Fandom Friday – San Diego Comic Con

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​Comic Con is upon us.

For those of us who can’t attend for a variety of reasons, up to and including financial, especially financial, we rely on the Internet to get us through this weekend with only a modicum of spoilers. For the most part, there are no real surprises, and all spoilers are the ones TPTB want to get out their to foment interest in the coming season, which seems to start later and later.

Many of my favorite shows are an important commodity to SDCC as well as various specialty conventions throughout the year – Creation ConsWalker StalkerHeroes/Villains Fan FestToronto Comic ConFan ExpoNY Comic ConEmerald CityJIBCon, etc.

The fandom world makes it so that when you lose a character, they don’t disappear from your world like in the old days. We have entertainment magazines, podcasts, apps, teasers, fan sites, and much, much more to get us through the hiatus.

In at least two of my shows, “everyone” died at the end, and for one show, they either died or were trapped in another dimension. How will they resolve it? To be honest, we won’t know until the end of next season, and then they’ll give us another cliffhanger to speculate on for that next hiatus.

Today, the expectations to come out of Comic Con are the Season 8 trailer for The Walking Dead, Season 12 Gag Reel for Supernatural, panels for both as well as panels for Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War and Black Panther, DC’s Justice League, related Lego, videogames, and lots and lots of cosplayers showing off their talents.

Conan O’Brien is even hosting his show from San Diego with guests from the convention.

The best place to get information on the weekend’s events is the Comic Con Front Page

What are you most looking forward to hearing about and seeing?

Travel Thursday – Anxiety

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​As much as I love the idea of traveling, and the actual visiting places, the anxiety associated with the anticipation of planning is one of the most debilitating and horrible things to deal with. It’s something that needs to get done, or the trip itself is a no-go, but starting the planning…

And it isn’t even the actual planning. I love the listmaking, and the reading the tour books, researching what i want to do when I get there. It’s the starting. The monumental decision of putting the money into non-refundable tickets. Hitting that send or buy or submit button takes three times as long as filling out the information on the forms.

In the case of our Ireland trip this summer, it isn’t just buying plane tickets; it’s renting a car. There’s the anxiety of finalizing the search with a credit card number, but there is also the shortness of breath and shaking hands just thinking about driving in the UK again.

After eight years back, I thought I was ready. The memory a cry in the distance, but the closer it gets to reserving a car and planning a route from the airport to the cousins and the cities, and the ferry to Wales, my stomach jumps up into my throat and I feel a choking sensation. I can’t imagine what it will be like to get on the plane with this feeling gnawing at me.

It’s almost unbearable, and there is no earthly reason to feel this way at this moment, weeks in advance of actually having to do it.

My kids are coming, so compiled in all of that stress is the stress of pretending that there is nothing to be anxious about to soothe their own normal, rational fears, so I must hide my own, some irrational fears, but fears all the same.

I feel quite sick writing about it right now.

I vividly remember the white knuckles, the terror of every intersection, every roundabout, reminding myself to breathe, the post-it note on the dashboard telling me to turn into the left lane, always the left lane, thanking G-d at every church passed, the slight sound of scraping as I inched too close to the town wall.

It’s all coming back to me.

Not the feelings a few years later that maybe I could do it again; I got through it once, and it wasn’t that bad, but the anxious screaming IT WAS THAT BAD, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME!!!

But as with all things, it will be okay.

Between that time and now, I have received many tools to get me through this one little hitch that seems so overwhelming, but I can get through it; I know it.

One of those is a diagnosis and treatment for the elevated anxiety that falls into the not quite normal range of emotion and brain chemistry as well as the same for depression, not entirely unrelated, but the destination will assist in alleviating any extra. I have a therapy session planned for a week prior as well as reconciliation with my priest. Not for anything specific, but you know…anxiety and such.

Another thing was something I heard at one of my first masses, actually it was at my first healing mass, the anointing of the sick. My entire life, no matter how severe, no  matter how stressful, no matter how bad, I would tell myself that it would be okay. I didn’t necessarily believe it, but just saying it to myself did have a calming affect.

