Portland Comic Con 2015 A Late but Great Review

Mothra cosplay w/thanks to S. Shadow's Natural Photography

Mothra cosplay w/thanks to S. Shadow's Natural Photography

Mothra cosplay w/thanks to S. Shadow’s Natural Photography

Wizard World’s Portland Comic Con happened at the Portland Convention Center in Portland, Oregon January 23, 24 and 25. Yes I’m a week behind and I do apologize, gentle reader. So many amazing things happened at the con and I did tweet one or two of them, and now I’d like to write them up properly.

Inspector Gadget Portland Comic Con 2015

Inspector Gadget Portland Comic Con 2015

Friday was the first day of the con and due to work I didn’t make it. One must keep one’s job to continue to enjoy going to cons. Saturday I wore my Mothra cosplay and Sunday I wore my steampunk cosplay. I’m afraid I didn’t get any pictures of my steampunk cosplay, which is a shame because I finally put together something really nice. Next time for sure!

Classic Catwoman & Penguin

Classic Catwoman & Penguin

Speaking of cosplay there were some amazing ones at the con. There was a classic Catwoman with a Penguin that was fantastic. I also saw another Popeye. There was an adorable little Midna as well as a couple of Zeldas and several Links.

The booths were amazing too. I even bought some comics at this con, all of them Doctor Strange. The best booth of the con, IMHO, though was the Rock Rebel table. I was walking by, on my way to another booth I wanted to take a look at and I stopped in my tracks because there, on the table, were several different bags with classic monsters on them, and they had matching billfolds.

Rock RebelHe was thrilled to discuss Godzilla and the Munsters while I was selecting my bag. He loved the Gareth Edwards Godzilla and was surprised and excited to hear that Toho is planning on their own Godzilla reboot this year. We also discussed how Lillian Munster’s dress was so tight she couldn’t walk in it and had to be carried to where she would stand on set. Then he told me about how the Munsters drove off in the Munster Koach, went joy riding on the freeway in full make-up one day and caused quite a commotion.

It’s so much fun to meet another fan. But I digress, he had Walking Dead totes and bags as well as shirts and even Addams Family, Jaws and Edward Scissors Hands stuff so there was something for everyone but what really caught my eye were the bags. These aren’t just cheap bags thrown together either. He was very proud of them and showed me how they are lined with different fabric and patterns. I simply love my bag and I love the billfold even more. The bag holds everything I could ask for, and although it could use a couple more pockets for organizational purposes, it is plenty spacious while still being a good size.

Rock Rebel

Rock Rebel

Now generally I’m not much on impulse buying, although at a con I do make exceptions. I’ve also needed a new bag since one of my favorites wore out just before Christmas so I’ve been on the look-out for a nice one. These are spectacular and they are unique pieces. I meant to only carry it for cons but I haven’t had time to change out to one of my more normal ones all week (and you thought it was just blogging that I get too busy for).

I’m speculating here, but judging by his reaction I was one of his first customers and he cut me a great deal on the bag and matching wallet combo. I asked him what made him think of this and he said that he’d been going to cons for a while and what he noticed was that while, yes, there were a lot of younger people there were also a lot of mothers there too and, he said, he got to thinking, these are the women who are kind of neglected fans and they are the ones who have jobs and therefore discretionary income to spend on unique items that reflect their own fandom.

Munster Go Home:  Lilly Munster bag and billfold

Munster Go Home: Lilly Munster bag and billfold

I think that is just brilliant. I really found myself hoping he made bank because he’s right and there is money to be made and frankly, I’m tired of being overlooked at cons and stuff because I’m not a guy or a hot 20 year old.

Since he wasn’t all that busy and I had other booths to check out I asked if he’d mind if I stopped back later to ask a few more questions. He was quite happy to do that and said I could stop by any time. The good news is that when I swung back by, he was absolutely mobbed with customers. I was very happy for him.

The next thing I want to talk about is S. Shadow’s Natural Photography. I was fortunate enough to be noticed by their photographer at the Rose City Comic Con, which is where I debuted my Mothra Cosplay. Well he found me again at the Portland Comic Con and took another couple of pictures and they are gorgeous. If you are in the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area and you want some nice photographs taken I would recommend him.

Smaug and his hoard at the Weta Workshop

Smaug and his hoard at the Weta Workshop

The Weta Booth was huge and well worth a browse. One of the members of my party (we actually had, very loosly, a fighter, a spellcaster, a healer and a beserker) got a pouch of the coins like the ones used in the Hobbit and a replica of The Key to Erebor. A must see for any Hobbit fans.

