What’s been going on in Crafty Nerd land

I said I was going to start posting more regularly, so here I am! (Even though it’s been almost a month since my last post. At least it hasn’t been half a year, right?)

I’m currently in the process of coming up with some more exciting topics for blog posts, which has been a slow process. In the meantime, I wanted to share a little bit of what’s been going on in my corner of the world.

Rediscovering cross-stitch

I recently got back into the hobby of cross-stitching. I’ve completed two projects since last November, and I’m currently working on a third. Apparently I have a thing for hobbit-themed cross-stitch projects, since two out of the three projects I’ve worked on so far have little hobbit-houses as the focus:

Long-time blog readers might remember the one I’m currently working on. Back in June 2019, I posted about starting that cross-stitch for Rana. After she passed, I dug it back out and started working on it again as a way to process some of my grief, and to give myself something to focus on. I’m going to give it to her mom when it’s done.

If you’re interested in the patterns, here are links to them:

Final Fantasy XIV: my first MMO in forever

I got back into MMOs again recently! I started playing Final Fantasy XIV back in… September, I think, and while I haven’t played in a few months, I’m going to pick it up again soon.

My Final Fantasy 14 character, Ëlinyr.

I fight using books! Because knowledge is power! 😀

Yeah, I’m playing Ëlinyr as an MMO character. Did you honestly expect anything different from me?

Ëlinyr is a summoner, which is the closest I could get to her Kishar class – in name, at least, since summoners are also referred to as evokers in FF14. The black mage class aligns more with her actual Kishar powers, but I like playing a summoner more – summoners get to use books as weapons! And if you’ve followed the blog for a while, or if you’ve played Kishar in the past few years, you know Ëlinyr loves her books. I play on Crystal/Zalera, in case anyone is curious, and I would be happy to play with other folks who play if anyone’s interested.

Preparing for season 10 of Kishar

Speaking of Ëlinyr: the new season of Kishar is coming up at the end of the month! Some big things happened at the end of last season for Ëlinyr – she lost one of her closest friends, Flint, during one of the final battles. Flint was previously the longest-running member of the Adventurer’s Guild, but with him gone, Ëlinyr is the next-longest-running Guild member, and may end up having to become the “responsible adult” for the Guild. Will she take on more of a leadership role in the Adventurer’s Guild? Is she just going to hide in the library forever and only come out when she needs to rain meteors down on the enemy to save the Guild? And will the event I’ve been referring to as the “elf wedding” actually finally happen this season? We’ll find out as the season progresses, and I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated on what’s going on in Ëlinyr’s corner of the world as it happens!

Virtual races and Running for Rana

One of the things I decided to do just after Rana passed away was to participate in the 2022 season of Whovian Running Club virtual races, since Rana loved Doctor Who and she used to run with her mom when she was younger. Not only have I done the first Whovian Running Club virtual race, the Roar Your Light 5k, but I also completed the Keep Your Feet 5k, a Lord of the Rings-themed Fandom Running Club race.

Two virtual race medals I earned recently - on the left is the one from the Keep Your Feet 5k, which looks like the door to a hobbit house, and the second is for the Roar Your Light 5k, which looks like Van Gogh's Starry Night painting with the TARDIS from Doctor Who flying through the sky.

I walked the Keep Your Feet 5k in January, and two days ago I did the Roar Your Light 5k as a combo of walking and jogging and managed to do a 5k in under an hour! I know it’s not exactly fast compared to a lot of runners, but I’m still kind of new at this, and hadn’t gone for a run in AGES. Managing to complete a 5k in under an hour was a big accomplishment for me. (You can keep track of my Fanthropy Running Club races in the sidebar on the right side each page on the blog.)

Aside from everything I’ve already written about: I’ve been rewatching the heck out of Avatar and Legend of Korra to distract my brain from being depressed, reading a lot of books, migrating back to working in the office more regularly, and I’m slowly beginning to feel more like a human being and less like a depressed blob. Which is a good thing, right?

Nine years of crafting and nerdiness

Facebook kindly reminded me yesterday that it was the blog’s birthday. It’s been nine years since I started The Crafty Nerd — a project I originally thought I would tire of in a few months, sparked by my desire to have a blog like EPBOT where I could ramble about life and nerdy craft projects.

