Monday, April 30, 2012

Tackle It Tuesday: Clean Home Challenge Week 18

11:15 AM 0 Comments
Wow, I am so totally still getting used to this new format for writing posts. I hope it becomes second nature sometime soon! So, we're back for another Monday. Did anyone else's weekend go by in a flash? I could swear it was just Friday. No matter. The days change whether or not we're ready and here it is Monday again and I'm back with a new challenge.

Sadly, there will be no before/after pictures this week because to be honest, Monday snuck up on me and I forgot to take before pictures of my van to show you..so yeah, way to go me! I refuse to feel too bad though because the back of my van is now unloaded! Woo!

This week, we're all back in our living rooms (or wherever this piece of furniture exists) and we're clearing off the tops of our entertainment centers. Mine was lovely for quite a while but as I started cleaning and painting in other rooms, somehow it became the catch all again. Time to clear it off and wipe it down! Next week, I'm hoping to actually have some pictures to show you!

Until then..happy cleaning, organizing and creating yay spots in your home!

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Book Review: The Angel Hunter

11:05 PM 0 Comments

Welcome back to C2E2 sure did give you a lot of stuff to show us! It did and one of the very first items was this book by Jerrod Begora. Very nice guy..so nice in fact, that the first time I met him, he very politely handed me his book after signing it and brushed me off. No, seriously, he was a really nice guy. I just hit his table at the exact moment his friend called and said hey, I'm out front with that stuff for you. Wait, that makes him sound like a druggie. Can y'all just trust me that he was a nice guy? On day two he even offered me coffee and said he'd wished he'd known I was on my own for dinner the night before because he'd have invited me to join his group. Seriously..and he meant it. It wasn't a pick up line. He's married. I checked. ;)

Right, so now that I've rambled on (can y'all tell I'm all ooh shiney syndrome tonight?), shall we talk about the book? First? The rambly bit that covers what the book is about:

In a Godless world where angels are evil, who would you pray to for help?

Lucile is a devout Catholic woman who prays regularly for God's help in finding her missing cousin, David, who has likely skipped town on a whim. After accepting help from a stranger, Lucile thinks her prayers have been answered. Unfortunately, she is far from the truth. Lucile is about to be swept up in an ancient battle between humans and angels - where angels are evil and God is nowhere to be found.


Few know the reality, and even fewer summon the courage to fight against the angelic tyranny and help those in need. Meanwhile, cars are dropping from the sky, and God's servants are in hot pursuit of Lucile and Andrew. Lucile, desperate to save her memories and find her cousin, is seemingly left with no other choice but to trust her quirky new friend who wields a gun and warns of impending disaster. Either God is good and sent the angel to test Lucile's convictions or he is now using their lives for his amusement.

Torn between trusting her strong religious beliefs and the actions of God's angelic army, Lucile knows one thing for sure - her cousin is in a lot more trouble than she ever imagined.

Now, onto the review!


The Good -
I liked the cover..kidding! No, actually, I did like the cover and I liked more than that too! The book had a very interesting perspective on God and the conditions the world is in today. More than once I put the book down and walked away just to be back five minutes later picking it up to see what the heck could possibly happen next. The book has a few twists and turns that I honestly never saw coming.

The Bad - I'm going to be honest and say that I had a hard time getting past the first couple of chapters. The dialogue seemed choppy and didn't quite flow. After that, though, I got right into the swing of things..and just as I was following along..*bam!* ..the author changes direction and starts telling the story from another point of view entirely. It was really confusing to me at first, but then it seemed to go back to the original voice and I was good to again..right until the end where I suddenly realized it was still in that other voice. Confusion! Also, and I've been told this about my own writing in the past..it almost felt as if the author reached the end of his story but wasn't quite sure how to end it..so he just gave it a quickie ending.

