Monday, July 26, 2010

Renn Faire Revisited - 2nd Trip 2010 Recap

Must have been the weather. It was PERFECT yesterday for our second trip to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. While we didn't get the Ultimate Parking Spot this time, we did get a great day. We saw a Pirate Show, our toddler went on just about every ride possible, and we caught a showing of Don Juan & Miguel. I bought an ocarina from Fire Om Earth, and I am currently learning how to play it, much to the distress of my family's ears. *grin*

We ate at the tavern, too. I had my first Portabello Mushroom Sandwich, which was pretty good, but their pierogies were to die for! I was supposed to meet a friend there, and we somehow managed to miss each other ALL DAY! She and her family had an awesome time, too.

Oddly enough, now that my middle class noble outfit is complete, I find myself wanting to go backward and revisit my wench outfit (the first outfit I put together for the Renn). I had added some pirate trappings to it, but I think next year I'll just wear that, rather than the blue. I wasn't afraid to get it dirty, for one thing. The grass was still wet in most places from all the torrential rains we've been getting. It's nice to change things up, anyway. Yarrgh!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

RWA Removes Dorchester From Conference

I'm a few days late in posting this, but RWA has canceled all Dorchester Publishing events, including editor and agent appointments, at the Nationals conference due to a matter of the publisher's unfulfilled contractual obligations with some of its authors. This does not mean Dorchester is banned permanently from the Nationals. It appears Dorchester is working on the issue, but as of the conference it will not be resolved. They should be welcomed back next year (provided, I'm sure, that they make good on the current problem). Read the full story at Publishers Weekly's blog here:

RWA Dings Dorchester Over Unpaid Bills

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hat Trick

Question: What's a self-respecting pirate wench to do when faced with hatlessness for an upcoming Pirate's Weekend at the Renaissance Festival?

Answer: Make one!

A friend invited me to the Pirate Invasion this weekend at the Sterling Renaissance Festival. This is one of the few years I have gone to Faire more than once in a season. I had the clothing - a wench outfit I bought in the early years of my trips to the Renn. But I had no hat, and almost no money for one, because I bought a fancy tall hat for our last trip to the Renn more than a week ago.

So, I did what any cheapskate person with a knack for creativity does. I made a hat out of one I already had at my disposal! First, I wrangled an old, flat-crowned straw hat out of my mother. Sucker had a scary-looking multicolored sweatband, and the brim was curled up all the way around so that it resembled a chip-and-dip set. Yikes!

Then I did some hunting around for tricorne hat designs, and lots of watching of the three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies (Oh, so painful and all, having to watch Orlando Bloom kiss Kiera Knightley's knee like that. Flutter!).

I re-blocked (reshaped) the hat crown by wetting it with warm water and stuffing it with wet paper towels, then squashed it down onto an upturned bowl of the appropriate size to mold it as it dried. Good thing I did that first, because I think the sweatband was glued as well as stitched, so the water helped loosen the glue.

Once it was shaped and dried, I removed the old sweatband. I then sewed on a new maroon sweatband to match my clothing, and used black seam binding around the brim. I then spent some cash on feathers to decorate it, and sewed the brim up into a tricorne, using buttons I already had on hand.

The result, as you can see, is a (mostly) proper pirate wench's hat, and I discovered afterward that using straw or seagrass for these is pretty common - though not as popular as wool or leather. The crown's a bit high, but I love the result. Can't wait to show it off at the Faire!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I have created a newsletter list, where you can quickly access the latest updates, book releases and contests. The newsletter is a low-volume, announcement-only list, and you can reach it here: Nicki Greenwood's Newsletter

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Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Renn Faire Recap

I worried all week that the weather would not cooperate, but magically, Saturday morning dawned cool and clear. It takes a good hour to get dressed up, start to finish, for the whole family. By then we just stopped and got something quick to eat. We arrived at Sterling, NY about a half hour early, but they were doing a skit at the gate, so everyone was well-entertained.

Lots of new things to see this year. The joust is bigger and better, there are new merchants and entertainment, and new pubs and seating. I'm excited to see all the additions. The little peanut didn't have much attention span to sit down for anything but the glass blower, but we did enjoy some of Don Juan and Miguel's show. I was really disappointed that we missed Hey Nunnie Nunnie, as they're a new favorite. We had to move at the toddler's speed. :P He did get to go on the Carosello (sort of like the Flying Chairs at the State Fair, but manpowered), and we both rode the Dragon, which was a (miniature--yes, dragon-shaped) version of the Pirate ride at the State Fair, again, manpowered. He also won a prize at the Mud Ball Toss. He was thrilled about that. :D

We skipped the turkey leg this year (sigh) in favor of chicken tenders and fries, which were more toddler-friendly and easier to clean up after. We did get our apple dumpling with vanilla ice cream, though, and it's just as good as it always is. There are more food options this year, too, which was nice. I missed the lovely wine slushie, but did get a taste of the red and white varieties available (red's better, if you wondered).

Peanut's stamina wore down after about four hours, so we called it a day after that and came home. It has taken us twenty years or so, but we finally got the Best Parking Spot Ever underneath a tree. Car was not roasting at all. Woot!

Best part of the Renn this year, for me, was seeing all the new artisans. Hubby, of course, liked the joust and swordsmith. The peanut liked "The knights!" And I think we all enjoyed getting home after all that. Another great year at the Renn! This is me in our yard, pre-trip:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

2010 "Hot Fun In The Summertime" Contest!

Hi All! I'm excited to announce the 2010 "Hot Fun In The Summertime" contest, featuring a signed copy of "Earth," including a postcard featuring the book, and a very special 100% biodegradable bookmark! When you're finished reading the book, plant the bookmark in your garden or a flowerpot, and its paper will grow into a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers!

CONTEST RULES: To enter the contest, CLICK HERE to access the entry form. Incomplete entries will be discarded, and entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Only one entry per person or household, please. A winner will be drawn at random and contacted privately. No purchase is necessary, and your information will never be distributed to any third party. Your first name and last initial will be used to announce the winner on a future blog entry at Contest ends September 1, 2010.

Keep an eye on this blog for announcements of future prizes and upcoming book signings. I'll list them all here as they come up. Good luck, and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Keep Cool!

In the humanitarian interest of keeping people from melting just breathing this week, I include today a frosty little reminder of what some of us will be seeing in another six months:

Drink LOTS of water. Stay indoors with air conditioning or a fan. Head underground to your basement if it's finished, or take a trip to the mall. Get a kiddie pool and lie in it in the backyard! And don't forget to provide lots of water and escapes from the heat for your animals, also. Children, the elderly, and pets suffer worst in this weather.

I am glad to see the weekend will be somewhat better, here in Central NY. I plan to go in full dress to the Renaissance Faire - but I would have waited if this weekend wasn't going to be cooler. Phew!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Taking a moment today to wish all Americans a happy Fourth of July. I'd also like to thank our soldiers for the sacrifices they make to keep our country free to celebrate days like this. Be safe, everyone!