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Yes, ACTUAL George Lucas

…because that’s just how it goes when you adventure with this Princess.

Read the full story here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/21429759

DragonCon Thursday with George Lucas

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The Thing About Adventures

DragonCon 2018 PrincessSo here’s the thing about adventures: They are super fun to have. They can also be incredibly difficult to keep up with when you want to write about them.

In preparation for being firmly ensconced in the Northeastern US for the next few weeks, I created a pretty intense “post-DragonCon” to-do list. Yes, I would love to jump right into a new writing project and forget everything else, but everything else includes titles that moved from Createspace to KDP while I was out, NPR reviews that need to be turned in, about half a dozen non-fiction essays and proposals, and a manuscript decent enough to send to Jane and Heidi for Picture Book Boot Camp Part Deux in November.

In addition to all this important stuff, I have: 1.) Storm Chasing Essays, 2.) DragonCon Essays, and 3.) Fall Adventures up North.

See, the adventures don’t stop happening just because I don’t have time to write them all down. I just feels progressively more and more guilty about moving on with my life, while always promising to go back and catch up.

I’ve been telling everyone I’ve seen since May: Storm Chasing really affected me, deep down, in ways I’m still realizing. I came home mentally and physically exhausted, and I did a lot of soul searching. Some of this resulted in pretty life-changing decisions…or, at least, decisions that I hope will ultimately change my life for the better.  (My close friends seem to have utter faith that it will.)

In the meantime, I have my emerald green notebook right here, ready to transcribe all my diary entries, with the proper insight.

However, between then and now, DragonCon 2018 happened. In so many ways–even though it feels like I always say this–it was the best DragonCon ever. Those adventures are still fresh in my mind, broken down by each day of the Con.

The best part is, I’ve had time to process all those, too. In the last couple of years, I’ve had to shift gears so fast after DragonCon that I wasn’t even able to write them in a journal, and some of those beautiful memories were forgotten. In 2016, I was asked to be a last-minute staff addition to a writing cruise (which came with its own family drama) and in 2017 I drove home to Irma.

Now, I will never forget the fantastic time Jane Yolen and I had tromping around wearing crowns and finishing each other’s poetry, or the ten minutes I had one-on-one with Megan Follows, and I will never forget the magical performance that was “The Little Mermaid” Fairy Tale Rant Theatre (thank Jove we got that on camera!), but I know that other precious moments slipped through the cracks.

This year–this phenomenal year of adventures, I don’t want to forget anything. And yet…

Since DragonCon I’ve flown up North and had more amazing times, discovering the Fairyland that is the Colorscape Arts Festival, working in a patisserie full of very expensive (but incredibly delicious) napoleons, and hanging out with the Adam Ezra Group again, since our paths continue to cross like the strands of Pippi Longstocking’s braids.

This is why, when every five minutes someone was shouting across DragonCon that they stalked me on social media, I breathed a sigh of relief. Whether I had time to write it up in beautiful prose or not, these folks had been there for my adventures.

But now that I do have time…where do I begin?

Every so often I’ll flip through a notebook and come across a journal-type entry, in varying degrees of doneness, chronicling one adventure or another. When I have time (ha!) I put those in the Archive folder for my Exclusive Patrons. And I thank Past Alethea for her diligence,encapsulating that memory in whatever scribbles she was able.

But we have to start somewhere, don’t we?

I think perhaps I will start with DragonCon Day One: Thursday. The night of the Stygian Launch Party and Adam Ezra Concert…and super celebrity guest cameo that shocked the heck out of all of us.

I’ll be posting these adventures for Patrons Only–all accessible for only $1. Those dollars help me attend Picture Book Boot Camp, pay for the gas to get there and the hotel stays on either side. They help me get Sarah to DragonCon and buy swag for the Sideshow and get a dedicated camera, so that we will ALWAYS have recordings of Fairy Tale Rant Theatre. And sometimes, they just help me buy a coffee, or a really expensive pastry, when I’m in the perfect place to do so.

Thank you, my friends, for tagging along with me on my adventures. (Because it’s not technically “stalking” when I actually enjoy having you around!)

