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Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

It’s taken long enough, I know.  I promise 2016 will not take as long… unless someone else dies and I get depressed and don’t do it.  But back on topic, hope you find something new and exciting here.

Children’s Books:

Tea RexTea Rex by Molly Idle

A little girl and her brother have a tyranosaurus rex over for tea. The text goes over tea time manners while the beautiful pictures tell the story. Hilarity ensues.

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Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds

A picture book about the difficulties of fitting in.  Personally, fitting in has always been a struggle for me, so I found this heartwarming.

 

 

421063Santa Claws by Laura Leuk, illustrated by Gris Grimly

Children’s picture book about monsters and Christmas, illustrated by the amazing Gris Grimly.  Are you looking for a book that’s cute, but creepy?  Look no further.

 

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Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman

A short children’s novel about a father who has a wacky adventure while on the way to the store to get milk for his children’s cereal.  And it’s by Neil Gaiman.  ‘Nuff said.

 

 

17591892Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell

A graphic novel about a world where each medieval town has a monster they are proud of.  Every town, that is, except for Stoker-on-Avon.

 

 

Teen Books:

17453303Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

A strange story about a girl and her friend who drink a bat and gain the power to see both people’s past and future. How do you drink a bat? I’m not telling. As for the history of the future, it’s horrifying and compelling, but I can’t tell you much more than that. It’s a story about friendship and choices, despair and hope, truth and lies, art and life, and the connections between people, both past and future. And personally, I enjoy books that delve a little into what it’s like living with mental illness, as well as feminism. I can’t think of a better way to explain this book; you just have to read it.

10874177Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Silly steampunk adventure about teenaged Sophronia, who is failing at being a proper lady. Her mother sends her away to a very unusual finishing school where she learns not only to be a lady, but also spying, poisoning, and a lot of other things she never expected. It takes place a generation before the Alexia Macon stories, so there are guest appearances of characters I recognized, but much younger. Fun fan service to see these characters in their youth.

14059024The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

Lucy, Lockwood, and George take on a seemingly normal case helping out a graveyard crew. But the body they unearth is more perilous than anticipated, and the people involved are just as dangerous as the ghosts. More banter, more scary ghosts, more adventure, and of course, a mystery.

 

 

 

20898019Ms Marvel No Normal by Willow G. Wilson

Part of being a teenager is dealing with being different, not fitting in.  And what I love about this version of Ms Marvel is that the girl is a muslim teenager living in New Jersey.  On top of all the normal teenage angst, she also has to deal with prejudice about her religion, and racism because she is of middle eastern heritage.  Plus, you know, super confusing new powers, and having a secret identity, as if things weren’t complicated enough already.

 

12813630The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black

Holly Black wrote a vampire book.  That’s really all I needed to know, but if you need convincing, it’s about a teenage girl named Tana who wakes up after a house party to find that everyone else in the house has been massacred by vampires.  Everyone, that is, but her ex-boyfriend(of course) and one vampire who has been left behind by his companions to die.  But Tana’s ex is “cold” with the vampire infection, and she fears she may be too. Vampirism is treated as a communicable disease by the government, and “cold towns” have been established and quarantined for those infected.  Holly Black builds a rich world of quarantined concentration camps, prejudice, fear, reality television, and celebrity worship around a character who struggles with her own self destructive tendencies.

 

8490112Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

I completely tore through this whole series on a recommendation from a friend, Maryelizabeth, who owns Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego.  This is the story of Karou, a mysterious art student with blue hair(yo12812550u gotta have blue hair) and tattoos who draws monsters in her notebook.  What her friends don’t know is that the monsters are the only family she’s ever known.  The double life of a normal art student, and errand girl for monsters is a lonely one, and Karou is starting to get fed up with it all.  Then three angels with wings of fire begin marking magic doo13618440rs with handprints, and Karou’s life is about to literally burn down around her.  I love the amazing world that Laini Taylor has built, the characters she’s created, the drama and the humor, and the marvelous strangeness of it all. It’s a love story full of the worst kind of betrayals and loss, friendship and revenge, wishes and monsters and secrets, but a love story nonetheless.  And I love it.

 

Adult Books:

7235533The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.

How does he do this?  The books are huge and daunting, but totally worth it, and with Sanderson, you know you won’t be waiting 10 years for the next one.  He builds an amazing world ravaged by magical storms, full of strange creatures, new religions, and characters you want to like because they all believe they are doing the right thing(even the bad ones).

