorious racket!  (I have to give the staff of the hotel credit.  They embraced the weirdness that is fandom like good sports.  The valets were having a great time collecting badge ribbons.) Steve has the best D20.  It’s made of some kind of metal, and it rolls high and hard.  I told him he should name it the “Deathstar D20”!

SnowJedi

The Snow Jedi

I’m going to break one of my own rules here and post a photo of myself in my jammies. That is indeed the very light saber John made.  This goes to show how much fun I was having. I actually asked Pat to take a photo of me looking like this. This had to be my best Clockwork/Fanime/BayCon ever!

stock-photo-steampunk-science-fiction-concept-as-a-fantasy-mechanical-human-head-made-of-gears-and-cogs-wearing-201300635

4 Comments

Filed under art show, artists, autism, Awards, Conventions, cosplay, creativity, editing, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, Food, Goals, historical fiction, homework, Humor, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, neurodiversity, parenting, publication, Special needs, steampunk, travel, Writing

See Me Live and In Person!


by Lillian Csernica on May 27, 2016

Come one, come all!  See me make a public spectacle of myself in the best sense as I talk about writing and history.  I’ll be demonstrating the making of Victorian yarn dolls!  Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

cihectmugaes6qm

BayCon 2016: It’s All About Space!

Magic Vs. Religion

Friday 13:00 – 14:30, Collaborate 2 (San Mateo Marriott)

Does it matter to the characters? Does it matter to the readers?

Jay Hartlove (M), Lillian Csernica, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Maria Nieto, Teresa Edgerton

Monks in Space

Saturday 10:00 – 11:30, Synergy 5 (San Mateo Marriott)

Many monastic traditions stress the importance of silence and solitude. Leaving behind all the material comforts of Earth for the “final frontier” of dwelling in a monastic community or as a hermit in space would take on additional significance and spiritual impact. Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism all have monastic traditions. The First Nation Peoples the traditions of solitude, fasting, and appealing to the spirits to grant a vision of that person’s purpose in life. The mission into space could be a vision quest, or the result of it!

Lillian Csernica (M), Mrs. Laurel Anne Hill, Jennifer Nestojko, G. David Nordley

Autograph Session: Csernica, MacEwen and Wade

Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, Convene Lobby (San Mateo Marriott)

Juliette Wade, Lillian Csernica, Patricia H. MacEwen

The Space To Move Forward

Sunday 16:00 – 17:30, Connect 1 (San Mateo Marriott)

Using creativity to counter depression, PTSD and survivors guilt

Steven Mix (M), Lillian Csernica, Margaret McGaffey Fisk, Fr John Blaker

So You’re Ready to Publish

Monday 13:00 – 14:30, Connect 1 (San Mateo Marriott)

Do you Self-Publish or Traditiional Publish? Get an agent or try to go it alone?

J. L. Doty (M), Lillian Csernica, Teresa Edgerton, Kyle Aisteach

 

ca_logo_2016

Clockwork Alchemy: The Arts of Steampunk
The Undiscovered Countries

Saturday 7pm – 8:50pm Location: The Academy (San Martin Room)

————————

DIY Victorian Yarn Dolls

Sunday 10am – 11:50am Location: The Workshop (San Juan Room)

————————

The 3 Rules of Writing Historic Fiction

Monday 11am – 11:50am Location: Author’s Salon (Monterey Room)

 

1 Comment

Filed under art show, artists, Conventions, cosplay, dreams, editing, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, history, Humor, Lillian Csernica, neurodiversity, pirates, publication, research, romance, science fiction, special education, steampunk, Writing

Orthodox Easter


by Lillian Csernica on May 1, 2016

Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!

Khristos voskres! Voistinnu voskres!

Christos Anesti! Alethos Anesti!

resurrection-of-christ-pascha-orthodox-icon-3

The Icon of the Resurrection

 

russian-orthodox-easter2

The white pyramid is pascha, a traditional dessert that makes cheesecake look like nothing!

 

12470388-russian-easter-cake-and-colourful-easter-eggs-isolated-on-the-white-background-stock-photo

Kulich, an egg bread, baked in coffee cans to get that cylindrical shape.

 

russian-easter-food-4

Pysanky eggs, mainly for Easter but also given at Christmastime.

