FanX 2019

This weekend from Sept 5-7 is FanX, Utah’s biggest fan experience. People from all over the world come to share their love of comics, superheroes, fantasy novels, TV series, and movies. Cosplayers wander the halls, New York Times bestselling authors hang out playing DnD, celebrities come for signings, photo ops, and to be interviewed on the main stage.

And I’m there too.

Thanks to the friendship and support of some truly amazing individuals, I was able to connect with the event organizers and join the brave pack of panelists who share their expertise on everything from costume building tricks and hints to the finer points of novel writing.

On the panel: Robert J. Defendi, M.K. Hutchins, Tom Durham, yours truly, and Corey Moss

The first panel I was part of talked in depth about literally everything hobbit. We covered where they come from, how they influenced the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, which Hobbit was our favorite, and on and on. There was a bit of a love fest about the Silmarillion, which strangely doesn’t really discuss hobbits more than a few mentions.

My favorite hobbit – Samwise Gamgee’s father, often referred to as the old Gaffer. Why? Everyone says Sam is their favorite character because he’s the true hero in Lord of the Rings. Frodo couldn’t complete the task of destroying the ring on his own and would have failed without Sam. Throughout the books, Sam relies on lessons learned from his father to get him through tough times. So I would argue that without the influence of the old Gaffer, Sam wouldn’t have been able to be the hero he needed to be.

On the panel: DJ Butler, Eric Swedin, Mark Avo, me, Cody Goodfellow, and Johnny Worthen

My other panel focused on the American Apocalypse and we discussed everything from religious belief in the end of the world to the nature of the word “apocalypse” which literally means revelation, not destruction as most would assume. We debated on what the real apocalypse might be and where the idea that this would make good fiction stems from.

The strongest argument of what’s going to end it all for us currently is either the AI apocalypse or something horribly bacterial. Although, the supervolcano hiding under Yellowstone was a strong contender.

Come for the free bookmarks! Stay to chat about anything from writing to awesome cosplay.

As part of being a special guest author, I get to do two official signings. One was yesterday night, and the next Saturday at 11. If you’ve been dying to get your hands on a signed copy of Stonebearer’s Betrayal, I’d love to see you!

This year I’m not cosplaying as anything, it would have been one more thing to worry about and I’m supposed to be playing the part of a professional author. But … I saw some amazing clothing items I might have to get …


Don’t forget! The Labor Day sale of Stonebearer’s Betrayal ends this Saturday. You can grab the ebook for FREE over on Amazon this week only!

Here’s a handy link!


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Power Word: Fearless

We’ve reached the end of the power word series and I saved the best for last. Today’s word is FEARLESS.

While many choose to define fearless as ‘being without fear,’ I define it differently. Being fearless means to acknowledge your fears and then go out and do the thing that’s perhaps a little scary. For me, it’s anything that might result in confrontation. Public speaking is one of those things. It’s scary and this year I’ve done it far more than I’ve ever done it before.

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

I’m an introvert by nature. Most assume the outgoing, somewhat loud side of me they see in public means that I’m super extroverted – it’s not true. The extroverted persona I wear at conferences is me grabbing the idea of being fearless and doing what needs to be done to best represent myself as an author. At conferences that means being brave and talking to strangers and presenting ideas in classes and panels.

If you’d asked me about this years ago, the idea of attending conferences with the intent to meet as many amazing people as possible and making myself seen, would have reduced me to a pile of anxiety ridden mush. It’s taken time, experience, and lots of watching my wonderful fellow author friends show how they handle being at a conference table, or behave on a panel, or teach a class.

The key to being fearless is developing confidence. Confidence comes from deep within and must be grown over time. It’s a personal understanding that you are a person of worth and have lots to share with the world. It’s also understanding that everyone around you deserves to be treated like they are also an interesting person and letting them shine.

Be fearless my friends!

For the complete list of power word posts, head over to Power Words of 2019.


Check it out! I’m doing something super brave and attending FanX officially as an author for the very first time this September. If you’re headed to FanX, I’d love to see you! Search the FanX site for my profile (or just click here) to see the most up-to-date listing of the panels I will be sitting on. You can also find me hanging around the Printed Garden vendor table.


Thank you dear reader for stopping by! If you’d like to be notified of future posts here at JodiLMilner.com, be sure to ‘subscribe’ using the handy links.

You can also find updates and post notifications on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram – chose the one you like the most!

FanX 2018

It’s FanX weekend and the streets of downtown Salt Lake have transformed from uptight and respectable to downright weird. This season’s characters are heavily from the Marvel universe. Everywhere you look there’s a Gamora or Peter Quill. Dozens of Tenth Doctor are mixed in with a healthy assortment of stormtroopers wander through the food courts.

And I’m all for it.

In 2015 you would find me wandering the con as a snooty General Kala accompanying the fabulous Emperor Ming. Probably one of our most ambitions costumes of all time. We spent many weekends sewing and piecing together the intricate designs. We even entered the costume contest and were invited to the stage show as finalists in the group division. By the way, if you haven’t watched the 1980 Flash Gordon, you’re missing out.

