Nov 22

Reading/Signing on Saturday!

This Saturday (11/25/17)–Small Business Saturday–I’ll be at UW Bookstore in Mill Creek, WA for an author reading/signing event from 1 PM – 5 PM with Jennifer BrozekJesikah Sundin, and Robert Slater.

More details can be found HERE and HERE.

Young Adult SFF Event

Hope to see you there! We’ll have prizes!

Nov 17

What I’m…Updates

What I'm... Updates

It’s way past that time again! Time for the What I’m…Updates!

  • What I’m Reading: It has to do with a certain Amazonian…
  • What I’m WatchingBesides roaming through the Upside Down, I’ve been checking out a LOT of Marvel stuff as well as some British baking…
  • What I’m PlayingSo much great world-building, plot, and character arcs in this new fav of mine!

Of course, I’m so far behind in updating these because we’ve been in house improvement hell, and I’ve been writing and revising my ass off. But somewhere in all of this I’ve had some relaxation time!

So what are you reading? Watching? Playing?

Nov 10

Jet City Comic Show Wrap-Up

This is your Jet City Comic Show Wrap-Up, 2017!

Jet City Comic Show is a nice little comicon in Tacoma, WA. This year was Books & Chain‘s second year to vend there, this time with guest author Jennifer Brozek. I started my morning nice and early with snow coming down. O_o Normally I love snow, but not when I’m driving to Tacoma, surrounded by idiots who panic when it rains, despite living somewhere where it rains all the freaking time.

Snow

This is a slightly blurry photo taken from inside my car as the snow just began. As usual, you can click images to view them larger.

This is our booth in panoramic view after set up. You can see Jennifer sitting behind the table and the comic shop from Bothell (in fact, just down the road from me!) setting up beside us.

The booth

Here’s a closer look at two-thirds of Books & Chains that weekend.The boothMore views of the booth.The booth The booth The boothLots of great books!The boothJennifer’s nails said READ MORE. Yes! Please read more! (The thing she’s holding is an eBook card for a collection of her books called The Karen Wilson Chronicles, one of her first series.)Read More!

This R2 Trekkie stopped by our booth. He was made completely out of Legos (the exception being the electronic components that can’t be Legos)R2-D-Wha?We had quite a number of exceptional cosplayers stop by the booth as well. The little guy on her shoulder actually moves as he’s a puppet!
CosplayerI was really excited to see this as I love the Fallout video game series. Seeing the mesh of Power Armor and Nuka-Cola was a unique twist. Nuka ColaAt the booth across from us, they were selling T-Rex skeleton necklaces. Elise and I both bought them. T-rex necklaceOn Saturday, Jennifer and I both cosplayed Harry Potter, but I managed to forget to snag a picture. Another time perhaps. She was a Slytherin and I was, of course, a Ravenclaw.

I spotted these two while walking around on a break. Awesome cosplay!

cosplayersAlso spotted this cosplayer roaming around as well. Her hammer said “Bye Felicia!”Bye Bye FeliciaHis armor was phenomenal! He’s apparently a professional cosplayer who goes by Atlas Vanguard CosplaycosplayerOne of the best parts of the weekend though was chatting again with fantasy author Robin Hobb. She also bought a copy of Amaskan’s Blood. Nothing like personalizing a book for an author whose work you admire.

On Sunday, I was on a panel with her on the main stage, which will get uploaded to YouTube sometime soon. Once it is, I’ll post the details here. The panel was on Women in Literature 2: She Has the Power! At one point during the panel, the attention shifted in the room as it started snowing blizzard style outside. Most of it didn’t stick but it was gorgeous (and distracting!) to watch.

Sunday also meant a different set of geeky clothing as we all three channeled Doctor Who at the Books & Chains booth. I had on my exploding TARDIS skirt and scarf, along with TARDIS chainmaille earrings and necklace. And because it was very cold outside and snowing hard when we left, I wore my exploding TARDIS jacket as well. Do you sense a theme here?
WhovianAttendance at Jet City seemed low again, but the convention itself is loads of fun. No extra charges for photos or autographs either. And I learned an amazing answer from Jennifer that I will remember the next time someone asks me to “do it for the exposure.”

