“Rex” by Rita Stradling blog tour spot interview and excerpt (for A.U.)

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Please welcome on my next Author’s Gold (A.U.) segment, Ms. Rita Stradling.  I am honored to be one of the stops on her blog tour for her latest book, “Rex.”  Please welcome her and this amazing interview and an exclusive excerpt!

Author to Author Interview:

Hi! Thank you so much for interviewing me on your blog! It’s great to be here!

1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing?

I grew up in Palo Alto, one of the big hubs of the information age. I’d have to say that my childhood had a very big impact on my writing; growing up amongst artists and scientists in a society that highly valued both has inspired many aspects of my books.

2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not?

The first book I ever wrote was titled ‘Colorless’ in 2008. Colorless was a middle grade fantasy novel about a girl whose color dripped off her body, making her invisible but also gifting her the ability to travel through paintings. Unfortunately, I never published Colorless and probably will not.

3. What are you currently working on, writing wise?

I’m actually working on four projects! I’m working on the next installment in my three ongoing series, as well as I just finished Ensnared, a sci-fi romance Beauty and the Beast retelling. Oh my goodness, that sounds so scary. But, each project is in different stages of development and some are in their editing stages. 

4. What is your favorite character you have ever created and why?

Oh, goodness, that’s a really hard one. Can I pick my favorite character in the Dakota Kekoa world, instead? My favorite character in Dakota’s world might be her uncle Bobby. He’s light-hearted and crass, and unquestionably loyal to Dakota and her sisters. He goes through a very hard time in Rex and I found myself not wanting to continue writing at times.

5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later?

My technique is definitely just to write and let my brain sort out the connections later. Sometimes, if I run into a big obstacle, I’ll take a break and distract myself, letting my brain figure it out on its own.

6. What was your path like until you found writing?

Before writing, I studied art and art history at Humboldt State. After graduating, I worked for a short time in fine art sales in Hawaii before I became pregnant and took time off to be a stay at home mama. In the first six months after having my son, I spent a lot of time stuck with him sleeping on me. As a new mother, having a restful baby was precious, and so I would stay put for the duration of his naps. I began writing in these times, starting with Colorless, and eight years later, I’m still writing. 

7. Tell us about your covers.

The covers for the Dakota Kekoa series were created by Yvonne Nikolova at Ammonia Book Covers. 

8. What inspires you to write?

I’m often inspired by my dreams or nightmares. I’ll take a central concept and just start living their lives, the details work themselves out on the way.

9. How do you get book reviews?

Several ways: I run giveaways, have the book featured on NetGalley, send out ARCs to the subscribers of my website, and once in a while, I’ll query bloggers who I think might be interested. 

10. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing?

Marketing, definitely, marketing. Writing and editing are relatively easy, I have an awesome editor and fantastic beta readers, so while time consuming, both are fun and not intimidating. There’s a reason that marketing a book is not just a job, it’s a huge industry, it’s because a single person could do it all day, every day and it still might not cut it. 

11. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now?

I would likely have hundreds of fully thought out books, but most will never be typed onto a keyboard.

12. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author?

Definitely! I would love to co-author a book in any fiction genre.

13. What do you do to relax?

Does reading count? I guess it really depends on the book but I’m a huge book and audio book addict. 

14. If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?

Start marketing now ;). Kidding, kidding. I’d probably tell myself to write and read every day, and not only what the teachers had told me to.

15. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation?

I’d probably tell them advice others gave me, but I didn’t do the best job of following: start building a following early and find like minded authors to build a network of support. Also, I’d say that they should just write; it’s easy to be your own worst critic, but remember that you’ll have plenty of time to fix the writing when the story is complete. 

16. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life?

Definitely, I’d go so far as to say that hundreds of books changed my outlook on life. Some books that inspired me earlier in life were The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and still one of my favorite re-read books, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende.

17. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of?  How about one that is overrated?

Jane Austen might be my favorite classic author, she definitely was when I was growing up. The books I read now have a much darker bent, but I still love sweet, innocent romantic stories. 

18. Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing?

Max Richter is a particular favorite of mine right now; I like dark, intense modern classical music. I also enjoy soulful pop singers like Sia, Florence (and the Machine), and Skylar Grey.

19. Dog or cat person?

I love my dog, Stewie, but I’d love a cat too and maybe a big lop bunny. 

20. What do you want to eat right now?

A salad, I’m actually really hungry and probably will eat a blue cheese and apple salad the moment I’m finished with this interview … yum.

21. If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be?

Kill Bill, I’d love to die dramatically as an extra in a kung-fu movie. Or maybe a slasher film where all I had to do is run around and then die. 

22. What is your favorite holiday or time of year?

I love the fall! Fall is the time of hot tea and apple cider, rainy days and warm showers. Also, of course, I love Halloween, dressing up and stealing candy from my kid’s basket (I call it the mom tax). Happy Halloween!


Excerpt of “Rex:”

The look Wyvern turned on me was full of heat and interest, as if I’d shut the door hoping for a make-out session. I needed to squash that right now.

“Wyvern,” I snapped. “No more kissing, hand holding, or holding me for more than like a minute, okay? This is getting out of hand. We’re friends.”

“But a minute is okay?” he asked, with a mischievous smile. In an instant he had his arms wrapped tightly around me and I was pressed to his chest. “Because a minute is a pretty long time to hold you, let me show you: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand…” His arms moved up and down my back as he spoke.

“Ugh, ten seconds, you can hold me for no longer than ten seconds,” I said.

He leaned back, looking down at me, “What if it was ten second kisses instead.”

I swallowed hard. “No kissing.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, leaning in so close I could smell his sweet, spicy breath.

I nodded, glancing between his eyes and his lips.

“Not even for this long?” he asked as his lips came down and brushed gently against mine for one second.

When he pulled back, I nodded again, then remembering what he asked, and I shook my head instead.

“How about for this long?” His lips met mine with a sudden hungry intensity that I wasn’t expecting. His hands buried in my hair while his lips pushed against mine, sucking on my lower lip before his tongue entered my mouth.

I lifted to my toes, unable to stop myself from kissing back. I grabbed onto his jacket and opened my mouth to his kiss. My lips were as hungry on his as his were on mine.

My breaths were coming hard and fast when he broke away. “You play so dirty,” I whispered.

“I always will.” He grabbed me, holding me tightly against him. “I’ve missed you so much, Dakota,” he whispered into my hair.

It was like I could literally feel him reeling me back in. And it wasn’t with one of those cheap plastic fishing lines either, he was reeling me in with a giant net. It didn’t matter how much I struggled, the net would always win.

The Blurb for “Rex:”

rexv2-ebook-192x300Title: Rex

Author: Rita Stradling

Genre: YA Fantasy

In seventeen year old Dakota Kekoa’s line of work, a job can go bad in a split second.

And when a job goes bad, people die.

Suspended from working as a tax collector in her draconic family’s protection racket, Dakota is assigned a secret mission from her grandfather. A foreign queen has offered a grave insult to Dakota’s grandfather by running a vampire dinner cruise off the coast of the Mabiian Islands, and his retribution must be swift.

Yet, when Dakota infiltrates the ship ‘Crimson Sunset’, nothing is at it seems. In a split second, not only is Dakota in deathly peril, all of New Anglo is on the road to war.

About the Author:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.




Author Website: http://ritastradling.wixsite.com/rita-stradling-books

“Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals” Reveal!

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Konnichiwa minna-san! I apologize for my lack of updates on here! A lot of things have been going on in my life, keeping me away.  I will explain all of this in my next massive blog update, which I will do every soon, but for now, I am so happy to announce the LONG awaited cover, release date, and blurb reveal for my newest book and my latest in the “Spirit Vision” series: “The Power of Mortals!”

The art is once again done by my fabulous artist, Suzy Zhang AKA Cherriyuki!


Release date:

October 21st, 2016!

Just in time for Halloween! 😀


WARNING: This IS the third book in the series, so there may be some slight spoilers. Also, book #2 DID end in a cliff hanger!

“You are the beacon of the Lord’s two worlds, but how can you protect them when you have lost your shining light?

When Stary Moon, the Spirit Warrior, awakes on the lunchroom floor of her school, battered and bloodied, she cannot recollect how she came to such a state.

Stary ignores the concerns of her best friends, Chloe, Rin, and Lauren, and continues to go on with her life, but no matter how normal her days and Spirit Warrior duties are, she feels a lingering sorrow like someone is missing from her life.   Her friends discover some shocking truths about Stary and realize they’re the only ones who remembers Umbra—Stary’s boyfriend who has mysteriously gone missing. Stary’s universe crashes around her and the fate of the world rests on her shoulders. Her objective is clear, but when she leaves on this mission, there is no turning back, and she will lose one of her worlds—the mortal world of her family and friends, or the spiritual world of her duty and missing someone, for good.  Still, Stary has a point to prove to this dark presence that is threatening to consume the planet: there is power from those one least expects, and Stary is prepared to risk everything on this claim.”

Comes with a bonus short story that can ONLY be read in “Spirit Vision 3!”


Sneak-Peek of “Spirit Vision 3:”


A word from a Mortal who is Immortal

“Have you ever considered giving up your life for another? A stranger or loved one?  I know we all say ‘Of course,’ but when that final second ticks and the fires are blazing, do we honestly know how we will act?  Saying and doing are entirely different.

“I know it hurts to die with all the confusion, the regret, the pain.  I also know it’s just as agonizing to be left behind, the movie playing the same horrific second over and over.  You can’t rewind; you can never go back.  And your fast forward button is broken until you find the will to fix it.

“You love with all of you.  It’s buried deep, like treasure.  That’s why when your love is gone, the knife wound fits too nicely in the space.  But, I would never give up my life.  It’s a sacred gift I only receive once.  I would struggle for my love’s life, but never lose it, because, if I died instead of him, the shock would destroy him body and soul.  He would be stuck with that guilt and broken remote.  I could never do that to him.

“All those classic couples who assume killing themselves would cure the pain when they lose their loves, like Romeo and Juliet or Pyramus and Thisbe. What a waste!  What terrible role models for unselfish love!   Heaven is always open; I should know.  Your love will wait for you, as painful as it is. Life is a gift to handle with care.  Yet, I understand it’s hard to be a ghost in a living body.

“There is no real winner, but regardless, I will never give up my life.  At least, that’s what I thought.”

Chapter 1

 The One who Watches from Above

If I have to wait for Lauren for another second, I’ll go bald!”

Sophomore Chloe Dew grunted this loudly in her skull, examining the spilt ends of her blond, wavy locks.  What disgusted her most was that her constant tugging on her strands were the cause of her new split ends. She balled a length of her hair in her fist, tangling it and squeezing it for dear life, damaging it, but it was better than chewing on it like a toddler like she was yearning to do.

The young maiden’s nerves were shot, a rocket with no fuel.  Her mind began to wander, spin in a cycle of unease as she recalled the events that led to this crashing position.  The previous day, she had found her best friend of two years, Stary Moon, sprawled face down on the floor, her body having tiny prickle holes like she was a pincushion, blood lazily springing out of each mark.  Stary’s sock was dyed in crimson, stained with her own blood.  Chloe shuttered at this section of the flashback, rubbing her hands over her bare arms to control the chilling goosebumps. The sight of blood had always made Chloe ill and now, allowing more captured moments to be glued.

She swallowed, allowing more pictures, captured moments, to be glued to the scrapbook of her mind.  Chloe was lucky her friends, Rin Fortune and Lauren Flower, had found Stary. Rin had a unique sensitivity to the vibrations around her and in nature. At times, this included people and beings from the other world, although her abilities were not nearly as sharp.  A pull from the air had called to Rin, one with such a driving force that she grabbed their strong and dependable, always sensible friend Lauren with her, clawing her wrist in the process.

Chloe whimpered in her hair, stirring the faint scent of her Strawberries and Cream shampoo, “Rin is so rough and gruff.  If she was going that mad, if she was that concerned about Stary’s well-being…Then what choice do Lauren and I have other than to believe her now?” In the past, it was Stary who believed Rin about her powers; Chloe and Lauren were not for it or against it, just…cautious to believe anything.  But now, things have changed.


Sneak-Peek of the bonus story:

“Ya’ don’t believe me, huh, Missy Spirit Warrior?” His eyes slanted in a cocky challenge as his smirk became that of a character with all his move sets maxed out. He pointed to himself, reminding me too much of Axel, a character’s personality I had memorized.

“Look at my skin. Go ahead!” He got right up close and personal, humming Darth Vader’s march after his dare with a boyish, closed smile, acting like we were just two friends conversing.

Why do I always get the kooky ones?