Glory to God!

4 Comments

Filed under artists, charity, chocolate, creativity, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Family, family tradition, Food, history, Lillian Csernica, love, memoirs, travel, Writing

Z is for Zippers


by Lillian Csernica on April 30, 2016

My one great nemesis during travel is zippers.  They don’t like me, I don’t like them.  Nevertheless, they do come in handy at keeping things closed.  At least, that is, until one of us breaks a foot, loses a tooth, or rips out a seam.

 

 

I hate it when this happens.  Only rarely do I get lucky enough to work the zipper foot down to the end of the zipper where I might have the slightest prayer of making the teeth mesh again correctly.  The other problem with zippers is how easily my long hair can get caught in them, especially under windy conditions.  Trying to pry my hair out of a closed zipper is not the most pleasant experience!

 

Much like my comb, once a zipper has broken or lost teeth, that’s the end of it.  Time to get a new one!

 

And then there’s the problem of the torn seam.  This can be mended, but it’s tiresome work when time is short and I’d much rather be out and about enjoying my latest  adventure.  On my most recent trip to Japan, I bought a rather large purse in the hope that it would function as a carry-on bag as well.  It does, but there’s so much room in there you’d think this was the luggage version of Dr. Who’s TARDIS!  I am forever zipping it open and shut, which has put some strain on the seams to either side of the zipper itself.  I suppose some reinforcement is in order.

 

And there you have it!  All 26 letters of the Alphabet, under the theme of Travel.  Thank you for joining me.  I hope you’ve had fun!

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under art show, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, Family, frustration, Goals, history, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, research, therapy, travel, Writing

Y is for Yearning


by Lillian Csernica on April 29, 2016

 

original-9837-1425899087-34

 

There you have it.  During all the trips I’ve taken, in the midst of all the traveling I’ve done, there’s been a part of me that was waiting, watching, and hoping.  I’ve been on the lookout for that signal, that flare of recognition that would tell me I had finally found the trail that would lead me to my true home.

U2 said it best.

And so I keep traveling.

3 Comments

Filed under artists, Blog challenges, charity, classics, Conventions, creativity, Depression, dreams, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, frustration, Goals, historical fiction, history, Lillian Csernica, love, memoirs, nature, perspective, research, romance, Self-image, therapy, travel, Writing

W is for Waiting


by Lillian Csernica on April 27, 2016

 

Oiran.jpg

Waiting for the oiran parade at Toei Kyoto Studio Park and talking to the little old Japanese gentleman.  The one question he asked me in Japanese that I clearly understood was what kind of Japanese food I like to eat.  Figures, doesn’t it?  😀

les_folies_bergere_paris_large

Waiting during the intermission at the Folies Bergere.  I bought a can of Coke to drink while I stood there in the lobby watching people go by.  I was a trifle stunned by the show.  The great advantage of being alone while you travel is not having to worry about your mother finding out what you’ve been up to while you were away!

storm-tropical-island-3608839

 

Waiting to see if the rain in Maui would let up enough for Mom and me to go on the submarine ride.  So many tourists on the island were so angry, so upset by their plans being cancelled.  It was a bad day to be in the hospitality industry.  To me it was still an adventure, a tropical storm with the palm trees bending way over just like in so many movies I’d seen.

465524992

Waiting to see if Pat and I would find a gas station before we ran out of gas miles from anywhere in the dark.  I’ve experienced this particular wait more than once.  All I can do is cross my fingers and pray.  We’ve never been stranded by the side of the road.  Well, not yet, anyway!

stock-illustration-5456613-driving-vector

Waiting to see if I really could drive all the way to Fremont.  Then all the way to Stockton.  Then all the way to Seattle!  This wasn’t the usual kind of wait, given that I was driving at the time.  That part of my mind that’s always hanging back and observing was doing the waiting.  When I’m alone in the car I tend to talk to myself while I drive.  I hope anybody who notices thinks I’m singing along with the radio.

11664576-imagination-city-vector-illustration-stock-vector

Waiting to see if my destination would measure up to my imagination!

7 Comments

Filed under artists, Blog challenges, creativity, Family, Goals, history, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, nature, research, travel, Writing