And So, 2018...

It's been awhile since I've written a blog post on here! A lot has happened since ... geez, April 2016.

I have two books out in stores now!

Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom is a YA comedy/murder mystery set at a fat camp I co-wrote with my dear friend Terry and illustrated by the awesome Matthew Seely. I'm super proud of it!

The Cardboard Kingdom is a middle grade graphic novel illustrated and orchestrated by the very talented Chad Sell and co-written by a group of about ten of us. We each created a character--mine's that little girl with a crown and a snake aka The Animal Queen--and they all live in the same neighborhood where they play, learn, fight, make up and everything you do as a kid. It's been doing extremely well and it's a great feeling that people are connecting with it. 

Other than that, I've been making con appearances. I was up at Emerald City premiering Dead Weight this year, went to a con in Juneau, TCAF and VanCaf. I'll be at Rose City in a couple of weeks, where you can pick up either book or the anthology I co-edited with Kel McDonald, Can I Pet Your Werewolf, full of sweet, romantic, funny, non-horror werewolf stories. Come say hi!

I am working on another project for Oni that I can't talk about yet so look forward to that announcement when I make it. Also, there are other things in the work that are still quite nebulous but hopefully I'll have more news on those things soon.

Thanks all of you for supporting me through this haphazard thing called being a writer. I'm doing my best to bring some quality work to you!

Fighting the Battle of Who Could Care Less

You know how sometimes you notice something once and then all of the sudden its everywhere? The other night, when the promotional tweet about choosing Team Cap or Team Iron Man was going around, I took part because I have deep, undying love of Captain America and thought it was a cute idea. Later that night, I was scrolling through my twitter and saw someone had retweeted 'teamcapitalism' as a snarky aside and it bummed me out. Why couldn't people just let other people enjoy things? 

As such things go, it spiraled. A girl on one of my tv forums who ran a thread on a show I liked replied with something to the effect of 'why do you guys like this show? I know I run this but it's seriously so boring and predictable. How are you still watching this?' I was listening to a podcast I really like and the two dudes talking went on an off topic rant about how people who read and write fanfiction should step away from the computer and 'experience life.' Another podcast talked about how much they hated X Men: First Class because it looked stupid and had hot young guys in it. 

This is nothing new but was a lot to notice in under 24 hours and it rubs me so much the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with people enjoying something that you, personally, do not enjoy. There are plenty of things that I don't like that I can completely either ignore or say to each their own. People have different tastes and that's a good thing.

Of course, this isn't to say that you can't criticize things for good reasons. I will rant about the creepy, grooming-esque vibe of Time Traveler's Wife til the end of days. Acknowledging the abusive relationship problems in Twilight and 50 Shades is important. Nothing is perfect and it's okay to point out the problems, especially if other people don't understand systemic problems in entertainment. 

But if you just want to make people feel bad about liking things you don't, that's so not cool. I go outside and enjoy my life, travel all over the world, and come home and read fanfiction. In fact, in college, I won a few online awards for my fanfiction and now, I have a book coming out and a story in an anthology. You can do both.

It doesn't make you 'cool' to dislike popular things. That's a phase you go through in your teens and hopefully grow out of. Putting people down, complaining about things and such may seem exciting at the time but ultimately, you're not enjoying things. Let go. Let the fun in. And if you can't, let other people enjoy things. Their joy is not your problem.

It has been a long time since I've updated this blog and the longer I waited, the more intimidating it became so I'm just going to suck it up and write something so that I can get over myself.

In the past seven months or so, I've gotten really into genealogy. It all started with an Ancestry free trial and now it's two binders' worth of information and a few freelance projects of doing other people's family trees. As someone fascinated by stories, heritage and in love with doing research, it was a match made in heaven. I get to piece together stories while tracking down old documents and various names and dates. I've fallen in love. 