I realized I haven’t celebrated the blog’s birthday since 2019. In 2020, I think I posted about it on Facebook, but that was all. In 2021, I was still recovering from the dumpster fire that was 2020, and hadn’t posted much in general in a while, so I didn’t feel much like celebrating. To be honest, I don’t feel much like celebrating this year either, but the fact that I’ve kept The Crafty Nerd going for almost ten years deserves celebrating.

What’s next for The Crafty Nerd

A screen capture from Star Trek: Lower Decks showing Rutherford, Tendi, Mariner, and Boimler looking excited.

The Lower Decks crew is excited about what’s in store next year for The Crafty Nerd!

In past birthday posts, I’ve shared some stats about the blog, or rambled about things that have happened in general during the year since the last birthday. I’m not sure how interesting everyone finds that information, though — so instead I’m going to talk about what I want to do during the blog’s 9th year.

This year, I want to…

  • …post more regularly. I fell out of the habit of writing regularly due to the pandemic and the ensuing depression/anxiety mess I found myself in. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore about the blog just sitting here gathering dust. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll write about, but I’m sure I’ll find something. I’m going to try to get something posted every other week for the foreseeable future, and if it turns out later on that I have more energy to write, I’ll go back to the weekly posting schedule I stuck to before the pandemic.
  • …actually finish some craft projects. I think I can count on one hand the amount of craft projects I’ve finished in the past two years — I’ve made two blankets and finished two cross-stitch projects (one of which was a bookmark, so of course I finished it quickly).
  • …play more games. I haven’t actually done much gaming — tabletop, video, LARP, or otherwise — in the past few months, and I kind of miss it. The next season of Kishar is due to start next month, although omicron may have an impact on that, sadly. I’d also been playing Final Fantasy 14 pretty regularly, and I really enjoy it, but after everything happened with Rana I haven’t had the energy to play. I’m starting to feel a little better, though, so I might start playing more.

I’m thinking I can meet these goals for the blog’s 9th year. Hopefully this year turns out to be a good year for The Crafty Nerd, and I’m actually pretty excited about the blog’s tenth birthday next year. So, here’s to nine years of The Crafty Nerd — thanks for sticking with me this long, folks. I’m hoping to have more fun and interesting content for everyone over the next year.

The hardest post I’ve ever had to write

This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to write.

I’m sure all my long-time readers remember Rana (previously Ross), but for those of you who are new to the blog, Rana and I met at Gen Con in 2013, became friends, then fell in love and got married. We went to conventions and planned out cosplays together, played lots of games together, and were parents to two wonderful cats. While Rana and I split up in 2020 and officially got divorced in August of 2021, we still remained friends. We played Animal Crossing together over Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic. We still talked about conventions we might go to once the pandemic was over, and cosplays we might do. We laughed about how baffled people were that we were still so close after getting divorced.

Rana committed suicide on December 31st, after struggling with depression, anxiety, and other health issues. And even though over two weeks have gone by since she passed away, I still can’t believe she’s gone.

She’s been a part of this blog in some way, shape, or form for most of the time I’ve been running it. In 2014, she took over managing the WordPress install and helped me move the site over to her fancy, speedy servers. She even wrote a few posts. Whenever something would break, I’d reach out to her for help with fixing it. With her passing, I had to move the site to a new server, and I kept finding myself about to message her to check and see if I was doing everything right with my WordPress installation – and then I’d remember she’s not here anymore, and my heart broke all over again.

Knowing that we’re never going to get to go to another Gen Con together hurts beyond belief.

I’m trying to find ways to process all this, to remember her and to help others who are in a similar situation get help if they need it. One way I’m doing this is through Fanthropy – they host virtual races with fandom themes, and 100% of the registration fees for their races go to their charity partner, which changes monthly. The charity partner for January 2022 is To Write Love On Her Arms, which is a nonprofit that focuses on helping people who are struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide – all of which Rana struggled with at some point in her life. When the post about Fanthropy’s January charity partner came across my Facebook feed this morning, I felt like it was the universe’s way of saying “hey, this might help”. Since Fanthropy is home to the Whovian Running Club, and given how much Rana loved Doctor Who, I decided to sign up for the 2022 season of WRC events – especially since my registration fees were going to TWLOHA. (I also signed up for the Keep Your Feet 5K, a Lord of the Rings-themed virtual race, because Rana loved Tolkien’s works so very much.)