The Summary - If you're looking for a new religion based thriller type book, this is one that I can recommend. It is an easy read and you'll finish it in just a few days. By the end of the book, you'll wonder what's going to happen to this poor girl next. This is the author's first published book so I vote we give him a lot of credit for putting himself and his work out there. We all know that's a hurdle this girl hasn't even attempted to jump yet. Like I said, the book has some flaws but that's something that every new author is going to face. Besides, you've been warned and you'll probably now fly by any of the things that gave me pause.

If you're interested, you can check out the book on Facebook or on its website.

Stay tuned for my next review...the comic book, Dusk.
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I received a copy of this book at C2E2 in exchange for this review. I do hope that the angels don't come and get me after the author reads this. *fingers crossed*
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Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 Reading Challenge

8:47 PM 1 Comments
Just before the first of the year, Justin and I got to talking about ebooks and he asked me how many I had on the iPad. The honest to goodness truth is, I haven't the first clue. I have both iBooks and the Kindle app on there and between the two, it's probably well over 1,000. Typically amused by my never ending pile of reading material, Justin has challenged me to read through all of the books in iBooks before the end of 2012. Out of my ever loving mind, I took him up on the challenge. The only way I can get out of reading the book is if I've already read the iBooks version.  Keep your eyes open as I (probably semi-frequently) keep an updated list of the books I've read so far:

4.50 From Paddington
The A B C Murders
After the Funeral
And Then There Were None
Appointment With Death
At Bertram's Hotel
The Big Four
Black Coffee
The Body in the Library
By the Pricking of My Thumbs
Cards on the Table
A Caribbean Mystery
Cat Among the Pigeons
The Clocks
Crooked House
Curtain
Death Comes as the End
Death on the Nile
Dumb Witness
Elephants Can Remember
Endless Night
Evil Under the Sun
Five Little Pigs
Hallowe'en Party
The Hollow
Hercule Poirot's Christmas
Hickory Dickory Dock
Lord Edgeware Dies
The Man in the Brown Suit
The Mirror Crack's From Side to Side
The Moving Finger
Mrs. McGinty's Dead
The Murder at the Vicarage
Murder in Mesopotamia
A Murder is Announced
Murder is Easy
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Murder on the Links
Murder on the Orient Express
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mystery of the Blue Train
N or M
Nemesis
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
The Peril at End House
A Pocket Full of Rye


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First posted 1/15
Updated: 2/5
Updated: 4/27

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Comic Book Review: Against the Grain

12:50 AM 0 Comments
Hi all! I'm back with another comic book review from the amazing stack that I brought back from C2E2. Before I get into that though, I want to give a tip to all of those folks out there who bring their wares to sell/show/pimp at conventions. Make your booth stand out somehow. I will never forget the booth that I picked up this book at? Why? First of all, there were two lovely women working at it. Secondly? They had brought their own carpeting to cover their space. Not only did it cover it, but it hung out in front of their table and had the most amazing padding under it. It felt amazing to my exhausted feet and I stood there chatting longer than I might have, just to enjoy that. If they'd had more than this one book, I would have bought it because they had plenty of time to sell and pitch to  me.

Now, on to the review:

Against the Grain is a graphic novel that introduces the coming of age story of Leslie, a young pre-teen girl with a wild imagination. This first installment of the series chronicles her journey of self-discovery, her struggle to stay true to her free and independent spirit, and the hilarious situations that ensue as a result.

The Good - As a woman, this book made me literally laugh out loud at times. The girl in this story is spunky as all get out and the story and illustrations pulled me in immediately. If I had a daughter, I wouldn't hesitate to let her read this book when she was the appropriate age. (The publisher rates this book as 10+). Any girl struggling with the idea of growing up and changing will be able to relate to this book.

The Bad - This book isn't going to appeal much to boys. I had it sitting out one day and my 11 year old son picked it up and was vaguely horrified by one of the "villains", Boob Man. Yep, Boob Man. Personally, I loved this part but to a boy who is right on that same verge of growing up, it was horrifying. (Personally, I chuckled at his horror..I'm such a "bad" mom sometimes.)

The Summary - When I first picked up this book, I had no idea what to expect. Sometimes when you pick up a book, you know just what you're going to get. This time, I had no idea and I'm glad. It left me more open to the beauty and humor that was this book. If you've got pre-teen girls or you were once a pre-teen girl, go ahead and pick this one up.