Things I've Discovered: the real reason my great uncle Jack passed away at such a young age, the fact that my father's mother is related to at least six families that traveled the Oregon Trail and the boulevard I live off of was named after her mother's family, and that, while I do have mostly Irish roots, there's a surprising number of English ancestors and even a couple of Germans. Whenever I tweet something with the hashtag #mollyology, it's something about my family I've discovered.

This does not mean I've given up on writing. Sure, it did get put on the back burner a bit for the first few months where I was head over heels with history but now it's a mixture of both, genealogy inspiring writing and something to turn to when I get too muddled to concentrate on scripts. Things are looking good with the middle grade anthology I'm a part of and I'm currently reworking a pitch that I'm feel pretty hopeful about. Fingers crossed everything works out.

My personal life has been a bit hectic, what with weddings and minor er visits and the horrible discovery that yes, I do suffer from migraines, but focusing on other things has been very helpful. I've been slowly making my way through the Mignola-verse for the first time and am very much enjoying myself. Oh, and I got a new computer for Christmas so I'm at least running much faster than I used to. 

So, blog updated, I suppose. I promise I'll write more interesting things later, hopefully. ;)

Rose City Comic Con 2015

Oh, hey. So, I've been mysteriously absent and I'm well aware of that. I've spent the last month addicted to genealogy completely out of nowhere. It's been weird and amazing and you can see some of what I've found on my twitter under the hashtag mollyology. I'm planning to write more about it soon so look out for that. 

But this past weekend was Rose City Comic Con in my own hometown of Portland, Oregon! Which, of course, meant that I was incredibly lazy, slept in most mornings and made my way over for the last few hours of each day. It was great fun, full of awesome people selling great stuff and some fun panels. I spent time with really cool people and I honestly had a great time and discovered some great new art I want to share with you.

I found these two lovely ladies at a booth together and wanted to buy all their things but managed to restrain myself to these two. Adorable little shamrock girl is by Noel Clark and the girl in the window is by Elle Wyant. Both are my favorites and I want more art from both of these women.

I was walking quickly past Sara Talmadge's booth on my way somewhere and saw this print out of the corner of my eye and made a mental point of 'I'm coming back for that.' And then I did because how can you not need this? You do. You do need this.

I came to RCCC with a mission: buy DJ Corgi from my friend Mel. She has a whole set of DJ animals. You want them. Oh, do you want them.

Guess who I couldn't resist? It was The Gorgonist. I want ALL the things and I kind of bought them? All of her stuff is LOVELY and I adore her series of illustrated book covers (obviously) and look at little astronomy witch! And X FILES. I am a complex human being who wants all the variety of prints and this was my favorite thing and I love them all.

Rose City was great this year and I'm very very happy I went. Parties were silly, friends were lovely, art was great, new people were nice and friendly and it was pretty darn great.

The past two weeks have been quite hectic and emotional. I'm fine, no worries but there's been stuff going on and I don't quite feel like writing whole write ups for the books I've read. I'll just give you highlights, I suppose.

Dark Rooms by Liil Anolik - A dark mystery that pulled me along intensely until the last fifty pages or so where I felt it lost steam. Still not sure how I feel about the resolution of a certain plotline, either. But the writing was good and it was a debut so I'm looking forward to more from her in the future.

Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession by Lisa A. Phillips - Super interesting nonfiction look at the history, psychology and social connotations of women and unrequited love. Gave me a lot to think about and taught me the super amazing phrase 'uterine fury' (thanks, Middle Ages!).

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - Fun new take on 'Beauty and the Beast' using old school faeries and faerie mythology as its basis. There were a ridiculous amount of twists and turns and it was maybe a hundred pages longer than it needed to be but it grabs you by the hand and pulls you along the whole way. First in a trilogy and I'm curious where it's planning to go.

And, to end, a great series of screengrabs from a show I was watching the other night. Words to live by, I think.

Truer words never spoken. In it for the free dinner.


