Guest Post: The Challenges of Writing Short Stories

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl again welcomes author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about the challenges of writing short stories for her futuristic universe, the Sectors.

Thanks again Veronica for being a guest blogger today!

Thanks for having me! Always a treat to come and visit the EverydayFangirl Blog and talk science fiction romance!

The Challenges of Writing Short Stories by Veronica Scott

I usually think and write in novel length format, but in 2016 I accepted a couple of challenges to write shorter, for three very different anthologies. The collections are no longer available, so I’ve put the three stories together in one volume myself now and released them under the very unwieldy title Star Cruise A Novella: Stowaway Plus Rescue and Token Short Stories. I thought it was really important to be clear that the book doesn’t contain three novel-length works. But wow, what a title, right?

I thought I’d talk a little bit about the stories and why I wrote them. First of all, if I’m going to come up with a 9k to 25K story that has a beginning, a middle and an end, plus the HEA, I needed to work within my already established futuristic universe, the Sectors. This allowed me to show new readers a bit of my worldbuilding by giving them the feeling there is a well-defined setting, and people who have read my books will feel right at home and perhaps see some familiar characters in supporting roles. To that end, two of the stories involve the crew of my luxurious interstellar space liner, the Nebula Zephyr. Of course I’m also hoping new readers will want to dash off and read more Sectors stories after finishing these!

Pauline B. Jones and I had the idea to create an anthology that blended pets into stories of scifi romance and adventure, which became the award winning Pets In Space, with seven other terrific authors. For that project, I wrote Star Cruise: Stowaway and created one alien pet, added in a ship’s cat, and took off with a romantic suspense story. (The blurbs are given below.) I had so much fun writing this and became so intrigued with the addition of a major interstellar crime syndicate to my Sectors, that I wrote another full novel, Danger in the Stars (which released in April), and am now working on a second novel that explores some other aspects of romance and adventure the mob and the captive empaths provided. So as an author, I think taking the time to do this novella really worked for me, and readers were very kind with their reviews. We are doing a Pets In Space 2 this year, by the way with a slightly different mix of authors.

Star Cruise: Rescue was for an anthology with mostly or all Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors and there was no central theme, so I brainstormed what kind of mischief my crew members might get into if they spent an evening on a planet. Fortunately around this time I read an article in Business Week of all places, discussing curated events for the very wealthy. I had an ‘a ha’ moment about how the bored, rich ‘Socialites’ traveling on board the Nebula Zephyr might end up taking a crew member with them to such an exclusive event and the trouble that might ensue.

The third anthology was Dealer’s Choice, for the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention and was a limited edition paperback, only handed out at Linnea Sinclair’s Interstellar Bar & Grille event. (I was a co-host.) There was no way I was going to miss a chance to be in an anthology with Linnea Sinclair and to have my story edited by her as part of the process! She gives great notes by the way. The unifying theme of the collection was to involve a scifi casino as the setting. Now I do have a casino on the Nebula Zephyr, but for some reason I wanted to write a story in the style of a classic Western, where the hero rides into town, gets involved with the local problems, falls in love with a dancehall girl and….HEA ensues. So I put the story on a space station with a casino, but still in the Sectors. The Golden Token is the title of this story.

I find I enjoy writing the occasional short story or novella as a change, and it can be something of a ‘palate cleanser’ for the Muse, before diving back into my longer novels. I was also happily surprised to have the characters in the Stowaway novella prompt me to now write two more novels that hadn’t been on my mind at all. I seem to be able to hit the different word limits of each project, which is satisfying as an author. I think my biggest challenge or frustration perhaps is that I tend to take my time for my characters to reach the point where they experience physical intimacy, so a novella or short story from me doesn’t give the full flavor of one of my novels, which do usually contain a few moderately warm bedroom scenes. (I’m a 3 on a 5 point scale of steaminess.). I’d definitely consider doing another anthology project someday, besides the Pets in Space series.

Thanks again for having me as a guest here and I look forward to guest blogging here in the future!

