Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad

Last year on Father’s Day, I wrote a post (and poem!) about how my dad’s writing influenced mine. Well today is my dad’s birthday, and even though I’m 1500 miles away from where he’s celebrating, I’m thinking of him and wishing him the happiest of days today (and every day, really).

Of all the fond reminiscences I have of spending time with my dad, one popped to the forefront of my mind and really cheered me up this morning. When we were kids, my brother, sister, and I got to take turns spending quality time with Dad. Every so often, he would take one of us out for a night of fun—doing whatever we felt like doing—going to a movie or dinner or roller skating or Sesame Street Live (which for years my sister said was THE BEST NIGHT OF HER LIFE).

One of those “Turns” sticks out in my memory. Continue reading

When Good Characters Feel Bad

Last week I wrote a post in which I said I wasn’t a fan of terrible things happening to characters I love. I suppose that sounds like a bit of a silly thing. Of course I don’t like it when bad things happen to a beloved character. Duh. But what I meant specifically is I’m dismayed when it’s something truly horrific and it only happens because the script says it needs to.

Crappy things often need to happen to main characters (and also not-so-main characters sometimes). That’s part of the hero’s journey. I’m all for seeing characters overcome adversity in order to grow and create a good story. But in my mind growth means a continuation of the same basic character. The change is a natural progression, based on the external (or sometimes internal) pressures and events they experience.

What I’m less fond of is when it doesn’t feel like a natural growth. Sometimes it feels like the creators decide a character should fundamentally change in a rather drastic way. And what’s the easiest way to make a great big change in a character’s personality? Why, have them experience something awful. Something so awful it’s scarring to their very being. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Amber!

Amber Eowyn

We may not have travelling pants, but there are a few dresses that have changed hands more than once. That’s right. Today, on her birthday, I’m talking about my sister. Amber Ananda Ensign was born on March 25th 19somethingsomething.* I was very excited because I wanted a sister. I was less excited when my parents didn’t take my suggestion and name her “Golden Hair”. (I’m pretty sure I’m remembering that right. Apparently I listened to a lot of America when I was four.)

When we were young, Amber and I were very different—and not just because I was five years older, and when you’re a kid, five years is a near-insurmountable gulf. It was more that Amber knew her mind from moment one. Continue reading

Romanadvoratrelundarriffic!

Patron-inspired posts are back! I’ve been quiet for a while, but I hope to change that in the coming month.

RomanaMeglos

I’m a big Romana fan from way back. As I’ve said before, Romana 1 is (often*) my favorite companion of all time. But she’s not the Romana I’m here to talk about. Today, I’m talking about Romana 2, and I’m still pretty thrilled about it. When I was younger, I waffled back and forth as to which was my favorite incarnation. The reason I often wobbled back to Lalla Ward’s portrayal was she was still “Romana”—as smart and savvy as ever, but she was just so gosh darn warm. Her Romana was a more open and instantly-friendly** version, and that suited (and suits) me just fine.***

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about good old Romana II here is one of my fabulous patrons, Darren, requested it! But the excitement I feel isn’t just because I get to talk about my beloved Romana 2. Continue reading

Presta Shobogan, Elven Ranger

Presta

As promised, today I’m sharing my newest D&D character—the one I’m currently playing in Season 3 of Total Party Kill.* We’re playing “Dungeons and Dragons”, which I think is a dumb name—not the name itself, but the fact that Wizards of the Coast isn’t including an edition number. Like this is the be-all, end all of all D&D forever. We’re nerds. We like numbering things and putting them in order. Have they not read their own books? D&D is all about** minutiae like that!

Okay. Sorry. /rant

So yeah, we’re playing what everyone refers to as Continue reading

D&D-elightful!

D&D dice & 5e PHB

As I type this,* it’s Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. As much as I love watching a good awards show (I really do), instead of watching the Oscars tonight, I get to do something even better. I get to play D&D online with a bunch of talented and funny people. I’ve been playing D&D with The Incomparable crew since June of last year, but we’ve just recently switched campaigns (back to the Dark Sun campaign they all started well over a year ago), so I got to do something I both love and hate– Continue reading

Ode to Gally

Frazer and me Gally 2015

Dearest Gally,

How do I miss thee? Let me count the ways.
I miss thee to the depth and breadth and height (of the LAX Marriott).
My soul is bleak when cosplay’s out of sight.
For the days of meeting in ideal space (Programs A, B, C, D, E).
I miss thee to the level of each con day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and poolside-light.
I miss thee freely, as Lobbycon night.
I miss thee purely, as LA sun’s rays.
I miss thee with passion Gally sets loose
For my beloved show, my childhood fave.
I miss thee for the stress I seem to lose
With my first drinks. I miss thee with the breath,
Smiles, squees, of all my fandom; and, I muse,
I shall but miss thee more until the next.

(Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.)

Coming back to real life after a convention is never easy. After Gallifrey One, it’s even more difficult. It’s the one time of year when I’m surrounded by the greatest number of my closest friends. When I can make a joke about a Jameson bottle cosplaying as a Sea Devil, and the whole room gets the joke. Continue reading