Category Archives: Lillian Csernica

Universal Fun!


by Lillian Csernica on June 24, 2017

ushlogo

Tomorrow John and I will fly down to Los Angeles and spend a few days enjoying the wonders of Universal Studios Hollywood.

John has been talking about seeing Universal Studios ever since he first heard about it many years ago. Chris and I decided that a trip to this previously unexplored land of movie magic makes the perfect graduation gift for our boy.

univholly

bunnellband.org

John and I have studied the map. We’ve discussed what we each want to see the most. Today we’ve been packing our bags. Tomorrow we take our first plane trip together. I’m pretty sure what John is looking forward to the most is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

harrypotteruniversalhollywood-768x768

fun-squared.com

Me, I’m looking forward to the air conditioning on the plane, at the hotel, and on many of the rides. I’m not a big fan of heat, preferring autumn and winter to summer. I suppose this is an indicator of my advancing years. Insane roller coasters are great, but they lost their appeal for me after I reached my late twenties.

img_1520

Even so, I can’t wait to watch the Special Effects Show with John, to get silly in the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem area, and probably scream at least once on the Jurassic Park ride. Best of all, I finally get to drink butter beer and hang out at Ollivander’s where Harry Potter’s wand chose him!

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Grand OpeningPublicity

virgula.uol.com.br

 

My grandfather worked in the movies. My mother has appeared as an extra in several. I did some writing for the movies, once upon a time. And now my son loves movies just as much as the previous generations in our family have.

Watch for my trip report once we’re home again!

universal-studios-hollywood

thevalley.net

2 Comments

Filed under autism, bad movies, classics, cosplay, creativity, dreams, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, Food, history, legend, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, neurodiversity, parenting, science fiction, Special needs, steampunk, sword and sorcery, travel, Uncategorized, Writing

Getting Too Close to Nature


by Lillian Csernica on June 18th, 2017

cougar_cp_0

www,vancouverobserver.com

See this? This is a mountain lion. A cougar. A puma.

They can be 5 to 9 feet long and weigh 100 to 150 lb. They can run 40 to 50 miles per hour and jump up to 20 feet high. They’re also excellent at climbing.

This was in my back yard yesterday, in broad daylight.

As soon as I saw the big cat crossing our creek, I yelled up the stairs to my husband. We have three housecats, and I wanted all of them accounted for right then.

My husband came down. I told him what I’d seen. He asked me if I was sure. Hell yes I was sure! Back when I was 19, I spent a summer in Larkspur, Colorado working the local Renaissance Faire. Many of us lived on site during the week, including the tiger tamer and his menagerie. “Tiger tamer” isn’t really fair, because Bhaghavan treated his cats with the utmost respect and care.

That included the mountain lion. One day he took the mountain lion out for a walk and passed by where I was sitting. Bhaghavan brought the mountain lion over. The big cat promptly flopped down across my feet and started to purr.

Believe me when I tell you there was NO WAY I was going to rub that tummy!

ffc0f7340df62a88e2d9f7a8594ad54b

pinterest.com

So yes, I do know a mountain lion when I see one.

Mountain lions are normally reclusive and avoid human habitation. To see one walking past my house in full view was both a marvel and a huge surprise. I believe the mountain lion was following a deer trail. It disappeared into the tree line on the other side of the creek.

We found our gray and white cat Hunter under the car. Rayas, the torby, was curled up on a lawn chair, apparently asleep. And Coco, the fluffy black longhair, was up a tree. Smart cat, Coco.

Yes, it’s wonderful to live in the mountains among the California coastal redwoods. Getting close to Nature is important. It’s also important to remember that Nature is perfectly capable of sneaking up on us!

cougar-02-0

huntalberta.ca

 

3 Comments

Filed under cats, Family, home town, Lillian Csernica, nature, veterinarian

About that Subtitle….


by Lillian Csernica on June 1, 2017

prefatory-material-of-a-book-writing-10-638

Now that I’m home again after the big holiday weekend, I’ve been practicing some stress management by looking through the Amazon giveaways. I’m seeing a lot of books.

I’m also seeing a lot of subtitles. Long, cumbersome, unnecessary subtitles. Heaven knows we all want to win big in the SEO Sweepstakes. Trying to stuff a bunch of keywords into your title, subtitle, and series name is more likely to turn a reader off.

Here is an example of a rather lengthy subtitle:

book-2

Mr. Duswalt might have chosen to say Surviving X Years Touring with Guns N’ Roses. One can assume he felt the marketability of the book would be enhanced by all those details.

Still, tl;dr can be an important factor.

A subtitle is a lot like a prologue. If your story needs one to help the reader figure out what’s happening, then there’s something wrong with your story. Much like an adverb props up a weak verb, a subtitle is propping up a weak title and/or cover art that really doesn’t sell the story’s genre.