 

17671993Injustice: Gods Among Us, years 1 and 2 by Tom Taylor

I don’t often read DC comics, but these are amazing, and dark, and really explore the line between good and evil, hero and villain.

 

 

 

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 40102Outliers and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Fascinating research on becoming an expert, making snap decisions, and what makes successful people stand out from the crowd.  It gives you insight and perspective, like turning the Rubik’s cube of life around in your hands to examine from all angles.

 

 

91479Death Masks by Jim Butcher

I realize this is a single book partway through a series, but I don’t care, it was still one of my favorites from the last year, so it’s on the list.  Dresden is forced to confront the consequences of some of his mistakes, part of his past he tried to forget, and finds himself tempted to do the wrong thing.  Lots of moral and emotional dilemmas combined with sarcastic humor, badass fighting, and magic and myth.

 

7622500The Artist in the Office by Summer Pierre

Quite possibly the most inspiring book I read all year. A fantastic self help book for artistic personalities who work in non-artistic professions. It helps you to incorporate art into your daily lifestyle at work and at home, and to recognize how you can live your ideal artistic life, or something close to it, while working a day job. It has really energized me, and reminded me about the good things in life.

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The Third Act: Writing a Great Ending to your Screenplay by Drew Yanno

It’s short, and pretty to the point.  And it helped my fix the ending to my first completed novel.  Effective!

 

Gone GirlGone Girl By Gillian Flynn

A dark, surprising murder mystery full of twists.  This story kept me entertained despite the lack of magic OR spaceships!  But dark, Dark, DARK.  Be prepared for some messed up relationships.  Nick Dunne’s wife disappears, and when the clues begin to point back toward Nick himself, he realizes that the most likely explanation sounds completely insane. The movie was a faithful rendition, but the book is still totally worth it.

 

 

Saga vol. 4 and 5 by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by25451555 Fiona Staples.

23093367I love this series so much, and it continues to hold my devotion.  I love the characters, and I
love the art, and I love the world.  Though I have to say, there a was a really harsh sucker punch at the end of Vol. 5.

 

So there it is, only like 11 months late… Happy reading.

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Many of my friends know that I do the Clarion West Write-a-Thon each year. I always figured it was as close as I’d ever get to taking the six week long writing bootcamp. This fall, they started offering one day workshops. All I had to do was get a weekend off work, and the money to spend a weekend in Seattle. Thanks to my tax returns, I’m going. I’m finally going.

To cut to the chase, cheap flights are long flights with layovers, so I needed to select which books I would haul on the plane with me. I like to have choices, but it’s only one weekend, and I don’t want to weigh myself down too much.  I picked books based partly on weight, partly on subject.  I have a childrens book, a graphic novel, a science fiction novel, and a non-fiction book.  Most of these are slender volumes, and even the novel is shorter than the average science-fiction novel.

Redshirts, Rachel Rising, Fortunately the Milk, and Writing the Other
Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman
A wild goose chase of a story about a father who goes out for milk and gets an adventure.

Rachel Rising: Winter Graves by Terry Moore
The continuation of the Rachel Rising comics series, with demons, witches, and Rachel, who cannot die.

Redshirts, by John Scalzi
Exactly what it sounds like: the story of everyday people in a starship fleet, and the constant danger they face.  Also, it won the Hugo.

Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward
How to write people of who are different from yourself with believability and respect.

I might add one more novel, but I think this list is diverse enough to keep me entertained.

MOAR Comic-Con!  It’s taken me a while to post this since I got really sick shortly after Phoenix Comic-Con(what the hell? You mean vodka doesn’t kill mono?!) and then went to San Diego Comic-Con anyway.  Feeling mostly healthy again, fortunately.  I was also working on this: Clarion West Write-A-Thon.  Anyway, here’s all the cool books I bought, or in some cases got for free:

Phoenix ComiCon swag

Also, I must spread the good news about the Holy Taco Church, which I learned about at the Taco Council panel 🙂  There will be vegetarian options posted since Our Lady of Pico De Gallo, Leanna Renee Hieber is a vegetarian(with excellent fashion sense).

