What I learned at Phx Comicon 2

Tracking tip #4 – Ravens, crows and blackbirds in abundance will indicate some stage of decay. They do not congregate unless to gang up on the hurt or wounded. “Flock of birds”, “murder” of crows, “unkindness” of ravens; you get the picture.

What I learned at Phoenix Comicon, year 3.

1 – Strollers can be used as battering rams to clear spaces in crowds. My kids got off easy when they were babies.

2- Don’t sit in the back for many reasons. I haven’t yet wanted to leave a panel, I can’t always see and hear, and most of all, it is very distracting to watch a woman play with her hair the entire panel. Not just twist a lock but every five minutes brush out with fingers (the whole head) create a part down the back and bring hair forward over both shoulders. Yes every five minutes, I timed it.

3 – Cell phones don’t always work in the basement. Not even texting.

4 – It is very easy to get lost in the exhibitors hall (gets bigger every year.) Or at least lose that booth where you saw the thing you had to have, left to find an ATM and now you can’t find it again.

Ok seriously now (though all the above stuff DID happen).

My third year I already knew the panels were awesome so in my brief time spent outside of panels, I started noticing more of the people. First, there are two kinds of people to go to Comicon. The first are people who go strictly to shop or just look around and then go home to tell everyone “Oh I’m such a geek, I went to Comicon” when in reality if it hasn’t been a major motion picture, they would have no idea what it was. (BTW we call those Fake Geeks, see below on how to spot them!) Most people would be taken in by this, but not the ones who go for more than the superficial layer. Those also shop, yes, but they are primarily there to pay homage to these fabulous worlds where imagination and wonder has no limits. These are the true geeks who respect and honor the fact that somehow this stuff is a part of their life, whether it is to create and wear costumes, become a fan-fiction writer, discuss the finer points of a TV or Movie series, or realize that their lives were influenced/helped by these wonderful creations.

But the most important of all, I realized that these people who were on the panels, the actors, authors, artists and fans, these people were HAPPY with their lives. They truly loved what they were doing and I envied them. I resolved to pick back up where I was derailed and become an author. Not for the fame, not to be on panels, not to be admired by fans. I wanted to be as happy as they were, doing something I loved. And if I touch another in the process, so much the better!

How to spot a fake Geek:

1 – Dad with young daughter: “Don’t run off! Remember this is Comicon, full of weirdos.”                Hey if you thought that, why did you come? Also, we may be weird but most are a hell of a lot nicer than most folks. We wouldn’t call you weird because you are wearing a striped shirt with plaid shorts. Ok maybe we would.

2 – People trying to find the exhibitor halls: “What are all these rooms for?” One looks in, “Oh just a bunch of people sitting there.” Good, don’t come in. Don’t want you chatting during the awesome panel.

3 – “What’s with all the gray people with orange horns?” And all the variations on this question.

4 – Wearing a batman or superman t-shirt. Ok it’s a start but when it looks like the shirt has been sitting in a closet since 1980, not so much.

If you have any, please feel free to let me know. I am sure to think of more.

What I learned at Phoenix Comicon

First of all:  Tracking tip #3 – Vultures are the ultimate birds to follow. Whether circling or on the ground, the dead thing is most certainly dead. By the way, a group of vultures on the ground is a “Venue” and a group circling is a “Kettle.” Doesn’t really make sense as when they are landed they are feasting and kettle seems a more appropriate term. Just sayin’.

What I learned at Phoenix Comicon

I have only been going to Comicon for three years but have learned so much, different every year. I have discovered things about myself, other people and life in general, not to mention all kinds of interesting stuff like upcoming books, behind the scenes, actors’ lives, etc. Let’s take it year by year, shall we?

My first year at Comicon was a true eye opener for me. This wonderful event was about so much more than comic books. It had actors, authors, artists and just about anything involved in sci fi, fantasy, and more. The exhibitor hall didn’t just have geeky stuff for sale but also a place where you can get a picture with your favorite celebrity, autographs or just chat with your favorite author or illustrator. The panels involved discussions, questions posed to these celebrities or just plain fun all around.

But the best part is the people. Nearly everyone is of like mind. Painfully shy people show up in costume and are not insulted but admired. If you trip and fall, people don’t look away and laugh. Instead five or more superheroes will come, help you up and ask if you’re ok. (And they aren’t all in costume…) Complete strangers discuss similar interests. When you find yourself bumping someone while reaching for the same item on sale, instead of frowning or fighting for the object, eyes lock and both smile and nod knowingly. Conversation usually follows: “Love that shirt”, “Nice horns”. It feels like you’ve made a forever friend even though you will probably never see them again. Odd to think that amongst good and evil characters, orcs and wizards, I should feel more comfortable than any other place I have ever been. I couldn’t believe I had never come. But I wouldn’t admit my geekiness to anyone else until my second year.

