Friday, November 21, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: Characters I’d Invite to a Thanksgiving Feast.

This weeks 5 Fandom Friday prompt is: Characters I’d Invite to a Thanksgiving Feast.

It's my first 5 Fandom Friday, and I'll admit that I'm a bit nervous. I drew a bit of a blank at the beginning, but now that I've read a few other people's lists, I've finally been able to narrow down a group. For me, Thanksgiving is all about the feeling of family - whether or not they're blood relations, you should be able to spend the time with close friends who make you feel relaxed and welcomed.

1) Sam Winchester (Supernatural). Poor Sammy. So many people want to feed Dean pie on Thanksgiving, and Sammy gets overlooked a bit. But he's my favorite, so I can't resist. And Sam never got a Mom-cooked Thanksgiving meal, so I'd want to do the best I could to rectify that with all the recipes that have been handed down to me from my mom and grandmothers.

2) Iolaus (Young Hercules). You really didn't think I'd get through any list without someone from YH, did you? While he's no great chef, Iolaus would still be willing to cut up some vegis, and he'd be a pro at carrying dishes from the kitchen to the table. Plus, I'm sure he'd eat enough that I won't have to worry about too many leftovers! (as long as I don't force him to eat asparagus ^_~)

3) Parker, Hardison, and Eliot (Leverage). I can't choose just one of these guys, they all come in a unit and refuse to be separated. Like Sam above, I don't know if Parker's had a real Thanksgiving feast before, and I want to give her that. Eliot can help me in the kitchen (or, more accurately, Eliot can take over the kitchen while I watch in awe and a little bit of lust), and Hardison can be in charge of the ambient music and keeping conversation going when I run out of small talk.

4) Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter (Sailor Moon). My favorite Sailor Scout, and another great hand in the kitchen! We've got a lot of big appetites to fill and a lot of childhood memories to make up for, and I think Makoto would fit right in. Plus, with her parents passed away and her friends probably spending their holidays with their families, she'd fit right in with all the other orphans and semi-orphans at my gathering.

5) Claudia Donovan (Warehouse 13). You know, when I started this list, I wasn't really intending for it to be a gathering of "My Parents Are Dead And/Or Estrangled", but you know, why not roll with the theme? :D Rounding off my gathering is Claudia, who can keep the techie conversation going with Hardison and Sam, and can probably find some random awesome topics to talk about with Makoto and Parker.

So, there ya go! I think my Thanksgiving is going to be full of good food and lots of geeky chatter! :D

And if you want something else that's full of geeky chatter, check out Wincon! It's a small convention that needs your help if it's going to continue on in 2015. Get all the details on this post, and please help us keep the convention alive!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wincon: My First Time at Wincon

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The first time I went to Wincon was the second year it was held, in October 2007. I was twenty-three years old, and from Ohio - the notion of hopping a plane and spending the weekend in L.A. was something only movie stars and other rich and famous people did, and here I was doing it myself. All by myself. It was thrilling. My parents had been sheltering my entire life, and they weren't exactly happy about the idea of me flying across the country, but I was determined. I was an adult. I could handle this. Armed with a semi-busted laptop (the wifi sensor was broken) and newly-dyed green hair, I was ready to take on the world.

I didn't really know anybody at Wincon - even my two roommates were usernames I had met on the livejournal forum who had also been looking for roommates. There were two fangirls, Gigglingkat and Poisontaster, who I'd met at a previous convention (Fangoria, Feb 07), but other than that I was shiny and new and ready to make some new friends.

In those early days, Wincon was all about the TV show Supernatural, and the fandom was still very small and close-knit. Over and over I would see people's usernames and think, "I know I've read some of their fic and loved it, but I can't remember exactly which fic it was..." And then, of course, there were the times when I knew EXACTLY which fic it was, and I was embarrassingly fangirly over the authors.

Which ended up being a great thing. One of the authors I squeed all over, Clex_monkie89, has since become one of my dearest friends. I still remember looking at her, with her hair dyed half pink and half blue, and thinking, "Yes. These are my people. I've found my home. You are amazing and I want to be your friend."

