Category Archives: Convention

Of Comics, Conventions, and Peopling

Over the weekend, the family and I went to the 3 Rivers Comicon. The people who run it were nice enough to give me a press dealio and recommendation on a panel to make sure I went to. I did. It was awesome and I have a new series to read out of it too! I discovered that there’s a girl’s comic discussion group too – I may even try to attend in person sometime down the road. I got to meet a writer/artist who was part of one of the series that I loved in high school (even if I didn’t realize it was based in comics until much later in life, now I have most of the series in really beautiful, collector condition. I’m missing the last 12 but I’ll find them!). For most of my response and reaction to that, check out my post over at The Geek Girl Project.

The comics part of it, the neat art, the neat stuff, the artists and writers – all of that is really awesome but for me, the best part was that I peopled really freaking well – I talked to people I didn’t know about things I’m passionate about (even if one of those conversations had nothing to do with comics at all but interesting rocks. Did you know there’s a whole zen-like thing devoted to interesting bits of rock? Suiseki is a real thing I didn’t know about before. My most interesting rocks are generally kept on brass stands but I might have to look at some wooden ones eventually.). I know for most people, actually managing to talk to people without being an idiot is not a noteworthy thing and I am still quite hopeful that someday it won’t be notable for me either. It might actually happen if I have more days like yesterday. But I count yesterday as a huge win in the Sarah Successfully Peoples column so, suck it anxiety!

My fingers were not completely cooperative (one awesome lady at a geek girl brunch organization was kind enough to fill out a mailing list form as my handwriting was being atrocious in that moment) and my foot whined a lot but really, I didn’t come home half as sort or hurty as I usually do from spending a day at a convention or fair. I think some of that was definitely that my meds are really working better and I’ve been able to move more and better which makes it so I do move more and better and it’s a wonderful cycle of healing and getting better (and I’m so grateful for that!). I did absolutely need my cane by the end of it and I was moving pretty slowly but it could have been (and has been in the past) so much worse!

So I’m home, recharged, refreshed, and ready to work. Someday, I would love to create comics but ultimately, I think what I’m doing now, the books that I’ve got, that I’m working on, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

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Filed under Anxiety, Comics, Convention, Event, Geek, Rheumatoid Arthritis

I Peopled Again

Tekko 2018

Sort of. I didn’t meet any celebrities or get anything signed but the family and I went to Tekko over the weekend. Read about most of it over at The Geek Girl Project. We had a really great time. My anxiety was behaving itself and I think I only had one little minute of tension that I thought was going to bloom but the Litany came to the rescue and all was well again. My RA however was not so kind.

I was on my feet most of the day and, even with my cane (which actually got complimented a couple of times), I was really struggling by the end of the day. I say the end of the day but we were only there until about 3:30 or so. We were there for about 6 hours and I’m still paying for it today. Absolutely worth it!

The kids had a blast, I had a blast, I’m not sure about the husband but he must have been having at least an ok time as he went back the next day with the older child so the older child could go to some panels which we didn’t get to do on Saturday. Next year I want to try and see some panels, especially if they are similar in nature to this year’s panels. The one I’m most upset about missing though was an entire panel on cosplaying with chronic pain.

Part of this convention was a happy birthday to me sort of thing and I bought a few things with my birthday money – I probably don’t need any more art or a cute little dragon friend but birthdays aren’t just for things a mama needs. Plus, I think I found my new favorite artist. Listening to her talk about color choice and characterisation was interesting and awesome. Definitely a kindred mind where that sort of thing goes where visual art is concerned. If you get a chance, you should check her out – her Jareth was what I could not leave without: Kaysha Siemens. And I found the artist that did the mystical Nicodemus type rat my husband brought me home the last time they went! I need to get a few more frames and reorganize my wall now.

One thing I noticed that while I understood, it made me very sad, when I was looking at the cute little dragon creatures, the artist had a prepared speech about why they cost what they do, the time it takes to make them, etc. I should have said something then about not needing to explain that but just because I get it doesn’t mean the next person will. It’s just a shame people don’t value art and books the way they do their fancy over sugared coffees.