A Catch Up and Books I've Read This Week

Hello! This blog hasn't been updated in forever! Mainly because I've been busy with things I haven't told you about: VanCaf (two thumbs up! It was unbearably lovely), a trip to Houston (too hot, typical family visit, although I did go to NASA and that was cool), friends' wedding (lovely and beautiful and in a place with no cellphone or internet so ridiculously and surprisingly relaxing) and finally, a trip to San Diego to visit a dear friend (the week before SDCC so it actually WAS relaxing and we sat and watched people on the beach and watched half of The Flash season one and it was great.) So yes, I've been bouncing around the West Coast of North America (with a dash down south), getting not too terribly much done. I'm currently working on a rough draft of a project which I will talk more about when it's further along so look forward to that!

I do feel bad, though, because I want this blog to be more active and so, I've decided to try a weekly Friday update with a short review of the various books I've read in the previous week. I tend to read a lot (although not as much as I used to back when I had a commute and work at a bookstore) and although I do talk about them on Twitter a bit, I'd like to actually set my thoughts down on a blog and give you guys a space to see my actual opinions. Some weeks I might only get through a single book and some weeks I might get through several but at least it gives me an excuse for weekly updates. So, on that note, here goes!

This week features: several comics and trades as well as a great YA

Autumnlands Tooth and Claw

The Autumnlands Volume 1: Tooth and Claw

Writer: Kurt Busiek Artist: Benjamin Dewey

I'm horrible, HORRIBLE at reading floppies so I tend to wait for trades before I actually sit down and read ongoing series. I'd been really looking forward to this, though, as I'm a huge fan of Ben Dewey and his art and this looked SPECTACULAR. I, of course, would not be let down by him. His art is phenomenal and engaging, pulling you right away into this magical, unfamiliar world. That's helpful as, as interesting as the story is, Busiek's writing isn't the easiest to parse and it is even off-putting at times, to the point where I felt encouraged to skim because there was no way I was going to understand what he was going for. I understand using technical jargon and world building through not explaining and I admire it when done correctly but this felt too much too soon in the earlier chapters. Once you get past the first chapter, however, and you feel more in pace with the characters, it's easier to fall in line and it's no longer a fight between you and the author. The danger felt real, the pacing was right and the character design was flawless. I only look forward to see where this goes next.

WicDiv Volume 2

The Wicked and the Divine Volume 2: Fandemonium

Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist Jamie McKelvie Colorist: Matthew Wilson

For some reason, I'm constantly surprised by how much I love WicDiv. Music usually isn't my thing; I was never that kid in high school that felt a connection to the music and sat alone in my room listening to albums. I've always been much more connected to books and narratives and thus, stories about peoples' mystical connection to music have always been difficult for me to empathize with. The mystery aspect of WicDiv, though, engages me so much that I think it makes up for everything else. I'm constantly impressed by the way Gillen manages the twists and turns of his plot and he is one of the few writers that can still surprise me over and over again. I honestly don't know where he's going half the time and that impresses me. McKelvie's art fits the story like a glove, his clean lines and perfectly posed figures. It'll be interesting to see the next arc with guest artists because, as exciting as it is seeing new people drawing these characters, a part of me can't imagine WicDiv without McKelvie. Normally, I'm not one to notice small details but in WicDiv, I don't think you can get away without praising the colorist, Matt Wilson. His work is the ribbon that pulls this whole thing together. It's one of the few ongoing comics that I actively look forward to and this second trade blew me away as much as the first.



Writer & Artist: Michael Cho

I grabbed this at the library mainly because I thought the art looked lovely and I can confirm: after reading the entire book, the art is, indeed, lovely. I love the toning with black, white and pink. I love his style and the way he draws his characters. I love the way sections of the book are blocked off by lovely cityscapes. The art is lovely and I would definitely look for more from him. Unfortunately, the story is quite cliche and I found myself giving a little disappointed 'oh' at the end, when I realized it was going to end exactly as I figured it would from page two. There were some great bits in the middle where it had the potential to go down roads less travelled in narratives like this but, ultimately, it stuck to the safe path. Uplifiting if you've never read that kind of story or you need that message in your life at the moment but read as more of the same to me. Still, Cho's art was great and I definitely would like to track down more from him and see if he's tackled anything else with more finesse. He's got the potential.