I tip-toed a few inches back so I could get a good look of his face. As his large eyes blinked, sweet eagerness and determination in their flecks of gray and gold, I noticed something embedded in his flesh. All spirits looked human, but, in the right light, they were as white as a sheet with a slick appearance to their skin, looking like a true depiction of a floating cadaver. It’s eerie and harsh. Yet, most of the time, they look like themselves, but with an their aura outlined around them. It’s like a very well-crafted hologram.

Yet, his skin had another layer- little, near microscopic, squares of peach that laid on his flesh. I had to squint to see their outline, but when I leaned my head back, all I saw was him. It was like a piece of art that makes one giant picture, when, in reality, when you were right in front of it, you saw it was composed of multiple tiny shapes and designs. Mr. Sheep made us do one of those a few weeks ago in Art II:

Pixel art.




On my social medias, I will be posting 13 quotes randomly in “Spirit Vision 3” (the main story and the bonus) to wet your appetites on the story!

ALSO, I will be running a blog tour for “Spirit Vision 3” very soon! More details on that.  If you are a book site or blog and are interested in being a stop, send me a message! 😀


MAJOR THANKS to my Beta Readers/editors: Morgan W, Casey, Dan Wright, Danny B, and Kate Dillon; this would not have happened without you! To my formatter and guru, Sheenah, who also made the amazing banner. Suzy for making Stary come to life once more (can’t wait for you guys to see the BACK too; stunning!) My family, friends, students, and fans for all the inquiries and support to show they care. Here’s to the next chapter in Stary’s adventure!

Until next time! Stay smitten, kittens! 😀

Top 15 Cardcaptor Sakura outfits (Sakura’s) (Top Ten #55):

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To celebrate Max-Con this weekend, I wanted to do a top list that showed off my love for anime and costumes and this was it! 😀 Here are my top 15 favorite battle costumes of the heroine from my favorite anime and manga by CLAMP, Cardcaptor Sakura.  Enjoy! ^_^

I pictures are in order below from the list.  I would spend HOURS in middle school re-drawing these outfits to perfection and making my own designs, aspired by Tomoyo.  🙂  I even cosplayed (closet) as the first one, the blue court jester! No one knew who I was, but I had a good time doing it nonetheless. Thanks for all the memories! <3

Top 15 Cardcaptor Sakura outfits (Sakura’s):

  1. Blue Court Jester (Episode 3, for the watery card)
  2. Movie 2 Pink Battle Costume
  3. Season 2 Opening Outfit- Yellow Winged Crown
  4. The Movie 2 Blue Star Outfit (opening film)
  5. The Return Star Costume (Episodes 68 and 69 for the final Sakura Cards transformation)
  6. Gray Star Costume (Season 3, episode 50)
  7. The Prince Costume (Season 2, episode 42, for the Sleeping Beauty play and Light and Dark cards)
  8. The Pink and Blue star costume (Season 3, episode 59)
  9. Chapters 42-46 in the mange Pink Star Dream outfit (for final Sakura card transformations)
  10. Blue Leotard with Red Cape (episode 2, for the shadow card)
  11. The Winged costume (episode 31, for the create and big card)
  12. The Cool Outfit (season 3, episode 58)
  13. Pink sakura yukata (episode 18, for the glow card)
  14. The Song Costume (Episode 23, for the Song card)
  15. Yellow Fairy with wings (episode 12, for the time card)





costume pic17











Top Ten CLAMP Couples (Top Ten #54)

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CLAMP is so near to my heart and it embedded itself into my cells, flows through my veins, and allows my soul to speak.  My first manga was Cardcaptor Sakura and their manga-ka? CLAMP.  I have never looked back, willingly going the rabbit hole into their Wonderland of deep thinking stories, stunning artwork/costume design, endearing characters, and cultural references. They are a HUGE reason I am such the otaku I am today, the true me I was born to be and the ladies of CLAMP my angel guides. Thank you! <3

Romance is a large part of the CLAMP Universe.  All these couples are either CANNON OR heavily hinted in the manga or anime! The girls are listed first.

Here are my Top Ten CLAMP couples:

#1. Sakura and Syaoran Cardcaptor Sakura AND Tsubasa: Reservior Chronicles







#2. Chi and Hedeki- Chobits




#3. Utako and Akira- Man of Many Faces AND CLAMP School Detectives






#4. Nagisa and Suoh- CLAMP School Detectives






#5. Fuu and Ferio- Magic Knights: Rayearth







#6. Suishou and Iorogi- Kobato







#7. Nadeshiko and Fujitaka Kinomoto- Cardcaptor Sakura






#8. Hikaru and Lantis- Magic Knights: Rayearth







#9. Princess Tomoyo and Kurogane- Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles






#10. Kobato and Fujimoto- Kobtao


Honorable Mentions (there are several):

*Okay, so the work Angelic Layer has four student characters: Misaki (the main character), Tamayo (her best friend), Kotaro (the boy-next-door type that is friends with our two elementary ladies), and Ohjiro (A high school student who excels at Angelic Layer).  In the manga, Misaki gets with her sweet classmate Kotaro (who REALLY likes her) and Tamayo with Ohjiro, BUT! In the ANIME, they switch partners: Ohjiro confesses his love to our main lady, Misaki, and the tomboy Tamayo reveals she has loved her childhood friend, Kotaro, forever, confusing him, but he DOES pick her (sorry; spoilers!) Both of these couples are TECHINALLY cannon, but I can’t decide which match-up I like the best, SO, that is why, in good faith, I could not put them on the list, BUT! I really do LOVE all four couple possibilities listed here!


  • Chun Hyang and Mong Ryong- The Legend of Chun Hyang
  • All 12 couples in “The One I Love…;” a collection of seven page manga stories, each with a different love topic.
  • Toya and Yukito- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Kaho and Eriol- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Yuuko and Clow Reed- Tsubasa Reservior Chronicles
  • Terada-sensei and Rika- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Chiharu and Yamazaki- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Shimizu-sensei and Shinbo- Chobits
  • Yuzuki and Minoru- Chobits
  • Yumi and Ueda- Chobits
  • Dita and Zima- Chobits
  • Emeraude and Zagato- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Caldina and Lafarga- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Lady Aska and Sanyun- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Kohaku and Shuichiro- Wish
  • Hisui and Kokuyo- Wish
  • Hinata and Shiro- Suki
  • Kotori and Kamui- X/1999
  • Sorata and Arashi- X/1999
  • Yuzuriha and Kusanagi- X/1999
  • Hana and Chikahito- Gate 7
  • Zashiki-warashi and Watanuki- xxxholic

Pairings I think really SHOULD happen (in order):

  • Umi and Ascot- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Mako and Nokaru- Man of Many Faces and CLAMP School Detectives (both in the CLAMP school universe)
  • Primera and Clef- Magic Knights- Rayearth
  • Himawari and Dōmeki- xxxholic
  • Eagle Vision and Geo- Magic Knights- Rayearth
  • Tachibana and Sakura-san- Gate 7



Sun Setting on Summer, but it’s the Dawn of the Black Cat!

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more48Weather: It either is super muggy and over 90 degrees or random rain sprinkles to buckets!

Working on: Finishing Spirit Vision 3 beta reads and second edits, a little writing on other projects, but mostly, getting my classroom and lesson plans for my first teaching job ready! 🙂

Currently Watching: I JUST finished all my animes for the summer, and more! WOOT! ^_^ When I am working on paperwork, I have been watching Animantics on Netflicks.

Currently Reading: “A Thousand Pieces of You,” by Claudia Gray. This one and ONE more to meet my 10 books before August 15th. Happy I made my manga and anime goal this summer. ^_^

Currently Playing: I haven’t touched my Gameboy 3-DS since Cosplacon.  Too busy! >.<  I DID pre-order Pokémon Moon! 🙂

Wallpaper: The girls of School Rumble playing on the beach!

Icon: This is where Romeo and Juliet met in the anime series, Romeo X Juliet. Oh my gosh! It’s so stunning, breathtaking, exciting, and dramatic! I wanted to put this here to celebrate finishing my animes I wanted to this summer, my writing, and my Teen Academy Writers Workshop class.  🙂

Quote: “A Book is a Dream you Hold in Your Hands.”

Yo-yo my amigos! Let’s walk the dog, and go around the world, spreading the joys of friendship, cheese, and Pokémon Go! 🙂  First off, I want to say a very special: Happy 36th Birthday to my older brother, Jon! Thanks for being my shoulders of strength, support, and love.  <3 This picture if from my wedding five years ago. ^o^


 “WWPPP: World of Writing, Publishing, Promotions, and Paper Crane List!” ^-^


#1. July 1st is Indie Pride Day.  This year, I celebrated it for the second year as an author, with amazing people!  I got to have another Girl’s Writing Day with Morgan W and Kate (our sixth one together).  They were such an incredible support for me, posting, tweeting, entering my contests, taking great pictures (including some with Morgan’s adorable puppies)! Kate even WON the giveaway of two FREE e-books and my new latest bookmarks early randomly out of 30+ entries! You go girl! I was able to get over 3,000 (10 pages) finished that I needed to get added to “Spirit Vision 3” before starting second edits/beta reads.  Morgan’s wonderful hubby made us homemade pizza and bread sticks and we got to play random songs each to inspire the group, mostly 90’s and Disney jams, ending in three teachers belting out “Let it Go!” What a fun way for me to spend Indie Writing Day! =D


On top of all of this, I hosted a giveaway, shared my “Spirit Vision 3” YouTube playlists, updated my social medias often, marked down “Spirit Vision 2” to $10 (and that helped with sales and rankings), chatted with other authors celebrating on the Indie Books be Seen page that is in charge of making this gala event, got a new picture of all my current works (with Socks posing, of coarse), and a long post that has excerpts from ALL FOUR of my published works AND snippets from my TWO SOON TO BE RELEASED PROJECTS: “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals,” and “Code: H & B.”


To check out my blog post for Indie Pride Day, 2016, with all six excerpts, go here, friends! 

#2. “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals” are now halfway done with their second edits and beta reads! 😀 The front cover is finished and soon, the blurb with its back cover! Other than edits and beta reads to prepare it for formatting then marketing release in late October, I have to write the glossary in the back and my thank you’s and dedication.  Slowly, we are getting closer to the light at the end of the publication tunnel on this overly long road trip.

I got some good work on my project “H & B” after a while away from it, this last week. I would like it to be released in late Spring/early summer 2017. However, I have to write about six more pages (it is almost on 29, single spaced currently), so I can reveal it for Max-Con since one of the co-goers last year won my create a character contest.  ^-^  I have read it a few times, working out simple edits.  I shared it with only six people so far (just reading snippets) and so far, the listeners are getting into it! That is a reassuring sign for me, since this is a different type of work for me than YA paranormal.  =D


#3. About a month ago, I did a full review on Cosplacon 2016, from all the roller coaster crazy and awesome.  Find out about our cosplays, Tabby and Brown’s skit win, how I joined a cosplay group, and much more, with pictures! Thanks for another year, Cosplacon and Rodney! ^_^ Learn all my review of Cosplacon 2016 about it here.

I also filmed the Welcome to Cosplacon panel, Iron Cosplay, Opening Ceremony, Skit Competition, Cosplay Royale, and the Brass Engine Steampunk Shoot-out on my Youtube. 

#4. I have had a lot of epic Top Tens since my last major June update! My 50th Top Ten was to honor a great show: My Top 20 Favorite R.W.B.Y. Characters.  Also, during July, since I am always because with College for Kids, I set-up three Pokémon Top Tens.  This year, I did: Top Ten Favorite Pokémon Types, Top 15 Favorite “Other” Types of Pokémon, AND Top Ten Pokémon that Don’t FEEL Like Pokémon to Me.

#5. In June, I had my friend Katy Runyon as my 28th Aspiring Author Spotlight!  Read her interview and a sample of one of her marvelous fanfictions here! ^_^


#6. For my July Author’s Gold (A.U- Authors Unite) segment, I had the honor of being a book blog tour spot for Mrs. Coral Walker and her latest work, “Children of Swan.”  We were gifted with an interview, a guest post, a giveaway link, an excerpt of her work, and more! It was a grand pleasure! Thank you, Mrs. Walker.

#7. My best author buddy and channel mate, Dan Wright, re-released the first book in his “Trapped in Draconica” series.  He had a very busy and success book blog tour and I sadly did not get a spot although I signed-up! Mr. Popular! >.< So, at the tail end of his tour, he graced us with a excerpt.  It was quite fun!

Last week, Dan re-released the SECOND book in his “Trapped in Draconica” series- ” Legacy of the Dragonkin.”  The covers are GORGOUS! Get a look at the cover, the blurb, and more information on this glorious fantasy series on Dan’s website.