At that first anointing, my priest quoted St. Julian of Norwich, subseequently a new found favorite of mine.

All will be well.

All will be well.

In all manner of things,

all will be well.

How perfect, and how needed, then and now.

Yes, I’m still anxious, and som of it will be debilitating, but all will be well.

Diet Coke vs. Coca-Cola Zero: What’s The Difference? | HuffPost

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Article
As I’m drinking Coke Zero, I thought I’d throw my two cents in. First, I only drink Coke Zero when Diet Coke is not an option. That should give you an indication of how much better Diet Coke is: it’s the one that runs out.

Yes, I can taste the difference.
I would put Coke Zero as closer to Diet Pepsi, although it’s better than Pepsi. (Yes, I can taste the difference. So much so that I won’t order Diet Pepsi anymore. I’d rather drink water for free. Sorry Pepsi fans.)
I will drink Coke Zero if it’s my only soda option, especially today when I have to go for bloodwork and can’t get a McD sweet tea (which I drink about once a year).
So, there you have my unscientific analysis.

It’s Been a Long Time…

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It’s been a long time,

Since I’ve seen your smiling face.

It’s been a long time,…

Long Time by Cake

Nearly every day for the last two weeks, I’ve come here, opened a post, and stared into the oblivion of a blank page. It isn’t that I have nothing to write about; I have plenty, and I have written a few things, but nothing ready for prime time, so to speak.

I have been trying to work on other things, but I feel your absence deeply.

Of course, every time I go back to see what I “owe” like my last few prompts and my New 52 Reflections, I seize up and I think that I will never get out from under.

I have also been spending most of my time planning my family’s trip to Ireland and meditating on a prayer for my confirmaton saint for whom I am making a prayer card. (Where nothing exists, create it.)

We’ve also been to the movies quite a bit in the last few weeks as well as renting from Redbox: Wonder Woman, of course in June, but more recently, Moana, Spiderman: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Lego Batman Movie, Logan.

I thought I would share some of the more visual things I’ve done since last we were together. I’m working on another one that was inspired by the (second) homily at yesterday’s mass.

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Prompt 10/12 – Micro-Memoir and a Contest

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​I have been taking a memoir workshop since the spring of 2012. It, and a few other tools saved my life, and led me to writing again. I had never thought of myself as a memoirist or being particularly interested in sharing my life stories, but one of the things I’ve learned over the years is there is no such thing as a wasted prompt.

Any of the prompts I’ve used in creative writing and fiction can be used in non-fiction, and the reverse is the same with memoir prompts. Write your memoir or use the prompt for fiction. Write someone else’s story, with permission of course.

As this season’s memoir workshop was ending, I was hit with a bad case of writer’s block. I’ve shared a bit about that here. I also received on my Kindle the current copy of The Writer magazine, and it is almost entirely devoted to memoir writing.

There is also a contest in that issue that anyone can enter. I’ve pasted it below, but check out their website and the August issue of The Writer for more details on submitting your micro-memoir. I’d equate it to flash fiction, the fictional equivalent that I’m more familiar with.

One definition that you will need from the article itself is wunderkammer. It is a cabinet of curiosities where treasured items are curated, inspiring or reminding you of significant life experiences or dreams. 

Give [Leslie] Jamison’s assignment a try. Consider objects from your personal history as potential entries in your wunderkammer. Stock your cabinet with items from your past that inspire curiosity, awe, titillation, and fear. Review the items on your shelves and then choose one to realize more fully. Don’t go for the obvious –evoking danger through a knife, for example. Select an object with an unexpected powerful emotional charge and tell its story in one paragraph. Are you ready to let someone peek into your wunderkammer? If so, submit your previously unpublished one-paragraph (no longer than 200 words) micro-memoir to The Writer by emailing it as an attachment to tweditorial@madavor.com with the subject line “Micro-Memoir Contest”by Aug. 8th. (One entry per writer, please.) I’ll judge the finalists, and the winner will be published in our December 2017 issue! 
– the August 2017 issue of The Writer