Tales from Denver Comic Con 2015

Courtney's doppelganger

I was a Comic Con virgin. It has always evoked images of nerdy Treky fans and comic book geeks. Neither tickled my happy parts. I haven’t kept up with Star Trek since the television series ended and the one and only comic book I bought back in the seventh grade was Archie. So when my daughter, Courtney, called and expressed interest in going to Denver Comic Con 2015, I hesitated.

Denver Comic Con

Five seconds on Google showed pictures of crazed fans in costumes, most of them super heroes and some of them pretty sleazy. I hesitated again.

Then I Googled the Denver Comic Con website and read the program. Holy smokin’ geez. Tons of events would take place on three floors utilizing the entire Denver Convention Center. I had no idea it was also a literary conference. Panels taught writing classes all weekend. Simultaneously in nineteen other rooms, educational panels discussed everything from The Muppets and Empowerment to The Science of Star Wars to How to Find Financing for Your Idea.

They catered to families and offered many interactive and educational classes as well as a stage for kids. Maybe it wouldn’t be so sleazy. I was in.

Celebrities would appear on the main or mini-stage and could also be found on the top floor for pictures and autographs. I was super stoked to find out Anthony Michael Hall of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and The Dead Zone would be there along with the original Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner. I was definitely IN.

I had read where comic cons could be very pricey, but a one day, all-access pass only cost $38.00. Saturday had sold out, so I bought tickets for Sunday. My experienced friends instructed me to dress up. My husband donned his tuxedo and carried an umbrella as The Penguin. Courtney rocked it out as Batgirl. She’s Alicia Silverstone’s doppleganger. I went green as Poison Ivy.

poison ivy the penguin and batgirl

We traded our tickets for badges and soon realized the magnitude of this event. We started on the top floor. Oh man. It was crammed packed with booths with all kinds of swag; T-shirts, comic books, DVDs, posters and toys.

We found the celebrities at cordoned-off tables. Although there were handlers standing at the “entry” to each celebrity’s table, we could still see them. Pretty cool! I walked by a few who only had a few fans waiting for their moment to have a picture taken or an autograph while others had fans lined up all the way to the handler at the entrance to their “area.” I would not like to be the person next to Karen Gillan from Guardians of Galaxy and Dr. Who. I knew her from Selfie. Her line was huge and so was Gwendoline Christy’s from Game of Thrones.

Wagnerlindsey2007ComiconWhen I found Lindsay Wagner I was totally star-struck. She was just as beautiful as on the show in the 1970’s, but just a tad older. She accepted free “hellos” so the three of us approached her table. I introduced myself and gushed. Danny asked her if she was worth more than six million dollars, taking into account inflation. She giggled and said, “I’m priceless.” I asked her about her new projects. She will appear in two movies in the fall. One on the “Up” Channel and the other on Pixar. She was a super cool lady and very genuine, just like I expected.

Next we found Anthony Michael Hall. I’m sure he expected us because, Dead Zone. I started out by saying, “I have a funny story for you! You’re the first guy my daughter, Courtney, ever saw naked.” He looked at me funny. “She was ten when we watched Six Degrees of Separation.”

“Not too many people mention that movie,” he said.

“It was a break-out movie for Will Smith. Anyway, remember that scene when you ran down the hall naked [full-frontal nudity] for like, ten long seconds?”

“That wasn’t me! Really. That was some other guy. I was the guy in bed with another woman.”

We laughed and he asked what our reaction was since Courtney was so young. “I ignored it since I didn’t want to embarrass her. Besides, I drew many naked people while getting my Art degree. I figured it was art.”

He signed an autograph and another handler took a picture of us. As we were leaving he asked, “Are you still drawing?”

“Yes and writing.” I thought it would sound really cheesy to say, “You’d be perfect for my movie,” but he would be!

Anthony Michael Hall

Danny is in character as The Penguin while Courtney and I cozied up to Anthony Michael Hall.

Batgirl and Batman

Batgirl found Batman.

After attending an informative writing class, Sticking the landing: Ending Your Story, we ate lunch and went in search of the main stage. I had read where people camp out in the ballroom all day so they can see every star. Not at Denver Comic Con. They clear the ginormous ballroom after every show.

We lined up to see Allen Tudyk five minutes before showtime. He was the dentist in Suburgatory, Pirate Steve in Dodgeball, the Duke in Frozen along with this long list of credits. We were sent to the back of a mile long line and still got in to see him. Amazing.

Allen Tudyk

He was pretty funny and answered a lot of crazy questions. He’s launching a new production called Con Man and is crowdfunding with Nathan Fillian of Castle fame. They met on the set of Firefly.

The Penguins

Two Penguins.

Then we returned to the top floor in search of Batman. We found his car and many artists, but Batman took a looooooong break. We settled for a picture with a sensational Robin instead.

