2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 6

Alright, this is it. The big one. The one we’ve all be waiting for…whoops, nope, this isn’t Harry Potter. This is my last BWIPS 2018 post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reminiscing with me. If you haven’t yet, go read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 before continuing.

When I left you yesterday, we were all heading back to the hotel for the “official” pen show after dark fun. Somehow, between leaving Frank & Nic’s as one big group, and arriving at the hotel (a 5-minute walk if you’re going slow) we separated into multiple smaller clusters of 3-8 people.

Jim made a beeline for the hallway between the show rooms as soon as it became apparent that that was where the “event” was being held. Jim wanted a good spot, and I tagged along with him.

Soon Cary Yeager and a gentleman whose name I don’t know came down the hall and started setting up the area. I helped bring out and set up the chairs so my conscience would be clear when I didn’t stay to clean up.

Slowly, people filtered down from the bar and lobby, filling the little hallway area to overflowing.

Continue reading “2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 6”

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 5

Welcome back to my BWIPS experience write-up. Today starts the pen show after dark shenanigans. If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, you might want to go do that. This post is back to a shorter length, but tomorrow’s (which should be my last post) will probably be rather long.

The announcement that the show was official over (for the day) was a bit of a bummer, but it also meant that it was time for after-show shenanigans.

It took me a while to locate Jim, who I found sitting with Adam at the Bertram’s Inkwell table. At that moment, the plan was to stick with Adam to enjoy the after party.

But when we got shoo’ed out of the room, we found ourselves in a crush of people. For a while, we sat and listened to Larry Ragland of Diplomat Pens play the guitar. I even had some fun dancing. Te was kind enough to let me include some photos she took.

Larry Ragland playing guitar Dancing to Larry Ragland's guitar playing

Continue reading “2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 5”

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 4

Welcome back to my BWIPS experience write-up. If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, and 3, you might want to go do that. Fair warning, this post is longer than I intended it to be because there’s a lot to say. That said, I hope you enjoy it.

When I last left you, I was on my way to the Bittner table to buy a Homo Sapiens Bronze Age (VHSBA). There were a couple of people in front of me, so I waited, mostly patiently, for them to finish. Finally, it was my turn. Cindy Bittner was very efficient. She had my Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Maxi with a medium nib packaged up and checked out in a couple of minutes.

Happy as a clam, I met back up with Te and Jim, and we went to the Chesapeake Room to await the Organics (Studio) 101 chat with Tyler Thompson.

Continue reading “2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 4”

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1 or part 2, I highly suggest you do so before continuing with this. I’d like to take a moment before I start to mention that the more I “got into” the pen show, the less I remembered to take photos. So you’ll be seeing less for this installment.

As I was leaving the Herbert Pen Company table, I spotted Jim, and went to grab him so he could pick up his own pen. Of course, in doing so, I lost Te along the way. These things happen at shows. We’re walking along, happy as can be, then suddenly, “Oooohhh!! Shiny!!!”

Jim was a very happy Pen Sloth once he got his hands on his pen. I may be biased, but I think my pen is a little bit nicer. ;-). His is beautiful, though. It reminds me of Thai iced tea.

Herbert Pen Company Pen

Continue reading “2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 3”

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my BWIPS 2018 experience write-up. If you didn’t read part 1, I suggest you do so before continuing with this.

– – –

I walked into the large room through the second door. The table immediately to my right is, for some reason, completely lost to my memory. I’ll blame it on pen show excitement.

I walked down the row and spent a few minutes staring at the Kanilea Pen Company pens. They’re absolutely beautiful, but, for some reason, they just don’t call to me. I’ve yet to figure out why.

Just past Kanilea was Jonathon Brooks/Carolina Pen Co. Unsurprisingly, the pens at his table were absolutely beautiful.

Continue reading “2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 2”

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 1

I, like many of the fountain pen lovers in the Washington, DC area, attended the Baltimore Washington International Pen Show this weekend. I only went on Saturday because Friday I had to work and Sunday was my release party, but it was still fantastic. You may recall that I blogged about my experience at the Washington DC Fountain Pen Supershow (my first ever pen show) last August. I had so many positive responses, that I decided to blog about this experience as well.

