Convention Season: Attending an Out of State Convention (Plus a Contest!)

I love convention season. There is nothing more fun than buying passes, planning your schedule, your outfits, and setting off to head to a totally amazing convention. Last year I had a pretty fun con schedule (for me, anyway), heading to Denver Comic Con, GeekGirlCon, and Rocky Mountain Con. This year, I kept things toned down and only headed out to Denver Comic Con. I had a great time, and got to hang out with new and old friends, like my buddy the Raptor Evangelist:

Velocirapture

But the thing about going to conventions is they are all learning experiences. Conventions are NUTS, and if you’re travelling out of state for them, they can get even nuttier. So while con season is starting to draw to a close, we still have conventions like GeekGirlCon and New York Comic Con on the horizon. While I know some of my readers are located in Seattle and New York and can easily make the jump to GeekGirlCon or New York Comic Con, I know a lot of you are like me, and attending either of those conventions means a cross-country trip.

Well, since AnimeVendor.com is running a contest, giving away two four-day passes to New York Comic Con, I thought I’d offer a few tips that seems simple, but can really help enhance the experience of attending a convention that is out-of-state:

Prioritize

Ron Swanson Wisdom

You’re going to a new, exciting city to a new, exciting convention. Not only are there tons of things you probably want to do at the con, there are probably even more things you want to see in the city itself. You’ve got to face the facts: you can’t do it all. Decide what is most important to you, and prioritize those first. Make yourself a schedule that won’t drive you crazy (only you know what that looks like). For any con I attend, local or otherwise, I always plan for a few panels in case my first choice doesn’t work out for some reason. If you want to work in some sightseeing time, do that, too. Any convention is a wonderfully exhausting experience, just make sure you plan a trip that stays wonderfully exhausting and doesn’t meander into the realm of “emotionally and physically draining” or “unpleasant and exhausting”.

Make Sure You’re Comfortable With Your Hotel

hotel

The temptation will be to book yourself a sketchy hotel because “I’ll be at the con all day, anyway”. DON’T DO THIS! You don’t have to go super fancy, but make sure you’re booking yourself a room in a hotel in which you feel safe and comfortable. You’ll be exhausted after a long day at the con, so you want to come back to a place where you truly feel you can relax. Whether that means a nicer hotel, rooming with a buddy, rooming by yourself, or making sure your hotel has a pool, don’t ignore those things that make you feel safe and cozy. I can’t tell you how many people I talked to at GeekGirlCon who dreaded going back to their rooms–one even checked out early to sleep on the floor of another friend’s hotel room–because their hotel was atrocious. Find that happy place between a crazy fancy hotel room and the hotel from Vacancy.

Figure Out Food Options Ahead of Time

food here

When I attended GeekGirlCon last year, I didn’t rent a car. I took a shuttle from the airport to and from my hotel, and walked anywhere else I needed to go. Here’s the thing though: I’m a hardcore introvert. So once the end of the day came, I didn’t want to have to sit in a crowded restaurant. I wanted to be alone, in my hotel room, where I didn’t have to talk to anyone. Unfortunately, I didn’t figure out the nearby food situation ahead of time, so I found that a lot of places I figured would deliver, didn’t deliver to my hotel. One particular sad night I got a big migraine, and I decided the only cure was hot wings–but they didn’t deliver. So I found myself tromping boldly down and back up Pike Street with a half-crazed look of migraine madness, a shabby looking hoodie, yoga pants, and purple Uggs just to pick myself up some hot wings. It wasn’t my best moment of the convention. Of course, even if you’re more social and less migraine prone than I am, it’s still good to at least scout out your food options before you sit down in a restaurant. You’ll definitely want to know–before you order–which restaurants are expensive, which ones have big waits, and which ones aren’t worth your time.

Drink Water

jesse water

When I’m at home, I drink a TON of water. I live in Colorado, so our tap water is amazingly refreshing. When I travel out of state, I often forget how gross other state’s water can be, so I get a nasty gulp of tap water and opt to lay off the water…and then I get migraines and go on half-crazed walks for hot wings. I’m just sayin’, drink that water, kids. Conventions are tiring, they’re hot, and there can be a lot of walking. Keeping some water on you at all times can help keep you upright and enjoying the entire convention.

What are some of your tips for attending an out-of-state con? Got any con horror stories or cautionary tales to share? Let me know in the comments! And if you to attend New York Comic Con and don’t have a pass, head to AnimeVendor.com to enter their contest for two free, four-day passes! 

