Reprioritizing

happiness free quotes

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about what I need to do to move forward with several of the projects that I’ve been wanting to complete. I’ve loved blogging for these past few years and I will still be coming in from time to time with announcements, book reviews, and featured books and artists.

Life is full, busy, and wonderful and I need to be spending my time doing what’s going to make the biggest impact.

See ya around!

Friday Fantasy – Mother Nature

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s some fantasy art and a haiku for your enjoyment from the Booknvolume blog.

Booknvolume

Viridian

Viridian Gift

Sown from Alabaster Hands

Life and Breath She Gives

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~Morgan~
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Beautiful Original Artwork by LilifIlane – http://lilifilane.deviantart.com

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Writing Exercise: Three Nouns

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One of the toughest parts of the writing process is getting started on a new project. While the easiest way to overcome white page paralysis is to embrace the “crappy first draft” idea there are other options. Today’s writing exercise comes from WritingExercises.co.uk where you can find hundreds of prompt generators, randomizers, and all other sorts of golden nuggets.

The exercise:

Take three nouns and freewrite

The beauty of this exercise is that it allows the brain to make abstract connections between three unrelated objects which often generates fresh characters, places, and stories. 

Freewriting is best with a timer and an atmosphere free of distractions. I prefer 15 minute chunks. It’s long enough to form a few concrete ideas and begin running with them. Often it feels like nothing but drivel comes from the exercise until I go back and read what’s there and find a few gems that I can use.

Check it out – here’s a handy three noun generator, just for you!

Movie of the Month: Inside Out

Check it out! I actually made it to a show before it left the theaters!  Yippee! And the kids sat through the whole thing, which means I got to watch the whole thing from beginning to end without having to leave for a potty run or break up a fight. This, my friends, is a small miracle in itself.

INSIDE-OUT-18What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? Being a Disney, it’s gotten more than it’s fair share of media attention. People are calling it revolutionary and unique. And they’re right. We haven’t seen anything like this before.

The story of Inside Out is layered.  The inside layer is a story all about Joy, one of the emotions that live inside of Riley’s head. Joy is determined to help Riley always be happy no matter what happens. Joy lives along side her fellow emotions anger, sadness, fear, and disgust. Each of these emotions can use the master control panel that control how Riley reacts in any given circumstance.

io_Joy_standardThe outside layer is Riley’s story, a happy eleven-year-old, who loves her family and being silly and playing ice hockey. However, everything changes when Riley’s family moves from the Minnesota to San Francisco.  Riley finds herself in a new school and new surroundings, everything is different and for any child, different is stressful and scary.

Still, Joy is determined to make things work and help Riley put on a happy face, even when she has some very real problems that need to be addressed. Joy forces Sadness to stay out of the way and refuses to let her take the controls. Joy’s efforts only make things worse and she and Sadness accidentally both get sucked out of headquarters and down into long-term memory storage.

This means that Riley can’t feel either joy or sadness and is stuck with fear, disgust, and anger.

Joy and Sadness must find a way back to headquarters before Riley makes a decision that might destroy her life.

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My Review:

I thought Inside Out was adorable and perfect for my young kids. It opens up avenues of discussion about what different emotions are and why each are important at the right time. The movie is clever, funny, and poignant and will send you home thinking about it for a long time.

One of my favorite parts (don’t worry, no spoilers here) is when we are allowed to see the headquarters inside different people’s and animal’s heads. Everyone and everything has the same set of emotions but each act very different depending on who or what they are. It comes at the very end of the movie and is hilarious.

If you like cute, imaginative, feel good movies with a message then you will love Inside Out. It’s not just for kids, it’s good for anyone who likes to think and feel.

However, there is a silliness warning. There are a few parts that do get a bit silly. If you get uncomfortable with things that are silly or childish then you might want to proceed with caution.

What Would You Write If No Limits Existed?

It’s that wonderful time called summer where the heat and the outdoors is calling and I’m surrounded by my kids who are out of school. I’m leaving this weeks writerly post for Writing Wednesday to Zara who discusses writing without worrying about marketability. Enjoy!

Zara Edmonds Books

What would you write if you could write anything at all? What would you write if you perceived no restrictions? If the opinion of publishers and critics meant absolutely nothing? What would you write?

