Sunday, January 26, 2014

FANTASY CON 2014! July 3,4,5!

July 3,4,5 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah

This 15-foot rock monster will be at Fantasy Con! 
Fantasy Con (not to be confused with Comic Con) represents science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, medieval and renaissance. SO FUN! It will be a family friendly event with vendors of all kinds, live entertainment, interactive characters, live LARPing battles (Live Action Role Play), cosplay (Costume Play), a 30-foot tall dragon with a 54-foot wingspan, kids archery area, 30-foot sentinels at the entrance, waterfall in the entrance, large battle arena with live action battles, entertainment stage, film festival, multiple panel discussions, fireworks show on July 5th at the Gateway, Cosplay parade on the morning of July 4th in downtown Salt Lake City and celebrity autograph sessions with BIG names from the performing, literary and visual arts (see list of celebrities below). Visit the Fantasy Con site for more information on ticket prices, vendor information and other events!

Celebrity guests (in alphabetical order by first name):

11 celebrities from THE HOBBIT and LORD OF THE RINGS

Adam Brown (Ori from The Hobbit trilogy)
Billy Boyd (Peregrin "Pippin" Took from The Lord of the Rings trilogy)
Graham McTavish (Dwalin from The Hobbit trilogy)
Jed Brophy (Nori from The Hobbit trilogy)
John Callen (Oin from The Hobbit trilogy)

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli from The Lord of the Rings trilogy)
Ken Stott (Balin from The Hobbit trilogy)
Peter Hambleton (Gloin from The Hobbit trilogy)
Royd Tolkien (director/actor and great-grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien
who was author of The Hobbit and LOTR)
Claudia Christian (CastleGrimmBabylon 5Quantum LeapHighlander)
Doug Jones (prolific actor and contortionist, Pan's Labyrinth)
K.C. Collins (Lost GirlSaving hopeRobocop)
Mark Singer (The Beastmaster and Beastmaster series, Batman animated series, V)
Mark Pellegrino (LostSupernaturalDexter)
Mark Ryan (actor, singer, writer, action director, Transformers)
Mark Sheppard (Supernatural24Battlestar GalacticaStar Trek: Voyager)
Paul Amos (Lost GirlMurdoch Mysteries)
Rachel Skarsten (Lost GirlBeauty and the BeastFlashpoint)
Renee O'Connor (Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess, & Hercules)
Rose McGowan (young Cora from Once Upon A Time)

Guests Panelists include:
Bradley Voytek (zombie neuroscience expert)
Brandon Sanderson (sci/fi-fantasy author)
Chance Thomas (composer)
Doug Adams (author and musicologist)
Kid History (video shorts on Youtube)
Paul Genesse (fantasy author)
Sneaky Zebra (Geek programming, parodies, & cosplay music videos on Youtube)
The One (info on everything Tolkien)
Utah Women in Film (educational organization)

Guest Cosplayers include:
Destiny Nickelsen - Harley Quinn (Injustice Gods Among Us), Elsa (Frozen), White Phoenix (X-Men), Juliet Starling (Lollipop Chainsaw), Princess Vivian (Dragon’s Crown), Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite), Super Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon Super S), Red Mist (Kick-Ass), Supergirl (Supergirl/Superman/DC), Scarlett (Killer Is Dead)

Kristen Hughey - Costumer and founder of the charity HEROIC which proceeds profit foundations such as Make-A-Wish and ASPCA

Linsay Elyse - Blood Elf (World of Warcraft), Tifa (FFVII), Master Chief (Halo), Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), Jecht (FFX), Navi (Zelda), (League of Legends), Luigi (Super Mario), Connor (Assassin’s Creed), Han Solo (Star Wars)

Monika Lee - Little Sister (Bioshock), Rogue (X-Men), Wizard (Diablo 3), Steampunk/Victorian Poison Ivy, Summoner Yuna (Final Fantasy X), Blackbeard (Assassin’s Creed 4), Sailor Mars (Sailor Moon), Demon Hunter (Diablo 3), Lara Croft (Tomb Raider: Legend ), Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite)

Riddle - Modern Wasp (Marvel), Huntress (Batman), Evil Mary Marvel (DC comics / SHAZAM), Snow white (Disney), Rocketeer (IDW/Rocketeer), Princess Leia (Star Wars), Hell Girl (Hellboy/Darkhorse/Mike Mignola), Rosette (Chrono Crusade), Ice (DC Comics Justice league), Alita (Battle Angel Alita)

Stella Chuu - Ivy Valentine (Soul Calibur), Psylocke (Marvel Comics), Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Burlesque Batwoman (DC Comics), Mako Mori (Pacific Rim), Inori Yuzuriha (Guilty Crown), Alisa Bosconovitch (Tekken), Sakizou Knocker (Sakizou Art), Vaporeon gijinka (Cowslip art. Pokemon), Kaneda (Akira)

Guest artists include: 


My brothers, Nathan and Kit Rees, owners of SQUISHY ANIMATION (logo on right) created an awesome animated DRAGON for the Fantasy Con site, and they did most ALL of the graphics on the web site. Nathan is a huge participator in the entire event, and good friends with the creator/organizer,  Josh Patel

I'm excited to be at Fantasy Con as a vendor selling my medieval romantic adventure fiction, SHADOWS OF VALOR.