It can be purchased via the publishers website at Slightly Off Productions or over on Amazon.

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I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for this review. All thoughts, comments and ramblings are 100% mine. 


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Monday, April 23, 2012

Tackle It Tuesday: Clean House Challenge Week 17

11:22 AM 1 Comments
Oh holy canoles. I went to bed and when I came back, the blog software I use to blog has gone all weird with a new look. I don't like new looks. I like old looks that I know how to do things and where to find things. Eek!

Ok, deep breath...I can do this. I can still post. Now, y'all may have noticed that we lost a couple of weeks on our challenge. I'm so sorry for that. I swear I haven't abandoned you. Life got tough and for a bit I was unable to post. I'm back now and I have a new challenge for all of you! I will confess right off the top that I wont' be doing this challenge because I have to finish handling boxes from my grandma's house. However, this challenge is for you and I know you'll get right on it!

For this week, head to wherever you store your bed linens. How many sets of sheets do you have for your bed? For me, it's 4 for each of the boys and 5 for me. We each get 2 sets of flannels (remember we have no heat in our bedrooms!) and 2 sets of regular light weight sheets. For mom (aka me), I also get one set of sexy feel really good against your skin sheets. Yep, mama gets sexy sheets (even if she's not..well..nevermind.).

If you're unsure of what to do with any extra sheets you may have, here's a quick list of places you can donate them to:


  • Animal Shelter
  • Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.
  • Women's Shelter
  • Young person moving into their first place
Hopefully those will help you and I'll see you back here next week for a new challenge!


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review: The Paragon of Animals

1:25 PM 0 Comments
It's been quite a while since I've done a book review, so I was really excited to receive a copy of this book this past weekend at C2E2. Originally, I had planned on leaving this review for later but somehow, this book ended up in my fingers and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it back down.

For those of you who have never heard of this book, let me provide you with the synopsis : Growing up as a nerd in a small midwestern town, Liza didn't have the easiest life. Then she met her idol, the Paragon, the super powered man whose poster she kept over her bed. By accident they traded places. Liza's life didn't get any easier.

Nerd - Small Midwestern Town - Nah, I can't relate to that at all, right? Actually, I guess I could which is why I was initially drawn to this book. I could empathize with the main character. She's someone who is easy to identify with. I think, in her, we can all find some piece of ourselves. 


You guys know how these reviews work...ready?


The Good - The book is an easy read. I finished it over the course of a few days and that was in very broken up chunks due to kids and other things that required my time and attention. The story, while recommended for adult audiences, isn't complex. You're not going to get lost or bogged down in details. What you are going to do is cheer on Liza as she tackles some very difficult situations that she's been unwillingly placed in. You're also going to want more. While this book wraps up this part of Liza's life, you're going to be left wanting to know what happens to her after this. How does she adjust to her new life when all is said and done? I think that's the sign of a well written book. If I want more, then it captured my imagination.


The Bad - Y'all know that I have a pet peeve about grammar and proofing your work. Y'all also know that sometimes my brain gets ahead of my fingers and I end up with some rather creative typos and words in places that they don't belong. However, I'm not selling my work. If I were, you could be dang sure that I'd have a team of proof readers. This book could have used just one more proofreader. Throughout the book, I would find the occasional spelling/typo goof, like the use of the word buss instead of bus. I also found the incorrect use of the word you're throughout. 


The Summary - Even though there were some grammatical issues, this book really was one that I couldn't put down. Grammatical issues are easily fixed before further printings. A bad story isn't. I would recommend that you give this book a try. You might just find you enjoy it. 


For purchasing info, you can find the book at: Scott Comics or on Amazon. If you buy it, be sure you let me know! I like spreading the book love. If you buy it and love it, make sure you stop over at their Facebook page and let them know!

