Posted in Events

Curiouser’s Arrival!

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This project makes my little Leslie Knope heart happy. For those of you who don’t know me well, I love helping creativity flourish. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve thrown myself into projects, one after another, and I’m always scheming the next one. I want to see my friends connect to their imaginations, and I want to provide people an escape, or chance to see the world a little brighter.

I knew with Caffeine Crew I wanted to tap into that creativity down the line–after all, my friends are fantastic people full of all the potential in the universe. So, when we planned this Alice in Wonderland photoshoot at the beginning of the year, I was a wee bit nervous, but also excited. I wanted to see what we could come up with on our own, and given limited funds, we had to get inventive.

Ashley and I went to Goodwill and picked out costumes based on the artistic vision Rob provided, and we hodge-podged everything together. We had tried to pick individuals that we thought would fit the characters best, and based on the way it turned out, I think they did. Before the shoot, we all got together to do hair and makeup, and then made our way out to Miller Park in Exton.

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, which is what led to the photos featured in Curiouser. But it wasn’t just pictures, I chose poetry of mine that fit the whimsical vibe, and Carrie submitted hers as well! And then began the long arduous task of formatting which yours truly waded through. All of that work led to this release though, and I can’t wait to bring copies of it with me to Steampunk Unlimited!

For those of you who want your copy now, now, now–here’s the link! 81 pages of full color awesomeness!

Curiouser

Posted in Sneak Peeks

Curiouser Proof has arrived!

Well, no feeling warms my little cockles like getting a proof in the mail! And Curiouser looks beautiful!!!!! A couple minor tweaks here and there will be necessary before we release the final, but it looks like Caffeine Crew’s glorious first project will be available on schedule, by the end of the month!!

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Posted in Updates

Curiouser and curiouser…

I run and write for a geek blog, the Caffeine Crew. That’s nice, you say. There are five million geek blogs out there and plenty are way bigger than you. However, I didn’t start this with becoming the next IGN in mind, or to be a reviewer. I wanted to build a creative community inspired by my wonderful friends and our diner conversations. So, this year, we took a giant leap towards that with the Curiouser photoshoot, an Alice in Wonderland inspired photoshoot. We worked together, came up with the costuming, artistic direction, gathered all the models and produced beautiful art.

That wasn’t the last of it though–we’ve got talented writers at Caffeine Crew, and a photobook from our Curiouser shoot seemed to be the perfect fusion of that creativity. Hence, Curiouser, our journey of wit and whimsy was born. Featuring the photographs of Trisha Minicozzi and Ashley Battista-Fesh, as well as the poetry of Carrie Fulk Vaughn and myself, this is one compilation I’m so proud and excited about.

The release is slated for late September, so stay tuned for the date. The first convention I’m bringing copies to will be Steampunk Unlimited.

In the meanwhile, enjoy some behind the scenes photos:

Behind the Scenes 1 Behind the Scenes 2 Behind the Scenes 3

Posted in Random

The Versatile Blogger Award

Hooray, my friend The Shameful Narcissist over at The Shameful Narcissist Speaks nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! If you haven’t checked out her Game of Thrones and Final Fantasy 7 ruminations as well as her weekly updated Aeris and Sephiroth fanfic, you should! Lovely stuff!

Here are the Rules!

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
    Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

1. Fireside Chats– An awesome blog dabbling in theater, movies, and with a cool focus on cosplay, not only from a final looks point, but also helpful articles and discussions of during the process as well.

2. Brenda Hiatt- Her blog has one of the most informative segments for a published author, or at least one who’s planning on submitting to publishers. The Show Me the Money section has a detailed list of different independent and traditional publishers, with compiled insight on what the actual pay breakdown would look like based upon submitted reports.

3. My Writing Life– One of my all time favorite blogs for editing. The ten step revision system is insightful, as well as practical. Whenever I have a new work that needs editing, this is one of the blogs I revisit every time.

4. Interesting Literature– Care to know five interesting facts about Ezra Pound? How about the origins of Tweedledee and Tweedledum? This blog expounds weird literary facts on a regular basis, and is a fun one for any book geek to tune into.

5. Erzabet’s Enchantments– Fellow Decadent Publishing author’s blog dedicated to book reviews and interviews!

6. Decadent Publishing– Speak of the devil, this is a fantastic independent romance publisher, and they run a blog featuring their releases and author articles. It’s well worth checking out, as are their books.

7. Caffeine Crew– Geek news and geek views, a website that both Shameful Narcissist and I write for, as well as a plethora of other talented folks!

8. Book Blogger Directory– If you’re an author, whether indie or traditional, book blogger reviews are essential. And this resource is a fantastic, comprehensive place to find all the book bloggers you need!

9. The YA Chronicler– Awesome reviewer. Not only is the site beautifully designed, but the reviewer is constantly updating with thorough reviews on the best and worst young adult books out there. One of the coolest things though that makes this blogger stand out are the re-imagined covers!

