DragonCon debriefing

DragonCon is really my favorite holiday of the year for various reasons.  First, I get to see friends that I don’t see at any other time of year.  And it’s always so familiar and lovely, and I can’t hug them enough when I do see them.  Second, there are amazing writing panels there that really inspire me to do the writing I should be doing anyways.  This year was no exception.  Third, several tens of thousands of geeks.  What’s not to love?

This year was a little different for us.  Bear actually took part in 3 performances with the Atlanta Radio Theater Company.  It was great, because it gave him a lot of exposure and confidence.  He’d never really performed in front of that many people before, and it was a fabulous experience.  He got to feel more professional, and have a serious rockstar moment during ARTC’s performance of War of the Worlds: The Untold Story.  It kind of took away from his happy Dcon time, but it was also pretty fuckin’ cool to actually be on the schedule for some events.

I also found that I AM actually kind of into celebrities.  I always thought I was too cool to care about all the celebrities there, but there are 2 words that summarize the change in my attitude this year.  LUCY LAWLESS.  She’s not just gorgeous, but she’s also charming and very grounded.  I wish her panel had been 10 hours long.  I would have stayed for the entire thing.

Here’s my day-by-day:

Thursday: Standing in line for passes, met Sam and Adrienne @ food court, then on to Trader Vic’s.

Friday: LUCY LAWLESS.  Stolen moments in a panel.  Crazy proud of Bear, though I missed his performance of ‘In Need of a Bard’.  Picked up Duncan from school.  Realized I hadn’t seen my husbear all day and freaked out a little. Need Coffee’s recording of Weekend Justice, then Karaoke in the Xtrack room.  Didn’t get to nearly as many panels as I’d hoped.


Saturday: Holy shit, I AM into celebrities (wandered into the Walk of Fame, where I saw Gigi Edgely, Adrian Paul, Lou Ferrigno, Malcolm McDowell, and George Takai.  I was a little star struck.). Bear didn’t have a ton of panels scheduled, so he hung out with me most of the day (lovely!).  Went to the dealer’s room and only got as far as the Chessex table before the crowds pissed me off.   Ate at Willy’s where the superior tofu tacos live.  A local man selling ‘NINJA TURTLES!!’ (Tiny, scared baby turtles being shaken around in tiny plastic boxes.  Made me cry.  I wanted to go buy one or two to rescue them from him, but I didn’t want to give that asshole my money.  :-().  Favorite two panels (Supernatural Playlist: Music in Urban Fantasy, and City of Dreadful Night: World-building in Urban Fantasy).  I almost thought about not coming next year due to the crowds.  *gasp!*


Sunday: Much less crowded, panels started later in the day so I found an alcove in the Hyatt Tower to crash.  Author James R Tuck from the two panels the night before came and sat there while I slept, was kind of funny.  Someone walked by, saw me laying down facing the wall, and said “Now THAT is a DragonCon moment!” and took a picture of me.  More panels.  Bear’s a-fucking-mazing performance in War of the Worlds: The Untold Story.

Monday: Blew off several panels.  Went back to the dealer’s room where we decided that a bear picture was more important than the nice anniversary dinner we’d planned (an obvious choice!).  Bear’s performance in Scouring of the Shire.  Make the Bad Men Stop (the very best way to wrap up DragonCon weekend- friends being hilarious and wonderful).  Hugging everyone until next year.  Dinner with friends at High Velocity (we were too broke to order real food, but ended up full anyways because they ordered the chocolate nachos for our anniversary.  <3)


I was a bit worried about how I would do on Dcon weekend with fibromyalgia, and it turns out that I was mostly OK.  I had trouble breathing, and that’s something I’m going to get checked out, but for the most part, I was so pumped-up on adrenaline that I carried through OK.  However, I worked Tuesday and Wednesday, and that was ROUGH.  So the weekend itself wasn’t too terrible, but the recovery period gave me some trouble.  Maybe next year I’ll suck it up and get a disability sticker.  *shrug*

All-in-all, it was a lovely weekend.  I can’t wait until next year! 🙂

Finished Altar of Change- what’s next?

So I finally finished my novel about 2 weeks ago. I kept having to psych myself up to write a really tough scene, but when I sat down to write it, it wasn’t that difficult after all.  And I had planned to get to 125K words, but when I finished the tough scene, I realized that I didn’t need that many.  I think I ended up around 105K, and that’s fine.  It ended where it needed to.

