2014 Goals and Hopes — January 1, 2014

2014 Goals and Hopes

Happy New Year everyone!

I seem to recall not setting any goals this time last year. That’s probably why it feels so much like this last year was without accomplishment.

Goals:

1- Finish the superhero book before mid-January
2- Finish my Woven rewrite before February’s end at latest
3- Edit Woven to its most polished by mid-April
4- Elevator pitch, query, and synopsis for Woven by mid-April
5- Write at least one other book this year
6- Edit at least one other book this year
2013 Books I Read — December 30, 2013

2013 Books I Read

I read not near as much as I should have this year, but thankfully it was more than nothing. (Though not equal to last year’s meager 30 books.)

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson
Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Transcend by Christine Fonseca
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
River Road by Suzanne Johnson
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson
Austenland by Shannon Hale
The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman
The Teacher’s Vet by Wendy Sparrow
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Even Villains Go to the Movies by Liana Brooks
How to Bring Your Love Life Back from the Dead by Wendy Sparrow
On His List by Wendy Sparrow
Frosted by Wendy Sparrow
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

How was your reading year?

Happenings During My Absence — December 13, 2013

Happenings During My Absence

Wow. Sorry it’s been so long. I fear blogging may be losing its steam and edge when it comes to usefulness.

I know I certainly seem to have run out of things to talk about here. But on to the updates.

So, a while back I decided I was through writing. I’d lost the joy in something I’d always loved– reading. I want to reclaim that joy and I’m working on it. But the truth is, ever since I turned to writing as a serious venture, I have found my love of reading waning.

That decision, however, was short-lived. I’m writing again. But the hiatus from writing caused me to lose momentum on the rewrite of Woven. It’s still sitting there, asking to be finished. But I’ve utterly lost interest in the rewrite beyond changing the pronouns to make the book 1st Person POV and to write out the horses. (I realized having my characters travel on horseback was going to become a big hassle as the plot developed in future books in the trilogy.)

I’m writing a superhero story. It’s pretty awesome, I’m not gonna lie. (I may be biased. But I love my characters and their story.) I’m about 11K into the story and things are coming along nicely. There’s a lot more romance in this book. At least, it’s more in the fore when compared to Woven. It’s a nice experiment, seeing if I can manage to write a convincing romance that features so prominently.

I joined Tumblr (again). You can find me there at smwriter.tumblr.com. Over there it’s all about anything that tickles my writer fancy, which includes geeky stuff like video games and shipping my OTPs. If you’re on Tumblr let me know.

The Hobbit comes out today! Terribly exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

This could very well be my last post before Christmas so I hope you all have a merry Christmas.

If you have a question you’re dying to ask me, something you want me to address here on my site, or an interview or other similar request, send it to info(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

General email can be sent to stephanie(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Tales of a Fangirl Shipper — November 11, 2013

Tales of a Fangirl Shipper

While I grow tired of the love triangle in YA literature, I’m oddly still in love with it in my television and movies.

Case in point would be Doctor Who, Once upon a Time, and Haven.
Die hard shipper over here. Hopelessly Team Waffles when it comes to Haven. And absolutely head over heels for Captain Swan. And Rose and the Doctor all the way.
All my ships have something in common, too. In each, the man may not be the best choice for the woman, but the woman is the best choice for the man.
By this I mean that the man’s love for the woman is a motivation for the man to be better. He wants to be the kind of man she could love. The woman isn’t trying to change him. He’s trying to change to deserve her, in his mind.
On Once a upon a Time this season there’s been a recurring theme that love is sacrifice. And these three ships embody that.
And living and breathing a ship? I feel in learning all sorts of things I could apply to my own writing.
And, show writers, please “Stop blowing holes in my ship!” (To quote another pirate.)
Writing Goals: Now to 2013’s End — September 23, 2013

Writing Goals: Now to 2013’s End

All right. I didn’t post writing goals at the beginning of the year. Now, I’m posting this list to keep myself accountable.