As a special treat, here is an excerpt from one of the short stories The Golden Token.  Charlie has just arrived on the space station and expects to connect with his next ship immediately but learns there’ll be a delay of several days:

He plucked his ticket from the man’s fingers, taking a glance to see how much oxygen tax he was paying. “Wait, there’s some mistake here. I’m not staying on the Station.”
Tongue between his teeth as he concentrated, the station agent reviewed the information on the screen before him. “You’re hopping a ride on the Centauri Dawn to your destination in Sector 46, right?”
“Yes, but she’s supposed to be docking later today.”
The clerk shrugged. “Updated info as of an hour ago. Ran into some rogue comets. She won’t be here for three days. Be glad she’s coming at all, would be my advice.” A small alarm sounded and the man held up one hand. “Hold on, this could be your lucky day.”
“I fail to see how.”
“Says here you’re arrival number one hundred for this cycle and entitled to a golden token, redeemable at the Hall of Good Fortune.” He handed Charlie a large, fake gold coin, embossed with a dragon on one side and blank on the other.
Astonished, Charlie flipped the coin over. “You must be kidding me. Nobody uses metal money these days, not even in a backwater Sector like this.”
The clerk said, “That’s for gambling at the Station’s casino, up on Level A. Only place to get drinks, gamble, have some fun. Depending on your preferences, of course. The menu’s not as extensive as it used to be in the old days. Kumisarc Corporation’s always cutting back.”
In an effort to stem the tide of the now-garrulous agent’s information, Charlie asked, “This station got a hotel?”
“Temporary housing only for non-residents, rents by the day. I can reserve you a unit.”
Charlie scanned the lobby. There were a few seats on the far wall and he knew he’d seen some in the arrival area.
“Security don’t allow vagrants,” the man said as if reading his mind. “No camping out in the waiting areas. Even with a valid transfer ticket.”
He stifled a growl of irritation, drumming his fingers on the counter. So far this station was a racket, trying to separate him from his credits and doing a good job of it. “How much for the room?”
Not surprised to be quoted a predictably exorbitant price, Charlie set the useless coin on the counter while he transferred the credits, got his code key strip and picked up his bag, ready to make the best of his unexpected layover.
“Hey, don’t forget the token.” The clerk held it up before tossing it to him. “This plus a few credits’ll get you a drink or a spin of the roulette wheel. Not good for much else.”
Charlie made a one-handed catch and slid the disc into a pocket on his utility pants.
“No open carry weapons, by the way,” the clerk said, leaning over the counter. “Gotta keep them stowed in your baggage. Security does a body scan before anyone gets into the casino. They get real upset if they see weapons. Had a few incidents with hotheaded miners over the years, trying to settle their personal grievances with blasters. Tempers are short these days.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak!

STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY PLUS RESCUE AND TOKEN SHORT STORIES is available via Amazon, iBooks, B&N and Kobo.

Star Cruise: Stowaway: Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
Star Cruise: Rescue: When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?
The Golden Token: Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

Author Veronica Scott

Author Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Interview with a Fangirl: Annalise

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Annalise Ophelian, who is an award-winning documentary filmmaker (MAJOR!, Diagnosing Difference), queer psychotherapist, and Chihuahua fetishist.

Annalise with Boba Fett in Orlando at the DisneyWord Galactic Nights event.

I first became aware of Annalise through the interview she gave on Episode 44 of the Fangirls Going Rogue podcast and I was able to briefly meet her in person last month at Star Wars Celebration Orlando.

Welcome Annalise to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I probably only started using this term a few years ago, like around 2015 when I attended my first Star Wars Celebration. But my Star Wars fandom started when I was 4, in 1977 after seeing A New Hope in the theater. The following summer, it played at the theater near my house in Fort Collins, CO at the 10 cent matinee, and I went every single week. I was Princess Leia for Halloween, had action figures, read along to the children’s books with cassettes with my younger brother. In the early 1990s, when there were only the EU books and comics and not much else for Star Wars fans, I became a huge Star Trek: TNG fan, that franchise started me going to conventions, which I’ve continued attending throughout my adult life, and also collecting trading cards and such. So geek fandom has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

I’m so grateful for social media, especially as a woman who loves geeky things, I did not find community until the advent of social media. And I can’t image how Looking for Leia would even be possible without social media, because women’s fandom is so vibrant on-line, particularly in the arenas of podcasting, instagram, and blogging. I’m able to connect to a much broader group of women across geographic locations, and I think it’s also served to help broadcast women’s fandom in a much more accessible way. Women don’t need a publishing contract or a corporate sponsor to create and disseminate art and commentary about their fandom, it proletarianizes media and digital access.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

