Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show - ONE WEEK!


Those are legit US/CA version copies of the book up there, ya'll! YAHOO! Just so you don't have to check your calendar to verify, that's the US/CA release date down there in bright pink. (Feb 7, 2017)

The UK/IR/IN/AU/NZ/ZA release is just a couple of days from this posting: Feb 2, 2017! Which also happens to be the last day you can sign up to win a free copy from GoodReads.  Ahem.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show - All Over the Internet

Look! Randi made Dog-uerrotypes!

As part of promoting Dr Potter's Medicine Show, Eric's publisher set up a few ways for him to engage with all the readers out there. Or at least the ones who read these kinds of things, like, I don't know, maybe some of you.

Doctor Potter (left) and Dogter Pitter (right)

OH! And Tabitha Lord, author of Horizon, interviewed Eric for BookClubBabble.com

Annnnd the B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog has posted an exclusive excerpt from Dr Potter's Medicine Show along with a mysterious tale of intrigue as to how they acquired it!

Annnnnnd as if these things didn't make for an exciting enough week, ERIC GOT A BOX OF BOOKS!

 I didn't get a photo of us smelling them, but all the book lovers out there will understand that we did smell them and let me confirm that they did indeed have that great book smell!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show

Two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Two weeks until Eric's debut novel is out in the US & Canada!

Yeah, yeah it's blurry. It was dim, so we could use the little lights on the antlers!

NINE (9) DAYS left to try to weasel out of buying the book by winning one of five (5) copies from GoodReads! Contest ends on Feb 2 - which is when Dr Potter's Medicine Show will be available in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India (I think!).

As of my writing this, 474 people have entered! Get on it!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show BOOK TOUR!

YAHOO! If you follow Eric's author page on Facebook you may have already seen the four (4) events in the Northwest he has lined up in February. If not, you can click up there and follow his page (pretty please). After that, please feel free to mark yourself down as attending! And then, you know, attend! If we are Facebook friends and I know roughly where you live and that is near-ish to one of these evens and I remember all of this at the same time and you haven't already bothered, expect an FB invitation to an event in the next couple-few weeks.

Oh, and Angry Robot Books, got on bloggy on the tour as well as used one of the cool photos from the funtastic photo shoot. Things sure are getting cool around here.

OH! Twitterizers! Follow @Eric_Fischl and @AngryRobotBooks while you're at it!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

GoodReads is Giving Away Five Copies of Eric's Book!

Today, Thursday, January 19 though Thursday, February 2, GoodReads is giving away five (5) copies of Dr Potter's Medicine Show! Don't just sit there, click HERE and enter to win! Countries where this is available: US, CA, GB, AU, IN, IE, NZ, & ZA. I had to look some of those up, but YEY!

HEY LOOK! On Tuesday, Angry Robot tweeted a photo of the UK cover! YAHOO!

There's nothing more important right now than this! DO IT! And then if you win, also go buy one from a local bookseller or even an online retailer if you have an extra $8 (in the US) lying around to support a debut author! One for you one for a Valentine! Or unValentine! Or as a door stop!

Also, heads-up: Powells.com now offers signed copies for pre-order! I suppose that means Eric will be signing a stack of books on February, 6 at the Hawthorne location when he is there In Conversation with Wendy Wagner! 7:30 pm!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dogter Pitter's Medicine Show COSPUP!

I sent E a few of the better shots, he tweeted one, his publisher retweeted it and that tweet showed up on the Angry Robot Books' website.
If you click on the photo, you should be able better read the text.

... and then I got the idea to use leftover materials from Eric's Dr Potter cosplay suit to make a Dogter Potter suit for Delia! I made a pattern from the red plaid jacket I bought that she wears regularly for below-freezing fetch sessions, then made a prototype from other remnants in my fabric stash.

The prototype turned out so well, I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't have enough of a cuter flannel in my stash to have made it with.

Once I figured it was close enough, I dug into the Dr Potter stash and got to work! And about 10 work-hours later I had a pretty good dog-version of The Suit!

