Posts Tagged ‘geek’

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When You Cosplay From Your Soul – AKA Realm Makers Costume Decision Angst!

May 23, 2016

EEEEEP.  I am beyond excited to go to the Realm Makers conference for the first time this year!!

Along with all the awesome lectures and learning experiences, Realm Makers also has a costume banquet (and a Nerf War!!).  I am seriously counting down the days.

But the costume banquet means…deciding on someone to be for the night.

Initially I chickened out and said I might just dress nicely for the dinner and not wear a costume.  Then a cosplay-loving friend set me straight. 😛

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Very well then. 😀

The trick is – I’m so horribly picky!

Not only do I want the costume to look good, and be relatively inexpensive and easy to pull off, but it’s also incredibly important that it be “very me.”

I didn’t fully understand what that meant until I’d gone through several ideas and found the common thread between all of them.  In order for a costume to feel “right” for me, it has to tap into some deep part of my own identity.  I must have a personal connection to the character or concept I’m cosplaying.  If I’m going to dress up “fake” as someone else, it has to be congruent with who I am as a person!  I need that personal connection.  I can’t just pick something because it looks cool or because they’re a favorite character.  The deep personal meaning is of utmost importance.

I have the feeling that this is true for most people – that whether we like it or not, and whether or not we intend to, the costumes we choose say something about our souls.

Personally, I’m intensely intentional about it.  And maybe I’m just overly analytical, but this kind of pickiness makes it really hard to think of costume ideas. 😛

Eowyn’s a character I feel pretty strongly connected with, but pulling off a costume for her would be complicated and/or very expensive.  (Not to mention I can’t bring my sword on the plane.  That makes it about half as exciting to be her, haha.)

Another of my favorite characters ever, Homura Akemi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) doesn’t look anything like me.  I doubt I could pull her off convincingly, and even if I did it would require me to make or buy a complex costume, as well as wear a large, uncomfortable wig over my own copious hair.  That’s a no-go.

Finally a stroke of brilliance hit – I could go as Athena!

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I’ve loved Greek mythology ever since I was a child and read the D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys.  Athena was always my favorite.  She wasn’t typically involved in the stupid erotic hijinks of the other characters in the pantheon.  She was goddess of wisdom (supposedly one of my spiritual gifts), warfare (I’m all about spiritual warfare!!) and the arts (how perfect is that??).  And her symbol is the OWL, my favorite animal!!

I thought for sure this would be my perfect cosplay.

Then I bought myself a helmet and it ended up being…way too big.  I had to awkwardly perch it on top of my head, where it was in danger of toppling off any minute.  And that really wasn’t what I was going for. 😛  I pictured myself balancing a helmet on my head all evening, along with an unsteady owl perched on my shoulder, and with that my mental concept dropped from “epic” to “goofy.”

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The idea of being Athena soured on me – maybe I’ll tuck that away for another year.

For awhile I toyed with the thought of being Princess Leia, in her Ewok Village dress.  My hair looks almost exactly like that, and Star Wars was my big childhood fandom.

But her dress was too complicated.  I didn’t want to undertake a sewing project that complex within the next ten weeks, with all the other jobs I have on my plate.

Then, the other night, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I noticed some fan art of the Maximoff twins.

I was suddenly struck by ALL THE FEELS.

I forgot that Wanda loses her twin brother!!

I felt an instant kinship with her at that realization – because of my emotional experience last year, when I wrote a short story in which my protagonist was actually my dead twin (that’s a very complicated tale…).

Writing that short AU story jumpstarted a lot of creative inspiration for my actual book.  Without that odd writing experience, my real trilogy wouldn’t be where it is now.  Furthermore, it was a very spiritually transformative experience that God gave me right before I needed it most.  It seems fitting that my cosplay draw on that aspect of my personal history. 🙂

Not only did I feel an emotional connection to Wanda over the lost twin thing, but her costume is pretty cool.  AND it would give me a great excuse to buy a red leather jacket, like I’ve wanted to for a long time…

Admittedly I don’t know much about Scarlet Witch – I haven’t even seen Civil War yet.  Bad Marvel fan!  (Actually, just a busy Marvel fan with four kids…BUT it turns out that my husband and I are finally seeing it tonight!!  Yay!)

I wrote this post a couple of days ago.  At this point, I may or may not have a final decision on what to be for the Realm Makers banquet. 😉

But no matter what I ultimately choose, it’s going to have to come from my soul, even if only I can see the connection.  It will be something I relate to on a deep emotional level, something I am trying to share about myself, even as I show off a favorite fandom.

