Realm Makers 2019: Recap

Part of being a Writer means socalizing with other writers. Even though we can do so much of that online, it is still important to go to writing conferences, for learning and fellowship.

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My Name tag, note the 7 marking my attendance streak.

Last month I was at Realm Maker’s seventh writers conference for Christian speculative fiction authors. (Curious about year one? Click here.)

Why has it taken me so long to  get a post up about it? Recovery. It is hard for me to be around so many people for so long. It is also hard to put an event like realm Makers into words. (I’ve tried in past years)

For me the highlight this year was meeting bestselling authors Brent Weeks and Terry Brooks.

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For bestselling authors they were both very down to earth. Terry Brooks even stopped to chat with a group of us sitting in the lobby on Sunday evening, after the official conference was over.

Once again I did not have a novel to sell or to pitch to an agent or publisher. But this year I resolve to fix that.

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WTB teaching about balance. 

I learned from Wayne Thomas Batson on how to balance my life and writing. I think it helped. I have been making slow but steady progress which is better than no progress at all. He mostly just drilled into me that books don’t write themselves and if you want to do it you need to make time for it.

Then of course there was the costume banquet. It’s the best reason to go to Realm Makers over any other writers conference. That and Friends.

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Steampunk DC villains!

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I found a doctor!

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And fought a TARDIS

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Steampunk Justice league. I was Batman.

After the conference I went with a group to the City Museum in St. Louis. It is crazy amazing there. It’s like a giant art installation, and it’s never finished they are always adding to it. If you are ever in St. Louis you must go.

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The last great thing about Realm Makers are the book hauls. So many great books and so many great authors, ready to sign them. I had to take an empty suit case just to pack all my books in to take home. 

 

 

Giveaway:

I won some books this year that I already owned. So I got them signed and now I’m giving you a chance to win them.

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Just tell me how many books I have in my suitcase and if you are the closest then I will send you one of the two books pictured above.

Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse or Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne.

The first right answer gets to pick and the second right answer gets the left over.

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If it helps the suitcase is 13″ X 21″ X 8″

Email your guess to dolphin18cb@aim.com by August 18. Please put, Realm Makers Suitcase guess, in the subject line so I know it’s an entry.

Legal disclaimer: This giveaway is solely on me and is not sponsored by Realm Makers, WordPress or any of the authors pictured.

 

 

Cosplay on a budget and on the fly: Part 2

So the costume is coming together. But the deadline is looming ever closer. You aren’t quite sure if you’ll get it done in time. Then of course you have to remember to pack the sucker.

Here are my top costume ideas for heading out in character on the fly.

 I was going to take pictures of each of these, but it’s 90% humidity where I’m at so I don’t feel like having a fashion show right now.

 Idea #1) World’s biggest fan.

 You have that one fandom, the one where it’s not just an obsession, it’s a way of life. You don’t just have the cosplay, you have the quote tee, the character tee, the printed leggings, the socks, the watch, the shoulder bag. Your entire wardrobe basically. Use it. Your devotion is your cosplay. You are — The World’s Biggest Fan!

 But, what if you’re a devote of multiple fandoms?

 Well put on a little bit of everything and call yourself Random Fandom.

 The beauty of this is that even if multiple people use this idea, there will never be two exactly the same.

 Idea #2) Hitchhiking through the galaxy.

 Did the airport loose your luggage? Did you forget, in your packing flurry, to pack you costume? Or did you just plain run out of time?

 Throw on a bath robe/pajamas/anything that looks like you just escaped your planet blowing up. Grab a towel and slap the words DON’T PANIC on the back of the closest available book/book like thing. You are now from Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. Which character? Does it matter. It’s a big galaxy with many hitchhikers. Make up a name.

 Idea #3) It’s so Modern.

 Just think about all of the modern characters who wear Jeans and T-shirts. The Twilight characters, the Supernatural guys, a Doctor Who Companion all of these are just modern clothing with a few accessories. You could be the Storybrook version of your favorite Once upon a time character.

Twilight is super easy — just throw on a little body glitter.

Warning:  Do not use Body glitter in 90% humidity. 

 Idea #4) Guys clothing is so much easier.

 Why gender swap, when you can just go as a boy?

I am comfortable enough in my femininity that I can wear men’s clothing and pretend to be a man for a couple hours without having a crisis of identity.

 Lets face it ladies, cos-playing men is so much easier than women.

How about the Beast instead of Belle? That peasant top and black Capri, would be a great post transformation prince costume.

But if you are a guy, gender swapping is still totally an option. It would be easy for you to grab a Blue shirt and a white vest to play Bel. Bel, short for Bellemy maybe? Grab a book, place a rose in that button hole and done. Though if you want to wear the dress, I’m not judging.

Yes I am still waiting for a guy willing to play Bel to my beast. Or I can be Belle, i’m really not picky. Now taking applications for next year.

 So there you have it. My best ideas for super fast, super easy cosplay.

 Who have you always wanted to be?

Cosplaying on a budget and on the fly: Part 1.

The 2017 RealmMakers conference in Reno is at the end of this month. Some people dress up for the annual costume banquet. If you are like me you probably don’t have a lot of money to spend on extravagant costumes. Yet at the same time you really want to be clever and original.

Are you running out of time to get your costume together? Did you spend all of your money on that Plane ticket to Reno? What if I told you, you can still have an amazing costume without breaking the bank?

Are you interested?

 Good, I have three rules for you:

 1) Cosplay does not have to be screen worthy, just recognizable.

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Is the piping on the sleeves correct? No, it’s just yellow felt. Is the the badge accurate? No, I literally printed the first image from google onto card stock and taped a safety pin on the back. Blue shirt, black slacks, black men’s under shirt showing through the top.

Can anyone look at this costume and not think Star Trek? No and that is what what makes this a costume win.

 2) Regular clothes can be a costume.

 Using ready made clothing saves time on sewing. Using clothes from your closet or goodwill saves money. Altered clothing will hold up better than most costumes. Clothing is machine washable, and after your event it can go back into your closet for instant reuse as anything. Instead of taking up space between fan events.

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Black slacks, recycled graduation robe as a wizarding cloak, and a novelty shirt that I found at Walmart. But you could use a white button up shit and a grey cardigan. Add any house colored tie for extra realism.

 Rule 3 the last and greatest rule: Cosplay is meant to be fun.

In spite of  rule one’s best intentions some people will not get it. That’s okay. We do it for it the people who will get it. 

If your costume is stressing you out, then maybe you need to step back and rethink your design. Can it be simplified? Can you get away with something more abstract?

Maybe you are trying to cosplay a fandom you have no passion for because friends wanted to group cosplay.

Or maybe you were told that you could never cosplay that character you love because you are the wrong Gender, Body Type, Hair Color or Race.

Do not let anyone keep you from that fandom you love. You can be anything you love.

Refer to rule one and do the thing!