Merry Monday – Sleepy

merry_monday

Image created using Bit Strips.

Can-Con 2016 was this past weekend. Here are the recaps if you want to read them:

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Following Can-Con, I was off to awards night with my B-Movie club. I read my toddler buddy a story about pugs. None of my movies won, so I’ll have to try harder this next season.

After back-to-back busy weekends, I was pretty exhausted this morning. I luckily happened onto an email from my boss telling me to be at the other office this morning.

The backs of my knees have been itchy since Thursday. I’m trying to figure out what is causing it. Nothing seems to be making it go away. I’ve tried Gold Bond, After Bite, moisturizer, and allergy pills. I wonder if it’s something from a washer or dryer, or a food allergy. I had some PC Organics mozzarella on Thursday. I’ve tried to submit a question to them, but their web form doesn’t work for me. I’m feeling a little better after a baking soda and kosher salt bath. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Tonight, I began French class. Je veux parler tous les mots! Mon professeur est aimable. Ils sont quatorze étudiants dan la classe.

Well, it’s time for bed. I have a lot of copywriting to do tomorrow.

Ciao,
R~

Can-Con 2016 – Day 3

Author photo

Raeanne G Roy

The final day of Can-Con was a somewhat rushed affair for me. I just made it in time for a friend’s panel on taxes. Next, it was off to meet with my fellow panelists to practice or Swordfighting as two of them live elsewhere and the two of us who live in Ottawa practice divergent styles. Maybe some year we should see what East vs West might look like…

After our panel, I mostly networked and bought things until I learned yet more about The Ed Greenwood Group. 

Many times throughout the day, despite how busy I was, my thoughts turned to 9/11. Growing up in a town with a major NORAD base, that day’s impact was far reaching. I was in college studying social work when the large projection TV screen in the Nipissing University Student Union room was suddenly dominated by the live images of the buildings and people falling. 

We went to class and shortly after we were sent home. Smartphones were not a thing back then, so we weren’t abundantly aware of what was happening. We knew planes hit the World Trade Centre buildings. We knew a lot of Canadians worked there. We knew the college was really close to the base and the base could also be a target.

Then we spent many days watching CNN trying to understand who and why. I’m not sure that has truly been answered yet, but I hope those whose families and friends were lost have found some sort of closure and peace. 

I think that was the day that I became aware of anything beyond Ontario and Québec. Before that, everything was always so far away. The Middle East was just this place where war seemed to always be happening. Even the U.S. seemed really far away. Traveling was not as prevalent because it was more expensive.

Over the years, I’ve been through several periods where the foundation of everything I thought I knew was shaken to the core. This is why I never fully plan something out today. I’m excited to see what the future has in store.

Ciao,

R~

Can-Con 2016 – Day 2


Day 2 went pretty smoothly. I think the main highlights for me were the panels involving The Ed Greenwood Group. I’d like to write something for them.
The panel on mental health was interesting. They talked about a variety of issues including psychopathy, sociopathy, depression, autism, adhd, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. They said something I wholeheartedly agree with, which was that people are not defined by their mental health or other conditions. Yes, they implant their experience of the world, but they are not their condition. I also identified with what they were saying because of my autoimmune disorder. Someone walked up to me the other day when I was surrounded by a group of strangers and loudly said that he was surprised I do martial arts given my “illness”. I do not think of myself as ill. Ill to me implies that I’m dying of cancer or have something like cystic fibrosis and need organ transplants. Largely I manage quite well with very little medicine, eating healthily, and exercising. I need more water and lubrication than other people. I get fatigued easy. I have some tendon pain. I have zero percent worries of having a healthy pregnancy when I find someone who I see a real future with. Yes, there are people who are more debilitated than I am. I think a major difference for me is that I’ve had symptoms since I was a young teen. I’ve grown up with this just being a thing I deal with. Other people deal with sick parents or depression from the loss of a loved one or something else. Others with Sjögren’s were extremely athletic prior and get hit hard by it. That would be Venus Williams experience, I believe. But she still plays tennis. Because she loves tennis. I’m actually very healthy. My heart is in great shape and so are my other organs. My eyes aren’t damaged either. It is a small piece of who I am.

We also talked about how a psychopath will convince their victim that the victim is remembering things incorrectly and systematically tear apart their self esteem. Basically they’ll convince the person that they have a mental health issue when really it’s the psychopath’s version of reality that is messed up. There’s a good reason why I’m so picky when it comes to choosing someone to spend my life with.

Next up was epic fantasy and why it has no respect. One conclusion was that people have Tolkien fatigue. Another conclusion was that a lot of people who wrote it were terrible at writing. 

