Monday, March 28, 2011

Pysanky/Pysanka

I'm not entirely sure which form of the terms to use--since pysanky/pysanka comes from Ukraine.

I choose Pysanka. It sounds better in my head.


Anyway, I brought it up because I make them. Ukrainian egg decorating is
something my family picked up like ten years ago. We've been doing it ever since, but I think I'm the most enthusiastic about it. So let me explain the process.

It requires making a giant mess, so we only do it around Easter. ;)


First, you have to wash the eggs with vinegar-water, so that the dye will stick. Next, you take a pencil and draw light guide lines. Whatever you want white, you cover it in wax using a kitsky/kitska (is it a dialect thing or singular/plural?). When that's done, you can dye it. There's a specific order to the colors. For example, you could dye it yellow, orange, red, purple, black. Or yellow, green, blue, dark blue. But you couldn't dye it, say, yellow, green, blue, red. (You can change the color scheme with bleach or orange, but that's for another day.)


After you have all the layers of color and wax, it's time to wipe the wax off. We use a candle to heat it up--but we have to be careful not to scorch the eggshell. After it's clean, we varnish it, wait for a day, and then blow out the insides. (That's me blowing out one of mine, by the way.)


I feel like I should make it clear how easy it is to fail, even after hours of work. You could blob the wax. You could drop the egg at any point. You could burn the shell. If you use the wrong kind of varnish, you could rub the color right off of the egg. When you're blowing the insides out, you could create too much air pressure and cause the egg to burst.


See what happens when you drop it? You lose all the hours you spent on it. My little sister was the creator of this sad egg. She's broken two this year. But she did manage to create another like the first--this time without dropping it while taking off the wax.


While I've been creating ten beautiful designs, my husband has been doing this:


Pokemon. I asked him to make an egg, too, and he came up with this. Sigh.


-Tsira

Friday, March 25, 2011

Allergies

You know, I've never really had to deal with allergies. I remember getting a rash from petting Rasja (Rahsia? Raja? I don't think I ever knew how to spell that name) when I was little, but my cat allergy seemed to just go away.

Now I am allergic to something, and it sucks.

I don't even know what I'm allergic to. Other than seeing an allergist to find out what it is, the only other thing I can do to prevent flare-ups is clean my house more often. It could be Luna's fault--I hope not--or dust, or mold/mildew that likes to form on the shower curtain, or any number of things outside. But it's been going on for a month now, and I just don't want to deal with it. It's not bad enough that I am often injured or sick, now I have eyes that freak out every night before I go to bed. Yesterday I woke up with a puffy, swollen face, and had to go to work looking like I had pink-eye.

Of course this had to happen. Who else is as invalid as I seem to be?

It makes me crazy.

-Tsira

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No Title

Hello, world.

Life is pretty amazing. I just finished my book, and I'm passing it around to a select few who have agreed to help me make the finishing touches on it before I send it out into the brutal light of day.

The sad part is this: I don't know what to call my story.

For as long as I have had this idea, I've called it "The Legend of Mura", but I came up with that title in the fifth grade, before I even knew what the plot would be. Many, many scrapped ideas, versions, characters, and plots later, the working title no longer suits the book. I've thought of many other titles to replace it, but none of them fit without revealing something that is not supposed to be revealed.

For example, if I was writing a book where things are mysteriously growing, and the reader should be guessing why--suddenly it is revealed that Fairies were behind it! But if I call the book "Fairies", it would ruin the mystery.

I think that it's for this same reason that J.R.R. Tolkien was opposed to calling the third part of Lord of the Rings "Return of the King". He didn't want that part given away. But he was eventually consigned to the idea. Maybe I'll have to be the same--but it doesn't mean I'll be happy about it.

Anyway, it's been a long road to this point, and I'm certain it only gets tougher.

-Tsira

PS. I have the internet now. We didn't before because Qwest and Comcast are just slimy dirtbags trying to outdo each other, hiding behind lots of tiny-font rules and exceptions. We now have Clear internet, and it runs nicely for a lot less money--and a lot less fine print.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I am not dead

I am not dead, I am simply out of touch. (It's because I have no internet at my apartment.)

I got married to the most amazing person in the whole world.

I work with the cutest and most frustrating of people: children.

...and, I'm this close (fingers almost touching) to finishing my novel. It's basically finished, so I just need to read through it once, polish it a little, and send it out to my betas. Then I guess it should be ready to send to a publisher.

-Tsira