Monday, April 30, 2012

Calgary Comic Expo 2012

I've just spent an incredible weekend with my three daughters. I was a giggling teenager again and I loved every minute of it. Last year I went with my youngest daughter to the Comic Expo, not my cup of tea but I knew she was very excited about it. We weren't even there half an hour before I had to visit a bank machine and replenish my wallet. She wanted to see William Shatner but I really didn't want to pay the autograph fee. I found it strange that a star would ask for money for his signature. I've since learned that this is common practise at these things. When we left, I was exhausted and broke and she was excited and anxious for the next year. I nodded and said, "Sure I'll bring you again." Inside I was hoping that, maybe, it would slip her mind over the course of the year. Then I saw the guests for the 2012 Comic Expo and I forgot that I was an over forty mom and screamed like a school girl.

Spike was going to be there! I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, thanks to my oldest daughter, and Spike is one of my favourite characters (in my opinion the best vampire ever). Yes, James Marsters was just one of several guests that I wanted to see. So, I bought weekend passes for the four of us and on Friday we headed down to the Stampeded grounds and explored everything.

There were artist booths, great for Rachel who is going to be starting her second year of her Bachelor of Fine Arts program in the fall. There was a reptile display which Rebekah loved and got her picture taken with Buffy the boa constrictor. There were ponies, ponies everywhere for Kayla who stocked up on old ponies I'm sure my nieces had twenty years ago when they were kids. And there was James Marsters sitting at a table signing autographs for me to admire from afar. We did get his autograph and I must say he was the nicest person. He shook my hand and talked to my girls and made us all feel special. I think I probably looked silly as I stood there not knowing what to say. (Schoolgirl giggly goof!) My kids met Jim Cummings, voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Dark Wing Duck, etc., (Rebekah was beside herself), Tara Strong, voice of Twilight Sparkle (Kayla spent Sunday afternoon at the Brony Panel), and many very talented artists.

The hilite for a lot of people was the reunion of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast but I was never a huge Trekkie fan but that didn't matter. There seemed to be so many different stars that everyone that went was satisfied. There was James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins in Harry Potter), Hayden Panettiere (the cheerleader in Heroes), Michael Rooker (the Walking Dead), Adam Baldwin (Jane in Firefly), Stan Lee (comic book legend), and so many more. The costumes people made and wore were fantastic. The panels that we could go to and ask questions of the stars were fun. There was just too many great things going on that I changed my mind about these things and will most definitely going back next year.

I posted some pictures and hope that you enjoy them and would like to say, if you ever get a chance to go to one of these comic expos GO. You'll feel like a kid again and have so much fun even though I could probably now sleep for a week and am broke for a couple of months. It was worth it!

The orginal Batmobile

Rebekah and Kayla in the DeLorean from Back to the Future

Inside the DeLorean

James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Kayla and Tara Strong (voice of Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony)

Kayla and Rebekah with Jim Cummings (voice of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too)

Jim Cummings panel. He was so good.

Stan Lee panel. A legend who told stories about Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk and how he created them.

Stan Lee

James Marster's panel. He even spoke a little with his British accent.

James Marsters

James Marsters

One of the many cool costumes


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I am trying, once again, to obtain an agent. I've written a new book called The 360 and my daughter has begged me to try to get an agent and publish it so it can be in print, in the bookstores. I am hesitant because my experience with trying to find an agent is kind of depressing. I have sent so many query letters and received everything from no thank, your story is just not right for us at this time to hearing abosolutely nothing. I think I only got one or two agents asking to see more. I understand that agents receive thousands of letters everyday and it's almost lottery number odds to actually get an agent and that's the uphill battle I'm a little leary of but I will try. I have letters out to about twenty agents and, so far, I've heard from three. Yes, they say thank you for the interest but your story is just not right for us at this time but please don't be discouraged. Just becaue we don't like it, doesn't mean that others won't. Keep trying.

I've tried to write a good query letter but it's hard to get the right flare into a few words. I have no idea what will catch each agent's eye. I read and research every one of them but I still don't think I'm catching their attention. Today I will try to do some spring cleaning and wait to hear from some of the people I've emailed over the past few weeks. I will breathe in and out and focus on the inner me and try to be patient. Tomorrow I will sit and write my next book and, hopefully, by next week I will get an email asking for more of The 360. I'm crossing my fingers and I will let everyone know if I do.

Has anyone else had any luck with agents? If so, what's your secret?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Well, I've been blown away yet again. Fifteen years ago I reluctantly dragged myself to the theater with my mom to watch a movie I was sure would be long and boring, after all I already knew what happened to the Titanic; it sank. Boy was I wrong. Titanic, the movie, was absolutely amazing. The character of Jack Dawson was so awe inspiring the way he loved life and always seemed to be happy no matter what. Rose was like any other seventeen year old, scared of her future and rebelling against everything she was. Her mother and Cal played perfect villains and Mr. Andrews and Molly Brown were the perfect substitute parents for both Rose and Jack. Despite knowing everything about the Titanic and her fateful voyage, I found myself falling in love with the movie and, like many others, went to the theater more than once.

My love affair with the Titanic goes back to teenage years when my sister and I sought out any information we could find about the ship. Finding the wreckage was akin to finding Atlantis and I remember the day Dr. Robert Ballard found the ship lying at the bottom of the Atlantic in 1985; mystery solved. We stared for hours at the pictures the little submarine brought up; it was like looking at a ghost. Since then, I've watched movies and documentaries, I've been to the gravyard in Halifax where a lot of the victims are buried (believe it or not, there is actually a J. Dawson buried there) and I've visited the travelling artifact show at our Science Center (it was amazing, I saw actual artifacts from the ship and I was given a replica passenger ticket only to find out that, among the six of us that went, the person on my ticket was the only one to drown). I still remember my oldest daughter, who is now eighteen, wearing her Titanic t-shirt, her blond hair blowing in the wind and standing on a railing at the park and yelling "I'm the king of the world!" And I can still see my youngest in my living room when she was about three years old, leaning over the end of the couch and yelling "Jump! Just Jump!" when the movie played the ship sinking. Like me, all my children loved the movie.

So, when I heard they were re-releasing Titanic for the 100th anniversary, I laughed. When they said it would be in 3D, I laughed even harder. Who would want to see that movie again and pay for it? I have seen it over fifty times and my kids have too. But, what the hell, they've never seen it on the big screen and it might be fun. I took them yesterday. I let them skip school and I took them to the big big screen (I think it's called AVX3D). It was like I had never seen the movie before. I sat back in my seat and three and a half hours just flew by. I fell into the story and watched one of my favourite on screen couples fall in love once again (only Scarlett and Rhett rank higher). I felt tears well up in my eyes as the band played that haunting tune and watched as the old couple lay huddled on their bed and the Irish lady told her children a bedtime story. My heart broke when Jack slipped beneath the water and disappeared and I smiled when Rose, young again, reached out to take Jack's hand at the top of the staircase after she died. And when it was over, I looked at my daughters and said "Well, did you like it on the big screen?"

"Mom," they said, "it was friggin' amazing!"