My random nattering about all things geek, including family, friends and what I find to be fantastic and fun!
|Posted on March 31, 2015 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
On the Friday evening of the event I actually had only adults. They still came and sat around me to see the pictures. They laughed and enjoyed the stories just as much as the children I had on Saturday and Sunday. We had a great time.
On the other two days I had a number of wee geeks join me. It was fun to see that each liked a different book as I read them. I think the most popular though was definitely Goodnight Darth Vader.
On Sunday I even had a sound effect to go with this book thanks to the Capital City Garrison, 501st Legion. Darth Vader's breathing added a little something special to my lame attempt at doing his voice. It was a big hit.
The best part though was the reactions from the kids. Some were shy and had to sit with their parents. Some came right up and pointed at pictures as I read. Some just nodded when I asked them questions and some spoke right up and had great answers.
(image by Shahin Yazkani)
(image by Jonas Kaufman)
I absolutely love sharing this low-tech, I told one person it's "retro", geek activity with our next generation of geeks.
All the best, your GG
|Posted on March 29, 2015 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Today is your last chance to join me at the Ottawa Geek Market for double the fun. I say double because this event has double the space, activities, and seriously, the fun of any other Geek Market to date.
There is so much to do, from crafts, to games, to the biggest bouncy castle you've ever seen! This incarnation of the Geek Market has the most family friendly activities ever.
You can even do some colouring with a very adorable Dalek.
And who doesn't love to play dress up. This is the best place to do that. All ages are getting in on it!
There are also over 100 vendors with all sorts of goodies from plushies to art to even clothing, and be sure to drop by Parlugment to see their new creations, including this beast....
I hope to see you there. And do join me for some geeky storytelling too!
All the best, your GG
|Posted on March 26, 2015 at 7:00 AM||comments (2)|
This upcoming weekend you will have a chance to meet fictional superheroes and rub elbows with real life ones too!
(image by Richard Dufault for Ottawa Geek Market)
The March 2015 edition of the Ottawa Geek Market is all about the day to day heroes in our lives. The charity this time around is Heroes are Human which offers training and support services to first responders and military who have experienced emotional trauma while on duty. The Ottawa Geek Market is also celebrating these great men and women by offering them free admission all weekend!
If that wasn't enough, the Geek Market is now part of Ottawa Festivals. This means more opportunity for you to celebrate your favourite fandom through shopping, entertainment (there's a stage now), huge gaming expo (both tabletop and video), and more prizes to be won than you can imagine.
They still have all the old favourites - the vendors, the silent auction, and the very popular scavenger hunt - but now they also have a whole lot more including a bouncy castle obstacle course, a large number of family friendly activities, and a costume contest!
This edition of the Ottawa Geek Market runs from Friday, March 27th starting at 4:00 pm and runs until Sunday, March 29th at 5:00 pm. For more information on everything mentioned above, and so much more, go to their website.
See you there!
All the best, your GG
|Posted on March 23, 2015 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
At each event I attend here in Ottawa, I inevitably meet another local writer I hadn't met before. It happened again at Pop Expo this past December. That is where I met Kevin T. Johns and learned about the first novel in his new trilogy - The Page Turners.
Nate Bourdain feels ignored by his teachers and betrayed by his schoolmates. He feels like he has more of a connection to the characters in the books he reads than to the people in his life. He yearns for something bigger than the life he's been given.
Nate and his friends are thrilled to discover an ancient book of magic hidden in the school library—they now have the means to stand up to villains that make high-school life such a battle. But, when the book’s dark magic releases a fictional killer into the real world, the teens must prove they have what it takes to be heroes, or fall as bloody victims in their own horror story turned real.
The three main characters are very much the perfect archetypes. Nate is the kid from the wrong side of the tracks with a dark and sad history, he's our anti-hero. Danny is the guy with lots of heart. Spenser is the guy with brains, but also low self-esteem. And then there is Danny's little sister Diana. She truly represents the kick butt girl. She's a goddess with a bow and arrow. These four outsiders are all that stand between the lives of the people in their small town and the fictional characters that are suddenly real and very very nasty.
The author does a great job of giving the reader the backstory for each of the four main characters in this first part of the trilogy. He also introduces a few lesser characters like the mysterious man who keeps showing up and seems to be protecting them from the evil they've unleased, and the sketchy man in black who's new to the local police force. So far, they are the only two adults with substance.
I didn't know what to expect from The Page Turners, but I found it a very enjoyable read. I got into the story very quickly, and if I had to put it down I was anxious to get back into the story as soon as I could. I very much look forward to the next two parts of the trilogy. Although there is a clear finale to the first part, there is a fabulous cliffhanger and hint at what's to come as well.
You can get your own copy at amazon.ca or look for Kevin T. Johns at the next book and/or geek event.
All the best, your GG
|Posted on March 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Benoit Chartier, author of the The Calumnist Malefesto, has finally given his fans another treat. His newest work has just been released - Red Nexus.