2015 Convention Plans!

I’ve talked a bit about some of my favorite conventions that I have either attended myself or want to attend. However, with con season right around the corner, it’s time to start making some real plans, not just talking about cons I would maybe, someday like to attend. So here are my convention plans for 2015!

Denver Comic Con, May 23-25

denver comic con 2015

This convention is close by, and it’s pretty much amazing. The con always has great guests, and the convention is growing literally every year. Barring any sort of personal disaster, you can bet I’ll be there.

GeekGirlCon, October 10 & 11

geekgirlcon

I attended this con last year, and I absolutely adored it. I was able to attend the con as a member of the press last year, and I am really hoping that I can do that again this year. The only hangup is that GGC is all the way in Seattle. Though that place is amazing, it’s a bit of a hike for me. Tickets haven’t yet gone on sale for this con, so I’ve still got a bit of time to get myself figured out. However, I really hope I can attend this year!

Supernatural Convention: Denver, November 6-8

ChuckSPNConI am so incredibly excited that a SPN con will be in my neck of the woods. Right now, it looks like the only tickets for sale are the hella crazy expensive “package” tickets. I know tickets for this particular convention will be more expensive than a ticket to GeekGirlCon or Denver Comic Con, but since it is so close to Christmas, I’m more than prepared to just have people give me con money to get me here. If nothing else, I can start saving my money now to afford a ticket…and even more beyond that to try to swing a photo op.

The Cross-Your-Fingers Con: San Diego Comic Con

San_Diego_Comic_Con_International_Slider

I know, everybody and their mom wants to attend SDCC. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get a ticket, but I’ve got myself registered to attempt to get a ticket once they’re on sale. Last year, a bunch of the awesome women from the Female Geek Bloggers G+ group I’m a part of had a big meetup at the con. I’d LOVE to be around if only just for that! Denver Comic Con, Geek Girl Con, and SPN Con are all on my list of cons to attend this year, and I’m all but certain I’ll be attending those three cons. However, attending SDCC has a pretty giant question mark by it. The challenge to actually get tickets paired with expensive flights and expensive hotel rooms makes this one super iffy for me. If nothing else, I can just stay home and whine about not attending like I did last year.

Will you be attending any cons this year? Which ones? Let me know in the comments! 

5 Fandom Friday: Cons I Have Attended/Want To Attend

fandom.5.friday

Conventions are completely awesome. It’s a chance to shove a bunch of fanboys and fangirls into the same room, and let everyone loose to geek out about all of their favorite things. I was able to attend a few cons last year, and I had a completely amazing time. In this week’s Fandom 5, I’m talking about the cons I attended in 2014, and the cons I want to attend in 2015.

Cons I attended in 2014: 

Rocky Mountain Con

Rocky-Mountain-Con

Rocky Mountain Con was the last convention I attended for the year, and it was also the smallest. I attended it as a part of the Project-Nerd team, and I was able to be in their podcast, The Nerdcast. Because it was a smaller convention, I was able to spend a lot of time hanging out with the Pro-Nerd team, and I also got the cool opportunity to chat with the various vendors around the exhibit hall.

Sidenote: I was also able to find some guys that have created a graphic novel called 8:15 about a zombie outbreak in Denver, Colorado, which is basically amazing. Stay tuned for more talk about 8:15 and the awesomeness it delivers.

GeekGirlCon 

geekgirlcon

GeekGirlCon is an absolutely amazing convention. The entire con was centered around celebrating various fandoms and geekery, and being a generally awesome, supportive community. Here’s the con’s mission: GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events. The convention absolutely delivered on that promise, offering tons of panels about women shaking up various aspects of geek culture, offering support and advice for geeky career aspirations, and just generally coming together to talk about geekery. Since this was my first con as a member of the press, I talked about this convention quite a bit here on mine blog. I talked about the awesome things the con was offering in 2014, I talked about my con prep, Part I and II of my con wrap-up, and the everyday cosplay outfits I chose for the con. I’m not sure if I’ll be attending in 2015, but I’m hoping to make it up there. This con is so much fun, and you meet so many wonderful people there.

Oh, and hey, GeekGirlCon is 100% based on donations–even the staff is made up 100% of volunteers. So if you want to help this con keep the lights on and stay awesome, maybe consider offering a donation.

