News about the Hogwarts Alumni Ball!

The ball committee is working hard making decorations, inventing potions–I mean, cocktail recipes–and preparing for a grand time. 

I have a bit of news to add. To encourage folks to arrive on time, we have a special gift for the first 20 to come through the door: Time Turners! Yes, now you know what happened to the Ministry supply of them. I have them. 😀

Please help us get the word out to wizarding folk everywhere to come join us! Tell your friends, post on your social media, email lists, etc! Here are the details again:

-Wizarding costume ball! All Wizarding or Magical costumes are welcomed! (I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Timelord or two visiting, as well.)

-This Sunday October 26th, 7pm to 11pm at the Elks Lodge in Central Square, Cambridge, MA. One of our committee members described the bar area there as: “Slytherin Speakeasy.” Well, okay, then!

-Tickets are $20 day of event/at door, $15 in advance online at http://hogwartsalumni.weebly.com

-There will be prizes for best costumes!

-Cash bar: only those with ID proving they are 21 or older will be allowed to drink. (18+ may attend, though!)

Please share the graphic around too!

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My MISTI-Con Literary Guest Interview

MISTI-Con asked all the literary guests to answer 5 interview questions and they said instead of answering in email, we could video reply. So I did!

As part of MISTI-Con‘s slate of literary guests, Cecilia Tan will be speaking on panels, reading from her work, and autographing books at the con! In this video she talks about what she found so inspiring about the Harry Potter books and Harry Potter fandom, gets into her Hogwarts robe and tie, and discusses how the freedom to be a fan is important to her life as a professional fiction writer.

Among the many topics: the desire to create original fiction that is as addictive and delivers the same emotional “kick” as fan fiction, how Draco Malfoy took over her life, incredible and amazing things her fans have done for her, and what she’s looking forward to the most about MISTI-Con!

A Few Short Excerpts (in text, not video): Continue reading

Friend me on myHogwarts … and who wants to meet up after Harry and the Potters on August 18?

So I’ve been poking around MyHogwarts a bit! I was too busy to do much in the beta so it’s pretty much all new to me.

There is a “library” where one can upload “books” — i.e. fanfics. So far I didn’t see any dire warnings about content, but to be on the safe side I put up my PG-13 Draco flashback story “Five of Swords.”

Check it out here: http://myhogwarts.co.uk/library/book/777-338-7-2012-226/

My student profile & “wall” is here: http://myhogwarts.co.uk/ravenna.c.tan/.

To ‘friend’ people, after you log in, you go to their profile page and hit the “add” button. At the moment there’s no function for finding friends, but they’re rolling out features bit by bit. (The fanfic uploader used to say no italics or bold–now there’s a little WYSIWIG editor installed.)

I joined the Wizarding Cities of Boston and Cambridge, but the ability to create events isn’t enabled yet, so I couldn’t create an event for Harry and the Potters on August 18th!

Sooo…. who wants to grab early dinner after the Harry and the Potters show on August 18th at Mary Chung’s? Mary’s is good, cheap, and unperturbed by large groups, whether wizards or muggles. (I will likely be in costume!)

It’s an all ages show, 1pm at the Middle East Downstairs (in Central Square, Cambridge), $10 to get in. Tickets can be purchased in advance to the show, and if I recall correctly last time Harry and the Potters played there, they sold out. Link to the buy-on-the-web site: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=4726985&pl=mideastrestaurant

I figure dinner will follow… around four-thirty? Five? No idea how long the sets for Potter Puppet Pals and H&thePs will be, so that’s a guess…

Making a costume for Ascendio…

Some of you have seen me post or heard me talk about the costume I’ve been wanting to make to wear at Night of a Thousand Wizards at Ascendio. Well, the con is coming up in *mumble* weeks, so I have to really get on the stick.

The costume is meant to be appropriate for hot weather: so it’s a “summer” Quidditch outfit. That mostly means the sleeves on the robe are going to be a bit shorter than I’d usually do.

The other thing that’s summery about it is I decided to make it a New York Yankees quidditch outfit. Because I thought it would be fun to combine my fandoms. And you know the Yankees are completely the Slytherins of baseball. (Everyone loves to hate us, but we’re clearly the most ambitious and best…)

So I’m sitting down at the sewing machine tonight (while listening to the Yankees/Mets game on the Internet radio…), right after I post this. Below, some of my preliminary sketches of the costume. I can’t draw for beans, so apologies they’re not beautiful. :-)

The main question I still had hanging last night was what to do for footwear. Boots? Sneakers? Athletic shoes of some kind like boxing shoes? The predominant color of the costume is WHITE (with thin, navy blue pinstripes). So the shoes ought to be white, I think. White Chuck Taylors?

