Join me to find out how I like my new job, the exciting plans I have for the upcoming year, and so I can give a personal thanks for your personal friendship!
Please note, the official start time is 20:00 because I want to make sure not to start it before I finish my first full day of work at the new job. If I finish sooner, I will open the room earlier. This is, after all, an exciting time for me. My first new job in 18 years, and the first of four steps on the route to make me a better man, and much, much happier!
This event is opened to everyone who claims to know me! All of my software colleagues, all of my fellow authors, fellow science readers, fellow Doctor Who fans, fellow cosplayers, fellow Electric Car drivers and enthusiasts, all of my Equal Rights Amendment sisters and brothers in arms, all of my National Popular Vote Interstate Compact supporters, all of my avid gaming friends, all of my friends abroad except those in Europe—have your kip, mates—all of my fellow Toastmasters, all of my fellow aviators, all of my fellow musicians, tous mes amis qui parle français oder Deutsch или по-русский o italiano, my acting friends and my friends who eschew meat!
The only thing I ask is you be respectful, kind, and know that I hope you all consider any friend of mine a potential friend of yours!
There is a password to this event. It’s not hard to guess if you know me but if you want to know, and you are reading this on from Twitter, message me, on Tumblr, message me, on LinkedIn, again, message me, or join me via the Facebook event. Or, just comment on this blog, with your email address, and I will mail it to you.
Today in my friend C.J.’s Author Meetup, the wonderful PR person, Ami Neiberger-Miller came and spoke about what goes in to promote your brand. As usual, C.J. held a wonderful event and I was able to get some great advice on how to increase my public presence to help sell my books, my speaking engagement, screenplays, acting performances, and my many advocacy issues.
The first question you must ask yourself: What are your personal goals? Who are you writing for? Personally, I am not sure. I think I write for folks who want to escape reality, who want to get away from their dreary lives and see what could be. Who want to see what science teaches us and what the future will bring. Who like fast cars and fuel efficient cars and cars based on domestic energy that drive themselves and help protect the Environment. Some have said no woman would ever willingly read my material. I would be sad if that were true and I don’t believe it to be so. I love it when women, men, young, old, African, Indian, Chinese, and European all love my work. But I know I need to focus.
Once you’ve decided your audience, it’s time to set goals. You need benchmarks to see where you stand and see where you need to improve. You should make sure you’re not overextending yourself either. Take some time to think about what you think is feasible and work towards that. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Once you have your goals, make a plan. What do you plan to post, tweet, share, or whatnot on which days. Make a schedule. Perhaps Mondays are Lasagna days, Wednesdays are Beach days, and Saturdays are days for green plants. Check off your progress as the month progresses. C.J. has some great books, in fact, to help you keep yourself on schedule.
At the end of the month, track your progress. Use things like Facebook and Twitter Insights. What worked for you? What was a total failure. Who are your fans? Which posts/tweets got the most likes? Where is there room to improve? Where should you cut your losses? All these questions will help you plan the next month and where to focus.
And then you repeat.
All in all, a great event. Thank you C.J. and can’t wait to see what you have planned for our next event.
I got in to cosplay a number of years ago. I was aware of it for quite a while but I really started to take an interest on a trip up to Connecticut to visit me mum. Back then I was in #CO2Fre3 or #CO2Fre2 and in those Nissan LEAFs, I had to stop a number of times to get enough electricity to get to my destination.
So, I stopped a Hotel in Baltimore to use the CHAdeMO charger and get some fuel when I passed some cosplayers going to a convention. I asked to get a picture and kept it as part of my trip log memories on Swarm, as I used to do back then.
Of course I was intrigued so when I heard about this new group, D.C. Cosplay Photo Shoot, forming on Facebook, I joined right away, getting in on the ground floor. I remember that phone call very well as I was driving #CO2Fre home from work. Sarah Brice, an amazing cosplayer in her own right, was there with the other founders. That’s when we planned out what the group would be and how it would be organized. In those early years I was more of a lurker rather than a participant.
I started going to a local Doctor Who convention, ReGeneration Who, now defunct. Seeing all those Whovian cosplays, I decided it was time for me to start building my own cosplays. That’s where I met one of my very best friends in the entire world, Ilona Hull Berberich, who is a dead-ringer for Susan [Foreman].
I was finally ready to attend my first D.C. Cosplay Photo Shoot event. I invided Ilona so I would have someone I met there and we made a great team, having a number of photos taken of us.
From that point I attended a number of D.C. Cosplay Photo Shoot events, building my cosplay database up from a since Doctor Who companion to various other media franchises, getting some great photos and making some great friends.
One of the best parts of all from those events was the Munchie Squad. After an afternoon of posing and snapping picture, we’d all gather and have a friendly meal together. I so enjoyed chatting with my very dear friends Rachael S. Norberg, an amazing cosplayer, and Kevin K. Nguyen, an outstanding photographer, and so many others! It was the perfect capstone to a great event.
I was going to do a Tegan crossplay for the convention. Ilona was coming and would be in a Turlough crossplay. We were both very excited.
I had commissioned a Tegan crossplay months before the convention. I obtained all the COTS elements of the cosplay: blouse, pantyhose, pumps, wig, and purse. I just asked the commissioner for a skirt, a belt, a jacket, and the pill-box hat. I hoped it wouldn’t be too hard. I would have done it myself but I didn’t feel up to the measuring and sewing, especially by hand.
