Dragon Con Tales: Christopher Paolini

On Friday of Dragon Con this weekend, I had an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with one of my favorite childhood novelists: Christopher Paolini.

Christopher Paolini & the Gnome Queen

Paolini is best-known for his Inheritance Cycle series, which he originally began writing at the age of 14.

Christopher Paolini Interview

“Reading and watching movies, and listening to music were all ways for me to experience the world outside of Montana,” said  Paolini

Christopher Paolini

The story of Eragon actually began as an experiment in order to see  if he could write a full-fledged novel.

“I was very methodical…I stopped writing and starting reading books on how to write.” explained Paolini.

Christopher Paolini Interview

Some of these books included Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, works from Joseph Campbell, and various writing essays by different authors.

“I said ‘I’m going to create a whole fantasy land, and all the characters, plot out a story, and I’m not going to write it’,” said Paolini.

Making Jokes
In doing so, he was able to flesh out the entirety of his series as well as the characters.
“I think one of the reasons it did succeed so well [Eragon] was the relationship between Eragon and Saphira …but also the fact that is an archetypal hero story,” described Paolini.
Christopher Paolini Interview

Paolini went on to explain that the character Brom was actually inspired by professional writer and artist Gerald Brom.  Gerald Brom or “Brom” is best-known for his dark, fantasy-based artistic style as well as his horror novels.

Asking Questions

A fun fact about this year’s convention was that Brom himself attended as the 2018 Dragon Con “Artist Guest of Honor”.

Strange how the world works like that.

Christopher Paolini
Paolini also informed me that an upcoming space opera is in the works, but a  release date has not be set as of yet.
You known the Gnome Queen be hitting the book store when its out.
Discussing Books
The interview concluded with Paolini discussing his favorite aspects of the Con which included the general vibe of the attendees and panels.
“Its kind of crazy, but it really is a fan convention…its not only a business event for me, but also like a vacation.”
I 100% agree. Its not everyday a Royal Gnome gets to meet one of her favorite authors, let alone one so cool and down to earth.
To see my first day at this year’s Dragon Con click here https://atlbyday.com/2018/09/02/gettin-schwifty-at-dragon-con-2018/
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Dragon Con Tales: Thursday

If you live within a 15 mile radius of Atlanta, then you probably caught a glimpse of the 32nd Annual Dragon Con earlier this week.

Splicer

While some non-attending locals may have been extremely confused by the horde of cosplayers and visitors, this year’s Dragon Con actually began a whole day earlier due to the high-volume of expected turn out.

The Giant King & Jurassic Park

This year also marked my very first Dragon Con, and with me was my loving photographer: the Giant King. For Thursday, The Giant King cosplayed as a “Morty Trying to Find His Rick” while I was a “Cat That Curiosity Couldn’t Kill.

No Face & the Gnome Queen

We began our day going through each host hotel and shopping area, catching an assortment of cosplayers and even a “Quest Master”. Attendees could also donate blood to the  Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” Blood Drive

Later that afternoon we attended the Opening Ceremony at the Marriott Marquis, where patrons were provided with a live musical intro from the Black Sheep Ensemble and Funk Cake.

President Pat Henry

Dragon Con President Pat Henry gave a brief background on the Con and introduced the new: Diversity in Speculative Fiction & Literature Fandom Track. This Track would include a “Wakanda Welcomes the World to Dragon Con” party, a variety of art and film panels, as well as Literary Guest of Honor: Steven Barns.

Funk Cake & the Black Sheep Ensemble

The Opening Ceremony concluded with another live performance from the Black Sheep Ensemble and Funk Cake.

Belly Dancer

Check out the photos below to see more Thursday cosplaying from Dragon Con 2018!

Skeleton T-Rex
Attack on Titan Scout Regiment
The Men in Tights
Dance Dance Revolution at the AmericasMart
Lady Olenna & Queen Cersei
Master Chief

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more posts and photos from the Gnome Queen’s Dragon Con Tales!

Top Things To Do in Atlanta

Labor Day is a celebration of the American workforce and what better way to celebrate all of your hard work than to have one last hurrah for summer complete with good food, drink, and maybe even some music? Lucky for you, Atlanta has a lot of great options for you to enjoy your extended weekend. College football kicks off, Dragon Con is in town, and lots lots more. Read below for our top picks broken down by activity type:

Sports:

  • Chick-fil-a Kickoff game: Washington vs. Auburn- Saturday, Sept. 1st at 3:30pm at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • College Colors Kickoff Block Party: Celebrate the start to college football with the college colors bar crawl this Friday, August 31st. To find out more about tickets and participating bars and restaurants read our post.
  • Georgia Tech vs. Alcorn State: Georgia Tech football kicks off its 2018 season at Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday, September 1st at 12:30pm.
  • Atlanta Braves Games: The Braves will be hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates all weekend long at SunTrust Park. There will even be a Zedd concert after the game Friday night!
  • Soul Rise Classic 5K: Will take place Saturday, September 1st beginning across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Registration is $30 and proceeds will benefit early childhood development at the YMCA and other local community non-profits.
  • Big Peach Sizzler 10K/5K: Will take place Monday September 3rd with the 10K starting at the Chamblee MARTA Station and the 5K beginning at the Brookhaven MARTA Station. Registration is $45 for the 5K and $55 for the 10K. All proceeds will support Miles for Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Hike and Hops at Stone Mountain: Explore Stone Mountain on a 5-6 mile hike ending with a German beer tasting at the Village Corner German Restaurant. Tickets include one beer and a giant pretzel. Hike takes place Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 10:45am. Click here for more info. P.S- Stone Mountain will be hosting extended light shows all Labor Day Weekend. Find out more here.

Music:

  • Zedd concert: At SunTrust Park after the Braves vs. Pirates game Friday, August 31st. Find tickets here.
  • Taste of Soul Atlanta- Food & Music Festival: A free festival taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To find out more about the music, food, and activities check out their site.
  • Lynard Skynard- Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour: Saturday, September 1st at the Lakewood Amphitheatre.
  • Michael Jackson vs. Prince Silent Disco: Saturday, September 1st at 830pm at the Buckhead Theatre. Tickets start at $13.
  • House in the Park at Grant Park: Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 12pm. Tickets are $10.
  • Local Brews Local Grooves at the Tabernacle: Come to the Tabernacle Sunday, September 4th beginning at 4pm for a craft beer and music festival. Free pizza from Outsiders pizza will be provided as well as a selection of local craft breweries and live music. To find out more info such as a list of breweries, bands, and ticket prices click here.

Food:

  • Taste of Soul Atlanta- Food & Music Festival: A free festival taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To find out more about the music, food, and activities check out their site.
  • Luau at Victory Sandwich Bar: Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 2pm Victory Sandwich Bar in Decatur will be hosting a luau complete with live music, a tiki bar, and an all you can eat buffet. And tickets are only $15!
  • 4th Annual Labor Day Pig Out at Avalon’s Oak Steakhouse: Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids. Tickets include delicious food, and activities such as face painting, a photo booth, and lawn games. Beer, wine, and batch cocktails will also be available for purchase.
  • 33rd Annual Labor Day Blues & BBQ: Park Tavern will be hosting WRFG 89.3 FM’s annual BBQ Monday, September 3rd beginning at 1pm. Tickets are $15, for more info click here.
  • Local Brews Local Grooves at the Tabernacle: Come to the Tabernacle Sunday, September 4th beginning at 4pm for a craft beer and music festival. Free pizza from Outsiders pizza will be provided as well as a selection of local craft breweries and live music. To find out more info such as a list of breweries, bands, and ticket prices click here.

