My First CON – #Spartacon – Can We Just Say #WOW! My #Voyage in Life Continues!

SpartaCon-final-web (1)

My Spartacon Adventure…

I copied the first part of this from my Facebook page because of it’s relevance: 

As most of you who know me, know, I’m kind of quirky and have varied interests. Sometimes, I even surprise myself!
Lately, I’ve been sort of working behind the scenes on my bucket list. Nothing too crazy or outlandish, just stepping outside of the box and trying things I’ve always wanted to but before, either lacked the nerve or feared what those closest to me might think about me running off alone and doing something without consulting with everyone around me to see what they thought.
Well, that’s exactly what I’ve done and in doing this, I know I’ll be a happier, contented woman!
A couple months ago, I found out that one of my all time FAVORITE television shows was going to be honored with a convention, right here in Maryland! Since the series began, as those closest to me will tell you, I have LOVED this show and watched it religiously every Friday night on STARZ, for the mere four seasons it aired.
While checking out the web site, I found they were looking for volunteers for the con and on a whim, I signed up! They graciously accepted me and next weekend (Now this past weekend), I will proudly be serving the Red Serpents at Spartacon and meeting hundreds of other fans, as well as hopefully meeting and greeting (and possibly fainting j/k) some of my favorite actors and actresses from the show!
Obviously my obsession with history and historical fiction is insatiable, so to be able to support such a wonderful and exciting event such as Spartacon, has captured my imagination and given me something that for once, is solely about me and what I want to do. This is so empowering and bold that it’s given me a whole new outlook on what I am capable of! Who’d have thought at my age I’d be volunteering at a con and going off alone to meet people I’ve so much in common with yet never met face to face?
I’d like to thank the organizers of this event and especially Kelly McLeod Montgomery, Meg Snyder and our team captain, Penelope Talleur, for taking me on and entrusting me with being a volunteer. You ladies rock and I can’t wait to meet you upon the sands of the arena! I stand ready to serve!
Who knows? Next year, maybe San Diego! After all, Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales and Batman VS Superman Dawn of Justice is coming!
Wish me luck! http://www.redserpents.com/

Let me tell you all, I had no expectations going into this because I had no idea what to expect. I did however know I’m a great team player, I jump in with both feet and I also know my limitations and have no problem stating them up front. The organizers and team leaders were awesome and entrusted me to be a celebrity handler (assistant basically) for my favorite male actor on the show, Dan Feuerriegel, who played Agron!

I set out on Saturday morning, August 15th on my lonesome, and headed down to Waldorf, MD to the Blue Crab Stadium, which is a lovely venue by the way. I arrived at 8:50 AM and almost immediately went to work. My partner and co-assistant and I quickly got acquainted and divied up our responsibilities for the two day con, the first of which was simply making sure Dan had us at his disposal at all times and that whatever it took, all three of us would have a con experience we could all feel great about and remember forever.

First of all, we’re talking August in Maryland and we were in the open ended interior of the ball park. It was hot. I’m certain the temperature was in the 80’s but there was an occasional breeze which always seemed to arrive just when we thought we’d all melt.

As we sat there chatting, planning and hydrating at 10:00am, we hear, “The celebrities have arrived,” over the PA system and I turned to my right to find all of the cast members who would be in attendance, sans Manu Bennett, walking straight towards us.

I must admit, it was as surreal as surreal gets, especially since the night before, I had marathoned most of the first season: Blood and Sand, and had even dreamed about the show. There they were, the most beautiful people I’d ever seen in the flesh, walking towards us. I don’t know what I expected. Shouldn’t they be like floating or riding in on gossamer wings or something? I mean these people are fucking BEAUTIFUL. Perfect even. However, what my eyes didn’t see was something else and something even more important than their flawless skin and incredible physiques…

They were all, every single one of them, beautiful on the inside too.

When Dan approached my partner Elissa and me and shook our hands and introduced himself (Haha like we didn’t know who you were, Dan) I was immediately at ease. Real hands, real eyes, real dimples and REAL TALL. Lawd Jesus the man is a sight to behold, which explains why he’s a star. I’ve met plenty of celebrities in my life and they really do all have that something you can’t put your finger on…although you’d probably like to haha. Dan was genuine. He was truly a gentleman and a class act. Polite, generous with his time when his fans approached for autographs or photos and above all, so sweet I thought I’d need dental work when the con was over.

THEY ALL WERE. Every single one of these people were unbelievably amazing.

It didn’t matter that I barely ate a morsel of food. It didn’t matter that I held off on bathroom breaks because it was our duty to never leave him unattended. It didn’t matter that I threatened someone for not having coffee ready for him in the green room when he needed it 😉 . it didn’t matter that I probably did not sit down for more than five minutes at a time. I had plenty of water and an abundance of joy, every time I saw the looks on his fans faces when they approached his table and he smiled, again and again to greet them. The energy and electricity of it all was infectious. Not once did he complain. Not once did he even hint that he was the least bit uncomfortable. His schedule was pretty grueling but he appeared to welcome it with open arms, as he did every person who stood before him.