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Filed under Convention, Event, Geek, Parenting, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Upcoming events and other things

I’ve got four events coming up, three local in person things where I’ll have my books and some of the things I make and one online Facebook party sort of thing where I’ll be giving away a book and maybe something special. The more I do these real world sort of events, the better I get at them. I’m not quite ready for the big events yet but I’m getting there. One of these days I shall get myself to Parsec and Steel City. Then I’ll think about the not so local – when my youngest is a little older also.

In July, I’ll be at the Follansbee Den on the 6th for lady’s night from 7-9pm and participating in a Facebook party on the 19th. My slot is scheduled for 6:30pm and I’ll have presents for some lucky individual. I’ll have more information on both of them as we get a little closer.

I haven’t been writing as much as I want because I’ve done something to my right arm and it hurts and by the time I’m done doing my “day” job, typing my own stuff doesn’t work so well. It’s slowly getting better and I probably just pulled something but it’s seriously annoying when I have things I want to get finished!

Gods of the Fallen is coming along really well. I’ve basically got my outline draft done – it’s certainly not readable. It’s basically a very loose sketch of how the story is going to work. There’s a lot that the draft is missing of course but this is the closest I’ll ever get to doing an outline of any kind. I don’t count this as an outline because it’s a series of the important scenes that I have to tie together and smooth out. It does give me a path of sorts to follow but I’ll veer off it likely as not in the rewrites.

Getting ready for the local events, I’m making more stuff that might fit a little better in the place where I live – less artsy and more functional but not a bit boring. It’s a little more difficult to work in the summer with all the kids wanting to go places, do things, see people. I should have worked harder to raise hermits (not really, it’s good that they don’t want to be like their mother in that regard).

Yesterday was a little rough. It was the first father’s day without him. It just sort of felt like a wrong thing for me. But, it is what it is and I’ve just got to get used to it.

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Filed under Convention, Crafting, WIP, Writing

Lucky Girl

I am an incredibly lucky girl to have met and married a guy who gets me. He doesn’t always understand and sometimes he thinks I’m pretty silly but, where it matters most to me, he absolutely gets me. There are some people who I have never met but who have effected me in ways that probably sound pretty silly to people who aren’t dorks/geeks/nerds – whatever title they choose on any given day. For my birthday this year, I now own two of their autographs. One is pretty much the best present I’ve ever been given by anyone ever and totally made me cry. I’m fairly certain that there is no way that my husband can ever top this birthday.

As of today, I’ve met two of the three actors who ever actually scared me and both were so kind and sweet. I doubt very much that I’ll ever get to meet the third but two out of three is pretty damned awesome. Jump scare type things may startle me, but it takes a great deal to scare me and the first time I watched Candyman, I covered all the mirrors in my room for almost a month.

Tony Todd is really wonderful. Youngest son was waiting with me in the autograph line and pretty much on the edge of the convention being too much for him. He was stimming maybe the hardest I’ve seen him outside our house – but Mr. Todd took it all in stride, talked to him, and kidlet even handed him the squid he carries everywhere which sounds odd but is a great honor.

The Steel City Con is crowded (less today as it’s friday) and there are a ton of people and things to see. It could easily be overwhelming but the people there – the vendors, the artists, the stars – they’re all super kind and awesome and it makes going there fun (even if I always come home with too much stuff!).

 

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Filed under Anxiety, Autism, Comics, Convention, Geek

New Additions

My house is full of critters. It’s been more full at various times and I know that a lot of people have problems with the kind of animals that tend to find their way here. To each his own and I’m not saying some of them don’t make me nervous but I don’t see why others have so many problems with my furless fur babies.

Right now we’ve got a lab mix, a vizsla, two bearded dragons, a jungle carpet python, a cat who refuses to come inside, two stick bugs, a baby ball python, and a baby timor monitor. The last three on the list are very recent editions. We got the bugs because our local pet store is the bees knees. The ball python and the monitor were acquired from a reptile show.

I love monitor lizards. We’ve had savannah monitors with varying degrees of success but I was very hesitant to handle them. Partly because our big one we got as a subadult and he made me a little nervous. Then I was pregnant and not touching any lizards and then I had a baby etc etc etc. But I based an entire race of people in my novel Guardian of the Gods on monitor lizards. They have big personalities and can be, if they are handled well and often, dog-tame. This timor is part of the family but mostly my responsibility.