I treasure you all more than you will ever know.

xox

~Alethea

 

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Princess Alethea at RoberCon

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I am so excited to announce that I will be heading to Binghampton, New York September 29th and 30th for RoberCon! 

Here is where you can find me during the convention:

Saturday, September 29th

1PM – Aiming for the Middle (Grades): How to Write Fiction for Young Adults
Location: Activity Lab (second floor of museum)
Presenters: Paul D. Smith (moderator), Tamora Pierce, Timothy Liebe, Alethea Kontis, Julie
Holderman
Description: Middle-grade and young-adult fiction are among the most popular types of literature on the
market. What are the secrets of writing for youths? How do you keep young people interested in
reading? What do young readers want to read about? All are welcome as we talk about
literature for this fascinating age group.

4PM – From Dark to Light: The Different Shades of Urban Fantasy
Location: Activity Lab (second floor of museum)
Presenters: Nancy Holzner (moderator), Anne Bishop, C.W. Briar, Alethea Kontis, Deborah
Blake
Description: Urban fantasy is a broad genre that ranges from light, humorous stories to tales so dark they
bleed into horror. Panelists will discuss different shades of fantasy and where their work fits on
the spectrum.

Sunday, September 30th

10AM – Rethinking ‘Happily Ever After’: Turning Fairy Tales on Their Heads
Location: Activity Lab (second floor of museum)
Presenters: Crystal Sarakas (moderator), Alethea Kontis, Deborah Blake, Nancy Holzner
Description: Sleeping Beauty. Little Red Riding Hood. Hansel and Gretel. Fairy tales are as popular as ever,
but how do we keep adding new twists to old stories? Hear from authors who have taken these
traditional tales and given them a 21st-century spin.

11AM – The Unusual Suspects: Unexpected Creatures in Urban Fantasy
Location: Activity Lab (second floor of museum)
Presenters: Nancy Holzner (moderator), Anne Bishop, C.W. Briar, Deborah Blake, Alethea
Kontis
Description: Urban fantasy draws from many different folklores and mythologies. This panel examines
paranormal characters and creatures apart from the vampires and werewolves that have
dominated books and TV shows over the past 20 years.

12PM – Tales from the Word Trade: Bestselling Authors Share Their Stories
Location: Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)
Presenters: Anne Bishop, Tamora Pierce, Alethea Kontis, Crystal Sarakas (moderator)
Description: Every aspiring writer dreams of making it on the bestselling lists. Join us for a conversation with
three bestselling authors – Tamora Pierce, Alethea Kontis and guest of honor Anne Bishop – to
find out how they did it and whether it’s everything they dreamed about.

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Dragon Con Schedule

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We’re just 6 days away from the start of Dragon Con, and I cannot wait to see you all there!  This year is made even more special because WHEN TINKER MET BELL is nominated for a Dragon Award! If you haven’t voted yet, it’s open to everyone and I would be thrilled if you would give me your vote.

Dragon Con is filled with chances to meet up, say hi, and snag a signed copy of one of my books, here’s where you can find me!

Thursday, August 30th at 7:00pm – Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Stygian Masquerade Party – Regency VI-VII – Hyatt

Friday, August 31st at 2:30pm – 15-Minute Mentor Session – Embassy G – Hyatt

Friday, August 31st at 5:30pm – An Hour with Sherrilyn Kenyon – Centennial I – Hyatt

Friday, August 31st at 7:00pm – Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow – A707 – Marriott

Saturday, September 1st at 10am – Dragon Con Parade

Saturday, September 1st at 2:30pm – Casting Your Novel – Embassy EF – Hyatt

Saturday, September 1st at 4:00pm – Autographing Session – International Hall South 4-5 – Marriott

Sunday, September 2nd at 4:00pm – Reading Session – Marietta – Hyatt

Sunday, September 2nd at 8:30pm – When Worlds Stop Coming – Embassy CD – Hyatt

If I have any book inventory still left on Monday, keep an eye on my Instagram and Twitter to find out my Monday Mystery location will be!