I changed panel plans several times. I’m not much for attending readings of any sort, so I went to one called, “Our Monsters are Us,” which explored ideas like how humans often try to label anything different as bad.

The one Stormtalons panel was only for current TEGG writers, so I went to one on adapting literary works for TV and Movies. I didn’t learn as much at this one as other panels but it was nice to just listen to the discussion.

The panel on writing groups was interesting and in line with what I thought. I’ll be unable to attend my group for the foreseeable future as French class is during that time slot. Becoming bilingual is important to me. 

I took a break for food, drinks, and socializing before going to a panel on selling at conventions. There are divergent theories on this and it’s best to find out what works for you was what I took out of it. 

Well, off to Day 3!

Ciao, 

R~

Can-Con 2016 – Day 1

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Generic convention pic because Can-Con doesn’t have a logo.

Let me preface this by saying I am a little inebriated. There. Now I’m safe to make any spelling and grammar mistakes.

Con is off to a great start. Obviously. Though I think it best not to bring GF beer with me for tomorrow as it got warm despite the ice pack. I hate warm beer. It’s the worst thing since ever.

Today, I attended a workshop on plot by Julie Czerneda (pronounced like Chernaeda). She was fun and mostly helpful. She threw random pieces of paper at us that had new things we had to suddenly fit into our plot. Well, she didn’t actually throw them, but you know what I’m saying.

I walked around the Rideau Centre to kill time before the official start. I generally avoid the place. I don’t want to pay for parking and it both tires me and hurts to walk around such an expansive place. Also, it’s too peopley. So much so that I want to curl up in a ball and hide. It might actually surprise people to know that I’m introverted. I’m about 30% extrovert, so I can party pretty hard when I want to. Also clown around with strangers.

I went to a panel on Ursula K. Le Guin’s legacy. It was pretty cool. I haven’t read any of her stuff, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I’m slowly building next year’s reading list. The panelists were hard pressed to agree on which story I should start with.

Next, was a panel  about the challenges of working with others in the comic industry. I want to make some graphic novels eventually, so I’m rather drawn to things related to that right now. I love Vertigo’s House of Mystery series and the graphic novel version of The Book of Five Rings.

Then, I went to a panel on Non-Verbal Communication and I think it was the best panel of the evening. I learned a lot in that one. But it made me question everything I have ever written.

The parties followed. Yes, writers party in plural. I saw lot of friends and talked about things and stuff. Good times.

I can’t wait for tomorrow! I haven’t decided on if I will try to bus there or not. Probably will because it’s a lot cheaper than Uber. I really enjoyed not having a car. I might put my things into a wheely thingy tomorrow rather than carrying it on my back.

Oh, this year’s theme is role-playing. My character is level 3 and has 21 dexterity but only 2 wisdom. Charisma and Constitution are decent too. I’m told I might piss people off. Looking forward to it 🙂

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Can-Con Schedule

I can’t believe it starts tomorrow. So much to do before then! Like figure out what food to bring. I figured out a schedule at least.
Officially, I am only on one panel and have nothing in the dealer’s room, nor am I pitching anything, so I’m pretty wide open to take it all in. My panel is at noon on Sunday. It’s Swordfighting 201. Oh, and the parties too.

Otherwise, I think I’m going to go to one or two workshops on Friday followed by the following panels:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin: Contributions and Legacy
  • Challenging Creative Marriages: Comic Book Writers and Artists Working Together
  • Portraying Non-Verbal Communication in Prose

Saturday

  • Character Arc and Mental Health
  • Epic Fantasy
  • The Ed Greenwood Group
  • Stormtalons
  • Either Renaissance Press Readings OR Unarmed Combat
  • Stormtalons: Closed World Building
  • Want to Dominate the World?
  • 2-hour BREAK from 5-7
  • What if vN is Just The First Circle of Hell: The Dark Future of Sexuality
  • Paper Airplane Thing OR Selling at Conventions
  • Witchcraft, Druids, and the Occult
  • Party

Sunday

  • Finances
  • Bodies of Difference
  • Swordfighting 201
  • The Diversification of the Comics Industry
  • Jay & Silent Dom on Comic Creation

At some point before the Swordfighting panel, I may miss something due to needing to practice for my panel, though.

Then I’m off to a friend’s place for our B Movies Group. It’s awards night.

Ciao,

R~

Merry Tuesday?: From One Event to Another

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

Sunday was the final day of 2016 Ottawa Comiccon. I particularly enjoyed the Q&A with John Rhys-Davies and Sean Astin. The only trouble for me was that I periodically wondered why my brother was on stage. You see, his nickname is Rudy because of his striking resemblance to Sean Astin.

