Growing up, geeky was in no way cool. If you had a tendency to become obsessive about anything that wasn’t mainstream, you were poked fun at mercilessly. Worse if it was something clearly made for nerds, more so if you were a girl.

In the fourth grade my favorite show in the entire universe was ReBoot. I had the action figures (Which were played with to the point of total destruction), I had a little handheld game, I knew all of the episode titles and could tell you nearly everything that happened in each one. I shipped Bob and Dot, and then later Enzo and AndrAIa, I built mainframe out of cardboard boxes, I was obsessed. No one else was to the same level, and most people didn’t even watch the show because it was lame (ie, not Hockey, Wrestling, or some teeny-bop show.)

So at ten years old I learned that one did not share their passions if it wasn’t what others were passionate about too. I went from there, pretending to enjoy things such as Jonathon Taylor Thomas, the Backstreet Boys, shows whose names have long since left my memory. I kept quiet about what I was really enjoying at home, learning to be a little lonely so i could at least be entertained with things that interested me.

It did get a little better as I got older. I made friends with nerdy boys who didn’t judge me, the internet was more accessible which introduced me to fan sites who shared their obsession with relish, and it slowly started to become cool to like what wasn’t so much in my childhood.

Of course, years of suppressing what made me really me has been a hard habit to break. Snippets of come through, of course, but it’s only been in recent years that I have truly begun to embrace my geekiness, and flaunting it. I want to be a good role model for my son, and that involves being myself.talk-nerdy-to-me-t-shirt-vintage-t-shirt-review-rad-rowdies-rad-rowdies-1_400x400

But the one thing that truly made me realize I needed to be more myself was my now thirteen year old niece. My nephew, who is equally awesome and nerdy, has been a proud gamer geek from the moment he could pick up a controller. He can name levels in Super Mario and tell you step by step what’s supposed to happen. But my niece is who truly amazes me.

Because at thirteen she is so comfortable in her skin it amazes me. She’s a massive Whovian, a heavy reader in fantasy and sci-fi, a Trekkie, and so much more. And the best part is that she’s not afraid to show it. She had a Doctor Who themed birthday party despite her friends not really being all that familiar with the show. She wears her geek shirts to school with pride. She is who I wish I was at her age.

I’m not sure what’s really changed in between our time. I don’t want to call it feminism because that seems to trivialize something that is still struggling to be recognized. It could certainly have to do with the massive growth of the internet where now places like Tumblr, Pinterest, and such allows people an outlet and to know that they are not alone in their obsession. And not to mention that The Big Bang Theory, while centered around nerdy boys, has made being a geek a little cooler. Bonus if you’re a girl.

There is still a ways to go, I know. We still struggle with some boys telling girls or women that they are not “real” nerds, as well as other girls giving their two cents because they happen to know more or have been into {insert topic here} longer. But the leaps and bounds that have happened since I was a ten year old totally ashamed and embarrassed by how much I loved a cartoon about people living in a computer is amazing. It thrills me, and excites me, and that’s why I’ve started this blog.

Because this is a great time to be a Geek Girl, and when the urge strikes I want an outlet to share, to be excited through, and step out into the digital world as more than just a writer, but as a proud nerd.

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Been a while since I posted, but this to me was a must share.

Geek shopping I find is hard to come by, even more so with clothing and jewelry. At least it’s hard for me. Usually I’m ordering things online, and while I was in NYC and at ComicCon I did some major hunting of merchandise.

Then when looking for something different to do on our “family days” I googled geek stuff for Montreal and came across a result for the Boutique Geekatorium. The husband, munchkin, and I made a day of strolling Rue St Denis and had this as part of our plans so I could check out the shop.

It’s small, but has so much awesomeness inside.

This nifty little shop has a pretty unique selection of shirts, t-shirt and otherwise, compared to what I’ve seen before. Scarves, belts, hats, a few PJs, and even a few knick knacks here and there. The most impressive thing for me? Fandom jewelry. The boutique has an awesome selection of really nice, inexpensive fandom jewelry with some more unique pieces that I didn’t even see at comic con.

