San Diego Comic-Con: Reflection

Four years ago I decided I would one day go to San Diego Comic-Con. Sparked by a story idea and bundled with my own singular desire for adventure, I stated to the entire universe, God in his infinite wisdom, and my husband in his introverted manliness that I was going and I they all needed to help or get out of the way.

I was cute, a doe facing hunting season. I didn’t know that to visit the magical unicorn that is Comic-Con you must first be proven worthy as a fan. Thankfully, I am a writer and therefore skilled in the art of RESEARCH. I quickly uncovered the reality of Con. To go I would need: A member ID, a hefty dose of luck, and a winning number in the registration lottery.

I would also need a partner in crime.

sdccsteph

(Man, I love my hair pink.)

Stephanie and I banded together to make the Comic-Con dream a reality.  I don’t have time to tell you that whole story, but be assured, the epicness of our first SDCC has been documented here and if you’re curious you should totally check it out.

It includes:

The Game of Thrones panel

Me losing my wallet and ID

Nathan Fillion

Tom Hiddleston

My wallet being turned in to the security team unscathed

Steven Moffat

And a Jedi Master Fairy Godmother who shall henceforth and forever remain nameless.

This Comic-Con is different. And that is why, today, on the eve before Con opens, I am writing this while I drink wine in my new LA apartment.

A lot has happened since I had the dream to go to Comic-Con. I moved to LA with my husband and son. I left my Con-Partner in Texas, ripe with her third little Wonder Woman baby. I am an author on submission with a novel. A screenwriter looking for a break. I’m a woman who broke her knee-cap and then decided to put her house on the market. A woman with big flaming terrifying dreams.

We become new things when we take be risks.

We make room for the righter version of us.

Tomorrow, I will drive to San Diego with my suitcase and my space backpack, a blanket and snacks and card games. Some wine in the trunk. I will be on my own. I am meeting friends, staying with a girl I just met — a Comic-Con virgin. But this is a new Con for me.

This is a brand new scary leap.

If you have never been to Comic-Con you may not understand what I am about to say, so I am sorry. I hope one day you get to go.

Comic-Con is a touchstone. A way for me to find myself in a crowd. To learn. To be inspired. To be reunited with the wild imaginary ramblings of my youth.

Comic-Con is more than an entertainment mecca. It is more than merch and parties and celebs. Comic-Con reminds me, every year, that I am a girl who, one time, had a dream that seemed impossible. I am a girl who makes her dreams come true.

con

San Diego Comic Con Videos for All

All three of my San Diego Comic Con recap videos are up on YouTube. I thought I would share them here for anyone interested in seeing what it’s really like to attend Comic-Con and come away inspired.

Books, Booze and Bitches is an ongoing project, and something I proud to participate in. If so inclined, take a second to follow us, like our videos, or shout out on social media. We love comments and friends!

Twitter :: YouTube :: Blog :: Tumblr::

Ready. Set. Write! Update 5

RSW4

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing.  This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself. All the details are HERE.

*I missed last week because it was the day after San Diego Comic Con and I was on my way to LA.*

How I did on last week’s goals:

Well, last week I set no goals because I was still out of town. HOWEVER, I was meeting with my screenwriting consultant, so that was very Goal Oriented.

I wrote a blog about Comic-Con, which you can read here if you are interested.

I also began posting video recaps of the Comic-Con experience, and if you are interested, you can click here to watch my YouTube channel.

My Goals This Week:

Writing — Incorporate the feedback from my consultant into my outline and then crank out 20 screenplay pages. This script is REALLY coming together. And after everything I experienced at Comic-Con, I feel like I have a pretty strong grasp on that world.

Reading — Finish the ARC of Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett. You guys all need to put this book on your TBR.

Workout — Get back to my daily cardio, twice weekly strength building sessions.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Since I didn’t really write last week, and didn’t post an update from the previous week, here is something I wrote the week before I left for Comic-Con:

ABIGAIL (CONT.)

We keep our shit to ourselves. We stick to the list.

JACK

You know, Abbie —

ABIGAIL

Abigail.

JACK

Abigail. You know, you will have to trust me just a little if this is going to work.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

I didn’t write this week, but I didn’t plan to. The thing I struggled with this week was accepting the reality that Comic Con is over. 😉

Something I love about my WiP:

I feel like this is a story worth telling, and I think that is so vital when you are working on a passion project. Believing in your project’s merit, especially when it’s in the revision stage, keeps you pushing through the fear.

Comic-Con Magic

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When you’ve been to San Diego Comic-Con, explaining the experience to anyone who hasn’t can be difficult. Describing the sheer volume of people feels like an exercise in hyperbole. It’s not a place for the faint of heart. It’s not easy. And when it’s over, when reality comes crashing back in on you, the sinking feeling in your stomach that you have to wait a whole year until you can go back makes one thing clear: this is your home.

Comic-Con may never matter to you, but for me, my obsession with the largest Con in America began about two years ago when I conceived an idea for a screenplay set there. Like all my stories, this one began with a character and a question. Those two elements, who and why, set me on a path to fervently investigate this mythical beast, this magical place where writers, actors, artists and their fans come together for four days of insanity, united.