Summer of 1977, right after I turned 4, was the first time I saw Star Wars, and the following summer I saw it 10 times in the theater. Star Wars was definitely love at first viewing, I’ve talked with my mother about it and she’s said “Yeah, we offered you other summer activities, but all you wanted to do was see Star Wars.” And space fantasy is my favorite genre, I never got into Tolkien or D&D. I did love ST:TNG, but I was more in love with the social allegory than the sci fi aspect, although having said that I did have technical manuals for the Enterprise D, so that’s something.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I feel like Star Wars fans are some of the kindest fans I’ve ever met. I’ve been to three Celebrations, and at every one there’s this joy in attending and knowing that every human around you will happily engage in a conversation about Star Wars. The sort of posturing or “geek cred” thing I associate with Reddit or other forms of (predominantly male) fandom doesn’t come across to me so much in Star Wars fan community, and working on Looking for Leia I’ve been really moved by how women’s fandom shows up in their lives. Female Star Wars fans are hard core! I’m talking levels of geekdom preserved for sitcoms, we’re a deeply passionate, committed group. I’m queer-identified and I came out in 1987, so I’ve been an active member of LGBT community for quite sometime, and I’ve always relied on that community for mirroring and support and safety. But when I attended my first Star Wars Celebration, I felt more at home and among my people than I ever had before. I felt like I could show up fully, like I was understood and understood others, there was this comradery and this language, both spoken and unspoken, and it was just blissful. I remember coming home from Anaheim and having this sort of culture shock, it was jarring not to be sitting on a floor talking with people about Star Wars for seven hours a day. I also think Star Wars fans are unique in the way we can love a thing and also have multiple critiques of it and these things don’t cancel each other out. There’s a nice duality there, it’s very both/and: I love this thing; and I hate this thing; This is my favorite part; and this is the part I want to be done better.

I also love how so much of the Star Wars universe is fan created. Characters who are unnamed on film and have no lines get back stories and complex relationships in fandom, and this fandom informs canon and vice versa. So the creativity and love of story that Star Wars fans have is deeply inspiring to me, especially because I’m not a fiction writer or a narrative filmmaker, as a documentarian my work is about observation and consolidation more than creating something entirely new. So that sort of creativity is inspiring.

What else do you Fangirl about?

I’m a huge Disney fan, lifelong Disney fan, I live in Northern California but generally have an annual pass and make it to Anaheim several times a year. Next year for my 45th birthday, I’d like to go to Disneyland in Shanghai and Tokyo, and then I’ll have been to every Disney park in the world, and my mother and I have taken two Star Wars Day at Sea Disney cruises and are booked for our third next spring. I was really happy when Disney acquired Lucasfilm, I felt like these folks know how to take care of my childhood, and they’ve certainly proven that to be true. And I love that my two major fandoms now live in the same place, and I can wear head to toe Star Wars gear and be perfectly dressed for the parks! I joke with my partner that I’m basically a teenage boy, I only want to see Marvel and Star Wars movies, basically anything with super heroes or explosions in space, and I love sci fi and fantasy TV shows, and I never pass a comic store without going in. Because of “Looking for Leia” I’d say my Star Wars fandom, which is usually pretty central, is definitely occupying all of my bandwidth right now!

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

I think it’s funny how we gender things. Like droids, why do droids have gender? We assign qualities to gendered fandom that I think are arbitrary. Princesses are for everyone, and warriors are for everyone, and these can be two different categories or one category. Having said that, I love seeing how women show up in fandom, because one thing that is true of geeks is that we are often drawn to these stories of outsiders struggling to find their way in the world because they mirror our own struggles, our own sense of alienation and dreams of belonging and comradeship and heroism. Right now, my favorite thing in the world is how women have taken Claudia Gray’s concept of “Huttslayer” Leia from “Bloodline” and completely redefined the cosplay and character associated with “Slave Leia,” totally upending the male gaze and reclaiming the agency and self-determination of that character. To use a phrase I heard repeatedly when asking women about female characters in Star Wars, that’s badass.

What cool Fangirl related project or projects are you working on that you would like to share?

I am currently working on “Looking for Leia,” a documentary about Star Wars fangirls. Those that want to learn more or Fangirls interested in Getting Involved can visit www.annaliseophelian.com or www.lookingforleia.com!

Thanks again Annalise for answering these questions and letting us to get to know you and your fandom better.

Everyday Fangirl Asks: First Star Wars Collectible

First Star Wars Collectible

May 25th marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars and of course the beginning of the Star Wars merchandising revolution.

