The Tax Man Cometh …

OH … GROAN. THIS IS THE TIME of the year I dread. Every. Single. Year. I’m not exactly aces where numbers are concerned … and the older I get—on top of the math inadequacies—the less organized I seem to become. I promise myself I’ll do better. Every. Single. Year.

Yup.

At least, this year, I’m getting things together sooner—I should have it all gathered together and “handled” before the end of the month—I’m hoping, at least … or at the latest, by mid-March. Haven’t managed that in quite a few years. Matter of fact, I’ve had to do extensions the last two years due to serious cases of procrastination.

Baaad girl!

I need this done so I can get back to working on my book(s) … so Mischiefmaker can be neatly tied in a bow and out of my hands before I step onto the plane to visit the UK (including Scotland and Wales). Plus I must focus on the artwork for the book … and continue my work on book five. (There’s some serious stuff building up in my story, ready to happen—hopefully you will think it’s as amazing as I do—and I really need to carve out some large chunks of time to get it right …) That’s pretty good incentive, don’t you think? I know my trip abroad will really help my imagination gel ideas for book five (no official title as yet, but—hmm … I think Redemption sounds about right). I am getting excited … and I have no clue what’s about to happen (oh … if you didn’t already know, I do not outline my stories—it’s a seat-of-the-pants experience, all the way—insert maniacal grin here)!

I must confess: the release of my book has been pushed back till this fall, but I’m okay with that. I want to make it the very best—no throwing things together for my readers. Never! Need to keep it cohesive … and on the right path. I still don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as a finish-line for the series. My characters are keeping mum about that. I’m okay with that too. It will happen when it’s “right” … right?

In the meantime, I have to get my mind completely wrapped around numbers and organization of receipts … I’ve already found myself avoiding the pile by doing other things—including this blog. These are all things that “need doing” but, really. The priority is (shudder) tax prep. I’ll attempt to make this short and … well, maybe not so sweet a blog (ooh—I could digress to something else by the end of the week because it is only Saturday … insert huge grin here …). Um … I’ll just have to play this one by ear.

Ooh, gotta laugh, because almost as soon as I wrote the above, my allergies decided to kick in. Not too bad at first, but by Monday … ugh. A full-blown sinus infection was on it’s way to rear it’s ugly head. I did manage to make it into Open Ground Studios for a bit, but … have not laid one finger—or eye—on my pile of receipts … except to add to it. Found two more piles: stuff from the early part of 2015 and some 1099s, which Kaeli (my sweet ol’ dog) proceeded to nibble on. Heart failure, for sure! Thankfully, the important bits are still intact.

It’s now Thursday and I’m finally feeling a little better, so I’ll be upstairs finishing up the sorting, then start (maybe) the number crunching. Yes, this is the part (well, one of them) that I hate. I have to add stuff with a calculator (with tape) two or three times and hope the results are the same. This is where dyslexia is not my friend (transposing numbers from what I see to what I enter … groan). Yup. Real fun.

Whilst I was wallowing in pity over feeling so lousy, I managed to cheer myself up by starting to peruse the possibilities of when and where I will visit once across The Pond. My head was too fuzzy to work on numbers, but not to surf the web for things to do (checking prices) and locations to stay. That cheered me up immediately. Now I’m chomping at the bit to finalize my itinerary … but, that’s another blog, entirely!

So … yeah. Short and (hmmm) sweet? It’s my life and I’ve gotta live it—I’ll take the bad with the good.

…So onward.

May your day … and the week ahead be blessed with sweet circumstances.

The After Glow

GROAN … I COULD TAKE THIS BLOG in so many different directions, it’s not even funny. Trying to fine tune it to a singular direction might be tricky, so if I stray … please forgive me. There’s so much to talk about that this will probably be a multi-part blog. Hope you don’t mind.