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Update 10/1/2012 : I ran into the author at Wizard World Ohio where he let me know that they've done a full edit, correcting spelling and grammatical errors. A second edition has now been released.
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All comments, thoughts and other randomness are totally and 100% mine. 
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Comic Book Review: Quantum Conditioning

9:19 PM 0 Comments
Image blatantly borrowed from Ross' etsy shop
For quite a while now, I have had this little book sitting on the suitcases next to my bed (yes, I have suitcases stacked by my bed as a nightstand.) and I kept saying I was going to review it. Then, I went away this past weekend and brought back gazillions of pounds (just ask my shoulder) of new review material. In good conscience, I couldn't move on to review any of that (and you know I'm twitching to) without telling you about this humdinger of a book.

Now, most of you probably know that I have a degree in Psychology (aka the expensive piece of paper). Imagine my total delight when I found out that Ross (creator of Asbestos who I totally adore) had written a book where one of the main characters is none other than Pavlov's dog. Seriously. I probably squealed and for the 2nd time actually purchased review materials from Ross. Then, I waited...and waited...for my crazy post lady to bring it to me. Ross had clearly written do not bend on it..so she bent it right there and shoved it in my mailbox. Thankfully, it was ok and I spent my time waiting for the boys giggling and laughing my way through it.

Don't believe me? Read this page and don't laugh..if you can do that, well..I dunno. Maybe you need to double check you're wearing your sense of humor undies. If you're not wearing undies, please don't leave me a comment telling me that. Poor Schrodinger's cat doesn't have room in his box for me to hide.

Also stolen..erm..borrowed from Ross' Etsy shop.

See? Hysterical! This book is just that funny all the way through. It's printed on heavy duty cardstock and is black and white throughout. That's ok though because this book does not need any color. It would actually take away from it, I think. Ross has hit this one completely out of the park and I have my fingers crossed that he'll do a repeat of something along these lines along with his incredibly well loved children's book about a certain purple dragon (who I may or may not be in love with.). 

If I had to come up with something wrong with this book..umm..the staples on the cover aren't totally straight. There you go. Honestly, this was and will remain one of my favorite books. At $7, I wouldn't hesitate to buy this one (again) and add it to my shelf. If you, like me, just can't resist, Ross has additional copies for sale at his Etsy shop. He's such a nice guy, he'll even autograph it and you won't even have to ask!


That's it for now. Go. Buy. Give Ross money. Spend minutes, hours, days and even years laughing and giggling. You won't regret it.

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I bought this book with my very own pennies. Ok, actually it was via Paypal and I doubt they sent Ross 700 pennies. It would be funny though if they did. All opinions, comments and things in ( ) are mine (and there were a lot of those, huh?). Y'all know that nobody really tells me what to write because I'm all rebel and stuff. Anyway, I now release you from reading this disclaimer. Have a nice day.


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(almost) Wordless Wednesday

9:54 AM 0 Comments
Woo! Four posts already this week. I am loving it! I guess there's a certain bonus to my body deciding it needs to wake up early this week. I'll take advantage of that for as long as it lasts!

Now, remember how I told you that I brought back a *ton* of items that I'll be reviewing over the next few months? Today's picture is to show you approximately just how much that is. I snapped these the other day to give y'all an idea. Ready? Here goes:



Check that out! Now, a couple of those I won't be reviewing. Like, Ursa Minor because that's just the preview book and I've already reviewed the first issue. A few others, my 11 year old Roger will actually be reviewing. The rest? That's all on me! I've already started reading what will be the first review and so far, it's really good. So, sit back, relax and be prepared to see one heck of a lot of reviews coming your way!


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

C2E2 Day 3 - The End Has Come (and a really long drive!)

2:07 PM 0 Comments
Sunday, bloody Sunday...See? Inner dj is still on! There was no blood, I swear! Ok, there might have been but it wasn't real blood! It was makeup blood and it wasn't on me! There were tons of cosplayers with tons of fake blood on them. I don't have any pictures, so you'll just have to trust me that it happened.