People die of exposure. They’re also arrested for it. 

And on that note, this is a wrap.

Nov 10

Bellingham Events!

This Saturday, 11/11/17, I’ll be in Bellingham, WA for two events:

Holiday Book FestivalI’ll be at the Holiday Book Festival from 10 AM – 2 PM with Jennifer Brozek, Jesikah Sundin, and other awesome authors, but more importantly, I’ll be at Village Books Saturday evening for an author reading & signing, along with Jennifer Brozek, Jesikah Sundin, Robert Slater, and Selah J. Tay-Song.

Details on the Holiday Book Festival can be found here: http://www.bellinghamholidaybookfestival.com/

Details on the Village Books event can be found here: http://www.villagebooks.com/event/ya-spec-fic-extravaganza-111117
YA SFF Event at Village Books

Nov 10

Steamposium Wrap-Up

This is your Steamposium Wrap-Up 2017!

Steamposium is one of those conventions that I attended as an attendee rather than a panelist, vendor, or guest, so it was one that I was quite excited about since I’d have time to explore the dealer’s hall, attend panels, and most importantly, attend their tea and fashion show, which is something of legend to hear previous attendees talk.

More importantly, I was excited to wear my new fascinator with a science fiction slant. 😉 (You can click most of the images below to see the images larger.)

Arrival

Steamposium, for reasons I don’t understand, is held at the convention center at Pier 66 in Belltown, next to the Seattle Aquarium. There’s a sky-bridge that attaches the outrageously overpriced parking garage to the convention center, which is nice when it’s cold outside! (While I’m aware that Seattle parking is pricey, I paid twice as much to park in this garage as I do to park all day at the Washington State Convention Center downtown for Emerald City Comicon and PAX.)

To get to the convention was…interesting. It required parking, then taking an elevator up to the skybridge, walking across the sky-bridge, taking the elevator down to the street level, going outside, walking down the street a bit to the convention center entrance, then taking another elevator up to the convention proper. Yeah. It’s one of *those* convention centers–the ones designed by a drunk architect who never had to think about the disabled or those hauling large musical instruments.(Just ask Unwoman about that one.) 

The first thing I spotted once I arrived at the convention was the Anglicon table, complete with Shaylee’s Daleks.

Anglicon I’ll give it that–for all my frustrations throughout the weekend with the convention organizers and the venue, the dealer’s room was amazing. Lots of steampunk vendors of all types, including Miss Haley’s Bombshell Boutique, which was my second stop. While there, I picked up a new corset.

Outfit

You can see the corset details a bit more below.New corsetI also wore a steampunk clock my husband got me a few year’s back. Seemed fitting. Watch

After my stop for a corset, I stopped briefly by Clockwork Dragons to say hello to fellow author Jeff Cook. Clockwork Dragon

After Elise, the chainmailling half of Books & Chains, arrived, we head to a Q&A with special guests Billie Piper (of Penny Dreadful and Doctor Who) and Reeve Carney (of Penny Dreadful).  (Sorry for the graininess of the photos–the lighting in there was terrible.) Billie Piper Billie Piper Billie Piper Billie Piper

Speaking of lighting, the venue’s lighting was so awkwardly angled and bright that it gave both Elise and I headaches. Both Billie and Reeve were a hoot to listen to and the audience asked a good number of entertaining questions. 🙂

We also went to a Meet the Makers panel where they talked about various steampunk projects they were working on. That panel was a ton of fun.

Meet the Makers Steampunk'd

After the panels, it was almost time for the Tea & Fashion show. We sat outside on the pier while we waited as it was a gorgeous day!

Outside

Elise outside

Finally it was time for tea! Now something to keep in mind is that I go regularly to tea in Bothell where I live. There’s an amazing British tea restaurant called Village Eatery and Tea Company, which serves everything from cozy teas to full on High Teas. I know what good tea is supposed to look like.

To attend the tea & fashion show at Steamposium, I had to pay $60 for a tea add-on to my ticket. For a $60 ticket, my expectations were quite high. Imagine my surprise when this is what we received at the table. $60 per person and they brought out 1 plate of snacks and fruit to split amongst three people. Also note that this was held around lunch time. People walked in hungry and expecting…well, food. Not a proper teaPerhaps I’m spoiled but for $15.95, this is the cozy tea I get at the Village Eatery and Tea Company, which also includes tea.

Proper TeaSo in case you can’t tell, that’s a cup of soup, sandwiches, fruit, snacks, a scone, and tea for ONE person. $35 per person will get you a full 5-course high tea. I was not the only person disappointed by Steamposium’s bait and switch, to which they responded that they had to pay the servers and food preparers. Well, so does the Village Eatery. Perhaps the difference is that Village Eatery has actually been to a proper tea?

At least the fashion show was enjoyable, albeit very short. (Convention Planning 101: Never will the schedule with a tea that’s supposed to last two hours and barely lasts one.) I got to enjoy the snack and show with Elise and Caitlin, who turned her program into a Mad-Hatter style headpiece.

Caitlin Fashion Show

This woman’s dog participated in the fashion show and honestly, he stole the show–though he kept losing his unicorn horn.Fashion Show

Fashion Show

Another down side to the location was the lack of food anywhere. Unless you wanted to eat at Anthony’s (pricey seafood, which doesn’t work for vegetarian me), there was nothing. No small coffee vendors or food trucks or anything. The nearest food was a good 7 block walk uphill, which doesn’t work for some of the disabled people who were attending the convention. Not even the vendors had food accessible, which mightily sucks when you’re vending for 10-12 hours. There were concerts Saturday night but by this point, I was hungry and tired, so I skipped them to go home and get some rest.

Sunday would begin with my photo-op with Billie Piper, who was my first Companion in Doctor Who, but before that, I met with several handicapped and disabled people who were waiting for the photo-ops to begin. The seriously maze-like layout of the venue, coupled with the lack of food venues, had made things very difficult for people, and when they commented on it to convention staff, their comments fell on deaf ears. Rather than take note and try to fix things or help, there was excuse after excuse as to why the Steamposium convention committee couldn’t do ______.

As someone who attends a LOT of conventions, I call bullshit. I’ve been to plenty of conventions smaller and larger than this who manage to do what this convention calls impossible. Perhaps it’s solely the venue, but if the venue is that much a bother for all involved (including your special guests), then perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere.

Despite beginning the morning worrying about how some of these folks were going to get around in their wheelchairs and with their crutches, the day shifted when the photo-op began. I did the whole “dress-up-as-the-TARDIS” thing, and she noticed that my dress had steampunk gears all over it. 🙂 Billie spent the entire convention dressed as someone with a love affair with 80’s fashion. It was adorable.

Billie Piper & Raven

After the photo-op, we hit the dealer’s room again and met up with Andrew. He always has some pretty awesome steampunk outfits!Group shot AndrewI bought another art print and a pretty chainmaille necklace, shown below.

Necklace

As I said, the dealer’s room was fantastic. After some shopping, we head out for the Murder Mystery, where my friend Ben was the murderer. This was the highlight of my day. I love a good mystery (though this one had a few plot holes).

Murder MysteryWe also sat in a panel on the TV show Steampunk’d. It was pretty fascinating to hear the former judges and contestants talk about the hell they went through on that show. O_OSteampunk'd

We ended the day by taking shots on the glamor couch, which made my dress so much pouffier than it was–like I was wearing a hoop skirt beneath it. It’s a pretty shot if I do say so myself!  Fancy shot

While there were moments of fun throughout the weekend, I just cannot justify spending as much as I did on tickets and tea tickets for what I got. For the price I paid, there are dozens of better conventions to attend, which is too bad because I love steampunk. Perhaps in a decade the organizers will figure out how to better run the convention and perhaps then I’ll give it another go.

Nov 03

Jet City Comic Show Schedule

Hey folks! I’m at Jet City Comic Show with Books & Chains this weekend!

Hugo & Bram Stoker nominated author Jennifer Brozek will be our guest author so come out to Tacoma, WA and say hello!

Booth #214!