Same suit! Same expression! Same beard!

HER FACE! She's knows when business is serious, you guys!
A fetch session reward for being such a good model gave an opportunity for a good show of the side and back of the "suit"!

Annnnd remember how I mentioned my slight obsession with documenting the details of my projects? Well, here are the photos of some of the details of this project, taken in various poor lighting conditions, minus the pesky model. YOU'RE WELCOME.

I'm not going to lie, my original plan was A LOT less complicated, but C'MON what kind of fool is going to make a less complicated dog outfit that will never be seen anywhere but on the internet? Oh.

The back with the button details to match the button details on Eric's jacket! ACK!

Buttons, buttons, buttons! They aren't functional, but there were entirely necessary. For real.

My favorite overboard detail might be the lapel and collar of the "jacket"! It slays me! And the lapel required a good bit of hand sewing which I think deserves extra credit and should be noted in my permanent file.

Delia was a real good sport about all this! Historically, she's not much for outfits and disguises, but I think having associated her red plaid coat with her favorite fetch sessions has helped her turn the corner on this one. If it's much below freezing a jacket extends her tolerance for outside exercise by up to 80%! If it's 20 degrees or lower we'll use Musher's Secret on her feet and she will usually be totally up for her usual 25 minutes of exercise (+ 10-12 minutes more later in the day). She can call it at any time by simply heading to the door. She ended up wearing her Dr Potter suit for a few hours in the house after the photo shoot and fetch reward and was totally un-bothered by it. I admit that I was hoping to get a belly shot of her sleeping with her paws in the air, but that didn't happen. Yet.

As satisfying and challenging as the other projects were, particularly Eric's Dr Alexander Potter suit, this might be my favorite project I have made in a quite a long time. It just gives me giggle fits every time I see or think about it! Thus, I have shared it all over the place. LOOK AT MY DOG IN HER OUTFIT! LOOK AT HER!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show

Well, looka here! Dr Potter's Medicine Show is on Barnes & Noble's list of 21 Fantasy Debuts We Can't Wait to Read in 2017!

And this tweet from Angry Robot Books, the publisher, is our first view of the spine! ACK!

Annnnnd THREE (3) WEEKS! Less than that in the UK! Could this really be really real? I think it could.

So, something that I didn't know for sure was where all in the English-speaking world the book would be available. From what I can tell based on some GoodReads insider information, you can get Dr Potter's Medicine Show in the United States & Canada as of Feb 7, and the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa as of Feb 2.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show COSPLAY

Obviously, I have shared and shared (and yeah, bragged a bit) of the fun things I've gotten to make as my little contribution to helping promote Eric's book. The biggest thing I made was A SUIT! Like a three-piece suit, you guys! I bought a McCall's pattern, lots of fabric, and spent a good 60-70 hours on this and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. THANKFULLY, Eric was pretty much model size on this, because one thing I am not is a tailor and I have almost no alteration or fitting skills.

Hey look! Bare ground! This was taken when our moms were here for Thanksgiving... before the snow!

Eric has been a terribly good sport about modeling.

The unaltered, real deal!
Admittedly, I'm a bit obsessive about documenting the details of projects (as I am sure people who follow along have noticed) so here are some detail shot of the suit minus the pesky model. Ahem. I made the jacket, pants, and vest. We bought the shirt (H&M), braces (suspenderstore.com), hat (Goodwill at Halloween), shoes (TJ Maxx), and Eric had the socks and walking stick (a 40th birthday gift) already.

These shell buttons came from the 4 or 5 generation button box and might well be from the 1870s! I did have to find new clips for the back.

We got so lucky to find an inexpensive white shirt with the appropriate style collar! It would've been much more costly to make it and taken just that much more time. Suspenders are elastic and less "authentic" than most of the other pieces, but the cost difference easily justified the compromise. And I couldn't have made them for less, either.

Vent and button detail on the back of the jacket.

This jacket is made from about 50 pieces of fabric and interfacing. What with the pockets, lining, etc. it really added up. Oh, and it has 12 or 13 buttons, too!
Wooden buttons purchased online from MJTrim.com.