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The Harmswood Academy Trilogy: Nocturne Falls Universe

The Harmswood Academy Trilogy:

Nocturne Falls Universe

Reading Order

Harmswood Academy Trilogy

Book 1: The Truth About Cats & Wolves

Book 2: When Tinker Met Bell

Novelette: “The Meddlesome Misadventures of Merri and Bright” (from Merry and Bright)

Book 3: Besphinxed

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Interested in Essays, Sneak Peeks and Exclusive Content?  Become a Patron of the Princess today for as little as $1 a month!

Even better: Click over and FOLLOW for free!

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Storm Chasing 2018: UPDATE

Okay, Chasers!
(Chasefacers? Twisters? Rainmakers? Or maybe…MY PRETTIES AND YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO)

Chris has given the green light for us to head out on TUESDAY. Hooray! The forecast doesn’t look like much until next weekend, but leaving Tuesday gives us the opportunity to take our time to get out there, test our cameras, and survey the landscape.

WHAT THIS MEANS: More hardcore work on my to-do list, which includes cleaning up one room of the house every day, so everything’s perfect when I come back exhausted (As in, I even Self-Cleaned my oven yesterday).
I will also work like the dickens to finish “The Chaos Crushers’ Day Off” before then–a tough, but not impossible feat. Part Two of the story will go live tomorrow at 8am to my $10 and up Patrons! I hope you have as much fun reading as I’ve had writing!
xox
Princess Alethea

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Are you as excited as I am? Want to help pitch in for gas, hotels, and coffee? Paypal akontis at gmail or click the Donate button on the right! (And Thank You!)

Want an ALL ACCESS PASS to Alethea’s Official Storm Chaser Diary and Pics? Become a Patron of the Princess today! Pledging as little as $1 a month gets you exclusive access!

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The Official 2018 Storm Chasing Tiara–The Full Story

If there was one thing that needed to happen before my upcoming Storm Chasing adventure, it was that I was going to need a new tiara. And not ANY tiara…a special tiara. But what kind?

Chris suggested something with lightning, which seemed cool. I was thinking maybe I could scour Etsy and find a design that suggested maybe that or storm clouds. I didn’t want to commit to something large and weighty—I prefer the lighter, more understated variety that I can wear for longer periods of time.

Other than “Etsy,” really, though, I had no real I idea of what I wanted, or where to start.
It felt a lot like when I’m writing a book and I got stuck on the name of a character…I want a good name, but I have no real preference one way or another…so I ask my friends on Facebook. What am I looking for? I don’t know. But what I’ve come to realize is that 1.) my FB friends make up an incredible creative braintrust 2.) they, and all their suggestions, are hella inspiring. A girl could do worse!

So I threw it up on the wall…suggestions for a tiara?IMG_7469

And within about 5 minutes, my friend Mandi posts a link to Etsy that makes me positively squeal. It’s Ozma’s circlet.

Those of you who haven’t read the Oz books, or haven’t seen Return to Oz, or didn’t watch Emerald City, don’t know about Ozma, Princess of Oz. As a baby she given to the witch Mombi by the Wizard of Oz, to prevent the rightful ruler from gaining the throne. Mombi turned the baby into a boy and raised him as “Tip.” (Tip created Jack Pumpkinhead.) Glinda discovered this, and forced Mombi to turn Tip back into Ozma. Kickass Ozma—with her undetermined age, fluid gender, and fairy blood—became quite the benevolent ruler of Oz.

Ozma’s book was the third installment in the Oz chronicles, and had possible the best subtitle ever. Ozma of Oz: A Record of Her Adventures with Dorothy Gale of Kansas, Billina the Yellow Hen, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tik-Tok, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger; Besides Other Good People Too Numerous to Mention Faithfully Recorded Herein.

Between Baum and Carroll, I was well-versed in quirkiness at a very young age.

The circlet in the 1900s era books, as illustrated by John R. Neill, is a very distinct O with a Z inside it. Those unfamiliar with the circlet might think it looks like lightning.
I was actually kind of shocked just how many of my friends were unfamiliar with Ozma!

But here was the kicker: Not only did I recognize the circlet and love it immediately, but it was also affordable. Made by a Bronze Smith here in Florida—www.handmadebronze.com.