I also learned about Nerd Noms, a Youtube cooking show about making delicious nerd food.  I was most excited about the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, for which I may be needing to use my hangover cure:CAM00502

No, I don’t put it all in the blender and choke it down.  That would be gross.  I drink the whole bottle of water before bed, then make the Emergen-C and miso soup separately for breakfast.  The vitamin water also helps if you can’t stand Emergen-C, or if you still feel kinda icky and need to take something with you on horrible travels into the harsh light of day.

Aaaaaaaannnnddd, here are the adult books discussed at the Cool Things I’m Reading Panel.  My co-panelists were Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy Books, Nadine from the Phoenix Comic-Con staff, and Patrick from Poisoned Pen Books.  Brief teasers follow for the books I’ve read.

Rachel Rising: The Shadow of Death (Rachel Rising, #1) Rachel Rising by Terry Moore

Beautiful graphic novel written and illustrated by Terry Moore.  This is the horror story of Rachel, who awakens and drags herself out of a shallow grave in the woods outside of her small town. She returns home with plans to resume her life as if nothing unusual happened, only to realize she’s lost 3 days, and that’s not all.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

This book was ridiculous and horrible and sad and hilarious and weird as shit. And I loved it.
It’s the “mostly true” story of of how Jenny Lawson grew up in a tiny town in Texas with a crazy taxidermist father. The phrase “you’re going to get blood on you” came up A LOT.  If you are not easily offended, or like being offended, this is for you.

The Parasol Protectorate series, beginning with Soulless, by Gail Carriger

A comedic paranormal romance with a steampunk setting. It has an outspoken, soulless spinster, werewolves, vampires, and comedy, so I loved every page.

Shattered by Kevin Hearne 

The Goblin Emperor The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1)

  After Life with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ; artwork by Francesco Francavilla ; lettering by Jack Morelli.

Alpha by Greg Rucka Alpha

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie(after the panel happened, this debut novel went on to win the Nebula AND the Hugo!)

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia Monster Hunter International (MHI, #1)

Empire of Salt Empire of Salt by Weston Ochse

The Slab by Jeffrey Mariotte The Slab

Wicked After Midnight (Blud, #3) Wicked After Midnight by Delilah Dawson

Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas, #1)

The Pretenders (The Cemetery Girl Trilogy, #1) Cemetery Girl by Christopher Golden and Charlaine Harris

In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

Tome of the Undergates (Aeons' Gate, #1) Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan Maguire Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)

Anything by Benedict Jacka

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

The Innkeeper's Song Innkeepers Song by Peter S. Beagle

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Charles Vess Stardust, Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie Book 1 of 4

Tristan Thorn crosses the wall into the land of Faerie in search of his Heart’s Desire: a shooting star to give to the girl of his dreams. But when he finds the star, he discovers that it does not look, or act, at all the way he expected.

Green (Green Universe #1) Green by Jay Lake

I also wrote down the title of a book called “Ice,” but forgot to write down the author… and there are a lot of books called Ice, so good luck there unless Maryelizabeth remembers :p

Hope this gives you lots of fun things to read.  It has definitely added to the Jenga style piles of books by MY bed!

 

One of my favorite times of year approaches: Halloween!  A time when costumes are encouraged, candy is plentiful, and there’s seasonal pumpkin crap everywhere!  And, as I am a giant nerd, I thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to eat some pumpkin pasties like Harry, Ron and Hermione do this time of year?”  So I made some using this recipe, and they were freaking delicious.

And along the same lines, here is a diverse selection of a few of my favorite teen horror novels:

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline’s parents are too busy to play, so she goes exploring in their new home.  She finds a door that leads only to a brick wall, until one day it doesn’t.  There’s a mirror world on the other side where her parents spoil her, and everything is wonderful.  Except her parents have buttons instead of eyes.  And there are ghosts.  And then her real parents go missing and it’s up to Coraline to face the horrors on the other side of that door.

 

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Vivian is a werewolf.  She loves the raw power and the danger, and she has no interest in getting to know the weak humans she goes to school with.  At least, not until she meets Aiden.  She’s drawn to him, but afraid of what he’ll do if he learns the truth about her.  And then Vivian starts blacking out and losing time, and dead bodies start showing up.

 

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde

Kerry helps save a boy from being killed by a gang who thinks he’s a vampire.  But once the boy is free, she realizes what a dangerous person he is, and wonders if she did the right thing.  She even begins to wonder if he really is a vampire.  And if she’ll make it home alive.