So if you’re in Montreal and you decide a TARDIS shirt needs replacing, that you want a piece of Sherlock, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, or nearly any fandom hanging around your neck, stop by the Boutique Geekatorium. Grab an R2D2 wallet to put the remainder of your cash in.

And to see the kind of awesomeness they have, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BoutiqueGeekatorium

I have become fully addicted to making these lovely little Pop Vinyls. So much so that I now have as many hand made as I do actual off the shelf one.

One thing I have learned is it’s all about the material you use.

In my first batch I used air-dried clay and acrylic paint. Now, I used a mix of craft acrylic and canvas acrylic and found a big difference.

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I do love my Phantom/Erik and my Pocket. Both turned out pretty good, but they are a little too shiny. The canvas paint dried a little different than the regular craft pain. Also, the clay is very fragile. There are cracks in the Phantom’s fair at the back, and the little bells on Pocket’s hat are actually glued on.

20150731_192918My second batch included Doctor number 8 (Night of the Doctor inspired), as well as the adult sprites from ReBoot. For this batch I used only craft paint and a 2 part apoxie paste.

I’m far happier with the results of both changes.

For one, the apoxie was easier to work with, dried without shrinking, and held the shape better than the clay.

20150731_195249The dry on the paint was much better as well. I ended up repainting the skin portion of my Dot to better match Matrix.

I’m genuinely unsure what other figures I’ll end up making, but since I have a couple more blanks kicking around it will be inevitable that I’ll continue with the hobby, and I’m considering revisiting at least The Phantom to see if he can be improved upon with better materials. I’d like to do it with Pocket as well, though that’s a hard thing to do when his current version is Moore approved.

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I don’t go on Facebook often, maybe once a day and it’s a quick pass over. But about a week or so ago a writing group that I belong to had a post in my feed regarding Fan Fiction and how wrong it was. Well, as much I may not share that line of thinking, I clicked on it.

And laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Because what a bias piece of crap it was. So full of high and mighty “a real writer doesn’t do this” crap, among other things, that it was worth a chuckle. It also enraged me, not because of my own recent dabbling in the genre, but because of how off base a lot of the points were. Between the article posted and comments on the post I had enough fury that I could have a very long ramble. Instead, I let it simmer in and cool so I could bring up my clear points on how off they are.

It’s plagarism

Okay, fine, technically speaking it is. BUT! The vast majority of those who write it do because they have an idea and want to get it out and share it. I mean, really? How many times has anyone watched a favorite show/movie, read a favorite book, and just kinda wondered what might happen next, what could have happened, etc. These people, for the most part, aren’t looking to make money. They’re looking to learn, and join a community of like-minded people/

People who do write it aren’t real writers.

Wrong! They’re creating stories, aren’t they? Putting down words? Makes them a writer I’d say. Maybe not a professional one, but ….

The argument I saw on this is that it’s difficult to create new characters so “How could I ever consider taking someone else’s?” Because maybe you want to develop another aspect of your writing? And honestly, I know so many writers that are casting characters in their heads with actors they like. Actors they like from shows. Shows that may influence the characters you create. See where I’m going with this? That’s not to say there are no original characters out there, but we are all heavily influenced by what goes on in our lives.

Another protest on this whole “not a real writer” thing is why don’t they just change the names or use their own characters because the story was so good. And this was directed (supposedly) to a teenage girl from her mother that writes. And don’t I hope that this teenage girl’s supposed reply was true because flat out saying their story is about certain characters deserves a pat on the back. Because it’s confident, which is something I sorely lack in my own writing even as close to 30 as I am.

You can’t sell Fan Fiction

And this is where I laugh. Hard. And EL James laughs on her Yacht. And Gregory Maguire laughs as his book became a musical phenomon along side Andrew Lloyd Webber’s. Oh, and Alex Flinn is probably having a chuckle too. Why? Because all of these authors took work that existed and made it their own and SOLD THE EVER LIVING CRAP OUT OF IT.