I woke up waaaay too early this morning. It was probably close to 2am before I went to sleep and I woke up probably six times overnight and finally gave up and got up at 8:30. This meant that I was packed up and checked out of the hotel by 9am. After a quick stop at the gift shop for a couple of shirts for the boys, I dragged a luggage cart upstairs to the room, packed everything on it and then dragged it alllll the way out to the van and loaded it up. I caught the 9:20am shuttle and was at the convention center by around 10:30. Then, the great hunt for an atm machine began! I couldn't believe it, but a Sheraton hotel didn't have an atm on sight and I didn't want to walk 2 blocks down to a gas station so I figured there'd be one at the convention center. There was! Except the first one I tried was plum out of cash! Luckily, someone told me where there was another one, so I stood in line at that one and pulled my spending money for the day.

Then, it was back up to the floor to make my first purchase of the day. It's pretty rare that I purchase review items, but something about this had caught my attention and I decided to take a risk on it. What did I buy (once I tracked the guy down...) ? I bought this:

Image snagged from www.turbopizza.com
It was about 11:20am by that time (yeah, it took me a while to find that atm and then this guy!), so I decided to go sit in line for the one and only panel that I attended this weekend. Of course, I got up there and realized that it was only 11:25 and the room had another panel in it for another 20 minutes! So, I sat down on the floor and got comfy up against a wall with another girl. While sitting there, I snagged these pictures with my phone:



As you can tell, there were a lot of kids waiting in line to attend the Imperial Academy. I don't know who the folks in costume were, but they were great with the kids who were waiting. 

Now, I know you want to know about that bag. Isn't it fabulous? It has My Little Pony on one side and Hello Kitty on the other and it is HUGE! I actually snagged one later in the day. One of the shops was giving them away free with purchase. It turns out I didn't want to purchase and another couple didn't want the bag which worked out really, really well for all of us. 

Once the previous panel was released, my new "friend" and I headed in to listen to Dirk Manning. I guess I hadn't read the description very well in my exhausted state the night before but it was still a really good talk on working with artists as a writer. I wish Michael of Dead Factions had been there. I think he could have gotten a heck of a lot from it. I'm not going to give away any spoilers but I might write up a post where I cover some of the highlights.

I really need to start taking better photos.

After the talk, I headed back to the floor. I stopped and talked with some of the great people that I had met the day before. I even had one really cute guy tell me that he wished he'd known I'd been on my own for dinner because they would have asked me along. That made me feel pretty good. I made my way back to Artist Alley because I'd missed it the day before. 

I had a lot of fun talking to people and then I came across Virgil, of prior WWE fame. He kept me there talking to him, mostly because I had a press badge, I suspect. I'm not going into a lot of what he went on about, but let me tell you folks, if you have small children, keep them away from this guy. I don't care if he does teach at a private school one day a week, his language is not anything your kids need to hear. Honestly, his ego is something the rest of us could do without too. That's all I'll say about that. The guy was arrogant beyond belief and I was sooo happy when I managed to move on.

The rest of my day was taken up with moving from table to table, talking to people. I love meeting new people and had so much fun talking with different people. I'm only disappointed by two things. The first is that I didn't get to cover all of artist alley. That means that I missed getting to see Art Baltazar again. The second is that I didn't get to meet Jesse James of Jesse James Comics. I did, however, blatantly steal his picture from Facebook. Wanna see? I stole it just so I could say booo, I didn't get to see this man!


Oh my gosh! I almost forgot to tell you who I did get to meet! I got to meet Mr McFeely from Mister Roger's neighborhood! He was so nice and we stood there talking for a few minutes. Then, he gave me this:

 Isn't that fantastic? Yeah, it's the only celebrity autograph I brought home for the weekend, but I think it's the best! I'm not much of a squealing fan girl but yeah, this makes me go wooo! hehe...

Sadly, before I knew it, the time had come from me to leave the land of omg awesome comics and entertainment folks and head back home.

Another shuttle, train, shuttle ride and I was back at the hotel and started the long drive home.