Yes, you can have a subtitle if the book is one installment in an ongoing series or you have the same main character. Even so, keep it simple. Book 12 in the Marybelle O’Shaughnessy Cozy Culinary Criminal Capers with Cats is a little much!

cat-stealing-fish-kitchen-30743468

 

 

 

Save

3 Comments

Filed under cats, creativity, editing, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Lillian Csernica, publication, research, romance, science fiction, Writing

Where You Should Be This Weekend


by Lillian Csernica on May 26, 2017

road-trip-13

It’s that time again! Convention season is well underway, and Memorial Day Weekend is a high point. This weekend you can find me at two, count ’em, TWO conventions!

sitebanner470x246

Clockwork Alchemy:

Saturday in particular promises to be a blast.

11:30 to 1 p.m. — Steampunk DIY! This year we’ll be making earrings. Get it it gear (ho ho ho) and join us!

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Steampunk, Satire, and Society

itve-c3s

BayCon:

Sunday is my busy day!

1:40 p.m. (Connect 5)  My reading! Come listen to an exciting excerpt from my newest Kyoto Steampunk story, “The Wheel of Misfortune.”

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Synergy 1) Historical Writing

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Connect 1) The Truth About Stuff!

I’ve come up with some rather unique items in the way of promo swag. Find me and see what heights of creative memorabilia could be yours!

stock-vector-brightly-colorful-firework-isolated-on-white-background-vector-illustration-158057198

2 Comments

Filed under artists, charity, Conventions, cosplay, creativity, dreams, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, history, Lillian Csernica, neurodiversity, pirates, publication, research, science fiction, steampunk, sword and sorcery, therapy, travel

The Naked Truth


by Lillian Csernica on May 17, 2017

791905

ventasmedicas.com.mx

I recently got a phone call that is one of those phone calls you really don’t want to get.

I’d gone in for a mammogram. Not fun, but an important part of keeping ahead of anything that might show up. Went there, did that, got it over with for another year.

Or so I thought.

Got a phone call from the imaging center telling me the doctor there wanted me to come back in for some additional views on my right side. “What does that mean?” I asked. “Is something wrong?”

Never ask the people at the front desk these questions. They don’t know, and they can’t tell you even if they do know.

So I made a follow-up appointment for today. Was I nervous? Hell yes I was nervous.

e647e34ace124a7f531b89f91bcdbff4

pinterest.com

 

The imaging center front office is very cheerful with all the pink items associated with breast cancer awareness. There were a few nervous-looking women in the waiting room along with some very bored men. I’ve been in a lot of medical waiting rooms over the years, some for myself, some for the boys. Rarely have I experienced an atmosphere of everybody trying so hard to ignore the reasons why we were all there.

My turn came, I suited up in the bright pink gown, and the mammogram tech got those images. She took them to the doctor there, who would decide if further imaging would be required.

During that ten minutes or so, I kept myself occupied by telling myself to calm down, to stop imagining horrible outcomes and scaring myself, to have faith.

anxious-face-clip-art-84517

Another tech appeared, this one in charge of ultrasound. Yes, the doctor wanted further images. So I followed that tech into the large closet where they do the ultrasound exams. For once the ultrasound goo was not cold. Thank God for small favors.

The ultrasound exam went on and on  and on. Time has no meaning when you’re lying there in whatever position you’re put in, feeling your muscles start to cramp while being too scared to move or say anything for fear of messing up the exam and having to start all over again.

At last those images were complete. That tech went off to show them to the doctor. I did my best to remove all the goo and stay calm while this new level of anxiety jacked up my adrenaline level.

The doctor’s verdict? The mass they’d wanted a closer look at turned out to be nothing more than a water cyst about the size of a small ball bearing.

Thank you, God. It turned out to be nothing, but it might have been something. Now I know and the doctors know and it’s all good for another year.

180d96f804901fe37e5749e066c0f37f

pinterest.com

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under charity, doctors, Family, hospital, Lillian Csernica, mother, nature, research, specialists, worry

Reblog: 20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers


by Lillian Csernica on May 13, 2017

1376316-clipart-of-a-black-and-white-woodcut-fairy-tale-castle-on-a-vine-emerging-from-a-typewriter-royalty-free-vector-illustration

Looking for inspiration? Technique? Some solidarity and comfort? Somewhere on this list you’ll find what you need, along with so much more. Enjoy!

 

Source: 20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers

1 Comment

Filed under classics, creativity, Depression, dreams, editing, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Horror, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, research, romance, science fiction, steampunk, sword and sorcery, Writing

Reflection Post: A to Z Blog Challenge 2017


by Lillian Csernica on May 8, 2017

survivor-atoz2b255b2017255d2bv1

Another April has come and gone. I had a blast this year! Plowing through over a thousand items of Art Nouveau jewelry, art, housewares, etc. brought me a great deal of pleasure and lots of new historical information.

Having survived the previous three A to Z Blog Challenges, I came up with a better strategy for participating this year.

I chose a theme that promised plenty of eye candy: Art Nouveau jewelry. That meant more graphics and less text, so the posts would contain the essential information of interest on each item shown.

I made sure I stayed a week ahead on writing the posts. That did wonders for taking the pressure off and helping me really enjoy writing my posts and visiting the blogs of other participants.