At the raffle that year I won a pack of movies that Jared Padalecki had been in - mostly horror flicks which I would probably not have bought myself, and have since watched in the middle of the day with the lights turned on, but it was amazing to win something. I was at Wincon, and I was a winner, and the world was made of win.

Excerpt from my convention wrap-up: "Still having a total blast, and I'm sososo happy that I hopped a plane and came. It's such a thrill to dive into the deep end of the fandom pool and surround yourself with people who are just as obsessed with the show as you."

I made a few notes in my convention wrap-up of times when I reached my social interaction limit and needed to retreat somewhere quiet to recharge. This is something that's happened to me every year at Wincon - at least once, I will need to retreat from the action and take a breather. And that's okay. I'm so blessed that I was never shamed for needing some private time, that I was never embarrassed or made to feel weird that I needed to recharge my batteries. Wincon is so accepting that not only was I NOT judged, I was embraced and found that I was not alone. That other people understood and accepted me the way I was, because they'd felt that too. And that feeling of acceptance in a safe space is something that is so rare and precious, and so very lacking in so many other parts of my day-to-day life, that I look forward to Wincon every year.

And then there's Bad Fic Idol.

Excerpt from my convention wrap-up: "American Fic Idol - I debated about whether or not to attend this, 'cause I'd never seen a single ep of American Idol and I didn't know what to expect, but it turned out to be awesome. There's nothing quite like listening to a sexy woman read horrendously bad sex fic and cracking up laughing over it with a bunch of other people. I'm scarred for life, and I love it. ^_^ Accidental butt-sex. Taking a moment to realize that your brother's been turned into a leopard (with great balance). Lavender eyes. Jensen the paramedic. Palm trees in Minnesota. Sigils. Pantsless. Barbequing John Winchester (their father's) body the day after Dr. Kripke was unable to save John (their father). Too-rough tongues. Orbs. Match-making haunted hotel rooms. Dark and stormy nights. Designer dresses with thigh-sheaths for swords. Surprise m-preg. Single emo healing tears. Rosebuds. Being unable to distinguish between blood and peanut butter. Appletinis. Talking tail lashing. Confusion over going commando. Ghost poltergeist spirit things. Take my love, for my heart and my ass are already yours. The purest bolt of lightning. Jared popping in as a surprise guest-star. Surprise incestral bestiality slash. Diamond-encrusted demon-killing E-bay swords. Malevolent 18-inch dildos that are pointed at one end. Ellen as Bobby's car. You guys are all on crack and I love you all."

Excerpt from my convention wrap-up: "And now we've moved upstairs. Not sure whose room I'm in, but it's all cool. I've got about six hours, give or take, before I've got to go to the airport. There is something so relaxed and Zen-like about hanging out with six other girls and four other laptops, and listening to the plot of a fic unfold and come into creation. It's beautiful."

Excerpt from my convention wrap-up: "This is why I love Wincon, fic writer conventions, and my fandom in general. The complete lack of shame. Open discussions about gay incenstual sex over breakfast. Cleavage on display in low-cut tops. Fangirl squee. Willing participants acting out sexual positions for the benefit of the writers. Reality checks. Purple nurples. Accents. Badly written porn read aloud. Fandom swag. Cash tucked between breasts. Orbs. Plotbunnies. Wincest karaoke. Links. New friends. Thanks for the memories, y'all."

I love Wincon so much, and it's brought so many great friends and happiness into my life ever since the very first time. Please help me save this amazing thing by buying a ticket to next year's con, or some other fandomy perk. Please help me keep this alive - every donation helps, no matter how small. Thank you.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nerdy Faux Stained Glass: Mario & Yoda - The Nifty Nerd

Nerdy Faux Stained Glass: Mario & Yoda - The Nifty Nerd

Reblog: Nerdy By Nature: Top 5: Sci-Fi Spaceships

Nerdy By Nature: Top 5: Sci-Fi Spaceships: I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I tend to like making lists. I decided to dedicate this one to my love of sci-fi spaceships. I...