Sadly, my laptop is out of commission since my charger cable broke (and the new one didn’t work).  I have backups in various forms, but I really need to be able to get onto Scrivener to do the editing I need to do.   Just another thing to worry about another day.  🙂

So I’m obviously going to be working on the second novel in the series, Altar of Wisdom.  But I have other projects that are fighting for my attention right now too.  Bear and I decided to go completely vegetarian about 2 or 3 months ago, and we try to eat vegan as much as possible.  (I wish cheese didn’t taste so damn good!)  So I’ve been gathering and testing recipes to create a vegan Pagan cookbook with recipes for the sabbats.  For Lughnassadh, for example, we had a veganized corn souffle, sprouted barley salad, and fried seitan.  There are more recipes I need to test, and I’ll do those over the course of a year or so while I gather everything together.

I’m kind of wondering if a Kickstarter project would be good for this one.  Just to get a new laptop since mine is so old and shot, and I honestly don’t know if another power cable would even fix it.  *shrug*  I would need to calculate the cost of the laptop and the cost of the food to try all the recipes out.  I think that would really be all I would need.  I would most likely publish it as an Ebook first, so I could take some pretty nice digital pictures of the food.  I probably need to do more research on this one and create a list of what I would need to do it right.

I’m also really wanting to write short stories about the characters in my altar series.  I want to set them during different time periods so that you get some back story on each character.  I think this will be a great exercise to keep me on track and in my world, but it will be short and fun enough to not be derailed by DragonCon (LESS THAN A MONTH TO GO!!).

I’m toying with the idea of writing these by hand in a notebook.  It’s been a while since I’ve actually WRITTEN anything, and I’m curious to see how it might slow my thinking down, and whether the story would be better or worse because of it.

I also need to get down to the (totally fictional..  ahem..) area where I’ve set Willowisp.  I want to experience it during different times of the year, and we’re coming to a year since I’ve been there.  It was soon after Mabon last time.  So I either need to go now, or just wait until Samhain.

There are always just so many things that I WANT to do, and limited time to actually DO them.   The broken computer is a big thorn in my side, and is part of the reason I haven’t been updating here as much.  It’s something to fix sooner rather than later.  *shrug*


NOTE: Sorry for the late publishing on this one.  I thought I’d published it, but just saved it as a draft.  Oops!  🙂

Ways to be nicer to myself

Lately I’ve been feeling some pain.  I’m not sure exactly what it is, and I don’t have insurance so finding out will be tough.  I need to get to one of the community clinics here near home, but there are so many hoops to jump through, that the idea just stresses me out.

And I know that stress is part of my problem.  The more stressed I am, the more I hurt.  So for now, I’m trying to come up with ways to do some self-healing, keeping in mind that I WILL actually get to a doctor at some point.

It’s affecting my life more and more, and it needs to go away.

I did a week-long smoothie fast the week before Ostara as a general cleansing/life reset.  It was lovely, and it actually DID help me feel better.  I had some energy problems (I was trying to wean myself off of Coke Zero too, and the headaches were HORRIBLE), and I got pretty sick of smoothies.  But I actually felt lighter, healthier, and just better.  I want more of that.

During that time, we went to a friend’s house, and she’s on a mostly raw food diet right now.  We sampled some of her snacks and WOW.  I could do that.  Not all the time, but now and again.  I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.

I’ve also been reconnecting with my spirituality, getting interested in crystal grids, and talking to other pagans.  It’s been lovely.

Seven Chakras

Seven Chakras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s my partial list of ways to be nicer to myself.

  • Meditate more.
  • Leave Fetlife, and spend that time/energy on writing, spirituality, my family, something that feeds me rather than drains me.
  • Organize myself, including putting together a day planner.
  • Get my YouTube channel going.  I really feel the call to express myself this way now.
  • Set up a crystal grid for creativity, and one for abundance.
  • Finish Altar of Change (I’m close).
  • Read more.
  • Try to do vegetarian at least one day/week.
  • Smoothies for breakfast MOST mornings.
  • Finish the kyphi, and maybe a few other incenses to sell.
  • Sleep enough.
  • Start hiking.
  • YOGA!

This list will grow as I come up with other things.


I also have a new Pinterest that I’m playing on.  You can find it at http://pinterest.com/amieravenson/.  It’s really just a way for me to gather some thoughts, and there may be some character sketches there.  There’s definitely a lot of lovely Pagan imagery.  🙂

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