Denver Comic Con

denver-comic-con-2014-logo

This was my first con of 2014, and the first con of my entire life. Let me tell you, it was completely amazing. I am absolutely planning on attending Denver Comic Con in 2015–they already have names like Jewel Staite, Cary Elwes, and Scott Wilson on the list of guests for this year.

I’m not sure if I’m going to try to cosplay this year, especially after 2014’s epic failure, but I might at least try everyday cosplay. I seemed to do okay with that for GeekGirlCon. Regardless of how I dress, if last year’s con is any indication, this year’s con is going to be FABULOUS.

I. Cannot. Wait.

This con is also really cool because they do a lot of great charity work for the Denver community. The are a part of an organization called Pop Culture Classroom which uses pop culture to ignite a passion of learning in kids. They also accept donations, if you’re so inclined.

Conventions I want to attend this year:

San Diego Comic Con

San_Diego_Comic_Con_International_Slider

I mean, duh. Who doesn’t want to go to SDCC, amirite? This con is amazing, and it is the biggest in the country. It’s chalk full of stars and just about any brand of geekery you can dream up. However, it’s also hella expensive, on the other side of the country (for me, anyway), and the tickets sell out super fast. So missing out on a chance to go to Comic Con is not an uncommon problem.

sdcc sheldon

I’d love to attend this year, but who knows if it will actually happen. Fingers crossed! If nothing else, lovelies like Megan and the rest of the team at The Nerdy Girlie often have ah-mazing con coverage on their blog.

Supernatural Denver Convention

ChuckSPNCon

Okay, so maybe this isn’t a photo from an actual SPN Con, but still…

I am super stoked about this one. They are actually having a Supernatural convention in Denver this year. YES!

jensen excited

I’m not sure what to expect on ticket prices or the con intself (apart from the fact that Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Mark Sheppard, and Misha Collins will be there), but I am really, really hoping to attend. From what I see on Tumblr, these cons look like they are an amazing time, and it would be a complete hoot to spend a few days trapped in a hotel with a bunch of other SPN fanatics. So stay tuned, hopefully I’ll have good news on Denver SPN Con in the coming months.

And the one con that I’d love to go to but probably never will….

Gamescom

gamescom

Gamescom is an awesome trade show and convention dedicated to gaming, and it is in Europe–which is why my chances of attending are slim. Still, it’s almost like being there when you can wake up in the wee hours of the morning to watch livestreams of the presentations…I mean, not really, but almost….

What cons have you attended? Which were your favorites? What cons are you hoping to attend this year? Let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and see what everyone else is saying today by following the #Fandom5 hashtag! 

A Distracted Blogger 2014 Year Wrap Up

It’s been a great year, guys, and I’ve made some amazing new friends and done some awesome new things out here in the land of geek blogging. I’ve got some big plans for 2015, but 2014 was such an exciting year for me on Distracted Blogger that I wanted to talk about some of the highlights. Thanks for reading, you guys. I think next year will hold some exciting things around here! Happy new year!

1. Most Viewed Post: The Inaugural Women In Geek Interview with Sarah Rodriguez

sarah rodriguez

This one was the first in my Women in Geek series, where I chatted with the awesome Sarah Rodriguez from Geek & Sundry, Nerdy But Flirty, and The Rebel Base Podcast (also, be sure to check out the interview with her Rebel Base Podcast co-host, Catarina Dennis). I loved doing this series, and I got to meet and interact with so many awesome women doing some really cool stuff in the land of geekery. I hope y’all liked it, too!

2. Busiest Day on the Blog: GeekGirl Con Coverage

geekgirlcon

I had the pleasure of attending the GeekGirl Con this year as press, and I had a blast (I also tried my hand at casual cosplay for the first time). It would seem you guys enjoyed reading about my coverage, too. My coverage of the con brought me the busiest day of my year. The con was amazing, and I really hope I get to attend next year!

3. The Post That Brought The Controversy (sort of, anyway): The Milo Manara Spider-Woman Piece 

manara cover

I wrote this as a guest post for Outright Geekery, but I got a lot of traffic here (and my first real taste of some serious pushback, especially on Reddit) for this post. However, I was so stoked to see the amount of women and men that spoke out, calling out Milo Manara for this variant cover. This was a pretty cool year for comics, to be certain (can we talk about how much I LOVE the new Thor???), and I’m glad I got to talk about it on Distracted Blogger.