Jet City Comic Show

I’ll also be a panelist/guest on the main stage as part of Jet City Live by SciFi Monkeys on Sunday at 12:20 PM.

Ladies of Literature 2: She has the Power!
With Authors Raven Oak (me), Stephanie Weippert, Crystal Connor, and Robin Hobb!

Come join us!

(See the full Jet City Live schedule here: http://www.jetcitycomicshow.com/index.phpjet-city-live )

Oct 25

Central City Comic Con Wrap-Up!

It’s time for the Central City Comic Con Wrap-Up, which will include a LOT of pictures. (You can click on them to see them larger.)

C4 was an interesting and small convention held in Yakima, WA, a place I had never visited before this convention. The convention itself was held in the Sundome on the Central City State Fair grounds, which was both good and bad.The Sundome was pretty and there was plenty of parking, but there was also an overabundance of flies from the proximity to livestock. We spent the weekend dodging flies.Loaded up

On Friday morning, we loaded up Elise’s Jeep, literally to the roof, and set out across the Snoqualmie Pass as it began snowing. Luckily, the snow wasn’t sticking, but the mountains and waterfalls were gorgeous. I need to go back there with my DSLR camera and take some photos.

Dubious

Me, dubious that everything isn’t going to slide into the back of my head

Central City State Fair

We arrived at the Central City State Fairgrounds a little after 2 PM. It took a bit of driving in circles to figure out how to get to the Sundome itself, but we found it! HitchhikerWe had a hitchhiker that tried to follow me into the Sundome. BoothIt took us about 2.5 hours to set up with our new layout, which you can see above. Elise is so happy in this shot!Oxford suites

This is the lobby of the Oxford Suites where we stayed. They were pretty awesome and clean. No bed bugs! Plus they fed us free full breakfast, partial free dinner, and provided coupons for free soda, wine, or beer. The hotel room had a nice sized couch in it, which we sat in Friday night as we watched Netflix. Oxford SuitesNice sized fridge, too. Was handy to keep food in during our stay.Oxford Suites

The rest of the room. We also had an amazing view of the Yakima River, complete with chairs on a balcony so we could sit and enjoy said view.

Panoramic view

Click the image to see a larger panoramic view.

Hotel view

View

After check-in, we went down to the hotel’s Bistro to avail ourselves of some of their free salad, soup, and rolls, and order some proper dinner.

Food

I had a nice humus plate while Elise had Irish Death Beer and Irish Nachos.

Dinner

Dinner

dessert

They had a nice dessert that came in twos, but Elise and I wanted different desserts so we ordered them and kept the leftovers for Saturday evening. Both the cobbler and the 7 layer chocolate cake were amazing.

Saturday morning came way too early for me. This is me trying to prop my eyelids open.

I'm Awake!

I decided to cosplay Abby, Forensic Scientist from the television show NCIS.

Abby cosplay

I opted for my comfy boots rather than my combat boots, but the rest of the outfit fits, including the Caf-Pow cup and Bert, the farting hippo.

Bert

Here’s a better picture of Bert, who is wearing his spiked collar. And yes, he really farts.

Booth

Another shot of our booth, this time with me behind it. 🙂 We had some amazing cosplayers (and readers!) stop by our booth!

Awesome cosplay

Cosplayers

Roller Derby

The Wine County Crushers (Yakima Roller Derby) folks served as helpers at C4 and skated around helping all weekend long.

Awesome staff

One patron had an amazing staff. We had to take a photo of it.

program

Someone from Yakima Valley Rocks! stopped by and gave us a stone. I’ll have to give it to someone in the Bothell Rocks! group!

Wonder Woman

I picked up this gorgeous print of Wonder Woman from artist Justin Hunt, who was in the booth next to us. (And oddly enough, he will have the booth behind us as Jet City Comic Show as well!)

Model

This happy customer was quite happy to model Elise’s Deadpool chainmaille earrings. 

Wookie me

Sunday, I wore my Star Wars: The Last Jedi shirt, Star Wars jeans, and cat ears that looked a bit like Wookie ears. I also had on a pair of Elise’s BB-8 chainmaille earrings.