Can you believe I was basically forced to take pictures of this man all day for two days in a row??? What kind of bloody torture was this??? 😉 The kind I highly recommend. Watching him smile through countless cell phone cameras and Nikons repeatedly fueled my tank and kept me on my feet for nearly twelve hours.

Did I really care or concern myself with anything or anyone else around me? Well, not really, except when I had to and when it was required for me to do so and when those moments arose, I did them joyfully and with vigor.

From here forward, I’m going to paint this picture for you, well, in pictures. By all means, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Volunteer Team getting ready

Fans arriving

Manu Bennet leading gladiator training

One of the many panels at the con. This one was “The Generals.”

The generals: Dan Feuerrigel, Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett and Dustin Clare

The first of Dan’s meet and greets with his fans in his suite at the ball park.

This man makes the best faces lol I brought him a Baltimore Ravens Hat. No way was he coming to Maryland and not taking home a piece of us!

Oh, where did he get that copy of Demons & Pearls? 😉

Manu aka The Energizer Bunny dashing by. This man cannot stay still 🙂

This young man is a fabulous artist and gave Dan a print of a painting he did for him.

A lovely fan dressed in her Roman gown.

The handsome and sweet Barry Duffield aka LUGO on Spartacus. He is not only an actor and hunk of handsomeness, he is also a dedicated writer! I blogged about him a couple years ago. You can read it here: https://psbartlett.me/2013/01/30/spartacus-barry-duffield-raising-funds-for-graphic-novel/

I just don’t know what to say about this man. Liam McIntyre aka Spartacus is simply divine. He’s handsome, witty, sweet, oozes positive energy and he has this open and welcoming spirit the moment you make eye contact with him. That is something that comes from the heart.

Viva Bianca…what can I say? She is so beautiful and has such a lovely spirit. She was graceful, kind and generous with her time with her fans. Believe me, beauty is far more than skin deep with this woman, even if her character Illithia was a total shrew lol

Anatonio Te-Maioha aka Barca. You see this hug? Yep, it felt as good as it looks. What a genuine and caring man he is. He is Māori which in an of itself makes him a very spiritual and grounded person, which you can see and feel in his presence. Go check out his bio on his Facebook Fan page. He’s pretty amazing.

Check your ovaries ladies. They may have just exploded. This is Dan and an adorable baby named Jackson. Dan loved Jackson. Dan held Jackson every chance he could. This man is going to make one damn fine Daddy one day…hopefully soon. I hope his girlfriend is reading this lol (Just kidding!)

Dan with Jackson as usual. This is Vanessa Cater. She is absolutely gorgeous. Click the photo to check out her Facebook Page!

What do the stars of Spartacus do to unwind after a long day at Spartacon? Play baseball of course! This was kind of a Twilight Zone moment for me. I couldn’t believe I was watching gladiators play baseball. lol

One of many hilarious moments between Liam and Todd Lasance.

Like I said…BEAUTIFUL people. Here they are posing for a group photo with a fan…the lovely lady in Roman garb.

Look at this poor man after one day with me! I told him we could start a hair band lol (actually we were just horsing around for a silly pic) Truth is, I feel so blessed to have been able to spend two days of my life catering to this guy right here. Click the photo to go directly to his Facebook Fan Page and like it. He’s one in a million and I mean that. He’s a class act who deserves nothing but the most successful and rewarding career an actor could have. I hope he isn’t too nice for Hollywood. Love ya Dan!

 I’d also like to mention that the volunteers at this event were incredible. Everyone was on their A game and brought energy, smiles and professionalism to their positions. From the ladies and gentlemen at the front gate to the security team, celebrity assistants, organizers etc., everyone was in it to win it and win it we did!

Well….back to reality but I have to say, this weekend was everything and more I could have imagined. Being Dan Feuerriegel’s handler aka personal assistant, fan line wrangler, coffee fetcher, and photographer was such an honor. Fabulous actor, animal rights supporter, kitten and baby lover and all around awesome human being. Thank you‪ ‎Spartacon‬ for giving me this wonderful opportunity to enjoy all of these actors from one of my all time favorite TV series’.

Dreams do come true.

Advertisements

#Amazon Removing Reviews Citing the Reviewer “Knows” the #Author

I am an independent author who has now had this happen twice. These are friends/fans of mine on Facebook and I want to know how Amazon knows these people are my friends. Of course my friends are reading and reviewing my books. They are the first to even know about them! I am a small business who relies on my friends and acquaintances to spread the word for me.

This is just wrong and so unfair.

We as authors have enough challenges just finding an audience. It is completely unfair that reviews can be removed simply because our friends choose to be part of our audience.

Add to this, the two readers whose reviews Amazon removed PURCHASED my books through Amazon. These weren’t review copies. These were purchased Kindle downloads.