4. The Post The Surprised Me With How Well It Did: My Defense of Danny Pink

danny santaI loved Danny so much, and apparently you guys did, too. I was just surprised to see how many of you all resonated with the feelings I shared in the post. If only we could have saved Danny from the fickle hand of Moffat…

5. My Favorite Post: For Those Of Us Who Aren’t At San Diego Comic Con

leoThis was, without a doubt, one of my favorite posts to write of the entire year. I wrote it in a fit of melancholy as I watched my Twitter and Facebook blow up with the amazing time people were having at SDCC. More than that though this post, to this day, still makes me laugh–which, making yourself laugh is what matters right? Also, that Leonardo DiCaprio gif from Romeo + Juliet is my favorite.

Other Places I Blogged This Year: 

Girls of Geek12

Outright Geekery

Nerdophiles

The Mary Sue

Project-Nerd 

Cinema Blend 

Sites That Featured Me: 

Her Universe Fangirl of the Day

Being Geek Chic’s Lady Geek of the Week

Top 5 Traffic Drivers for Distracted Blogger

1. Twitter

2. Facebook

3. Bloglovin’

4. Google +

5. My Author Page At The Mary Sue

So thank you again for all of you who read, comment, like, and share my blog posts. You are all wonderful. I can’t wait to continue growing this site and creating content that you guys enjoy engaging with. And, of course, filling your lives with tons and TONS of gifs. Seriously, I have a gif for just about everything.

Brittany_100%_True

I feel like I think in gifs now. I might have a problem…

Gif addiction or not, it’s been a great year, all thanks to you lovelies. Can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store! Blog hug!

Everyday Cosplay at GeekGirlCon 2014

I’m wrapping up my coverage of GeekGirlCon 2014 with a post about the everyday cosplay outfits I wore at the con. You can find the sets I created for each outfit on my Polyvore page. Also, if you haven’t checked out Part I and Part II of my GGC wrap-up, be sure to do that, and remember to check out my post about the convention itself and my plans as I geared up for the con. Now let’s get to the outfits!

Day 1: The Twelfth Doctor
12th Doctor Everyday Cosplay

I started out the con with Doctor Who cosplay, mainly because the outfit contained leggings–the comfiest type of pants in the entire universe. While I was pretty certain I’d do Sam Winchester everday cosplay from the start, it took me a while to land on this outfit. I ultimately chose to go as the 12th Doctor because it was easily cobbled together with stuff I already had in my closet–including the sonic screwdriver, which, if you read my Her Universe Fangirl of the Day post, is usually kept at my desk at work for timey-wimey emergencies, but I digress..

The outfit was incredibly comfortable, and for a first dive into everyday cosplay, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out:

12 ec

I also got really fancy, and I did an accent nail on each hand that related to each of my everyday cosplay outfits. Here was my Who-related accent nail (also, it’s the better accent nail–my SPN accent nail is a hot mess, just wait, you’ll see). It’s a tiny, teal Dalek!

dalek nail

 Day 2: Sam Winchester
Sam Winchester Everyday Cosplay
I knew I wanted to create an everday cosplay outfit based on one of the Winchesters, and I ultimately landed on Sam because, even though I’m more of a Dean girl, my hair more closely resembles Sam’s season 8 hair. With the exception of the anti-possession sigil necklace (which was super cheap at Hot Topic), this was another outfit easily cobbled together with stuff in my own closet. It, like the Doctor outfit, was also incredibly comfortable–which was really important to me as I darted about the convention.
sam ec
 As promised, here is my horrible, horrible attempt at a sort of, kind of, devil’s trap-ish accent nail:
spn nail

I’d say my first dive into the world of everday cosplay was pretty successful–certainly more successful than my last attempts at full-out cosplay. If you want to see someone who is truly awesome at everyday cosplay, and was the inspiration behind my attempt, check out The Nerdy Girlie’s website.

If you’re interested in learning more about GeekGirlCon, head to their website. Everyone who works for the con is a volunteer, and they rely largely on donations. If you’re interested in donating to the con (they even have prizes if you donate certain amounts), you can do that here.

GeekGirlCon 2014 Wrap-Up: Part II

geekgirlcon

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my first post about a few of the highlights of GeekGirlCon ’14, and if you haven’t checked out my two pre-con posts, you can see those here and here. In my last GGC post, I talked about 5 highlights from the con. In this post, I’m going to talk about what I learned after my first convention as a member of the press.