I got my copy of How To Survive A Sharknado signed. That is a very funny and useful book. Not only does it even have some practical advice but it’s actually an episode guide for all of the Sci-Fi Sharknado-like movies. Very clever that.

Safety First!

Safety First!

Of course it wasn’t until Sunday, when I was wearing my Steampunk cosplay that I stumbled upon a plush Godzilla and a plush King Ghidorah. Why, oh why, couldn’t I have found that when I was being Mothra?

We also sat in on Sacha Rioz’s panel discussion. He was delightful. Trying to get things going the MC, who clearly doesn’t know much about the show (Grimm), asked Sacha, “So you’re here for the con, is there anyplace you’ve found that’s kind of special since you’ve been here?”

Of course the audience was tittering as this question developed and Sacha was kind of grinning. He answered, “We film here.” The audience burst out laughing.

The poor MC just looked out at us and said, “And you just let me go ahead and dig that hole.”

Sacha also said that he didn’t know that much about cosplay, the MC asked him about it, but he found that most of the time, if he guessed “Doctor Who,” he was safe. That was very funny too. During the Q & A several cosplayers asked questions and he guessed Doctor Who on them. Only one was actually Doctor Who but there was a delightful Arthur Dent from Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, which is at least British.

I would have to say that the Wizard World Portland Comic Con was a rousing success for us. We had a ton of fun, found some great items and just really enjoyed every minute there. I hope others who went also had fun and if you’re considering going to a con, I would say you should do it. It’s fun for the whole family. K.

P.S. if you’re looking for a really nice corset for your Steampunk cosplay, or just in general you might check out Ms Martha’s Corset Shoppe (I’m hoping to save up for The Warrior, myself).

Some bonus photos:

Weeping Angel

Weeping Angel

IMG_4365

The Wicked Queen from Snow White.

The Wicked Queen from Snow White.

Adorable couple as Dorothy and Glenda

Adorable couple as Dorothy and Glenda

Rebel Pilot and Unicycle riding, bagpipe playing Darth Vader

Rebel Pilot and Unicycle riding, bagpipe playing Darth Vader

Tinkerbelle

Tinkerbelle

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Thelma

Thelma

Cosplay & Ron Perlman at the Portland Comic Con

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Cherno Alpha Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

Cherno Alpha Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

I’ve been busy having fun at the Portland Comic Con and as a result have not been good about blogging about it. Which is disservice to an excellent con. There were some rocking cosplays, quite a few in point of fact. I saw a fabulous I Dream Of Jeanie for the first time at a con. There were a bunch of Doctors, mainly the fourth Doctor, the tenth Doctor and the eleventh Doctor. I even saw a weeping angel get into a stare down with a mop-toting, fez-wearing, bow-tie clad eleventh Doctor. One of my top favorites was a fantastic Sasha Kaidonovsky, pilot of Cherno Alpha from Pacific Rim. There were a lot of Wonder Women and I was glad to see them. Also I saw quite a few Poison Ivys and this con I saw a lot of My Little Ponys and they were adorable. Elsa and Anna from Disney’s Frozen made their cosplay debut at this con and they were gorgeous every time I saw one. I could write a whole article about the fabulous cosplay and perhaps I should.
Xena Warrior Princess Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

Xena Warrior Princess Cosplay at Portland Comic Con

Today, though, I want to write about meeting Ron Perlman. I remember seeing him first in Beauty and the Beast when I was quite young. While he had many roles, I’m sure between that and Hellboy I was not aware of them and Hellboy is a movie I really enjoy. I never got into Sons of Anarchy so next I saw him in Pacific Rim which is far and away my favorite movie of 2013. So when I heard he was going to be at this con I was very excited.

What I really wanted to do was come up with something to say to him that would be as interesting for him as meeting him would be for me. I wanted to say something intelligent, or kind, or anything other than something a squeeing fangirl might say. Unfortunately I could not come up with something to say so, on Saturday, the first time I went through his autograph line I just smiled, shook his hand and said, “Thank you.” Ok, so not very articulate but not too embarrassing. He was charming and gracious.

Then I discovered that someone else in my party also wanted his autograph but had had to get cash. So, I agreed to stand in line with her the next time he was singing autographs to keep her company. That’s twice in one day I met him and he was very kind. THEN, because I had managed not to make a complete fool of my self by saying anything dumb, my nephew found out about the autograph opportunity and, since he doesn’t live in town and it was far too late and too expensive for his parents to ship him in for the con he begged me to get him a signed photo of Hellboy. What could I do? So Sunday I stood in line for the third time, feeling like a total dork because I had gone about this the most inefficient way possible and here I was for the THIRD time getting an autograph.