I asked my friends in the various Facebook Groups I belong to what was their first Star Wars Collectible.
Pippa Jay
I bought a Battle Damage X-wing with birthday money. Unfortunately my sister broke it by slamming it against a door. I hung onto it for 20 years before accepting I’d never be able to fix it. Items I’ve owned the longest – an intact B-wing and a slightly damaged Y-wing (though I still have the often missing missile) which I’ve had for 30 years.

Cynthia Sax
I bought an R2D2 action figure after the first Star Wars released. We were very poor. We didn’t eat every day. (Yes, in North America, that still happens.) So it was a huge investment for me and one my parents didn’t approve of. All five of my siblings played with that R2D2 also. We loved that action figure into nothing. I move quite a bit and don’t currently have any Star Wars merchandise.

Laurie A. Green
Over 20 years ago, I bought a huge framed poster for my office wall that says “Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Star Wars.” It features artwork of the original cast along with some of the timeless wisdom that’s often been an inspiration to me when I needed it most: “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try,” “Anger, fear and aggression lead to the dark side,” and “In seeking your destiny, patience is your ally.” A lot of decor has come and gone from my office walls over the years, but this poster still remains.

Jean Walker
A Star Wars bath towel, with the artwork from the movie poster. We still have it, although it’s VERY threadbare and we never use it any more.

Athena Grayson
My Star Wars Sheets that we got in the late 70’s(?) I remember having them on my bunk bed, and we got rid of that when I was 7 or 8 and almost fell out a window when I fell out of bed (which I apparently did a lot as a kid…which explains some things… To this day, I am still a flailer).
My mom and dad threw out all the Kenner stuff. To this day, the entire family is kicking ourselves over it.

Lindsay Buroker
I bought just about all of the books when they started coming out. I don’t think I’ve ever bought any toys or anything like that.

Pauline Baird Jones
Yeah, the Timonty Zahn books remain favs of mine in the SW universe.

Melissa Aires
When my kids were preschoolers I was SAHM with a limited budget for books. We went to many yard sales and at one I picked up a whole box of Star Wars paperbacks. I read them then mailed them to my brothers up in Montana–my oldest brother still has them, along with his huge scifi paperback collection..

Chris Wescott
An R2-D2 cookie jar and I still have it, but after I saw the price they’re asking for one on e-bay, I might be tempted to sell it.

Lynn Watson Smith
Jedi Master’s Quiz Book when I was a probably around 16 years old. I still have it decades later.

Andrea Cardinalle Vetter
Ok, I am showing my age, but I purchased the movie when it first came out on VHS. Oh, and the comic books that came out every week at the local grocery store.

Darlene Reilley
An R2D2 alarm clock. No, I sold it for five times the cost. The longest owned Star Wars item is a pair of earrings crafted by a friend. I’ve had them for twenty years and they aren’t going anywhere.

Jayne Fury
When New Hope came out (in the1970s) I was in the lines that first day and I purchased the playbill in the theatre lobby. I had it up until a few years ago when it got lost in a move. It had movie stills, design sketches, and cast and director bios. I hauled that thing around with me for thirty years or so until it was lost :/

From The Cantina Cast

Tom Burke
It’s horrible to say but I remember quite well going to this local toy store, in 1980, with my two other 9 year old friends and while 2 caused a disturbance in another aisle, one would use pocket knife to separate clamshell from cardboard and then pocket a few SW figures under this method. This may have occurred a few times over that summer

Honestly I think the first thing I bought with my own $ was a simple black hat with the SW Logo on it from Suncoast Video (remember those in the mall?) like the one worn by C Thomas Howell in ‘Red Dawn’

One of my oldest & favorite pieces is the program my father got me at the theater in 1977. My brother in law gave me 35mm film reel for trailer of ‘The Phantom Menace’ and poster from the lobby (from theater he worked at) and of course my original glasses from Burger King

Andy Leavy
I bought a Lightning McQueen Toy Car that was made to look like Rebel Pilot Luke

Eric Gijsbertus Onkenhout
I remember my first ever Star Wars figure was a Stormtrooper that I still have. Then as an adult I remember raiding Toys R Us in 1995 for POTF2 figures.

