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Everybody wants to feel that you’re writing to a certain demographic because that’s good business, but I’ve never done that… I tried to write stories that would interest me. I’d say, what would I like to read? I don’t think you can do your best work if you’re writing for somebody else, because you never know what that somebody else really thinks or wants.

Stan Lee

Denver Comic Con

I volunteered for Denver Comic Con this year. Mostly because I missed the weekend passes (they sold out before I’d managed to order one), and I just really didn’t want to spend as much as daily passes would cost.

It’s been a bit of a while since I’ve attended a BIG convention, I think the last was Dragon*Con in 2013, and I was, unsurprisingly, not quite prepared to maneuver around the swarming masses.

It’s not even that crowds bother me so much, it’s that there were so many people that it was nigh impossible to get from Point A to B without taking a shoulder (or wing) to the face. Lucky for me, I’m pretty darn good at dodging things that come at my face.

The upside: I got to chat with a few of my new author friends and pick up a new book (Josh Vogt‘s Enter the Janitor). I got to meet an artist I backed on Kickstarter and pick up a new print (Cody Vrosh). Good times both.

But I’m not entirely sure that the ups outweighed the downs this time, particularly when I compare the experience to my time at Anomaly Con back in March. I may not attend next year.

Area 51

When my friendly, neighborhood Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offers me nearly free tickets to see a movie, I don’t usually think twice about it.

I probably should sometimes.

Last night I saw Area 51. It was supposed to be one of those found-footage/dudes running about while filming their experiences horror films. Note that I said “supposed to be.”

They succeeded at unstable, nauseating cinematography. (Does that even really count as cinematography?)

What they failed at was the horror.

I didn’t jump. I didn’t scream. I didn’t even feel particularly uncomfortable (aside from the motion sickness).

Now, this was from the same director as Paranormal Activity, which managed to have a suitable number of creepy, uncomfortable, and/or jumpy moments, all without fucking with my equilibrium, so I expected this to, at least, not be terrible.

Was it terrible? Not particularly. But it certainly wasn’t good, either.

Overall rating: Bored with a side of “Where’s my Dramamine?”

Get Your Hands Dirty

I haven’t touched clay in, oh, about 15 years.

It was never my favorite medium – I always felt most comfortable with a pen (quill or fountain) or graphite in my hand when it came to artistic endeavors.

Clay was always… messy.
It dried out my hands.
It got under my nails.
And it never, ever cooperated with me the way that ink does.

Flash forward to yesterday, when I went out with a sculptor. We were up past midnight (we lost track of time) – hanging out in his studio, chatting, goofing off, and playing with clay… and it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Much more fun than I ever remember clay being in my youth. (Which I find funny, since most people remember their youthful art classes as lighthearted and playful, while I remember them as toiling against a lot of mediums that wouldn’t produce the result I wanted.)

And it reminded me ever so gently (like a slap in the face) just how disconnected I have been from art these last few years. It’s easy to use grad school as an excuse for not being creative, but it really is just that: an excuse. And it’s not even that any more.

Which means that it’s time to reconnect.

It’s time to pick up the pen, to pull out the good ink, and maybe even try a few mediums that I shunned in the past.

It’s time to get my hands dirty. It’s time to make art.

No More Homework

That’s right folks. No more homework… FOREVER!

Well, until I (potentially) decide that I really need that PhD…

Grad school is officially completed: I have received confirmation from my school that I have completed all of my requirements and I am graduating!

Some type of celebration shall be forthcoming.

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And you tried to change, didn’t you? Closed your mouth more. Tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake…
You can’t make homes out of human beings. Someone should have already told you that. And if he wants to leave, then let him leave. You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.

Warsan Shire (For Women Who Are Difficult to Love)