I’ve been struggling a lot since her death, especially with things that remind me of her. The blog is one of those things that I’ve been avoiding because of that – we worked on it together even after we split up, and it’s always going to be a reminder of her. I know she’d be sad if I stopped writing, though, so I’m going to do my best to keep posting. The pandemic has made it hard for me to dredge up the energy to post, but maybe I can use the blog as a way to keep myself distracted, and to honor Rana’s memory, too.

Thank you, Rana, for being a part of my life, and for being such a huge part of The Crafty Nerd. ❤

Rana dressed up as Star from Star vs. The Forces of Evil.

Rana as Star – she was so excited for this cosplay, and it was one of my favorite cosplays of hers.

Coming out of hibernation

It’s been a long time since I last posted, I know. I originally started writing a post about two months ago, focusing on how we’re a year into the pandemic now and how things were going. However, I never actually finished that post. It just sat here in my drafts, gathering dust for two months. I came back to it in May, a little bit before my birthday, and figured maybe I should finish writing it. Halfway through I realized maybe I should start fresh and write something new. And then I let that post sit for two months, and now here we are in July!

So, here I am, working on coming out of hibernation! I have a lot more energy than I did when I started the original draft of this post back in March. I’ve managed to pull together more executive function than I had in May, and am feeling a lot more positive about things in general. Things are finally looking up – which is big for me. Coming out of hibernation feels like a thing I can do now.

Why was I hibernating?

Well, I’m pretty sure if you’ve existed anywhere in the world since March 2020, you probably have a good idea of why I ended up hibernating for most of 2020 and some of 2021.

The pandemic and the resulting effects of lockdown on my mental health just made me want to hide. Additionally, I was going through some personal stuff last year that completely upended my life – which included splitting up with Rana, and moving in with friends. Ending a relationship, no matter how amicably it ends, is never easy. Dealing with that during a pandemic made things that much harder. Even work wasn’t as enjoyable as it was before the pandemic. The tasks and projects I usually enjoyed doing ended up being a struggle to complete. And, as I’m sure you all noticed, The Crafty Nerd just sat here, gathering dust. I couldn’t even pull together the energy to write. The blog turned 8 years old this year, and I didn’t even celebrate that. You know I’m in rough shape when I don’t celebrate the blog’s birthday.

So, I just… existed for a while. I didn’t feel like myself at all. Nothing came easily to me. I came out of hibernation briefly for Gen Con Online, but even that was hard to do. I had no energy or drive to do much of the things I could still do while staying at home. My days typically consisted of waking up, working, crocheting, watching some sci-fi TV shows, occasionally going for a run, and sleeping. There was also a fair amount of beating myself up about not doing more with my day. I felt like a failure some days, and struggled with life in general. Even with reminding myself of the fact that I was living through a pandemic, I still felt bad about all the things I just couldn’t get done.

There was light at the end of the tunnel, though. I got vaccinated in April, and slowly started to re-enter the world.

Rejoining the world

While the pandemic isn’t over yet, there are some signs of things getting better. Things are slowly returning to something resembling normal again. I’m working in the office regularly again. I can see my friends more regularly again. I’m still nervous about going to incredibly busy or crowded places. I still wear a mask when going shopping. However, I’m not nearly as anxious about being in public as I used to be, which is good

The biggest thing that helped me feel like things are normal again happened last month. It’s something I’d been looking forward to it for a year and a half, and I’m sure everyone can guess what it was.

All the players present at the first Kishar game of the 2021 season.

Cast photo for game 60!

After a year and a half of bi-weekly Zoom hangouts and random photoshoots in the woods, I finally got to play in an actual Kishar game. Not only was it the first game in a year and a half, it was also the largest game we’ve ever had, with 50 players! I got to see some good friends that I hadn’t seen in ages, which made me so darn happy. Plus, everyone was vaccinated, which helped me feel less anxious about being in a big group. We’ve got another game coming up this weekend, and I am so excited about it.

I think what this rambling post is trying to say is that I’m finally coming out of hibernation, and am going to try to post somewhat regularly again. The posts may not necessarily be the most amazing things I’ve written, and they may not be every week to start with. I missed writing, though, and I finally feel like I’m in a good enough place to start writing regularly again.

Plus, I have this ridiculous desk mat that I’d love to be able to look at without feeling guilty about not posting much over the past year or so. 😛

My desk at home, with my laptop and microphone set up to one side and my monitor displaying this post in the WordPress editor. My desk is covered by a custom The Crafty Nerd mouse mat.

