Raquel Byrnes

~Edge of Your Seat Stories~

Cutest Thing EVER!

So Rebecca Enzor has an annual event that is so amazingly fun and cute that I can't...even!  This year's #PonyFest14 encourages authors to custom build a My Little Pony that depicts the character, place, or theme of their book.  

There are prizes and everything. The winner gets their pony made into a real one! I know, right?

So you go on this Pony Creator and you customize your very own book mascot.  Love it!

Pony Description: This is Charlie and she is a steampunk pony. She is beautiful and refined like the society lady she is, but with the tinkerer cutie mark because she is a mech-magician.

She would totally fit into the world built around The Tremblers, the YA Steampunk novel that I'm just finishing.

One sentence tag-line for book: Debutante or Dissenter...Charlotte holds the fate of a nation in her hands.

This is such a whimsical idea. I hope you vote for mine or any of the other adorable creations over at the #PonyFest14 site.

By +Raquel Byrnes 

They've Got the Right Idea

So I am knee-deep in revisions AND I am currently teaching a creative writing course for teens. The thing that I like so much about teaching is that it forces me to systematically explain what I do in my head at my computer.

So plot points, opening scene, triggering incident...I have to show that to young writers that are basically pansters. They sit and start writing without even caring where its going.

Thing is...

Its kind of a good thing.  Don't get me wrong. I'm a thorough charter, outliner, index card writing planner to my core.  But these go for broke, just get it out, teen writers don't ever seem to suffer from something older writers seem to grapple with.  They FINISH their stories.

They don't care that their first draft is wildly meandering and full of plot holes. Or that their main characters are given to colloquialisms and metaphors too often.  That can all be fixed in edits.  

No, I think they're on to something...

Too often we are so concerned with perfecting what we're writing before we're even finished that we don't in fact, finish.  I've had so many fellow authors start several books and not actually get to the last page because they don't give themselves the room to just...well, to just PLAY.

Writing is hard work. Yes.  It is technical and you need to hone your craft. Yes. It needs to also be fun. Because if you aren't enjoying the story. How will your reader?

So while I edit... 

I will plug away at my commas and make sure my threads are weaved, but I am also going to remind myself that I write because I love it.

What are your thoughts?  

by +Raquel Byrnes 

Gatherings and Cons

Calculating Engine

So the Gaslight Gathering is taking place here in San Diego on the 18th-20th and I am so trying to go!  It looks like a lot of fun and its STEAMPUNK!  I don't know about you, but when I find a group of people that like the same thing I do...I get happy.

I'm not only an avid reader of the genre, I also write it, so I love seeing all the inspirational cosplay ideas and creative twists on favorite characters.

Attending these events can be a shot in the arm if you're struggling with a current project or if you just want to geek out.

Some more cons to consider this next year are Dragon Con which focuses on fiction/fantasy as well as comics and gaming.

Anime Expo of course has manga, anime, and other graphic novels. If you write for these genres you don't want to miss this one.

And finally, the biggies...Comicon and Wondercon are both great places to both fangirl (or guy) out AND get your writer fix for pure creativity.

The reason I bring these conferences up now is because you should start now if you plan to attend any of these as a vendor or a fan.  Particularly the big ones, you need to get a member ID as soon as...well, now.

What do you do to get back in the creative groove?

EDIT: Some of you have pointed out that I overlooked Scare-A-Con. It focuses on horror, movies, and pop culture. They have a "Massacre-ade Ball" complete with zombies. You can be a vendor there or go as a fan to hobnob with horror movie writers and actors. Sounds fun!