Where does it stop? Authors, actors, musicians and artists of all mediums are closer than ever to their fans, dropping the degrees of separation to ONE. The fans love this and so do the artists.

Apparently, Amazon doesn’t get it. 

Check out this petition for more information.

Amazon review removal

 

 

Did Ya Miss Me? I Was Off and Running Again ~ #Vacation Time

Since we scored a very nice condo for a steal for four days, this poor, (and I do mean poor!) struggling author was able to afford a nice little long weekend getaway in Ocean City, MD. I cannot remember exactly how many times I’ve been to this place but we’re talking about ME and the OCEAN so does it even matter?

Here are some highlights:

Bay bridge

This is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that connects the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the Western Shore where I live. Unless you want to drive 100 miles out of your way, there is no way to avoid this bridge. Get used to it. We all do.

 

Our cheap but swanky little pad for the weekend. Okay so not swanky but super cute, cozy and homey.

Our cheap but swanky little pad for the weekend. Okay so not swanky but super cute, cozy and homey.

Ahhhh at last!

Ahhhh at last!

toes

Sweet little lunch on the balcony prepared by men in swim trunks.

Sweet little lunch on the balcony prepared by men in swim trunks.

Sister in law from heaven...she knows all about vacations.

Sister in law from heaven…she knows all about vacations.

Very important supplies!

Very important supplies! Nothing but the best for us…lol It was so good too!

Yours truly ready to party!

Yours truly ready to party!

Beautiful evening with friends on the Chesapeake Bay at Seacrets.

Beautiful evening with friends on the Chesapeake Bay at Seacrets.

I SWEAR there was food too and I highly recommend the smoked tuna...to die for!

I SWEAR there was food too and I highly recommend the smoked tuna…to die for!

beach ready

Ready for the beach baby! Sorry, no full length mirror so the balcony door had to do.

Barn 34

Breakfast! Poached eggs with sauteed spinach, fresh tomatoes and avacados at a new favorite place, Barn 34! A bit pricey but the food was excellent!

breakfast

Breakfast was also provided by room service…aka my brother in law Bill. Even better because it was included in the price of our room and we didn’t have to dress up and go out to eat it! Pancakes, western omelets and country fried potatoes!

sky shot

Spectacular sunsets every night…those are free.

sunset on the bay

Here I am again, ready for a fun evening! Tonight, all you can eat steamed crabs at the Crab Bag!

Here I am again, ready for a fun evening! Tonight, all you can eat steamed crabs at the Crab Bag! They had to roll me out of there!

the fog

The view from our balcony at about 6:45am on May 30th.

 

after the fog

Same view an our later. Hello Atlantic Ocean my love!

Yeah...this place. The oldest bar in Ocean City, MD. Mainly locals only. Most pro basketball players cannot come here unless they sit down the entire time. It was a blast and the beers were cheap!

Yeah…this place. The oldest bar in Ocean City, MD. Mainly locals only. Most pro basketball players cannot come here unless they sit down the entire time. It was a blast and the beers were cheap!

Marina

Directly across the street from the Harbor Inn.

Harbor Inn

 

Coming Home

All wonderful things must come to an end. Hello Maryland traffic. Back to the real world. 😦

 

 

 

It Is Hard To Be A #Woman

All of these things apply if you LET them. I choose to be the woman I WANT to be and so far I’m doing a damn fine job of doing it MY way.

woman
If believing in myself is thinking like a man, then I agree.
If acting like a lady means I have manners, respect for others and class, then yes, I act like a lady.
If looking like a young girl means I smile a lot and my spirit shines through then yes, I look like a young girl.
I’ll admit I do work like a horse but it’s because I want to.

#Pirates and Pump it Up Weekend

What a whirlwind of a weekend!

Saturday consisted of a fabulous day at the Fells Point Privateer Festival with my best mates. I’ll not deny I did partake of a wee bit too many dark and stormys–and a few other things that Captain Morgan had to offer but hey, pirates, right? 😉

Here are a few captures from our fun day!

My NEW hat!

My NEW hat!

Love this hat!

Love this hat!

IMG_1234

Captain Morgan checking out my D&P Card

group IMG_1246 drinks IMG_1239 flag IMG_1233 Gitana Mermaid Parrot IMG_1198 IMG_1189 Kim hatIMG_1268 piu piu2 pui3pui4pui5

 

Easter 2015 – My Family is So Wonderful!

A day in pictures…

Easter6

I’m ready to go to MeeMaw’s Sis!

 

Easter2

And they’re off!

Easter5

MeeMaw, are you cheating?

Easter7

I have this bag full of eggs! And a runny nose!

Easter8

I’m just so happy to be here!

Easter9

The cutest cousins ever!

Easter11

More cute cousins!

Easter14

Bigger cousins 🙂

Easter16

Cheesing with the future daughter in law.

Easter 2015 Easter3

Easter10 Easter12 Easter13 Easter15

Easter4

DONE! 🙂