1. The Red-Eye Flight 

GGC was in Seattle, so I had to fly to get there, which was fine. However, I didn’t leave myself a bunch of free time in Seattle before and after the con. I flew into Seattle super late the day before the con, and super early the morning after the con. I’m a bit of a night owl, so I had no trouble with the late night. Plus, going to the airport late in the evening does have its perks. Namely? No lines at security:

DIA

This was the nearly deserted security line at the airport. Beautiful.

Going to the airport in the unholy hours of the morning, however? Not quite as special. First off, there are significantly more people taking an early morning flight. Still not as many as more reasonable times of the day, but they are still there. And a great deal of them are morning people.

plague

Secondly, if you are like me and you didn’t rent a car, that means you must take a shuttle to get to the airport from your hotel, as it is cheaper than a cab. So that means the shuttle will pick you up at 3:45 in the morning to ensure you make your red-eye flight on time. And, of course, since the airport is about an hour and a half drive from your home, by the time you finally arrive at your house?

tired_george_michael_arrested_development

2. Cons are Crazy

Part of the reason I was so spent when I got home, and why a red-eye flight was a bad idea is because I was busy all weekend. It was a great busy, and a super fun busy, but that entire weekend, this was me:

BusySince I had a press pass, I wanted to attend as much of the convention as I could. Minus a migraine that came on in the afternoon on Saturday, I spent all day either at the convention center or asleep. I felt like everything was a bit chaotic while I was there because though I had a rough idea of what panels I wanted to attend, my schedule was pretty murky. Which leads me to point number three…

3. Pre-Gaming

joker

As far as I know, every single convention releases their schedule early. GeekGirlCon not only had a schedule up online, but it also had the schedule up on GuideBook. Instead of thinking about my schedule ahead of time, I kind of noted all the panels that sounded cool to me (which, of course, all overlapped). Once I got to the convention center, instead of taking a second to plan out my day, I continued flying by the seat of my pants (ex: like I said in my previous GGC ’14 post, I was pleasantly caught off guard by Anita Sarkeesian’s presence at the con, as well as Marissa Meyer’s). Con planning is a consistent problem with me. If you remember my Denver Comic Con ’14 post, I mention how I had plans to meet up with friends–a thought that never came to fruition because nothing was actually planned. So press or not, I need to get better at making a game plan for cons.

4. Packing Well

hotel room

My hotel room had two beds, so the second bed became the “toss crap here” bed.

Part of the pre-con pre-gaming is planning out the packing situation a bit better. I attempted to pack light, but things just got a bit out of control. I’d love to say that in the future I’ll pack on the essentials and I’ll have a highly organized packing system in my luggage, but I know that will never happen.

monster

However, once I arrive at my hotel, setting my stuff in a more orderly fashion will help me find things quickly, especially when I have to pop back in the room for something between panels. The other thing that would have been helpful was having a better organization system for all my stuff while I was actually at the con. I only had my giant purse, and that got cumbersome and annoying after a while. I scoffed at the Nerdist/Her Universe con hoodie when it first came out, but now it kinda makes a lot of sense.

HU-Nerdist-SDCC-ultimate-convention-hoodie

I also should have paid attention to the tips given to me from The Nerdy Girlie and Nerdist.

5. Connecting with Others

I’m an introvert, and I can be shy, especially in situations where I don’t know anyone. So attending a convention alone in a brand new city was a bit…intimidating. I can get really quiet and awkward when I’m uncomfortable, which is not a great way to make connections with others.

shy-ronnie-o

The great thing about GGC was that everyone was incredibly friendly and super welcoming. For instance, when I attended the press and panel mixer at the Raygun Lounge, I ordered a drink, and immediately had one of the other bloggers there tell me to pull a chair up to her table. So while I should definitely work on being more outgoing at future cons, GeekGirlCon is awesome in that it makes even the most awkward and shy among us feel welcome.

GeekGirlCon ’14 was a truly amazing con, and attending was so fun experience and a great learning experience. If you’re interested in learning more about GeekGirlCon, head to their website. Everyone who works for the con is a volunteer, and they rely largely on donations. If you’re interested in donating to the con (they even have prizes if you donate certain amounts), you can do that here.

GeekGirlCon 2014 Wrap-Up: Part I

geekgirlcon

I’ve been so pumped for GeekGirlCon 2014 for months now, and I’m still in a bit of a haze now that it’s behind me. If you haven’t seen them yet, go here and here to see my pre-con posts. This was the first con I attended as “press”, so this was kind of a giant learning experience, but ultimately it was amazing.