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In 2016, we took out cosplay in a different direction and tried out large-scale puppetry, with a Miyazaki character affectionately known as No Face. The perk of a puppet is that hubby and I could trade who wore the puppet and who acted as the handler to make sure No Face didn’t accidentally walk into a wall or trip on anything on the floor. We designed him to grow, so at random he’d jump up to over 12 feet tall and startle anyone we happened to be nearby. He could also shrink down to about 3 feet and interact with kids.

 

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Tall No Face

 

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Mini No Face

This year we will be bringing No Face again on Friday only as he is a crowd favorite. We would have loved creating a new costume but this year has been super crazy with the kids getting older, huge projects coming to fruition, and, well, life.

If you are at FanX this weekend, give a shout out in the comments. Even better, if you are cosplaying this weekend, tell me all about it! I’d love to hear what your favorite characters are.

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Brief writing update –

We finalized the cover for my book this week, stay tuned for the big reveal!

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Meet Cosplayer Rachel Funk

I had so much fun with last friday’s cosplayer feature with Robert Smith that I’m going to do it again, this time with Robert’s partner-in-costume Rachel Funk.
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Growing up, Rachel watched all the classic sci-fi including Star Wars, Star Trek, Buck Rogers, and Battlestar Galactica. She loves reading anything, but has a special place in her heart for books with sci-fi elements, fantasy, and magic. Before she met Robert she only knew the basic comic book characters, thanks to him she knows them all much better.

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Winning the Special Judges Award for Craftsmanship, and crazy happy about it!

Rachel’s first comic con experience was attending the 2012 Las Vegas Comic Expo. She had no idea how many people dressed up for those type of events and went wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt. In fact, at the time she hadn’t even heard of cosplay. Looking back, she wishes she had known because she has some mad skills when it comes to creating awesome stuff.
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Since then Rachel has attended many events. Her most memorable cosplay experience is when she got to go up on stage in front of a huge crowd at the 2012 Denver Comic Con to receive the Special Judges Award for Craftsmanship for her Lady Mechanika costume.

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Partners-in-fun Rachel and Robert

Rachel recently finished creating a robe for Robert’s Teifling costume and is now working on a formal skirt for Lady Mechanika and bracers and a pop-up gun for Harly Quinn. With luck and a lot of work they should be ready for this September’s Salt Lake Comic Con. She also has sketches for a rockin’ steampunk Queen of Hearts and a steampunk Mad Hatter for Robert. She is also working on ideas for a wheelchair compatible steampunk Cheshire Cat. She hopes to have those ready by next year’s Salt Lake Comic Con.
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When asked, Rachel shared that her secret dream cosplay would be a kick-ass Halle Berry style Catwoman.
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Rachel’s biggest fangirl moment is when she got a photo-op with none other than Captain Mal, also known as Nathan Fillion. When he put his hand on her shoulder she totally freaked out.  She was like: OMG OMG he is touching me OMG OMG breathe!

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Quick, strike a pose! Check out how awesome this costume is!

For those who attend the cons, here is a special note to you from Rachel:

I wish more people would take the time to look at the costumes people put together. I am an attention whore. I love getting my picture taken and talking to people about my costume and who my character is. My problem is, my character is obscure, she is not from DC or Marvel. She does not have a big movie. Hardly anyone knows who she is…they just think I am a random steampunk girl. I don’t have a big or flashy prop. Bob has both of those things going for him (well-known character, with an interesting twist and a flashy, catch your eye prop) so everyone wants to get a pic of him or with him. No one wants pix with me :/
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I’d like to thank Rachel for coming and being a part of my blog today. I had a lot of fun learning more about her and I hope you did too!
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Attention fellow cosplayers, fantasy artists, and writers! If you want to be featured here like Rachel and Robert, and my guests in the past, drop me a line, I’d love to have you!

Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2015

This upcoming weekend my city will be flooded with an alien invasion. That’s right. Call the INS, Avengers, and Ghostbusters – The Salt Lake Comic Con FanX has arrived. From Jan 29 – 31 the downtown area will be flooded with Whovians, Trekkies, all manner of anime, DC and Marvel fans, Potter fans, Star Wars, and so many more that I can’t even count.

To pay homage to this three-day party educational event, today’s post comes from the land of fan created memes.  Well that, and with the kids out of school this week, this is all the concentration I can muster.

Enjoy!

Image from hiddlememes.tumbler.com

Image from hiddlememes.tumbler.com

falls for the bad guy

To check out the guest list or buy your very own ticket (or buy one for me, pleeeese?) go check out the Salt Lake Comic Con webpage. For even more information, and also a whole lot of fun, you can also go to their facebook page.

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And if you are going, be sure to go find my friends at the Xchyler Publishing Table in the Purple 8 zone.  Tell them Jodi sent you!