Joao Stinson
Honestly the first Star Wars thing I ever owned was probably the Pepsi product cans in 1999. Then I got a Darth Maul poster sometime after that. Remember, your co-host of the Cantina Cast didn’t actually watch the films until the release in 1997, as I was born in 1982, it kind of was just past my childhood, so I got in late.

Paul DePaola
I only have one of my vintage figures and it’s my favorite. It’s the vintage Anakin Skywalker ghost mail-away figure. It constantly reminds me of all the larger meanings behind the saga.

Interview with Author J.L. Carter

It is a pleasure to welcome J.L. Carter author of The Sky Regency.

Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Sky Regency could be best summed up as “a Jane Austen story with sexy aliens”. I wanted to play with the world “regency”, which literally means a change of governance while a ruler is absent. The new governance comes in the form of an extraterrestrial entity. An alien species with human appearance people chose to call “Sky Men” (the notion of space was quite primitive at the time).

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Yes, a lot of significance! Even though the novel can be seen as sci-fi, it borrows the codes and setting of Regency-era romance. Therefore, all the characters’ names (first and last) had to remain accurate to the place and era. However, I did take some liberties for a few ones, as I launched a contest for my first readers to have their name appear in the story (either as humans or aliens) and the characters reflecting their personality. It is my way of thanking them for their great support!

Oh, and there’s also a character that is a reference to a famous Mark Twain novel (you’ll have to guess this one!)

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I think it goes all the way back to my childhood. I was the only girl child in my family and all the boys (brothers and father) were into sci-fi. Only my mother read Regency novels quite voraciously, and so I was raised with this two vastly different influences. Growing up, I gained the geeky personality of my brothers while staying a hopeless romantic, just like mom. As a first-time author, I wanted my book to be a synthesis of these two worlds… And so, The Sky Regency was born!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Actually, the book often deals with the themes of madness and remaining sane. I identify with Margaret, the main character, who is sometimes seen as an escapist but knows how to separate dreams and reality, even when her own reality is challenged.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Lots and lots of historical research on Regency-era England. I wanted to explore the basis of what made this period so memorable in British History, from fashion to architecture to the political environment. There are many references to actual historical figures, including King George III and the Prince Regent. George III was known to have developed dementia in the later part of his life, which triggered the Regency Act, but it was never officially revealed how he developed it. I thought seeing spaceships and being visited by aliens could be a theory 

What makes you laugh?

SNL, my geeky husband, politics (sometimes).

What makes you cry?

Hatred, onions, politics (sometimes).

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’ve always been a fan of epic series, either historical or sci-fi, which explores entire civilizations, real or fictional. Star Wars of course comes to mind (I named my second daughter Leia!). I think one of my favorite writers would be Philip K. Dick. Even though his stories are essentially short, he always managed to build a futurist world that is believable and add a suspenseful plot that keeps you turning pages. The Sky Regency is obviously inspired by The Man In The High Castle, one of his finest works to me, as it masterfully imagined an alternate History, based on the idea “what if the Nazis won World War II?”

Thanks J.L. for letting us get to know you and your story better.

THE SKY REGENCY by J.L. Carter is available for pre-order, FREE with KU!
Release Day: April 30, 2017
All she wanted was a change.
All he wanted was a mate.
It’s 1810, and Europe is at war as Napoleon stages his great march across the continent and the British Empire battles the threat. King George III’s illness leaves him raving about sky invasions—rants that his courtiers dismiss as the thoughts of a madman.
Margaret Swinton has her own problems; unwillingly promised to Julian Barwick, Duke of Bridgewater and a royal insider, she struggles to find feelings for him, something that her family cannot understand.
However, History will soon be transformed when strange lights start to appear over England: a new invader with a power that easily overwhelms the primitive British forces. As George III repeals the Regency Act, Margaret meets Aidar, the gorgeous and dreaded Prince of the Sky Men.
Margaret quickly finds herself trapped in a deadly, deceit-filled love triangle in a world that has changed forever. The stakes are high, and one wrong move could easily spell disaster…

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/nu5dDH
Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon CA : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon AU : https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B06XBGXFCZ

More about J.L. Carter

J.L? Carter was born in small town Texas from an avid Regency romance reader and a sci-fi geek. As a result, she was destined to marry a Jedi Duke and be trained to become an a**-kicking lady.
Growing up as a financial analyst in Austin, she used to write kinky fan-fiction on the back of Excel spreadsheets. Thankfully, her boss never found out (but his secretary did!).
When she’s not writing, J.L. likes to read sci-fi and paranormal romance books (the more fangs and claws, the better), try not to burn everything she cooks, Netflix with her husband and raise her two kids to not become as weird as she is.

At Star Wars Celebration We Are Family

At Star Wars Celebration We Are Family

Part of my Star Wars Family waiting in line for 501st goodie bags picture by Kevin M. Reitzel

Part of my Star Wars Family waiting in line for 501st goodie bags picture by Kevin M. Reitzel


Many of those that attended Star Wars Celebration Orlando were all about getting autographs from Star Wars celebrities, like Mark Hamill or Hayden Christensen, watching the latest Star Wars trailers with thousands of fellow fans or buying exclusive Star Wars merchandise for their collections. However, for me, the goal for this Star Wars Celebration was to meet and hang out with my friends in the Star Wars Fan Community, who I met via social media. I am happy report that I not only met this goal was met, but well exceeded my expectations! I felt that each one treated me like a member of their family, one big happy Star Wars Family!

My Many Encounters

Just a few of the many friends I encountered throughout the event

Just a few of the many friends I encountered throughout the event

I knew that as an active member of the Star Wars community, I had a small following. However, I did not realize that so many would recognize me among the sea of people at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. I was very surprised at how people many shouted my name while I was walking around and wanted to meet me. I am very humbled by all this attention and I really appreciate every single one who stopped and talked with me! It was a real honor to encounter each and every one of you!

Fellow Star Wars Fangirls

Fangirls happy about cupcakes from left to right: Patty Hammond, Margot Mays and Melissa Villy

Fangirls happy about cupcakes from left to right: Patty Hammond, Margot Mays and Melissa Villy

At this Star Wars Celebration, I was able to meet many of the Fangirls in the Star Wars community that I have been wanting to meet in person. Many of these Fangirl encounters were unplanned and unexpected, but made my Star Wars Celebration Orlando experience so much better! Because of these unexpected, unplanned encounters we got got to hang out and Fangirl flail over all the things we just did or saw on the convention floor.
John Boyega on his way to the Star Wars Show Live Stage

John Boyega on his way to the Star Wars Show Live Stage

One of those Fangirl Flail moments was when John Boyega walked by four of us Fangirls while we were just standing around talking behind the Star Wars Show Live Stage. There was much love and many Fangirl flails from all these encounters, especially when many of attended the Fangirls Going Rogue Podcast Panel.  Thanks to all my fellow Fangirls! I really appreciate each and every one of you as Sisters in The Force! 

Families in The Force

Skywalking Through Neverland meet up at EPCOT picture by Brian Sims

Skywalking Through Neverland meet up at EPCOT picture by Brian Sims


Star Wars Celebration Orlando not only gave me many opportunities to meet, in person, many of those I met via social media, but I was able to spend time with them as well. I would not be the person I am today without all the people I have met and interacted with on social media. Each person I encountered really made me feel that I was indeed part of their family, a big, happy and supporting family! Thank you to everyone I met and interacted with at Star Wars Celebration Orlando and for confirming that we are all one big Star Wars family!
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Patty Hammond, Pattybones2, is the Everyday Fangirl from Michigan. You can find her on Twitter @PattyBones2 or blogging at everydayfangirl.com, TheFutureofTheForce.com, TheCantinaCast.com or TheBeardedTrio.com talking about Star Wars and much more!

Interview with a Fangirl: Nikky

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Nikky Winchester!

I first became aware of Nikky through her efforts to organize the NZ Leia Day, which is hoping to beat the World Record for ‘largest gathering of people dressed as princesses’.

Welcome Nikky to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

Looking back, I’ve clearly been a Fangirl ever since I saw the original Star Wars at the age of 5. I have vivid memories of running around the playground as Leia (I had long hair). I also played “Han Solo’s young brother who was a Storm Trooper but was really on the Rebels’ side”. (As you might imagine, The Force Awakens made me very excited indeed!) The next thing to hit me was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was first on the radio when I was 6. And the final nail in the coffin was discovering Tolkein and Asimov when I was 10. There was no hope for me after that! 😉

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Facebook (my social media of choice) has helped hugely. These days I’m living in Wellington, New Zealand (aka Middle Earth) and while it is an incredible place, there’s not a lot of people here, especially compared to London (the last place I lived). Knowing that whenever I open my phone or laptop I immediately plug into like-minded people across the world makes me feel connected to my tribe in a way that I never experienced as a child.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

Here’s my ages when I started loving the following:

    Star Wars – 5
    Hitchhikers Guide – 6
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture – 7 (I went to see this with my grandma and I remember being baffled that she was bored by it! I was utterly entranced. Ah, how easily a 7 year old is pleased.)
    Hobbit/LOTR books and Asimov: 10
    Narnia and Pern: 11 (I was probably a bit late to Narnia, but I fell hard and fast.)