Seems like a simple question. But it isn’t. At all. Especially for anyone who began writing before services like CreateSpace existed. Because all of us writers who hoped to be published always had that filter in our thought processes. Will an agent like this story enough to represent it? Will a publisher have enough confidence in its marketability to publish it? A terrible filter, harming if not destroying creativity before its very inception. Deflecting and diverting and skirting the essential, the heart of the writer’s being, altering and transforming it into something other. Into something people might like, into something generally acceptable. Is there anything worse than that? Twisting and contorting the creative soul to suit…

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Meet Cosplayer Rachel Funk

I had so much fun with last friday’s cosplayer feature with Robert Smith that I’m going to do it again, this time with Robert’s partner-in-costume Rachel Funk.
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Growing up, Rachel watched all the classic sci-fi including Star Wars, Star Trek, Buck Rogers, and Battlestar Galactica. She loves reading anything, but has a special place in her heart for books with sci-fi elements, fantasy, and magic. Before she met Robert she only knew the basic comic book characters, thanks to him she knows them all much better.
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Winning the Special Judges Award for Craftsmanship, and crazy happy about it!

Rachel’s first comic con experience was attending the 2012 Las Vegas Comic Expo. She had no idea how many people dressed up for those type of events and went wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt. In fact, at the time she hadn’t even heard of cosplay. Looking back, she wishes she had known because she has some mad skills when it comes to creating awesome stuff.
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Since then Rachel has attended many events. Her most memorable cosplay experience is when she got to go up on stage in front of a huge crowd at the 2012 Denver Comic Con to receive the Special Judges Award for Craftsmanship for her Lady Mechanika costume.
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Partners-in-fun Rachel and Robert

Rachel recently finished creating a robe for Robert’s Teifling costume and is now working on a formal skirt for Lady Mechanika and bracers and a pop-up gun for Harly Quinn. With luck and a lot of work they should be ready for this September’s Salt Lake Comic Con. She also has sketches for a rockin’ steampunk Queen of Hearts and a steampunk Mad Hatter for Robert. She is also working on ideas for a wheelchair compatible steampunk Cheshire Cat. She hopes to have those ready by next year’s Salt Lake Comic Con.
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When asked, Rachel shared that her secret dream cosplay would be a kick-ass Halle Berry style Catwoman.
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Rachel’s biggest fangirl moment is when she got a photo-op with none other than Captain Mal, also known as Nathan Fillion. When he put his hand on her shoulder she totally freaked out.  She was like: OMG OMG he is touching me OMG OMG breathe!
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Quick, strike a pose! Check out how awesome this costume is!

For those who attend the cons, here is a special note to you from Rachel:

I wish more people would take the time to look at the costumes people put together. I am an attention whore. I love getting my picture taken and talking to people about my costume and who my character is. My problem is, my character is obscure, she is not from DC or Marvel. She does not have a big movie. Hardly anyone knows who she is…they just think I am a random steampunk girl. I don’t have a big or flashy prop. Bob has both of those things going for him (well-known character, with an interesting twist and a flashy, catch your eye prop) so everyone wants to get a pic of him or with him. No one wants pix with me :/
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I’d like to thank Rachel for coming and being a part of my blog today. I had a lot of fun learning more about her and I hope you did too!
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Attention fellow cosplayers, fantasy artists, and writers! If you want to be featured here like Rachel and Robert, and my guests in the past, drop me a line, I’d love to have you!

Meet Cosplayer Robert Smith

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Robert as Steampunk Green Lantern with his friend, Rachel, dressed as Lady Mechanika

Today, Robert Smith from Utah is joining us and sharing some of his cosplay pictures. Robert and I have known each other a little more than a year now and have enjoyed swapping stories about our various experiences, his in the comic con and cosplay world and mine with working with fiction writers who create the various fandoms.

Robert is a 45-year-old book collector who is proud to say that he most definitely does not live in his parent’s basement. He’s a toolmaker/moldmaker by trade, which comes in handy when it comes to creating his costumes. He’s also part of a super cool secret society.

A life long lover of dressing up for Halloween, Robert’s introduction into the world of cosplay happened in 2000 when he took first place in a costume contest. The winning outfit? An old lady.

Since then, the costumes have become more unique and Robert has attended countless events and conventions and has entered in many contests. His most memorable experience happened at the Denver Comic Con when he took the stage in front of 1600 people all cheering him on in his second place win in the novice category.

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Robert and Christine at Fantasy Con. Check out the detail on the gloves and lantern!

Currently, Robert is working on a Teifling costume from the Dungeon’s and Dragon’s universe. Teiflings are humans with a demon somewhere in their ancestry and have made bargains with devils to increase their powers, very nasty fellows indeed.

All cosplayers have their favorite character. If Robert had the chance to meet a character in real life he would choose Hugh Jackman as Wolverine – but then again, who wouldn’t!

In addition to having a ton of fun with cosplay, Robert is also an avid comic book collector and has been collecting for 30 years.

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Robert at Salt Lake Fan X showing off his custom-made green lantern.

A huge thanks for Robert for coming to join me here at the blog today, I hope that he had as much fun as I did!

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Are you a cosplayer? Would you like a mini feature here at my blog? Send me a line in the comments!