I am still alive, I swear.

Yeah, my usual “post-Gen Con posting slump” that typically only lasts a month or so? This year, it apparently stretched into a four-month posting hiatus. That’s 2020 for you, I guess.

I thought it might not be a bad idea to at least post something to say I’m alive, and I’m hanging in there. I’ve got a couple of ideas for posts lurking in the back of my head. Who knows, maybe I’ll even actually get them posted sometime in the next month.

To give this post at least a little more substance, here’s what I’ve been up to during the past four months or so:

First off, I’ve been playing Blue Rose and Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition online via Roll20 pretty regularly. It’s been fun having the chance to play in multiple “tabletop” RPGs regularly – in the Blue Rose game, I play a Vata’an healer named Lin, and in the D&D game I play Reda the aasimar rogue. They’re both lots of fun to play. (I made the following avatars using this fantasy avatar creator – however, it uses Flash, so I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be around for.)

I’ve also been sitting around, moping about not getting to play in Kishar this year at all. At least I’ve been able to funnel that Kishar-focused energy into a couple of projects focusing on everyone’s favorite sun elf. One of those projects was my attempt at National Novel Writing Month this year – while I didn’t win, I did manage to write 40,000 words about Ëlinyr’s life outside of Kishar games. It was a lot of fun to work on, and I got the opportunity to flesh out some of Alair’s character too. I also found out Alair was originally just supposed to be a one-off character J was going to play in one game, but then Ëlinyr was all “oooh he’s pretty”, and therefore our favorite elf poet ended up sticking around.

Speaking of Ëlinyr and Alair, and Kishar-related projects…

I started drawing again, after a long time (and I mean a long time) of not doing any drawing at all. And apparently I’m somehow still good at it.

Photograph of two digitalframed sketches of Elinyr and Alair.

aaaagh I have artwork that I’ve made PRINTS of and had FRAMED

Yep, I actually drew multiple drawings that I’m actually really pleased with. So pleased with, in fact, that I ordered prints of them. And even had them framed. If you want to see full versions of these, you can view them on DeviantArt – the drawing on the left is Reading in the library, and the one on the right is The Poet and The Scholar. (If you dig through my old drawings on DeviantArt, don’t laugh too hard at my older artwork. I know some of it’s terrible.) I even did some in-progress snapshots of The Poet and The Scholar while I was working on it, so I might share those with a ramble about my drawing process in another post. I especially love how that one came together, and how it turned out when it was printed.

Well, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to recently – aside from work, anyway. I would say “I promise I’ll write more”, but I know me. Maybe I’ll be able to get at least another post or two up before 2020 ends – I’ll try, at least.

Gen Con Online in review: the best four days of gaming goes online

Yes, it’s the post you’ve all been waiting for: the Gen Con Online review! Before I get started, I want to apologize for this post going up much later than I’d planned. Between burning loads of energy on Gen Con Online and work ramping back up (in addition to general pandemic stuff taking a toll on my mental health), I didn’t quite have the spoons to write this up until now. Better late than never, though, right?

First off, I want to talk about this year’s blog coverage for Gen Con. You might have noticed there were only posts for day 0.5 and day 1, and then nothing. It’s not that I didn’t do anything on days 2 through 4 – I did a lot. With Gen Con held online this year, my brain wasn’t quite in the same headspace it usually is. Instead of spending the last hour of my day writing up a post, my mind was all “eh, we’re home, why do we need to write a Crafty Nerd post every day?” I was feeling bad about not writing on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday, it hit me: this isn’t a typical Gen Con, and maybe I didn’t need to do my traditional Gen Con coverage. So, here we are, wrapping things two weeks after the convention!

Continue reading →

Gen Con Online: Day one

Day one of Gen Con was a lot of fun! So much fun, in fact, that I didn’t have enough energy left after the Quilting 201 workshop last night to actually post this, so there’ll be two posts today! I doubt anyone will mind, though.

Opening ceremonies

The Gen Con Online Twitch channel, showing the opening ceremonies for Gen Con Online.

From the Opening Ceremonies – even Genevieve the Dragon joined in on the fun!