Gallifrey One is an awesome event. That’s an understatement. The event is completely volunteer-run and despite a few glitches, it runs smoothly and the staff maintains a wonderfully easy-going demeanor (they may be freaking inside, but few—if any—show it). I did not run into any grumps or curmudgeons during the entire weekend and the attendees (for the most part) were equally great. It’s like one big family. A very big family. Lots of opportunities to make new friends and reacquaint with Gally friends from previous years; plenty of stuff to see—the Vendor’s Room is packed to the gills with cool stuff … and not just Whovian things. There were even Girl Scout cookies. Who can resist GS cookies?? I limited myself to two boxes … and purchased at the very last minute to keep me from gorging on them the entire weekend. And the troop made a cardboard Dalek out of cookie shipping containers. Very cool.

One of the new things they’ve added this year (I have a funny feeling I’ve blogged about this before) is the Sched—and electronic, up-to-date schedule of events for the entire weekend. Each individual could simply peruse the general schedule or sign in and create their very own personalized schedule. It was awesome. I’ve linked you to the last updated schedule that was posted.

Because the organizers want to stay at their LAX Marriott venue, getting a pass can be tricky. But, ooh so worth it! I think I already did a blog on my triumph of attaining one of those precious passes, so I won’t go into any details here. But, please note, they will begin the registration process anew in mid-April. In their words (links are my addition): “join us for GALLIFREY ONE: 28 YEARS LATER, 17-19 February 2017 at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel… the twenty-eighth incarnation of the world’s greatest annual Doctor Who family reunion. Tickets go on sale in mid-April (time and date to be announced soon, so watch our website and social media—Facebook and Twitter: #gallifreyone or #gally1—for details), with hotel reservations open in early May. The countdown resets, and begins once again…

I’ve managed to take a boat-load of photos (I’ll post at the end) and found a few links, via the Gally One FB social page that I think you will enjoy:
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There’s this cosplay video … and one about Con Ribbons (she even interviewed David Peterson!) from the Gallifrey One conference to enjoy!

Do make sure you peruse the Gallifrey One FB page … there are so many awesome posts to look through—wonderful comments and photos galore.

One thing I cannot forget—there was a preview (actually two episodes) of Prisoner Zero—a great animated sci-fi serial that will begin airing this fall … in Australia. Here’s their promo:
“Prisoner Zero’ is a science-fiction adventure series for kids. It tells the story of Gem Coll and Tag Anaton, two teenagers from different worlds, living aboard a spaceship called Rogue. They travel to alien worlds to fight monsters from ancient times, free the oppressed from the evil Imperium’s tyranny and find out just who Prisoner Zero is and why the Imperium took away his memories. Leading the fight is Zero himself, aided by Gem’s adoptive parents Del and Bowi Rev, the mysterious alien known only as Librarian and Tag’s personal protection android, Guardian. The Imperium is masterminded by the sly, manipulative General Vykar along with his handpicked team: Prime Tactician Barqel and Prime Assassin Lady Kai.
I’m not an animated serial fan, but this was pretty darn good. It’s target is 10-15 year olds and I don’t think they’ll have a problem drawing them in. They are trying to get someone to carry it in the US and other locations, so if you are interested, start pressuring the networks in your area. They said we could check it out by using #PrisonerZero … but I’m having no luck finding a link to share.

And of course … then, there are my photos [it’s taken forever to off-load photos from my phone—there were over 17,000 photos (no wonder my phone’s been so slow—lol) … told you I take lots of pictures—plus I am very bad at getting them off the phone this last year. This has been long overdue—sorry for the delay] You may click on individual photos to enlarge—and see commentary. There are comments on ALL photos, even though the comments didn’t post here. They did not load in the order I wanted, but at this point, I just want them in the blog (sorry):

Gallifrey One Interview: Colin Baker

One of the many interviews in the main hall. My apologies (gave program away) … I do not recall the names of the two gentlemen to either side of Colin Baker.