Yesterday was also Dan’s Birthday! Hope it was as jolly and incredible in every way as you, mate! ;D


#8. Dan and I have a Youtube Channel together, Moon Panda Power. Sadly, we have both been exceedingly busy this summer, but we have released on Top Five (with honorable mentions) animes for EACH of us (split into four videos) and, our most recent video, Top 5 Head-Scratchers in Power Rangers (but, that we still love).  <3 You can check them all out on the Moon Panda Power Youtube channel, along with the videos from our “Disney Couples: Reshuffled” competition in March, a Disney song challenge, and voice acting we have done. =) More to come!

#9. We are still on the search for a narrator for “Spirit Vision!” If you are or know anyone who has experience or a talent for voice acting/narration, please contact me at mescomnick@hotmail.com for information. We really want to bring “Spirit Vision” verbally to life so bad.


#10. September 10th and 11th, I will be heading to Max-Con in my town, its and my second year, to be their Author Guest.  ^_^ I am so pumped! I will be doing one or two writing panels, having my colorful, rockin’ table to sell my books and products, sign things, and meet epic peeps, hosting a Pokémon Quiz Show with my special helpers Deadpool, Mrs. Eevee, and Sailor Mars, along with some other friends I am sure, cosplaying for fun, watching the Cosplay contest, and just having a blast! I am really looking forward to it! If you are in the area, come stop by!

#11: I added TWO new links to my “Links” page: one is of aspiring local author, Sherri Lynn Howard, and my cool school counselor from the elementary I worked at last year, Nathan Perkins, who wrote a book of his experiences. ^_^

#12. In addition, I updated my “To Be a Nerdy Otaku,” page with the recent mange and anime I have read/watched over the summer and how I rated them. Sadly, I only had one anime I liked, and I am not that picky or critical! >.<


#13. This is the second year now I have taught my writing workshop class for students going into 7th to 9th grade, held at our MAC campus under Teen Academy.  I had four students in my class this year, three girls and my first boy, and I knew all of them from Farmington middle school!


The format was like last year’s, with creative morning journals and fun writing warm ups, acting out four scenes from plays or books (a children’s version of “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Goose Girl,” my modern version of “Hamlet,” that is published now in “Fallen Star Dust,” and a scene from chapter 11 of “Spirit Vision.”  Yes, we had props, and yes, my students wanted to gender bend for some reason!), touring the library, interviewing me and writing an interview about me, discussing muses of writing in the formats of poems, children’s literature, short stories, fairy tales (and learning the ten most creepy original tellings of them), then Mark Twain and Shakespeare, listening to my stories, notes and discussions on parts of writing/stories, characters, story elements, and genre and publication of course! I really enjoyed on top of all of this when we did our pass the story activity, they made their acrostic poems with their names collage artwork, and our search for the authors around the room games, and our quiz show on Friday for review!


We also nerded out about anime, manga, and other geeky culture.  Oh! AND we wrote, edited, and shared our own works.  They seemed to like to watch me with my beta reads and edits, ha! Plus, we discussed Pokémon Go since I got it the last three days of class.  This was such a goofy and talented group of young people.  I look forward to all the amazingness they will show the world.  Although, they did dance during our bathroom breaks more than I have ever seen of children! >.< I look forward to Writing Workshop at MAC next year as well.


Their favorite things to talk quote that I taught them were:

  • “I received a hurt,” were the final words of the servant in “King Leer,”
  • That Mark Twain was the original, “Oh snap! Did he just say that,” and doesn’t give a d-word about what other people think of him with his white suit.
  • That Washington Irving had some of the best pennames ever with his trickster nature. Our favorite was Diedrich Knickerbocker.


Rewind! Want to read about Cape Comic Con with Deadpool in April, my five year anniversary trip with Derrick, my new job, four book signing events, RWBY movie theater showing, how the Poke Crew celebrated the start of summer with water balloons and more?  Check out my late May/early June MAJOR blog update.

Updates for:

  • Facebook- My Likes are still in the early 200’s, but I have reached a lot more traffic with my random Pokemon fun posts!
  • Pinterest- I am now up to 613 followers! Boo-yah! 😀
  • E-bay- I have sold 7 or 8 mangas this summer through E-bay, which is EPIC!
  • Goodreads- I have updated with the summer books I have read if you want to stay current.
  • Don’t forget to please check-out my Twitter and Youtube as well. ^_^


My “Normal Life:”


=August 10th starts my first official meeting as a Fredericktown black cat! I have been in my classroom three times now. The first time, my dad and I were going to spray paint my metal desk (which is in the basement of the school) purple with silver stars and moons, but it started raining like crazy when we were at the Wal-mart after purchasing paint and looking at shelves I may want for my room.  A stop sign lost a bolt and was spinning! We had to park our cars for a half hour and wait out the storm.  Across the highway from me, I saw a long, bright, pale pink streak of lightning.  The wind was insane! In fact, when I went back home that afternoon, so many trees were down! It took over a week to get it all clear.  We were lucky we did not get any major damage by our place.


So, yeah, dad and I did not get to spray paint my desk, but we got my chairs and tables situated.  He finally gave me a town of the college outreach center he teaches at there.  🙂  It was a very nice building.  I have also been there to put most of my wall items up, organize through the files the last teacher had left behind, met a wonderful teacher at the other elementary building who not only helped me with curriculum and standards, but donated a large stack of books to my classroom and school! ^_^ I also dropped off my supply lists for my classroom (using my budget) to the board office and read over all my handbooks (usually at my house while watching Animantics on Netflicks, ha!).  So, we are getting there! I will have more official images of it once I get my room finished.


I am looking forward to this new adventure, but, I am still admittedly nervous.  I want to do the best I can for these kids and I have not got to work on lesson plans much since the state education standards are changing. Me, being a planner, is exceedingly not thrilled by this! >.<


= This is my seventh year teaching at my local college for their College for Kids program! I only had three classes make, which is a bummer money wise, but it was a little less stressful than the ten I had last year! >.<  I had “Babysitting Basics” and “Percy Jackson 101” the first week and “Pokémon” my second week, first thing, allowing me to do school work after class.


For Babysitting, I had 12 eager students like normal, 11 girls and my first boy in five years.  ^_^ We had a good time.  They especially giggled at how I acted like a temperamental toddler, when they fought like siblings, and, of coarse, playing with our special guests.  We had 9 kids total come in this year, all ages of 11 weeks to 5 years-old, and some siblings, seeing that dynamitic.   Our guests were so darling and we had so much fun and I had five great friends bring them in, explaining how to take care of students so well.


We had a fairly easy time with our business cards *knock on wood*.  Normally, we have a whole bunch of disasters, but this time, most of them got close to saving and finishing it. ^_^


We spiced up our graduation ceremony with the actual formal graduation song playing. Their large smiles when they went to get their official from the college certificates, shaking my hand, posing for a picture, and getting a Hershey’s kiss.  We took two fun group photos afterwards, but I always ask/demand to them that I have to have a hug or high-five before they leave.  Usually, I get 85% hugs and 15% high-fives, but this time, I got 100% hugs! 😀 It made me feel good! They also did an incredible job with CPR and first-aid training!


I also had one of my best and first students, 16 now, come in to tell of her experiences of babysitting and some of the things I taught her. She kept praising me and asking if she could be little again to take my classes again. >.<  I felt so special having her return. This group is going far.


“Percy Jackson’s Mythology 101” was as epic as ever! Anyone who knows me know how obsessed I am with this series and Greek mythology in general! We made four new/updated games this year: one for the hippocampus and Kraken, one Ares, one for Aphrodite and one for Iris (who I ACTUALLY had two female students want to be her daughter, which was cool beans), and they turned out really well. I had two of the students I have had for six years now be my helpers in both classes that week and they helped me immensely getting things prepped for my classes, during class (especially explaining how our beloved Greek lore and games worked. They really liked playing the monsters too on Quest Day, fighting and dying dramatically ^_-), and being good company.

They even gave me a cherry blossom glass pen for when they went to Washington D.C. in April to see them bloom, thinking of me! xD Watching these ladies grow up, telling me I was apart of that, made it hard to say good-bye that Friday (they are now too old to be my students, but they could be my helpers).  I was happy to give them a thank you gift, along with other three fantastic high school helpers (I have taught four of the five for years now. I’m old, but a proud teacher).  And, don’t worry girls; we will TRY not to have another s’more disaster like this year.  *Falls on knees and screams to the sky overdramatically* “Proque?!”

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Back to Greeks! The students really had a blast, telling everyone how epic our class was. The younger students watched us sword fight on Tuesday before we left for the day, in awe, as my boss, Ms. Pam, told them, “One day, when you get bigger, you guys can take this class, Percy Jackson’s Mythology, and sword fight.” They were so pumped talking to me later, some even telling me their goal was to take my class and my Pokémon on.  ^_^ Our Quest day was as awesome as usual and we had some pretty neato ideas for weapons.


When we left for the last time that Friday, we thrust our weapons in the air with pride, shouting “Demigods!” with a war-cry glee.  The little guys were in front of us and confused, one asked Ms. Pam, “Why are those kids shouting ‘dipping dots?'”  I lost it later! We also posed and did our yell one more time for the parents outside, some filming it. Hey, Percy gets me pumped in every cell! What can I say! DEMIGODS!


The second week, I taught Pokémon.  I had to update several of the lessons because I had shorter lessons in this class, the most students I have ever had in this class (10), and they are ALWAYS updating Pokémon, so I wanted to be current. Of course, that’s not hard since I sort of live and breath Pocket Monsters, to all who know me. 😉  This group ranged in knowledge and format and had a lot of energy, but man! They were messy! -_-;;  Still, after a chat, we got things surfing nicely again.  I tweaked the format of the Subtraction Dice game I made-up for them to play, like they have their own team of 6, each attach actually measuring close to their in games strength, the 4 roll always an attack that causes a special condition.  This on top of knowing typing strength and weakness adjustments, capturing, and battling rules. It was a tad more complex than I thought, but I modeled a mock battle and capture that first day and they got it quickly, correcting me twice when I made a mistake on accident.  😉  They sure took their time too creating their Pokémon! Coloring perfectionists.


They did like my Pokémon Gotta Dance short, but not as much as most classes in the past (I still adored it).  I was just happy this group knew a good number of the generation one Pokémon thanks to Pokémon Go and season 1 being on Netflix! They also made adorable psyduck and Pikachu hats they really enjoyed showing off.  I did admire how gently and respectfully they treated my original toys from back in 1999 to 2001, like they were treasures to them too. They were so careful looking and touching them and kept thanking me for bringing in these time treasures. This warmed my hearts! So did the fact I had one boy who did the Team Rocket original motto with me in a funny voice, his James to match my Jesse! HA! We trained. We captured. We showed we are the best, like no one ever was!


I look forward to my eighth year of College for Kids in the summer 2017! 😀 I hope I at least made some good memories for these kiddos. <3


=On June 14th, at my public library, I helped ran their first anime hangout for teens! The staff was so nice and it was a blast showing off my Umi cosplay a few days before Cosplacon.  We were expecting maybe 6 or 8 teens, but we had 21! It did my otaku heart an incredible service to start these young people off right in their nerdy path! 😉  We made candy sushi, played/taught others the Pokémon TCG (I even taught a junior and senior in high school.  I also passed out flyers for my event in June and three of my boys came from the anime night with their families). The boys playing Pokémon kept calling me sensei and thought it was funny I was sarcastic. 😉 One was bound to battle me, even betting his friend he would if he won their match, the winner got to battle me. I love how I wasn’t consulted about this. Well, I did beat that kid…in three turns, with two Girafarigs.  HA! They awoke the champ and tasted my psychic blasts! 😉 We also were playing “Spirited Away,” showing off the new manga, drawing books, and anime movies the library got this summer along with the drawing manga books and manga I had for them to borrow.  Some students drew and I got some fan art and fun pictures.  It was a fantastic, outreach event and I know the library is interested in doing it again! I had several people my age or even older wanting one of these FOR ADULTS with lots of cosplay! HA! =D Here’s hoping!


= Mom took Miles and I to a drive-in movie.  I sadly was not feeling well due to my hernia and it was raining, but I was able to see Tim Burton’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”  It was much better than I thought it would be! Civil War was after that, but I was so tired, so I fell asleep in the back of the SUV while that one was playing.  Miles really loved it though.  We did not get home until after midnight! Still, the drive-in is always a summer treat for me. ^_^


Derrick and I have seen three movies so far this summer: “Finding Dory,” “Ice Age 5,” and “Central Intelligence.”  I got sick at the end of Finding Dory, so I missed the last ten minutes, but it was cute.  Not really usual Pixar gold in my mind.  It was fast moving in the start, but then it got dull and the humor was sort of flat.  So, not my favorite Pixar film, but Ellen is still grand.  Ice Age 5 was predictable, but still cute.  They have a good formula for those films.  Derrick laughed at one point so loud he had to cover his mouth for several breathes! Our favorite, BY FAR, was “Central Intelligence,” with Kevin Hart and The Rock! Surely rated R, but it was action packed humor and seeing the Rock as THE DORK was a riot! We have dubbed we are going to buy it the DAY it comes out! That’s rare for us.  We were rolling the whole time in our seats! So good!