“But Meggles,” you say, “That’s not *gasp* fan fiction. These are inspired by old stories.”

Yeah, inspired. But the characters? Not really theirs, are they? I don’t buy the whole “Fairy tale re-telling/re-imagining” isn’t Fan Fiction. I don’t. Because someone came first, those are stories authors grew up on. Maybe even were fans of them?

It’s all terrible rubbish

I’m not going to sit here and say it’s all rainbows and butterflies out there. It’s not. There are some horrible pieces out there. But every so often you can find these beautiful, sparkling gems that are brilliant. Like, edge of your seat, up all night reading kind of pieces.

And I’m very fussy in my own choosing when I decide to indulge in someone else’s take on a story. I can’t stand reading something that could be totally different from living canon if it’s meant to be set in that world (alternate universe is my friend). If it’s based off a show/movie/book which has ended I’m usually willing to give it a go if it perks my interest. So when I decide I like something enough to be glued to it, especially if it’s long, then it’s probably pretty great.

What are some of those stories?

Feed the Rain/Mark of the Beast/ The Serpent  of Eden by Born-of-Elven-Blood. If you like Loki from Thor it’s a take on the character and his relationship with another I’d never imagined but adored.

The Flow of Time is always cruel by Gerudo Desert. It’s on going, but oh so good. An interesting view of a possible post Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time storyline

Jane Eyre: An altered ending by NBRoberts. Title says it all, just a different take on my favorite classic book.

His Good Opinion by Nancy Kelley. This one isn’t free, but cheap on Kindle. Wait, what? Someone selling their fic? The audacity (yawns). Anyway, great retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

There are tones of Doctor Who fics I love and will recommend if anyone asks, and I do read from other categories as well, but these ones seemed the best way to showcase how awesome some of these peeps. are.

So to those who hate on the genre, stop. Just stop. No one is saying you are less of a writer because you do Harlequin, or Murder by numbers kind of mysteries. There are so many formula genres out there that so many people write that if you honestly want to get up on your high horse and say only original ideas are worth writing about then you’re leaving behind a lot of great talent.

Writing isn’t always about money, sometimes it’s about just wanting to do it. And even when it is, you have to remember that sometimes people get lucky, sometimes what people want to read is not what you put down, and sometimes what the world wants is a simple escape.

So please, don’t bash an entire group of people who are just having fun, especially if they’re young writers. You just don’t know what best selling author you could be keeping from the world because a sharp comment made them feel inadequate, whether they went on to sell their totally original ideas or not.

Once upon a time, I dreamed of being a published writer that made money off the one thing I love doing. And one day in March, a week before my birthday, I got an e-mail from a publisher I was waiting to hear back from: dream was coming true.

Fast forward four years and the harsh realities of the writing world are evident. It was hard to get readers when the publisher was small, I was an unknown, and there are so many other talented writers out there. I wasn’t writing Fifty Shades, or Twilight. I wasn’t even sure if I was writing what I loved, but there it was. My books, out in the open. At least until the Publisher gave their authors back their rights and manuscripts, a print book never having been born, and we were free to self publish if we want.

I did. And it wasn’t too bad in the beginning, but the market hadn’t changed and my life had. I was suddenly a mother, and motherhood to a very young child doesn’t give one the time or luxury to spend hours self promoting. For a brief time I got to be a full time writer, and that was something I’ll never forget, but writing has returned more to being a hobby.

Which brings me to the decision I had recently made. Having looked at my books sales and knowing full well that I wasn’t selling I came to a crucial decision: I would rather be read than rich, entertain than earn. I took down the books from Amazon, and left them as freebies everywhere else.

Maybe one day I’ll peruse full fledged publication again, when my son is older and I have more time on my hands than simply a couple hours a day and a single day a week. I don’t want to nor can’t blog on a daily basis because I don’t want to create content with nothing to say (Which is probably why this had been left alone so long.).