Reblog: Wincon memories

I’ve just spent the best part of an hour (all definitions of ‘best part’) reading back over my Wincon posts, from the first nervous-packing ones before Baltimore in 2008. Now, my cheeks hurt from grinning and I’ve got tears in my eyes, which pretty well sums up Wincon and fandom for me.
Wincon, though it started out as an SPN con, is now a multi-fannish, fan-run con, that is hosted in different cities every year. This means that even if one is across the country, the next one could well be in your backyard. It’s a place to get together with old friends, make new ones, and squee about all your fannish obsessions.
Before that first con, I was pretty sure that everyone I met would find they didn’t like me nearly so much in person as they professed to online. By the second one, I was eagerly anticipating hugs from all my friends, and new people as well. It’s become one of the biggest highlights of my year.
from my first Wincon report:
there was more talk of boys, buttsex, slash, writing, fangirls, tin hats, show, and everything related, and this made me happy. Sam and Lucy seemed to survive my using their friendship to prove that Jared and Jensen are head over heels in love, my fangirling of their writing, and my pottymouth. clexmonkey survived my intense curiosity about the newsletter and the coding thereof, and waterofthemoon only smirked a little at me and Lucy intently discussing commas. Everyone else possibly scarred by my fangirlish glee kept it to themselves. I cannot tell you how much I cherish the time spent talking fic with fangirls. There is nothing more awesome.
I still think about that comma conversation often, and the part of the conversation where Lucy had very strong feelings about the use of ellipsis in dialogue and out.
one of the highlights of my second year, in Denver:
After that it was PROM. OMG, so amazing. SO. SO. AMAZING. We got back to the hotel just as it was supposed to be starting, and Sam, Lucy and I rushed up to our room to get prettified. They both looked gorgeous in their dresses, which was a theme of the evening. I was wearing my slinky black trousers and a black lacy corset with my pink Docs. I felt a little like early 90s Madonna, only without the PR talent. (or the dancing etc, whatever *g*) cathybites was an amazing DJ and also treated us to a couple hotass dance routines :D there was dancing, singing, drinking, flirting, awesome decorations, incredible costumes, yummy food, raffle prizes, boobs everywhere, and some absolutely stunning dresses. Best time I’ve had at a dance ever.

After we were required to vacate the ballroom, we went and changed, and went down to the bar where we had more fangirl time, because there can never be enough of that. I finally gave up the ghost at 2 am and went to bed.
from my third year in Chicago, after which missyjack and I road-tripped from Chicago to LA in five days:
Saturday I managed to lurk in one of the common areas trying to type up some fic and chatting with people and tackle-glomping deirdre_c when she arrived. Then I went to the tin hat pageant and Fic Idol, where I spent most of the time looking at Adam and Tommy gifs on my netbook and cuddling up with becka in order to block out the scarring fic :D That night I went with nine others to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, and after quite a long wait and some staff-wrangling by deirdre_c we finally got tables. There may or may not have been straw-wrapper fights with the other table. There was definitely delicious food shared with realmenwearpuppypants.

Then it was PROM. omg Prom at Wincon is THE BEST EVER. All those women dancing and drinking and laughing and dressed up and being totally gorgeous.
fourth year was in New Orleans:
So yeah. Wincon. Was amazeballs. In every way. I haven’t laughed so much in such a short time in FOREVER. At one point I was laughing so much that I legit thought I was going to vomit, which wasn’t exactly great? except for how laughing that hard is healing. (a room full of fangirls burst into Tomorrow from Annie and sang THE. WHOLE. THING.) I wanted to get this stuff down while I was dwelling on it. And waiting for my plane.
fifth year in Dallas:
There were some great panels, lots of great conversations in the lounge, good meals, lots of bacon, and then prom. I FUCKING LOVE WINPROM. Every year is better than the year before. cathybites is a phenomenal DJ, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her with an iPad rather than a pair of headphones pressed to her ear. We live in the future.

The lights were up for lots of the night which meant we could see everyone’s outfits, and also could see the hot women making out with each other. I approved of this wholeheartedly. Also, making out is FUN, and I like it a lot. Because the hotel has a nightclub in the building, we were allowed to prom until 1am instead of the usual midnight, which was also awesome. I drank rather more than I needed to, so if I offended anyone with my open appreciation of your breasts, I would like to apologise.
sixth year in Vegas was cut short by a horrifying stomach bug for me, but was still great:
In the hotel, on my part there was a lot of screaming about the boys from One Direction and the girls from Little Mix, sharing of stickers and decorating of cups, playing of Spanking Yoda, and screaming about One Direction some more. A group of us also played a Breakfast Show drinking game along with Nick Grimshaw’s breakfast show (which on Pacific time airs live at 10:30 at night). I gave up and went to bed just after midnight, though others stayed the 3.5 hour distance. I didn’t make it to as many panels as I’d hoped, due to the whole sick thing, but the kink panel was excellent, and the incest panel was enthusiastic as always :D
This year, I didn’t get to go. I had to be an adult and go to work and earn money and all sorts of nonsense things like that, and I thought I was okay with it, but it was really hard. I missed my girls and my prom and all the powerful positivity that it gives me in that run-up to winter. But missing it made me realize that I have come a long, long way from the terrified woman who bought her tickets and packed her bags for a long weekend back in 2008.
Winprom is the most positive, life-affirming, wonderful few hours of my year. The one plus side is that this year I need it far less than any other year since 2008. I feel hot/sexy/pretty/saucy/gorgeous at least a few times a month now, just strutting around in a dress, or sashaying in my jeans. But nothing on earth feels like that night with those women, jumping up and down, singing Carry On My Wayward Son.
My years in fandom have been wonderful, and life-changing, and the best of my life, and they’ve been, for the most part, punctuated by a weekend in October where I get to hug and squee and put on my gladrags and dance the night away.
In keeping up with the times and the economy and the changes in fandom, Wincon is expanding this year. Details are here at the indegogo campaign page, where you can get tickets and great fannish swag.
It’s neither hyperbole nor exaggeration to say that Wincon changed my life. I hope to continue to celebrate it for years to come. Come along and see if Wincon might be for you!

Reblog: There is a reason most fanfiction authors start with a Mary Sue.

There is a reason that most fanfiction authors, specifically girls, start with a Mary Sue. It’s because girls are taught that they are never enough. You can’t be too loud, too quiet, too smart, too stupid. You can’t ask too many questions or know too many answers. No one is flocking to you for advice. Then something wonderful happens. The girl who was told she’s stupid finds out that she can be a better wizard than Albus Dumbledore. And that is something very important. Terrible at sports? You’re a warrior who does backflips and Legolas thinks you’re THE BEST. No friends? You get a standing ovation from Han Solo and the entire Rebel Alliance when you crash-land safely on Hoth after blowing up the Super Double Death Star. It’s all about you. Everyone in your favorite universe is TOTALLY ALL ABOUT YOU.

I started writing fanfiction the way most girls did, by re-inventing themselves.

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.
—  {UnWinona}: The Importance of Mary Sue  (via ultralaser)

Reblog: On "Fake Geek Girls", and the divide between "male fandom" and "female fandom"

I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.
Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.
And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.
We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?
I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.
Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.
"Male" fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the ‘right’ kind of fandom. "Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!" "Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!" "I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!"
In the mind of people who decry the ‘fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy ‘white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.
This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them.

Reblog: Romanticize yourself. Traumatize others.

Girls, romanticize yourselves. You are a queen. You are a warrior. You are an enchantress. You are a mermaid. You are a goddess. You are all of these things and more, you are the stuff of fairytales.
Women, traumatize others. You are a dragon. You are a wolf. You are a bump in the night. You are the last thing they see in the darkness. You are all of these things and more, you are the heart of their fucking nightmares.
(Source: sapphiology)

Wincon: Panels are awesome!

Q: Why should you go to Wincon?
 A: Because its panels are made of awesome and win.

One of the great things about Wincon are its panels. Each year Wincon holds open submissions for panel topics and then lets everyone vote on their favorite submissions, so that whatever ends up in the programming tracks are topics that the attendees really want to talk more about. Making a submission for a topic doesn't force you to be on that panel either - although volunteer panelist are encouraged, you can definitely submit ideas for panels that you want to see but don't necessarily want to be on. Some of the panels Wincon has had in the past include (but are not limited to!):

