Feeds:
Posts
Comments

The Show must go on!

Once again, Fandomfest made me proud to call myself “fan” and “friend” to the promoters.   Despite challenges, such as last minute change in venue, and guest cancellations, Fandomfest 2017 knocked it out of the park.

Malinda

(photo credit: Malinda Wickam)

Taking over the old Macy’s store in Louisville’s Jefferson mall is almost poetic….. Capitalism died in that mall, and the fans swarmed and took over. The ironic justice is delicious.

Despite naysayers, a good time was had by the large crowds and friendly celebrity guests, with Matthew Lillard inviting fans to come meet and hug him “Like a porkchop”.  Fans as far away as Ontario, Canada were posting pictures of fans meeting actor Sonny Chiba of “Kill Bill” fame, with Artoo Detoo, and BB8 droids roaming the floors, thrilling many a Star Wars fan.

(photo credit: Malinda Wickam)

The venue wasn’t without complications, but staff were quick on the ball to assist vendors, such as Steampunk Alley.  Originally slated for the second floor, vendors had trouble getting their props to the alloted spot, as the back wall wouldn’t fit in the elevator.  Staff responded by placing them on the first floor, which was pretty awesome of them.

(photo credit: Malinda Wickham. She’s the one being threatened by the T-Rex.)

The cosplayers came out in droves, including many children, and an entire family dressed as Harry Potter characters.  Celebrity guests posted regularly, and thanked the staff for a wonderful weekend.  This is the kind of Fandomfest I’m familiar with.  I’ve never had a bad time there, I’ve always been treated VERY well by the staff.  And I know from experience, when Fandomfest triumphs over the odds, the next year will be even better.  Congrats to the staff, guests and promoters for another awesome Convention.  Stay tuned for Fandomfest 2018, because I sure will!

“Nasty ” Women.

There’s been plenty of talk lately about the Women’s March around the world. I live in America so most of my point of view is from American media posts. However, what Americans fail to note is that the Women’s March was world wide. WORLD. WIDE.

Because every woman has a story about how they were belittled, talked over, put aside, and even abused by men in their lies. Every woman does. I don’t  care who you are.

Women I see in social media are making (what I believe) are short-sighted statements, statements that just make me see red.

“What are they marching for? We’re equal to men!”

“Women don’t have it so bad in this country!”

“*I* don’t feel like I have no rights, why are *they* marching?”

Ok look at that last statement. Look. It starts with *I*. Ok, great, you feel like you’re equal to men, you feel like you have all the rights you need. Great! Not all of us feel that way. Some of us have had parents that said “You SURE you want to be a doctor and not a nurse?” Or lovers that have scoffed at our ability to change a tire. Or “Why don’t I come with you to get a car, honey? Surely they’ll listen to a man?”  Some of us have been assaulted and then blamed for it. “She shouldn’t have been drinking”. “See what she was wearing?? She was asking for it”. Nothing is said about the person who assaulted her, who basically helped themselves to what they weren’t entitled to. That’s called “stealing”.  And if it were a car instead of the woman’s body, yeah, you bet the cops would be all over it.  It’s not always about YOU, people.  Maybe think of the other woman for a change.

I heard once on the John Tesh radio show that women who wear jewelry and expensive watches at job interviews are seen as “high maintenance” and less likely to be hired as they are percieved as “difficult to work with”.  A man, however, wearing an expensive watch or large ring is percieved as “successful” and “will do anything to get a job done”.  Why is that? Isn’t that messed up?? Would that be considered “oppression” because it sure as fuck isn’t equal.  If realizing that makes me a “Nasty” Woman, I’ll wear that with pride.

I am privileged. I acknowledge that. I only hope I can use it to help those who have less privilege than me.  I acknowledge that I was raised by basically the best parents, who taught me strength, kindness and selflessness.  My father wouldn’t see gender, I announced I wanted to be a lawyer. He and my stepmother mapped out exactly what I would have to do to reach my goal. I wanted Star Wars toys, and Santa brought me Star Wars toys. Only lately am I hearing that boys are claiming that fandom for themselves, I never heard any of that growing up. You either liked Star Wars or you didn’t.  Gender never came into play.

I am white. I don’t have the same struggles women of colour have.  I never will. I don’t claim to know what their struggles are, I never will.

I have a disability, but I can pass as able-bodied. (Most days) But I will fight like hell for my disabled peers to have a voice and accessibility.  While I can walk now, my disease will progress to the point I’ll need mobility aids.

I am in a het relationship.  I don’t need to worry about the Marriage Equality act. I don;t need to worry about it being rescinded and having my relationship seen as invalid by society. I don’t have to worry about my child being taken or question his custody because my marriage might be seen as illegal.  But I know couples who do worry about that. I acknowledge the struggles and the ignorance.

I am cis-gendered. I identify with the gender I was born with.  I knew from two years old I was a girl (More specifically a princess, and later on, vampire princess.) I didn’t have the feeling of being in the wrong body, being seen as a freak, or feeling like if I lived as I really felt, I’d be treated differently by the people in my life.  Anyone who is trans, non-binary, or genderqueer, again, let me use my privilege to make sure your voice is heard, because you are valid and you matter. You matter so much, oh my GOD, you do matter.

See how easy it is? And enough with this selfish bullshit, *I* don’t see… WE see. WE see you, WE want you heard, WE will help you raise up.

So in conclusion, you don’t see inequality in your world? Awesome! Neither do I! I work as a nurse, a female-dominated profession, where I basically make the same wage as my supervisor, and I get raises based on experience, not on the whim of some faceless Corporate Goon.   But I’m not short-sighted or selfish enough to think that nobody else sees inequality either.

 

 

Sucker Punch

A few weeks ago, my mother messaged me about a Doctor appointment she’d had.  I was going out the door to buy groceries with my nine-year-old son.  She texted me “He says it’s cancer” and ever since, my world’s been going on uber-slow mode. Everything slowed down in nightmarish fashion and I almost doubled over as if punched in the stomach. I immediately texted “SKYPE” in capitol letters with shaking fingers, and talked to my mother about the doctor’s MRI findings of her abdomen.  After hanging up, I was panting. I couldn’t catch my breath.

When a loved one says “Cancer” as a daughter, my mind went to “How do I live without my mother?” because I think of everyone who lost someone to cancer… Unfortunately I know a lot. A LOT. Including mothers who’ve lost children to this dastardly disease. I got angry. If someone had so much as looked at me wrong, I felt like I would’ve beaten them bloody.

I got my food, and took a detour to Sephora. I don’t know why. Buying that $ephora $30 Urban Decay eyeshadow palette seemed important.

As a nurse, my mind went to the painful, horrible treatments my mother would endure to gain more time with us, her children. And her grandchildren. I’d recently moved closer to my home province to get more time with my family. How was I to know how important this would be?? I thought of her getting sick, how much thinner she’d get with chemo treatments, and lose her hair.  I wondered which hair dresser I’d go to to shave my own head. I’ll be damned if I let my mother go through losing hair alone.  I thought about all the cancer patients I took care of. How sick they got. How that light of hopeful seemed to be missing in there eyes at times. I didn’t relish seeing that in my mother. Not the woman who always told us to keep trying and never give up.

I will be writing about this frequently, because it’s how I’m going to handle it. Someone else I met, lost her mother to cancer. She told me the story and hugged me hard.  I hang on to that story and how this Rock Diva dealt with her mother’s diagnosis by writing her a beautiful song that became a popular rock ballad.

Lita Ford, thank you for taking me on your journey, so I have strength to make my own.

IMG_8846

 

Please note, we both made each other cry!

So, with this new journey I go forward with the strength of me, my mother, my matriarchal ancestors and Lita Ford. Rock Goddess. Whatever happens, our ancestors will be proud of our fight.

Shock Stock picture post

As promised, James, here’s the Shock Stock picture post. Still working on the video. Hoping to have it rendered soon.

Returning as Media to my hometown was pretty freakin’ epic. Even better, sharing it with my horror-loving niece.

Here’s some highlights

IMG_8830 IMG_8808

Night of the Living Dead cast, me and Toxie. Who couldn’t love Toxie?!

IMG_8831 IMG_8805

Well-known fact about me, I can’t resist a bad girl!!

IMG_8817 IMG_8819

That picture is Ed Neal, from the first “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” signing memorabilia That ornament is a miniature of Victoria Park, where  a lot of the Festivals happen.

IMG_8829 IMG_8835 IMG_8838

Q and A with Goblin.  It was amazing.  A horror fan not having seen “Suspiria” is like a ’90s kid not having seen “Labyrinth”.

IMG_8809

Said beautiful niece having a discussion on the recent complications of “The Walking Dead” with… well, a Walking Dead

IMG_8812

Touching tribute to Robert Zdar

IMG_8827

More pretty ladies!

IMG_8840

We discussed religion. He’s Jewish, I’m Pagan, we agreed to disagree.

IMG_8820 IMG_8821 IMG_8806

More horror people greeting London, Ontario fans.  This was really amazing.  I can’t explain how awesome this was.

My only wish, and I would do everything in my power to make this happen, is that the Promoters and Creators of Shock Stock continue to bring horror and vintage horror to Ontarians for years to come.

Infinite thanks to James Bialkowski and Jake Grimbro.  They’re gearing up for 2016, so please, go visit their website, like their facebook and talk to them! They’re nice guys, particularly if you bring beer!

I have once again become active with my Examiner account and renewed my contract. This feels great.  Writing for the Examiner has been one of my favorite things to do, it helped generate extra money and it got me into conventions.    When I was home sick, I could write. When I was on the road, covering conventions, all I needed was my ipad and a wifi connection.  It remains my favorite part-time job.

I’ve been on hiatus though, to take care of my lupus flare.  That combined with my job at the Nursing home, sucked out my spoons (see spoon theory here) and I had little left for creativity.  I’d think of all kinds of story ideas, but putting them down on the blank screen required brain power and energy I’d run out of.  “Does it require energy, really, to sit and think?” Uh, yeah. Yeah, it really does.  Energy I didn’t have. I had enough energy to go to work, go to bed, get up and send my son to school (otherwise I never saw him) go back to bed and nap until it was time to get ready for work again.  I’d browse the internet and news sources for story ideas, but when I got them started, I’d have to go to work, and at the end of the day, I had run out of inspiration to continue.  It was awful and it literally drained my soul. A writer has to write. Really. Literally.

D-man

my reason for conquering lupus

Then, my flare hit in the summer, which isn’t unusual.  Sunlight exposure heightens my symptoms and ruins my energy. Yeah, kind of like a vampire. Plus, too long without sunblock gives me this groovy splotchy rash.  So there I was, working full time, no energy AND in pain.  Writing was the furthest from my mind.

Thankfully, I got new meds, a new work schedule and I’m bringing it back, slowly.  It’s just taking time.  It’s taking time and it’s taking spoons.

Coffee selfie

coffee is writer’s fuel.

For anyone interested, here’s my latest article. Hopefully, more to come!

The first day of Shock Stock went astonishingly well for me despite fighting Michigan Construction traffic and a number of mishaps along the way,the least of which, picking up my son late from school. We arrived late, found parking VERY easily (5$ at the Hall, not bad really) and entered the Convention which was in full swing. We met the vendors,cosplayers and a number of Celebrity guests that had a lot to say about my niece’s homemade Disney dress.  Particularly Tony Todd, who would’ve pegged him for a Disney fan?  Oh well, even Death needs a hobby!

The vendors were wonderful and there was some amazing artwork to be viewed as well as one-of-a-kind baubles and earrings.  Pictures will be forthcoming, as I seem to have lost a vital power cord to upload but they’re wonderful, and there’s absolutely a lot to see.  I encountered the Horror-Rama booth and a booth run by Canada’s best Horror FIlm Festival, “Blood in the Snow”  Nothing brings out my patriotic side like good ol’ Canadian Horror.  I think Canada really has a corner in the market and need to show our American neighbors that The Great White North is just as bawdy, bloody and psychotic as the rest of them.  I was also very glad to see independant filmmakers showing their talent and films.  There’s screenings happening all weekend.  I can only hope my camera batteries last that long!  Shock Stock continues tomorrow through till Sunday, at Centennial Hall,London Ontario.  Forest City, the Horror fans have teken over!!

Shock Stock will be this weekend, and I’m going to be there.

After years of Conventions State-side in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio and Missouri, I am coming home to Horror!

Stay tuned, videos and pictures coming soon!