GallyOne Interview: StarTrek-The White Iris

Yes, StarTrek. They actually created a rather cool production that picked up after Star Trek went off air. Christopher Doohan played his father’s part (Scotty) and was spot on—as were the other actors. The mannerisms and voice idiosyncrasy of the characters they portrayed were (nearly) perfect!
As one of the original Trekkies, I loved it!

Dalek

One of many roaming the halls of Gally One.

Cosplay: Dalek & Spaceman

These costumes are completely fabulous. Some hand-made, some store-bought. But who cares. They were all great. Here we have a Dalek, plus the “handler” as I call them for one of the costumes that make visibility a wee bit difficult (hence, the handler for safety’s sake). The costumed character is from a team of investigators sent to the Library to find out what happened. One of my favorite series of episodes (and one of my favorite lines come from it).

Nerder Mysteries

I saw this gentleman last year. Great cosplay outfit.
This group was in charge of this year’s convention-wide treasure hunt: “Let Zygon be Zygon”. I played last year—so much fun … but sadly, with all the stuff I was doing, didn’t have time this year.

Osgood "Twins"

Whilst waiting in line to snag a photo with Olivia Oliver (Osgood)—we actually started the line before they planned it should happen (oopsie)—we got to talking and had a great time comparing our likes. Turns out we had a fair amount in common. Unfortunately, I managed to forget her name (sigh … me and my memory), but I do have her email address, so I’ll call her AZDragonFly! Neat young lady!

The Osgood "Triplets"

Waiting in line can be a drag … but never a Dr. Who convention! AZDragonFly and I met up with another Osgood and with the help of a passerby, snapped this shot. We all have our inhalers. I know … you ask, Zygon or Osgood? Does it make a difference?
Our new Osgood is John O’Connor. This shot is from his phone. Thank you John!

Ex-Ter-Mi-Nate the Cookies!

One very, very tired Girl Scout Dalek in the Dealers Room, selling their cookies! Yum!
You can see the Dalek is made completely (well, almost entirely) from the cardboard packaging of Girl Scout cookies. I LOVE IT! Creativity at it’s best!

Me an' Olivia Oliver

My photo op with Olivia was awesome. I’d already chatted with her the day before and earlier in the same day whilst she signed autographs.
She really is a lovely lady! I was thrilled to meet with her.

Olivia Oliver/Osgood

My autographed copy of one of her many poses. Such a sweet lady! My TARDIS bag is the background … teehee.

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Another Interview ...

Sigh. My apologies—it’s all starting to blur now. I am at a loss as to what group they are (most if not all have been part of Dr. Who as actors or in other capacities) … I do know that the second from the left is the one that played Churchill in one of the Who episodes, but this was about something different. Audio stuff (which I have only just discovered). I’ll amend this when I get the right info.

 

 

 

 

It’s A Con …


DEFINITELY A CON … DEFINITELY! But only in the context of a Conference. Once a year, the Los Angeles based Whovians put together a huge meet up of actors, writers, special effects people … and more for those of us that love science fiction and specifically all things Dr. Who.

Ages ago, I participated as an attendee on multiple occasions at the one put on by San Jose based Whovians. Back then, I only attended one day. I don’t recall if it was an all-weekend event, or just a single day, but it was crazy fun. Back when I was young–much younger, and full of energy. When Dr. Who left the airways for so long, my love for the guy never faltered, but things like conventions were way down on the list of things to do, so scowering the Internet for old epis idea kept me going for a while. I finally stopped trying when it became nearly impossible to find and my old sources dried up.

Last year, I was given the opportunity to attend the one in LA when a friend was unable to attend and offered up her pass to me. I took it … unsure if an “old fogy” like me had any business at a convention like this, but decided it might just be fun.

Oh, it certainly was. Enough so that this crazy ol’ lady is doing it again! I get to meet with my first Doctor, Tom Baker. Yeah, a few others will be there, like Peter Davidson (Doctor #5) … and the Master–I mean Mistress “Missy”, played by Michele Gomez and quite a few others, but “My Doctor” is special.