I really wanted to see “B.F.G,” but it never came to my town. 🙁  I thought that “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” looked funny, but I think I mostly want to see it for I love Zac Efron! I’m SO bummed “Me Before You,” never came to my town either! GRRR! I know Derrick, my brother, and dad will die to see the new “Star Trek” film, and I will be taking him to the remake of “Pete’s Dragon,” since that was one of his favorite films as a boy. ^_^


=Country Days, my town’s annual summer fair, was the first weekend in June. We went with our besties, Evan, Brown, and Tabby.  Derrick and I had some good potato twisters with cheese and Evan got to eat beef for the last time in a while (I will explain that below).  There sadly were no rides we wanted to get on, but there were a lot of games! Derrick and Evan won me a silver, deformed tiger plush, a red star balloon that I still have, a blue bear, and a blue hedgehog.  The games were great (and pricey).  It is always wonderful to be with my friends and see others from my town in a fun way.  The highlight, however, was when Evan played the Win a Fish game. The goal is to buy so many Ping-Pong balls and if one gets inside an empty fish bowl in the middle, it earns you a fish.  Evan and Derrick got 50 each (they always like to compete at this game). Evan asked the young worker if there were any rules for how to throw the balls. She said no and barely turned her back before he threw the WHOLE CONTAINER OF THEM AT ONCE! o.0  The worker ducked, her eyes alarmed, as the older one by the fish tank sighed. But, Evan won 4 fish that way! HA! =D Tabby got them for her fish tank! It was the best!

= I have had a few doctor’s appointments in May and June.  I had to have a HIDA and ultrasound to check my gallbladder.  The results were mostly on the normal range.  I still need to have an official conference with the specialist about it, but that was good to hear. Although, I was there for three hours, for two having to have them inject radioactive dye into my veins and I had to lay still for 65 minutes, only able to barely move my head and feet. And the bed was super thin, so I had to good place for my arms! >.< I tried to fall asleep a few times, but every time I was almost there, they would open the metal door to check on me. *sighs*


On the next day, June 23rd, I had my first experience of going under, a scope, again, to check for anything abnormal in my hernia or digestive track. I was really nervous and hated how much I had to pay upfront, but the staff was super kind (one of them a classmate I have known since Intermediate school).  Derrick and dad were good, waiting in the lobby for me and mom and grandma kept checking on me once I got home. I know when they finally rolled me back and prepped me, I giggled my nerves as they put the mask on me.  I rolled on my side like told, and then, someone was shaking my shoulder lightly! That’s all I recall! 0.o I did feel very refreshed afterwards and downed some apple juice. I did dream though, of Pokémon battles, in the style of the handheld games! HA! Again, my results were good/normal. I DO, however, thanks to blood work, have a blood condition that means I am prone to blood clots, BUT, from my mom, I also have a rare for girls bleeding disorder meaning it is very hard for me to clot at times! >.<  My blood is so confused…or bipolar… -_-;;


So, Evan! Evan had to have his gallbladder out a few weeks before all my testing.  He has had issues with is for a while, but he randomly had gallstones at work and he almost passed out from pain! Luckily, he works at the front desk of the ER.  He had it taken out the next week.  I came and waited for him with his parents and grandma.  I know he was really queasy after he woke up and super hot. My hands were icy from the chilly hallway.  He grabbed them and put them on his face, sighing in relief and then yanking me downward to get in the bed with him! HA! You can tell we have been best friends for too long because his parents did not bat an eye. I got him a large sea turtle plushie at the gift shop to make him feel better, because he likes Crush from “Finding Nemo.” Derrick and I checked on him at his house two days later and hung out with him a while.  After my scope, he did get me a hamburger telephone like our beloved movie, Juno! =D Bestie achievement unlocked!


= Our June Pokémon Event was a blast! We had a really good turn-out, lots of new friends mixed with our regulars, and all in different ages! We also got to welcome a new Poke Crew member: Mr. Anthony.  Anthony and his oldest son have been coming to our events for a while and we were co-workers for two years at FMS.  He’s a cool guy and it was intense match, but his Dragonite half art had a special ability that gave him the win he totally earned! I love how glorious my battles are! ^_^ He was pumped that he won and wore his lucky crown the rest of the event. He has now joined our ranks as an official Poke Crew member! =)


August 13th will be our big end of summer event: “The Professors are Taking you Back to School Event!” We are all dressing up as Pokémon Professors or looking super smart sharp, named after trees to keep with the professor theme. 😉 Julie is making her famous peanut pies and chocolate chip cookies for treats.  We will have random quiz questions that the Crew has to ask their opponents when I honk my horn and the trainer who gets the most points gets a prize. We will have some raffles, one being a homemade Pokémon plushie by our own Annihilator, and Julie is making an epic poster of all the in-game professors!  The Crew will be hanging out afterwards. We will need it! 😉


=On July 3rd, Tabby, Alesha, Derrick, Nathan C (Fabio), later Evan, and I all went to my in-laws (Derrick and Nathan’s parents) to have another great BBQ, this time for Fourth of July, drown the heat out with ridged ruffles and ranch dip before the meat was served! We played a new card game that Brown (who had to work all night at his new job) bought, a game like Cards Against Humanity, but made from the beloved Rooster Teeth (the creators of R.W.B.Y), so, yeah, it is 18+ in content.  You point is that one person is the judge and all the topics start with, “For a million dollars, ____________, but ____________ happens.”  Such as, For a million dollars, every time I hear a horn honk, I have to pee my pants in public.” The judge picks which one is the WORST, the one they FOR SURE would never do for a million dollars. That person wins.  From there, the person with either three or five wins is the winner. It was really fun! ^_^

We also, between Derrick and Nathan C, had lots of fireworks (Derrick and I went shopping for fountains and large sparklers and such.  I also got a large sky lantern that ascended forever).  We only had one small fountain fall over and zig sparks in different directions, one above us and one by the tree. Tabby grabbed me by instinct to calm me down. I’m such a whip! Nothing was hurt. Evan and I were goofing with his umbrella too since it rained a lot before we went out when it was dusk.  It is always fun to spend the fourth with family and our friends! I hope we can keep this tradition forever. ^_^


=So, you know people will do anything for their best friends, no matter how insane? Well, I got to have one of those experiences a few Saturdays ago.  My buddy Andrew AKA Deadpool (he is also the inspiration for the character Drew, in “Spirit Vision 2: New Beginnings.”), called me up while I was teaching at College for Kids. I called him back later and I thought he wanted to go shopping. He really loves to bring out his Deadpool character with random props that make people laugh, such as my pink cupcake apron, a tutu, a suit and cane, and such.  I was able to go help a bit Saturday, his day off. Well, I went to his apartment and asked how I could help as we munched on D.Q.  He informed me that he didn’t need me to help him shop, like I first thought (although he did want to borrow some props still). No, he wanted to help me get the fuzzies out of his Deadpool costume and since is it is made of an pricey print material, there was only one way to do it…

I had to catch my friend on fire! 0.o


NO. JOKE! So, for 40 minutes, I had to take those portable fire starters that I use to light candles with at church, make sure the blue part of the flake hits the material (which is hard to do), do it is swift motions, and wait 2 long seconds before brushing it off.  We got a good chuck of the fuzzies off, considering how many stunts Andrew has done in that costume for his fans! Not a way I ever would have spent a few hours with my pal! >.< But, it went decently, except for one thing…

When Andrew had to get the fuzzies off of the…between the legs region of his costumes, I had to sit super close to him, let him put his long legs on mine for a footstool as I turned away so he could do his business.  I was odd to say the least, but then, I heard a blood curling scream.  I panicked, thinking he burned a very sensitive spot, but instead, I was graced with a hole the size of a dime or so between his legs. Yes, my buddy BURNT his crotch! Luckily, it was only the material, but he burnt even the thread attached to it away.  We just stared at each other, not sure to laugh or pass out from the weirdness!


Well, we had to call Tabby to see if she could mend it on top of asking if she could sew a lose button and had red markers to cover up a white stain under the nostril part of his Deadpool mask.  That was the hardest message I ever tried to leave on a voicemail because I was trying to stay calm and casual, but between me catching my breath awkwardly and Andrew screaming, “I burnt my crotch!” in an array of humorous voices, I was winning the gold medal in failing. While we waited for Tabby, we watched Animatics on Netflix, Andrew now getting me back into it and discussed Pokémon Go. Tabby was able to fix everything and we even went to my place for a bit so he could try on some of my attire to help with his host character for the Pokémon Quiz Show for Max-Con.  What. A. Day! xD


=My mother-in-law Jolleen was fantastic and got me a new phone last week, an I-Phone 6, with a pink Lifeproof case. We now have unlimited data too.  I was so grateful! They were also having a sale on a mini 8 inch tablet, so Derrick got us one, saying he’s always wanted one, but it was ours to share so I could do edits on them.  I have three times so far and it’s pretty nifty noodles and handy since we have to share my desktop.  She also took us out to a super yummy LATE lunch at Applebees across the parking lot. I am so lucky!

I do have Pokémon Go now since this phone could allow me to update apps (long story).  I am now on level 11, have walked 42.9 where I leave it on to track me, hatched 15 eggs, and have 53 Pokémon so far, all of this in 11 days.  Not horrible, I guess, but I also do not want to be obsessed with it. There are two Pokestops and a gym not too far from us. My students and random people who see my Pokémon purse from Cosplacon now think I am the bee’s knees because of Pokémon Go, just coming up to give my tips and shoot the Tatros about it. My mom wants to get into it for walking and my writing girls and I want to have a Pokémon Go Walk soon (we are all different teams and all only chose them because our husbands were threatening us, lol!) It is fun and I cannot wait for more updates AND SUN AND MOON! THE TRAILERS! So much is going down that I brain cannot process! >.<

I left my Team banner below for Pokémon Go. 😉


=I got to hang out with my good friends Yessenia, Joe, and their baby Joey, Yessenia awesome giving me some cute clothes she didn’t want anymore. Joey is SO precious! I taught him how give a raspberries by doing it over and over in his face and making him giggle between them with faces. Yessenia said she tried to get him to do that for two months! HA! Also, our organist at church (which is a Poke Stop and proud of it, ha! How I love thee!), her wonderful husband, and their four kiddos treated me to dinner at Colton’s two Sundays ago.  I was so blessed and it was wonderful to be surrounded by kind friends and three amazing little ones and a darling, sleepy baby. ^_^ They kept calling it “The Peanut Place” and wanted noodles.  I may have been kissed twice on my forearm…and had my hand licked a few times. Oh, precious children! ^_^


 I got to hang out with mom and Miles a few times too this summer. Once, we went antiquing and mom bought me basically a three week wardrobe for school and two stuffed animals for my classroom all at Goodwill. We had such a good time, going to Pasta House afterwards before she had to take a nap for an extra work shift that night. I got to be with my wonderful grandma too last Sunday. We listened to some recordings of me, Miles, and baby Colton growing up (I was eight) and I was acting like I was a little book worm, saying there were 30 letters in the Russian language (I was in an Anastasia/Russian high that year thanks to the Anastasia animated film. Actually, it’s never gone away…) and singing four songs about the planets that were for my second grade concert. I even recalled the chorus to one of them as we listened. Derrick found it all assuming while playing with Gerogie, my mom’s hyper dog. Next time, Grandma wants to show me a VHS tape of me in PRE-SCHOOL! Oh boy…

I DO get to see Ms. Mahan this coming Sunday. We are going to lunch at Pizza Hut so I can tell her all about my new job. I hope to see some other co-workers soon after school starts.  OH! I also had another sewing day on my cosplay with Tabby in late May. I just have to get some final details done for my first homemade cosplay and then I’m done. It does NOT look good by any means, but at least the materials were cute and I learned a lot from Tabby-sensei. It was a lot of hard work!