But most of all I don’t want to be depressed. Whether it’s full blown, honest to goodness, clinical depression or a very deep case of the blues that went on way longer than it should have, something changed since I became published that turned what I once loved into a depressing task. Gone was the fun, and every time I tried to face the struggles of “doing it all” I wouldn’t be me anymore. And if there is one thing I had decided about myself this year is that I was going to be me and that was final.

And now I’m happy. Recently having finished a test of my creativity (via fanfiction, a post for another day entirely), I have been receiving some great feedback. I feel like my goals are being reached without a single penny being brought in and I love it.

Now, since I have updated the blog, shared and antidote about myself and a career with a lot of misconceptions, I am off to write some more. Because now it’s fun again.

It’s a learning curve, working with these little guys. While I was very pleased with how Dot Matrix turned out, Lucca I was not.

First thing I learned quickly is that its better to paint on as much detail as you can. Obviously sculpting the hair/hat/etc is a necessity for giving the Pop VInyl it’s characterization. The clothes are important too, but the less you sculpt, the better it will look.

20150701_104011Glasses are a tough call, I think. It certainly adds dimension, but depending on the material you use it can crack or flake off. I used a self-hardening clay, so I did get cracking though not enough for the glasses to come off Lucca’s face. Painting them may have been easier, but I don’t think it would have had quite the same look in the end.

20150701_123601As I’ve said before, the less you need to sculpt the clothes, the better. The space between the body and the arms is already small, adding more makes painting properly a near impossible task. Hands need touching up constantly, that’s for sure. And again, depending on the material you used to sculpt, the paint may take more coats to get a decent pigment. Doing multiple in coats in a small space cane get tedious.

I learned a lot from doing Lucca, though it was a lot more of what not to do than what to do. As before, it’s best to paint the base before sculpting clay over it. Less is way more. I could have done thinner layers of clay to highlight the dress, and that would have made the accessories easier as well. Also to be careful of scarfs and the like around the top. Any overlap on the plug makes the head fit a little off.

My last post on DIY Pop vinyls (for the foreseeable future, anyway) will be on the boys, and how I applied what I learned while making the girls to result in two awesome Funko figures.

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Before we get into this, I’m going to clarify that we’re talking Montreal Comic Con, not the king of all Comic Cons in San Francisco.

That being said I will say that my experience was … mixed.

Let’s start with the positives: I did enjoy myself. An entire corner dedicated to Doctor Who where I could go inside the

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“9” is ready for Comic Con

TARDIS, be stalked by Daleks, and see some super impressive Cosplays? Hells to the yes! Meeting two of my favorite companions? Umm, okay! Finding some rare (or at least rare to us) Pop! Vinyls, as well as being able to talk to and meet a bunch of artists that I appreciate? Yeah, awesomesauce.

But over all, I can’t say it was the best experience of my life.

First, it wasn’t well organized. We had a hard time even with a map trying to figure out where things were. When we did find them, we found that the line ups for things (like Q&A’s and Photos) were not very well marked. I know we weren’t the only ones confused by the line ups because there were dozens of people asking each other who they were waiting for. On top of that, they failed to announce or give clear indication when something was delayed. While waiting to see Billie Piper I discovered the three people behind me had no idea her Photo Op was delayed a half hour because they didn’t know there was a board to check.

The vendors were awfully repetitive. I know this isn’t something that can be helped, but part of the reason we were lost was because everyone was selling virtually the same thing. Handy if you’re on the hunt for something as one vendor may have something the rest don’t, but it does get old quick.

They had some really amazing set ups (as in scenes or props that you can play/take pictures in) like the Doctor Who one or Ghost Busters, Star Wars (though Star Wars was not nearly as detailed) and Back to the Future. But I felt they were lacking something that appealed to Gamers.

But I will say that it was a good time. We’re thinking of going next year already, and that’s saying something. It was relatively kid friendly (except when your child has a fear of Daleks and they roam about), which I was actually surprised to see. Even though we were taking our toddler, I wasn’t expecting people to be so welcoming to him.

I did learn that a VIP pass, no matter how cool and tempting, likely isn’t necessary. Maybe for the seating at Q&As (which we missed. boo!) but for Photo ops, they go by so quick that I didn’t find the line was too much of a worry.

Sill, I will tell anyone who asks if it was worth the go “yes”. If you are a nerd, and you love nerdy things, seeing some awesome cosplays, meeting actors you admire, then go for it. If you hate crowds, get bored easy, then don’t. If you’re unsure, go! My hubby wasn’t too sure about a lot of it, but he was beaming like an idiot after getting to meet Billie Piper twice, and he actually enjoyed himself more than he expected.

So go on! Get out to a Comic Con near you!

Female Pop! Vinyl DIY

Female Pop! Vinyl DIY

As I had said in a previous post, I am obsessed with Funko Pop! Vinyls. This obsession has led me to create my own, namely Pocket from Christopher Moore’s Fool  and The Serpent of Venice. Awesome books, check them out. Anywho, because of all the reading I’d done on various blogs and seeing how often people mention “breaking” the Pop! before they even really got started prompted me to order two. And on thinking about how awesome a Dot Matrix from ReBoot would be, I ended up ordering two females.

In this post, I’m going to talk early stage prep, as well as the making of Dot.

First, seperating the head from the body. This is recommended by everyone because it allows you to more easily sculpt/paint the head and body to look how you want. Hot water is key here, and the hotter the better. Some microwave, some fill a sink of hot water, I used a pot. Making sure the water was boiled, I stood over the pot with the head of the Pop! submerged. About every 30 seconds to a minute I would gently wiggle the head. What’s holding it together is glue, and it washes away easily if you are patient. It took me about 3-4 minutes per figure.

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It should be noted that the heat was still on and the water was boiling. Year of working in a print shop and needing to hand really hot equipment and the like has resulted in a higher-than-average tolerance for heat. I honestly don’t recommend being bare handed during this process, use a pair of silicone tongs or wear an oven mit. Burns suck, avoid them.

20150630_115317All separated, I left them on a dish cloth to dry out until I got the chance to sculpt them later.

For Dot, it’s a fairly easy work through. Unless you do “Talent Night” or “My Two Bobs”, or teenage Dot from “Daemon Rising”, there’s not much if anything to sculpt clothing wise. I ended up doing a raise for her boots, but other than that her wardrobe is entirely skin-tight body suits so I chose to just paint it on.

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I used a self-hardening clay, though there is apparently a modeling poxy in the world that I couldn’t get my hands on unless I ordered it through Amazon. I did not do that, and I’m okay with that. Honestly, the clay gave me the look I was going for and I didn’t have to bake it. I sculpted the hair right on to the head and it stuck quite well. I’m clumsy as crap and had dropped the head multiple times with no breaks. So, go me!

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The details were pretty low, but I did get crazy and paint on her tattoo. Masochist me, but it still turned out quite well. I did mix an orange iridescent paint in with the black for my Command.com body suit choice. I could have gone classic retro peach, but if I’m going to be honest (while she was always my favorite), post-web war Dot was my favorite incarnation of the business tycoon gone military officer.

I used hot glue to reattach the head. I’ve seen people recommend super glue, but I’ve never had the best results with it. Especially with things like this. I didn’t have any of the stringy bits, but considering how the head fits on to the body, I don’t think that’s actually something one really has to worry about.

In the end I’m very pleased with it. I have yet to seal it as it’s a rainy day and I’m going to use a spray sealant which requires me to be outdoors. Poo!. I’m still working on my Lucca from Chrono Trigger, and my male ones haven’t come in just yet, but I will post more in case there are any more Pop! Vinyl fans/collectors out there. And for now, here is the finished but not sealed Dot Matrix:

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