I came across these white Doc Martens on Amazon last night, though, so I ordered them. Not completely sure they’re the right thing, but they might be! I figure I’ll see how it looks after they arrive. I might wait to make the shin guards until after I try the boots on. Suggestions welcome!

The other thing I’m not sure what to do about accessories. I want to have a broom but can’t fit one on the plane. Oh and I’m still deciding if the wand holder should be part of a forearm guard or shin guard. I might put BOTH in so that I can shift it depending.

OK, images below the cut! Continue reading

Hogwarts Alumni Party: Wiscon Rendition

Wow, that was fun, and very different from the last one of these parties I threw (at Arisia in January). This time I am at Wiscon, the Feminist Science Fiction Convention in Madison, WI. Here’s how the party went!

I decorated with some fun fabrics I had at home, one which is very ravenclaw (and added my scarf): Continue reading

Teaser clip from The Fanfiction Project film (of me…)

Hansi Oppenheimer posted a teaser clip of the interview she did with me this past weekend for her documentary film on fanfic. Here it is from Youtube!

She’s trying to raise $1,800 to get to Ascendio in July to film interviews there, too, so if you want more info about the film, there’s lots of details at her IndieGogo page. (You don’t have to make a donation or order the DVD to see all the info…) Here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/104624

Slash cast on Sex-positivity!

If you’re not a regular listener to the Slashcast podcast devoted to slashy fanfic and related topics of interested to slash fans, you might want to give the most recent episode a listen. Instead of focusing on a specific fandom, this is the “Sex-positivity” episode.

The “Insider Interview” is with Dr. Sarah Frantz, a scholar on romance literature who talks with Emma Grant about one of my favorite subjects, BDSM in romance, and I’m the guest interview on the “Pimp My Fandom” section, but since this is a non-fandom specific segment, we’re talking about PWPs as a fanfic form.

PWP, or Porn Without Plot, or Plot? What Plot? (depending on who you ask) is of course near and dear to my heart, since I read and write fanfic for the “sexytiems” in particular.

More description and links for where to download the podcast can be found on Livejournal, here: http://slashcast.livejournal.com/29726.html

A bit more Snape-ish calligraphy

(First, a quick note to anyone who has been getting malware and virus warnings when visiting any of my websites or circlet.com — they’ve FINALLY killed the infection. I hired a professional team from Sucuri.net who not only eradicated all the malware code, they hardened my WordPress installs, and they will keep watch for one year! Good stuff.)

Now, on to the arty stuff.

I undertook to practice two different alphabets here. One is a form of uncial that has a sort of Celtic look to it (having been the style used in many of the church manuscripts) and the other a more formal Gothic blackletter.

I’m better with the formal ones right now because I’m very stiff as a beginner. I have a bit more control and my inaccuracy and untrained muscle memory are minimized with the very formal letters. Whereas the uncials seem — to me, anyway — to want a bit more expressiveness in the stroke and I don’t yet have the fineness of technique to be able to be more expressive without just plain getting things wrong, letters too big, too small, strokes not matching as they should, etc.

Anyway, first “The Half Blood Prince” in uncial: Continue reading

Calligraphy fanart, Snape-ish

So, I am not an artist. Art class was always one of my favorites in school, but I’ve never had any talent at drawing or really in transferring either what I see or what I imagine onto paper. As the de facto art director for Circlet Press over the past 20 years, I’ve become a decent designer, though, and as a writer by trade, the one form of visual art that has continually drawn my interest since I was a teenager is calligraphy.

So, I’ve dabbled in it here and there. But when a creative pursuit (such as writing) is one’s livelihood, that often doesn’t leave a lot of time for other creative hobbies. Acting, playing music, and lettering have all taken back seats so far back they may as well be in a different bus from me. (Writing fanfic is by far my favorite hobby… and it’s indistinguishable from what I do for a living, except for the non-commercial part.)

But on February 20th I decided I wanted to spend about 15 minutes a day practicing my lettering and learning/inventing some alphabets. About five years ago I actually set up a calligraphy work desk and now, five years later, I’m finally USING it!! So, under the cut, picspam of the letterings I’ve been doing!

Continue reading