Monday, September 22, 2014

Traveling through the Outlander's Stones at Comic-Con

I first discovered the Outlander series when I was fifteen years old. The Drums of Autumn paperback was in a Pamida ad in 1997, and even with the simple cover, I knew I needed to read this book. Little did I know, I bought the fourth book in the series. The closest bookstore that I had growing up was two hours away, so I went to the library to borrow the first three books. I've been hooked on it ever since. So, when I found out they were making a tv series, I was totally in. 

Fast forward to San Diego Comic-Con this past July with my husband Joey and best friend Sulu. There was a huge presence there for Outlander. The booth stood out in the middle of the exhibit floor with the castle and standing stones where the men and women were dressed in period clothing. They handed out goodies like shirts and tote bags.

Here's an idea of the outside of the Outlander booth. 

And we got to see Claire's Apothecary Cabinet inside of the "castle".

One of the other fun things they gave out was the ticket to the premiere!

Here we are outside of the theater waiting to see if we can get inside. Joey and I had just gotten out of the West Coast Avengers photo shoot with our Spider-Man and Mary Jane costumes. We ditched my wig and his mask, grabbed our tickets, and headed over to the theater. 

Here's out excited faces outside of the theater. It was a huge surprise to see all the people dressed up in their very best. That's when we read the ticket more carefully and saw the "Red Carpet Gala" part. Oops!

 Let the adventure begin!

We were given balcony seats! It was hard not to feel fancy with my husband in his best suit.

 Then we found out our seats were supposed to be for the bagpipers and we were seated in the wrong place! They decided to move us, and when they did, our Jamie and Claire arrived in the theater. 

 We were eventually seated in the perfect seats. My husband loves being in the middle of the theater, and that's where they placed us (better than our own balcony). This was especially neat since the main players were in the audience with us. Above is the author Diana Gabaldon and executive producer Ron D. Moore.

 And this is how far away we were seated from Caitriona Balfe (Claire) and Sam Heughan (Jamie)! 

I brought my copy of Outlander to the premiere. I was going to try for the ticketed signings or the official panel at Comic-Con, but didn't make it to either. This is a first edition paperback I found when I was seventeen years old. I've carried it with me through all the moves I've made since I left my hometown in North Dakota when I was eighteen, including the big move to San Diego two years ago. The people who were seated behind me were kind enough to pass the book to Diana Gabaldon to sign. I didn't realize it would actually be possible! My friend said the author looked impressed at how it was an older copy. If she only knew on what journey this book went on with me over the years and how much it meant to me that she signed it!

 The composer of the series, Bear McCreary, was also at the premiere. He was joined by singer Raya Yarbrough, who sang the opening credits. While listening to it, it was hard not to think about the time travel that this book has taken with me since I was fifteen years old. I held back tears thinking of all the things I've gone through, how much things have changed, and how it was strange that I was sitting in that theater all those years later. 

After the showing, there was a Q & A. I was very happy after talking to my friend and husband about what they thought about the pilot. Both really enjoyed it and wanted to see more, which made me thrilled. I was more worried about that than my own opinion since I wanted to share it with people I care about. I did feel the same way and had a deep longing to read the books again. Soon, I will. 

Outlander has become one of my (and Joey's!) new favorite shows. It shouldn't be a surprise since it has been one of the few book series I've kept up with after all these years. Even in college, when I had little money, I would buy a hardcover of the latest book. I'm really looking forward to enjoying the series again in a whole different way. I'm also having a lot of fun talking to people who have and haven't read the series. I think it being a tv series is a great fit for it, and they found the right talent for it. Definitely worth the wait for this fangirl!


And if you still have the song stuck in your head, here are the actual opening titles. Be sure to check out the first episode if you haven't already!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Searching for Quality: Week 2 of #FallWritingBootCamp

There were ups and down during the week, but I've accepted this. I can only put more effort in next week. I've already set up StayFocused again on my computer. I'm now limited more to certain websites (you know which ones) so I can still do research and so many minutes for the day. My mother also sent me a new back corset so I can sit at my desk (since I lost weight and my old one doesn't fit). It's all about the small things!

Outside of my writing, I'm helping out in products forums and looking more into computer programming. I've always enjoyed being on the computer and working with software. My husband is an app developer/programmer so I think it might be fun to help him sometimes when he needs it. We'll see what I can do, but it might be a good break from words (though, I'll be writing in different languages?).

Now, onto what words and I did this week:

What did you do last week to work towards your goals?
I started on PRAIRIE DUST's (my YA contemporary) outline. I took different aspects of the story (family, friends, love, school, for example) and wrote what I wanted to see before I envisioning how they will meld together. Eventually I can then set it into a timeline to see how they can all interact with each other. 

I've been dealing a lot with working on beginnings. I did get through the first few chapters of BRIGHT WORLD, and I realized that I needed to sit down with the outline again. I mapped out the first twenty chapters so I know exactly where I want the story to go. What I had before I didn't like and I'm not going to work for the sake of working. 

Did you meet your goals?
I didn't get through all ten chapters of Bright World like I imagined. I'm a little bummed like it, but like I said, I don't want to do something only to meet a goal. I want to have quality over quantity. 

What are you goals for the coming week?
To finish up the outline/timeline for PRAIRIE DUST.

Jump back into BRIGHT WORLD's chapter rewrite and see where my envisioned ideas will take me.

Hope everyone had a good week and here's to another one full of fun challenges!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Moving Ahead with #FallWritingBootCamp

I haven't done a lot of updating on the blog since there is so much that has been going on since the last post (more about that soon). However, I finally see autumn and winter slowing things down a bit for me. I want to focus more on my writing goals so this is a wonderful thing. I joined the YA Buccaneers Fall Writing Boot Camp to help with keeping me on track. It runs from September through NaNoWriMo (November, in writer speak), which is perfect for my goals.

My September goals are simple:

  • To complete the rewrite of the first twenty chapters (half) of BRIGHT WORLD.
  • To a draft of an outline for my NaNoWriMo YA contemporary project, PRAIRIE DUST.

Onto my weekly check-in!

What did you do last week to work towards your goals?
I decided to simplify things. Lately, I've been taking writing books and notebooks, along with my laptop, to cover my various projects. This Friday when I went to my local cafe, I packed up only my laptop and Nook (which I use as a reference). It was easier for me to focus on one thing. I wasn't able to avoid something or do the least important of the tasks first. Less distraction!

Sophie loves Wonderbook!

Did you meet your goals?
I was able to get through the rewrite of the first two chapters of BRIGHT WORLD (this week's goal), and get things rolling on Chapters 3-5. I rewrote the first part of Chapter 3 and I'll take a look at that on Monday.

What are you goals for the coming week?
I would like to get through the next ten chapters of BRIGHT WORLD. There are also things I want to get written down in PRAIRIE DUST into some type of order this week, and then the following week get that into a school year format. We'll see how this goes!

I will continue to read through Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer in my spare time and I'm finally going to pick up Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass from the library.

Here's to a great week ahead!


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