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

What I love most about fandom is the inclusivity and openness (when fandom is done right, of course…). Going to Worldcons is such a liberating feeling – suddenly, I am surrounded by thousands of people *just like me*. Wow. It’s such a rush. Gets me every time.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Being an Laketowner in The Hobbit films 2 and 3 reignited my love for Tolkien, and has led to me producing some very silly Hobbit music videos. Our most popular, “Who the ‘ell is Tauriel?”, has gained over 40,000 views so far 🙂 We have a new one coming out soon, called “Rescued by Eagles” (a Beatles/Hobbit mashup!).

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

I went through some tricky periods as a child/teen when I was embarrassed to admit to my fangirliness, but in my 20s I learned to own it, because it’s an integral part of who I am, and why should I be ashamed of being myself? I am geek, and I am proud.

What cool Fangirl project or projects are you working on that you would like to share?

Apart from organising NZ Leia Day on 3 June (and I better not forget to sort out a costume for myself!!!), a Beatles/Middle Earth mash up video “Rescued by Eagles”, which is due out by the end of June, and a Star Wars music video (which I’m yet to start planning…) which will be out before Star Wars Ep 8 is released in December, it’s a quiet year 😉 Oh, and I’m in the process of creating a community hub and cafe for my village – not fangirly but it’s still going to be awesome.

Thanks again Nikky for answering these questions and letting us to get to know you and your fandom better.

Agony and Excitement at SWCO

Agony and Excitement at SWCO

Well I have experienced two days of Star Wars Celebration Orlando.  For me this experience has been both frustrating and exciting.

The Agony: Lines

At any convention you expect lots of lines, but Day One of the Star Wars Celebration Orlando is the worst I have ever experienced.

EverydayFangirl waiting in line to get in the doors

EverydayFangirl waiting in line to get in the doors

My husband and I arrived to the convention center on Day One at just after 5:45AM. Due to the organizers having a single entry point into the Convention Center, the line to just get in through security was over 1 hour and 45 minutes and those that arrived later, experienced much longer wait than we did.

Many of us were waiting in the woods just before dawn

Many of us were waiting in the woods just before dawn

Even when we finally got into the event, there were lines everywhere, even the vending machines had a line.

Want line for vending machine

Want line for vending machine

Fortunately, ReedPOP was able to correct some of these long line experiences very quickly.  Day Two went smoother with less lines getting in due to having multiple entry points.

The Excitement: Seeing and Meeting Social Media Friends

Despite all the lines, my favorite moments of the event so far is meeting and hanging out with friends who I only knew through social media.  This is one of the reasons that going to an event like this is worth all the agony that might be encountered.

Just a few of my exciting encounters with Social Media friends

Just a few of my exciting encounters with Social Media friends

 

I am looking forward to the next two days and find out what adventures and of course, the people I will discover while wandering around Star Wars Celebration.

I will be continuing to post my adventures here and of course via Twitter @PattyBones2.
Are you at Star Wars Celebration Orlando?

What adventures have you experienced?

Star Wars Celebration Coverage


Star Wars Celebration Coverage

This EverydayFangirl is at Star Wars Celebration Orlando and will be running around covering as much as I can!

This time I actually have some swag to give away! These awesome buttons!


I cannot wait to share with you my upcoming Star Wars Celebration adventure!

Stay tuned!

Interview with a Fangirl: MandaTheGinger


I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is a great pleasure to interview fellow Fangirl, Amanda Cherry aka @MandaTheGinger on Twitter.

MandaTheGinger is an actor, author, mom, and nerd who recently returned to the Seattle area from a year abroad in Berlin, Germany. She’s a contributor to Tosche-Station.net who never misses the opportunity to extoll the many virtues of Princess Leia. I became aware of Manda through my interaction with her in the Star Wars Fan Community via Twitter.

Welcome Manda to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl. It is an honor that you took the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When do you realize you were a Fangirl?