 

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Jack is a normal sixteen year old boy until the night he’s kidnapped by a pedophile.  He gets away, but finds that there are some things that you can never escape.  And then he is given the gateway to Marbury.  Marbury is a ruined world, full of giant carnivorous bugs, ghosts, and even worse things.  Jack is terrified in Marbury, but he can’t stay away either.  This story is especially dark, with no real ending, but quite the ride while you’re on it.  Recently learned that there is a second book, called Passenger.  Need to read it!

 

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Jasper Dent’s father raised him to follow in his footsteps.  Problem is, Jasper’s father might have been the most successful serial killer of the modern era.  A few years ago, his father was finally caught, and Jazz is trying to forget all the things his father taught him, to live a normal life.  But he feels like the entire world is just waiting for him to become the person his father wants him to be.  And then, bodies start showing up in Jazz’s quiet little town, and he’s positive it’s the work of a serial killer.  But no one believes him, so Jazz decides to take matters into his own hands, using his unique expertise.  It’s a dangerous game, hunting killers, but someone’s gotta do it. 

So I’m flying to Boston all by my lonesome. Lots of people hate flying, and while I don’t much like the take off or the landing part, I love the hours and hours of time to myself. I’m surrounded by people but perfectly alone. I plan to enjoy overpriced fancy coffee and bring a stack of books, one for every mood. Books on a plane 2.0: Launch!

The Elements of Style by William Strunk JR and E.B. White.
Why, you ask? Because it’s considered the quintessential writing manual, and I own a copy, and it’s less than 100 pages long, but I’ve never read the whole thing. Bad writer. Very bad.  Dorothy Parker is quoted as saying: “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of ‘The Elements of Style.’ The first-greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”  So, perhaps I’ll put off the shooting and skip to the reading.

Rachel Rising trade paperback 1: The Shadow of Death, by Terry Moore
When I get sick of non-fiction, I can enjoy Terry Moore’s fabulous artwork, and even more awesome storytelling. Never read anything by Terry Moore? You should. He writes and illustrates his own comics, about people. Not superheros, but people… who sometimes have superpowers. Nevermind, he’s hard to explain, just go find one of his books.

Writing The Other

Writing the Other A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.
More non-fiction about writing, but it sounds super useful. I want to write about people who aren’t exactly like me, but I want to do it respectfully, and hopefully this will help.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess.
Again, when I get sick of nonfiction, pretty pictures and a love story by Neil Gaiman. *sigh* I love his writing so. And when he narrates his audiobooks. *sigh*

Moving on.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
My banned teen book, actually banned in some middle America school library because the teenagers were having the sex with the condoms! And so, I must read it.

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
Patrick Rothfuss will be coming to the Tucson Festival of Books, and I’ve had the pleasure of helping to arrange this. This book has been recommended to my many times as a fantastic new fantasy, but it’s a thick book and I’ve been putting it off. No more. I intend to read this book the way John Scalzi did: angrily on a plane. In paper brick format.

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett.
In case I need some comedy relief, Terry Pratchett is one of my go-tos. He never lets me down.

And in case you’re wondering, I will be dragging all of these with me in old fashioned paper format.  Dedication=adding 20 extra pounds to your carry-on.  So wish me a safe flight, and I hope if you’re reading this, you found at least one new book you wanted to read. 🙂

Image of the cover of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.They have book trailers on youtube.com now.  Like movie trailers, but for books. . . it’s pretty awesome.  I would watch them all if I had time.  Sadly, I don’t, but here are a few that I’ve liked:

Of the two books by Cynthia Leitich Smith, I liked Tantalize better, but I like the trailer for Eternal.

Quite possibly the funniest fan made trailer I’ve seen yet is this one for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith.

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.  The last line in the video is “How actually great it is to be alive,” which was not what I heard the first time I watched it.  So I thought I’d save you the confusion. 😉

This trailer for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters is a bit violent, and yet somehow hilarious.  Or maybe I’m just twisted?

Leviathan, but Scott Westerfeld.  This isn’t the best trailer, but the artwork you see is actually from the book, which is an old fashioned illustrated novel!  Westerfeld said that even adult books used to be illustrated, and he wanted to reach back to that to help create that old fashioned steam punk feel.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Night World by L. J. Smith.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

And the most awesome of all the awesome?  This one:

Night of the Living Trekkies, by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall.

