Story Concepts & Development for Novels, Comics, Games, Film and TV

Second Generation Geek

Thank goodness my mother was such a geek.

She was a dedicated Trekkie (I say was because she doesn’t go out of her way to catch every rerun of the show anymore). And a couple times a year, until I was probably fifteen, she would whisk my brothers and I off to one science fiction convention or another, where any Halloween costume could be turned into a sci-fi marvel for the Saturday night Masquerade. [“Cheerleader of the Galactic Games…”? Yeah, that was me. Rah.] Where my mom chatted up Ray Bradbury or Larry Niven in the halls. Where I could watch the entire reel from Dragon’s Lair arcade game, or get an autograph of Shanah, that green-haired alien in the tin foil bikini from The Gamesters of Triskelion (Season 2, Episode 2 – yes, I had to look it up – I’m only part-geek).

My older brothers and I had full reign on these dream weekends, as my mom would save up so we could stay in the host hotel, even though we never lived more than 45 minutes from any of the convention locations. We would have our fill roaming the “Dealer’s Room”, playing D&D, or speed-dating the rooms that played movies all night long.

[Comic-Con was not the origin of cosplaying…]

Like proper geeks, my family waited in line for hours to see each of the Star Wars movies, knew the name of every actor who ever played Charlie Chan, and never – ever – missed a James Bond film.

And then there was our love affair with Sherlock Holmes. My mom has participated in Sherlock groups for as long as I can remember. They have met almost every month for the last 35 years, sharing their passion for Conan Doyle’s stories, reciting their own handwritten ones at literary teas, and converging on Santa Anita Park – in full Victorian regalia, of course – every year to watch Silver Blaze race (Silver Blaze is both the name of a racehorse from one of the stories, and an actual racehorse who races at the park each year).

Every winter, we attended the Gasfitter’s Ball, where Sherlockian groups from all over California would come to waltz and carouse, dressed as a character from one of the original stories. At its peak back in the 80’s, the group even hosted three consecutive Sherlock Holmes Conventions.

They drew many writers, some published, some aspiring.

When I was 8, a poem I wrote was published in an anthology of other Sherlockian writings, based on Eve Titus’s Basil of Baker Street series. I’m told I was the youngest author to ever be included…

There’s no question that my mother’s geek status shaped my hobbies and interests, my career, even my parenting style.

It is the part of my childhood I wouldn’t trade for anything.

If my bring-up had been any different, it might not have brought me to my careers in animation, comics, and film.

And those experiences ultimately brought me to Alien Confidential, for which I’m grateful.

Just another step in my journey to full-fledged geek.

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