Days before the convention my commissioner said she couldn’t do it. She really, valiantly tried, but it was just beyond her. I hold no ill will and have not asked for my money back but the whole event soured me to cosplay. I prepared and prepped for this perhaps once in a lifetime photoshoot and to come up short. It still hurts, to this day.
Today there was a D.C. Cosplay Photo Shoots event in Leesburg, VA. I haven’t been to a photoshoot in years because I have no new cosplays to share but I really wanted to go to the Munchie Squad! I miss all my cosplay and photographer friends, like Rachael, and I go to Leesburg at least once every fortnight, so it would have been no big deal.
But I forgot.
I really miss cosplay. What will you see me as next?
Tis another somber day in Richmond today. But please know, hope is far but all lost. We fought, we spoke, and the esteemed Chariman Deeds was very kind to us all (he would have made a most excellent—and lawabiding—Governor!)
I met Eileen Reavey at the Senate Committee Meeting Room 3 as the Senate was still in Virginia Session. Pam, Nancy, and all my fellow NPVIC: Virginia advocates were there and we watched with anticipation for the Committee Meeting to begin.
I was shocked, though, to see a number of luddite Anti-Vaccine women who have clearly been watching porn-star videos and disbarred British researchers far too much to understand the basics concepts of Herd Immunity and Correlation does not mean Causation. They were apparently there to taunt us NPVIC folks but we would not be intimidated. We knew we had right and logic on our side.
Eventually, the Senate Floor session the Senators started assembling. My dear friend Sen. Jennifer Barton Boysko was one of the first to appear and of course we waved at each other. Finally, my good friend Delegate Mark Levine showed up, and we supporters all gathered around to take a photo together.
Senator Deeds moved the committee along and as promised HB177: the NPVIC, was second on the docket. Mark, the chief patron, spoke first, and then Senator Janet Howell (Reston) made a motion to pass the committee. Senator Deeds stopped the motion, though, as he knew members of the public wanted to speak. The order was somewhat random but I got to deliver my years speech, which Deeds already knew, then went into my comparison of Bristol VA, vs. Bristol TN, and how although at the state and legislative level these two communities were divided, at the national level, they are a common interest gerrymandered and the solution is the NPVIC.
Senator Deeds then asked me what happens in the case of a tie, and I explained to him that only those states which were close would be required to recount. Any state that wasn’t close would not recount. And in the case of an absolute tie, say 65,321,865 to 65,321,865, then what happens is the NPVIC is dissolved for that election and each state goes back to its old way of choosing electors—typically winner take all.
One of the speakers was from Falls Church and she and her husband came to troll the hearing. They both sat in seats reserved for delegates which demonstrated them clearly as having no sense of decorum or decency. Add to that, they had the temerity to take some of the things I have said, on the NPVIC Page on Facebook, as chief moderator, completely out of context.
For instance, when I call the NPVIC a Beta Test, I do not mean it is a questionable movement that is merely a joke or that it indicates some weakness. On the contrary, when I say that what I mean is, we are very certain of our goals and the expected results, but if we’re wrong, it’s easy to repeal, while repealing a Constitutional Amendment is hard.
I could not defend my statements but Eileen helpfully was able to clarify that neither her organization, nor the official organization, was associated with them. The Grassroots Page I run, as well as our Twitter feed, @NPVGrassroots are personal interest resources used to recruit, defend, and explain the NPVIC in a friendly, rapid-response way. I hone my skills there in being able to think quickly to defend against any argument to the NPVIC and have become quite adept at addressing every concern for it, having even amicably sparred with @TaraRoss, famous anti-NPVIC debater, herself.
In the end, Mark wanted a chance to address all the detractors, but Jennifer Boysko had a quiet word with him and in the end, though Senator Jill Vogel tried to get the bill tabled, Jennifer, realizing they didn’t have the votes, made a motion to pass by until the 2021 session. Jennifer was nice enough to message me on Facebook that she was doing that but Eileen and I had already discussed the possibility so it wasn’t a surprise. But it was very nice for Jennifer to come down and tell me herself in person.
Overall, the NPVIC in Virginia may be dead in 2020, but we have a better chance in 2021, after the election is over, and we still hold out hope for Florida!
Though Eileen, Pam, Nancy, and Mark left after the vote, I was in Richmond for two more bills. Namely, Delegate Cia Price‘s HB1255 (proper Gerrymandering protections which are tragically absent from the Virginia Constitutional Amendment) and HB1256 (sets up a commission similar to the Amendment). HB1255 was sent to the Finance Committee without Amendment.
Finally, it was HB1256’s turn. Unfortunately, Senator Jennifer McClellen had spoken with legal staff and raised the issue that, if the flawed Redistricting Amendment didn’t pass, HB1256 would be null and void. Cia didn’t like this but McClellen insisted the bill be amended to work with the Amendment before it went to Finance. Cia was not happy, and neither was I.
I spoke to Cia afterwards to try and assure her that as long as McClellen’s amendment addressed the Redistricting Amendment, should that pass, but preserved HB1256 in its entirety should it not pass, that we should still support it and keep fighting that troublesome Redistricting Amendment. Senator Howell is chair of Senate Finance and as many of my friend are her constituents, I will be asking all of them to insist she make sure McClellen’s Amendment leaves HB1256 unchanged with no Amendment and works with the Amendment if it does, unfortunately pass.
The good news is that none of these bills are dead. We will have a chance on Thursday to see if we can get as pure an HB1256 as possible and get HB1255 out of committee as well, and next year, we will be adding Virginia to the NPVIC!