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Princess Adventures: DragonCon 2018

A new episode in The Princess Adventures has been posted — READ IT HERE.

“Dragon Con 2018. Sunday. The day I didn’t win yet another award…”

So much happened on the Sunday of Dragon Con that I had to break it into two parts. This is Part One: The Dragon Awards.

By the time I’ve finished chronicling this year’s Dragon Con, I will have written around 10,000 words. But you know what? I’M GLAD. I’m glad because I am able to process and chronicle this year’s amazing convention and all the magical things that happened to me. Magical things happen every year, but until now I have never had the time (or made the time) to tackle this assignment and see it all the way to the end.

I always give myself some sort of ridiculous arbitrary time limit, but my Dragon Con Report was never going to be done the week after Dragon–I should have never expected it to be. Nor should I put such pressure on myself in the future. Because now that it’s almost done, I feel…whole again. Well, almost whole.

There are still all those storm chasing diary entries and photos…

I’ve released these Princess Adventures to all my Patrons at the $1 Level and up. I do this because it is my main source of income. Funding these adventures has to come from somewhere!

THANK YOU, PATRONS!

xox

Princess Alethea

DragonCon 2018 Sunday Part One

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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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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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Any Way The Wind Blows…

Storm Chasing Update!

Hello, everyone! So…the plan was to get the heck out of Dodge as soon as we could to chase those storms. I got the cookies for the Patreon Royal Baker Tier done ahead of time and got my to-do lists together. I decided to bring along some mailers, so that I could send out whatever exciting Treasure Box treasures I encountered on the road.
But, plans change. This is why we stay flexible.
Worry not — Chris and I ARE STILL GOING STORM CHASING. We’ve just been delayed. By weather. Or lack thereof. Seems there was a wee bit of activity a couple of days ago, but long-term models currently show a bunch of blah. Followed by more blah.
As eager as I am to go (yes, my bag is packed with everything but medicine and my pillow), it doesn’t make sense financially to drive all the way out there if nothing’s happening.
What does this mean for my Patrons? Well…a couple of things. First off, I will be throwing myself full throttle at that massive to-do list I compiled, meaning you’ve got a BUNCH of fun posts coming! And…you know…maybe even some VIDEOS,because I’ve really been chomping at the bit to do some more of those. Who cares if the library is in the middle of being torn down and put back together? Am I right?
I happen to have just received my hot-off-the-press copies of The Unicorn Hunter…and I’ve never done an “unboxing” video before…
What does this mean for the Treasure Box patrons? Well…it just so happens that I was recently celebrating busted ankleversary with my dear friends in the Adam Ezra Group (This was SUCH AN AMAZING SHOW! More on that later)…and they just so happened to have a bunch of their new CDs available…and I maybe just so happened to get them all to sign it for you.
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The album is called Hurricane Wind–which is sort of perfect for this month’s storm chasing theme!
And if Chris and I end up storm chasing into June (which at this point it looks like we might), then all my Treasure Box Patrons will get pressies! (Hint: If you’ve ever wanted to pop up to that level, NOW’S THE TIME!)
Thank you to all my Patrons for helping to make this storm chasing adventure a reality…I CANNOT WAIT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU!
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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Your Storm Chaser Princess of 2018

So…guess what I’m doing this summer?

Why, I’ll be gone with the wind, my darlings. More specifically…I AM OFF TO BE AN APPRENTICE STORM CHASER.

Storms have fascinated me ever since we studied the different cloud forms in elementary Earth Science. They were a sizable element of my studies when I was on track to be a Marine Chemist, back in college. Twister was fascinating to me…mostly on an incredibly geeky scientific level.

So when my friend—author, photographer, and Master Storm Chaser Chris Kridler made an offhand remark last year about how I “should go chasing with her sometime,” I made sure she didn’t forget it. She said, if I was serious, I should block out the entire month of May.

May Chasing CalendarI’m pretty sure she didn’t think I was serious.

Chris (http://skydiary.com/) has 20+ years of storm chasing experience. I began calling myself her “Storm Chaser Apprentice,” which made her chuckle. (Expect that t-shirt to be made available on Amazon soon.)

But I want to be clear—I am not a risk taker. I am doing this for the science, and the experience. “Amateur Storm Chasers” are those yahoos that hear about a weather report and hop in the car armed with their phone and ZERO scientific equipment. I had a boyfriend convince me to take a ride like that once. ONCE. Driving blind into threatening cloud formations scared me half to death. Because IT IS A STUPID THING TO DO. DO NOT DO THIS THING.

I knew that if I ever went Storm Chasing again, I would do it right.

So here we are, on the cusp of May, and I am officially your Storm Chaser Princess of 2018, reporting for duty!

In the weeks to come, I’ll be posting all about my prep for storm chasing: everything from packing (t-shirts are so important!) to playlists and cameras and Trip Goals, to test runs, info about Chris, and advice she imparts to me as we gear up for the road.

I’ve been saving up money to cover food, gas, and hotels—if you’d like to throw a few bucks my way to help with any of this (or the occasional Starbucks), you can PayPal akontis at gmail or click the Donate button on the right.

If you’d like an All Access Pass to my daily Storm Chasing Diary and all my photos, go over to Patreon and become an official Patron of the Princess! Even a pledge of just $1 a month will grant you access!

If you can’t afford Patreon but still want to follow along, worry not—I’ll be posting some updates here and there, and on social media (FB Live is still a pretty great feature). I’ll definitely be making the occasional appearance in Chris’s photos and blogs. (You should bookmark her site  anyway, because TRUST ME…her photos are SO AMAZING.)

Plus, over on http://skydiary.com/tracking , you will be able to check in on us at any point when we’re on the road to see exactly where in the US we are at any given time! (More details on that later.)

As each day passes, I’m getting more and more excited. I’m looking forward to riding Shotgun with the Master…and having my Patrons right there with me in the front seat!

Chris says that Storm Chasing usually begins around second week in May, but she’ll be watching the skies. As soon as everything feels right, I get the call and we hit the road!

OMG I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUYS. Seriously. I want to start packing, like, now. And at this point in my career, I pretty much hate packing.

But I have to be ready to go. Because in May…THE CHASE IS ON!

xox
~Princess Alethea, Storm Chaser Apprentice

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There’s Still Time to Help Me Get a Car

Alethea car photoI haven’t had a car for almost two years now. I’m working hard to make this happen, but it’s been a slow process. Tempest helped me set up a site on YouCaring for my Birthday that we called the Birthday Car Fundapalooza, where folks could help pitch in, if they so desired. We made it up to about $1200, but realistically I need to get to $3000 to make this whole business a reality.

And there’s always Patreon — subscribe to the Wonderful World of Princess Alethea and get a certificate proclaiming you a member of the Royal Court of Arilland, a smile in your email every Monday, a random goodie in your mailbox every once in a while, the chance to enter to win mystery prizes, and–depending on your support level–get access to exclusive content!

Sarah and I have made it our goal to get the monthly pledges on my Patreon page up to $1000 before the end of the year. We’re going to be putting out a LOT of fun content this year.

Want in on the fun? CLICK HERE. We’d love to have you join the club!

 

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