Fancy badge! This means I'm officially a member of the press, right?

Fancy badge! This means I’m officially a member of the press, right?

I experienced so much amazing stuff at the con, so I’ve been having some hardcore writer’s block when it comes to recapping.

writing-is-hard-gif

So instead of doing one master post, I’m gonna break my con coverage into a couple of posts. In this post I’ll talk about a few of the highlights of the con. So here goes:

1. Anita-freaking-Sarkeesian!!!

I was fully unaware that Anita was planning to attend the con, let alone that she was going to have her own panel.  So while I had originally planned to attend a different panel during that time, as soon as I saw her name on the schedule I high-tailed it over there.

femfreq

Please enjoy my crappy iPhone pic of Anita speaking!

Hearing Anita speak was equal parts inspiring and discouraging. While she’s trying to do some really cool stuff, starting a conversation on feminism in pop culture (she’s focused a lot on video games recently), she’s gotten a TON of pushback, hatred, and threats of violence. In fact, she even received a threat at GGC, and recently received another threat regarding her scheduled talk at USU.  Polygon talks about it here. So while it was inspiring to hear her goals and dreams for her non-profit, Feminist Frequency, and it was so cool to hear how strong she is being in the face of some truly scary stuff, it was so discouraging to see how many people react to her with such hatred and violence. Regardless, I’m stoked that I got to hear her speak.

2. Fierce Reads Panel

Fierce Reads

And another crappy panel iPhone photo! Whee!

I love YA, I’ll admit it. So I was so excited to see the Fierce Reads panel featuring 5 amazing YA authors, Marissa Meyer, Nikki Kelly, Lish McBride, Jessica Brody, and Gennifer Albin. I’ll be honest, prior to this panel I had only heard of Marissa Meyer, but these women were so hilarious and engaging that I’ve put each and every one of their books on hold at the library (yes, libraries are still a thing). While I’m not looking to become a YA author, I am fairly certain I’ll always be a consumer of YA literature. It was so much fun to hear about their process, and, if nothing else, listen to Nikki Kelly and her lovely English accent.

And, of course, I got autographs.

cinder

3. Nerd For a Living

N4aL

The Nerd for a Living panels were in pretty high demand at the con. This particular one ran out of seats, and folks like yours truly had to stand at the back.

A group called Nerd For a Living also held several panels about starting and growing a geeky business. As someone who runs her own geek blog, I was quite interested in these panels. I was expecting to find these panels stocked with various bloggers, but N4AL was able to grab women from a wide variety of “geeky” professions, from makeup artists to cartoonists, and even yarn-makers. The panels offered a really wide range of professions, so the perspectives and experiences were quite varied. It was great. Here are two of my favorite quotes from their How to be a Nerd for a Living panel:

4. Community with a Capital C

You guys, there were so many amazing people at this convention. One of my favorite parts was getting to meet up with other bloggers at the fabulously named Raygun Lounge. I spent the most time chatting with Jamie Broadnax from Black Girl Nerds and Sarah Beck from Women in Game Studies. The folks that are a part of the GeekGirlCon community are brilliant, hilarious, and so kind. As a painfully shy introvert, I wasn’t sure what kind of connections I would make, but everyone was so welcoming and friendly that the shy introverted part of me didn’t even have a chance to take over. If you’re interested, you can read Sarah’s recap of the Feminist Community Building panel she moderated here.

5. Amazing Cosplay (also, Daleks)

con dalek

There were So. Many. Daleks. This particular Dalek was made by a con volunteer, and it was remote-controlled.  It would rove around the con, and it even had built in music to make it extra-menacing as it scooted along. The scope also moved, which was amazing. I was also a huge fan of how many parents dressed their kids as Daleks. If I’m ever a mom, you can bet your bottom dollar my kid will be spending a great deal of Halloweens dressed as a Dalek. As for the rest of the con’s cosplay, my camera failed me, so I didn’t get the stellar cosplay shots I had planned on getting. So, if you want to check out some of the truly awesome cosplay featured at GGC (because there was a lot), go here and here.

***

GeekGirlCon ’14 was a truly amazing con, and these five points barely scratch the surface of how awesome GGC is. If you’re interested in learning more about GeekGirlCon, head to their website. Everyone who works for the con is a volunteer, and they rely largely on donations. If you’re interested in donating to the con (they even have prizes if you donate certain amounts), you can do that here.