Help me name my new friend!

Help me name my new friend!

I really don’t know the gender – it is terribly difficult to tell with a Timor without hurting them – but I’m calling her a girl. She doesn’t have a name yet because I have too many things. She’s too timid to be an Arilan (my lizard girl) or a Leeloo. I can’t use Ripley or Lucy as they’re in use by people (and animals) I know and love. She doesn’t strike me as a Newt or Motoko. And I’ve pretty much used the entire pantheon of celtic gods and goddesses for other animals. She’s so skittish I’m not comfortable holding her outside of her tank just yet. She’s fast, small, and whippy and I don’t want her getting loose.

Help me name my new friend!

She’s really pretty and this picture is a bad picture. Her pattern is lovely and underpinned with a soft orange color. She’s also in the process of beginning what is probably her first real shed and that’s a very good sign as it means she’s eating. It can be a bit of a crap shoot at a show but I’m so happy!

I came close to coming home with a different reptile. I was really considering a nile monitor. She was alert, pretty, the people selling her had video of her eating. If not for the fact that they get SO big, I’d have a nile. My timor will stay pretty small by comparison.

The reptile show (Pittsburgh Reptile Show and Sale) was bigger than I’d expected and pretty well orchestrated. It was busier than I expected too. I guess for every five people who get all squicked out by snakes, there’s one who loves them. I might not LOVE them but I’ve lived with them long enough not to really be afraid of them either. My husband once had a Jungle Carpet Python who was Houdini reincarnated – she got out on a regular basis, usually at night, to end up under MY pillow. I discovered this one night when she decided to check out my books and started climbing the shelf beside my head and I woke Rob up to get her and he informed me that this was not an isolated incident.

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Convention

It’s the little things

Kids and Chewie at Steel City Con

Kids and Chewie at Steel City Con

Today, the whole family went to the Steel City Con. I haven’t been to many conventions. In fact, I’ve only been to this one and this is the third time. I like this convention. It’s big enough to draw some really cool guests and small enough to not be overwhelming. I did a real write up of the convention for The Geek Girl Project that you can read here: Steel City Con – April 2015. This post is about something else.

My youngest son has autism. His symptoms, characteristics, tics, and stims aren’t super detrimental and some people wouldn’t even notice. When we took our oldest child to this convention in December, we left the youngest with relatives. He was very unhappy with us for that. We promised we would take him and now we have.

We were concerned going in how he would react to being in a space with so many people all jammed together in some pretty small places. We explained going in what he should expect – that there were a lot of people, a lot of noise, and sometimes people would bump into him and some of those people would be in costumes. We explained about the lines and that he’d sometimes have to wait. Even though he doesn’t like waiting, he was excited enough about the whole shebang that he seemed willing to do it.

We got there a few minutes before the doors opened. By the time we reached the end of the line, it was already moving so we could not have timed it better. We might have been in line but it was a moving line so it didn’t feel to him like waiting. That first hour, I went off to talk to people and get some signatures and my husband took the kids through the vendor room where everyone found a toy they wanted. By the time I met up with them, they’d gone through about a quarter of the room. When we reached the half way point, it was starting to be a little much for him so we moved to the artist alley. Either the aisles are bigger in there or people move more quickly but it doesn’t feel so crowded. My son then went on to introduce his brother and himself to pretty much everyone he came into contact with. I’ve never seen him do that before and it was adorable and all the artists were very sweet.

As good as he was being, it was starting to wear on him a bit so we took a break. I’d packed a lunch as there isn’t a lot available at the convention center and nothing at all my youngest would eat. We went out to the truck, ate lunch, figured out the game plan for what we still wanted to do and made our way back in.

I left the husband to keep the kids so I could head for the photo opp for Elvira. She was one of the people I most wanted to meet. She was one of my idols a long time ago. I wanted to be either her or Morticia Addams when I grew up. I was very excited to meet her. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she arrived at the convention later than scheduled and her photo opp was moved to later in the day. I knew I wasn’t going to get that much time out of my kid so I will just have to hope she comes back to Steel City Con another time so I can try again.