The GPS helped me to tour Michigan and I finally rolled in around 1am early Monday morning. Would I do it again? Hell yes. If I'm not on the press list for next year, you will find one majorly sulking blogger here. I might be getting hooked on cons because I'm already mega excited for Phoenix in May. I'll be there Thursday-Sunday so expect another series of con posts after that trip. Between now and then, keep your eyes open for review posts and the standard life of me posts. Life keeps rolling along, even when I get to go pretend I'm real press for a weekend.

Thank you to C2E2 for believing in me, Big Dog Ink for hanging out with me, to the many vendors/exhibitors/artists who are taking a chance on me and lastly to Justin and Eric for not only believing in me and pushing me, but for keeping me company on those long train rides. I wish you could have been there with me, but we'll all be together in Phoenix next month and I can't wait for all the hugs and loves from you and from other friends who will be there, as well.


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C2E2 Day 2 - A Thousand Miles (or how far I walked!)

11:33 AM 0 Comments
Saturday in the park...no wait. I seem to have the inner dj turned on and I was never in a park this weekend. Let's just start over, shall we? Saturday was what I tend to call omg busy. I was up by 9 and considering Friday was tiring and I didn't get to bed til 2am, I was concerned with that. I did the usual post-waking things..showered, dressed, ate a banana and then I was off to the convention center!

Yet again, I caught the shuttle to the airport and then it was off to the train! This time, I wasn't alone but got to spend the entire ride with Phil (dad), Connor (son - about 13) and this adorable little girl whose name escapes me, but she had a stuffed wolf named Sammy. Phil was in town from Indianapolis and the kids were up from Kentucky for the weekend. We had a great time talking and hanging out. So great that I gave them one of my cards and Connor said he was going to add me on Facebook. I hope that they do. I really liked them.

Then, it was off to the next shuttle. This time, it was totally packed. In fact, about 30 people were left standing on the curb. Yeesh! I got to the convention center and it was absolutely packed! There were people everywhere which is great for the convention, to be sure. I had intended on taking a lot of pictures but I only had 2 hands and carrying my camera in one of them got old pretty quick and I'm weird and don't like wearing it around my neck. I always feel like a tourist and on a day where I'm trying to be professional, tourist just doesn't blend. I did take a few right at the beginning though...



Then, it was up to the 3rd floor where it was even more jam packed with people! I stopped by Big Dog Ink to say hi and then started making my way around the exhibitor booths. This was my very first time saying, "Hi, my name is Katrina and I'm here looking for new people and companies to work with." I don't know if it was the press badge or the super cheeriness, but it seemed to work! I had a great time talking with people and quite a few of them either handed me their "babies" to review or promised to send me digital copies.  At one table, I bumped into Ralph Tedesco  and you know dang well that I made sure to give him my card. I also asked him about a couple of titles and if they had them with them. Not only did they have them, but he encouraged me to stop by and he'd *give* me them for Roger to review (they're children's titles).

It took me probably a few more hours, but I did find my way to their table and got to meet Stephen, head marketing god for Zenescope. It was nice to put a face with a name and hopefully, he felt the same way. While standing there, I kept answering questions for others coming up to the table. I can't help it. I'm a helper and I really do love their product. Who knows, maybe if I'm helpful enough, they'll hire me to do something..lol! Ralph came back to the table while I was standing there and between my love of their books and his generosity, I think I walked away with 5 trade paperbacks for myself and 3 trades and a preview issue of Jurassic Strike Force for Roger. These guys might not have given me much re-posting love before this but they sure treated me well that day. I'm looking forward to continuing my relationship with them.

I think it must have taken me about 5 hours, but I did finish making my way around the exhibitor floor about 5:45pm and I went and hung out at the Big Dog Ink table. I hope it didn't bug Tom that I was hanging around, talking with Nei. I did spend some time pitching their books to people who came up and I did make at least one artist commission happen. I also took around some of their Vote Independent posters to a couple of other booths. I think it would be rather brilliant of them if they created postcard sized pieces for that campaign and considering I'll be hitting the Phoenix Comicon floor hard in another month, it'd be something I could hand out when I'm talking about it with other independent artists/companies. I wished more than once this past weekend that I had something like that with me.