I’ll be posting again tomorrow with more info on the con, my everday cosplay endeavors, and what I’ve learned after my first foray into being a member of the press at a convention. Stay tuned!

GeekGirlCon 2014

geekgirlcon

I’ve talked a bit about my own personal preparations for GeekGirlCon 2014, but with the con coming up this weekend (this weekend!!! yeaaahhh!!!) I thought I’d talk a bit more about the con itself. So what is GeekGirlCon? In short, GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events. I’m all about celebrating and honoring women in various aspects of geekery, be it science, tech, or the arts. The con is 100% about building community. No “geek cred” required; it’s all about supporting one another. I love that. Obviously, this is my first time going to GeekGirl, but the brains behind this convention (made up largely of volunteers, by the way) have got some pretty awesome stuff planned for this year’s con. They’ve got programming for everyone, guys, girls, young, and old. Here are some of the highlights:

1. The DIY Science Zone
science

Okay, this is the coolest thing. The DIY Science Zone is open to all ages, and it is a place where con attendees can go to get some hands-on experience when it comes to the world of science. At GirlCon ‘13, there were more than 350 people playing in the DIY science zone, and the experiments ranged from making your own neurons, to crime-scene fingerprinting, to dancing raisins. This year the con plans to bring in some invisible ink, DNA extraction, dice roll science, slime-making, Cartesian drivers, making light, laser rules, and pocket solar systems, to name a few. The DIY Science Zone is run by men and women in different scientific professions, and they will be there help coach and guide those participating. While I think it will be totally fun to play around in the Science Zone, I love that this will make science seem more fun and accessible for younger kids, especially girls. We can definitely use more Jane Fosters in our world, right?

2. Career Connections

jobSadly, we live in an era where a lot of people are either unemployed or underemployed, and job hunting is one of the most awful things in the world–especially if you don’t have any “contacts” with whom you can network your way into a job. GeekGirlCon is trying to help its con attendees find a job, and a job they love. Networking can be huge in finding a new gig, so the con will be hosting various Career Connection events for con attendees to hopefully make some meaningful connections. It’s tough to be a woman in a “geeky” field if you don’t have a job, right? GeekGirlCon is trying to help fix that, and I think that’s awesome.

3. Programming for Parents, Too

IT CrowdParents are geeks and nerds, too. GeekGirlCon has stuff for geeky parents or parents of geeks. From the DIY Science Zone to kid-friendly games on the gaming floor, paint and take miniature paintings, or lively readings, there will be a ton of geeky stuff for your kids to do. However, just because you’re a parent, it doesn’t mean that you don’t get to have your own fun. There are also panels about “Geek Girl Transformation to Geek Mom”, panels equipping parents to talk to their kids about representation in comics, books, and film, and cosplaying as a parent/parenting a cosplayer.

4. Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds! 

black girl nerds

If you’ve never checked out the site Black Girl Nerds, you should probably remedy that right now. Jamie runs an awesome site filled with great geeky content, and brings her unique perspective as a woman of color in the geeky/nerdy world. Though there are some exciting changes within the comic book world with things like Storm getting her own comic, Kamala Khan’s reign as the current Ms. Marvel, and Sam Wilson taking over as Captain America, there isn’t a great deal of representation of people of color within the geek world. Jamie works actively to fix that. I cannot wait what she has to say on her panel at GeekGirl.

5. Programming for Writers

writing-is-hard-gifThere are a ton of geeks out there who have the perfect comic book story line, the next big fantasy novel, or the next big YA story camping out in their brains, and GeekGirlCon wants to help them out. The con will have a ton of programming helping writers with editing, discussing fan fiction, a YA author panel, panels discussing female heroines in sci-fi and fantasy, and live readings and spoken word sessions for kids and grownups alike. Another cool offering this year is a panel bringing the connection from writing stories to creating games. As a pseudo-writer and gamer myself, I can’t wait to check out that panel.

These are just a few AWESOME things that are coming up at GeekGirlCon this year. Check out the con’s website to learn more, and you can view the official schedule here. Also, if you’d like to donate to keep this awesome convention going, go here.

One last thing: I’ve officially decided on my outfits for the con. If you didn’t check out my last GeekGirlCon post, I mentioned that I’ve decided to attend the con in “everyday cosplay” rather than full-on cosplay (which history says I suck at). While I’m not going to post any pictures of my actual outfits until the con, my official decisions were:

Sam Winchester

I all but confirmed this choice in my last post, but I’ve officially decided on Sam everyday cosplay. Jeans, boots, and flannel? It was too easy to pass up.