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Have you ever cosplayed?  What is your rationale for choosing a character or concept to portray?  Do you feel like your costumes say something about your soul?  I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

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The Simmering Mind’s Awesomest (a.k.a. Very First) Giveaway Ever!!

September 28, 2015

YAY!!!  Here it is, my surprise!  I’m SO excited to finally bring this giveaway to you!

Awhile back my Facebook page reached 150 followers.  I’m continually amazed by the wonderful people who enjoy my posts (both here and on the page) and leave their comments in discussions, making this corner of the internet a fun and talkative place.  You guys are a blessing to me!!  So I wanted to do a giveaway to thank you all. 😀

But first, hugs all around!!

Okay!  Enough hugs now!  (*brushing off shirt and feeling kind of awkward because I’m not usually a huge hugger*)  😛  Let’s get down to business. And by business I mean FUN!

Giveaway Details:

There will be FIVE WINNERS!

And each winner will get to choose between SEVEN AWESOME PRIZES!

Many who follow my page are fellow writers, but not all are, so I tried to create a good balance of prizes that will appeal to writers and non-writers…a little something for everyone.  Winners may each pick ONE of the following gifts.

Without further ado, here are the prize options!

1. Watercolor bookmark

These bookmarks are designed and painted by me on heavy paper, and inscribed with one of the inspiring quotes about books that I’ve shared on my writer page in the past.  (I will create more as necessary! – with different quotes!)  If more than one option is available I’ll let you pick which bookmark you want. 🙂 This would be delivered by snail mail.

2. Sneak peek of one of my books

If you’re bursting with curiosity about my writing projects, choose this prize and I will email you a full chapter from either The Trusted: Book One of the Kraesinia Trilogy (my young adult portal sci-fi) or my secondary project, Absconders Series #1: Renegade (young adult dystopian sci-fi).  Blurbs for both projects can be found on my books page.  If you choose this prize, all I ask is that you don’t share the chapter publicly online. 😉

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3. A beautiful little notebook

Unlike the other prizes, which can be duplicated if several winners choose them, I have only one of these gorgeous notebooks with a clasp to give away, so this prize is on a “first come, first served” basis!  It will be mailed by snail mail.

4. An original piece of flash fiction

I’ll write it just for you!  You can choose to have me share it on my blog for everyone (with or without a dedication to you, the winner), or I can email it to you privately.  I’ll even take requests for topics, characters, or premises!…although I can’t guarantee what the muse will come up with in the end. 😉

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5. A blurb clinic

As many of my writer friends know, I LOVE to write blurbs (or “back cover descriptions”).  I love helping people make their own blurbs better, too!  For this prize, I will take any blurb you’re struggling to write and help you revise and polish it so you can put your best foot forward when you go on submission or self-publish.  My forte is speculative fiction, but I’m happy to help with other genres too!

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6. A thorough edit and critique of the first three pages of your work-in-progress

I’m a meticulous editor, both when it comes to my own books and the books of friends who ask for my edits.  The first pages of your book are the best opportunity you have to hook your readers!  If you choose this prize I will go over your first three pages with a fine-tooth comb and point out any problems they might have, as well as highlighting their strengths and making encouraging suggestions.

My green edits on a friend's manuscript - page blurred to protect the innocent. :P

My green edits on a friend’s manuscript – page blurred to protect the innocent. 😛

7. Your choice of one of these e-books from fellow Christian authors

I will e-gift this to you from Amazon – any one of the books from the list below.  I can provide you additional information about any of the books, if you need help choosing!

Time for Fun!

Now, I don’t like it when giveaways are clearly designed just to gather more followers.  So even though new followers are awesome (please, come one, come all – the giveaway’s open to everyone!) this giveaway is dedicated to my faithful readers and page followers, because I like you guys lots. 😀  You can complete any or all of the “tasks” below to enter – things most of you have already done.  Sharing is awesome, but totally optional!

This giveaway will run from the 1st to the 5th of October, and then I will announce the winners here on the blog and contact them by email!! *happy dance*

May the odds be ever in your favor! 😀

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What God and Geeks Have in Common

January 26, 2015

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As a writer, I sometimes fall into “geek-out mode” about my own book.  As in, “it rivals the geekery I had about Lord of the Rings during my teenage years.”  That kind of geek mode.