Somewhere around 6:45, I decided I ought to head back to the hotel since nobody had extended me another dinner invite. Shuttle, train and shuttle later, I made my way into the room where I decided I just couldn't move another step unless I absolutely had to. So, in true fancy schmancy press/princess style, I called room service and had a lovely bed picnic while talking to Justin and Eric. Sleep ended up taking over (after these two old men fell asleep, I have to say..and it was 2 hours earlier for them!) and day 2 came to a close.

Scene: One tired girl curled up on a huge bed, drifting off to sleep with a smile on her face because people liked her and want to work with her...camera pans to see lots of comic books and other goodies from the day... *giggles*

For today, I leave you with a few more pictures...until tomorrow where I'll wrap up with Day 3!



















Make sure you come back tomorrow to see what happens on Day 3 and how my gps showed me yet again how much she loves me!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

C2E2 Day 1 - Friday the 13th...

11:41 PM 0 Comments
Woo! Guess where I just got back from? Well, if you read here last week, you would know that I spent the weekend in Chicago...all by myself! Eek! Clearly though, I survived and I have returned bearing lots of new and hopefully fabulous things to write about. In fact, I have enough review material to last quite a while! So, over the next few days, I'm going to give you a general run down of what I did, who I talked to and how me, the girl from Middle of Nowhere, Michigan, handled riding the train and making her way downtown. (Does anyone else immediately hear this song when I say making her way downtown? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEfFDWjDdHk&feature=related)

So, let's get started, shall we? My weekend started bright and early on Friday. I had to get up, finish packing everything up and then loading it all into the van. Pretty routine for a weekend away. Nothing too exciting there. For those wondering (and know that I own a ton of bags), I took the apple bag and the bag of holding (aka the button bag) for this trip. I made a trip into Ionia to pick up some last minute essentials and breakfast foods and then, I was on the road!

Well, I tried to be on the road! I had to stop at the gas station and I swear the pump had it in for me. Just as I start pumping gas, I notice the sign that says the auto shutoff off. Ugh! I can see it now, gas running all over the place while I'm thinking about something else. Of course, this made me totally paranoid so I just started at the nozzle inside the side of the van. I had nothing to worry about because at $50 it just refused to let me put more gas in.  That would have been awesome except the tank wasn't full. Geez louise. I gave up and got on the road.

The drive..uneventful. Just another long drive that I won't bore you with. Then, I got near Chicago and what the heck? The gps made me drive over that bridge that I totally hate and have to mumble reassuring phrases to myself all the way across. Thank goodness nobody could hear me or they'd have totally labeled me a crazy head. It's true. I have this issue with heights which means things like down escalators and tall bridges that I have to drive across freak me out big time.

Clearly though, I survived and after dealing with downtown traffic, made it to my hotel. I had more fun here. Problem 1: I didn't have the card that the reservation had been made with. They decided to ignore this though because the room was paid in full already.  Problem 2: My room was on the 4th floor and my van..the other side of a huge parking lot. Now, a smart person would have grabbed a luggage cart? Did I? Nope. I'm stubborn and decided I could do this. After all, the elevators were right there the woman said..and how far down on the 4th floor could it be? Right. Let's just say that by the time I got to my room, I was ready to throw my favorite apple suitcase out the 4th floor window. I didn't, however, because I really didn't want to go naked all weekend. Not even at a comicon is that ok.

Want to see my room? Here you go:


Pretty fancy schmancy, eh? So, I finally made it and sat out my stuff before decided to...brave the train! That's right! I went ahead and went on down to the convention center on Friday night to pick up my pass. Of course, this wasn't as simple as grabbing a shuttle. First, there was a shuttle to the airport. The very nice driver and an off duty maid made sure that I knew how to get my pass and where to find the train. I'm glad because I never would have found it. The train right was boring as heck. I'd wished I'd brought a book with me. Then, there was finding my way out of another station and then standing around with 4 other guys waiting for the con shuttle. That took foooorever to show up but it finally did and I got down to the center with just enough time to snag my badge and to say hi to the folks at Big Dog Ink. For people who had said they were excited I was coming, they had no idea who I was! Thank goodness Brett from Bluerainbow knew who I was! Then, he was nice enough to invite me to tag along with them for dinner.