(Author’s note: 😩 I made an error … it’s Colin Baker, not my favourite–Tom Baker, that will make an appearance. I am so sad.)

At least, to me he is. Tom Baker has the title of being the longest playing Doctor ☺️ from 1974-1981 Maybe that’s why I like him so much … back when the props were held together with a song and a prayer. The sets really were sad compared to the techno stuff available today, but that was part of the magic.

As viewers, we didn’t need everything to be perfect and realistic like today … just the hint of futuristic and other-worldly was all we needed. The wonderful acting, directing and our active imaginations did the rest.

But I digress. Thursday I pick up my pass and start the weekend off with an unofficial In-n-Out Burger Run with a bunch of other Whovians. I promise to take as many photos as possible–hopefully some of them will be worth sharing. A little later, there’s an ice cream social … though I’m not sure I’ll be making that (I’m gonna be playing the “we’ll-have-to-wait-and-see” card since I’m working presently on this at 12:30 in the morning (insert eye roll here, along with a moan …) and am not done. I may be sitting in front of my computer fine-tuning this on Thursday eve. Only time will tell.

Yeah, it’s a time-thing.

Ih my gosh … it’s afternoon on Friday. I completely forgot to add photos and post. So I will post this and add photos tonight.

Bye folks!

Addendum:
And … here it is Monday morning—the first opportunity to have decent wi-fi … and enough energy to post the photos. My heartfelt apologies, but to be blunt … I was having entirely too much fun (teehee). So finally—here are some of them (this Friday’s post I will tell more about the event, with even more photos and some info about Gallifrey One 2017) FYI: If you click on the photo you can enlarge it.:

Cosplay

Aaah. If you are a Whovian, you understand the uniqueness of the jelly belly … I will NOT eat it. The glasses are part of my cosplay pros for Osgood

Con Attire

Some of my ribbons from Thursday night, my hat (ready for the official beginning on Friday) and one of the bags I made for carrying all things Con …

Ice Cream Social

A panorama shot of Whovians at the Ice Cream Social on Thursday night

StarWars vs DrWho

My apologies. Cannot right the photo.
In the lobby, lots of fun going on. Costumes galore.

Thursday Registration

Registration was open earlier than planned—they truly had things in hand and all ran smooth as silk!

TARDIS Goodie Bags

Two bags I made—labours of love—for the con.

Two Doctors

Two of my cosplay items:
Tom Baker wore a hat similar to this (except his is brown) and Smith wore a bow tie …

Flash-Fiction: An Art Form

I’M AN OLD-FASHIONED STORYTELLER … definitely not a flash-fiction kinda gal, where the story is boiled down to its raw elements. I absolutely love many of the flash-fiction bits I read, but think I could never coalesce my thoughts so succinctly (well, I probably could, but it would take far too long). I prefer the drama of drawing things out … peeking around corners to see what’s next, rather than cutting to the chase.

I applaud those that are able to work this magic. Each and every Friday, a group of writers (and even some that don’t consider themselves writers) post their work onto Dan Mader’s Unemployed Imagination blog to join in the flash fiction frenzy at his weekly Two Minutes. Go! (#2minutesgo on Facebook for more) Whenever I have time, I read a few—they are amazing. Some are a wee bit too dark for my taste (and sometimes the language can be a little rough), but still … they grab me through the way the words tumble onto the page. Some leave chills running up my spine. Others fill me with joy … and yet others leave me completely surprised. It is amazing.

Writer-folk or not, it is fun to give it a try—so please do. If nothing else, take some time to read what others have written. Take the time to comment. Thoughtful comments are always appreciated. Perhaps it will inspire you to draw upon your dormant writing muse—that muse, dancing in your mind … waiting for you to ask, is eager to show you what you are capable of …

Be brave … you have two minutes. Go!

Maybe … just maybe, someday—when I’m “between” an edit or story, or my blog—I’ll even give it a go. Until then, I wish you all a blessed week, whether dealing with rain, sleet or snow … may there be serendipitous gems awaiting you.