I think about it all day.  My characters are constantly on my mind.  I am going squeeee! over random details that nobody else would ever think to care about.  Everything about it is enthralling, every tiny jot.  Not only the story itself but the process of creating it has me giddy with excitement.

And then I start to feel very much alone.

Because nobody else cares about this book as much as I do.

I can gush to my husband, my sister, my best friends, my beta readers…and yet none of them will ever be as in love with the story as I am.  They won’t really get it.  They can’t share that enthusiasm – not for any length of time.  In fact, the more I talk about my books the more I worry that they will despise and hate my story because I am driving them crazy with details they don’t care to hear! Even people who used to geek out with me have gotten bored of it over time.

It’s not that the people in my life are heartless or uncaring.  They just don’t care about my book as much as I do!

And I could never expect them to, if I’m thinking sensibly.  This book is in my head and heart, not even published yet; it has no holds on anyone like it does on me, its creator.

And that can be depressing, knowing I cannot truly share this joy with a single person.

But this is true of any emotion, isn’t it? No matter how empathetic, fellow human beings can’t really share each others’ emotions – at least not until they invent some kind of telepathy! We are separated by the unique and distinct nature of our souls.  We all have something we love and are passionate about that we wish to share with others, and sometimes it’s not possible to really share that love.

The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. – Proverbs 14:10

Even if I get published and my books have hordes of rabid fans someday (hey, I can dream), no other human being will ever fathom the depths of my enthusiasm for my own stories, or truly share in the joys of my story-creation.

But there is One who can.

The One who spoke the universe into being, who orchestrates each detail of my life for my good, who created me body and soul and put these stories in my heart to tell – He knows.  He understands.  The One who exults over me with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17) surely knows and appreciates the depths of my story geekery.  And as the Master Worldbuilder, He completely understands that delight!

I don’t mean to be flippant or irreverent, but hear me out – do you think the three Persons of the Godhead ever had “geek moments” about creation?

“Now, let’s make another kind of horse.  Except it isn’t actually a horse!  Because it will be covered in gorgeous black and white stripes!  YES.  It will be amazing.”

I think about that sometimes.  Did God ever get excited about the intricacies of anthills, the habits of lions, the courses of the planets and how they align, the variety of the plant kingdom, or the cuteness of kittens?  When He brought Eve to Adam, was He bursting with Fatherly joy to introduce His children to one another?

I imagine, perhaps, He was!

Not because He is ever surprised, for He knows all things, but because – as authors know well – you don’t have to be surprised by the story you create to enjoy it unfolding under your hands.  I may know exactly how my character is going to act, and why, and yet still be tickled from head to toe with delight as the scene I am writing takes shape.  It’s how we storytellers are.

People say “the devil is in the details,” but it’s really God who is there, holding all things together the molecular level, organizing every single moment, every storyline, and every atom to His glory and the good of his people.

Geeks are people who love something so much that all the details matter. – Marissa Mayer

Until recently our culture mostly thought of “geek” as a negative term.  Nowadays it’s worn more as a badge of honor by an entire subculture, and “geeky” things like superhero movies are mainstream and incredibly popular.  But perhaps the geeky delight we often share over stories is a small reflection of the joy God takes in His own creation.

He cares about the birds and their nests.  He cares about the ants and their tunnels.  He cares about the most distant star.  Surely, He also cares about good stories, your characters, that language you’re inventing, those imaginary animals you drew, that episode you really enjoyed, the art you love, that scene that had you bawling while you typed.

And maybe you’ve been reading this post and thinking, “I’m not a geek!”  Perhaps you can’t relate to the rabid love of stories, Doctor Who, or Marvel franchises.  But I’m sure there is something else in your life that you’re passionate for – and maybe alone in your passion.  History?  Sewing?  Bird-watching?  Baking?  God designed us to take joy in things like this…each finding our own delights and treasures in this world He made.  Do you love the details of something and feel like no one else cares as much as you do?

No detail of your life is too small to bore your Heavenly Father!

So when I am feeling lonely in my geekery – and before it gets to the point of loneliness! – I’m going to start turning to God and expressing thankfulness for my enthusiasm to the only One who totally sees the joy of my heart, Who gets it, and Who rejoices over it with me…down to the very smallest detail.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  And not one of them is forgotten before God.  Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Jesus, Luke 12:7

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Have you ever felt lonely in your geekery?  Has there ever been anything in your life that you felt God didn’t care about?  (Pssst…He does!)