Special thanks to our neighbors and friends who turned out in the cold & snow to make this photo shoot even possible and all the work of making all the things come to a pretty great end! We certainly could not have pulled it off with out Neighbor Bob's fantastic Western town, knowledge, props, and photography skills! Not to mention everyone who showed up with costumes, props and with GREAT and generous-of-spirit attitudes! And for Coworker Randi's time and skills turning digital photos into daguerreotypes! Without all of them, the suit wouldn't have mattered one bit.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dr Potter's Medicine Show

Look what the Angry Robot Publicity Manager tweeted on Monday! Those are actual bound books right there.

We think that is the UK edition of Dr Potter's Medicine Show which is Trade Paperback and a tad larger than the US edition which will be Mass Market Paperback.
And for those keeping track, there is less than a month until Eric's book drops! WHAT!?

I guess I'll slip in one more of my Dr Potter's Medicine Show crafts while we're all here. Please remain seated, this will only take a few moments.

I fixed up a store bought crate for Dr Potter to keep bottles of his patent medicine in. I used the same home made iron acetate stain I splashed onto the advertising banner to age the wood. Then I used acetone to transfer laser printed labels onto the wood. When that was set, I used clear furniture wax to seal it. So far so good.

Hey look! Our yard used to be not-white!

Up to the very last step I was pretty pleased with it. I used self-adhesive aluminum tape (for duct work) and upholstery nails to make the metal edges. I distressed the metal by scuffing it with steel wool, then applied a black glaze. All was good until I used a satin finish acrylic varnish to protect it... that made it look like DUCT TAPE! Sigh. But, luckily that didn't really show in the photos since it's in the background and the photos are all filtered to look like daguerreotypes.

The same techniques were used to alter the small crate shown in the tonic bottles post.

I have one more Dr Potter fan-craft I want to get done before we go. It's going to be the cutest one yet!

Monday, January 9, 2017

This & That Projects; Out of Doors, Y'all: 6

Danger Stairs, Before. Please note that Delia still has a really nice collection of sticks up there on the deck.
Note the rise between the top stair and the deck is different than the rest.

The stairs leading up to our front deck... well, there are a few things to say about them.
  • They are sturdy and stable (at the moment, knock wood)
  • They were newly built when the house went on the market
  • They were painted with the same cheap, barn red paint as the deck, coop, picnic table, etc.
  • They seemed to have been assembled by someone who had seen & used stairs, but not studied or researched about making stairs easy & safe to use.
This is taken looking straight down. Note the couple-few inch gap between the inside edge of the stair I am standing on and the outside edge of the step above it. It just throws off the stride you assume you can have going up or down stairs.

Which is to say that the rise from the top step to the deck is WAY off and the run on all of them except the top one leaves a small gap between each. Not having a riser piece makes some sense for clearing snow, but with that extra space... well, we need to pay attention when using them. Especially because the rails... well, they look kind of like stair rails, but don't really function as a safety measure because there are no balusters and that 2 x 4 top is not really grab-able. 


A not atypical "feature" of our stairs is that they are under the drip line of the roof which mostly is just unpleasant, but in the winter adds to the hazards of one particular stair. Ideally, we'd just rebuild the stairs, BUT since in the next few years we want to rebuild the whole deck, including changing the orientation of the stairs out from under the drip line and we don't want to do the same work twice, we don't have immediate plans for making big changes with them.

Of course, ice is also going to form on the new rail and of course we'll knock it off of there so the new rail is grab-able.

BUT the other day I was out in the shop putting away the extra wine glasses I'd brought in for lunch after the Dr Potter photo shoot and I noticed that stored in the exposed rafters was the length of handrail that had been a closet rod when we moved in! It has been too short to be used on the inside stairs, but would it be long enough for the deck stairs? Indeed it would. Was. Is. Whatever.

