New York Comic Con Panel: Where are all the Wheelchairs?

I know, I’m terrible about updating. It’s on my list for New Year Resolutions. Here’s hoping it sticks. 😉  In the mean time, below is just a collection of my random tweets, thoughts, excitement, and aftermath of speaking at New York Comic Con!

October 6 – On the road to New York Comic Con with my pass and a favorite action figure. Extra points if you can name both her identities. 😉

One of the things I began doing when I speak at conferences and conventions about disability and comics and publishing and media was start taking pictures. Why? Because I’d hear murmurs every so often of “Why do we need a “disability” panel?” or “Who would bother to go to that?”  If the audience was willing, I’d snap a quick pic and post it. Over the years, this has added up: Balticon, AwesomeCon, NYCC…and I anticipate it continuing. At least until I quit hearing the BS that people don’t want to hear about disability.

 

October 7 – For those wondering about the interest in #disability and #media at #NYCC let me show you THIS amazing audience. #DisabilityRepresent

 

October 7 – This is us speaking on the panel: Where Are All The Wheelchairs? 

Why are disabled roles so often played by non-disabled actors? Are certain disabilities not welcome in media? What can be done to give viewers a more accurate portrayal of people with disabilities? Join us as we answer these questions and more in an attempt to understand why the world’s largest minority is the media’s least represented. 

It’s a pretty awesome group: Jillian Mercado, model and activist; Maysoon Zayid, actress and comedian; Dominick Evans, filmmaker and activist (via Skype); Steve Way, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker; and me. 🙂 (And in case you’re wondering I was the “author and disability advocate.”  PS, I’m on the far left of this pic.

Afterwards, we continued the discussion in a nearby bar. 😉 That IS what you do at a Con, right? But one of the coolest things to come out of this panel, other than an awesome audience who had some great questions, was that it was written up in BuzzFeed! It’s kind of a rush to see your panel listed as “…one of the most throught-provoking panels at NYCC…”

 

October 12 – BuzzFeed article: People With Disabilities Say What They Want To See In Comics

Will Varner knocked it out of the park. Rather than just summarizing the panel or making assumptions BuzzFeed simply asked people with disabilities, “What do you want to see in comics?” And there were plenty of people with disabilities willing to tell them. Now if industry would be just as willing to listen.

PS BuzzFeed also took what is probably one of my favorite photos me. I never like how I look in pictures.

 

Touch of Love to get Los Angeles Screening!

Yes, you read that title right. This short film has had some solid screenings locally: Balticon in May of 2015, the Independent Women Minority Filmmaker showcase in August of 2015, and most recently, this May 2016, at the Reel Independent Women showcase in Baltimore. I am so excited. I received a phone call yesterday letting me know that “Touch of Love” has been accepted to Shriekfest 2016.
Shriekfest Horror Film Festival is a film festival specializing in the horror genre. Founded in July 2001, it is the oldest continually running genre festival in Los Angeles, California. This year’s festival will be held at Raleigh Studios, located at 5300 Melrose in Hollywood, CA. Shriekfest will take place on October 6-9th, 2016.
tol-poster_shriekfest

What Dolly Parton means to me

Last night was one of the most amazing nights of my life. Dolly Parton was performing at Wolftrap. One of the things I love about Virginia’s Wolftrap performing arts center (and I think it is the only one in the country) is that it is actually IN a national park. So there is all this lush greenery and a stage and some seating but a large lawn where folks can sit and just listen.

Renee and I originally were going to try and catch Dolly in Philadelphia or Pigeon Forge. As was pointed out, she turned 70 this last January and likely wouldn’t be doing too many national tours after this. Luckily for us, and not so luckily for someone else, they broke their foot and couldn’t attend. The result? Monday night we learned we could go to the Wednesday night performance!!!!

We planned a full picnic. 🙂  Brie (and 3 other kinds of cheese), prosciutto, black pepper cheese loaf, fancy chocolate, apples, raspberries, strawberries, tea, ginger beer, cider. An extra big blanket, another for cover, a body pillow, a regular pillow, as well as snacks and a dish for the dog! Yes, we do snooty picnics. Can’t help it cheese plates are among my most favorite things in the WORLD.

It was lovely and Dolly Parton was in full voice. And I must admit, like the rest of the world, as much as we love her for her songs, we also love her for her wit and charm. She told jokes and shared stories, all the while engaging the audience and making us feel like we were special.

I have very few people on my bucket list and all for very different reasons. But one of the reasons that she is so important to me is because of leadership. That sounds like an odd thing to say about an actor and country music singer but I remember years ago, when i was trying to figure out who I wanted to be and HOW I wanted to be, I found a quote of hers that really spoke to me. It tends to be misattributed to John Quincy Adams, but it is definitely Dolly.

Doly Parton Quote - If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then, you are an excellent leader. – Dolly Parton

I can’t say I’ve always gotten it right, but it is who I want to be in the things that I choose to do, whether that is working with policy, politics, fiction, film, or just being me. She trusts in faith, and firmly believes in seeing the good in people and accepting them for who they are. She “shares the candy” in spreading her good fortune with literacy groups, raptor rescue and many others that I don’t even know. Good advice for life, I think. And a good example for life.  That is why I adore Dolly Parton and so desperately wanted to see her.

Thrilled to be able to cross this item off my Bucket List.

 

PS Special thanks to Jen Horan for taking the awesome pic above. Makes it even more special as that image came from OUR concert.

Just Bought My First Lottery Ticket

I’ve never really been one for games of chance, but with the lottery now standing at $1.3 billion, even I can’t resist. So I give you proof of this “first.”

MyFirstLotteryTicket