I think the first time I saw the term in use, I was like, “Hey, that’s me!” I’m super into the things I’m into, and I love that there’s such a thing as the FANGIRL moniker- I wear it with pride.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Oh, gosh… there’s a long story here. I’ve written fanfic since before that term had been coined, and years ago I was bullied out of a fandom by people who decided (for reasons unknown to me) that they didn’t want my writing on their website. That scared me away from engaging with fandom online AT ALL. Many years later, I had a fan (now friend) reading a Star Wars fic I wrote encourage me to come talk SW on Twitter. And I’m so glad she did! I started out following Pablo Hidalgo and it just grew from there. Now I follow and am friendly with several well-known Star Wars personalities and bloggers, have had articles published, am a contributor to Tosche-Station.net and the Thrawncast, and ChairPrincess of the Carrie Fisher Memorial gala during Celebration Orlando. All of that is thanks to Twitter. I was even able to trade tweets and be friendly with Carrie Fisher before she passed. Had it not been for social media, that could never have happened. I absolutely credit the online community of Star Wars fans and pros for the awesomeness that is my life these days.

When did you first see Star Wars or other favorite fandom, such as Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

You can probably look up exactly what year this was, but my guess is that it was 1984 or so. We had HBO at home and they were showing all three Star Wars films back-to-back-to-back. My mom had it on while I was playing and I looked at the TV just in time to catch the speeder bike chase in ROTJ. And there, on my TV, was a lady – with flawlessly braided hair – out-shooting and out-flying these guys who were clearly professional soldiers. And I was enthralled. I said something to my mom about it, and she told me, “That’s Princess Leia.” Now, can you imagine a more exciting thing to a 4 year-old girl than that? SHE’S A PRINCESS!!!???!!! That was the greatest thing ever. I sat and watched the rest of the film only to learn that she also has THE POTENTIAL FOR MAGICAL POWERS!! And thus began my life-long love of Leia Organa.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I have learned that fandom is what you make of it, that there are good and bad people with good intentions and bad intentions anywhere you care to venture, and that maintaining a good circle of positive, inclusive, trustworthy people is key to happiness. These are all lessons that have come out of fandom and made everything in life better.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Although Star Wars pretty much takes up my life right now, I’m also into other things. I’m a big fan of Star Trek- The Next Generation being my absolute favorite of the properties. I was even part of a Star Trek fan series years ago. And I’m a Harry Potter fangirl as well. I spent five months working at Harry Potter: The Exhibition, and it was the best job ever. I’m a poster girl for Slytherin- I even coach the Slytherin team during the Rat City Rollergirl’s Hitditch Cup!

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

We fangirls need to stick together. Seriously. When I see or hear women in fandom tearing each other down it really bothers me. There are enough things in this world that work against women that we’re not doing anyone any good when we turn on each other. Disagreements can and will happen, but in the end women in fandom need to have each other’s backs.

Anything else you want to share with us that is coming up soon?

I am the ChairPrincess of the Drowning In Moonlight gala honoring the life of Carrie Fisher during Star Wars Celebration Orlando. During Celebration, I will be onstage as moderator of the anti-bullying panel on the Star Wars University stage and a performer in “Whose Line is it, Alderaan?”.

Thanks again Manda for taking the time from your very busy schedule to answer these questions.

#SWCO: Last Minute Tips

#SWCO: Last Minute Tips


We are now a week away from Star Wars Celebration. Many of us are doing are last minute planning for this event. I know I am!

Below are some guides and tips to help you with last minute Star Wars Celebration planning:


Skywalking Through Neverland SWCO Survival Guide Part 1
http://skywalkingthroughneverland.libsyn.com/157-star-wars-celebration-survival-guide-part-1

Skywalking Through Neverland SWCO Survival Guide Part 2
http://skywalkingthroughneverland.libsyn.com/158-star-wars-celebration-orlando-survival-guide-part-2


Star Wars Celebration Essentials

Star Wars Celebration Essentials: Junior Edition

Star Wars Celebration Planning Tools

Star Wars Celebration Packing Tips for those flying to the Event by The Dorky Diva

Finally, do not forget to check out the Star Wars Celebration App. Not only will this help you with panel planning, but it is very handy to have during the event for last minute changes. This available for both Apple and Android devices:

Hope these help your last minute planning! See you next week at Star Wars Celebration Orlando!

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