School for Unusual Girls

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

When I heard the synopsis for this on BookRiot a few months ago, I knew I had to track it down once I got the chance. It sounded so far up my alley, it potentially lived at my house. A bunch of girls in Regency England training to be spies? Yes, please. Our heroine is engaging and likable, our hero is easy to root for and it introduces characters that I'll be happy to read about in books to come. You could tell while reading that Tess is going to be the heroine of book two and I'm interested in that, for sure, but I think the girl I'm most excited to hear more about is Jane, the other girl who stood out to me as less 'typical YA heroine' than the rest. I'd also love to hear more about Miss Stranje herself, who seems to have her own very interesting backstory. Not to mention that this book did not end with your stereotypical, all the ribbons tied up and all's well ending so it'll be nice to see what Georgie and Sebastian have coming up for them. It's also one of the first YA series I've read to tackle alternate history, something I'm very excited to explore. A great first book that introduces a series that I'm sure will only increase in popularity as more people discover it. I cannot wait for book two, myself.

April Wrap Up

April's been full of projects. I'm working on a few pitches at the moment which are coming along well. We'll see how they go. Got some editing projects done, too, including a really cool comics script that I can't wait to tweet about once I'm able to.

                                                   Exclusive 'in action' editing selfie

                                                   Exclusive 'in action' editing selfie

Speaking of comics, on a complete whim, I've decided to go to Van Caf (Vancouver Comic Arts Festival)! It's May 23 and 24th in Vancouver, BC and it's completely free to attend so you should totally go if you're able to. A lot of super cool people are going to be there like Cat Farris, Ron Chan, Ben Dewey, Kel McDonald, Levi Hastings, and tons more. I'm not tabling so I'll just be walking around, checking stuff out and chatting with people. If you're there, send me a tweet!

I've started watching Game of Thrones with Kel McDonald. I've read all the books but I've never watched the show and she has the new HBO streaming service so we've been slowly marathoning it. It's so strange to watch, knowing what's going to happen and anticipating things. We just started season three. One thing I keep noticing is how a lot of the younger character's choices don't make as much sense now that they've been aged up for the show, especially Theon. He makes so much more sense as a confused fifteen year old! Oh, Theon. I have such conflicted and strong feelings about you. I never realized how strongly I felt about Tommen, either, as any time he comes on, I sigh and go, "My sweet summer child." I am, however, really sick of all the extra sex and violence. I mean, the books are dark but they really went out of their way to make the show worse, huh? All in all, I like it but I think I still prefer the books.

Avengers tomorrow night for me. Perhaps some favorite superheroes will cleanse my pallet. Plus, Agents of Shield has been so amazing this season, as silly as this may sound to some of you, I hope the movie lives up to the expectations AoS has given me. (I know a lot of the internet doesn't like AoS but I will fight to defend its honor. I love that show.)

       This is my purse the day the first Avengers came out. I'll have to top myself. (Tiny!Cap is                                                                     definitely coming again.)

       This is my purse the day the first Avengers came out. I'll have to top myself. (Tiny!Cap is                                                                     definitely coming again.)

May shall be a busy month. I've got VanCaf and the day after I get back, I fly out to Texas to visit family for a week. It's been a few years since my old annual summer Texas trip and I'm looking forward to it, despite knowing I had to factor in a sick day (the weather always knocks me out for a whole day, every time.) At least I get to see a lot of family and eat some good food, maybe even sneak in a day trip to Galveston. Any vacation is a good vacation.