Day one of Gen Con Online was a lot of fun! I spent the morning excitedly waiting for the opening ceremonies, listening to music, and writing out questions for the folks I’m interviewing this year. While the energy was a little different this year, it was still exciting to watch the opening ceremonies. They even did the ceremonial charity dice roll! (It’s not Gen Con without the ceremonial opening dice roll.) I enjoyed the added benefits of actually being able to see and hear all of what went on this time – which isn’t always possible in person at the opening ceremonies, with so many people crowded into one space.

The online exhibit hall experience: The Looking Glass

Once the convention officially began, I spent some time browsing The Looking Glass, Gen Con’s creative way of replicating the exhibit hall experience online.

Screenshot of The Looking Glass, which displays logos for vendors at Gen Con in a cloud format.

It’s fun, scrolling through The Looking Glass and seeing what vendors I recognize – and discovering new ones, too!

I love the way the folks at Gen Con put together The Looking Glass – I think it’s the closest you can get to replicating the exhibit hall experience in webpage format while making it easy for everyone to access. You can either scroll around through the field of logos for each vendor and click on one that catches your eye, or use the search and filtering tools to find a specific vendor. I’ve already done a little shopping thanks to The Looking Glass, and I’ll likely do more before the con is done.

Favorite Gen Con experiences still happening online

One of the things I wasn’t sure I’d experience this year was the fun of running into folks I know at the convention. While the Gen Con Discord server has a lot of people hanging out there, not everyone who’s participating in the con is on Discord. I wasn’t really expecting to see anyone I knew on Discord – so imagine my surprise when I ran into my friend Daniel! (He and Kasi and I ran a City of Heroes LARP together back in 2018.) We were both excited to bump into each other, and we talked a little bit about Gen Con Online and me possibly joining his Wednesday Dungeons and Dragons game. Sure, it might not be the same as running into my Kishar buddies while hanging out with my co-worker Rachel, but I’ll take what I can get!

One of my favorite things to do at Gen Con involves wandering around the Indiana Convention Center. Whether I’m checking out everyone’s cosplays or just enjoying the atmosphere, I love wandering around the convention center. And while I may not be able to do it in person this year, I was able to do it in Minecraft!

One of the hallways in the Indiana Convention Center, recreated in Minecraft.

Oh hey, it’s the escalator that leads up to the skywalk to the Marriott!

It might not have been full of people, but I was still so very excited to wander through the convention center in Minecraft. It’s an amazing and detailed re-creation of the convention center, and I won’t lie, I almost cried while walking through it – I miss the in-person Gen Con experience so much. My regular readers know this is the highlight of my year, and the online experience isn’t quite the same. I’m glad I got to enjoy a few of the things I love about Gen Con, though, even though they were a little different this year.

Quilting 201: I swear I’m going to finish this quilt during Gen Con

The event I was most excited about this year was Quilting 201 with Toni of Quiltoni!

Screenshot of the camera feeds of everyone participating in the Quilting 201 workshop on Thursday evening.

I’m sure you all can figure out which quilt-in-progress is mine, haha.

While I didn’t get quite as far as everyone else did (I was running out of steam by the end of the workshop), I did get some of my quilt laid out and ready for piecing! (And ran out of table space in the process, haha) I had a lot of fun working on my quilt, and I’m going to try my hardest to get the top pieced together before the end of Gen Con. I really want to make this quilt, and I’ve finally got it started – I can’t let it sit unfinished now, can I?

And that, my friends, was my first day at Gen Con Online! I hung out online with fellow con-goers, bought a bunch of stuff, and even got some crafting done – I’d say it was a good day.

Gen Con Online: Day 0.5

Happy Gen Con Eve, folks! Sure, this isn’t going to be a typical Gen Con, but I’m going to do my usual daily Gen Con coverage anyway. This is going to be a Gen Con for the history books, with it being entirely online this year, and I want to document it. (My inner Ëlinyr is coming out a little bit, with her need to write everything down, haha.) So, here we go with Gen Con Online, day 0.5!

Socializing with folks on the Gen Con Online Discord

One of the big things I’ve been enjoying this year has been the Gen Con Discord server. It’s no secret that I’m a huge introvert, and shy as heck to boot – which makes socializing in person difficult for me at times. With the Gen Con Discord, though, everything’s through text, which is much easier for me. I’ve been having so much fun talking with others on Discord! I’ve mainly been hanging out in the general chat, cosplay, and crafting channels and enjoying lots of great conversation. Plus, occasionally names I recognize will pop up in the chat — like when I saw Rubiee of Dryad Tea in the general chat last night. I totally had a fangirl moment, haha. (After all, I’ve rambled about Dryad Tea before!)


With the Gen Con Discord making it easier for this nerd to talk to people, I’ve actually been brave enough to ask people for interviews. That’s right, this year I’m actually going to have some Gen Con interviews on the blog! Stay tuned for those interviews as part of my Gen Con coverage!

Preparing the house for Gen Con Online

I’m trying to make the house feel a little more like Gen Con — well, as much as I can without going too overboard. To make it feel a little more like Gen Con, I made a couple of signs to hang up around the house.

I’ve also done some work on cleaning up my craft area since I’ll be participating in a live-streamed quilting event!

A table with a sewing machine, a Crafty Nerd t-shirt, and some fabric cutting tools laid out on top of it.

The craft table is ready for crafting! (And hey, it’s Crafty Nerd t-shirt season, too!)

Plus, I’ve readied my home office for a couple of days of gaming and fun. My computer desk is Gen Con Central, haha.

A desk with two large monitors and a desktop computer on it. The computer screens have a custom Crafty Nerd at Gen Con wallpaper.

The Crafty Nerd’s home base for Gen Con Online!

And I’ve also got my new chief yarn tester on standby for craft supervision, too – he’s taking over for Steve since my living situation has recently changed.

A tuxedo cat laying on a bed in front of a lap desk with fabric squares on top of it.

This is Jack, my chief yarn tester and craft supervisor. He loves his job.

What I’ve got going on tomorrow

Here’s a sneak peek of what I’ll be doing tomorrow!

  • Hanging out on the Gen Con Discord, of course – I’m Beth (The Crafty Nerd) (she/her) there, feel free to say hi if you see me!
  • The Quilting 201 workshop, which I am super excited for!
  • Flailing around when the Looking Glass opens, and Gen Con exclusive merchandise becomes available, like the super limited edition Genevieve plushie from My Little Demon.

Tomorrow evening I’ll post a summary of what I got up to, so keep an eye out for my next Gen Con Online post. Otherwise, that’s a wrap for day 0.5 – I’ll see everyone tomorrow for the first day of Gen Con Online!

Gen Con Online: it’s almost here!

Folks, there are only two more days until Gen Con Online. How did Gen Con sneak up on me like that? I’m usually so hyperfocused on Gen Con for the month and a half leading up to the con. If this were a typical year, I’d be vibrating with excitement right now, packing my costumes and snacks for the next few days.

However, this year is definitely not typical. (We all know that by now, though.) That doesn’t mean I’m not excited about Gen Con Online – it’s a tiny taste of normalcy in an otherwise ridiculous year. And I’m going to try my best to emulate some of my favorite things about Gen Con right here at home.

Whiteboard with the text 'The Crafty Nerd's Gen Con Headquarters!' written on it.

… I spent entirely too much time trying to emulate Lobster 1.3 font by hand on this whiteboard, but hey, it looks cool!

Curious about what I’m planning for Gen Con Online? Read on!

Cosplay

Nobody should be surprised that I’m planning on cosplaying at home. I mean, why not? All my costumes are here, and I’ll take any excuse to wear them. They may all be cosplay reruns, but who cares? I doubt J and Kasi or the cats will judge me for it.

Costumes hanging on the back of my office door.

A couple of my favorite costumes are coming out to play for Gen Con Online!

This year, I’m planning on donning my Starfleet science officer uniform once again on Friday – but instead of going as Jadzia, I’ll just be a generic science officer. (After watching a lot of Deep Space 9 lately, I’m realizing I need a few more things for my Jadzia cosplay to make it better, so that’ll be my goal for next Gen Con.) For Saturday, I’ll be dusting off Ëlinyr’s stealth dress and wandering around as everyone’s favorite elf for a day! Sunday’s cosplay is one I tried a few years ago but couldn’t wear it because it was too darn hot. That’s right, I’m trying “Janeway on her day off” again! My hair’s nowhere near the right color for it right now, but I’m going to roll with it.

Events

I’m signed up for a fair amount of events this year, especially since Gen Con is online and likely less draining than a typical Gen Con. I’m especially excited for Quilting 201 (I’ll finally get that Sailor Moon quilt started!) and the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition game I’m signed up for. (Can you believe that I’ve never actually played a tabletop RPG at Gen Con? And this is my 7th Gen Con!) In addition to gaming and crafting, I’ll be watching a few live performances and watching the Costume Contest Awards Show.

Where to find me

For those of you who have been looking forward to finding me at Gen Con, you’re in luck! You can likely find me lurking around in the Gen Con Online Discord. Sure, it’s not quite the same as running into me in person, but at least you won’t have to deal with possibly getting swept away by the crowd in the Exhibit Hall or waving excitedly while dashing to an event. It’ll be hard to miss me on Discord – I’m on there as The Crafty Nerd (she/her), and my avatar is the blog’s logo. Feel free to message me and say hi! I’m always excited to meet blog fans in the wild.

Gen Con Online: a Gen Con you can attend from home!

Ahh, 2020 — the year of cancellations. Like most groups running big events this year, Gen Con ended up canceling 2020’s in-person convention. After all, the con typically brings upwards of 70,000 people to Indianapolis each year — and holding a big event like that in the time of COVID-19 is unthinkable. However, the fine folks at Gen Con didn’t leave us hanging! Instead, they’re moving the best four days in gaming online!

Gen Con from the comfort of your computer

I won’t lie, this introvert is actually somewhat excited about an online Gen Con. It’ll be different, that’s for sure, and I’ll definitely miss some Gen Con traditions, like:

  • picking up my press badge with Rachel on Wednesday, then watching the Will Call line grow as the day goes on
  • eating fancy nerd-themed cupcakes at the Gen Con Block Party from places like Gigi’s Cupcakes and The Flying Cupcake
  • seeing friends from pretty much every part of my life all in one place — after all, where else can I run into co-workers, Kishar friends, and people I know from professional organizations all in one place?
  • browsing the exhibit hall and spending ridiculous amounts of money on all sorts of nerdy gear (like last year’s Toothless kigurumi)
  • helping J and Kasi run a LARP (I’m actually starting to get better at this!)
  • collecting ribbons for my badge — I even had some this year to share, and I’m sad that I won’t get to give them out

However, there are some benefits!

  • You can schedule back-to-back events and not have to worry about dashing from the far end of the Indiana Convention Center to LucasOil Stadium!
  • Nobody’s saying you can’t cosplay at home! (Plus, if my costume gets uncomfortable, I’m not stuck in it all day!)
  • There’ll be an online exhibit hall you can browse without having to deal with crowds!

So while I’ll miss being in Indianapolis for five days of fun, at least I’ll still have Gen Con in some form! Enjoying Gen Con from the comfort of my computer is better than no Gen Con at all.

About Gen Con Online

Here’s some basic information about Gen Con Online, for those of you who are interested:

  • What you can do: Play games! Attend workshops! Watch some of your favorite performers! All online, so you can even show up in pajamas if you want.
  • When: July 30th – August 2nd
  • Where: At your house, on your computer! Games and events will be hosted on Roll20, Discord, Twitch, Zoom, and more.
  • Cost: A Gen Con Online badge is free, but individual events may charge a fee.

For even more info, check out the infographic below:

Infographic describing what you can do at Gen Con Online. To learn more, visit the URL this image links to.

Event registration is now live! Browse through the events here, and see what Gen Con Online has to offer.

What I’ll be up to at the con

While I didn’t get into everything I had on my wish list (which is nothing new), I did get into a few things I was really looking forward to – like the Quilting 201: Pixel Quilts workshop with Quiltoni! I’ve already got the Sailor Moon pixel quilt kit, and this workshop is the perfect way to actually get started with it. I’m also going to some musical performances and keeping my eyes peeled for some games to get into, since all my first picks for games filled up pretty quickly.

Another thing I’m thinking of doing is seeing what I can re-create about the Gen Con experience at home. I may not be able to have a cosplay parade, for example, but I can still cosplay! (And I will. After all, it’s me we’re talking about.) I’ll also be playing some games outside of Gen Con Online, and finding ways to do at-home versions of some of my favorite convention traditions. (Like eating pierogies. I may not be able to get them from the Pierogi Love truck, but I can make some at home!) I also talked with Rachel from The Five(ish) Fangirls, and she’s also going to Gen Con Online! That means we’ll be continuing our tradition of doing a post-con recap on the podcast. And as always, I’ll be doing daily recaps of the convention. They may not be as full of photos as previous years, but I’ll still be writing them.

I’m definitely looking forward to Gen Con online this year — and I hope everyone else is, too!