Once part of the Tokyo elite, Wen Harkwell lost his status when his mother died, and now he's forced to labor in the depths of the city, far from the easy life of the Heights, struggling to support his thirteen-year-old brother Sammy. By day he toils in a factory and by night he digs for scrap in the infamous Heap under the city. One night Wen is drawn to an old book he finds and risks taking it home - a quick decision with devastating consequences.
Soon after, Sammy is kidnapped, and when Wen turns to a friend and coworker for help, the two find themselves embroiled in a secret high-tech operation that will stop at nothing to maintain their ciphered code. When Wen realizes that the same corporation connected to his mother's disappearance is behind the attack, he knows he must do whatever it takes to save his brother - even if it means working for the enemy.
I am definitely one of the fans I mentioned earlier. Benoit Chartier is a fantastic storyteller. His scenes are rich in details, but they never get bogged down by them. It's very much like plugging in and seeing the story in your mind's eye.
Red Nexus is very reminiscent of a William Gibson novel. It's dark, dystopian, and the technology runs from rusty recycled maker tech to clean high end luxury. The cyberpunk is strong with this one.
There is lots of action. The story is constantly moving, and just when you get comfortable the rollercoaster takes a steep dive and there's nothing you can do but scream and laugh at the same time. Trust me, it will actually happen.
The best part though are the characters. Good guys and bad guys, their personalities are very well developed and their motives are never simply black or white. They have just as many layers as Tokyo does in Red Nexus.
I very highly recommend this book. If Benoit Chartier doesn't win an award for his writing in the future. I'll eat a bug. (yes, you can quote me)
|Posted on March 18, 2015 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
I'm sure some people read the title and thought "What? Geeks like scifi and fantasy and games.", but that's not entirely true if one uses the definition of geek as one who is enthusiastic about something. In that case, anyone can be a geek about anything. And while I am indeed a scifi geek and a fantasy geek and a movie geek and so on and so on, I'm also a history geek.
I've got a BA degree with a major in history. I also have a diploma in Museum Technology. I have always loved history, but what I don't love is the boring memorization of facts - remember the dates, remember the important political moments - you get the picture. What I love is learning about the citizens. What people were doing day to day. How they lived in a particular period in time. My favourite way to do that is to try and live in their shoes, or what some same living history, or reenacting.
I've been working on some small projects, like the bonnet I made recently, but that was simply taking something already made and altering to a particular period. I have now made something from scratch, pretty much as they would have done it in the past. I made myself a huswife. It's a small cloth roll or case containing sewing tools, needles, thread, etc. Since I am working on portraying a War of 1812 camp follower, this is one of the items a wife would make and carry.
My research found that there were many styles, but I liked one in particular that looked fairly simple to make. Something a woman in a camp could put together with what she had at hand. They would have recycled anything they could. I used old linen fabrics and felts that I took from other items.
First thing to do was cut out the general shape - two pieces of rough linen with felt in the center for girth.
Then it was a matter of deciding how many pockets would work with the folds. Black felt will hold pins.
You can make this any size you please, but it's best to make sure it will fit in your bag (or basket). You can also use any fabric pieces available. Some ladies would make lovely fancy ones as gifts. This one is for rough camp use.
Sewing on the pockets takes little time, adding the trim, which holds front and back of the base together takes longer because the stitches need to be neat. Oh, did I mention this is all hand sewn?
Next up was to gather all the items I wanted in my huswife - needles, snippers, various buttons (metal, shell and wood), threads and a little wool.
Last but not least, a ribbon was added at the peak, everything is stored in the pockets and on the felt,
and it's rolled up and ready to go.
Once I figured out what I needed to do and had a plan, this was quite simple to do and only took a few hours to make. It's no masterpiece, but I'm quite pleased at this first attempt, and I certainly plan to make more in the future.
Next up, my talented daughter is helping me make a summer dress for the same period.
All the best, your GG
|Posted on March 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Last week was a big milestone for me. I've just completed my first half century. I'm aiming for immortal, but 100 would be nice too.
There was some wonderful celebrating with a few of my girlfriends and family members on the day itself, and I even got a sweet surprise package from my niece who recently hit this milestone herself. The big shindig, however, was arranged by my loving husband and happened this past Saturday. I had a fabulous time with the people who came out to celebrate my birthday.
Those in attendance gifted me with many goodies, including tickets to the upcoming Alice in Wonderland ballet (and box seats too, something new for me), and also tickets for a future National Arts Centre event of my choice (it's going to be hard to choose). I'm so excited! It's been years since I've been able to attend something at the NAC.
Some of my other favourite gifts included brilliant handmade ones by my talented friends.
Batbear from my wonderful friend Laurie, and this self-portrait? of Dr. Rigimorto aka my friend Scott.
Laurie's isn't exactly handmade, but she had a blast putting it together for me at Build-A-Bear.
Gorgeous handmade cards by my friends Brynn and Heidi
... and then there's this ...
My friend Laurie was late because she was finishing this.
I think I can forgive her. Ummm... Yes!
By Sunday morning I was exhausted and felt utterly spoiled. Huge THANKS to my dear friends and family who helped me celebrate the first day of my next geeky half century (or immortality, whichever comes first).
All the best, your GG