By 1pm, the kid was done. He seemed headed for a meltdown, getting upset if anyone so much as brushed past him, getting louder, and at one point, putting his hands over his ears and yelling because I wasn’t doing what he wanted me to. We headed out before he hit an actual meltdown but now we know we can take him to an event like this. After he settled down, I know he had fun. He even says he wants to do it again. That works for me because if he wants to go, that means I get to go too! That makes this geek mama quite happy.

 

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Filed under Autism, Convention, Geek, kids, Life

Catching up and looking ahead

My father is finally home from the hospital. I’m not exactly sure whether or not anything was actually resolved but it does sound like he’s feeling better to some degree.  Only time will tell if everything is all worked out. I’m just glad he’s feeling better.

I spent much of last weekend obsessively watching Twitter and YouTube for Comic Con news and wonderfulness. There are too many things I want to watch now. In movies I’m most excited for Horns and Mad Max. In television, I’m still obsessed with Supernatural but Constantine looks like it could be great. I already blogged about my top shows over at The Geek Girl Project. 

In less of an entertainment vein, there is all the space stuff going on. First there was NASA’s panel on The Next Giant Leap. Which I wish I could have been there for and am still searching out other clips on it. There was also the end of the mars simulation.

Years ago, when I was in eighth grade, a group of us did a project called Marsville. The point was to construct a theoretically viable habitat on mars. We researched all the typical stuff – hydroponics, mining for the raw materials for potable water and breathable air. It was a blast. We even had to bring a lunch, designed to contain all four food groups, come in under a certain weight, and the refuse from the lunch had to be under a certain volume. Oh how I wish I’d had my dehydrator then! It would have been so much easier! Somewhere in a box I’m pretty sure I still have the certificate. I think my team placed but I’m not exactly certain. I wish there were more projects like that around now for my kids.

As far as my writing goes, I might have gotten a hundred words in but I’m likely not keeping any of them. I’ve got three projects I’m working on right now and they’re so different from each other. I’ve got a supernatural thriller, a sci-fi something that I’m hoping to push more into the realm of cyberpunk, and a bit of horror. I’d considered trying to stick to one genre but it doesn’t work for me. I love Guardian of the Gods – the heroic fantasy genre, the worlds, and all that but I don’t want to find myself pushed into one category either. All of the novels I’ve finished are different subgenres and I like that. I enjoy stretching into other genres, it’s fun.

Tonight is Face Off night and tomorrow I’ll post my recap but today shall be spent working on one of those projects I’ve got going. I’d like to get the zero draft of that horror story a little closer to completion.

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Filed under Books, Convention, Geek, Writing

Convention for Convention

The hubster and I don’t actually have a lot of common interests. We find that it doesn’t matter so much. We might geek out over very different things but the sentiment is exactly the same.

For my birthday this past April, he took me to the Steel City Convention (to see Brent Spiner!) and found he enjoyed himself. This past weekend, I went with him to the motorcycle version of the same thing – Vintage Motorcycle Days in Ohio.

Both events have vendors selling childhood memories (star wars toys for me, big wheel dirt bikes for him). There are guest speakers, miles of tables of stuff to buy, and people. People Everywhere. Instead of a costume contest, there are races. Instead of cosplay there is racing gear and helmets.

I would have had a really fabulous time if I hadn’t, in true Sarah fashion, fallen on my butt over a dip in the pavement and taken some bark off my leg or if my shoes (which have always been good to wear for long walks) hadn’t decided to tear open my heels.

Even in all that motorcycle memorabilia and gear, I did manage to find something awesome and geeky for me. I just have to find a good spot to hang it up.

2014-07-12 21.33.41

 

I’m rather petrified by motorcycles. Most of the people we know have them, ride them, love them. Our friends always look at me strange when I tell them motorcycles scare the crap out of me. It’s something I’m working on though. I’d actually love to go to some of the bike gatherings (they are great story inspiration!) but it’d be kind of silly showing up in a truck just to hang out. Right?

 

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Filed under Convention, Fun, Geek, marriage, relationships