Poison Ivy, Robin, The Penguin, Batgirl

After checking out a Legomaniac’s impressive work, we were done.

Legomania

Would I go again? Definitely. What will we go as? I’m thinking about one of them…

Guardians of the Galaxy

Click HERE for a list of comic conventions for 2015.

Have you ever attended a comic con? Is it on your bucket list?

Why You Should ClassPass!

When I received an email asking if I would be interested in ClassPass for a month, I jumped on the chance not really knowing what it was or how it worked. My physical therapist had given me a list of exercises and I had been hitting my home gym for months. It was time for me to get back out after being isolated for most of the winter after surgery.

classpass exercise

I am an outdoor girl, but a fitness flunk-out. I’m that person in the back row that falls over while balancing and knocks over all the fitness balls. Yep. That’s me, but I was ready to try, try again.

The way it works. Continue reading

Help Solve The Mystery!

While vacationing in Santa Barbara, California, my husband, Danny, and I walked to the farmers’ market. I spied something enveloped in a garden bed. I took a double take. Yep. It appears someone partied hard Friday night and trounced home naked or in their boxers or thong. I left the pair of jeans in their new habitat and didn’t investigate for size or gender. I didn’t want to find *gulp* underwear.

Where

The de-pantsing (unpantsing?), took place around the corner from the main drag, State Street, and one mile from the ocean. Continue reading

Boccone Dolce, Sewing Machines, Tallboys and Mom

This Mother’s Day, I look back at simpler times and honor my own mother who set the bar pretty high. She is still there to listen to me. When I visit, she pulls out her well-worn cookbooks and concocts gourmet meals. The last time, she made boccone dolce, a layered dessert of meringue and chocolatey goodness. I know!

mom patty and i2I’m not sure I could have survived the drama of elementary or high school without my mom. After skipping home from school, she would greet me with a smile, something warm from the oven, and the question, “How was school today?” I would plop down at the half-moon counter my dad installed in our small kitchen and snatch a warm cookie, its chocolate chips still melted, and would proceed to recount the trivial events of my young life. I always had a lot to say, as you can imagine, but she would listen and hand out Continue reading

I’m Back! A Photo Essay

I have emerged from a long winter of isolation. Two years of recovering from surgeries broke me in places, but where my body and psyche were shattered, I am stronger. Focused. Driven. I am stoked for the challenges that lie ahead. I am ready to take back my Wild Life.susie's knee

For me, skiing symbolizes health, strength, and freedom after setbacks. I looked forward to hitting the slopes again.

I had hiked and biked to get back in shape after a Makoplasty partial knee replacement on January 5th, but my physical therapist instructed me to build strength in my muscles to stabilize the knee instead. I took a few weeks of Pilates and strengthening classes.

Were my muscles strong enough or would I have to ride back down on the chairlift?

I made it to the top! Now for the true test.

The top of A-BasinI would be skiing the heaviest and slushiest snow of the year. It would have been painful to ski with my old knee. How would my body handle it?

Continue reading

NEWS From The Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

I attended my fourth writer’s conference. Although they are similar in format, this one always stands out in friendliness and inclusivity. A positive energy source emanates throughout the Colorado Spring’s Marriott. It must be built upon a special kind of bedrock. Agents, editors, and best-selling authors are willing to have conversations with people like me; the super fans of the conference.

Here’s what inspired me and what I learned:

If you write fiction: Your blog, social media presence, and overall author’s platform are meaningless to traditional publishers. The agents suggested focusing on writing books instead. After you’re published, they are grateful if you already have a blog since they’ll want to link you up.

If you write non-fiction: The polar opposite is true. You better have a successful blog with lots of social media followers as part of your author’s platform. You should be booked for public speaking engagements, interviewed on podcasts and in YouTube videos. Publishers look at anything and everything you’ve done to build your presence, following, credibility, and to show you’re a respected expert in your field.

Sign up for critique sessions. It can be unnerving, but the input is invaluable especially if an agent you would like to pitch is giving the critique. They are the experts who you are trying to impress.

Attend the agent panel. This is a top priority for me at every conference. They talk about their pet peeves, what’s new in publishing, etiquette, and include their individual stories. You get the most up-to-date info. Every one of them chose their career because they love to read books.

What I learned: Continue reading

Tell Me. How In The Hell Did It Get There?

the pondI peered out the window through bleary eyes while sipping my first cup of coffee and assumed my Bichon Roxy had carried something into the yard from a wastebasket. She has a doggie door. I’ve found socks and other sundry items, including underwear, scattered about our lawn, but it’s been a while.

Later in the day, I looked out from an upstairs window and remembered my early morning sighting. Something strange sat in the middle of our lawn. Although the grass hadn’t greened up its white surface gleamed.

I ran, okay, limped to the back door of the house and slipped on my shoes. Roxy accompanied me as I walked toward the strange shape. Continue reading