Okay, so this is only tangentially related to librarianship, but who cares?  I did go partly to promote the Tucson Festival of Books, which is library related.  But mostly I went to ask questions about publishing creator owned comics, and to be a ginormous fangirl.  After several weeks of various trials and tribulations, here is a synopsis of San Diego Comic-Con:

So Nick, Heather, and I flew into San Diego on Thursday.  We dropped our stuff at the hotel and went out to eat the only real meal we were likely to get that day.  We looked around the exhibitor booths a little, and I ran to grab a collectors item for a co-worker, only to find that the limited edition, Comic-Con exclusive silver astronaut Snoopy had been held up in manufacturing, and might never become available.  So I got a limited edition astronaut Snoopy tote bag instead.

Nick and I on the plane.

Nick and I on the plane.

Then my friends and I split up.  I went to a panel on writing with J. Michael Straczynski, and stayed for the panel after about making creator owned comics with Image.  At this point, I decided that the headache that had been bothering me all day was turning into a migraine, and I popped an Imitrex.

Then I went to talk to Brom, the amazing gothic fantasy artist turned writer, about why he should come to the Tucson Festival of Books.  He signed a couple  copies of his first book, The Plucker, for me.  He was very nice.  Not even remotely creepy, despite the author photo in the back of The Plucker. I’m hopeful that he will come.

Me + Brom!

Me + Brom!

Lucky for me, the Imitrex kicked in just in time for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog sing-along.  There was a booklet with lyrics, and call backs like Rocky Horror.  During the Bad Horse chorus, we were all supposed to bounce up and down, and the floor started shaking.  Little bit scary.   And I’ll tell you what, knowing the lyrics to Commentary the Musical makes it a lot more interesting.

Heather tries on the paper Dr. Horrible goggles.  Why is everything she does so cute?

Heather tries on the paper Dr. Horrible goggles. Why is everything she does so cute?

We all crashed hard in our hotel around 1 am after our 20 hour day, then got up four hours later so that we could rush back to the convention center.  Nick got in line for a portfolio review, while my other friend waited in line with me for tickets to the Coraline signing.  My wonderful friend Heather had graciously agreed to give me her Coraline ticket if she got one, since she wanted to go the Guild panel, which overlapped with the Coraline panel, and she’s not even a fraction of the Neil Gaiman fan that I am.  Like a panicky school of fish, we all hurried outside  as soon as they announced the ticket drawing, and got in line.  I didn’t get a winning ticket, but Heather did.  She quickly passed it off to me and I left triumphant with a wrist band to watch the Coraline panel.  Thank you Heather!!!  A few hours later, I was standing in line with my books and eagerly awaiting my thirty seconds of personal time with Neil Gaiman.  To my surprise, it turned out that the signing also included Terri Hatcher, the brilliant director Henry Selick, and Keith David, the voice of the cat in the movie.  Keith David has an amazing voice, and has a special place in my heart as the voice of Goliath from the cartoon series Gargoyles.

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, and Henry Selick

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, and Henry Selick

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick, and Keith David.

Terri Hatcher, Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick, and Keith David.

The horrible thing about the signing was that the crowd control people came out and told us that only one thing could be signed.  One.  The line started freaking out, and I looked through my bag at the books I had brought: two for me, and two for a friend who didn’t make it to Comic-Con.  How could I choose?  Then the crowd control people amended: one signed item and one picture, or two signed items and no picure, just don’t slow down the line!  I breathed a sigh of relief, and chatted with the guy in line in front of me.  Then they passed out a limited edition Coraline card to be signed.  When I got to the head of the line, the woman there told me I had too many items.  I told her the Coraline cast could sign the card, and Neil Gaiman could sign my two books:  Two items.  She said no, that’s too many.  I started to panic.  Then she pointed out to me that the guy in front of me had only one item, and if he was willing, he could get it signed for me.  I thrust my book at him and asked if he would get it signed for me.  And he did, and I wish I knew his name, but he disappeared after the signing!  Thank you sweet pre-med student!  Neil signed my book, and I gave him a flyer and a card for the Tucson Festival of Books.  He gave my card back with his assistant’s email.  It took all my strength and willpower to remain standing and speak mostly coherent words at him.

Next I went to give some more info to Brom about the Festival, and then I met up with my friends and we walked around the exhibitor space for a while.  I got some art books signed by the creepy artist Mark Ryden, who was not very creepy at all, and even had his children with him.