Let me start by saying that the two shows are nothing alike. Well, ok, there are pens, and pen people, but the atmosphere is so different. DC is frenzied, Baltimore is calm. Baltimore is a significantly smaller show, but I think it benefits from that, because it’s a more intimate show. It really feels like everyone knows each other.

The shows were also different for me because I knew more people, and I knew more about pens. I recognize that this will color my impressions of the two shows. You might want to keep that in mind as you read about my BWIPS (I love that acronym! It’s so fun to say!!) experience.

Continue reading “2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 1”

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

Friday Reads: FanFiction

I can’t believe February is over! March is going to be nuts! The Most Special Chosen is out tomorrow. You can pre-order it now on Amazon. And make sure you check out my Facebook release party on Sunday, there will be a ton of giveaways and takeovers by some fabulous female authors.

This month’s Friday Reads is very different. I’m not recommending a book, I’m recommending a… let’s call it a genre.

I’m a huge fan of fanfiction. Good fanfiction that is. And yes, such a thing exists.

I pretty much only read Harry Potter fanfiction. There are just so many fun ideas within that single sub-genre, I haven’t manage to expand to much of any of the other sub-genres yet.

If you’re a Potterhead like yours truly, or even if you’re not, honestly, I suggest giving fanfiction a try for whatever fandoms you’re part of.

It will never replace books, obviously, but in those “low income” interludes between paychecks when you’re dying for something new to read, fanfiction is a godsend.

Understandably, the online thing may pose a problem, after all, neither wifi nor cell signal are available everywhere, and you don’t want to eat through your data. However, the fanfiction.net app (Android | iOS) lets you download stories for offline reading. There’s also ficsave.xyz which downloads ePub, mobi, and txt files at the press of a button. I tend to prefer the app when I’m reading a story in progress since it will automatically download new chapters, but I like ficsave for finished stories since there’s no worry of the author deciding to remove the story from the site.

So if you have some extra time, I highly suggest you check out FanFiction.net. Some of my favorite authors include robst, chem prof, Clell65619, old-crow, and Rorschach’s Blot. Go take a look. Maybe even try dabbling in some fanfiction writing yourself. It can be fun to take a story precisely where you want it to go. Heck, I’d love to see some The Most Special Chosen fanfiction. *wink*

But be careful, fanfiction can pull you in, and before you know it, you can’t separate canon from fiction. Don’t worry, though, it’snot like I’ve doomed you to a black hole that will suck you in and consume your life or anything. Mwahahaha.

If you’re a fanfiction reader, or writer, drop your favorite author or story below. I’m always on the lookout for something new.

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

Corsets & Codpieces

Wow, it’s February! Welcome to another Friday Reads. I originally intended to post this a few days ago, but I’ve been so busy preparing for my release party, that I’ve been neglecting my blog. So this month, my Friday Reads is also a review.

Cover of Corsets & Codpieces by Karen BowmanA short time ago, I finished reading Corsets and Codpieces: A History of Outrageous Fashion, from Roman Times to the Modern Era by Karen Bowman. When I picked it up, I expected it to be dry and more than a little dull, but the subject matter interested me, so I figured I’d plod my way through it.

When I started reading it however, I was pleasantly surprised by a conversational tone and fantastically interesting nuggets of information woven into the engaging narrative.

For example, did you know that the phrase “street walker” derives from medieval prostitutes who wore sandals that spelled out ‘follow me’ in the sand? Or that sewing needles were “extremely valuable, varying in worth from a yearling calf for a common needle to an ounce of silver for an embroidery needle”.

I found it immensely interesting that blue was once considered feminine because it “was associated with the Virgin Mary and conveyed gentleness” while “pink came from red and red was the embodiment of power, passion, wealth and blood” and was therefore a masculine color.

