Some Things Are Meant To Be

The universe works in strange, mysterious and wonderful ways.  

For some reason, I didn’t buy tickets to Celebration VII in Anaheim.  I kept stalling and saying it wasn’t important. But let’s be honest, me not going to the world’s largest Star Wars convention just doesn’t make any sense. None what-so-ever. Everyone saw it but me.   My wife had been bugging me for months to go, but we don’t get a lot of vacation time together and I felt guilty going.

We have annual passes to Disneyland and had planned to be in Anaheim the last day of CVII and spending a few days in Disneyland. In the early hours of last Sunday, I received an email from Rebelscum.com announcing that I had won a full event pass to CVII.

I tried to not get too excited.  It was a week before the event.  There was no way we were going to find a hotel close by.  The hotel we had booked was at the north end of the park.  Not close to the convention center at all.  So I decided to see what was online and I found a hotel a block away that had a last minute cancellation.  I had a cancellation clause on my current hotel room.  Everything seemed to be falling into place.   

So next weekend, we’re leaving a few days early and I get to go and be part of the world’s largest Star Wars gathering. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century.  I’ve wanted to meet Mark Hamill since I was three. I have waited thirty-seven years. It’s time.  

Yours giggingly,

CWC

A Galaxy Not So Far Away

I love Star Wars. I am not ashamed to admit that. I have done so since my first memory. I was three when the first movie came out and it has been a part of my life ever since. As a child it was action figures, t-shirts and watching the movies on repeat. As an adult, it is more action figures, more t-shirts and watching the movies on repeat.  The one thing that is different is that I have taken my love to the next level. Costuming.  I love cosplay and costuming.  I love building costumes and going out into the world and making people happy.  

I love Star Wars. I am not ashamed to admit that. I have done so since my first memory. I was three when the first movie came out and it has been a part of my life ever since. As a child it was action figures, t-shirts and watching the movies on repeat. As an adult, it is more action figures, more t-shirts and watching the movies on repeat.  The one thing that is different is that I have taken my love to the next level. Costuming.  I love cosplay and costuming.  I love building costumes and going out into the world and making people happy.  

There is a lot of drama in cosplay, but I make the conscious choice to stay out of it.  I’m too old for drama.  I joined the 501st so I could work on costumes with other like-minded fans and share my love of Star Wars with others.   Anytime the drama gets to me, I do a 501st troop to Phoenix Children’s Hospital or similar and then none of it matters. That was the reason I got into Star Wars costuming to begin with. I love Star Wars, I love cosplay, I love costuming and I love making people of all ages smile. I am part of the Star Wars, zombie and Steampunk communities and the drama is everywhere. I don’t care who has a better costume than me or who has a worse one. I don’t care who looks better, who has bigger boobs or if they are screen accurate. We are adults who dress up as fictional characters, have fun, make yourself happy and make others happy. It’s simple really.

Star Wars costuming was obvious choice if I really thought about.  It just took me a while to get there. I am currently working on a Biker Scout and Old Republic Trooper. When the new movies come out I’m sure I will find something else to inspire. This is only the beginning.

MTFBWY

CWC

first memory. I was three when the first movie came out and it has been a part of my life ever since. As a child it was action figures, t-shirts and watching the movies on repeat. As an adult, it is more action figures, more t-shirts and watching the movies on repeat.  The one thing that is different is that I have taken my love to the next level. Costuming.  I love cosplay and costuming.  I love building costumes and going out into the world and making people happy.  

There is a lot of drama in cosplay, but I make the conscious choice to stay out of it.  I’m too old for drama.  I joined the 501st so I could work on costumes with other like-minded fans and share my love of Star Wars with others.   Anytime the drama gets to me, I do a 501st troop to Phoenix Children’s Hospital or similar and then none of it matters. That was the reason I got into Star Wars costuming to begin with. I love Star Wars, I love cosplay, I love costuming and I love making people of all ages smile. I am part of the Star Wars, zombie and Steampunk communities and the drama is everywhere. I don’t care who has a better costume than me or who has a worse one. I don’t care who looks better, who has bigger boobs or if they are screen accurate. We are adults who dress up as fictional characters, have fun, make yourself happy and make others happy. It’s simple really.

Star Wars costuming was obvious choice if I really thought about.  It just took me a while to get there. I am currently working on a Biker Scout and Old Republic Trooper. When the new movies come out I’m sure I will find something else to inspire. This is only the beginning.

MTFBWY

CWC

Shadows Of Yesterday

Over the years I have written a significant amount of poetry. Most of it was done during a very dark time in my life.  I was depressed and suicidal.  So the content is extremely negative. It was about failed relationships, hating myself and the darkness that had all but swallowed me.

Three years ago, I compiled over 150 of these poems into a book that I intended to self-publish called “Blood Roses”.  That was as far as I got.  I couldn’t and still can’t make up my mind if I like them or not or if they are something I even want to attach my name to.   They are not a true reflection of who I am now.  Most of them were written almost ten years ago.  That was a different life and a different me.

When I am depressed, I read through them and they are great pieces of work.  They are angry and foreboding.  They are the innermost thoughts of someone with depression struggling to find the light and failing.  They are tears, they are screams.   When I am happy, I don’t recognize them and think they are all crap and overly dramatic.  I can’t put my head in the place I was at when I first wrote them.  It feels like I am reading someone else’s words.

I’ve toyed with posting some of them on my website, but every time I get the page ready to go, I get cold feet and pull them.  There are some poems about specific people who know well and good that these were written about them. I don’t want them to read them and think I am still hung up on them. It couldn’t be further from the truth.  Some days it feels like a waste to have this much sitting around doing nothing.  But I can’t actively promote a book that I don’t believe in.   It’s the same as a 50-year old musician singing old songs about the rebellion and sex, drugs and rock and roll they experienced in their 20’s while in reality living a cozy, middle-aged life in a huge house with a wife and kids, driving luxury cars.   It feels forced and contrived.  

Certainly writing most of this down stopped me from putting a gun in my mouth at times.  Writing is incredibly therapeutic for me and I can purge a lot of demons with a keyboard and a gin and tonic.  My Gmail account has a drafts folder full of dozens of emails I have never sent.  The therapy was  just getting it written down. 

Maybe one day, if I become a New York Times bestselling author, this will finally see the light of day, as people scramble to see anything I have written, but I think until then, they will be put to the darkest depths of my hard drive and left to gather digital dust.

Yours Pensively,

CWC

A Clean Slate

On Sunday night, I typed two amazing words to “Don’t Make Me Come Down There”.  THE END.  As I plowed through the last paragraph, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and a wave of excitement hit me as I crossed the finish line. It was a satisfying end a five-year journey.  When I hit Enter for the last time, a feeling of immense joy and accomplishment swept over me that I hadn’t felt before. 

This wasn’t the first book I have finished, but this felt very different than the others.  When I finished “Blood Splatter” in 2012, there was most certainly excitement as it was my first book.  Unfortunately, the finished version didn’t match my original vision.  Due to serious pricing restrictions, the book was released in black and white instead of color.  Also, the first edition had some editing issues I wasn’t proud of.  It was a bit of a mess.  So, while I was very proud of releasing it, I was disappointed that it wasn’t what I had been aiming and hoping for.  Still, live and learn.  The book was still very well received and the second edition rectified everything but the color issue.

When I wrapped the last book of the “Butch G. Cat Journal” project I was happy to be done with it.  Not that I was proud to be finished with it, but that the drama of getting it written had sucked all of the fun out of it was finally over.  It had been the same story for all of the books in the franchise.  I didn’t enjoy working with my previous writing partner and hadn’t done so for many years.  I was under contract to get the books done and thus did so.  When he unceremoniously decided to destroy the project late last year, I was relieved if I were to be completely honest. It meant never having to work with him again and I could move on to healthier projects.  We were two completely conflicting personalities and while the finished products may be great, the energy and drama it took to get there just wasn’t worth it. 

Writing is all about doing what you love.  Am I proud of the Butch G. Cat books? Of course I am. Am I disappointed that they were pulled from publication? Without a doubt.  All of the struggles I went through to finish them were for nothing.  But I stand behind the production company’s decision to pull them from publication. It was for the best.  It just was not fun or enjoyable for me.  Closing this door effectively shelved two screenplays a teleplay and three books.  Sigh.

The Comicon and Convention Survival Guide was pulled because of fallout from these issues.  I have since found a new illustrator who has delivered consistently good work to my specifications and I am very happy with the new direction.  Crystalyn and Angelina Reynolds have turned over fantastic work. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

So as I sit here at the end of a project I have poured my heart and soul into, I find myself in a new position.   I have a clean slate. I am not behind on any projects and I am not under contract for a franchise I had grown to hate.   There are no business associates in my life I don’t want to work with.  There are no half-finished projects. I get to promote “Don’t Make Me Come Down There” with all of me and for the right reasons. I want to be a successful writer and I want to enjoy doing it.  

I’ve said many times that this is the book that has all of me in it.  It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s sarcastic, and it’s a bit gory in places.  I loved every minute of writing it.  It wasn’t written while butting heads with someone. I didn’t have to compromise my original vision.  When I start submitting it to agents, it will be done so knowing that this is the best I have written so far.  Maybe someone will love it enough to give it a chance. Maybe it will be a New York Times bestseller.  Maybe it will fizzle and bomb.  Either way, I can say I am immensely proud of “Don’t Make Me Come Down There” and if there was one book out of all of my works that I would want to succeed and put my stamp on the world, it’s this one.  This book is me. I never felt this way about Butch G. Cat. 

Yours excitedly

CWC

Finding My Spark

I love costuming and prop building, but if I were to be honest, I’ve been a little disheartened with cosplay and costuming in recent months.   As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been suffering from pretty heavy depression since my surgery and car accident.   Then my former writing partner killed the Butch G. Cat project and flushed nine years of my life down the toilet.  All added up, I’ve felt the weight of the world on my shoulders in recent months.    

I’ve been unable to wear my Stormtrooper armor since the car accident as it is just too uncomfortable.  I have finally finished my chiropractor appointments this past week, so hopefully I can get back into it soon.   

At the last appointment with my psychiatrist, she said I needed to find my spark.   So I decided to set out and find it again.   

While browsing the 501st forums, I stumbled across a Havoc Trooper. This is a character from The Old Republic video game set over 3,000 years before the events in Star Wars: A New Hope.   I fell in love with this on first sight.  Over the next few weeks I will be fitting it and detailing the paint further and making it my own.

I think I may have finally just found my spark. I haven’t been this excited about costuming in a while.

I am also on the last chapter of Don’t Make Me Come Down There.  Hopefully the end of this slump is around the corner.

Yours healthily,

CWC