Me: “Why is my brother on stage?”
Myself: “That’s not Dana.”
I: “Oh, right…”

I visited a weapons booth and the Japanese man there complimented me on my sword grip. I should hope I can hold the handle by now… They were the black plastic weapons. I so wanted to do a real test with them.

This weekend was the first time in a long time that I wasn’t just smiling because it was expected of me. I was smiling because I was truly happy. The past few years have been really hard. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am on the path and getting a little closer each day, so yay!

It was a great weekend, but also an exhausting one. Recovery time was needed. The introvert in me is screaming for a cave to hide away in, but I have no time for that.

This coming weekend is the annual iaido and jodo Sei Do Kai Spring Seminar in Guelph. This is the most enjoyable of the seminars. We stay in the dorms and have 2.5 days of training mixed with nights of socializing. I’m super excited for this. Hopefully, I catch up on my sleep before then.

The last practice before the big seminar is tonight. Then it’s all cooking and packing for the trip. I think I’m almost done the music, though I’m not quite at 200 songs yet 😉

Well, I have tons to get done before the weekend.

Ciao,
R~

2016 Ottawa Comiccon

Day 1

I walked around and found all my friends but one. No matter how diligently I searched, I could not find him. My sense of direction seemed off kilter, though.

I bought flavoured cinnamon decaf coffee. And this year’s addition to my POP dolls collection are Hermione (with her wand) and Kailee from Firefly. I also bought a sweet Wonder Woman hoodie, which came with a giant tardis bag that literally touches the ground. I promptly went to my car to offload as it was a tripping hazard.

I really enjoyed the Geek Universe concert, but had trouble making it through because I was sorely in need of sleep.

Day 2

I finally found my other author friend and hung out with him a lot. He’s a fun person and aside from great conversations he has convinced me that someday I will be able to overcome my introverted nature and be able to sell my books once I have them to sell. This is good news!

Unfortunately, I could not attend the Alan Tudyk Q&A because he was still on the airplane…

The Rock, Paper, Cynic musical performance was hilarious!

The Steampunk panel on gadgets was interesting. I had been to one like it there previous year, but I learned about writing books this year. Those will come in handy at some point, I’m sure.

My Chihiro costume went over well:

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Me as Chihiro from Spirited Away

I missed the Zombie defense panel because the it was over capacity.

I WAS done shopping, but then I saw a Hogwarts dress and it was the last one…

Well, I went home early because I feel like relaxing with Rocksmith perhaps followed by something like Assassin’s Creed.

Ciao,
R~

Funky Friday: Oblivious?

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

I’ve not paid much attention to the news this week. I’ve been focused on getting things done in my life.

Ottawa

  1. Excited: Comiccon starts today! It feels like I’ve been waiting forever. There are lots of fun panels I’m attending, a geek orchestra, Q&As with Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly) and John-Rhys Davies (Gimli from Lord of the Rings).
  2. Relieved: I finished a project at work yesterday, so now I am truly unburdened. The actual project is a couple of weeks away from full completion, but my regular role for it is old hat compared to what I was put on to help finish a worrisome chunk.
  3. Happy: My Xbox 360 breakaway cable arrived yesterday and I was able to play some Rocksmith. I bought that game over 3 years ago and I couldn’t play it because I had a guitar with a twisted neck that couldn’t stay in tune, so advancing in the game was impossible.

Ontario

  1. Worried: There’s another wildfire burning around the Ontario and Manitoba border. While that’s not super close to me, there’s also been fires in my hometown 4 hours from here. There’s just a lot of fires all over Canada right now and we could really use some rain everywhere.

Canada

  1. Impressed: I’m impressed with how Trudeau handled the fire situation in Alberta by listening to what the firefighters, a.k.a. experts said. He didn’t go out there for photo ops and instead continued handling the rest of his duties while on standby should the experts decide it was time to call in extra help. Oh, and he didn’t put Canada at risk for being invaded. Autonomy is a great leadership quality. He followed protocol.
  2. Upset: I was attacked on Twitter for tweeting to the PM that he did a good thing working with the UN to eradicate preventable diseases. As such, I no longer allow people who aren’t my followers to see my tweets or interact with me on Twitter. I have no need for trolls in my life or people who try to disguise disrespectful behaviour as “debate”. They made me terribly sad that such rampant hatred exists. I don’t think I’ll ever understand such people.

World

  1. Proud: I’m proud that Canada is helping with the efforts to eradicate tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS from the earth. I’m not sure on the actual dollars that have been committed to it, but I hope there’s part of the budget that already speaks to this. The UN is predicting really bad things if more isn’t done to get rid of these terrible viruses.