Dinner was a lot of fun, even if the prices made me pray to the gods that I was going to be able to eat the rest of the weekend. It's not often that I get asked to go to a quality eating establishment such as Gibson's. I was a bit envious of the delicious meals that were put in front of the others, but I had to be realistic and had a peppered steak salad and a lot of water. The steak was absolutely gorgeous but the salad itself was lacking. It needed more dressing and a better mixture of greens. It was supposed to be romaine and iceberg but it was about half a head of iceberg and had 4 tomato wedges as well as the 4 steak medallions. Kim, was really nice and had me try a bite of her steak and Brett was equally nice and let me try out his creme brulee. What really made the night though was listening to Jen, Nei and Shane tell lame jokes and then all of us eventually getting not only our waiter in on the comedy act, but also a busboy that he sent over. Before the night was over, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

Our waiter, Drew, telling us a joke.

After dinner, Brett was nice enough to spend ages trying to get to my hotel. He dropped me right off at the door before running Jen and Shane back to their hotel and then heading on to his. I'm really glad that I got the chance to meet him this weekend. Up until now, he's just been a name in Kate's livestream. Really, I want to say thank you to Kim, Tom, Nei, Jen, Shane and Brett for allowing me to tag along and to feel like part of a group. I don't get that experience very often and I know they're like family so to be included was something special.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

MIA...but A-Ok

12:25 PM 0 Comments
I know some of you must have been wondering what happened to me and where I've gone. I *think* that I posted here about my grandmother's passing. It's been a rough time since them around the homestead. I've been juggling far more than I realistically thought I could and while it hasn't been perfect, we've been surviving. I've been running back and forth to Corunna to help deal with her house. My mother and my uncles have decided to hold an estate sale so there's the process of sorting out what's worth any money and what's just worth something to me. It's exhausting but it has to get done.

Then, to add insult to an already painful time, my poor laptop decided to give up on me. While in the middle of something, the video card just said goodnight and refuse to wake back up. I am thoroughly blessed to have a man who felt this was unacceptable and after our replacement card didn't work, ordered me a new laptop. He's a pretty laptop, all blue and shiny.  We're still getting to know each other but I think it's going to be a good relationship. ;)

So, that's it. That's where I've been. The boys had their spring break last week and it was nice to have them here for an entire week. We didn't do a whole lot but it was nice to spend time together. We watched movies and played games and yes, did more than a little housework.

I wish I could say that everything was sunshine and roses, but it really isn't. I've been struggling and those closest to me know just how much. I've been really blessed though to have some amazing people in my life right now who just refuse to let me give up. Granted, I don't really want to give up but on those days where it just feels like I can't do anything right or the whole world hates me, they've been there to push me along. I can't begin to tell you how much the Facebook messages, ims and text messages have meant to me. They say that in times of dire need you find out who your friends are and it makes me sad and happy all at once to say that's true. I've discovered that some that I thought closest to me really weren't and those that are more recent friend finds have been the most amazing.

Which brings me to today's announcement! I won't be home this weekend! Ok, I know..you're hoping for more than that brilliant revelation. Well, there is more. I won't be home because I'll be in Chicago! That's right, this girl right here has a press badge (me? press? what?) to attend C2E2. I'm headed out tomorrow to go meet all sorts of amazing folks and I promise to come back with pictures, at least one interview and who knows, maybe even some prize giveaway type items. This will be my first trip to "the big city" all by myself and I'm a little nervous about the whole taking a train and multiple shuttles thing but hey, if they consider me press, I'd better darn well act all confident and stuff, right?

So, if any of you happen to be attending this weekend, drop me a line and let me know. Maybe we can meet up! Otherwise, keep your eyes open because I'm darn well trying to be back!


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