ECCC 2015 (and following)

The weekend before Easter was ECCC and clearly I was so exhausted by it that it took me a whole week to write a wrap up post. Basically the whole weekend was tiring but lovely and gave me a lot to think and reflect on, some of which I might be keeping off the blog for a while as I still mull it over. 

Terry and I drove up Thursday around noon, set up his table, checked in to our hotel and then met Cat and Ron for dinner in Pike's Market where we were given a table a lovely view. After dinner, Terry and I went back to our hotel where he drew while we watched trashy television and an alien movie. 

The con was really fun! I spent most of the weekend behind Terry's table, helping out. I wasn't tabling as I don't have anything to sell (yet!) but I'm always happy to help out a friend. Plus, I just love talking to people and seeing everyone in their costumes and just the good vibes of the convention floor. It's exhausting, yes, especially since you have to be at the con all day and network all night but for a weekend, it's well worth it.

Speaking of night networking, that was probably my favorite part. I had such a lovely time every evening! Friday night, I went to the Oni Press party, to meet up with Ron, Cat and Tally and had a great time. My editor Robin was there, who is one of my favorite people on the planet, as well as the rest of the Oni crew who are all great people and it was fun chatting with everyone. I also met and made friends with Monica Gallagher, who is awesome and has a new book that just came out called Part Time Princesses which you should probably pick up. Anyway, long story short, the night ended with Robin, Monica, Kel and myself sitting on couches in the lobby of the Sheraton hoping Cat, Tally and Ron would reappear with magical, free midnight cookies (which never happened.) So basically a great night.

Saturday, I was exhausted by the time I got back to the hotel at seven thirty with a container of cheap orange chicken and a coke and although I knew I should go out and mingle, I really just wanted to sit on my bed. So when I realized that the Dark Horse party not only didn't start until nine but was also two blocks from my hotel, I decided that was the party for me. And it was also great! I hung out more with Kel, Ron and Cat, got to talk more with Spike Trotman who I'd met earlier that day, talked with Brendan Wright and Emi , both of whom I hadn't seen in months and just generally had a lovely time. It's like a short comics summer camp and I love it.

The ride home on Sunday was tiring but all in all, it was a great weekend and I'm happy I went, even if I forgot to take a lot of pictures. Oops.

On a last, completely unrelated, funny note, Tally has been going through old sketchbooks today and posting things online. This one showed up on Facebook and I love it and have to repost it.

I shared this on my wall and Ron wrote back "I love that you're the kind of person who can meet 29 people and expect 29 friends! You are the making-friends MASTER." to which I, COMPLETELY SERIOUSLY, replied,"Why be pessimistic? Everyone's a potential friend!" Because I am a children's cartoon character.

I did it! I made a website! Oh dear, this was way more work than I thought it would be and I took the easy way out and used Squarespace. I don't know how people do this for a living...

News that the world should know: Terry and I finished the second draft of our script for our project for Oni so that's very exciting. It feels weird being almost done. We've been working on it for almost two months straight so having it be suddenly over is very strange. Although I'm working on a pitch for another project so hopefully I'll have something else to work on again soon.

Emerald City Comic Con is next weekend! I'm excited, even if I'm just going as more of an attendee than anything. I'm sure I'll be helping out at Terry's table a bit and skulking around the rest of the Periscope Studio tables when I'm not out wandering the con floor. I'm going to try and attend some panels, too. I almost never go to panels and I should really go to more. I know some friends are going to be on some awesome ones, too, so I'm going to write up a schedule and try and make it to some. If anyone knows of a panel I absolutely must not miss, let me know?

Other than that, there's not much going on. I'm currently rewatching a show I watched back in 2008 that has a talking deer in it and have, clearly, made a screencap folder called 'Deer is Judging You.' I leave you with one of my favorites from the first episode.

                                                                   'Those shoes with  that  jacket?'

                                                                   'Those shoes with that jacket?'