"LIKE" Fantasy Con on Facebook!

Other places to follow Fantasy Con:

The Salt Palace Convention Center is located at 100 SW Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday, January 20, 2014

Guardian of the Throne Room

Okay, so I saw this AWESOME toilet paper holder on the Walmart site, and although I want it to so very much, it really is too much money to be spending on a toilet paper holder (that and my husband said no *frown*). But I read the one review on it and it made me laugh. Just had to share it. Too cute:

"Guardian of the Throne Room 01/02/2014 - You'll probably think that I'm crazy reviewing a knight toilet paper holder on, but you're reading the reviews on a knight toilet paper holder on, so you're not one to judge. Shipped in far faster than expected. Packaged very well, although the styrofoam is crumbly and we're still trying to get it out of our carpet. Set up fast, very solid product. Only problem is that you always see the knight . . . and he just stares at you judgmentally, like "why did you buy a knight-shaped toilet paper holder?". Then I just put my head in my hands and cry. But yeah, quality product. A++"

Heheh - good for a laugh, anyway.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The PERFECT Crispy-Rice Squares!

Can you mess up a simple crispy rice cereal treat (also known as the Rice Krispies Treat)? Yes! Yes you can! There is a science to the popular and widely known goody. Too much butter makes them goopy and oily. Too much cereal and they won't hold together because there's not enough marshmallow to go around. Too little butter or marshmallows make them hard and crunchy. Pressing into an over-sized pan yields ultra thin treats.

After years of using other people's recipes and not being satisfied with the outcomes, I've altered and experimented and come out with a darn good recipe! Now, of course, perfection is subjective, and I realize there are some people who prefer hard and crunchy treats, or treats that fall apart in your hand, so if you're one of those people, simply disregard this post. But in my opinion, the perfect crispy rice treat is THICK and FIRM, but still SOFT and CHEWY. But be warned, this is not for dieters, so if you're trying to eat healthy, walk away right now.

Elsie Park's recipe for perfect crispy rice treats. So simple :-)

THICK, SOFT and CHEWY Crispy Rice Squares

1 stick (4 ounces) of butter
21 ounces mini marshmallows
10 cups (80 ounces) crispy rice cereal
        Pre-measure the 10 cups of cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Melt butter in LARGE pot over medium heat and then add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and immediately pour rice cereal into the pot, mixing well until cereal is completely coated and there's no more marshmallow on the bottom of the pot. Scoop into 9 x 13-inch rectangular pan and with fingers covered by a plastic sandwich bag (or use a spoon if too hot to touch), firmly press cereal evenly into the pan. Do not eat right away as the squares will fall apart if still warm, but they ARE easier to cut into squares while warm. Wait until they cool to eat. These treats stay soft and chewy for days after (if they last that long, which is doubtful *wink*). ENJOY!

A reader posted a suggestion below and I think it's positively wonderful! Melt chocolate chips and pour all over the top of the squares. And, while the chocolate topping is still melty, decorate the top with Reeses Pieces. 
Mmm-mm! :) Thanks!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


As the year 2013 ended and 2014 began, I, like many others, made a few resolutions for the new year. And as I did so, I realized that my resolutions were pretty much the same as last year's, and the year before, and the years before that. Does that mean I failed in my goals, forcing me to, once again, make them the current year's resolutions as well? Well, yes and no. Some things I did partially (like losing 30 pounds instead of my goal of 60). I suppose I failed in the sense that I didn't lose the entire amount, but as losing ANY amount of weight is always a plus, I didn't consider it a failure in the least. My goal this year, though it's STILL "to lose weight," is to lose the remaining 30 pounds (plus the 10 I gained back - heheh), which is an easier goal than the original 60.

Another goal I have every year is to be more patient with my children. Have I failed at that resolution because I haven't, in all these years, become a perfectly tempered mother? No. The fact that I even set a goal to watch my temper (even if it's just a little at a time, one year at a time) speaks for my healthy attitude for self-improvement. And isn't that what setting goals are really about? Self-improvement? So why do we cut ourselves short, saying we've failed in our goals, when in fact, we are still working toward them and have simply put a time limit where there really shouldn't be. In fact, it's unhealthy to live with the thought that we are imperfect and will never be perfect so we might as well give up all together, thus remaining static or even going backward. Yeah, that's not good.

Setting goals and resolutions is not necessarily about reaching the destination within a time frame (especially one short year), but about moving forward on the journey itself. As long as I am moving forward, no matter the pace, then it doesn't matter that I've set the same goals each year. That just says that I'm conscious of things I need to make better about myself and I am continuing to work on them. I steadily improve in one thing or another each year and I'll eventually reach my goals a little at a time. But until I do, I will be satisfied with moving forward on the journey. Like Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do." If I repeatedly try to improve myself, then that's what I am, someone who consistently tries to be better today than I was yesterday.