Difficult to read the details, but that's the week's forecast from Sunday. Through Thursday the highest high is 12F on Monday, the lowest high is -5F on Tuesday. Monday, I cut and sanded the rail in the shop and brought it in to finish on Tuesday.

Why so dark? This photo was taken pre-dawn, the morning after the paint had dried overnight. It sure seems like the post-Solstice days are only lengthening on the afternoon end.

I intended to sand and finish it with the stain I used on the wood shed - a stinky job to do in the house, but it's too cold outside or in the shop, so I planned to set it up in the only room with a ventilation fan (ahem) and shut the door behind me. But when I was sanding this, there were paint spatters and a bunch of nicks n' dents and well... I decided to paint it instead. I set up in the living/dining room and used paint from the exterior door project.

I went after a few standard, run-of-the-mill rail brackets, but the local lumber yard only had some that were one notch fancier, so I got those*. At least I didn't have to get bright brass that way. Then I attached the whole shebang to the looks-like-a-rail and we're in business! When I was telling Eric my plan he asked, "Is it going to look weird, though?" I said, "Not any weirder than it already looks." I think I was right, but at least now we and our guests can feel a little more secure. Also, we live in the forest and we're all middle-aged n sh!t... time to embrace the weird-looking house stuff. Not that I said that, but he might read this.

Another project where the change in appearance isn't much compared to the thought, time, and effort that went into it. Safety is rarely glamorous, I guess. Still, I'm going to put three (3) photos in here anyway!

This last one is an action shot! It was a full 20 degrees Fahrenheit out there, so no gloves. Just kidding! I had taken them off so I wouldn't drop the screws into the snow and my finger tips were COLD. 

P.S. Like a lot of the wood millwork that came with the place, the rail is comprised of smaller pieces of wood, finger-jointed together. So it's probably not super great for exterior use - particularly under the drip line, but hopefully it'll hold up OK for a few years. Hopefully the week's worth of curing that the primer and paint did in the house will help.

*This is how project budgets get blown. You know all you need is a few couple-dollar parts and the rest is elbow grease. Then your couple-dollar parts turn into several-dollar parts and you're in the weeds. Luckily, this was a small, small project. So even with doubling the budget, it was still under $20.

Friday, January 6, 2017

After A Long Hiatus...


How could we have gone since April without sharing Mavis's sweet fashion looks?

These are Mavis's first spectacles and she didn't know to spring for the anti-glare coating.

Oh, it's because she's been wearing repeat outfits, that's why. She's no capitalist diva and doesn't believe in wearing something just once and isn't afraid to be seen in the outfit, because she's not shallow. 

Dale is just starting to explore his style. He wears your grandpa's* tie and he looks fly.

Ramon shares my affinity for plaid culture.

Ramon has been wearing thrift store fashion outfits since before it was cool. This scarf? It was used in a photo shoot for a book by an author that he was into before any of you ever heard of him. They're actual friends.

Wait just a galldurn minute! WHAT'S THAT HANGING IN RAMON'S STAIRWELL?

Funny you should ask; that is another Dr Potter's Medicine Show fan-craft I made! You may recognize it from images of the photo shoot!

I made a 5" tall sign using image editing program software, printed it out, and then used my opaque projector to trace it in pencil onto pre-washed canvas in the darkness of the shop building. Then I mixed a couple colors of craft paint with textile medium and hand painted the traced letters.

I had incorrectly remembered that a standard dowel was 48" long and planned to put one through a rod pocket sewn along the top. But standard dowels are 36" and the pre-shrunk canvas is 38" wide, so I used some PVC pipe we had around and ran the jute rope through it instead of tacking it to the ends of a dowel. I cut the pipe just a bit shorter than the rod pocket, so that it wouldn't show.

After I had that all figured out, I used tea, coffee and an iron acetate stain I made with rusty nails and screws in white vinegar to age and distress the cotton cloth.

*By "your grandpa's," I mean "my dad's." And you bet I "borrowed" it out of his closet and wore it in the early-mid-80s with giant shirts and grandpa sweaters and probably stirrup pants and lots of bracelets and I never very gave it back.