10. Gabriel Reads– Another fantastic book review blog. I did an interview with this reviewer, and I have to say, it was hands down my favorite interview I’ve ever done. The questions were thoughtful and really made me think, rather than some of the same old ‘when did you start writing’ ones.

11. The Bookcast– Audio interviews for the win! Want to listen to interviews with indie authors from a professional interviewer? Bill’s your guy. He’s been interviewing for years, and I can personally attest, when I did mine for Airship, his skills were evident, as all of my nervousness melted away the second we started talking!

12. BookShelfery– While other sites do this as well, I love the regularity of their Indie Author Excerpts. The site has changed names a couple of times, but they continue to put out quality reviews, excerpts, and other features.

13. Fiction Vixen– She’s a fixture in the book reviewer scene, and for good reason. Her content comes out with such regularity, and the Fiction Vixen is a fantastic resource if you want to delve into the indie romance scene.

14. Steampunk Tourist– This blog covers Steampunk, except it delves into much more than your typical “What is Steampunk” articles. Instead, it covers a lot more insight into the community with articles about steampunk and disability, as well as steampunk weddings.

15. Sandra’s Book Club– A fellow author, Sandra also covers book reviews! She’s got two YA novels out, so go check out her blog!

7 Facts About Me

*rolls up sleeves* I tend to be terrible at these sorts of things, but let me try!

1. The character I’ve most strongly empathized with between TV, movies, and books happens to be Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. I didn’t catch on with the show until later on, but once I did, I was hooked. And every time Leslie would overreact, have a neurotic episode, or generally act the way she did, my husband would look over and roll his eyes, because he’s seen the same behavior from me.

2. I have a hardcore obsession with Bioware games. I’ve played all the Mass Effect ones, went back and played Knights of the Old Republic, all because of how fierce my obsession with Dragon Age is. I’ve replayed that game more than is healthy. But for me, it’s one of the few ways I have to turn off my head and stop working, since I tend to jam out on marketing while I watch TV.

3. I never got tired of dressing up. Cosplay, sure. Steampunk events, Renaissance Faires, I’m there. It’s even to the point though that when I throw parties I choose themes, so that people will still dress up. I LOVE IT.

DSC_0029Peter Pan that time!

4. I’ve dabbled in about a million hobbies, but aside from writing, the one that stuck was tea blending. I’ve had a tea business since 2013, and I’m constantly coming up with new blends, including the ones for my own books that I’ve recently started concocting.

Solstice Brews

5. I have a really hard time connecting with people if they don’t talk feelings with me. While I know not everyone is capable of this, I find people endlessly fascinating–it’s one of the reasons I write–and I feel like I won’t know them entirely unless I’ve heard their life story and why they became the person they are today. Probably more than a little the ENFJ in me.

6. I’ve never been to a sports game in my life. I’m also quite okay with this fact–while I respect other folks’ enthusiasm, I’ve just never caught onto it myself.

7. My only tattoo thus far is a large one that I got when I was 18/19. It’s of Tim Drake (Robin from Batman). I chose that one not only because Tim Drake led the Teen Titans when I first got into comics–which was my first foray into comics that weren’t manga–but also because the artist, Jo Chen, does the Buffy comic book covers as well as a plethora of others, and I LOVE her art.

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Thanks for tuning in, folks!

Posted in Articles

The Power of Books

So, I just finished reading Odd Thomas for the Caffeine Crew Book Club, even wrote a review up over here. That was a book that made my heart hurt–and GOD, I love that. Beyond any crazy twists and gimmicks (while I sometimes find them exhilarating in a whole different way), nothing makes me remember a book like the characters. Give me a character to remember, one that struggles and fights despite the overwhelming circumstances and odds against them. One that lives despite tragedy, or cares too deeply. One who’s unafraid to bare their soul, or too afraid, and terrified of getting hurt.

I see so many posts about how people are disgusting, or the worst. And yes, there exist some pretty terrible individuals. But in this era of social media, it’s so easy to dehumanize people. It’s so easy to forget that there’s a human being behind the screen, that the username has a story, and that they’re struggling to survive, and live, just like the rest of us.

Here’s where books come in. They’re a reminder, people. They’re a reminder why humankind can be amazing. Why people are worth believing in, and also a lesson on how circumstances and life can build folks up or destroy them. I want to read books that make my heart hurt, and make me love our species. I want to care about the individual, not statistics, or data.

Hence why I always read.

Posted in Events

Too Many Games

So, one of the places I write is for the website, Caffeine Crew, a geek news outlet. This weekend, we did press for Too Many Games, a convention in Oaks, which also gave me plenty more to write about, including an article on one of the panels we went to as well as a variety of other things. In honor of the games convention, I put together a quick Aeris cosplay, more of a street wear version of her outfit.

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We had an absolute blast! I was able to talk to a lot of indie game developers which was phenomenal. As an indie writer, there’s a certain camaraderie and understanding that comes with the territory—we all get to be very creative with marketing and getting ourselves out there!

Altogether, Too Many Games was a blast!