Socks is also doing well! She’s been sleeping by my side of the bed for a while now, against my Sunday school bag and clipboard. I read cats who like to sleep by their masters really love them. =^_^= I can’t believe she’s two now. She’s as adorable and playful as ever, but can be a stinker. I did find her toy mouse in her food one day and she did scratch my arm badly another time this last week because she had a random freak-out. But, other than that, she’s my baby girl and I love her so much! We’d be lost without her and everyone else thinks she’s so darling. I also know plushie Socks is ready to get her claws to be in her new Black cat classroom! 😉

Well peeps, it’s time to sign off. Next update will be about the start of my school year, Derrick’s birthday, Max-Con 2016, and “Spirit Vision 3.” And cheese! I have to include the cheese! 😀 Jump in a pool of ranch dip, hatch those Pokémon eggs, and give summer a high-five! Ado!



Tour Spot with Guest Post, Giveaway, Interview, and Excerpt from Coral Walker’s “Children of Swan.”

Aspiring Author Spotlight, NewsLeave a Comment


Interview with Ms. Walker, author of “Children of Swan:”

  1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing?- I grew up in a different world from the one I am living in now. I was born and raised in China. It was a rigid society then, where individuality was forbidden, and everyone was expected to be the same: loyal, obedient and dedicated to whatever they were asked to do. Being able to experience both worlds has been a privilege for me as an author, enabling me to see things I’d otherwise be blind to, and feel things I’d otherwise miss.      
  2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not?- The first story that I ever finished, that had more than one draft, and that I was sufficiently proud of to share, was a screenplay. It was based on a Japanese short story about a geisha and a policeman. I wrote it when I was a freshman studying Physics and sent it to a famous Chinese film director. He wrote back. “Thank you. Don’t give up. I’d love to see more of your screenplays.” That was all he wrote in that letter. I didn’t get the screenplay back and so lost it forever. But the words I received from the director had fueled the lamp.          
  3. What are you currently working on, writing wise?- I am current writing “Path to Love”, the second Children of Swan book. I am also reading widely in preparation for a historical romantic fiction, and plan to have a first draft done as soon as I get a chance.
  4. What is your favorite character you have ever created and why?- Jack Goodman in Children of Swan. As the main character, he dominates most of the story. As his creator, I am emotionally attached to him and feel for him. He isn’t a perfect character: a pushy teen butting his way through life when everything is simple and trouble-free, but who is overwhelmed and lost when the life he is used to is turned upside-down. He must learn to love and care through adversity.  
  5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later?- It is a kind of mixture of everything. I tend to write following a flow, but jump over whenever I get to a blockage. So a finished first draft is more of a honeycomb. In every draft after that I fill in some holes. When all the holes are filled and the story is smooth, I review the whole book with glue and scissors, and cut and rearrange the scenes and formalize the chapters.      
  6. What was your path like until you found writing?- It was when I changed my job from full time to part time that I finally started writing in earnest. It wasn’t that I suddenly found writing, but that I come to terms with who I am and decided to be that person.  All those years, I’ve never forgotten my ambition to write. Deep in my mind the plan was always that I’d make my parents happy, and then I would take a different path. But there is always another person I must please … I started off under an obligation to please my parents, specially my mother, who had an erroneous idea that her children must work in a scientific area. My father, a strong-minded man, supported her. But really I had no idea what I should be doing, so I studied Physics – thinking it was the basis of everything and I could switch to another subject if I found one later hat suited me better. As I transitioned from physics, to control engineering, to computer science, I hopped in and out of universities and obtained various degrees from BSc to PhD. I am still a computer scientist and a university lecturer and researcher.     
  7. How is your relationship with your publishing company?- I used CreateSpace and KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). They are huge, self-service publishing machines: fast, no-nonsense and relentlessly efficient.  
  8. Tell us about your covers.- I am an artist too, and enjoy in drawing and paintings. I designed the covers.
  9. What inspires you to write?- It could be anything. For the ‘Children of Swan’ book, it was my children. It isn’t a coincidence that I have three children, just like the Goodman family. A few years ago I was attending a novel-writing workshop and needed a story idea to pitch to the group. My mind was dominated at the time by the daily chaos wrought by my children. Loving them dearly, but disliking their constant sibling squabbles, I imagined they were missing and caring for each other, with their lives turned upside-down by adversity. That was how the story started. Since then it has grown a life of its own — the missing parents, the abducted young brother, and the perilous land of Taron where life is held cheap.  Nevertheless, it is a fiction. Once the writing switch is turned on, I am completely given over to storytelling. Would I want my children go through the suffering and life-and-death struggles of the Goodman children to learn the same valuable lessons? Well…no, but life can be capricious. The days that our children are sheltered under our wing are numbered. One day they will spread their own wings and fly off into the sky. By then I hope that, like the Goodman children in their fictional world, they will care for each other and be strong and resilient.          
  10. How do you get book reviews? I am still exploring the channels. Goodreads, Self-Publishing Review, Reading Deals are a few of the places that I have made use of so far. I also find potential reviewers from online searches and write to them in person.  
  11. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing?-  I am a newcomer to marketing and learning my way to be better. Marketing is currently the hardest thing among the three but this may very well change as I gain more experience.  
  12. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now?-  Hundreds, I guess.
  13. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author?- Why not, if we can work together and complement each other.
  14. What do you do to relax?- Reading, jogging, scooting, watching TV, having a hot bath.
  15. If you could tell your 14-year-old self one thing, what would it be?- “Don’t ever despair. You’ll marry a wonderful man called David, have three beautiful children, and become an author.”
  16. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation?-  Get a container for your phone which is both a phone charger and a sound-proof box (invent one if it doesn’t exist yet). Lock your phone in it and spend at least one undistracted hour every day with your family.    
  17. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life?-  I broke my leg when I was 11 and was confined to an iron bed in a hospital for more than 40 days. My father brought me ‘Treasure Island’ in Chinese. It was the first western novel I’d ever read. From that day on, I devoured every piece of Western and Russian literature that I came across.  
  18. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? How about one that is overrated?- There are many that I love. Balzac, Shakespeare, and Dickens have long been my all-time favorites. For the past couple of years, I have been an avid reader of D.H Lawrence. I don’t think any classical piece of literature that I have read is overrated. Time has done its job of checking and filtering before passing these books on to me to read.
  19.  Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing?- I listen to James Morrison, OneRepublic, Years & Years, and Adam Lambert.
  20.  If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why?-   Alexander the Great has been my hero for a while, and the words of Arrian of Nicomedia eloquently give the reasons: “He had an uncanny instinct for the right course in a difficult and complex situation, and was most happy in his deductions from observed facts … Nobel indeed was his power of inspiring his men, of filling them with confidence, and, in the moment of danger, of sweeping away their fear by the spectacle of his own fearlessness. When risks had to be taken, he took them with the utmost boldness … Spending but little on his own pleasures, he poured out his money without stint for the benefit of his friends.”  I could oblige if I had to name three, but two of them would be subject to change, depending on who happened to drift into my mind at the time. The one and only name that I would always choose without a thought is Alexander the Great.
  21.  Dog or cat person?- I have had a few cats in the past, but never a dog.
  22. What do you want to eat right now?- Nothing. I just had a cup of coffee and a piece of lime mousse cake.
  23. If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be?- Lord of the Rings
  24. What is your favorite holiday or time of year?- A sunny island surrounded by a warm sea.
  25. Anything else you would like to add?- Thank you very much.

Thank YOU, Mrs. Walker, for your interview! 🙂


How did Science-Fiction Influence “Children of Swan” and your life?:

By: Coral Walker

Like the Goodman family, I have three children. I love them dearly but dislike their constant sibling squabbles. So I imagined their lives turned upside-down by discovering their parents missing, and facing difficulties through which they learn to love and care for each other — that was how “Children of Swan” came about.When I came to decide on the setting of the story, I relied on scientific fiction devices — space travel, aliens, a space island, wormholes, blue and red-skinned alien species and so on — to give the protagonists a means to travel from one location in space to another, and to define the traits of the land of Taron on planet Cygnore, where the main story takes place. I also used an energy shortage on Earth and bio-engineering in the story to provide either the motivation/back story or a fundamental factor that directly influences the plot.

I have studied science and still hold an academic position, working both as a lecturer and researcher in computer science. My scientific background has helped me to avoid relying too much on purely fantasy devices with no substantiation, but instead to use plausible scientific elements whenever there is a need.

I was born and raised in communist China, and a good portion of my schooling was learning about communism. “We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work. Not a handful of rich people, but all the working people must enjoy the fruits of their common labor. ….” in Vladimir Lenin’s beguiling words. The teaching was effective. My school friends and I truly believed, and would, without a hint of doubt, recite: “Like the rising and setting of the sun, like the continuing flow of a river, the new and better order of society would come and will come.”

I was often impatient for this better order of society to arrive, and asked my mother “When will it come? How many years?”. How innocent and deluded I was; little did I know that the fascinating presentation of this perfect society was nothing but a dream, like a utopian world in a scientific fiction novel that would soon turn into a dystopian nightmare.

Propaganda in classrooms — that was how science fiction took root in my young mind. It certainly affects how I see scientific fiction now. For me, it relates to the very core of human existence. It concerns hope and fear, not just of the individual but of society and the world as a whole. It is an efficient vehicle that allows us to observe the successes and failures of idealism and technology in a fictional format, without having to face a real world of potentially catastrophic outcomes.


Excerpt from “Children of Swan:”

A shrill whistle came from above, and a wave of noise — a mixture of screaming and shouting — swept across the arena.

As quick as a wink, a large red shadow shot out from the hole behind the tall boy, tossed him into the air and caught him as he fell.

Rapidly it coiled around his long-limbed body, squeezing the life out of him, as he kicked helplessly.

It was a red bokwa of enormous size.

Jack was screaming. It was soundless, painful and primeval. He wanted to run, shout and scream. Anything, if only he could get out of the place.

A cold hand caught him by his arm. “Still. You must keep still.” Teilo’s voice sounded too calm to be real.

Seemingly disturbed by the fearful sight of the giant bokwa, the small brown ones, which had until now dominated the arena, slithered meekly towards the edges and vanished into the small holes in the wall. Soon only a handful of them were left, wiggling silently along the wall.

The whole arena became eerily deserted.

The gruesome body of the young boy was now lying alone. Already small in size, it was now curled tightly up, like a baby in a mother’s womb. A stone’s throw away, the large red bokwa thumped the tall boy onto the ground. The feeble gurgling sound from his throat and the spontaneous twitching of his hands were the only signs he was still alive.

Slowly, the giant bokwa opened its large blood-dripping mouth and started reaching towards the boy’s head.

Next to him, Teilo stood still like a statue. Still? Was that how he had survived? Keeping still in the middle of the bloody carnage?

Without knowing what he was doing, Jack lurched into a frenzied run, stomping his feet and stirring up a thick layer of dust. A few steps away from the stricken boy he halted.

“Hmmm, Hmmm …” Straining his throat to utter a sound, he stomped his feet more.

The bokwa’s head froze in mid-air. Its scaly body gleamed splendidly, and its cold, orange eyes gawked at him, sizing him up.

“Hi, here!” Teilo shouted, having somehow taken up a position opposite Jack.

Perhaps because Teilo was nearer, or the fact that he was half a head shorter than Jack, the bokwa only faltered for a second before weaving its giant body towards Teilo, disregarding the incoherent sounds from Jack’s strained throat.

“Zizi …” A threatening hiss escaped from Teilo’s compressed lips, and he adopted an attacking pose.

Flashing in the corner of his eye, Jack caught sight of something shining among the audience. Above the lofty wall, a small boy, the one who had chanted “Teilo” in the washing hall, was bending over the low barrier with a dagger in his hand. As he waved it, the sharp edge of the dagger glimmered brightly.

The dagger, if only he could get that dagger!


About the Book:


Title: Children of Swan- The Land of Taron

Author: Coral Walker

Genre: YA fantasy/sci-fi

It seems that nothing could be worse than waking up one morning to find their parents have disappeared and their young brother Bo bawling his eyes out, but for Jack and Brianna, the squabbling teenage sibling rivals, the worst is yet to come.

Much to the bafflement and distress of their children, Marcus and Zelda have actually returned to their home planet, Cygnore. Marcus and Zelda, the runaway prince and princess of Bara and Rion, had a life on Earth. For twelve years, they lived happily and peacefully under the name of ‘Goodman’.

Bo is kidnapped. In hot-headed pursuit, Jack and Brianna plunge into a wormhole that takes them to Taron. Little did they know their impetuous arrival in Taron has placed the lives of their parents in peril. Locals catch them and bring them to an arena. In bewilderment and dismay, Jack finds himself fettered to a wall and examined by a smouldering-eyed and blue-skinned young woman of Bara, Lady Cici.

Lady Cici, the daughter of Lord Shusha, has come to the arena for one and only reason — to have them killed. She is to be engaged to Prince Marcus, their father, and she cannot afford their existence to jeopardize Marcus’ life and her forthcoming engagement. She must have them killed, and the arena, where slaves routinely fight to the death, is the perfect place.



Click the title above to try to win a copy of Coral Walker’s “Children of Swan!” ^_^


Author Bio:


Coral Walker was born and raised in China. She holds a BSc in Computer Engineering, MSc in computing and PhD in Computer Science and, and has spent most of her adult life striving for an orthodox, academic career path. She now lives in Wales, UK with her husband and three children. Becoming a mother, and teaching her children to live a fulfilled life resuscitated her fading dream of being an author. The urge to write became so great that she pursued her dream and the ‘Children of Swan’ trilogy is the upshot — a symbol of a new journey in life.


Coral Walker website,

Author Facebook,

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Top Ten (Bottom Ten?) Pokemon that don’t FEEL like Pokemon to me (Top Ten #53)

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Okay! Before we start: I do dislike MOST of these Pokémon, but not all! Like, I actually really like #3. These are just the Pokémon when I look at their design, they just don’t feel like Pokémon or they belong in the Pokémon world OR they reminded me too much of another series for me to disregard it. In any case, please do not be offended; this is my opinion.  So, here are my top ten Pokémon that do not feel like Pokémon to me.

  1. Spirittomb
  2. Bronzong
  3. Shuckle
  4. Shellos/Gastrodon
  5. Elgyem/Beheyem
  6. Burmy/Mothim
  7. Skorupi/Drapion
  8. Binacle/Barbaracle OR Anoirth/Armaldo
  9. Solosis/Duosion/Reuniclus
  10. Politoed OR Kecleon


Top 15 Favorite “Other Pokémon” Types (Top Ten #52)

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Top 15 Other Pokemon (NOT legendries, starters, fire, psychic, or water):

  1. Altaria (dragon/flying/fairy when it mega evolves)
  2. Skarmory (steel/flying)
  3. Glaceon (ice)
  4. Teddiursa (normal)
  5. Furret (normal)
  6. Eevee (normal)
  7. Pichu* (electric)
  8. Mawile (steel/fairy)
  9. Ditto (normal)
  10. Linoone (normal)
  11. Butterfree (bug/flying)
  12. Roselia (grass/poison)
  13. Cherrim (grass)
  14. Lucario (steel/fighting)
  15. Herdier (normal)

*Pikachu is on my Top Ten Starter list because, technically, he is a starter in Pokémon Yellow and was my first one. 🙂

Also check out my following Pokémon Top Ten so this one makes more sense:

Top Ten Starter Pokémon,

Top Ten Legendary Pokémon,

Top Ten Psychic Pokémon,

Top Ten Fire Pokémon,

Top Ten Water Pokémon,

Furret_season5 112351_0 96f8e6e54c956a005571e34e78781ca5 Teddiursa_season3 altaria_by_shilokh-d36evhm Skarmory_main mawile_season1 Linoone_gym Cherrim_season3 (evole) Butterfree_season3



Cosplacon 2016 Review and mini-author updates

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Konnichiwa reading peeps! ^_^ Morgan here! I hope you guys had a happy and safe 4th of July (if you celebrated, if not, I hope you had a marvelous Monday)! Before I dive deep into my annual anime convention review, Cosplacon in this case, I wanted to share some updates on how things are going this summer.  I start teaching College for Kids next week and will be gone for three weeks from the work on top of prepping for work and my FIRST EVER teaching classroom for my new job! 😀 So no one feels out of the loop, here is what is going on:

  • “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals” is in its second, intense rounds of second edits now.  I have three amazing Beta Readers and editors for these edits and I have some other Beta Readers lined up for the final edits. August and September will be nuts for editing, but we will do the best we can! They are all amazing! We also are getting the cover lined up. ^_^ Thank you for your patience. <3


  • July 1st was Indie Pride Day! I had an amazing girls writing day with my pals, Kate and Morgan W, we had homemade pizza, jammed to 90’s and Disney songs, including belting out “Let It Go,” and they helped me promote my books all day on my social medias for Indie Pride Day. I had a giveaway, excerpts from all my published books AND sneak-peeks for my two current working projects, images from the day, and more.  Thank you to everyone for all the support! ^_^
  • On Moon Panda Power, the Youtube channel I share with my fantastic author friend, Dan Wright, we made Top Five videos on our favorite animes, discussing them! It was a blast! =D What truly are my favorite anime and how do they compare to Dan’s? Moon Panda Power has the answers!
    • Our next video will involve some Power Ranger epicness! =D
  • When I helped out at the public library’s anime night in June, I had some wonderful young ladies make me some fan art. You can find the “Spirit Vision” inspired on my website “Fan Art” page and the other two on my author Facebook. =)



Cosplacon 2016 Review:

*Images from the convention are throughout the post and the bottom.

To check out most of the panels I attended, you can view videos of them on my Youtube Channel (key word: Cosplacon 2016), along with Cosplacon 2014 and 2015 videos and past Anime St. Louis and NatsuCon!

To see ALL my pictures from the event, please go to my public Cosplacon 2016 Facebook gallery.

This year, admittedly, has been rough on me for a few reasons.  Money, being sick and having to deal with pain, uncertainty, and bills, a new position at my school district, and new jobs for my writing.  I survived, but I think my outlook on life was hazy for a while. I was hoping Cosplacon, this anime convention in Jefferson City with its amazing con chair, Rodney, would get my out of my funk.  I was thrilled to go and show off my latest cosplay, to be with my brother, husband during our five year anniversary, and our friends.

Let’s just say, things did not go as hoped.  As a disclaimer: I adore Cosplacon and most of these events were beyond their control, so no one is getting the blame. However, I also have to honestly rate this convention with how it affected me overall.  This is the most conflicted review I have ever given for a convention.  Please do not hate; I respect all the work the Cosplacon staff does.

This convention will be known to be as “The Roller Coaster Con.”

Because I do NOT want to offend anyone, but I want to be fully honest in my review, I am doing more of a Pros and Cons list this year with a detailed description (mostly in time order) and you can see from there.  I’m starting with cons to get the bad out of the way first.


#1. Lack of Panels: Right off the bat, when I looked at the con schedule that came out about two weeks before the convention (I personally still feel like that’s cutting it close, but most cons I go to have cut it worse than that), there really wasn’t as many panels as before.  They had a decent variety and I love how they always add something new and challenging for us attendees.  Still, it was hard to fill out our schedule.  If Miles and I did not have Bryce Papenbrook, a talented anime dub and game voice actor to look forward to, and Derrick deciding to finally try the Pokémon DS League this year, then other than the few main events, there would have been hardly anything for us to do.

I can partly understand their concern since last year, at least five of the panels we went to on Thursday and Friday, NO ONE showed up! I vented about this in last year’s review, but it was awful.


#2. No Samurai Dan or Jillian: Another note I was sour on for a while was the fact that Samurai Dan and Jillian were not invited back.  Dan and I have worked together in the past for author stuff and him and Jillian are incredible people.  They wanted to and were willing to come back to Cosplacon, but were not asked to return this year.  I did not ask the details; it is not my place, but even before I knew Dan, him and Jillian bring so much individuality to  conventions with their art and humor and everyone loves them, including the fuzzy beast! I knew about this since December and it made me hesitant often.  I am glad we have so many talented and overall nice cosplayers that attend as guests and cosplay is amazing, but if Bryce was not attending, then they only type of guests there would have been was cosplayers and that leaves out a core amount of your attendees. That’s why Dan and Jillian are so epic, for appeal!

#3. Our Hotel Room: This is 125% NOT COSPLACON’S fault; this is Capital Plaza’s! The con is always at Capital Plaza and normally, it is a fantastic place and man! They are saints to be as patient and accepting as they are with all us otakus running around and doing who know’s what. 😉  We were on the 7th floor (we were on the 9th last year. Brown and Tabby were on the 9th this year) and our room was a wreck! The AC was old and it had trash stuck in it. One of our lamps had no light bulb in it. We did not have a “Do Not Disrupt” sign.  It just looked messy. We have been in at least three rooms here now and this one was by far the worse. We did nicely talk to management. The lady was nice, apologizing five times and writing things down, but other than her giving us a sign, none of our problems were fixed.

#4. $10 Night Events Only Wristbands: I understand the appeal of these and that Cosplacon needs to make money, but it’s pretty bad when all five of my group members are very…worried about this.  Anyone can come in off the street and buy one of these passes for $10 and the later events are all 18+, such as a game were artist drink and a burlesque show.  The con is more than welcome to have these events if the hotel allows, but I kept feeling something bad was going to happen because of this and police sirens would be wailing. Nothing happened that I knew of, but I just want everyone to be safe.


#5. Evan and Andrew Couldn’t Attend the Convention: Again, this is not Cosplacon’s fault at all, but it sure put a damper on things. Evan had to have gallbladder surgery the week before and Andrew’s work refused to let him off although he asked for those days MONTHS ago! He is an amazing Deadpool and Rodney would have pulled him up on the spot to help all weekend!

#6. Small Selection of Venders: The venders they had were decent, but like last year, there was not much to chose from and this year’s was smaller! I still do not understand why they do not at least have one author anymore. They may be my work talking, but I find it odd since most other cons I go to have at least one author OR someone who makes their own manga series.  Cape had seven! Some of the booths were overpriced, some normal.  I bought stuff, sure, but I think Miles got more stuff when we went into town three times than actually things at the convention (although he did get some things).  More vendors or at least a variety please. The custom purse, decal, and glass people were a nice change though.


#7. Lack of Pokémon Event Advertising: I’m being picky on this one, but for the last two years, Cosplacon updates about their DS Pokémon league, but this year, I only found it once in a generic paragraph on the website that they were having it this year.  They were doing SO many cool events this time around too, most not on the schedule! Derrick had a blast with the rad panels they were doing and the league overall, it being the highlight of the convention for him, but I wish they would have announced it better so others would know.

#8. Too Much Free Time: Part of this has to do with my final and BIG con in a moment, but this problem also arises from the lack of panels.  We went out to Slackers on Thursday, Hastings on Friday (which I think was closing or moving from how messy it was and they had random sales), and Barnes and Noble on Saturday. We had over three hours to kill on Saturday! SATURDAY! The MAIN day for all conventions! That should not be happening. Usually, even laidback con goers like us are running around ALL DAY doing awesome events and panels, but from 1:30 to 4:30, we had nothing, and I chose to walk around for 45 minutes after 4:30 just to hang out with Tabby and Brown.  I didn’t have to.

#9. My Irrational Fear Coming to Life: So…I will make this one brief:  I am SCARED TO DEATH of ANYTHING to do with “Willy Wonka.”  I had a traumatic experience in pre-school and no matter what I do, I can’t get rid of effects. I rock back and forth, cry, chew my lip, cry, and can’t catch my breath; I’m shaking just writing this! Well, a sweet young man bought all the special Cosplacon chocolate bars (one of the Achievement Challenges, to find a golden ticket).  He wanted to share it them with everyone, so he was called Wonka. I was okay with that, but Rodney then asked them to find the song that plays when they travel down the river.  The DJs had issues finding it, but eventually, they did and I stopped my camera, slammed my hands in my ears, began to rock, and cried through my Sailor V mask as Derrick squeezed my knee and rubbed my back.  It was only for a minute, but it was awful.  I do want to deeply apologize to the DJs and Rodney for when Brown, being a good friend, told them to cut the music.  I never want to be a spoiled sport, but it’s just something I can’t help and I never expected this to happen at a con.  It if was the OTHER annoying song, I would have sprinted out that room and ran to the corner or bathroom furthest away and rocked and cry.  I appreciate all those who took care of me.  It stressed me out though!


#10-#14. NO BRYCE PAPERNBROOK (and other guests): OKAY! This is where I am going to get some ugly thoughts, and again, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Cosplacon, Rodney, and the staff.  I am not blaming them! Like Rodney himself said, things happen, but the main reason (other than being with my friends and to cosplay), but the main reason I wanted to go was to meet Bryce. I adore meeting voice actors; it’s my con thing. They work so hard, their experiences, and they are usually super nice and fun. I owe them for introducing me to this lifestyle that was inside me all along. I researched roles and history on Bryce, wasted hours on Youtube watching panels he did, wrote a poem for him, made him some funny inside fan joke doodles, and got him a gift. It was worth it and Miles and I were so ready to get our pictures and autographs, to thank him for all he’s done, and hear his tales.