And how much do you know about crinolines? I had no idea that “accidents as a direct result of wearing a crinoline were more frequent than with any other garment in history”. In fact, “in 1864 a Dr Lancaster reported there had been 2,500 deaths in London alone from fire on account of the monstrous skirt.” Crinolines also, apparently, increased crime. A woman was caught smuggling “5 pounds of cigars, 9 pounds of tobacco, a quantity of tea and a bottle of gin, all concealed beneath her crinoline”.

Then later, during the second world war when strict clothes rationing was introduced in England in 1941, people were issued 66 coupons to last a year, which “would have been spent in the first quarter of any year” by pre-war standards.

My only real ‘complaint’ for lack of a better word to call it, is that I wish more of the “Modern Era” was covered. You only get a couple pages to get you from the 50s to the 70s, and nothing at all further forward. There are certainly some outrageous fashions in modern clothing as well.

Ms. Bowman does offer an extra little bit of information right at the end of the book, explaining why most bras have “a small bow stitched to the front between the cups”. But I won’t spoil the surprise in case you pick it up yourself.

Perhaps now you understand why I found this book so interesting. Or perhaps you think I’m an absolute nutter. *shrug* Ultimately, if you have any interest whatsoever in the history of some of humanity’s weirder garments, I heartily suggest you get Corsets & Codpieces.

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

Friday Reads: A Hunger Like No Other

2017 has ended, 2018 is here! Happy January, everyone! I hope you had a fabulous holiday season. Let’s hope 2018 is a great year.

It’s the first Friday of the month, and that means Friday Reads! In case you missed it, you can take a look at last month’s Friday Reads on Memnoch the Devil.

Cover of A Hunger Like No OtherA few weeks ago, I decided to re-read A Hunger Like No Other (AHLNO) by Kresley Cole. AHLNO is a very special book to me. A gift for Valentine’s Day nearly 11 years ago, it was the first “adult” book I read.

I absolutely adored, still adore, Ms. Cole’s take on the various mythologies. Valkyries, vampires, werewolves, Ms. Cole eventually includes everything that’s “mythical” in the series in one way or another.

But beyond how great the story is, AHLNO, carries a lot of meaning for me. As I re-read AHLNO, I realized just how much my writing was originally influenced by reading it. The Most Special Chosen would probably be very different if I’d never read AHLNO. There’s even a chance that I would never have finished The Most Special Chosen, much less published it. AHLNO gave me ideas, some of which were incorporated into The Most Special Chosen, some that live on in the dark recesses of my brain that house fantasies.

If you haven’t read AHLNO or any of the rest of the Immortals After Dark series, I highly suggest you do so. They’re fun, sexy, and well-written.

Have you read any of the Immortals After Dark series? Did you like them? Which one was your favorite (if you can choose)? Leave me a comment below. I love reading comments. Until next time, I hope you have a fabulous time reading.

Did you like this? Share with your friends:

Author Spotlight Wrap Up

I’ve had fun with my Author Spotlight series. I’ve made some good friends, learned a lot, and have discovered some interesting books.

I announced the series just over four months ago, and have had some fabulous entries since then. If you missed any, here’s the full list:

What’s Next?

Finishing the series doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing spotlights entirely, they just won’t be a regular thing. I’d like to take more time with each spotlight in the future to really personalize them. One thing I don’t want to change, though, is asking “different” questions.

A lot of the authors I profiled mentioned that my questions were new and different. They weren’t things they’d been asked before, and I’m really happy about that. It’s what I was trying to do. I hope they didn’t get boring for the readers, either.

While I’m comfortable ending the series, I have to admit, it means the pressure’s on for coming up with blog content. The spotlights meant I had plenty of content to publish, and now I’ll have to come up with stuff regularly on my own again. As such, I may not post as often for a while, until I get back into that flow. I hope you don’t mind.

Anyway, if you enjoyed the spotlights, drop me a comment and let me know. If you’ve got suggestions, leave those in the comments as well. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

Did you like this? Share with your friends: