Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Answered and Asked

As most of you know I went to DragonCon this past weekend.  It's what's caused another delay in Bastion, has kept me from writing any more of Mind the Thorns and has been eating up what little spare time I can squeeze out of life now that school has resumed.

But I did have an amazing time there, much of it good, some of it bad, and a little of it frustrating.  I'm going to start with one of the more frustrating moments.

The name of the panel was "Vampires and the Women who Write Them".  It featured an array of women authors of Urban Fantasy ranging from those who had just started writing to those who had been writing about vampires since the 1960's.  It was quite the collection and what I saw as an opportunity to get to the ins and outs of writing good, solid urban fantasy.

It was also a chance to be talked down to by none other than the wonderful Laurell K Hamilton.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Facts, Figures, Fat-shaming and Cosplay

So the TV Show Heroes of Cosplay is taking the Cosplay/ Costuming Community by storm and often not in a good way.  Among it's many missteps have been copyright violations committed by using photographs without permission.  Then two of the stars opted to do a full head cast when they only needed the forehead, taking on massive risk and danger, apparently, just to do it.

But what really seemed to steal the spot light was an exchange in Episode 2 regarding who could and could not cosplay.  This seemed to take the show into a dark direction of what was "Permitted" and what was not.

Now this was further complicated by Becky's obsession with her figure in Episode 1.  A great deal was made about her quick return to the gym to try to slip down to play the part of Merida from Brave as well as snippets of her trying to squeeze into a corset to get the fit right and really look the part.  Since we watched the episodes back to back we saw a solid two hours of weight issues and "looking the part" being front and center.

Really, much of this is quite likely the result of the show's editing staff trying to create an engaging and provocative narrative.  This is not hard to do when you use some creative cuts, slip a few comments around out of context and then remove the chance for someone to respond to something to try to better establish context.

Since Episode 2 has aired, many efforts have been made to defend Yaya Han, the "Ambassador of Cosplay" as being very open to "cosplay for all" despite the fact that her words on the show implied quite the opposite.

So this brings us to now, today, and my own collected thoughts and observations.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekly Omens - 8-24-13

This week I discovered Heroes of Cosplay and the train wreck of drama and cattiness that it is.  I'm not going to pull punches.  The editors of that show make the Cosplayers look like mean spirited wicked elitists.  The repeated commentary on, for example, Yaya Han's history in the hobby only seems further drive home that idea that Cosplay is for the select few.

It hit a fever pitch in Episode 2 when it was explained to newcomer Chloe (@skydart) that there are certain things you don't do, such as be 300 pounds and try to cosplay Superman.  I believe, possibly, that the other veteran Cosplayers were trying to say that the internet is a mean spirited place where people who are not within "the ideal" are mercilessly mocked and that being of a fuller figure means also being prepared for the fat-shaming and abuse that will follow.  I want to give them a break but I can't.

I won't.

And I'm going to leave it there for now because really my fuller thoughts on this should be in their own blog post and that's going to come next week, possibly after I see Episode 3.  Maybe.

So here's the rest of your weekly wrap up:

In Bastion:  The Last Stand

Hiatus week.  Time for me to prepare for Dragon Con.  Also it may not be until after Labor Day that my life find the normalcy necessary to return to a regular schedule of updates.  I'm hoping to be able to keep to a piece of prose every 3 weeks but I might be too optimistic with that.

On Fictional Omens

A woman posed for a picture with the sign, "This is what a Feminist Looks like".  Internet Trolls were as trolls are.  Facebook failed to do the right thing.  I'm still not sure about how they managed to blow this.

At Home

I'm prepping for Dragon Con!

For those going here's a short list of what I have planned:

  • Friday night:
    • Walking Dead Costume Group
  • Saturday
    • Dragon Con Parade as Dum Dum Dugan
    • Panel at 1pm on "Do We Need Teachers?" as part of the Science Track
    • Panel at 5pm on "Hollywoodpocalypse" as part of the Apocalypse Rising Track
  • Sunday
    • BSG Duty Blues costume for fun
    • Star Trek Costume Group
    • Panel at 7pm on Defiance: A Town without Mercy as part of the Apocalypse Rising Track
  • Monday
    • A long... long... drive home.
If you need any help finding me at the con, shoot a tweet to me @FictionalOmen, drop me an email or leave a comment here and I'll do my best to find you.

Your Weekly Video

I'm seriously considering making a lipsync video of "What Makes you Beautiful" by, yes I know, 1 Direction because of all the shaming and hate around Cosplay.  I'm not sure if I will or not but here's one of the best I've seen to some awesome Bon Jovi:



Rob Osterman is the author of the popular web novel Bastion: The Last Hope.  Its story follows those few who struggle to survive through the end of days and perserve what remains of humanity.  He also writes Mind the Thorns, a reader directed web novel chronicling the death and life of Regan Fairchild:  Accountant, Bachelorette and Vampire.


His first novel, Fantasti*Con follows Allison Cavanaugh on a weekend of geekery gone awry as she is stalked, followed, harassed and worse.  It is available on Amazon in print and eBook editions.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Feminism and I: It's Complicated

Recently I was advised to submit a short story to a group working on a collection of stories by female authors.  As I'm not a female this would seem out of place but the suggestion was made that I might be added as a "bonus story" because I have pretty good track record of writing strong female characters, and that a story in that vein might go well in the collection.

I wasn't called a Feminist but I like to think that I let my process of character creation run along similar lines as Jos Whedon and he has been given, if not taken, that title himself.  I've also been known to horribly misquote him but I like to think that my error is more along the lines of "correct in spirit if off in fact."

Oddly, though, I have to confess to a rather on-again-off-again relationship with the term Feminist.  Most "-ists" tend to be used as a form of pejorative.  Racist.  Sexist.  Misogynist.  Elitist.  These aren't nice words.  I even have a weird reaction when someone uses the term "Deist" even though I don't think it's intended harshly in most conversation.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekly Omens 8/18/13

Why is this so late?  Well here's a bit about my weekend.  I'm trying to get the wife to try out Rift, we're just now catching up on Newsroom and True Blood, this was my last week of "Summer Vacation", and today Disney Infinity was released and already it's a hit with the house (but not the pocketbook).

So let's do this round up so I can get back to building a race track in my son's Infinity Toybox.


This week was a multimedia update week and we got some insight into how it was that Felice now goes by the name Jo.  I feel, personally, like it was a little more tell than show (I know it's supposed to be the other way around, but this is a picture based storyline) but I think it worked.

Fans should note that the schedule for BLH is changing over to the following:  Prose / Media / Break.  This past week was a media week, so the coming week will be a break.  Expect the next prose, a week from Monday and expect it to be prose.  This should give me a little more time to work on things and hopefully get Mind the Thorns back into my writing rotation.


I waxed a little angry about the fact that our language is "evolving" to allow the wrong definition of a word to, literally, be considered "a definition" of that word.  I'm, figuratively, steaming at the collar about it and, literally, ready to scream.

At Home

I continue to prepare for Dragon Con.  It's exciting and fun and I'm probably going to be taking at least 5 different costumes to change into and out for over the weekend, coupled with appropriate clothes for my panels (assuming I'm still on said panels as the schedule isn't released yet and my name does not appear in the DC app yet as a presenter).

And, for your weekly video:

If you're a fan of Lindsey Stirling you've seen this already but it's news to me and thus I am sharing it here.  Also I think someone at Dragon Con should totally Cosplay her.





Rob Osterman is the author of the popular web novel Bastion: The Last Hope.  Its story follows those few who struggle to survive through the end of days and perserve what remains of humanity.  He also writes Mind the Thorns, a reader directed web novel chronicling the death and life of Regan Fairchild:  Accountant, Bachelorette and Vampire.

His first novel, Fantasti*Con follows Allison Cavanaugh on a weekend of geekery gone awry as she is stalked, followed, harassed and worse.  It is available on Amazon in print and eBook editions.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Definitions that, Literally, Need to Die

Thanks to John Scalzi, I learned last night that dictionaries are starting to add "Figuratively" to the definition of the word "Literally." Or to put it another way, because so many people are, literally, using the word in a way that is exactly opposite of what it means the dictionaries are giving up and changing the definitions.

 This has spurred me to go after a short list of "definitions" that I would happily shoot with a phasor set to "Shake and Bake."

 Gay vs Stupid, Silly or Lame

Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekly Omens 8/9/13

And we're back to weekly updates!

So here's what's happening around the various writings and whatnots: