Monday, March 31, 2014

Nerd festivities.

Once upon a time, I hid my nerd self. Whenever it came out, it was usually among the non-nerd folk and many of the girls growing up thought I was weird. I hung around boys because I could at least relate to them in video games and some sports. I never felt out of place with them, and at the time, I chose to be judged on my knowledge of games rather than my fashion sense, how "girly" I needed to be, and how much gossip I knew (a lot of girls were evil to me in my childhood). I got older and embraced anime and manga (I didn't hide my love for anime, but I didn't talk about it to those who steered clear from that world). I eventually stopped caring that others thought me weird for being a nerd, though I kept it quiet still since I was more open about being a sports junkie...I was more accepted that way. I only showed the nerd to the few who didn't hide that aspect of themselves away, and played the Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon card games after school sometimes with them. Nowadays, I realize the nerd is far more fun than the sports nut. For that, I thank Game of Thrones and the Jean Cocteau Cinema. I will always love my sports groups, but being openly a nerd with others of all ages felt so much more fulfilling.

Since I didn't post a blog entry last week, I have a bit of catching up to do in terms of retelling events. The costume contest was amazing. I had a lot of fun playing Brienne of Tarth, and I was very pleased that I was the only one who had. All the costumes were fun and creative, and it was a TON of fun. I was also lucky to have caught the season 4 episode 1 premiere this past Saturday, thanks to a friend who had a guaranteed ticket. A lot of the GOT group was there with guaranteed seating, so it was kind of like as if the marathon hadn't ended. And hey, we even had the Iron Thone and Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell)! I won't spoil the episode for you guys, but I can say this: it is epic. This season is going to be VERY good. For those who were worried about how Oberyn is portrayed, still your fears. Pedro Pascal does a really great job (and he's a cool guy). We got to have a quick Q&A with him after the episode and it was fun to see how much of a nerd he is like the rest of us. This whole experience with the marathon and the Skype was just perfect. Good thing I happened to be living in Santa Fe at the right time and in the right part of town! :)

I know what you must be thinking. How has the book work been going considering all these fun events? I finished the extensive edit transfers, I answer. I need a couple of days to reread the story with the new edits before I can send it to my readers. The OCD part of me wants to make sure it all made sense, especially now that my mind is more clear after all these festivities. I still have the jitters for getting closer to self-pubbing the book, and I realize it won't go away until I finally have the book in my hands. I really love this tale and how the series keeps progressing, and I hope that you all do too.

I'll get back to the cohesion edits of Mistress of Blackwen and Champions of Arrygn after I send off Child of Blackwen to my readers. It feels like the currently unnamed book 4 will start production after Child of Blackwen is published in the fall. It's amazing how right now those characters are content in keeping silent because of the fact that they'll be meeting the rest of the world before the year's end. I can't say the same for the characters of Shadow Walker however...they want to be heard. I know I say it a lot, but it's funny how the ideas for that project spring even while I'm reading a random book. I'll get to it when I get to it (which is when I am completely finished with the Artemis Ravenwing series).

When the publishing time comes near, I'll post a teaser of Child of Blackwen for you all. Until then, I must return to work! If I don't, I'll succumb to playing Zelda again and have a day wasted (at least in the eyes of the workaholic, not so much in the eyes of a gaming nerd).

Before I go, here are some fun snapshots of the costume contest and the Iron Throne!

(Photo credit to Jean Cocteau Cinema)
(Photo credit to my friend, Eibhlin)

Monday, March 17, 2014

A wave of green.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've found myself more festive about the holiday since I finished college. The holiday was a resident assistant's worst nightmare; it didn't matter whether you had duty that night or not. I've got on green clothes and feathers in my hair, and I've already been called an elf and a fairy (no complaints here!). Tonight should be fun, considering I'm spending it with the Game of Thrones crowd (where else would I be on a Monday night?). I sort of started celebrating early too, with seeing "The Secret of Kells" at the Jean Cocteau Cinema during the weekend. I love animated films, and this movie was just visually stunning. And hey, the fairy/spirit of the forest liked taking the form of a white wolf. You bet I enjoyed that part!

I've been busy recently with "transfer-mania" of my notes and edits of book 1. The sooner I finish with the transfers, the sooner I can hand it off to my readers (yes, that is plural this time). After that, I can send off my work! I originally predicted that I would send my book to Amazon by the summertime, but given recent events, I can do it before then. I am still jumping for joy. I'll admit that the fear has crept in too; it's not the fear of rejection, it's the fear of actually having my work out there for the world to see. I had that fear during my senior reading at GMC. It wasn't the whole world, I know, but the people who attended were a huge part of MY world. I'll get over it as I did then, don't worry.

Also...the first stage of my Brienne of Tarth costume is complete. It is so hideous but so perfect at the same time. It is actually really cool to look at! I've taken pictures of the process so far, and you'll have to wait until the costume contest actually takes place to see them. I'm not spoiling anything! :)

Be safe today everyone! :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Most joyful of times.