1- Finish my rewrite of Woven by October’s end.
2- Spend October world-building and plotting on a new idea
3- Write said new idea in November (First-ever participation in NaNoWriMo here I come)
4- Revise Woven in December and have it ready for betas in the new year
5- Plot and world-build another book somewhere in there

Forgive me if blogging becomes a scarcity. I’m beginning a new job in a week and my schedule is going to be in flux.

What are your goals?

Gaming and Attitudes Toward Female Gamers — September 20, 2013

Gaming and Attitudes Toward Female Gamers

I was thinking last Sunday about some gaming history that I really haven’t talked about here on the blog. Recently, Diablo III launched on console in addition to PC/MAC. I haven’t played it yet but I kind of want to. But all that contemplating whether to commit to it or not brought up some high school memories.

My brother had Diablo II when I was in high school and he was in college. (We’re seven years apart so our interests haven’t always coincided, though they’ve merged more in recent years it seems.) He let me play it from time to time one summer when he was home. (I think.)

Then I bought it for myself so I didn’t have to rely on my brother’s generosity to play it. I loved it. It was a stress reliever for me, to get angry at something and go whack a tree with a sword for a while. (It’s better than taking out frustrations on real people, if you ask me. And I’ve never had a problem differentiating reality and fiction, lest anyone bring out the violence and video games argument. Which I will keep my opinions to myself on that matter.)

One day at school I was sitting around talking to some of my guy friends and for some reason it came up that I was playing through Diablo II.

I got the very incredulous, “You play Diablo?” Emphasis on “you.” It honestly surprised me that anyone would be surprised I would play a video game. I mean, I’d had my N64 since 8th grade (and I think I was probably a junior or senior at this point). I’d grown up begging my brother to let me have a turn playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis or Monkey Island. Even King’s Quest, which I never could get the hang of.

Ever since that conversation in high school, I’ve struggled to identify myself as a gamer. Even here on my own blog I’ve called myself a wannabe gamer. But I’m a gamer. I really and truly am. It’s one facet of my personality, one interest. But it’s an interest all the same.

But that one sentence has deeply impacted me, more than I think I ever even realized. I attended a panel on women in gaming at Salt Lake Comic Con. And sitting there in that room, I was impressed at the seemingly even mix of women and men in the room. And the intelligent, non-belittling questions some of the guys asked. And then I was surprised and disheartened at my being impressed. Because why should I be impressed that men are interested in equality with women in even one industry? Why are we still having to fight this crap?

WiP Wednesday First In September — September 18, 2013

WiP Wednesday First In September

Yeesh. Sorry for the lack of updates on the rewrite. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

A crazy couple of weeks with zero writing progress. As of this writing (which I’m writing this most recent Sunday), I haven’t written since Labor Day.

On Labor Day, I finished up the first draft of a short story I want to sub, but I’m not sure the sub call is still open. I have to check on that (as of writing this post, not it’s posting, I haven’t). It’s about 5500 words that I still have to revise and title. It’s set 180 or so years before Heirs of the Seven Realms begins and is the story of how the first fairy’s parents met.

I am buckling down this week on the Woven rewrite since I’ll be starting a new job soon and won’t get much writing done during the crazy transition period. New schedules will take some getting used to but I’ll get there and back in the swing of things with writing.

How are your WiPs going?

The Power of Cosplay — September 16, 2013

The Power of Cosplay

I’m just over a week, now, since my first and second ever cosplays. What an experience. And what a difference between the two cosplays.

I blogged a while back about my apprehension leading into my first cosplay and con. (That blog post is titled “On Cons and Cosplay” if you’re curious. Also click the stuff in quotes to read that post, if you want.)

In that blog post, I obliquely talked about an obscure choice for a cosplay. As it turned out, I didn’t get to do that cosplay.

For those wondering, this is what I was going to cosplay.

I fully intended to go as Catherine Tate’s character in this comedy sketch. I had bought the clothes and jewelry, and the wig. Turns out, the wig I bought didn’t like to be put into a pony tail of any sort.

It was on to Plan B, which was to cosplay as Amy Pond, since I had the red wig.

This is the final result:

I don’t know what face I’m trying to pull in that one. Oh well. (And that’s my brother pulling an excellent Wil Wheaton-esque photo bomb.)

You can barely see the hash marks on my arms as I’m cosplaying Amy from “Day of the Moon” and its related episodes. I’m fighting the silence.

Props to the woman cosplaying River Song. Excellent detail work on her cleric army uniform.

This was my second cosplay of the con. I was originally only going to attend the last day but then lucked into a 3-day pass. Through the entire weekend I probably saw at least a dozen others cosplaying this same thing. Sigh for thinking I was thinking outside the box. Oh well.

The day before I was sitting at work and struck on a brilliant idea for a cosplay. So brilliant, in fact, I questioned why I never thought of it before. I called my mom to ask her to check the costume boxes in our holiday storage room to make sure we still had the pieces. She only found half the costume. At which point I realized the rest was hanging in my closet.

So this was the result:

Weeping Angel Statue of Liberty.

Talk about kind of obscure.

But this was honestly the best day of the con for me. When people got it, and got the weeping angel part, it was so fun. The smiles were so fantastic. And what’s funny is that this isn’t even the most accurate cosplay in the history of cosplay.

I didn’t have the hair right at all. No way can my natural hair replicate the statue’s hair. Nor did I have any sort of face or body paint. If I were to ever cosplay this again, I’d make the costume over from scratch so it was long enough and do the teeth, wig, and paint job. (This was my Halloween costume when I was about 10. My mom made it for me and I’ve worn it three or so times since for various purposes.)

I knew, of course, going into the con that there would be some there who wouldn’t get it and think “How odd, she’s just cosplaying the Statue of Liberty.”

Of course, too, it hit a second fandom– Ghostbusters. (They bring her to life in Ghostbusters II). Which, when I happened upon the Ghostbusters of SLC booth, made for an absolutely brilliant fandom moment.

The smiles this cosplay generated are honestly what has me already plotting my cosplays for next year’s con. And I’m trying so hard to think outside the box since my last-minute, what I thought was really obscure, cosplay was a hit and made me happy because it made other people happy. And a bigger hit than my Amy Pond cosplay.

Though it is so liberating to become a character (I can totally see the appeal in acting), the true power of cosplay is making others smile, brightening their day a bit. That is what will have me coming back for more cosplaying.

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 Day 3 Photos! — September 8, 2013

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 Day 3 Photos!

Wow, the last day of the con. I will be posting a full text recap later on, but I really wanted to share the photos sooner. I need some time to compose my thoughts.

 Me photobombed by a little kid (far left), standing with Captain America Stormtrooper, Steampunk Chewbacca, and a Rebel Pilot.

 Me with a Dalek, trying to act scared. Yeah, not so much. This Dalek was awesome in that it was motorized.

 Pretty decent Dr. Horrible. I was on the lookout through the whole con for a Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer group. Saw several of each individually but never together (or in vicinity) to get a group shot.

Me as Amy Pond fighting the Silence with a River Song cosplayer. (And my brother pulling a very impressive Wil Wheaton face as he photobombs us.)

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 Day 2 Photos! — September 7, 2013

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 Day 2 Photos!

Wow, what a great second day. I last-minute decided today to cosplay. It was subtle, but fantastic when people got it. I might be getting a bit addicted to this whole cosplay thing. I had a lot of fun moments today.

Two Weeping Angels posing together. This was pretty early on in the day before I’d done too much.

Now, this was pretty epic and fantastic. My cosplay really worked for two fandoms today. The Whovians who got my costume got super excited. But these guys probably gave me one of my favorite moments of the day. While posing, one of their other members off to the side started to quote Ghostbusters II at me. Hilarious! Thanks, Ghostbusters of SLC for making my day fantastic!

These gals totally loved my and got my cosplay right off the bat. Kudos to them for for the sonic screwdriver action.

This was awesome. There’s a real person inside that suit walking around the event floor. Awesome.

Me with Simon Fisher-Baker. He fully got my cosplay right off the bat. Thank you Mr. Fisher-Baker for being so sporting to pose in an awesome way for me. (And for letting me re-take it when we discovered my face was blocked by my arm.)

Me and John de Lancie. Very nice man, love him for his work in various Star Trek franchises. Gave me an awesome memory by actually acting interested in the origins of my cosplay.