Well, I have a few things left to do to prepare for Comiccon. It doesn’t start until 2:30 PM, but I took the full day off. I intend to put Spirited Away on while ironing my costume and cutting up veggies for my snacks.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday: First Tournament

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

This Past Weekend

Near the end of last week, I acquired a cold and cough that progressively worsened as the weekend went on. After driving south, Oshawa became my home for the duration of the weekend, which began with The Great Bun Crisis. Thankfully, that was assuaged by an emergency trip to Costco. Celebratory pho was made extra tasty and complemented by great conversations.

Day one had us travel into Toronto for the seminar, which taught us the format and rules for the tournament. We also got feedback on where we could improve. Some were kata specific and others were more general. A tip I received was to square my hips, for example.

They mentioned my group would be competing around 11 AM the following day, so I believed I had plenty of time to mentally prepare.

Dinner at an all you can eat sushi place was very enjoyable. As is common with all you can eat, you might not get some of the dishes you ordered, but because ordering was done by iPad, no one went hungry waiting on a server to take the next order.

The next day, The Missing Bread Mystery began. I had baked a loaf of gluten free, egg free, dairy free, yeast free bread for my breakfasts on Thursday night. It was tasty and then it was missing. I couldn’t remember leaving it where the dog had access to it, but there were crumbs, so by deductive reasoning, the mystery was solved. Breakfast wasn’t as I pictured for the weekend, but I had enough food to survive.

We arrived with little time to spare. I barely got my sword oiled then was rushed out to line up by dojo. I figured out at the last moment that I was to start my own line as I was the only one from my dojo there.

During the opening remarks, they spoke of Maehara Sensei and I wanted to cry. Though I only met him once, he made a lasting impression. He visited us from Japan last May seminar. He was so funny and expressive. Indeed, we barely required any translation. He showed us so much using only body language and one of the few English words he knew, “No!” Sadly he has since passed away.

About 10 minutes after, I was ushered onto the floor to compete. My nerves got the better of me and I made some silly mistakes like not waiting until the head judge said Hajime. In practice at my dojo, I had completely forgotten to bow to the judges due to nerves. One of the key elements of this art is to remain calm under pressure, so this is an area I need to work on. I was also nervous because I knew the skill level of the person I was up against and I let that worry me.

I felt like I did pretty awful given the amount of corrections I received over the weekend, so I was in utter shock when I received a bronze medal in Shodan Division.

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Me after winning my first medal.

I could “what if” the weekend. What if I hadn’t been so sick? What if I had been more confident? What if I had time to warm up before the match? What if the dog hadn’t eaten my bread?

The truth is that it all comes down to depth of practice. I’m going to work on those corrections and practice more. Especially my hips. Perhaps the next competition will have a different outcome.

While I’m happy I won a medal, indeed my first one ever, the lessons learned over the weekend were the most valuable. Those I will carry with me forever.

The weekend was capped off with Chinese food, a hot tub soak, and the Game of Thrones season premiere.

This Week

This week I will be at work for only 3 days then it’s off to Ad Astra in Richmond Hill. I will attempt to bake bread again and as no one but me will have access to my hotel room, I expect this to be more successful. I don’t know what panels I will be attending yet as the schedule isn’t up. Perhaps I’ll go through the list and rank them to make the selection process easier as the days get closer.

Ciao,
Roy Iaidoka

Mid-Week Check-in

We’re having some fun weather in Ontario today, but the drive to work was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The worst part of the morning was getting the ice off of Pixie (my purple-blue Kia Rio5). One of her back doors was frozen shut and I couldn’t get it open. I tried to reach the scraper from the front seat, but alas my short arms couldn’t reach it, so I tried once again to open the door. Pulling hard, I freed it from its icy binding,  grabbed the scraper, and went to work after starting Pixie. I think it was just at the beginning of this winter that I figured out the spikes on the scraper are for freezing rain. I’m not sure why it took me that long given that I’m from Northern Ontario, but at least I figured it out.

Harry Potter

Yesterday, my friend Jen and I started an Ottawa-area Harry Potter Society on Facebook. The group grew to over twenty people on the first day! I’m really excited about this and looking forward to sharing our love of all things Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling.

Why is the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, so very far away?

Health

I was able to eat supper (homemade Chicken Pho), watch an episode of The X-Files, do iaido, and still have some energy left over on Tuesday.

I’m a little tired, but not exhausted.

Writing

I cleaned up Purple Ribbons and sent it back out to my writer’s group.

I’m pondering the idea of doing a self-published book of short stories separated by their genre as I’d really like to have something to sell soon.

Comiccon 2016

The wheels are turning. The character has been chosen and I plan to start this week/weekend. I almost have my work area cleaned up and ready.

It’s going to be a lot of work, but worth it.

I wonder if I can get my hair to grow for the role.

Time to go buy a piece of the underlying framework for the arms.

Ciao,
R~