Social:

  • Dragon Con: Takes place August 30-September 3rd. Check out our guides to Dragon Con 2018.
  • Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival: Head to Callaway gardens from August 31st-September 2nd to witness the beautiful hot air balloons illuminate the night! The weekend event will include tethered balloon rides, live music, food and drink specials, a kids zone, beach activities, a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, and a photography class. To see the schedule of events click here. Adult ticket prices start at $24.95 and children’s prices begin at $14.95.
  • Pure Heat Community Festival: Celebrate Atlanta’s Black Pride this Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 12pm in Piedmont Park! The celebration will include market and food vendors, live music, and educational forums. The festival strives to bring awareness to the issues currently facing the LGBTQ community.

The Arts:

  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Is offering a Labor Day special of 15% off memberships! Use the code “LABOR 2018” at the checkout here.
  • Cirque du Soleil Corteo: Will be performing multiple shows over Labor Day weekend at the Infinite Energy Center. To find showtimes and tickets follow this link.
  • AJC Decatur Book Festival: Will take place August 31st-September 2nd in downtown Decatur. For more information and a schedule follow the link here.
Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

WHO TO SEE AT DRAGONCON 2018: PART FOUR

Hello and welcome to the final edition of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018. For the finale, let’s take a look at “Attending Professionals”.

For my lover’s of puppetry and robotics, get ready for an all-star line up of some of the best puppeteers and puppet-makers in the world. Starting with Peter Abrahamson, Abrahamson has created countless robots and puppets for many Hollywood blockbusters such as I, Robot and Hellboy, as well as producing the hit T.V. series: BattleBots.

The world-renowned Kris Bluett-Woolen will also be in attendance. Bluett-Woolen has been working in the puppet business since 1988 and has performed in various countries such as Japan and South Korea. She also recently performed at the 2018 National Puppet Slam over at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

The current Education Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, Aretta Baumgartner, is to make an appearance as well. Baumgartner specializes in performing while also teaching masks, movements, and puppetry.

Another star-studded puppeteer is Grant Baciocco from Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Baciacco is a comedic puppeteer and is a member of the Jim Henson Company’s Puppet Up! Uncensored troupe. His most recently work has been on the upcoming Happytime Murders film with Melissa McCarthy.

When searching for amazing costume and prop-makers, look no further than “The Wicked Tailor”.  Known in the real world as Frank T. Puricelli, “The Wicked Tailor” has won countless awards for his costumes and cosplaying, which includes the 2016 Dragon Con Overall Best In Show.

Professional costume designer and cosplayer “Jinglebooboo” will also be making an appearance at this year’s Con. Her work has been featured in Cosplay Culture, and was a competitor on the popular SyFy series Cosplay Melee.

One of my personal picks is make-up artist: Corey Castellano. Castellano’s work has been seen in countless Hollywood blockbusters and shows which include: The Patriot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean:On Stranger Tides, The Polar Express, Zombieland, and so many more.

Emily Schmidt of Go Big or Go Home Cosplay is a local cosplayer here in the Greater Atlanta Area. She is also a Cosplay Melee veteran and winner of the episode “Throne Off”.  She is known for creating her own armor, and specializes with thermoplastics and foam. Schmidt can be found at the Geekspace Gwinnet which is a non-profit makerspace in Suwanee.

For my Rupaul Drag Race fans, the self-proclaimed: “Queen of All Nerds” Dax ExclamationPoint will fabulously strolling through this year’s Con. Dax’s style is based predominately on comic book super-heroines. She has cosplayed some powerful supers, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Black Canary.

Award-winning cosplay model Barr “JaBarr” Foxx will also be at Dragon Con. JaBarr’s cosplaying creativity has been featured in the cosplay-themed book: Cosplay in America Vol.2, as well as Marvel’s official website for his rendition of Bishop and Gambit.  His #CosplayYourWay campaign encourages all individuals to cosplay regardless of race, size, age, or gender, and describes his own style as “Cosplay Chic!”

Next we spotlight award-winning gaming speaker: Dr. Roger Altizer, Jr. Dr. Altizer has spoken on topics from medical games and designs to the ever-growing eSports Industry. He is also a former game journalist and has hosted countless parties at conventions and fan events.

Speaking of gaming, attendees can also catch Andrien Gbinigie who is a Product Marketing Manager at Ubisoft. Gninigie has worked as a Community Manager on the Assassin’s Creed franchise and is an avid cosplayer.

The Associate Chair of Interactive Design, Game Development, and Motion Media Design at SCAD Atlanta, Eric Allen, will also be around the Con. If you’re interested in learning how to create 3D character rigs, then you should definitely check out his best-selling book: Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging.

Another game-related professor is Shareef K. Jackson of the University of Wisconsin. Jackson teaches a course on Video Games & Learning, and is a STEM Diversity Advocate. He is the founder of the tutoring service Math Looks Good LLC. as well as the co-host for the Spawn On Me podcast.

Now, while most college students who attend Dragon Con are there to ya know, avoid school, Dragon Con actually has an assortment of awesome professors and academics at this year’s Con.  These include: Dr. Matthew J. Brown who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Dallas, and is also a professorial scholar of pop culture and comics. Since Dragon Con 2008, Dr. Brown has organized an academic conference  which I’ll definitely be attending.

I have to know how one becomes a pop-culture professional scholar.

Biology Professor Dr. Mohamed A. F. Noor of Duke University (Go Blue Devils!) has conducted countless studies on evolution and genetics. As avid Star Trek fan, Dr. Noor has given talks regarding the applied science in the Star Trek universe as well as many other science fiction universes.

Dr. Bethany Brookshire is an award-winning science writer for Science News for Students and Science News which are subsidiaries of the non-profit: Society for Science & the Public. Dr. Brookshire is also a blogger for Eureka! Lab and Scicurious, as well as a presenter for the podcast: Science for the People.

Another personal pick is Scott Harris of the Fernbank Science Center and Planetarium. Harris a Planetary Geologist who’s research includes meteorites and asteroid impact deposits around the world.

And while I know pretty much everyone who grew up in Georgia went to Fernbank Museum at some point for a class trip, I would I definitely recommend returning for one of their Fernbank After Dark events. Visitors can grab a drink while checking out the Dr. Ralph L. Buice, Jr. Observatory for some star gazing and maybe even a shooting star! [Cough, it’s actually a meteor burning up in the earth’s atmosphere, Cough.]

Unfortunately, some of you believe that since October is over a month away, I can’t bring out my spookey-dooky skeletons. Well, in that case let’s grab some ghost hunters: at this year’s Con we have Shawn Boettner and Jordan T. Duncan of Paranormal Georgia Investigations. Boettner is one of the team’s paranormal investigators and Duncan is one of the Co-Directors. Maybe they’ll find a spirit or two.

And finally, the blood-descendant of master horror writer Bram Stoker himself: Dacre Calder Stoker! Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, and like his great grand-uncle, Dacre has taken a keen interest in the world of vampires. He is the co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, a direct sequel to the original Dracula which he wrote to “reestablish creative control over” over the original copyright. I won’t lie, there have been some…interesting vampire stories written since Bram’s publication. In 2011, Dacre also created the documentary-film Dracula meets Stoker. 

So, there you have it. Thank you for reading Part 4 of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018: “Attending Professionals”. Be sure to catch the Gnome Queen and my Giant King at this year’s Con. We’ll be cosplaying Afro-Samurai, “Drinker” Bell and many, many more.

See you then!

For the entire Attending Professionals “Who to See”, check out: http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=attending-professionals-view

To read Parts 1, 2, & 3 click here:

https://atlbyday.com/2018/07/19/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-four/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/28/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-two/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/21/dragon-con-2018-who-to-see/

Colin Mochrie at Dad’s Garage

Over in Edgewood this weekend, Dad’s Garage Theatre House had a special two-night improv showing with world-famous comedian: Colin Mochrie.

Ticket

 

Colin is best known for his role in the improv-comedy show: Whose Line Is It Anyway? 

Playing a Game of Freeze

Colin has worked on both the U.K. and U.S. versions of the show and has won countless awards for his talents, including Best Male Performance-Television at the 2000 Canadian Comedy Awards.

Freeze continued

A few of the ATL By Day Team attended the 8 P.M. show Friday night, which included President & Founder Zapp Flanagan, Outreach Coordinator Elsie Tito, and Head Content Writer Davi Gnomes.

ATL By Day

We looked stunning.

The show began with the Gen. Co. of Dad’s Garage which included my loving Giant King. Colin made a small appearance for the first round game of “Freeze”. “Freeze” begins with two improvisers starting a scene inspired by the audience. At any point, one of the other improvisers can yell freeze and tag out another player. A new scene begins from that same position.

Colin Mochrie & the Giant King

After Freeze ended, Colin exited the stage to await the second half. The remaining first half involved a series of hilarious short-form games such as: “Deathbox”, “One-Voice Interview” and “Sounds Like a Song”.

Sounds Like a Song

A short intermission concluded the first half and patrons eagerly awaited Colin’s return.

The Beer Cart

The second half introduced the Dad’s Ensemble, and of course Colin Mochrie. For this part of the show, a “Long Form” game took place which is when a suggestion from the audience inspires a variety of narrative scenes. This suggestion can be referenced throughout the story, and characters can be reoccurring as well.

Colin & The Ensemble

For the Long Form, the suggestion of “blueberry” was taken which resulted in a sequence of “A Single Blueberry Pie”, “Blueberry Zip-Up Underwear”, and “A Dying Marriage on a Spiral Staircase”.

The Butler Brings the Blueberry Zip-Up Underwear

Colin also played the role of the Queen of England, where “she” gave each of the guards a few “cup checks” on her afternoon stroll.

The Queen Before the Cup Checks

All of these scenes had the audience roaring in their seats.

The Healthy Vodka Debate

The show finished with a standing ovation and pure excitement for Colin’s next return to Dad’s.

A Single Blueberry Pie

For more events around Atlanta, check out our Events Calendar https://atlbyday.com/events-calendar/

 

District Is Atlanta’s Newest Versatile Entertainment Venue

District, Atlanta’s newest dance club and private event venue in the Armour District neighborhood, had a fantastic opening night on Saturday, July 14th.

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The building, located at 269 Armour Drive NE near Sweetwater Brewing Co., officially opened on July 14th with a patio party. The event featured Halogen & Friends, doing their Housewerk Open Air multi-DJ set. A small VIP area sat above the main patio area, overlooking a nice crowd of 20- and 30-something year old patrons.

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Halogen & Friends played until 11pm; at which point ticket holders for the headlining act, Cazzette, were allowed indoors into the main stage and dance floor areas. Cazzette, an EDM artist hailing from Sweden, laid down some future house beats to the delight of everyone there. District even brought in some dancers for the crowd to enjoy!

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I checked back in two weeks later during the open format sessions dubbed “The Future” and “We Are The City.” I briefly chatted with Rich Stine, the Operations Manager of District. “District is more than just a club; it’s a private events venue, too. We are hosting Jezebel Magazine’s “20 Most Eligible Atlantans” on August 2nd and will continue to serve as a corporate or private events venue during the week while focusing on music events on Friday and Saturday.”

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District is a great multi-purpose entertainment space.With patio space and a bar available upon entry, that opens up for the possibility of day parties (who doesn’t love a good brunch party?). Are you a person who likes a nice seating area and clean restrooms when you party? District has two floors of ample seating areas and spacious, fresh restrooms on each floor–a pretty thoughtful design that is difficult to find in the club and event scene. Another feature that District possesses is a kitchen area located in the back. This means that your private event can be catered to without hassle and executed perfectly! “Either day or night, week day or weeknight, District can host your events,” Stine said firmly.

“We have an LED display that is found nowhere else in North America, we have a premium sound system” he added. He’s right, the lights and the sound are amazing–you can spend a good amount time pondering life’s choices while staring at the moving and synchronized light fixture overlooking the main floor. Those of you who aren’t fans of the LED screens and/or lasers would love this setup!

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Getting back to the music… open format nights may not be for everyone, so District is featuring artists in August that will come from all parts of the world to entertain us here in the ATL. Morten will be there on August 10th to lay down some tracks from his latest album, “ADUMU” which dropped in June. For now, local acts like Crespo (pictured above), DJ EU and DannyM are going to bring you life in the late hours of the weekend.

Tickets range from $10 – $15 depending upon the act, you can walk up to District and purchase admission there if you can’t purchase online. Hosting a group or need VIP seating? Email the host, Steve, and he will get in touch with you. Did I mention there is free parking? There is free parking! There is also valet service and a waiting area out front for taxi needs.

Keep dancing, Atlanta!

Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

Who To See At Dragon Con 2018: Part Three

It’s time for Part Three of the Gnome Queen’s “Who to See” at Dragon Con 2018. Let’s take a peek at the Guest List.

At the top begins with Costume and Prop Designer: Robert Allsopp. Allsopp has worked with countless theatre companies around the world including the Tokyo Opera, the Royal Opera House, and The Met Opera. Allsopp has also provided costumes for films such as the Thor sequels, 47 Ronin, and 300: Rise of an Empire. He was also the main costume and prop designer for the award-winning London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Golden Globe-nominated actor and director Tom Cavanagh will also be making an appearance on September 1st and 2nd at Dragon Con. Cavanagh is known for his acting and directing of Warner Brother’s The Flash as well as an extensive television, film and theatre portfolio. Cavanagh also works closely with “Nothing But Nets” which aims to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria in Africa.

For those of you interested in martial arts, Ninkage ryu bujutsu Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi will be in attendance as well. Ninkage ryu bujutsu is a Japanese martial arts system which includes weapons-study such as Kenjutsu, bare-handed techniques, Iaijutsu, and the art of the sword. Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi was inducted into the United States Karate Alliance Hall of Fame in July of 1992 and has been providing demonstrations at Dragon Con since 2005.

One of my own personal picks includes award-winning actress Jennifer Morrison. Morrison has starred in a variety of films and television shows such as Once Upon a Time, House, M.D., Mr. and Mrs. Smith and How I Met Your Mother. Morrison also owns the film production company: Apartment 3C Productions where she directed her first film: Sun Dogs in 2017.

For those of you who enjoy comics and music, then I would definitely try seeing Afua Richardson. Richardson is a comic book creator as well as a musician and singer for the band: Waking Astronomer. She has been dubbed an “Honorary Woman of Marvel” for her works which includes the Blade the Hunter series, and is a Nina Simone award recipient.

Best-selling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Cheree Alsop will also be attending. Anderson has written countless novels including the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and the comedic horror series Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Alsop has also published over 40 books in a variety of fantasy genres and has taught for the League of Utah Writers.

Another renowned actor in attendance includes Eddie McClintock.  McClintock is known for his work on Syfy’s Warehouse 13 as well as starring as Jack Payne in the USA Network’s series Shooter. He will also be hosting the Dragon Con Masquerade on September 2nd.

For fans of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, then get ready to meet Victoria Atkin. Atkin is the voice of Evie Frye, the first playable female character of the franchise. She also starred in the post-apocalyptic science fiction television series: Extinct.

Actor and Improviser Lucky Yates is another key addition to my list of personal picks. Yates is the voice of Dr. Krieger on the hit FX television show Archer, and can be found at Dad’s Garage Theatre House over in Edgewood.

And finally, for those of us who remember The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (it was amazing don’t deny it) then get excited to see author Zac Brewer. Brewer is a New York Times best-selling author and goes by the nickname “Z” online. Z is a prominent LGBTQ+ advocate and travels around the country to raise awareness on mental health and bullying.

To view the full Guest “Who to See” line-up, check out http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=guests 

For my final Dragon Con 2018 “Who to See”, I will be focusing on the “Attending Professionals”.

Bye for now!

 

Funday Sunday feat. the 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival

When people think of Sundays, many anticipate the dread of the weekend concluding. No one enjoys going back to work or school; however for the Gnome Queen, I view Sunday as a unique mystery. Anything can happen and its usually less crowded throughout most of Atlanta.

My Sunday began with the FIFA World Cup Tournament Finals. I watched the game with some good friends and food, but unfortunately had to see France beat Croatia 4-2.
Viva la France.

Later on, I celebrated National Ice Cream Day with the Giant King at Sub Zero Ice Cream. Sub Zero is located across from Centennial Olympic Park and uses liquid nitrogen in its creation. Customers can mix and match countless flavors and milk-bases including Diary-Free, Fat-Free, or Custard. The flavors and bases can then be mixed with add-ins which is then frozen using the liquid nitrogen.

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Sub Zero Ice Cream
I got the Brownie Batter and Amaretto mixed with Andes Mints and Cookie Dough Bites while the Giant King got Peanut Butter and Chocolate mixed with Peanut Butter Cups.

He loves his peanut butter

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The 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival
Afterwards, we hit West-Midtown for the main event of the night: The 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival hosted at Actor’s Express. The Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival occurred both Sunday and Monday evenings, and included 60 one-minute plays by some of Atlanta’s established and emerging playwrights and directors.

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Kevin Qian & Joshua Quinn
Each play also featured an assortment of many talented Atlanta-based actors and actresses, which included my loving Giant King.

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Post-Show Chatter
The plays were broken down into “clumps” of 10 and were organized based on theme. Many of these themes included current political trends, cultural references, and overall social issues. Each “clump” was unique and provided an interesting outlook on the modern world.

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Post-Show Chatter
My choice “clump” was definitely the first one as well as various plays from clump 5 and 9. Out of all of the plays, Hard Candy by Steve Yockey was hands-down my most favorite. It was humorous and involved a dangerous argument over Gobstoppers and Jawbreakers. (Cough Cough Gobstoppers rule.)

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Post-Show Chatter
The commitment and work of each playwright, director, and cast member made the night extremely entertaining, and I am excited to see the creativity at next year’s show.

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Actor’s Express Season 31 Play Guide
If you’re interested in seeing more shows at Actor’s Express, check-out their website https://www.actors-express.com/

Rosé All Day at Urban Tree Cidery

For Brunch this past Sunday, my good friend Ke and I swung by Urban Tree Cidery for their special “Rosé All Day” drink event. Urban Tree is Atlanta’s first cidery, and is located in West Midtown on Howell Mill Road.

Urban Tree produces all of their ciders in-house from locally grown apples in Mountain City, Georgia. Along with a full-bar, Urban Tree has a unique ability in concocting tasty ciders with a variety of spirits. I do enjoy my spirits.

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Rosé All Day Menu
For Rosé All Day, Urban Tree mixed-up three creative cocktails with their newest Rosé cider; these included: the “F’Rosé” which was frozen and blended with vodka, a “Glowsé” which had gin from the Old Fourth Distillery, and a “Brosé” which came with Moonrise Rye Whiskey.

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The Party Bar
Co-founder and Event Coordinator Jackie Waice explained that the event was planned in honor of the Rosé cider’s release, and 10% of all bottle sales will go to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Non-profit.

Rosé All Day began promptly at 12:30 P.M., and you know the Gnome Queen always arrives on time.

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F’Rosé
For a warm day like Sunday, I sipped on the F’Rosé while Ke ordered Urban Tree’s Original Cider.

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Original Cider
Along with refreshing drinks, patrons could purchase tacos from Propósito food truck as well as sweet treats from Southern Peach Pastries.

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Southern Peach Pastries
“I loved mixing the flavors of my cider with my tacos. The blend of flavors was tasty and exquisite,” said Ke.

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Propósito
Ke ordered two Chicken Fajita Tacos while I got some plain tortillas to snack on.

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Sippin’ On Cider
After finishing my F’Rosé, I decided on the Brosé which was both crisp and strong. It immediately became my favorite.

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Brosé
The event as a whole was extremely enjoyable and created a relaxed Sunday atmosphere for all attendees. So if you’re like me and prefer liquor and cider, then I would definitely recommend swinging by Urban Tree Cidery. Their Tasting Room days are Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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Enjoying the Sunday Air
For more details, check them out at https://urbantreecidery.com/

The Red, White and Brews Bar Bash

Is that a Charcoal Grill I smell? Maybe some fresh Apple Pie?

Are those Fireworks exploding in the night’s sky?

Is that a Flag of Red, White and Blue?

Well, we all know what that means: it’s Independence Day.

The day we celebrate how Americans came together in order to counterattack a bunch of evil E.T.s that invaded and—wait, wait that’s the movie Independence Day?

Regardless, we all know what the 4th of July truly means for the U.S. of A.: partying. And to kick off this patriotic weekend, I spent my Saturday at the Red, White and Brews Bar Bash.

Hosted by the Atlanta Bar Tours, this bar crawl was anything, but boring. With the slogan, “Make America Drink Again”, the Giant King and I knew to come thirsty.

The crawl took place throughout the Buckhead bar area and began at the Lost Dog Tavern. At check-in, patrons were given a map, free beads, and a raspberry-vodka comp shot. (It was really tasty too.)

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Atlanta Bar Tours’ Crew

Some of the participating bars and restaurants included: Buckhead Saloon, Churchhill’s Pub, Red Door Tavern, Moondogs, and so many more. Each establishment provided complimentary shots, $3-$2-$1 drink specials, or different food offerings.

Once we received our gear, the Giant King and I made our way next door to the Red Door Tavern for some drinks. I got a tequila sprite and the Giant King got a vodka-water. Had to start off easy, ya know?

We then decided to head back over to Lost Dog Tavern for some good music and games. At Lost Dog Tavern, bar-goers had the option of playing either cornhole or water pong. This Gnome Queen had to see if her skills had lessened any since school ended.

While my throwing wasn’t the best, (I play soccer and run) I was able to maintain a solid lead over the Giant King. Until he came back and destroyed me. C’est la vie.

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Patriotic Cornhole

From Lost Dog Tavern, we made our way to Buckhead Saloon. Here, we took some shots and ate some tacos while watching Atlanta United decimate Orlando City. ‘Twas a good game.

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Buckhead Saloon

Throughout the course of the night, the Giant King and I primarily focused on the $1 shots. I do enjoy some shots.

At each location, patrons could be spotted by their fabulous choices of red, white and blues. From bald eagle t-shirts to American flag stilettos, this bar crawl was the most ‘Murican dream for all to see.

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A Game of Water Pong

And while this hadn’t been my first crawl with the Atlanta Bar Tours, it was definitely one of my top favorites. The atmosphere of each establishment, the walking-distance and the overall camaraderie between patrons was extremely appreciated.

To end our night, the Giant King and I made our way to the Elbow Room for their $8 18-inch pizza special. We may have had a little too much of it once we got home.

But hey, that food-coma was totally worth it all.

So have a patriotic Happy 4th of July from the Queen of the Gnomes, and keep the fireworks away from trees mmk?

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