Booth

Ronnie, of SciFi Monkeys, stopped by a few times to say hello and took this photo of us at the booth.  Sunday was a much slower day, so I tried my hand at a bit of chainmaille. I actually didn’t do too badly for my first attempt. The rings were fairly smooth!

Chainmaille

After a long weekend where we met a ton of fun people, we were happy to check out of the hotel and drive back home.

Hotel ViewI arrived home to three happy kitties and husband about 9:30 PM.

 

 

Malley is happy

This is a happy cat.


Photos taken by Raven Oak, Elise Kreinbring, and Ronnie of SciFi Monkeys.

Oct 20

Central City Comicon!

This weekend, October 21-22, I’ll be at Central City Comicon in Yakima, WA with Books & Chains! Here are the details:

Central City Comic ConWHEN: Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM, and Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

WHERE: Yakima Valley Sundome, 1301 S. Fair Avenue, Yakima, WA 98901 (View Map)

WHAT: Vendors, special guests, panels, cosplay pub-crawl, and more! More details here: https://centralcitycomiccon.com/

Come find me and Books & Chains at booth 405!

central city comicon

Oct 17

The Beauty That Keeps Us Going

There’s an amazing Doctor Who episode involving Vincent Van Gogh that is my absolute favorite. It’s also a great reminder of the beauty that keeps us going in times like these.

I will disagree though with the curator about how no one ever will transform such pain into beauty again though. This is why I write. This is why so many write, why so many create any art really. We’re constantly transforming the pain and harshness of this world into things of beauty. Telling stories through different lenses and filters.
Art (of all kinds) is so very beautiful.

#MeToo has showed the sheer number of people impacted by some very painful events. Do me a favor–Go support an artist/writer/creator today. Tell them they are appreciated or buy something they’ve transformed. 

 

Support the beauty that keeps us going. <3

Oct 16

#MeToo

I spent all of yesterday at the Galaxaar Pop Culture Marketplace vending as Books & Chains, so it wasn’t until I arrived home in the evening that I logged into social media to see the #MeToo posts by so many of my friends and fellow authors, be they men, women, non-binary, or transitioning.

When I woke up this morning and the posts continued to scroll across my screen, I wished nothing more than to type out some greatly profound post about the topic because #MeToo, but I couldn’t. Despite being a survivor myself and having done charity work for RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), the words have been lost to me today.

Perhaps it is the knowledge that this sudden awareness doesn’t change the systemic problem in our society, one that has led to male toxicity, rape culture, and a severe lack of body autonomy. Or perhaps it is the fact that one of the kings of sexual harassment sits in the highest position in our country. Part of me fears that in a few days, the next crisis will hit social media and people will return to ignoring the constant abuse that occurs towards women on a daily basis. My hope is that it won’t disappear and fade into the background as so many things do.

For once, the sheer numbers have been given a voice. Perhaps our refusal to remain silent will be what catapults us into a better place–one where I don’t have to cross the street to avoid walking past a man, or where a friend doesn’t have to set men’s work boots outside her front door. A world where it’s not assumed I’m “the sub” because “women can’t teach computers,” or a world where nighttime is never the time to be alone. Ever.

I could list out all the times I’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted. I could share all the millions of stories from across various social media platforms that detail the horrors women face just to exist in this world, but I don’t think I need to.

The past twenty-four hours has already opened eyes with regards to how many people can say #MeToo. Far too many. Every 98 seconds, another American is sexually assaultedAnd for once, I think people may have realized it how prevalent it is. But until we teach children about body autonomy and emotional intelligence, we will continue to see the sexual harassment and assault viewed as “locker room talk” or “a joke.”

I am so proud of every person who shared something, even a simple #MeToo, and raised awareness about the sheer number of people impacted by sexual harassment and assault. I am equally proud of those of you who, for whatever reason, choose to remained silent. That is your right.

Be they men or women or non-binary or non-conforming, the only way we get through this is together. We can’t change this deeply rooted problem overnight any more than we can snuff out racism in a moment, but this is a start. Here and now. If you are able, speak up. Speak out. 

#UnlocktheSilence  

(Yeah, I’m old school using RAINN’s old motto, but it fits.)

Older posts «