Mr. Perlman was gracious and if he recognized me (probably since I wore my steampunk cosplay each day), he didn’t make any comments about how many times I’d stood in line to see him this weekend–bless his heart for his kindness.

Ron Perlman is very good to his fans and he gets into character a little bit for each different character photo he signs. I’m glad I got to meet him, even if I could barely string two words together. Also one of his fans drew a picture of a dragon for him and he thanked her for it when she gave it to him. He said it was very nice. I would say it was totally worth standing in line three times to meet him. K.

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Captain America cosplay Portland Comic Con

Rereading In The Flesh and getting more ideas for War In Flesh

I’ve almost finished rereading In The Flesh. I really did advance the romantic interest pretty well. I do need to stop pussyfooting around and just get to writing it in War In Flesh. I’m getting a better feel for how I want the story to continue also, so this exercise has been very productive.

I’m still loving KERS for the next thing Ziya designs so I’ll be working on that device for her. War In Flesh is going to go slightly more Steampunk than In The Flesh did, although a steam powered SWATH ship is pretty cool if you ask me. Not very environmentally friendly though, I’m afraid. I will keep you updated gentle reader. K.

War In Flesh, KERS, Steampunk, and The Persi Brothers Take Over

Alright I’m on day 2 of just thinking about what I really want to do with War In Flesh and I’ve come to realize that I need to correct an egregious oversight. I wanted book 2 to be more about the romances I hinted at in the first book and so far I’ve got nothing much. Plus I separated the party which goes against rule #1. I also haven’t spent much time on the pair I want to be the main characters.

Of course for those who read the first book, In The Flesh, it will come as no surprise that the Persi brothers and their friend Makis have kind of taken over the lead. I need to fix that, without cutting their parts, mind you, because they are too endearing.

Also I’m kind of having an idea and I need to do some research to see if I can make it work. To give you a bit more than a hint, I’m looking at KERS. This is so very cool. Ziya will have a ball. I think War In Flesh may go even more steampunk than In The Flesh did. This is fun and exciting to me.

I’m going to be seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness today. So I won’t be able to do a lot of research for War In Flesh. Instead I’m just going to let the ideas keep percolating through my grey matter and see what I come up with. K.

Dancing With The Stars, My Pick and Gardening Wakes My Muse

Love, Liverpool Remembers and Medallion from my garden.  Photo by K. L. Zolnoski

Love, Liverpool Remembers and Medallion from my garden.  Photo by K. L. Zolnoski

Love, Liverpool Remembers and Medallion from my garden. Photo by K. L. Zolnoski

I’m filling this post with pictures of my roses because I love them, they’re beautiful and each plant was a gift from someone meaningful in my life.

On to today’s blog: Dancing With The Stars, let me just say that I’ve only seen Afro Jazz twice in my life, including Alexandra and Mark and I’ve loved it every time I’ve seen it. Kellie and Derek are a shoe-in if you ask me; she is just so beautiful and talented. Who doesn’t love Jacoby and Karina? They’re wonderful. So my votes had to go to Zendaya and Val. I wish they all could win, I really do. Oh, Ingo and Kim too. How could I have forgotten? My apologies. Ingo is such a charmer and I loved his lovely wife’s recollection of their first meeting.

I got no writing done yesterday because I spent the day working in my garden. It’s overrun with weeds and will take daily attention to get it back into shape. I also want to put raised beds in this year. I’ve been looking at designs on a variety of sites to see how to go about it and it seems that Popular Mechanics has the best instructions so far. Although, now that I think of it, OccupyTesla on Facebook posted some great blueprints too.

LIverpool Remembers --photo by K. L. Zolnoski

LIverpool Remembers –photo by K. L. Zolnoski

It would appear that gardening and sleep deprivation spark my muse. She’s a steampunk gal with a corset, Victorian shoes with brass buckles, a tool belt over her bustle and a parasol. She also keeps a set of lock picks hidden in her gloves. She’s fickle and has a wicked sense of timing.

Love --Photo by K. L. Zolnoski

Love –Photo by K. L. Zolnoski

Anyway I have a lot to do today and I’m suddenly inundated with ideas. I’ve got to get busy, gentle reader. Whoops! Looks like a Chicago Peace made it into my feature picture. Sorry about almost missing that. Enjoy the pictures of my roses. K.

