Wednesday, August 10, 2011


On my Twitter profile, I describe myself as someone who thinks there should be more Steampunk in the world. The more Steampunk I see, the more I think it's awesome. Steampunk is one of the coolest parts of the sci-fi/fantasy world. There is so much you can do with it!

My first real exposure to Steampunk was at Dragon-Con a couple of years ago. The coolest this I saw was an awesome modded Steampunk wheelchair! I'd love to see some more Steampunk in movies. Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline is the best example of Steampunk in movies. Unfortunately, it was more hokey than cool. The Golden Compass had some Steampunk elements, but those were more in the book than the movie.

My dad fell in love with Steampunk, too. He has some skill with a soldering iron, so he's started making his own Steampunk jewelry! I am glad that he has found something to occupy his time since he's retired. I also think that his work is pretty awesome. The photo on this blog post is one of his creations. He has just started his own Etsy shop, and I hope that my awesome readers will check it out! He is Gears and Glass Guy on Etsy. Click on his shop name for more photos of his Steampunk jewelry. He plans to have stained glass pieces up soon as well!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Wild George R. R. Martin Appeared!

The signing last night was fantastic. I went with my little brother, the guy in the dark blue shirt behind me. It was cool to get to spend time with my brother. He is 14 years younger than me, and sometimes we don't have a lot in common. He turned 18 in May, and it's getting easier.

One of the things we DO have in common is that we're both big fans of George R. R. Martin. I discovered his books in the paperback racks of the Los Angeles Public Library's Central Branch. I took it home with me and encouraged my roommates at the time to read it, too. After we had all three read the books, we played "Cast that Character" and chose our dream actors and actresses to play Sansa, Arya, Tyrion, and the rest. I've continued to recommend the series to everyone I know who reads fantasy. I badgered both of my brothers into reading A Song of Ice and Fire. My little brother even gave up his W.o.W. account this spring so that those funds could go to paying for HBO.

Martin's Q & A session was short because there were so many attendees, but he answered some of the FAQs. His favorite character is Tyrion, and he's the easiest to write. He loves the HBO show and writes one show per season. My friend Heather asked a question about women in his books, and received a very nice response. Basically, he said that his books are based on history and the women in his books have a lot to overcome(!).

Martin had great things to say about our local independent bookseller, which was awesome. The store guy says that he requests to come to our bookstore. We were his last stop on the tour. He said that a non-reader lives only one life, and a reader lives thousands. Such true words!

Unfortunately, there were so many people who were there that there was no personalization or photos. Well, other than the guy at the end of the line snapping people. I very much wish that I had still been in town during one of his earlier signings at the book store! I am amazed at his stamina. He signed books for over 600 people, and with a limit of 3 books each. I am sure that not everyone had more than one book--my brother and I each had one. If he did, he would have signed over 1800 books! The really amazing thing is that he did it in only two hours! Even with those downsides, I am very, very glad that I went to the signing. It was by no means a waste of my time, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm collecting authors

My newest hobby is going to book signings! You know what your favorite actors and actresses look like, but who knows what their favorite author looks like? I'm out to discover what my favorite authors look like and hear the sound of their voices. As of last Saturday, I met author #5. On Tuesday, I'll be meeting author #6! I am very lucky that my local bookstore has a host of signings for awesome authors.

It is a lot of fun to meet these authors. They sometimes read from their latest book, but most of them simply take questions from the audience. You get a chance to ask them personal questions when you get to the table to get your book signed. You can usually get your picture taken with the author as well. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.

I was really impressed with Jim Butcher who was the author I saw on Saturday. I thought he was really funny. There were a lot of fans there. They did the order of signing by giving us tickets that were alphabetized. My ticket was I, and it took 2 1/2 hours before we got a chance to see Mr. Butcher. I can't even imagine spending 2 1/2 hours signing my name, smiling for the camera and making small talk. If I ever make it as an author, I would totally sign books and take photos for 2 1/2 hours or more if my fans could wait for 2 1/2 hours to see me!

In 2008, I met
  • Diana Gabaldon (who said that her grandmother shared my name, very cool!)
  • Peter S. Beagle (who went to school with two of the writing instructors at my alma mater, Gurney Norman and James Baker Hall. I had to give him the unfortunate news that James Baker Hall had passed away.)
  • I got a peek at Charlaine Harris while asking for her publicist's information
In 2010, I met
  • Kelley Armstrong!
In 2011, I have already met
  • Kim Harrison (who is a fellow Dr. Who fan!)
  • Jim Butcher
and will meet George R.R. Martin tomorrow!

If you've never met an author before, do it! It's an excellent experience!

(My brother took this picture, so it's totally his fault that it came out blurry!)