It’s that time of year again, friends, when we start to scrape together funds to attend fan conventions in the new year. In 2014, I gave you 5 California conventions I was dying to attend, and even got the chance to go to a few. In 2015, I am expanding my horizons and sharing with you 5 fan conventions across the United States that are well worth the travel. When it comes to attending fan conventions, the sooner you know what you’re looking for, the better. It’s best to think of fees such as hotel, transportation, cosplay and food as well as entrance cost and spending cash before the actual date, so as to get a head start on purchasing items in advance and not shock your wallet too badly.

If you’re interested in attending one of the cons on the list below, click on the links, visit the pages and book your time NOW, before tickets are gone. Enjoy!

xoxo The Collectiva Diva

Follow me on Twitter @collectivadiva or Tumblr and dive into the fandom rabbit hole with me.

Dragon Con

 

What: The largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe.

When: September 4-7, 2015

Where: Atlanta, GA

How Much: $100 for Dragon Con Membership

Although I said we finished this series in November, I realized recently that the interview with Elliex, a prolific transformative author and Destiel fan, never posted, so, we are bringing it back for one last entry. When I get the chance to rec a fic for The Collective, I inevitably go to Elliex. Her work in canon can’t be beat and her coda, “Heaven’s Most Wanted” is all I ever wanted from Season 9 but was too afraid to ask for. The last fic we rec’d of hers was on Dear Collectress’ Christmas list, but there’s more, dear reader, so much more. With 22 works on AO3 in the Supernatural fandom, including a new Demon!Dean series that explores the character development and saving of Dean Winchester, Elliex really should be in the SPN Writer’s Room (in my humble opinion). Read on for some pretty sound writing advice and an interesting look into the process of a fanfic writer.

Also–a shout out from me to El–who left a kind comment on my 1st ever DCBB entry and pretty much made my day by reading my little ‘ole canon-based case fic. Thanks hon!

xoxo The Collectiva Diva

 Follow me on Twitter or Tumblr if you dare…

1.) What/Who inspired you to write fanfiction?

Though I’d known about the genre for a very long time, I only started actively reading and seeking out fanfiction a couple of years ago. As I worked my way through some truly amazing ‘verses and standalones, mostly Supernatural but some other fandoms too, I realized that many of the writers spoke about how much they enjoyed writing, how they hadn’t shared their work before, and how sharing gave them confidence. As someone with a stack of fiction manuscripts in varying states of completion and length that I’ve never had the nerve to share publicly, this resonated with me.

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After mulling it over for a few months, and writing a few practice fics that will never ever see the light of day, I took the plunge and posted my very first piece on AO3 – it’s not great; it’s not even good, but it was a necessary first step for me. And then I slowly began posting more. I still remember that simultaneous thrill and anxiety at watching the hit counts on early fics go up, and kudos (and/or comments) were like gifts from readers. Though I still feel that combination of thrill and anxiety, sharing has gotten easier for the most part. And like anyone, I continue to appreciate every kudo and/or comment I receive.

the walking dead season 5

S05xE08″: “Coda”

As the Tribe attempts to move forward through continuous obstacles that do not end with walkers, but include sickness, familial issues, mental health problems, hunger, and violent adversaries among other things, we are reminded that even the best of us is destined to pass through this mortal coil into the world beyond. As I mentioned last week, this is the nature of life; death is at the other end of the sentence as a closing parentheses that we all must attend to at some point. For those living in this post-apocalyptic universe, death may come at any moment, by any means. All Tribe members can do is attempt to discover value in experiences and move forward, learning from the past in order to construct a future.

As we reflect on the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, we are reminded that, since the infestation of zombies into this universe, society has been precariously balanced on the precipice of change. For the Tribe, this has meant each member finding strength within, constructing individual value systems and then learning how to adapt those values to fit into the group. The question becomes, who have the members of the Tribe become? What endings have taken place, and what new beginnings will emerge?

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie! (Seriously, if you haven’t watched “Coda”, you are going to be spoiled in 5..4..3..2..1)

the walking dead season 5

S05xE06 “Consumed” & S05xE07 “Crossed”

As the Tribe continues to establish their unity and strength, we also begin to see cracks in the chassis (so to speak) in regards to leadership, and the question of a values hierarchy is once again addressed in terms of who deserves to survive and what determines one’s worth. We return to Slabtown, and now that we have seen what goes on inside and the dual roles of the hospital (haven and hell), it is not difficult to gauge what the Tribe will be willing to do to keep themselves and the ones they care for safe.

Since I missed a post and this is going up rather late, we will take a quick and dirty look at the themes in both episodes by focusing on one particular person–Carol.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie!

Renne happens to be the first Stucky AU writer I ever read and I fell in love with the attention to detail, captured characterization and perfect level of angst and need this author balances between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. I first rec’d “this city bleeds its aching heart” a few months back (I will never not rec this perfect “convenient husbands” trope!), but since then have explored her unique Stucky zombie!AU and there is also a space!military AU I am itching to read. I personally believe this writer has a knack for post CA: TWS Stucky, but since there are 67 works in 40 different fandoms over on her AO3 page, I can say with a doubt that Renne is definitely multi-fandomed and multi-talented. Read the answers below in the last installment of my “5 Questions” series, and find a few new fics to bookmark as well as words of inspiration for authors looking to overcome the worst ailment of all: writer’s block.

xoxo The Collectiva Diva

1.) What/Who inspired you to write fanfiction?

I first started writing fanfiction when I was a little kid and never really stopped from there. I was precocious with reading and started reading my brothers’ scifi and fantasy novels when I was still in single digits, because I lived in the country and didn’t have a lot of friends around or things to do, but we did have a mobile library that came around every two weeks.
My first ever fanfiction that I can remember writing was a self insert/Mary Sue fic set in David Eddings’ the Belgariad/Mallorean universe. And yeah, you bet my character was a Dryad. Or possibly a Dryad/human cross. There was definitely some Dryad going on there though.
Belgariad
I think wanting to be in the story with the fantasy universe characters I loved and having these adventures inspired me, as this was well before the Internet and I was too young to access zines – even when I was older, the circumstances of where I grew up meant I was already well into fandom online when I first heard about zines. (Bear in mind that when I say “well into fandom” I mean usenet groups and mailing lists and message boards.)

the walking dead season 5

S05xE05″: “Self Help”

Survival is a theme this season, and each member of the Tribe has proven to be brave, cunning, downright ruthless or all of the above. The group headed to Washington D.C. is used to being on the ground, traveling on foot, not settling down and they are moving with a purpose, which gives them vigor and the hopefulness necessary to keep one foot in front of the other, even through zombie hordes and exploding buses. Still, when purpose shifts in meaning and complications arise, individuals must rediscover their reasons for moving forward, realign expectations, and determine how to best reconnect with like-minded groups. In a post-apocalyptic world without easy means of communication or travel, options are limited and the paths are few.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie!

Xylodemon is a beast. With 226* works across 17 fandoms on AO3 and new stuff coming out all the time, this writer has a knack for taking canon and transforming it into something simple and easy and totally unexpected. Her characters are clear and consistent, and her reimagined Supernatural codas are some of the best I’ve ever read. You may recognize the handle from either a fanfic rec by the Collectress or I, because her stuff is just that good (her demon!Dean is spot on). Read on to discover how she got started in transformative fiction, the inspirational words she has for aspiring writers and links to her favorite work.

(*note: it’s now 227, since she just released a coda for the Supernatural episode “Fan Fiction” which is lovely, BTW)

xoxo The Collectiva Diva

Want your favorite writer to answer 5 questions? Let me know over on Twitter @collectivadiva

1.) What/Who inspired you to write fanfiction?

Weirdly, it just kind of happened. Way back in the day I was in a usenet RP for the Wheel of Time books, and I loved it. I had a kajillion characters and read all the threads, even stuff I wasn’t involved in. A friend of mine there told me I’m probably like reading fanfic, but I didn’t pay too much attention at the time because she was into Harry Potter and I hadn’t read it. I ended up reading some eventually, mostly Lord of the Rings and X-Files. Then I finally broke down and read Harry Potter (I was convinced it would be garbage, turns out I was wrong), and I read a ton of fanfic, and from there it made sense to just write some. My first fic was pretty terrible, but I guess first fics usually are.

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