This research created in me a deep fascination. I am a card-carrying member of many fandoms. I love my shows and my books and all the flawed and fabulous characters with a sometimes rabid passion. But going to Comic-Con isn’t something you just do. It takes forethought. It takes guts, and it is not easily achieved. It does not happen on your own.

Stephanie, my sister and best friend, and I agreed that if we could get badges to Comic Con, we would go, and not only that, we would start a YouTube channel to chronicle our journey.

Our road to Comic-Con was filled with struggle, but also, allies willing to help make this thing happen.

The first was Melissa. A friend of Stephanie’s that dreamed of going to Comic-Con as well. We linked up, agreeing that whoever got sent through registration would buy badges for all three of us. Melissa was the Chosen One, from a lottery that resembled the Reaping. And in less than a minute, we had acquired a one-day badge. We didn’t care that it was just Sunday. We were going. Melissa ended up not being able to attend, but if not for her, our journey would have stopped there. Melissa has favors she can forever call in.

The second was the Internet of Comic-Con Nerds. Once we started vlogging, tweeting, tumblring about the Con, we quickly found there was a plethora of experts at our fingertips. There was a Comic Con fandom. There was a blogger named Tony B. Kim, maybe better known as Crazy 4 Comic Con, who has made a career out of going to Cons. His insight and passion became a guide to surviving, maybe even winning, San Diego Comic-Con. To all those who dedicate themselves to this fandom, we thank you. You made this unknown monster a little less scary.

The third was a woman we affectionately call our Jedi Master. A volunteer we befriended before the Con after meeting her in our hometown. Jedi Master taught us the ways of her people, and gave us the gift of Friday and Saturday passes. She took us under the arm of her cloak, imparting her wisdom and making us believe that Con Magic exists. Con Magic was real. And we, for some unknown reason, were being touched by it.

We conquered the unconquerable lines of Hall H and Ballroom 20. Walking into the darkness of Hall H, surrounded by 6,500 other humans there for the same reason we were — they were fans — my heart exploded with feeling. I had built this place up in my mind, something that could have gone terribly wrong, but when it came to it I had no idea just how powerful it would be. How the weight of this world would rest on my shoulders like a cloak of invisibility, allowing me to feel, for a moment, completely invincible.

And when I lost my wallet, the person that turned it in, leaving my cash and cards intact, gets the credit for finally making me cry. It was more magic than I deserved, too much kindness, after days of unforeseen blessings. I was unworthy.

Comic-Con isn’t just a place to spot celebrities, or fight for exclusives, or listen to panels. It’s about more than seeing unreleased footage or blooper reels from favorite shows. Those things are awesome, but not everything. Comic-Con is a place where, if only for a few moments, you are not alone in the world, you are not misunderstood, and you can become a hero.

I am a fan that aspires to be a creator, to one day sit on a panel and have fans of my own. But I am a fan first, and I need other fans. I needed to be reminded that human beings are capable of greatness.

What’s up Wednesday: The Final Countdown

RobotWUWThank you Jaime and Erin for hosting What’s up Wednesday these last two years! I have met some of my favorite writing people through it. You guys are amazing!

Here’s the last, What’s up with me…

What I’m Reading

I just finished reading Landline by Rainbow Rowell, and it was everything fantastic and awesome that I expect from one of her books, but it also punched me in the gut with emotion. Georgie McCool is a character I identify with in a way that makes me almost embarrassed, and maybe when I was reading I started sobbing like an idiot while my son tried to get my attention and my husband made me a cup of tea. Good times.

What I’m Writing

I started a new story. The voice came to me in the shower and then before I knew it I was writing words. For now, I’m just following her. I don’t really know yet where, but after a few months of false starts on other projects, and feeling like I’m in limbo, it’s nice just to write and not feel bound by anything.

What Works for Me

Like I said above, not feeling bound by an arbitrary goal or a word count requirement. Not looking at the long road ahead littered with drafting and revisions. It’s like walking down stairs carrying a laundry basket. I can’t see the stairs below me, but I can feel them. I can’t get focused on the final step or I’ll lose traction where I’m at. It’s an exercise in living in the moment, writing in the moment, focusing on the day I’m in, the word count I’m at, and that’s it.

What Else is New

Last week was Spring Break for my son. We did a lot of playing, and reading, and going to parks. The weather wasn’t the best the last half of the week, so I took him to the movies and cuddled with him over popcorn.

I also got him a little Spring Break gift at Target. He insisted on having his picture made.

samtarget

I’ve been focusing some (a lot) of my energy on my YouTube channel Books, Booze & Bitches with fun results! Yesterday I did a video about the San Diego Comic Con Hotel Lottery and the resulting CRASH of the website. (Check out the Crazy 4 Comic Con Post about the situation as well, if you’re interested.)

EXTRA: I discussed my experience with another crash when I submitted my application to the HBO Writing Fellowship.

We post new videos every Wednesday, with the exception of this week when we are posting more because Hotelpocalypse 2015. Today we are talking Insurgent Movie!

And finally *sniffle*….What’s up with you?