Then we went searching for Jeff Jacques, so I could buy things from his booth and support his comic.

Heather arrived back from the Spartacus panel, and we went to meet R.H. Stavis, Steve DeKnight, and Adam Archer.  Heather was interviewed by Starz about her fangirl opinion on the new show Spartacus.  After that, the plan had been to get in line for the Dollhouse panel two hours before hand, but it turns out the line was three hours long.  That’s right, three hours long.  We were already too late to get in line, and I’m not sure I’m a big enough fangirl to wait in line three hours for any kind of panel that doesn’t come with a signing.

Adam Archer, Steve DeKnight, and R. H. Stavis.

Adam Archer, Steve DeKnight, and R. H. Stavis.

So we went to see Jane Espenson at the Browncoat booth.  Usually, she works with Joss Whedon, and I think she’s a really fantastic writer.  One of the best, very funny.  And very nice.

Jane Espenson + me!

Jane Espenson + me!

Then Heather got a call from a friend, begging her to go find Peter S. Beagle and get a signed book from him.  Peter S. Beagle, the guy who wrote The Last Unicorn!  We rushed to find his booth,  and I was very excited to meet him and buy several signed books.  I gave him some info about the Tucson Festival of Books too.

Peter S. Beagle... and me!

Peter S. Beagle... and me!

Then we went on probably our third quest to find Jeff Mariotte and his wonderful wife, Maryelizabeth Hart.  This quest was successful, and very relaxing among all the stress and excitement of the con.

Jeff Mariotte, Nick, Heather, Me, and Maryelizabeth Hart.

Jeff Mariotte, Nick, Heather, Me, and Maryelizabeth Hart.

Finally, we ended our day by heading upstairs to meet the cast of the Guild, so Heather could give Felicia Day some tiny gaming dice as a fangirl gift.  Felicia and the entire cast are all so sweet and friendly.  Felicia was really excited about her dice, especially when she managed to roll a natural 20.

Felicia Day and Heather

Felicia Day and Heather

Me + Felica Day!

Me + Felica Day!

At last, dinner and bed, just after midnight.  And up again at 6:30 to eat breakfast and head back for our last day of con.  I went to see Terry Moore speak about Strangers in Paradise and his most recent project, Echo.  Both have been nominated for Eisner Awards, and Strangers won.  Apparently the producer of Watchmen just bought the rights  to Echo(not optioned, bought), so this movie might actually happen.  Being the big Terry Moore fan I am, I’m pretty excited.

I got a text from my friend Nick then, who said he’d gotten a call back on his portfolio from Marvel!  He had a review with them in the afternoon.  We went down to the exhibitor hall for a while to buy stuff, then back upstairs to watch Brom’s art presentation.  He had fantastic stories about each piece of artwork in his slideshow, and he has done so much professional work it’s unbelievable.  Then we met up with Heather, and went down to stalk the exhibitor booths some more.  Eventually Heather and Nick went off to the Monster Mash panel, and I went to the writing panel with Marv Wolfman, writer and creator of Teen Titans.   He gave an excellent talk about characterization, and I introduced myself afterwards to ask a few questions.  Then I sneaked in for the end of Ray Bradbury’s author hour.  He’s hilarious, and one of my heroes.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

As it turned out, Nick didn’t get a job with Marvel, but they said he has a good chance next year.  So Heather and I went to see if we could get into the Dr. Horrible signing, and Nick went to discuss his portfolio with Jeff Mariotte.  Heather, in all her great and cute Asian glory, got us into the signing and we were among the last few people to meet Joelle Jones, Maurissa Tancharoen, Zack Whedon, and Joss Whedon.  They were all very nice, especially considering I had absolutely nothing for them to sign.  I never thought I’d get into the signing at all!  There was no Dr. Horrible merchandise for sale at the Darkhorse booth, and I had to make do with a comic poster and a Serenity lunchbox.  Somehow, through my trembling fangirl joy, I managed to invite Joss Whedon to the Tucson Festival of Books.  He looked at the brochure for a moment, then told me he probably wouldn’t have time.  I said something like “I know, but I had to ask.”

Joss Whedon + me!  Yeah!

Joss Whedon + me! Yeah!

We flew back on Sunday morning.  It was a pretty awesome weekend, and I’m thankful to everyone who made it so awesome.