Craftcation 2017


I’m sitting in a hotel bar, eating some tacos, and drinking a very lovely beer.  I just finished my last event at Craftcation 2017, and this is my time to process, defuse, and “come down” from the creative and learning high I’ve been on for the past four days.

I’m watching attendees huddle in the lobby, hugging, laughing, and saying tearful, reluctant goodbyes.  Even the hotel staff seem to be a little sad that the craziness is dwindling down.  (Though the bar staff here in the restaurant will likely utter a sigh of relief that they’re finally going to get a breather.)

In a little while, a friend is going to join me, and we’re going to put together a plan to collaborate and support each other over the next year.  I’ve started a business, and she’s doing the same, and we each have some specific skills and experiences that we’re going to barter to each other’s mutual benefit.  Cause that’s what Craftcationers do.

This was my third year at Craftcation.  Every year is remarkably the same and remarkably different.  The organizers have honed in on this amazing sweet spot where crafters, entrepreneurs, teachers, presenters, motivators, extroverts, introverts, experts, and students all come together and swirl around in a perfect storm of collaboration, support, discovery, and excitement.

That level of energetic community building has not diminished at all over the years that I’ve been coming.  I think anyone who has attended or organized a convention of any size or topic will appreciate just what kind of accomplishment that is.  All of that credit goes to the show runners, Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell (and their amazing staff of Managers and Volunteers) and their skill in maintaining the delicate balance required to keep this wheel-within-a-wheel-within-a-wheel spinning.

At the same time, my personal experience has changed and grown from year to year.  My first year, I was thinking about starting a business and was looking for the inspiration, knowledge, and confidence to bolster my little dream.  I received all of those things in spades.  My second year, I had a very specific list of topics that I need to learn more about, and was looking affirmation that the steps I had already taken were the right ones.  Again, needs totally met and then some.

This year, frankly, I was looking for some soul repair.  I needed a refueling, personally and professionally.  A massive group therapy session was required.  And once again, I got exactly what I was looking for.

It’s a magical thing.  Seriously…I’m pretty sure it’s actual magic.



I’m home now and there’s laundry to do, dishes to wash, and the refrigerator is looking pretty wasteland-y.  I’m probably not going to get too much done outside of watching an episode of Girls, cleaning out my backpack, and finishing this paragraph.  That’s o.k.  Tomorrow I move forward with the baby steps.  What needs to get done next, then next, then next…so on and so on, until it’s time for Craftcation 2018 and the next round of inspirational magic.  See you then.

Best Movies of the Year

Claims of the “best movie of the year” aside, a few films have seriously impacted me this year and compelled me to seek out more of the story.

1. Arrival – Based on a short story by Ted Chiang and published in “Stories of Your Life and Others”. I’m well into this book and am seriously impressed with Chiang’s imaginative and compelling approach to Science Fiction. 

2. Hidden Figures – The movie was very compelling, but ultimately hints at a much larger story surrounding each of these women and their peers in the early days of our space program. Cue Margot Lee Shetterly’s “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race”. (There’s also a Young Reader’s version of this book that’s begging to be on your kid’s bookshelf.)


In this Fanbase Feature, the Fanbase Press staff and contributors participate in a thorough discussion regarding the recently released Doctor Strange, focusing on topics including the themes and values inherent to the film, Marvel’s approach to diversity, how the filmmakers transition the MCU to include magic, and more!

Cast members: Bryant Dillon, Barbra Dillon, Claire Thorne, Drew Siragusa, Phillip Kelly, Chris Spicer, and Michele Brittany