War In Flesh, The Lorelei II, And Math

Well I got out of the house in an attempt to increase my productivity. There are too many distractions at home, there really are. Mt. Laundry is always calling out to be scaled, dishes are a never ending task and with the advent of warm weather and sunny days the flower beds cry out for attention. There are a million and 1 distractions that are legitimate chores I could and should do but once I give in to them I don’t get a lot of writing done.

As a corollary to getting out of the house, a place with free Wi-Fi isn’t as helpful as one might imagine. The Internet, I am sure you are aware, has it’s own plethora of distractions. Nevertheless I shall resist. I have a Kahlua latte and a slice of absolutely divine looking apple strudel and I am going to get to work on War In Flesh.

I love the progress I made yesterday on it.

I love math, I really do. In fact I’m going to have one of my characters rhapsodize about math in War In Flesh. But I digress. For today’s writing I had to look back and find out how fast I made the steampunk flavored ship I designed for In The Flesh and use the rate to find the time it would take them to cross a specified distance. The old standby D = rt is easily transformed into t = D/r. Then I had to convert miles to kilometers and hours to days. There is something relaxing about math like that. But I’ll save my other thoughts on that matter for Ziya to tell you all about. ☺

Whoa did War In Flesh take a surprising turn today. It was tough to write and required a lot of research on the fly but I’m very pleased with this new plot twist. K.

Superbowl Sunday, Steampunk Ship for Book 2 and the Ending for In The Flesh Are On The Agenda For Today

Today is the Superbowl. The 49er’s and the Ravens will take the field for glory and the entertainment of fans everywhere. May they play well and without injury. We’ve got some great snacks planned here and have some people coming over.

While the game is on I plan to finish up the first draft of In The Flesh and give the final chapters to my copy editor. I hammered out the details of the final scene last night and just need to write them into the story. It is very exciting.

As a bonus I also hammered out the major story arc for book two which I’m tentatively naming Lorelei II or possibly Lorelei A after the steampunk style ship one of my characters has designed for their adventures. I’m seriously considering a steam powered rail gun to launch light weight gliders from the deck for reconnaissance over the coastlines of unexplored lands.

That is for another day though as I must finish In The Flesh first. Yesterday I spent the whole day tasking Google Earth to find and describe the final locations for In The Flesh and I am happy, very happy with what I’ve come up. I must confess I had to change one part of the book because I had beautifully described a pair of mountains only to discover they were no where near where I had put my characters. I am so glad I caught that before some alert reader did after I had published.

Anyway, enjoy the game, your friends and family those of you who make a to-do of Superbowl Sunday and thank you for your continued interest faithful and gentle readers. K.

In The Flesh and Cover Art Update

I’ve seen some preliminary sketches for In The Flesh and let me tell you they look amazing.  I’m tempted to ask the artist if they can do a quick one of the steampunk style ship the Lorelei II that shows up in the latter part of the book.  I don’t want to overwhelm her though.  She’s just good at what she does though.

In truth I’ve been in a bit of a slump.  I’ve been worried about how long this book is going to go.  I thought I was only a few chapters from the end but the closer I get the more loose ends I have to tie up and it just makes me wonder if I’m going on too much.  Once I stop worrying about that I find writing it a joy and it just flows.  So I’m having a bit of a conundrum as to what to do.  Do I just write it and edit out any extra?  What if it is still too long?  Is an arbitrary word count something I should restrict myself too?

Giving it much thought and with ideas and words just about bursting out of me I have decided to write it and let it be how lengthy it will be.  My beta readers have not complained, except occasionally about a chapter not being finished quickly enough for them so I will trust their opinion on the content.

Stay tuned to see where we shall go.

 

Research and Writing

Although the scenes are brief where the knowledge is useful I have spent many days researching ship building and different ship designs for In The Flesh.  I have studied wooden sailing ships from the 1800’s and researched riveting and welding techniques for steel ships.  I researched the Titanic’s structure and that of the US Victory ships of WW II. I have also researched SWATH (Small-Waterplane-Area Twin Hull) ships  and their pros and cons.  I even did a quick Google browse of steampunk ships which is a genre that I am finding more and more interesting.  Not only do I enjoy research but I also feel it brings a bit of realism to what is a fictional tale.  As a nerd I enjoy this kind of detail in the books I read.  As a Science Fiction fan I like books that give me a taste of what is real along side the flights of imagination and futuristic speculation.

Today I feel I have written one of my best scenes yet and I hope when you read it, you will enjoy it as much as I have, even if you never know how much effort went into this labor of love.