* Surviving the Apocalypse in Style
* Hotties in Space
* The Fastest Way to get SPN Fans to Throw Things at Each Other: A Discussion of Sexism and Misogyny in Supernatural
* Writing Good Erotica
* Girls, Girls, Girls: Femmeslash in Fandom
* Serial Killers in Popular Culture
* How Not to Be a Jerk Online
* Kinks Disney Gave Us
* More than Find and Replace: Making the Transition from Fanfic Star to Pro
* Women, People of Color, & LGBT Representation in Comics
* Keeping It in the Family (Incest)
* Podfic!: An Appreciation of Sounds and Readers

This is just a taste of the kind of topics you'll hear at Wincon. Most panels tend to be either Fandom-specific (Supernatural, Teen Wolf, Welcome to Night Vale, Doctor Who, Elementary, Hockey RPF, etc), Genre-specific (Vampires, Serial Killers, Apocalypse, etc.), Meta-specific (Sexism and Misogyny, Women, People of Color, & LGBT Representation, etc.), Theme-specific (Kinks, Incest, RPF, etc.), Internet/Geeky topics (Internet etiquette, podfic, manipping, vidding, etc.) and of course lots to do with fanfiction (writing help, betaing, running communities and challenges, turning pro, etc.).

And to top it all off, there's a few workshops and tutorials, like "How to sew Plushies" and "Make-up: How the Fuck Does it Work?"

Don't see anything so far that interests you? Buy a ticket for Wincon 2015 and make sure to submit your own ideas for panels to see there!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wincon 2015! Indiego - go - go!

What is Wincon exactly?
Wincon is a multi-fandom con that is super awesome and tons of fun! We’ve been going strong since 2006, visiting a different city every year and spreading the fandom love across the US.
We started out as a SPN con, but we’ve been multi-fandom since 2010. And we do mean multi-fandom. TV, movies, RPF, other … all fandoms are welcome!
We have great panels, round tables, and workshops, an amazing dance party we like to call Winprom, and, of course, super amazing fans in attendance!
Check out our website and fanlore page for more info on us and our history.

So what do you need?
We need your support! Do you love Wincon and want it to stick around? Never heard of Wincon before but it sounds pretty awesome? Come visit our Indiegogo page! Buy your 2015 registration and/or another awesome perk to help us meet our goal.
Here’s the bottom line. Unless we meet our goal and grow our con to about 250-300 attendees, Wincon just isn’t sustainable. We believe that Wincon is a unique con that’s worth preserving. We hope you do too.

Right, but what’s in it for me?
I’m so glad you asked, friend! We have some AH-MAZING perks for you if you help us out.
Obviously, you can purchase your registration in advance - with or without your prom ticket, with or without shiny extra swag. The choice is yours!
Some fantastic artists have contributed to our campaign as well.
Aggybird, Cathybites, Daunt, Ordinaryink, and Spaggel have each drawn a custom Wincon Hero. You can get their fantastic art as postcards, buttons, a poster, or all three!
We also have artists and creators offering commissions, special donations, and more! Check out our perks to see the details.

Basically Wincon is the greatest thing to ever happen. And you totally want to be a part of that. Right? Right!
So come on over to OUR INDIEGOGO PAGE and get involved today!
And please, please, PLEASE spread the word!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First Post: Introduction

Hey. My name's Bryn, and welcome to my blog.

For the rest of November and all of December, I'm going to write an entry each day about Wincon: What it is, why you should come next year, some of my favorite memories, that sort of thing.

Why I'm doing this: I'm trying to get the word out about a small convention that I love called Wincon ( Wincon has been around for nine years and is hosted in a different city each year (more about our history is at We're a multi-fandom convention celebrating all aspects of geeky life, and we usually average around 100 people a year, but it can be pretty expensive to run a con with a small attendance, so we're looking to expand to around 300 people in 2015. To make sure we can afford the con next year, we've set up an Indiegogo campaign ( so people can order their tickets in advance (a basic weekend pass is $55) and also get other great fandomy perks for other donations. The campaign is running until Jan 5th, but if we don't make our goal, then the convention will be cancelled and all payments/donations will be refunded.
Please, please, please help support this great cause, and keep Wincon alive. I'm willing to do nearly anything, but I'm only one fangirl and I can't fund this convention out of my own pocket, so I need your help. (Seriously guys. I'm willing to shave my head and sell locks of my green hair to reach our Indiegogo goal. Let me know if that's something you'd be willing to pay money to see, and I'll do it.)