 

sam winchester everyday cosplayThe Twelfth Doctor

This one wasn’t on my original post, but after an searching for other everyday cosplay choices on Pinterest, I found everyday cosplay choices for Twelve that seemed too cute to pass up.

Everday.12th.DoctorI’ll be putting my own spin on these two outfits, but I think they will both be awesome choices for the con. I can’t wait to share outfit pics! Stay tuned here on the blog and on my Twitter for con updates. I’ll be using the hashtags #GeekGirlCon and #KenAtTheCon.

Are you going to the con? Have you attended in the past? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

 

 

Gearing Up for GeekGirlCon 2014

In a couple weeks I’ll be heading out to Seattle to attend the fourth annual GeekGirlCon. I’m a teensy bit excited.

charliedayI’ll be going and covering the con extensively here on my blog and, barring any technical difficulties, I’ll be tweeting about the con a lot as well. Be sure you’re following me on Twitter as well as following the hashtags #GeekGirlCon and #KenAtGGC to be kept up-to-date on all of the con happenings!

If you will recall when I attended Denver Comic Con, I had high aspirations to attend the con in cosplay. It didn’t work out, to say the least. I still have pretty, shiny dreams that one day I’ll be a marvelous cosplayer, but I certainly won’t hone any magical cosplay skills by October 10. Besides, I’m attending the con with the intention to see as much as I can and cover as much as I can on my blog, so cosplay could make my time at the con a bit too complicated.

However, I still want to wear something special for the con, so I’ve decided I’m going to be attending the con in everyday cosplay, as inspired by The Nerdy Girlie blog–she’s kind of a master of everyday cosplay.

I’ve not decided on my final outfit for the two days of the con, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few characters.

1. Sam Winchester

The moment I decided I was attending GGC in everyday cosplay, I decided I had to devote one day to the Winchesters. After some deliberation, I’ve found myself leaning more towards Sam everyday cosplay–especially since my hair is almost the same length as Jared Padalecki’s.

jar pad hair

So this one is pretty much a done deal, I just have to settle on an outfit. There are tons of awesome ideas out there for Sam Winchester casual cosplay. Here’s one of my favorites that I found on Polyvore:

sam winchester everyday cosplay

I mean, there will obviously be no knife or gun-toting at the con, and the necklace is Dean’s. HOWEVER, I really like the shirt and jacket combo–I especially like that anti-possession sigil patch. Besides, I’ll be in Seattle in October, so I think pants, jackets, and some cozy flannel will be just perfect to keep me warm.

2. Green Arrow

Keeping with the CW theme, I also love the idea of going as the Green Arrow. Here’s a cool everyday cosplay I found at Locket of Ember:

arrow cosplay

I love this, but I think if I was going to do Arrow casual cosplay, I’d probably incorporate a hood in some way.

3. Jenny Flint

I love Jenny and Vastra on Doctor Who. They are such a cute, unlikely couple, and I especially love Jenny Flint. She’s funny, caring, brash, and most importantly, she’s pretty darn stylish. I’ve been wanting to do Jenny everyday cosplay for a while now, and this might be the perfect time. Here’s an awesome outfit I found on Polyvore:

jenny flint cosplay

Honestly, that coat alone made me fall in love with this outfit.

4. Helena

Helena is probably my favorite clone on Orphan Black. She’s completely insane, but at the exact same time, you can’t help but love her.  I think going to GGC in Helena casual cosplay would be a blast–plus, wearing a beanie like Helena often does makes the outfit more fit for chilly Seattle. Here’s a fun everyday cosplay option from Princess Vs. Peril:

helena cosplay

5. Superwholock

I’m a fan of Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock, so the idea of doing a mashup costume is kind of interesting to me. This is another costume that will most certainly keep me warm, but it gets some extra points because it doesn’t make me pick just one show or character to highlight. Here’s a Superwholock cosplay outfit I found on Polyvore:

superwholock cosplay

I haven’t made my final decision on what I’m going to wear just yet. I’ll probably go shopping for outfit pieces this weekend, and I’ll be continuing to pin ideas on my everyday cosplay pin board probably right up until the con, which you can follow here. Do you have any ideas of casual cosplay I should try for the con? Let me know in the comments!