When we got our master Thursday and Friday schedule with a map on Friday morning, which I found useful, I cross referenced it with mine and noticed Bryce’s 1:00 panel was gone. It was early in the morning, so the help desk was clear.  I very nicely went up to the kind girls and asked if the time had been changed.  She said, “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry.  It’s on our website. Bryce had to cancel.  We are really sorry, but if you go to the panel room on Saturday for the scheduled time, then something good will happen.”  Well, disappointed does not begin to describe how I felt; close to crushed.  Miles and I asked again on Saturday, same person, and she swore something would be there for us. We went there 15 minutes early and Miles and I and about five other people waited for over an hour and saw no staff member.  We were hoping maybe a Skype call with Bryce or that he would magically show up. A Kirito cosplayers was nice and searched for a staff member. We FINALLY did get one and she was very kind, giving all of us, including a young lady who was a sweetheart and left for a bit, but did wait for us, FREE PASSES TO NEXT YEAR! So, Miles and I are good for Cosplacon, 2017. That was very great of them and I thank them for their responsibility, but I was still bummed.

Apparently, also, there were four cosplay guest total and a group that normally comes.  Two for sure, I think three, of the cosplay guest canceled, and only one member of the group could attend, ON TOP of Bryce not being there. I could tell poor Rodney was stressed.  🙁 It was a bad situation for all. The con handled it real well, but it still really messed up parts of the whole con for me.


Now, for some awesome things that happened!

#1. Getting to Jefferson City and Back: We usually get sick on the curvy, three and a half hour ride to Cosplacon from our hometown.  I did get some different motion sickness pills this year, made myself sleep, and some pain medicine.  There was some construction on the way there twice, once set outside of Jefferson City, but luckily Tabby and Brown warned us.  Other than that, all went well.  There were no police pull-overs this year either like last year. 😉

#2. Amazing Food: Other than their Arby’s, all the food this year at Jefferson City was incredible! Our favorite Fuiji’s Japanese restaurant on Thursday was perfect (and good price), our usual Kate and Aly’s pizza (this time for delivery), Ruby Tuesday, a sweet, traditional breakfast place downtown that Brown and Tabby found, a super famous local ice cream parlor on Sunday, and, of course, a quick snacky dinner at the hotel’s restaurant on Saturday (although they are so short staffed and literally all the workers are running and sweating for us).  Everything was delicious and all the staff so nice! It really helped make us love Jefferson City.

#3. I Beat Derrick at Air Hockey: Derrick denies it, but I honestly beat him at air hockey when we went to the mall first arriving in Jefferson City on Thursday! Tabby tickled him in the arcade! HA! =D

#4. Great Shops and Kind People: Slackers, Barnes and Noble, the mall in general, and Hastings, all great shops nerds need and none too far from the capital. Need I say more? 😉  On another note, everyone in Jefferson City was so nice.  We got extra discounts at Hastings (AND, they are the FIRST place I have seen that sales Ramune, Japanese carbonated soda, all the time.  I got two Hello Kitty strawberry ones).  At Ruby Tuesday for lunch on Friday, I ordered cheese sticks for all of us to share, but Miles and I only ate one each. They were not good. The waitress was super nice and took it off our tab, seeing we hardly ate them when I told her we did not care for them, saving me almost $8! Our pizza people were also late that Friday evening for delivering. Well, it was because they burnt out first one a bit too much.  They felt so bad, that they made us a new one, but we got to keep both of them! I went to Barnes and Noble in my new cosplay, a cute older lady was grinning ear-to-ear seeing me and asking me why I was dressed so fun.  Everyone in Jefferson City was really awesome! And, Capital Plaza, you are still the bomb and were as nice as ever, so thank you. It sucks we just got a crappy room. Met some super nice vendors of course too (still looking for Percy Jackson fan art!)


#5-#6. Pokémon DS League: Derrick had such an incredible time with this. Without it, he would have had almost nothing to do at the con. DERRICK WON ALL THE COSTUME BADGES! He worked hard and was so proud. The gym leaders had plenty of badges and were very hard (I got beat bad by the normal one, who gave the attendees the most issues), but nice. They had cool panels for prizes, like a Ditto with perfect IVs for an egg event, two different ways to challenge the gym leaders, these amazing trainer cards for collectables, a champion belt for the new champ, and more. All they need to do is advertise more next time, and then it’d be wonderful!


Brown and Tabby during their “Five Nights of Freddie’s” skit that won! 😀

#7. Skits: The Skit Contest was great! All eight entries did a wonderful job! It was so fun to watch.  I did film all of them and you can watch them here on my Youtube Channel. What was so incredible is my friends, Brown and Tabby, WON! They worked SO hard on their cosplay, their dancing, the theme, and the video that went with the skit. They truly were the best prepared and they deserved to win! They also got FREE passes for next year! 😀

#8. Cosplay: Others: There were some pretty fantastic cosplays and everyone was really nice! ^_^

#9: Cosplay: Ours: Tabby worked so hard on her Springtrap (from “Five Nights of Freddie’s” cosplay and it was a huge hit, even scaring some people. She stayed in character the whole time, Brown talking for her. She hissed, got in faces, and if she got too close, he would tease her.  It was fun to see how everyone reacted to it. Nathan did a good job with his character too and being her handler.  They got a professional photo shoot and I cannot WAIT to see the pictures! I got to see her make some parts of her cosplay, including edible blood while I sewed at her house. That was fun. ;)- She also made Miles his prop wrench and time travel necklace for his new cosplay. They turned out beyond glorious!


Miles was his comfy and personal favorite, Roxas from Kingdom Hearts.  He got some pictures, high-fives, and a little girl (I’d say around 3), got a picture with him for her name is Roxie, after Roxas, and her older sister is Kiari! 0.0 Mom is a huge Kingdom Hearts fan apparently! So epic! He wore Li from our childhood favorite, Cardcaptor Sakura, with his lasen board Julie made him.  He got some photos too (I got him a new butt bell and it was funny to hear it), met a Sakura from the show (she even waved at him three times, a big smile on her face, and called him husband in front of us.  Miles shrugged and said, “So…apparently I got married), and the gentleman who ran the DVD booth even gave him a FREE Li figure! 😀 On Saturday, he wore his first closet cosplay: Max, the main character in one of his favorite Playstation 2 games: Dark Cloud 2.  He REALLY looks like the character. It took us a while to get all the pieces, but mom and dad helped too and he looked epic! =D He figured no one would know who he was and assumed he was a steampunk handy man, but TWO people knew who he was, one a Joane cosplayer from his favorite, R.W.B.Y.! That was nifty! We did get some nice shots of him in that new cosplay.


Thursday, I wore my Chii lacy kimono waitress outfit.  I had a few people figure out who I was and one person said something rude about my ‘on button,’ arching his eyebrows to look appealing.  I burned him back.  I hate being smug, but there is no need to be a pervert.  My outfit, sadly, is falling apart a little, but Derrick was nice and helped me the best we could.

cose8Friday, I was everyone’s favorite, Sailor V! The Sailor Scout group I normally see there could not make it, but I saw a Sailor Venus and Mars. 🙂 I got some photos, about average for me.  I did walk into the hall area where they were having Pokémon to check on Derrick when a young Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad (I say, young, but she was around 15 at least), fanned over me and started gushing, calling me Sailor Moon and how she watched me as a little girl.  I was going to kindly correct her, but then she grinned and flashed her phone in front of us, proclaiming, “Selfie!” I was forced into three selfies before really knew what happened, but I posed on impulse! HA! Her friends took normal pictures of us on their camera, that they were having issues with. The Harley kept apologizing and thanking me for my patience. I felt old, her doing that, but it was fun to make her smile and get swept away.



Saturday, I got to wear my new cosplay: Umi from Magic Knights Rayearth, by CLAMP! I have blue hair, a fancy cape, can control a water dragon Rune God with our trusted and tasty looking animal pal, Mokona. It was epic! The only think I did not like was how my wig (which was cheap, I confess, but it was the shade and length I wanted), was sheerish in the back.  Derrick helped brush it to cover some of it, and my chest looks fat and huge in the shots because the cape is so heavy, my collar so high, that it tightens weird, giving me a fat chest illusion.  Other than that (I do need to get the book covers fixed one of these days; the white ones they came with were way too buy on the calf), it was grand. Not many people knew who I was, but many just though the outfit looked B.A.  But, the six or seven who did…fangirl screamed bloody murder, hugged me, and we had a photo shoot with them bouncing on their toes.  I heard, “RAYEARTH!” from the heavens at least four times! One time was from Rodney’s cute assistant girl and another from a woman that lead to something really fantastic happening in another point…

cosp69OH! My sword! Holy cheese graters, my sword is the bomb! My friend, Zelda, worked SUPER hard on it to make it look like Umi’s water dragon fencing sword, a challenge, but everyone loved it. It was odd for me to learn how to hold it (and with my left hand because Umi is a leftie), but I just didn’t want to break her lovely craftsmanship…or someone’s eyes. I did have the AMAZING Aiken Skywalker that sang “Let is Flow” for skits last Cosplacon (that is my highest watched video on my Youtube channel), that he was so impressed with my craftsmanship on my costume, sword, and everything, gushing over ME! That was an honor! He was shocked to know I filmed him last year and we looked up my Youtube together. ^_^ It was so fun to cosplay as Umi and I cannot wait to do it again! OH! I also got asked by the Brass Engine Productions, who are at all the local conventions and special friends of Rodeny’s, to do some poses and attack calls for their Cosplacon 2016 video as Umi! I was really touched! I have been asked, way back with Anime St. Louis, to do this with Sakura as well, but I did not make the final cut. Even if I am in it for just a second, I will feel like a rock star. ^_^


#10-#12: Cosplay Royale: Guys, this was the BEST Cosplay Royale I have ever been to for ANY conventions, and I have been to 11 cosplay contests! Everyone had such energy and talent. Fun was apparent from all, the cosplayers and attendees.  Derrick cheered just much as I did and I was grinning at all the amazing cosplay I saw.  Aaron, AKA Jack Sparrow, was our MC and he was a RIOT! A dream! =D He would forget names, acting like Jack, and several of the cosplayers interacted with him (Tabby included, hissing at him and he hid behind Brown in a photo).  He even spit at the audience twice! HA! Although, he did not like when the furries did their dramatic pose where they covered their face with their arms extended to the side.  He kept telling them to stop it, so some of the other cosplayers afterwards would quickly do it behind Jack’s back! Rodney did it too and soon, we got the whole audience doing it in one of Rodney’s annual Cosplacon selfies! ^-^ The support was felt in the entire room and I know personally, I would not have wanted to be a judge; they were all so talented.  Tabby sadly did not win, but there were only eight awards out of around 80 cosplayers, but everyone was so good, no one was mad.  It was EPIC! I know Rodney loves his cosplay and he sure got a line-up this year! Speaking of Rodney…


#13-#14: Rodney and his Love for us/his Energy: I made sure Sunday, when it was super quiet, I found Rodney, shook his hand, and thanked him for all his love and hard work, saying I saw he was stressed (he agreed with me there), but I told him I noticed and he made my five year anniversary special.  He has a charming smile on his face.  All weekend, he would have his random dance battles, throw t-shirts and candy, do free style raps, be silly with us, and more. He is not scared of the stage like most con chairs, completely out in the open, being part of achievements, and will help any way he can despite how busy he is.  Rodney, you are a huge reason I love Cosplacon. The connect you have with your loves and us, the friendships that are so easy to see with your staff, how you always up your game so everyone can have a good time, especially your Donuts with Dad’s on Father’s Day Sunday you do.  Thank you, truly.


#15: The Staff: The Staff was as awesome as always.  I did not see nearly as many badge checkers as I do normally, which surprised me (sometimes, I saw none), but that may be just short number. Still, some did panels, some smiled and helped us out the best they could, and their respect for their boss man was so apparent.  They handled the lack of guests very well considering the sudden and challenging situation.  The con gave everyone a discount code for next year on their site for a while and Miles and I got free passes for 2017 since we came mostly for Bryce and waited outside his panel room door for over an hour like instructed.



#16. SMASH BROS!: =D This one is for my Cosplacon peeps! SMASH BROS!

#17: Super Card Fight: On Friday night, there was an 18+ panel for Super Card Fight.  I have seen a few famous Youtubers (including Smosh) play it before and it looked interesting.  However, you have to debate your cause for it and although I am okay with talking in front of people at times and having fun, I am not good at arguing.  I am so non-confrontational that I would win an Olympic medal in it! I liked how they just let most of us watch.  Plus, although I am a nerd, my branch would be Otaku, not an overall nerd, and this game compassed all sorts of nerds, which is great for a party game, but that put me at a disadvantage. There were maybe 25-30 of us in a small room on the second floor, but it was a good time to listen to all the potential fights. The point of the game is you chose one of three hero cards and they get two powers (or conditions sometimes), then you and your opponent(s) (we did two people at a time to make it easier), then they got a time limit to debate why there’s would win the situation card. Afterwards, the audience could comment and then, by cheering, the winner was decided.