I looked closer at the design…contacted the artist…and what do you know? One of my favorite tiaras—bought at DragonCon decade or more ago—was made by one of his apprentices!

And now I have a new favorite: my Official Storm Chasing Tiara!

My world may be small, but boy is it crazy magical!

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Are you as excited as I am? Want to help pitch in for gas, hotels, and coffee? Paypal akontis at gmail or click the Donate button on the right! (And Thank You!)

Want an ALL ACCESS PASS to Alethea’s Official Storm Chaser Diary and Pics? Become a Patron of the Princess today! Pledging as little as $1 a month gets you exclusive access!

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Alethea’s GEN CON Schedule!

That’s right, everyone — I will be at Gen Con this year! Here’s my schedule:

Friday

11:00 AM Boston Revising Your Story
12:00 PM Boston Young Adult, Growing Up
3:00 PM Boston Dark Stories for Kids and Teens

Saturday

12:00 PM Atlanta Support Systems for Writers
1:00 PM Austin How Can Authors Get Reviews?
4:00 PM Boston The Ins and Outs of Patreon

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And as a bonus, here’s a schedule of all Mikey Mason‘s concerts (where I may very likely be as well)

Thursday COMEDY ROCK GEEK MIKEY MASON 9-11pm Lucas Oil Meeting Room 4
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Friday FIREFLY DRINKING SONGS WITH MARC GUNN (Mikey will be performing a song or two.) 8-9pm Westin Grand IV
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Friday MIKEY MASON’S BROWNCOAT SHOW 9-11pm Westin Grand III
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Saturday COMEDY ROCK GEEK MIKEY MASON 9-11pm Lucas Oil Meeting Room 7
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Become a Patron of the Princess today! As little as $1 a month gets you an ALL ACCESS PASS to exclusive content!

 

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Royal Baker: This Month’s Cookie Reveal–Koulourakia

It’s that time of the month again! That’s right…the reveal of the cookie going to everyone on my Royal Baker tier! Last month was baklava, which is everyone else’s favorite. This month is one of MY favorites: koulourakia!

Koulourakia is typically known as an Easter cookie (thus the twisty design also used with Easter breads) — but Mom always made these for us around Christmas. They’re buttery, far less sweet cookies, and they pair fabulously with coffee and tea. (Almost like a shortbread!)

Depending on your family’s area of origin and traditions, these cookies might be laced with almond, orange, rose water, or anise. My family, happily, is of the “almond” variety. With a little vanilla thrown in for fun, too.

I still like making these around Christmas, rolling out sheets and sheets of sough while watching “White Christmas,” usually, or one of the other movies on my Alethea Yearly Holiday Movie List.

Does your family have cookies you only ever make at certain times of the year? Or things you make at a time when you’re not traditionally supposed to?

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Want to receive homemade Greek pastries every month, along with an ALL ACCESS PASS to Alethea’s Official Storm Chaser Diary and Pics? Become a Patron of the Princess today! Pledging as little as $1 a month gets you exclusive access!

 

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Storm Chasing Playlist Now on Spotify!

"Chasing Tornadoes" Spotify Playlist

It’s going to be a long drive out to Tornado Alley — Chris and I are definitely going to need some tunes to keep us company on the road and whet our appetite for the stormy weather to come!

I reached out on Social Media…and the world has responded! (I expect the FB thread to go on for days…or weeks…) I know I’m still adding songs as I think of them.

Best of all–the playlist is available to everyone! Just follow this link, and you can ride along with us!

And for those folks who want to play the “Where in the US is Princess Alethea?” home game, bookmark this link: http://skydiary.com/tracking/

We will have our beacon active while we’re chasing, so you can follow along!

This Toriphile will be Chasing Tornadoes veeeery soon!

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Are you as excited as I am? Want to help pitch in for gas, hotels, and coffee? Paypal akontis at gmail or click the Donate button on the right! (And Thank You!)

Want an ALL ACCESS PASS to Alethea’s Official Storm Chaser Diary and Pics? Become a Patron of the Princess today! Pledging as little as $1 a month gets you exclusive access!

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