(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Discovering My Green Thumb is lost in the Aether.

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about my garden - complete with an accompanying photo. I scheduled it to post automatically this morning.  I trusted Wordpress to deliver said post promptly, then crosspost it to the varying social media according to the promise of the attached apps.
I then busied myself at a costume workshop, making detachable collars. Silly me. Here I was thinking it would all behave (the electronics, not the sewing. The sewing was fine. More on that later).
I checked my website and nada. No blog post. I logged into my admin and opened the wondrous blog post (that took me over an hour to write). Zilch. There is a title but the space reserved for the actual post is blank. No words. No photograph.
This is the third, no fourth, time Wordpress has lost one of my saved posts. (I saved and checked. Saved again, and scheduled.) It has been intermittent in crossposting to my other social media sites. I am not liking my chances at recovering my garden post. It has been sucked into the aether.  Is anyone else have issues with their program?
On a happier note: The Australian Costumers' Guild held a 'Make a detachable collar' sewing workshop at my place today. Perfect for steampunk outfits. These are dated approximately 1890s.  Thanks to Lynne for sharing her patterns and expertise. Thanks to Blake for the show and tell: some original collars (they come in cardboard as well!). My finished collar is on the right.
DSC_7152 DSC_7198WM

The Unfettered Muse

Catching up on blog posts - original at karencarlisle.purplefiles.net
Wordpress is not crossposting again. Sorry.

Day one:
On Monday I had a molar pulled. It had cracked up the centre and I was in agony.
I thought, why not exploit the situation and see where my muse wanders? (An uncommon experience for this teetotaller.)
I had organised a notebook to record any anaesthetic-induced inspirations my muse may wish to impart during the hazy twenty-four hours that would follow. Maybe I would get lucky and find a gem that could be mined?
Day two:
The muddle was melting. The pain lingered. I grabbed my notebook, eager to dig into its treasure trove of ideas. I sat down to the keyboard and opened my notebook.
Spidery lines tracked across the first page, occasionally hiccuping onto the next line. The lines thickened as they sprawled across the following pages, eventually forming rudimentary letters. Only one intelligible phrase was barely readable amongst the  rambling  doodles:
"the ferit wins "
So much for tapping into the unfettered muse. I think I will stick to my tea and dark chocolate.
tea 28 a

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Dear Reader,

Please accept my apology for the lack of a post today. I am currently on serious painkillers and waiting for an emergency tooth extraction tomorrow morning. I will be off my face, um… under the influence of anaesthetic tomorrow (and then more major painkillers for a few days after that). I am forbidden to ‘make important decisions or sign legal documents’.

I am hoping to be a repsonsible adult again by the middle of the week.


Karen J



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Life is Like a Collection of Mugs.

Life is like a collection of mugs – eclectic, surprising, sometimes baffling but always full of memories. This was re-enforced last week; we had to evacuate the entire contents of the corner cupboard so the plumber could fix a leaking pipe.

Oh dear, so many mugs! (Outnumbering the glasses, after years of natural attrition.) I discovered mugs I had forgotten about, some having hidden in the depths for over twenty years.

mugs half of cupboard


There was the Hongcon mug – printed to celebrate a fan SF con run by friends, right here in Adelaide, in 1992. The GOH (Guest of Honour) was Neil Gaiman who taught us there is more than one shade of black.

There were two commemorative mugs, listing all the children at our daughter’s kindergarten, several promtional mugs from the various places I have worked as an optometrist. (One of which is perfect for making a chocolate ‘mug’ cake – so it was a keeper.)

Then came the novelty mugs: Aggro, Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake, an Eeyore mug and a ceramic beer stein. Fannish mugs include: Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Despicable Me, Adventure Time, Big Bang Theory, more Doctor Who (about four in all) and a TARDIS mug (one of my favourites).

tea DW

tea 25I can choose a different mug to suit any given mood. There are Christmas mugs,  mugs that came with Easter eggs, some sporting a moustache, some found at garage sales or given as gifts. Some are favourites. Some are faded and ratty but soldier on.