Responding to comments and following up on visits make up the core purpose of the Challenge. Some wonderful people turned up to see what I found for each  day’s letter. I regret that I did not manage to visit more participants this year. A business trip did kept me on the road for over a week, but I did manage to follow up with my “regulars.”

My favorite blogs include:

This Old Shelter

Favorite post: Psychoanalysis: (1940s Film Noir)

Sharon E. Cathcart

Favorite post: W is for Wooing

Diary of a Dublin Housewife

Favorite post: Oh Brother

The Doglady’s Den

Favorite post: Je Taime…Mon Non Plus

Outside Perception

Favorite post: All of them, really. As much as I love movies, I had a good time seeing which one OP chose for each letter.

I do have one request for the A to Z Blog Challenge team:

PLEASE BRING BACK THE LINKY LIST!

The list made it so much easier to see where I’d been and where I wanted to go in terms of visiting my fellow bloggers. The categorization codes were also a big help. When I wanted to try a new flavor, I could spot which blogs were new interests for me. If I wanted to hang out with new writing acquaintances, off I went.

Thank you again to the A to Z organizers. I love the Challenge!

1176833-cartoon-of-an-abc-alphabet-train-on-a-rainbow-royalty-free-vector-clipart

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, Goals, history, Lillian Csernica, nature, travel, Writing

You Need to Know These Six Things


by Lillian Csernica on May 3, 2017

816f38fa57b205e896f66b2e72e9bfb5

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I live with Major Depressive Disorder. I take medication and I’m in cognitive behavioral therapy. There are a lot of blogs and articles and opinions out there right now about mental health, what it is and what it isn’t. I came across this particular article and was struck by how much sense it makes.

6 Things the Internet Gets Wrong About Mental Illness

Please read this article. People don’t believe me when they find out I have chronic, clinical depression. They see me writing and making sure my sons have what they need and they think I’m hanging in there despite all the stress. That’s because I’ve learned how to pass for cheerful in our relentlessly perky social culture. The fewer assumptions people make about those of us who suffer with any kind of mental illness, the sooner we’ll reach that point of compassion and support these articles might easily sabotage.

Thank you for listening. Remember, you are not alone.handshake-niching

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Depression, doctors, Family, frustration, Goals, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, neurodiversity, Self-image, therapy, worry, Writing

Y is for Yearning (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 29, 2017

y

Of all the pieces of art nouveau treasure I have seen in the course of this Challenge, these are the ones that I truly yearn to possess!

a072d1f02c60d5aa28aad3cbfd4a2d3f

www,skinnerinc.com

Gold, sapphire, and plique-a-jour enamel pendant. Marcus & Co.

1893fcd153ddfb76be05210a60567ec8

pinterest.com

Enamel brooch set with diamonds, circa 1905.

937a8e7e74a7736a7a2010d554e74a6a

nelsonrarities.com

Plique-a-jour diamond, gold and platinum pendant.

Jugendstil brooch. Silver, moonstone, and glass. German maker’s mark, probably Pforzheim.

5ddab3dde76bb1b7b24506ab99b10976

sothebysaustralia.com.au

Of celestial design, the half moon-shaped black opal surmounted by a star motif accented with circular-cut diamond suspending an oval black opal surmounted by similarly set stars further suspending three lines of diamonds each terminating in an opal, completed by a trace link chain, brooch detachable, the opals together weighing approximately 14.50 carats, mounted in 15ct gold.

 

044c77a7fb4575371450658b1e5c3bd41

finescrollsaw.com

602000df334a87c7e9568adb17d406221

fairyblingmother.blogspot.com

Yes, the jellyfish earrings. How could I possibly pass these up?

ce06b620c58b0328d43e898fbfdf7050

fleurdulys.tumblr.com

Gold, diamonds, sapphires, and pearls.

Save

4 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, history, Lillian Csernica, nature, Writing

W is for Waterfalls (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 27, 2017

w

4f3aed27783e6b503f5670ae00c76141

fleurdulys.tumblr.com

Beautiful glitter Art Nouveau waterfall pendant by Georges Fouquet. It is made in yellow gold, with small diamond accents and enamel with a baroque pearl drop.

25fff10c5e086d4f95b9e3fa4d988712

painting-analysis.com

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Landscape with Waterfall. Stained glass,1920,art nouveau, teaching,education,analysis and study of the picture and style,art,culture,painting.

54b90ade62319abdffff5c0fa89f7506

pinterest.com

Four tier Waterfall Chandelier by Hector Guimard, early 1900s.

2fc44e6909f73dfde172269ab2ddc0cc

thewoodlinds.tumblr.com

Art nouveau fountain, Paris France.

3007ae1e4a1ec6caef7d32efd82baaa4

izuminki.com

The Waterfall Tiara created by Chaumet in 1899. Elements fashioned to imitate sprays of water, set with diamonds, support pear-shaped diamonds with tremble with every movement. Most likely a silver wedding anniversary gift from the Grand Duke Vladimir to the grand duchess.

 

4 Comments

Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, family tradition, fantasy, history, Lillian Csernica, nature, research