Utahraptor, William Stout, and one incredible convention sketch

A cool story about dinosaurs, that’s all… and about one of the greatest dinosaur artists of all time. I’ve told it before, but that was a while ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
I was incredibly fortunate to get a Utahraptor sketch from William Stout at a convention several years ago. I caught him before the dealers room opened (being a guest of the convention myself), and he did it for free — I was seriously fangirling on him, telling him that the very first book I ever bought with my own money was “Dinosaurs”, and so forth — and I didn’t find out until later that it was the equivalent of a $150 convention sketch… or so I’ve been told. In any case, it’s amazing and I will treasure it always.

William Stout Sketch MEDIUM

Wild Prairie Fur Con 2019: “Furassic Park”

The Wild Prairie Fur Con’s website is up for their 2019 convention, huzzah! I’m really looking forward to attending their second year! The 2019 theme is “Furassic Park”, which should be loads of fun!
(I’m a “Furry Friend” rather than an actual Furry, and went to the first WPFC mostly out of curiosity, but the folks at the convention were so warm and friendly and welcoming that they completely won me over. I’ll be supporting their event whenever possible in the years to come.)
Wild Prairie Fur Con 2019: Furassic Park

Today I might take some time to start sketching out my Crow accessories for the WPFC. One issue will be cutting out the wings and tail, but I should be able to manage by purchasing big sheets of black matte board or black foam core from either Staples or Artists Emporium. Using metallic silver markers, I can then add detailing to the forms. A bigger issue: how best to attach them to me so that they can be easily handled (when it comes to things like sitting in chairs), not to mention put on and taken off.

After over two and a half decades away, it looks like I’m getting back into the realm of costuming again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Me wearing crow mask for furry convention

Banner Art: A 2’x4′ vinyl sign for Keycon 36

Since I’m splitting an 8′ dealer table in the Keycon 36 Marketplace with a fellow artist, I plan to have a 2’x4′ vinyl sign printed to hang over the table front on my side. This is the latest version, based on a photo taken by Kevin Grummett at my November 10th book signing.

I welcome any thoughts or pointers, since this isn’t usually the kind of design work I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lauren Alder 2s4 Keycon banner WHITE backgrd fade NEW TEXT proof

Crow mask! :)

I stopped at one of our local Spirit Halloween stores earlier this week and found this PERFECT crow mask! Something to wear to next year’s Wild Prairie Fur Con (our city’s furry fandom convention); if I’m able, I also intend to create a small set of cardboard wings and a cardboard crow’s tail to dress up in for the event. (I wouldn’t call myself a furry proper, but I do feel a strong connection to crows and would feel much more in vogue at the WPFC with those accessories.)

Me wearing crow mask for furry convention

Conventions: The great DragonCon carpet cosplay debacle of 2013

It’s no secret that fans will cosplay just about anything, given half a chance. However, it takes a special kind of creativity to come up with the idea of dressing yourself as THE CARPET AT A CONVENTION HOTEL.

Dragoncon Carpet Cosplay 2

Behold, the folks who decided to kit themselves out as part of the floor at the Marriott Marquis Atlanta. Complete with camo firearms.

I’ll bet you’re saying: “Brilliant! Beautiful! Sheer genius!” And you’d be right.

However, the carpet’s designers didn’t see it that way. Especially when the cosplayers made the fabric pattern available on Spoonflower. Oops! Can you say, “Intellectual property infringement”? And even Volpin Props, the cosplayers in question, admitted that the original designers had a good point.

Still, in my opinion this episode marks one of the high points of 21st century cosplay. Cleverness! Meta out the wazoo! Copyright wank! Who could ask for anything more?

Full story here, courtesy of Gizmodo:


Hotel etiquette: Tipping the Cleaning Fairies

Another chronic pain day, hurray! I have a profound case of brain fog, so let’s talk about something plain and easy:

If you stay in a hotel, whether as part of a convention or not, it’s always a great idea to tip the folks who keep your room lovely and sparkling, AKA the Cleaning Fairies.

Why should this be the case? Well, as someone whose own housecleaning skills are best described as “indifferent”, I tremendously appreciate the luxury of coming back to my hotel room at the end of a long convention day and finding a neatly kept environment to crash in. A fully made bed! A spotless bathroom! Fresh towels! Oh, what bliss!

For another thing, I have a friend who used to have a job cleaning hotel rooms. Including the toilets (yick!). And they do NOT get paid a whole helluva lot. Make that: not a lot at all. AND they’re expected to handle some outrageous number of rooms per day. It’s the kind of job that gives little ol’ “judging by the appearance of her household there appears to have been a struggle” me the cold squicky shivers, and I can’t imagine that everybody who scrubs hotel rooms for a living is overjoyed at the prospect.

So on the Saturday night of a convention (to make sure I don’t forget it in the checkout frenzy on Sunday, when I’m likely to be three-quarters brain dead anyway), I hit the hotel front desk and hand them an envelope with $15-20 in it, marked “For the Cleaning Staff”. Last time I did it, I got gushed over, because apparently a lot of people do NOT tip the Cleaning Fairies.

Which I strongly advise everybody to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

And if anybody reading this is a Cleaning Fairy themselvesโ€ฆ you, Madam or Sir, are a braver human being than I am. No power on this wide green Earth could induce me to stick my hands into a stranger’s toilet. I just wish it were within my budgetary capacity to tip you even more.

Just For Fun! Wild Prairie Fur Con 2018 Pictures!

I’ll be sharing more about WPFC 2018 in a future post, but for today — let’s have some cool pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Not-very-cool me, in the hotel restaurant, with my only fannish accessory for the weekend besides my Keycon t-shirt: a cute li’l crocheted alien on a headband.

WPFC Me With Alien Headdress Sat Lunch

Well, maybe not my ONLY fannish accessory… I commissioned a crow name badge from one of the artists in the Dealers Den. Crows are very precious birds to me for a number of reasons, including some spiritual ones, so I felt comfortable identifying with them during a furry event.

WPFC Crow Badge

Somebody’s getting their tail nommed on! OM NOM NOM!

WPFC Furries Dragon Nibble on Tail Sat Morning

LOVE the skeleton face! And the LED name tags!

WPFC Furries One With Skull Face Sat Morning

A charming female ferret. I ended up hanging out with her and her SO for most of Saturday evening — such nice folks!

WPFC Snow Fox Furry Cool Couple I Met Sat Morning

One of the coolest accessories I saw all day (privately I dubbed it “the Aslan backpack”, but I don’t know what the person wearing it called it).

WPFC Aslan Backpack Sat Afternoon

The Artist Guest of Honour. If she fits, she sits! ๐Ÿ™‚

WPFC Artist GoH It Fis She Sits Sat Afternoon

One of the charming serving entities in The Maid Cafe on Saturday night: an angler fish fursona, complete with forehead light!

WPFC Angler Fish Furry Maid Cafe Sat Night

And finally, the fellow (SO to the charming ferret!) who won the Live Reading of “The Eye of Argon”! I asked him to “strike a Grignr pose”, and he happily obliged!

WPFC Eye of Argon Winner with Ring

A written account of the convention will follow in the next few days, but suffice it to say that as a non-furry who was nervous about being all alone in a crowd of unknown fans, I was made to feel immensely welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