My second year at the same Con, I learned that the panels were much more interesting than all the shopping and crowds. I mean the merchandise was fabulous as ever, but I would come out of each panel with a smile plastered on my face well into the next panel. I also learned food was way overpriced but since I would have paid three times as much to just go to the Con, I was fine with that. (Don’t tell the admin this or they will raise prices!)

I chose my schedule with much more care and got to talk to some amazing people including one of my favorite authors. Took pictures with a couple of celebrities, gathered as many autographs as I could, and decided then and there that I would come every year as long as it existed (and could afford it, hear me Phx Comicon? Don’t raise prices!!!) I also learned that I did not need to hide my geekiness any more. If anyone tried to poke fun at Comicon, I explained all that I experienced and usually changed that person’s opinion. Or at least shut them up so they wouldn’t have to hear me rattle on about it for hours.

Didn’t care, I was officially hooked. FOREVER!

I think I will put my third and most recent year in the next blog since it will probably be huge and most enlightening (for me anyway.)

Tracking tip #2

#2 – Predator birds such as hawks, falcons, owls and such will lead you to live things that will shortly be dead. Do not follow too closely as you don’t want a bird with sharp claws and beak to think you are taking their dinner. Ow.

Why was I in such a dark place and how did I get out of it? Loooong story but I will give the bare bones and go into details of each in future blogs. Would be here for days if I said everything. It was mostly a case of a thousand straws on the camel’s back and I finally got brave enough to wrestle those straws into a bundle and kindle a fire with them. This fire is my life and I am determined to be myself and not try to make others happy by being someone else.

What were those straws, you may ask?

Here are just the highlights, the large straws, not even counting the little daily stresses. Number one, my health has been bad for some time, mostly due to stress (adrenal fatigue is REAL, people!)  #2 and most recent – father died suddenly. Before that (#3) my grandmother’s growing abuse of my mother caused my mother to have nervous breakdown and had to care for them both. Before THAT, best friend passing away after a LONG fight with breast cancer. #5 (I am thinking the beginning of the major stresses) the first indication that my marriage was not all I thought it to be.

As you can see, a lot of shit. Not sure which is the best way to tell the stories. Probably how it all happened although I am not really sure how things fell out the way they did. So I was in a funk, not depressed in the clinical term but very unhappy and not even realizing it until suddenly I was happy again. And it was like a light. And not one thing but a series of wonderful experiences happening over four days.

Next blog will be an upbeat one but keep checking back for the details of the darkness. I hope someone will read them and learn how to dig themselves out of the hole before it buries them like it did to me.

Tracking tip of the week

#1 – Look for circling birds, the larger the better. Center on the circle but wait until they start to land or the thing might not be dead. FYI, the more birds, the bigger the thing. Rabbits, ok. Bengal Tiger, not so much. Different advice with different birds coming with next tips.

The first question is always “Why would you want to track dead things?” My answer is “If you didn’t want to, why click on this site?” Either way, weekly tips will be posted as a heading to my blog. And it is my blog. Don’t care if anyone follows, enjoys or reads. This is for me to get back into daily writing and become more tech savvy in the process. If anything I write resonates with just one person, I am content.

Why am I starting blogging? Especially when I swore I never would tweet or blog or get involved in any social media. My daughter was a big influence, telling me that I was cool funny and everyone else needed to be able to read the cool things I talked about so they would all know what a great person I am. Actually she said something like “You’re funny mom. You should blog.” How I choose to interpret that is my business.

Tracking dead things came up in one of those random train of thoughts while chatting with said daughter. My consumption of 2 Long Island Ice Teas (hereafter known as LIIT) probably added to the silliness and we started thinking up ideas on how to find dead animals. I said “I track dead things” sounded like a .com. She said I should totally blog and I said I would get on that immediately! So four months later, here it is!

Ok, I don’t usually procrastinate that long (total lie, am #1 procrastinator of the Southwest) but I have been in a dark place for a long time. Some of it was from my own making, some from external sources. I finally am coming out of it and determined to enjoy all of life that I can. So future blogs might be about those dark places, some might be all fun and games. We will have to see but so looking forward to the journey!

All things weird and wonderful!

Here goes. I am Kristi Bledsoe, author of The QPID Archives series and I don’t really know what I am doing with a blog but here goes.

I will be heading each new blog with advice on how to track dead things. Perhaps more often as the muse (or zombies) hit me.

I love all things weird and wonderful and don’t really care if I ever get followers but we are going ahead full steam. Check back soon for the first advice on tracking!