Furiosa Cosplay Debut and DragonCon Recap

Hello friends!

This poor blog hasn’t been getting much attention lately, has it? Well, life is mostly good. DragonCon was… weird this year. I had a good time, even a great time, but I couldn’t help feeling like I didn’t actually DO much or SEE anyone. I had several friends in town fro Texas, California, and other far off places that I did not get to see at all and I still feel horrible about it. But between the awful cell phone service and wifi, it was almost impossible to get messages out — plus with the crowds, by the time you did get a message to someone it usually worked out like, “Hey, I’m in the Marriott now! Come meet me!” “…I just got back from the Marriott. I’m in the Hyatt now.” So that’s like, a 2 hour trip to get down the elevator and walk between one hotel to the other. It was nuts.

And to some degree it’s always been that way. I’ve been attending DCon pretty much every year for almost a decade, but something about this year was different. The crowds, especially on Saturday, were just overwhelming.

Maybe I’m just getting old.

Anyway, I know what you all wanna see so here’s Wonderwall. Furiosa cosplay pics under the cut:

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Jordancon 2014 Report

Okay, confession time. I’ve never read a Robert Jordan book.

Nonetheless, when some of my critique group invited me to the annual convention for all things fantasy, sci-fi, and Wheel of Time-centric, I couldn’t really say no. I mean, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson were both attending guests. You just don’t say no to that.

Suffice to say, we had a blast. The convention takes place just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, so it was a short three hour drive from our home base in Columbia, South Carolina. We arrived at our hotel late Friday night, watched a grown man pee in the bushes, discovered that trash cans were not in fact hotel room standard at this particular establishment, and mostly ignored the mildew ridden shower curtain while we washed up for bed.

Okay, the con was great. Our hotel? Not so much. Seriously, who doesn’t put trash cans in their hotel rooms? Not a single trash can. Not a one.

But I digress.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a scifi/fantasy con that was so writing-centric. It was very refreshing! Saturday we sat in a panel called “More Than Just Prose” which emphasized the importance of lyricism and working in poetry to the novelist. Basically, Pat Rothfuss talked about Middle English and geeked out over The Last Unicorn. It was awesome. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Creativity Kicker

Our local National Novel Writing Month group held its annual Creativity Kicker event today at my library! This is probably my favorite pre-NaNo event, and we always have so much fun. This year I had the added bonus of bringing the WriMos into the library where I work, and conducting the event as an official program for the library!

We started the event with a short introduction of ourselves and quickly got into some word games. The following are two different short pieces I wrote today during the word games.

In this one, each participant pulled one word on a slip of paper from each of three different hats: 1) Setting, 2) Object, and 3) Occupation.

In mine, I got: 1) Classroom, 2) Lamp, and 3) Chef

We were given 15 minutes writing time. I came up with a quick and rather unfortunate scene from culinary school:

The classroom lights flickered suddenly, causing Patrick to misjudge his measurement.

“Damn!” He cursed, pouring the extra cake batter back into the large stirring bowl.

“What was that?” asked Sarah, his distractingly hot lab partner. She, not for the first time today, adjusted her flour covered apron in a way that only highlighted her large breasts even more.

Patrick cleared his throat and began to remeasure the batter a second time.

“I don’t know, power’s flickering. Let’s get this done already.”

“Okay, you don’t have to be an ass about it.” She huffed, and Patrick poured the batter once more. In midpour the lights went completely out all at once. He heard batter splosh haphazardly in the now pitch black room.

“Fuck! Are you kidding me?” He shouted, slamming the pitcher down on the lab table.

Chef Roberto grunted from the front of the room, “Now Mr. Rodden, that’s hardly acceptable language for this classroom. I have a battery operated lamp up here somewhere for just such an occasion, let me see if I can’t find it.”

There was a shuffling sound throughout the room and one of the other students squealed suddenly, “Ah! Who’s that, what are you-ahhhhh!” The cry ended abruptly and a commotion spread throughout the room.

Chef Roberto found the lamp and light burst out of it suddenly, illuminating the scene.

Patrick dropped the pitcher he had been clutching in his dough covered hands, and Sarah let out a blood curdling scream.

There were approximately thirty five zombies in the room, and they all looked hungry. Somehow, Patrick didn’t think they had come for the cake.

In this next one, we had to again write for about 15 minutes, and come up with a story using 5 or more of the 8 or so physical objects that were presented to us.

One of the objects was a little stuffed penguin toy who, through some unpleasant series of events, had lost one of his eyes. Another object was a scarf. For some reason when I saw that little penguin and scarf, my brain went immediately to the old cartoon Woody the Woodpecker, and the little penguin Chilly Willy. In the cartoon, Chilly Willy is a happy go lucky little penguin who’s arch nemesis is the grumpy old walrus, i.e. Willy is the Jerry to the Walrus’s Tom, to use another old cartoon as an example. Anyway, another of our random objects was a poker chip bag with the Wild Turkey whiskey logo on it, and this (coupled with the missing eye) prompted a very sad vision of the future for little Willy. So long story short I basically wrote Chilly Willy fanfiction…I regret nothing.

The one-eyed penguin nursed the half empty bottle of Wild Turkey on the table before him and sighed with resignation. He tugged at the scarf about his throat and wondered, not for the first time, how it had all gone so terribly wrong. He glanced about the igloo at the various framed photographs, which reflected the flickering light from the dancing fireplace. The ace bandage on his ankle was itching again, and he bent over in his chair to scratch it. That stupid woodpecker was the one to blame. It was his idea to rob that bank in the first place. He’d never been the same, after that.

“Oh, Willy…” he chided himself out loud, “When are you going to stop blaming other people for all your problems? You got yourself into this mess. You can’t blame Woody for everything.”

The broken, sad penguin got up from the couch and went into the kitchen, grabbing a can opener out of the drawer before popping open his second can of tuna for the day. On his way back to the couch, he stopped to admire one of the old photos framed on his bookshelf. In the photo, a younger, happier version of himself was running over the ice, a fat fish clasped in his mouth and that angry old Walrus hot on his heels. Whatever happened to that old guy? Willy didn’t know. Now that it came to it, he almost missed him. Willy sighed and replaced the picture on its shelf.

Tomorrow he would go out and try to find a job. Tomorrow. But for now he was going to sit in his house, eat some tuna, and drink all his troubles away.

I’m sorry, not only did I just write Chilly Willy fanfic… I just wrote really depressing Chilly Willy fanfic. ….WHATEVA WHATEVA, I DO WHAT I WANT.

Anyway, I had a blast at our Creativity Kicker! If you are doing NaNo this year I highly recommend getting involved with your local group! If you don’t have a local group, start one!

❤ Laura