Goodness, I don't know where to begin!
Ok, I'll start with THE most exciting news from last week. I've lost count on how many times I've said that self-publishing is crazy expensive, but it would not deter me from completing my dream. As of last week (and by means of a somewhat unexpected gift), the nest egg for the publishing of Child of Blackwen is nearly complete! Poor Shadow was confused while I was dashing through the house, jumping and screaming for joy. Ok, I cried's just so exciting!!! This also means that I am ahead of schedule for submitting my work (I wanted to give myself til the summer to start sending my stuff in to Amazon). Once I let my readers look over the newly improved book 1, I can then send it in to Amazon's staff and begin the self-pub process from there. Cross your fingers everyone!
Speaking of the cohesion edit, I might actually be done with the book 1 portion by the end of the week. I have TONS of content to transfer, as well as remove from the electronic version. I don't know how long the transfers will take once I finish the first portion of edits, but you can guess that with the new monetary developments, I'll be busting my butt more than usual (is that even possible for a workaholic like myself?).
Now for my next batch of news. It should not be a surprise that I sort of live at the Jean Cocteau Cinema nowadays, heh heh. I actually went there outside of the Game of Thrones marathon festivities. They were playing "Back to the Future" last week (to which I can now say that I have seen in its entirety! For shame, I know. There IS someone to blame, I assure you. A major pet peeve of mine is when someone is watching a movie I have not seen in my presence, and only shows me bits and pieces of it while expecting me to understand just what the hell was going on). I also went to see "Adult World" with John Cusack yesterday, which proved to be both brilliant and hilarious. I would recommend it, especially to all the artists out there (poets, writers, painters, etc.). It is a hard world, but the rewards are worth it. To those who understand and support us, we graciously thank you.
I will also gain a deep appreciation for fashion designers very soon. There is a Game of Thrones costume contest later this month, and I have chosen to be Brienne of Tarth in the scene where she fights the bear (not a spoiler alert since season 3 has already been aired...if I did spoil it for you, well...I have no pity for you, slacker! Pick up the books and the recently released dvd set already!). Granted, the dress will be a loose interpretation of her. It is exciting, however; we've already picked up some neat pieces to transform and sew. I will take pictures, I promise. And the dress will be VERY ugly, as expected. I've never done cosplay before, and after this costume, I can mark that wish off my bucket list. If I don't hate sewing after this, maybe I'll do some more!
Since I have mentioned Brienne of Tarth, I can now share this gem:
I did get to speak with Gwendoline Christie (I was the first, believe it or not!). I was far more nervous to speak to her than I was with Kit Harington. Interesting, no? A fangirl can be composed to a male crush, but not so much to a female idol. It made me think of when I met Misty May-Treanor for the first time; I could barely utter a "hello" to her. My first question to Gwendoline was on a scale from one to ten, how badass did she feel when she got to beat up on the guys? She said that Brienne the character only did what she had to do, that there was no enjoyment, but as Gwendoline, she loved it. My second question was in regards to her training, and she explained her crazy regiment. She wanted to be as authentic as possible for the viewers, and she did more than just the sword training for the show. Throughout the entirety of the Skype interview, my respect for her grew more (and I already had a ton, by the way).
We're supposed to Skype with one of the writers of the show tonight, which has me extra anxious. Even though I consider myself a novelist, you can never have too much knowledge of all the kinds of writers out there. It should be a fun interview.
Enjoy your week, everyone! :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

'Ello March.

Happy March everyone! It came quickly, didn't it? Time flies when you're having fun.

With March also brings the return of the Game of Thrones marathon at the Jean Cocteau Cinema on Mondays (since February is a weird month, the days of the marathon changed). I started the weekend with the last two episodes of season 2, and I start this week with the first three episodes of season 3. The Battle of Blackwater Bay was meant to be watched on the big screen, it really was. It was a shame we didn't get to Skype with the director of that episode! I'd have loved to hear what his thoughts were about the directing, the preparation, and so on. Tonight at least, we'll get to speak to Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth (one of my favorites as well!). I have some questions of my own to ask her, so hopefully I get to be lucky again. I mean, how can I not be excited to speak to the actress who plays a character who represents tomboys? I favored Brienne's POV in book 4 of the series too. Of course, I'll have some pictures for next week's blog.

I've also been rereading the series now that I have all the books (thank you, Jean Cocteau Cinema!). I had the first two books (thank you, Mom!) and I borrowed the rest a couple of years ago. I've reached the point where as I'm watching the series, I feel like my memory of the books are tricking me. I'm just making sure I'm not going crazy by the time season 4 airs next month. And hey, who doesn't love a good reread? :)

The Artemis Ravenwing novels took over my life again, which of course, makes me happy. I did some cohesion editing work over the weekend as well; I forgot how big the chapters of book 1 were. I'll be starting from chapter 11 this week. I have been marking, cutting, and adding material left and right since this cohesion edit started. But don't worry, I'm still making room for other fun things in my life while "workaholic Mel" tries to rule the week.


I've been coveting a Jon Snow Funko Pop doll when I first saw it during my summertime NYC trip. I put off a purchase of one for when I already acquired the rest of the books. To my utter dismay on Friday, I was told I would have to wait two more weeks for a new shipment since Jon Snow is so popular. I went with the second best choice and brought home Robb Stark (pictured above). He's been overseeing my work lately *wink*. I can't complain since I was going to buy him as well at some point.

All jokes aside, I really have been busy with this cohesion edit. I felt something for the first time this weekend too - it'll be the last content edit I will make of book 1. That never happened before. It was weird at first, but I find it so relieving! It means that even an editing monster like myself has a limit, and I'm glad to have found it. It makes me more excited too, because I'm loving how this cohesion edit is going for Child of Blackwen. It's starting to match the strengths of books 2 and 3. It is SO wonderful.

With that said, I should get to it. Ta!