Derrick and Brown even got to go up, which was so neat! ^_^ However, I wanted to vote for Brown because he controlled the Sailor Scouts, but Derrick had MacGyver.  I knew my dad would be thrilled with that.  Tabby said MacGyver would win, so she cheered for Derrick and I rooted for Brown and the Sailor Scouts! We switched husbands! HA! Brown ended up making it to the final three, which was rockin!

I did have one issue during this and I am not personally attacking an individual or being a snot, but it irked me so badly that I wanted to raise my hand at the audience feedback for this fight, but I knew I would come off as rude/picky.  One guy had the Spartans as his heroes. When he was debating why they would win, he stated they were Greek…-_-;; Okay, they are Roman, but some people can mix that up, so I let that one go.  Then, he went on to say there were 300 of them, and he included children and women in these numbers. Ah…no.  They were a big city state.  The famous 300 in battle is where he got that from.  I was a getting my fugitive feathers ruffled a bit more, but I pushed it down.  The kicker?  He said that no one could beat the Spartans because they were immortal! 0.o   My hand almost shot up, but I prayed I heard that wrong, until I heard Miles next to me mumble, “What? Did he say immortal?”  We both stared at each other in disbelief.  I know I am obsessive with Mythology and Percy Jackson and my dad is a history teacher, but how can the Spartans be immortal?  I knew about 300. THEY DIED at the end! Sorry, spoilers, but if you DIE, you are NOT immortal! The saddest part?  NO ONE BROUGHT ANY OF THESE POINTS UP! About seven people said something, no one bringing up any of those wrong facts! I know everyone does not know everything about everything; I sure as Hades don’t, but geez! I was stomping and fuming for an hour about this! >.<


#18. Steampunk Shoot-Out: Every year on Sunday morning, when everyone is tired from packing to leave and partying too hard and late Saturday, Brass Engine Productions does a shootout (being a heavily influenced Steampunk group) with a history on it, the styles, and, naturally, a chance to take on your opponent with Nerf guns. This year, they had a tournament setting since there was maybe 15 people max there (Brown and Tabby wanted to join, but they had their photo shoot).  The main guys were so tired, but they still were entertaining, making the tension humorous, doing hilarious voices, and such.  It was fun to see, although the grieves mostly had to do with people walking past each other.  Apparently, this town needs a cross-walk. 😉  There even was a $1 bounty on someone’s ‘head.’ HA! All and all, it was a hit! We also found a large cockroach and they placed him in a wooden box, taking pictures of him before he was released.  My only issue was for SURE one, maybe two or more of the participates were still…not fully sober when attending and they were breaking all these rules and being loud.  I can tall it bothered the panel people a few times. -_-;;


#19. Playing with Kids: OKAY! I admit it; I adore working with kids. That’s why I am a teacher and volunteer with students often.  On Sunday, there really was not much to do. Derrick wanted to go to the Pokémon carnival to battle the gym leaders since they were all there in one place. Shockingly, unlike the last two years, it was really slow. Miles and I found Derrick battling by the stage easily enough, and I knew Brown and Tabby still had a half hour of their photo shoot left (Miles and I already finished exploring the venders room, even getting snacks and I chatting with one of my con friends).  So, we sat in some empty chairs close to the stage and the second I am about to rest, I see a little boy, about two or so, rolling with the con beach ball, having a, well, a ball! His smile and giggle was so sweet.  I sent a thanksgiving to Kamisama and informed Miles, “I am going to go play with the kid.”  I knew he had to belong to someone there and they could tell me to stop and I would have respected that. Well, turns out the little boy’s mom was the dark gym leader.  MAN! We had SO MUCH FUN! It was over an hour and a half of us throwing the ball, playing carnival games, eating snacks, and such.  There was one point he grabbed the giant to him ball and trotted around the room with it.  I chased after him, the whole giant room, between all the rows of gym leaders, shouting, “Where are you going?” I was smiling like a baka, having so much fun that it wasn’t until I past Derrick in his chair, battle the little one’s mom and laughing that I realized I have been running around on stage with all the gym leaders! 0.o  The mom kept apologizing for dumping her kid on me, but blessed me since she could not get a sitter and she had to battle. Derrick chuckled again and told her, “Oh, that’s my wife.  She’s a teacher. Trust me, she is having JUST as much fun and he’s in good hands. The only issue is, you may not get your son back!”

Later, Rodney’s little four-year-old daughter, Zoey, came in and she is as cute as a bug in a rug! I asked her if she wanted to play ball with us and man! All three of us were playing with the ball, tossing rings (the little boy had to make sure there was only one ring on each cone and he placed them in a pattern! He is only two and a half! I was really impressed), rolling on the floor, sharing gummies that Zoey’s mom bought for her to share, and such.  She was so sad I had to leave, asking if I could always play with her and giving me several hugs. I posed with pictures with both of them (I was in my Totoro dress and ears).  This was one of my favorite parts of my whole con experience.  I hope I can do it again! Rodney, need a con babysitter?  Just message me! 😉

#20-#21: Friends: What can I say?  Spending time with my good friends on top of Derrick and Miles is such a treat. We all need these four days each year so badly.  All the fun dinners together, ice cream, hanging out, UNO battles, room visits, it makes the con something simple, easy, and special.  I wish Andrew and Evan could have come; it would have made it even more epic, but still, I was so blessed to be with Brown and Tabby, our support for each other. I also got to see my buddies Shelia and Danny and their lovely girls, Lily and April, who I have not seen since Tabby and Brown’s wedding over a year precious.  Their cosplays Shelia made for them were incredible! I got to sit and hang with my friend Katy that I met at last Cosplacon and a really sweet Sailor Moon cosplayer, Jennifer, came to take pictures with me Sunday! She is so bright and cheerful.  Friends are golden and that is so true in this case.


#22. I Somehow Joined a Cosplay Group 0.o: So, I mentioned in the above entry that Jennifer plays an amazing Sailor Moon?  She plays many grand characters, but she was apart of this fabulous Sailor Moon group that was there last year.  I wanted to get a group photo of them with my Sailor V, but they did not come this year. Well, on Saturday, in my new Umi from Magic Knights Rayearth, I mentioned how I had some extreme fan girls? Well, I had one from across the main foyer way, where the waterfall is.  She was in a mauve Star Trek uniform, her friend in a black Star Trek uniform close behind.  She had her camera in her hand as she trotted towards me, so excited.  She exclaimed, “I knew you were from Magic Knights! No one has a sword that skinny other than Umi!”  We got some pictures and it was great.  She even asked if I was a pro-cosplayer, what my cosplay name was, and if she could add me on Facebook. I was really surprised by that, but I did add her as a friend. About an hour or so later, around the same spot, I was talking to Miles, Brown, and Tabby, when she shuffled over from out of nowhere again with her friend. She started, “I’m sorry, but, I just have to tell you this: I’m the head of a cosplay group and I have been wanting to do a Rayearth group for a while; I like doing more…lesser known, but cute and amazing anime titles.  And, since you already have a great Umi, we can have our Umi in the group and I can most likely convince my friends to cosplay the other characters for photo opps. Would you join our cosplay group?”

First off, I was stunned and honored.  I cannot make clothes well, if at all, but the fact she had a group and wanted ME apart of it, that I was the start to one of their anime photo sessions was astounding. When she showed me the name of the group, I was floored again; it was the group that my buddy Jennifer was Sailor Moon in, the AMAZING Sailor Moon cosplay group for the mid-west! Not only were they a cosplay group, but a well-known and talented one at that.  I stuttered yes and she discussed their gigs and details.  Jennifer was really happy when I told her I got to join.  I told the leader I also do Sailor V and I loved theirs.  She started at me, bewilderment on her face, and smirked, “Well, you were just made for this, weren’t you?”  I don’t know all the details yet, but, at least for Cosplacon, I will be apart of the Magic Knights Rayearth group! 😀


#23-#25. Miles’ Pun Count: So, let me tell you about my bro-bro, Miles: he is a pun master, as rolling of the eyes worthy that is at times. They are groan-tastic, ghastly punny.  When we were in the car, barely out of our hometown, he did one and Derrick rolled his eyes. I informed Miles that if he wanted to say puns on this four day trip, we had to start a counter. He was pumped and they dubbed me judge. His goal was 40 by the time we got home Sunday late afternoon.  By Saturday night, he was only five or so away, so I upped it to 50.  At the ice cream shop, he did a lot, so I went up to 75. He bit his lip, but accepted the challenge.  Then, it went to 80, all for a gold star sticker. Finally, for kicks, we wanted to see if he could make it to 100, which was going to be his goal for Cosplacon 2017. He did a CRAP-TON on the three hour car ride home, so many that a little after the two hours mark, he was at 105 and I made the counter broken! 0.o

MY BROTHER MADE 105 PUNS IN FOUR DAYS! 0.o There were even 6 that we did not count because they were too much of a stretch! Tabby and Brown got three each and Derrick got 10.  I accidently got three, even though I only wanted to judge, not be on the board! -_- Dang board… NOW…his goal for next year: 125 PUNS IN FOUR DAYS! Whoa! He is a little nervous there, but ready for the challenge.

Cosplacon, 2017: Let’s have a pun-off or challenge or panel, Miles and I can totally run it! Let’s make it happen!

OH! So, I did say a funny at the convention, but mine was not on purpose. Still, the boys KEEP talking about it and Mom and Dad cracked up later when I told them: it was Saturday evening and Miles, Derrick, and I were going down to the main floor (we were on our room floor, the 7th) to meet Brown and Tabby at the hotel restaurant.  There was about 12 people in our elevator, which is a lot. We stopped on the second floor and the person saw there was no room.  A young man in the corner of us (we were closest to the door), said, “Oh! Jake, hey man! How’s it going?” The gentleman, Jake, said good before the doors closed. As we descended to the final floor, the young man told the young woman he was with, “I wonder where Jake’s been?” NOW! Background: I worked for a special education teacher, and his first name was Jake.  The secretary nicknamed him, and that was what a lot of the staff referred to him as, so, this came out BY IMPULSE!

I THOUGHT I was mumbling, but I answered to myself, “At State Farm…” All of the sudden, Miles chuckled under his breath and Derrick was giving a funny grin.  The door chimed open and I blinked, confused. The young man in the corner who knew the con Jake started laughing and then beamed at me, saying, “That was a good one!” and him and the girl went ahead of us, laughing.  I blinked, more befuddled on why they were commenting on me.  Derrick goes, “Ummm, your Jake from State Farm comment? That was awesome!” I screamed, “WHAT?! I…I didn’t know anyone heard that! I was just mumbling that to myself!” Miles slapped my back, and said, “Well, it was great!” Derrick HAD to tell Brown and Tabby the second we saw them and they lost it. *sighs*  I guess that’s my con moment for 2016. 😉


Okay things:

  • Iron Cosplay- I LOVE (<3) Iron Cosplay, but these year’s was only so/so.  I think because it was on a Thursday, which never gets a ton of business.  Maybe one on Thursday AND Friday?
  • Welcome panel/Opening Ceremonies- The welcome panels were fun.  I love their energy, and the beach ball was fun, even if I got hit a few times, once holding my camera.  Surely in the top 5 for welcome panels and opening ceremonies. But, no offense, most opening ceremonies are rules and some audience hype.  Hard to make them incredible.
  • Japanese 101 panel- The staff member who ran it was super nice and really knew she stuff, taking several college classes in Japanese in college and going/living to Japan often, but she went too fast (and I teach a basic Japanese class for pre-teens and teens). I think there should have been a few more interactive games and not too many talking to your shoulder partner since many people are not uncomfortable.  I did like the yukata she brought! =D
  • Cards Against Humanity- You can’t go WRONG with Cards Against Humanity; we play it often with friends and the people running it did fine.  I just felt awkward with my group (I was the only girl, but I owned that).  Still, it was not the same as when Samurai Dan and Jillian run it.  They bring such life and spark to all their panels, especially this game! They introduced us to it. It makes a huge difference.



Cosplacon, I adore you and thank you for an incredible, spectacular year! I look forward to 2017, for your ‘fifth element’ celebration! <3 I know you had some downs this year, but you pushed through, all for us, with integrity, passion, and drive.  It did not go unnoticed.  ^_^

To check out most of the panels I attended, you can view videos of them on my Youtube Channel (key word: Cosplacon 2016), along with Cosplacon 2014 and 2015 videos and past Anime St. Louis and NatsuCon!

To see ALL my pictures from the event, please go to my public Cosplacon 2016 Facebook gallery.

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