I realised how many memories these cheap (and no so cheap) drinking vessels contain – memories of a dear friend lost many years ago, times spent gaming til dawn and significant life events. Some mugs are inspirational or are just so darned cute.

Each little crack in the ceramic adds character. The faded decals bear witness to years of use. Those with broken handles have been re-purposed as mini-plant pots for my succulents – because I can’t bear to part with them.

Why don’t you take a minute to open your kitchen cupboards, reach into the very back of the cupboard and check out your own collection. Rekindle some lost memories.

Life is Like a Collection of Mugs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Adventures of Viola Stewart now at B&N and Kobo.

Wow. Things are happening.

A big thank you to readers who have contacted me to let me know my books have been spotted at Steampunk Fanatic.

Journal #1: Doctor Jack and Other Tales (paperback) is now available at Barnes and Noble

Both ebooks, The Adventures of Viola Stewart: Three Short Stories and Doctor Jack is available at Kobo. and Barnes and Noble.

The Adventures of Viola Stewart now at B&N and Kobo.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Moment to Reflect

Sir Christopher Lee – actor, author, ex-Nazi hunter, musician – died this week.  He was ninety-three.

So many facts in those two sentences, yet it does not do the man justice.

He was intelligent: He studied the classics and was a multilinguist, speaking English, Italian, French, Spanish and German, and proficient in Swedish, Russian and Greek.

He was athletic: a champion fencer.

He was artistic: He wrote an autobiography, starred in 250 films and recorded heavy metal music.

He was mysterious and courageous: He worked for RAF Intelligence, with the SAS. His work is still classified.

He was a family man – married to his wife, Birgit, for over fifty years and father to their daughter, Christina.

He was known to many fandoms, starring in horror films, Shakespeare, James Bond, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

He was also a fan, with exceptional fan-cred: He read Lord of the Rings every year and met JRR Tolkien!

In short, he was a legend.

Sir Christopher, you inspire me to follow my dreams, utilise my skills and explore possibilities. If I can achieve but only a fraction of your accomplishments, I will be content.

Vale Sir Christopher Lee.  You lived the life we can only dream of. Well done, sir. Rest well. You will be missed.

A Moment to Reflect

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For the Good of the Empire

Fixes for crossposting still not working.
Manual repost

Tuesday 9th May:
On Monday I posted the link to my new YouTube video. If I had waited just a couple of days, I could have posted it as my regular post today but I couldn't wait to share. At midnight yesterday I realised what day it was (Tuesday, not Monday - public holidays always put me out of whack); I had no post written for Wednesday. I started writing. It was glorious. Words flowed from my fingers onto the keyboard...
There was something about the momentary bliss of the newly published author buoyed by an unexpected book-launch crowd, the joy of that first (paperback) book review and the sudden crash as reality reminded me of the work I have ahead of me. This was followed by an analysis of how post-book-launch blues is akin to post-convention blues - even down to the inevitable sinus infection that ensues.  (I get them instead of usual post-con flu most con-goers suffer from.)
Then it happened. My computer glitched. Half way through the save. Yes, I know. My folly was not to regularly save. My bad.
All was lost to the aether. Forever.
Note to self: Do not forget to hit save. When you do hit save, wait until the computer has finished its task. Better yet, don't feed it after midnight... Or maybe not type long screeds of text after midnight and forget to save it.
Wednesday, 10th May:
It is a new day. Sleep has not returned the lost words to my memory. I pull out my Department of Curiosities first draft and scan the handwritten chapters in the latest notebook. There is work to do - transcribing, rewriting and those few final chapters to write.
DOC 150610  transcribing copyright_2015_KarenCarlisle
I am clearing my headspace of Doctor Jack and re-aquainting myself with the characters/heroes and villains of a lighter steampunk tale of adventure, a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets. All for the good of the Empire.
Total number of saves today: 18 19 20 21

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Touristy Pic: 19th Century Adelaide Architecture

Crossposting still not working.
Manual repost: