Rat Queens

IMG_20170401_131339small

Hannah and Braga of the comic Rat Queens gracefully posed for a picture with the TARDIS, cosplayed by Cait Gordon (@CaitGAuthor, Facebook, website) and Caro Frechette (@CaroFrechette1, Facebook, website), authors with Renaissance Press. You can meet some of the Renaissance authors tomorrow, at CON Creative Ottawa Nerds!

I am so impressed by these costumes! I am personally not familiar with Rat Queens, so I didn’t know the character names. Due to the quality of the costumes, I was EASILY able to figure it out. Also – Hannah’s staff is Cait’s cane. Fantastic use of prop!

You both look bad-ass!

IMG_20170401_131339small

 

Creative Ottawa Nerds Spring Craft Fair – June 10, 2017

CON-CreativeOttawaNerds

June 10th from 10am to 5pm
At 9 Rossland Ave, Nepean, ON K2G 2K2, Canada (Julian of Norwich Anglican Church)

Hello,

JenEric Designs, JenEric Coffee, and Eric Desmarais (Author) will be at CON Creative Ottawa Nerds Craft Show this Saturday.

We will have an over abundance of free coffee samples and some ridiculously awesome new crotchet products.

Come by and see us at our favourite event of the year.

Later Days,

Éric

Blush: Nursing

I'm getting good at taking SFW pictures of Keladry nursing!

Please note: This post is not meant to shame those who formula feed, stop nursing “early”, or continue nursing “late”. This is about my own personal nursing journey, and how I will be choosing to interpret the research I have done. I respect and rejoice in everyone’s decision on how best to feed their own babies. Any comments that shame anyone will be deleted. This is a safe space.


Nursing was very easy for me, minus a little hiccup overnight the first night. Keladry enjoyed chewing even back then, so I thought I was doing something wrong because it hurt. However, in the morning, things looked brighter (literally and figuratively) and we were able to progress quite well. Lanolin helped immensely.

I'm getting good at taking SFW pictures of Keladry nursing!
I’m getting good at taking SFW pictures of Keladry nursing!

At this point, Keladry is 8.5ish months. We feed her solids at every meal. She hates purees, so we give her tiny pieces of whatever we’re eating. And I’m nursing in between the meals. I’m also nursing before bed and when she wakes in the night.

Last week, my mother asked when I was going to stop nursing.

I had no idea. It certainly doesn’t feel right to stop at this time.

So I decided to do some research. And why not write a blog post about it?


The World Health Organization recommends nursing exclusively up to 6 months (we’re past that, so that’s good) and weaning around age 2 years. Personally, I currently feel like that’s a little old, but who knows how I’ll feel when she gets there? I think it feels old because I’m hung up on the number. But I can easily see how the comfort of nursing, and that bond felt with the child would push past any weirdness I feel. I really think that I’ll nurse until Keladry gives me an indication of wanting to stop.

If Keladry wants to stop before 1 year old, I would have to feed her formula until her birthday. At that time, I would be able to switch her to whole cow’s milk. Whole milk is important for babies because they need the extra fat content.

As for feeding solids, Keladry started showing an interest in our food at 2 months. She would track the food we put in our mouths, and open her mouth too. We held off feeding her anything until we got the go-ahead from her doctor just after 4 months, which is earlier than WHO recommends, but she was so enthusiastic about eating! So we fed her a little bit at each mealtime, and we didn’t cut down on nursing. When she had her first cold at 5 months, we cut out food and exclusively nursed so that she’d get more antibodies. I think that this plan worked okay for us. I would not recommend feeding solids earlier than 6 months without the approval of the baby’s doctor.

A note about extended nursing: It is not unusual for a child up to 4 years old to nurse. The health benefits are numerous, and it’s a shame that society pressures families to stop nursing because of their discomfort.

I found a number of really good sources for how to stop nursing. Oddly enough, two are from Australia. Please note; these references refer to “breastfeeding” as opposed to “nursing”.


References

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breastfeeding-deciding-when-to-stop

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/feedbaby.htm

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/lactation-suppression


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Back to Work

from meme.com

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Today is my second day back at work after a wonderful eight and a half months on parental leave.

I expected it to be weird (like visiting your old high school or a previous job) but it wasn’t, it was depressingly familiar. It almost felt like I hadn’t left.

Some things had changed but mostly it was the same old job. That’s both a good and a bad thing. I mean I’m glad I don’t have to learn an entire new job but I was hoping something would have changed a little.

Thanks to my freelance work, I haven’t slowed down or lost much of my ability, which is really nice considering I was thrown into a project right away.

from meme.com
from meme.com

The hardest part is being away from Dragon and Jen. I really enjoyed doing my freelance work and taking breaks to snuggle, change diapers, or play. It’s going to be really hard not seeing them all day.

Not being there for first words or first steps will really hurt but until I win the lottery or sell the movie rights to my books, I’m stuck here.

Back to work,

Éric

Throwback Thursday – Buffy Reboot Idea

header-dossier

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I don’t often do Throwback Thursday, not because I dislike the concept, but because I’m not always as proud of my old writing as I am my new.

Facebook reminded me today of my idea for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot. About eight years ago they were considering rebooting it as a new movie. It was a terrible idea to do without Joss Whedon and it died quietly.

header-dossier

My Buffy Reboot Idea

2017 Éric’s commentary in italic and bold.

Cast:
Buffy Summers: Molly C. Quinn from Castle. She’s a little young but has the acting chops to pull it off. (She’s still in her mid twenties and I think she could do it. Alternate casting being Zendaya.)
Joyce Summers: Amy Adams as the Ju-jitsu instructor/ Anthropologist mother. She normally doesn’t play action roles but would be great with Quinn and could definitely train for it. (I’d still love to see Amy Adams in an action role, but it would also be cool to see Sarah Michelle Geller.)
Watcher: Gerard Butler as a non-action geeky “Supernatural” nerd type of watcher. (I think I’d rather see Idris Alba or Jason Momoa in this role)
Villain: Gary Oldman as a brutal and intelligent vampire. (This is still a good choice but I’d also like Tom Hiddleston or Peter Capaldi)
Comic Relief: Andy Serkis and Paul Bettany as over-educated fast talking vampires.  (Replace Serkis with Fran Kranz)

Storylines:
There would have to be several story lines running through the movie that hasn’t been done before in Buffy history. Within each of the story lines there would be several mini stories.
Main 1: Buffy discovers her powers and as a preppy cheerleader is unprepared for them and is thrust into a dangerous situation. I’d avoid a lot of the high school stuff after she discovers her powers and concentrate on her strained relationship with her mom as she teaches Buffy how to fight. (This could work but there would have to be a few scenes of high school as her way to rebel against her Mom and everything happening.)
Main 2: Villain is trying to kill the slayer. He became a vampire to save his daughter from some disease having to turn her into one too but it didn’t help. He’s been trying to find a cure for her disease. Finds some old book that says the still beating heart of a Slayer cures anything in vampires. (I’d completely forgotten about this. I like it as a motivation. Make sure to show the villain as vicious but also as a loving father.)
Love: In a twist, the love story wouldn’t involve Buffy but her mom and the watcher. Reverse damsel in distress scenario. (Still love the idea of the awkward romance and Buffy’s sarcastic comments about it. In the rebellion stage there could be a nice fake out where Buffy is dating someone that the audience thinks is a vampire but turns out he’s just a jerk.)
Comics: Having most of their clan wiped out by the Villain, our comic reliefs decide to try and help him by catching Buffy but continuously fail. I want to make clear these “clowns” are going to be more of a cheesy/witty comedy that will lend itself to a darker story. (It should be mentioned that they are the last of their clan/nest of vampires. Randomly have them break into bad Shakespeare speeches.)

Opening:
I think it would be very important to set the scene with a dark and dirty backdrop in a large city alley where a “traditional” slayer is kicking vampire ass hand to hand. Her watcher looms in the background and as he watches her, a shadow comes behind him and slits his neck.

She wins the fight and slays her last foe when she gets shot in the head by a vamp sniper on the roof. The bullet goes through her head and into a propane or natural gas tank, (which explodes). The shadow screams in anger and literally runs up the building towards the sniper, kills the vampire and howls into the night.

Then we go to a cheer practice where Buffy is basically teaching the choreography and doing some things that surprise even her. This is interspersed with scenes of her mom teaching an advanced weapons Jujitsu class. Early in the sequence you see a man hiding in the shadows watching Buffy and at the end you see the same man walk up the Joyce and try to stutteringly tell her about Buffy. She of course ignores it and promptly forgets.

Then we’d go to the mother picking up Buffy and them arguing. Something should slip about the Dad being dead (3-4 years.) I really want you to get the feeling that they are all each other have.

Etc etc. (Holy blood sucking vampires… who wrote this? I love it!)


Ok, Hollywood. I’ll help develop this if I get producer credits and choose my own script-doctor (one guess who that would be.)

Barring a big picture deal I may adapt this into a novel… Hmm…

Opinions?

Éric

 

Castle Village Enchanted Kingdom

The front of the castle in Midland. Image from www.midland.ca

Personally, I love buying locally, and travelling locally is even better!

I love the idea of this park in Midland, Ontario: Castle Village Enchanted Kingdom! They have a park and trail for the outdoors, and a castle with three escape rooms and many activities inside the building.

The front of the castle in Midland. Image from www.midland.ca
The front of the castle in Midland. Image from www.midland.ca

Midland is North of Barrie on the shores of Lake Huron. There is a great selection of hotels, motels, and camping accommodations, and lots of cute touristy things to do. Check out Midland’s website for more.


Are you interested in travelling to Midland? You can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

I’m Sorry I Lied (And Rejection Sucks)

Booth1

Hello Imaginary Friends, Coffee Drinkers, Crochet lovers, and all around awesome fans,

At Comiccon I told a lot of you that we were going to be a Geek Market in the fall. I lied, or better, I was a little arrogant. You see, we weren’t accepted at the time, but I felt that the strength, and uniqueness of our product was enough to guarantee us a spot.

Like I said, it was arrogant and I must apologize because JenEric Designs and Gourmet Coffee will not be attending. This Fall’s event is a juried event. They, from what I’ve been told, judged quality of product, uniqueness of product, and visual appeal of tables/booths.

We were told that we scored well in the first two, but for vendors in our category we scored poorly on visual appeal. We’re on the wait list but I’m not expecting to be going.

My first reaction was anger (rejection hurts) and then I took a long hard look at our booth and I realized that I’ve been neglecting evolving the outside look. I’ve concentrated really hard on storage in the booth to make sales go faster and on coffee products.

My second reaction was confusion. I had no idea what to do to improve. So I contacted Geek Market and asked to know the criteria, our scores, and what category we are considered. (Being both coffee and crochet can put us into multiple categories.) We received a reply on May 19th saying that they’d get back to us in a couple of days.

It’s humbling to be told that your table isn’t visually appealing, but we’ve taken steps to try and make it better. We’ve ordered custom printed table cloths, and I’m working on a way of adding levels to our display.

I hope that we’ll be able to get back into Geek Market in the future. Sales are good and I know there are certain fans that we only get to see at that event.

Once again, I’m sorry,

Éric