Tag Archive: BrickFair

With Moderation

It’s the end of March, and that means that even as winter leaves, convention season shall soon be upon us.

Conventions are coming

Right now, I’m only planning on AwesomeCon and BrickFair, both local events. I’ve been invited to speak at AwesomeCon (though I don’t know which of my proposals they’ll pick; their panel schedule has been delayed); but while BrickFair is awesome, I won’t be there as an editor, writer, or anything but a guy who likes art made out of Lego bricks.

may be at the Catholic Writers Conference (in New Jersey) and possibly at Capclave (DC area again), but I’m not certain. I’ve been invited to speak at the former, but it may conflict with another obligation; and Capclave is just too far out to plan right now. I originally wanted to go to DragonCon again as well, but my schedule just got too full for that part of the year.

Regardless, I wanted to share some tips for one of the things I do well at conventions: how to be a panel moderator. Continue reading

This blog is usually about writing and stories, but it’s also about geek stuff too. Being a bit of a Lego fan, I like it when I find an excuse to bring out that particular part of my geek life.

Well, here’s a great excuse: this gigantic new Lego set modeled after the SHIELD Helicarrier from the MCU.


Continue reading

As I noted before, AwesomeCon is much bigger this year. I forgot my camera and didn’t want to just use my phone, so I’ll take pictures tomorrow; but I found myself looking around the dealer hall in disbelief. That room alone would convince anyone who didn’t know better that this was an established con, and not something in its second year. The staff and other volunteers were doing a top-notch job, and the convention center staff were extremely helpful to everyone.

Also, I was amused to hear one of the screens playing “Everything is Awesome” (from The LEGO Movie) on continuous loop in the library. Despite its ultimate meaning in the movie, I was still appreciative! Continue reading


Well, BrickFair is over for this year, and it was pretty good. Actually, it was a blast. I met some new people, and plan to collaborate with some of them next year on the Castle theme. I like displaying “civilian” stuff; most people who build in the Castle/Knights theme build, well, castles and knights. I like adding in the peasants, the market town, etc.  In fact, here’s my modest display.


Because every medieval Lego minifigure needs a place to shop, listen to music, and have a bar fight.

Random trivia: a town could be, and often was, smaller than a village. A village is where most of the people in an area lived. A town is where the market was, and people from different villages would go there to buy and sell. That’s why the phrase “go to town” means spending a lot of money.

This particular scene had a lot of little details, but my favorite was the barfight in the inn. On market day, a town’s population would swell, often causing tensions to flare.



I also had two thieves, a bakery, a blacksmithy, a group of musicians entertaining a crowd, merchants with stalls, and little things happening all over (like a minotaur fighting another minotaur . . . okay, it’s not 100% historically-accurate). The piece of paper you see hanging off the table was a list of things for kids (and adults) to find. It was to let them have a fun little game and feel awesome when they found everything — and it also meant more people would stop and look at what I did instead of moving on immediately to see the more impressive stuff right next door. I’m sneaky that way.

This was next to me, making me look bad. It was made by a fourteen-year-old-girl. I feel completely inadequate. *sob*

This was next to me, making me look bad. It was made by a fourteen-year-old-girl. I feel completely inadequate. *sob*

But as I said, next year I’ll be teaming up with some others to work on a collaborative medieval display, hopefully with a focus on towns and medieval life. One guy in particular, Charlie (there with his kids because he’s an awesome father), plans on coordinating to the extent that we have matching styles for buildings in our landscape. We’ll have more buildings, more people, more activity, more landscape . . . I don’t know what it’ll look like just yet, but it should be fun.

I’m adding at least a chapel and a stables next year. I might even be able to add a watermill, but we’ll see how things work out. I still need to reorganize my collection into a new space in my house. Right now, it’s hard to remember where I put things!

I’ll be adding more pictures later on. Hopefully that means “soon,” but I haven’t even posted last year’s photos on Facebook yet. I may add some to Flickr, and I’ll definitely be posting to the Novel Ninja Facebook page.

Right now, though, I need to prepare for New Jersey tomorrow, at the Catholic Marketing Network; and after that, I go demonstrate the Fate Core RPG system at Labyrinth Games on Saturday. After that, I need to write a book and prepare to teach a non-credit workshop at my alma mater this fall.

Oh, and edit. And maybe post more about writing for you guys. Yeah. Lots of stuff to do!


Quick Update

Not all of you are on my Facebook page (or follow my personal page), so I probably seem more silent than I actually am. Even so, I do seem to keep neglecting my blog, don’t I? I thought I should let you know what I’ve been up to.

  • Co-writing two novels for Chesterton Press — one with Regina Doman and the other with Elizabeth Hausladen — in a new YA contemporary fantasy series called The Chronicles of the Ruahim. (Both due for publication in the spring.)
  • Preparing for an expansion to the series, with at least two more novels after that (one co-authored with Lori Janeski, who does not as of yet have anything for me to link to).
  • Editing and reviewing books that I either can’t tell you about just yet or will hopefully do so in the near future.
  • Preparing for a non-credit creative writing workshop this fall at Christendom College, in Virginia.
  • Preparing a one-shot RPG adventure for Taste of Fate on August 10th at Labyrinth Games with my friends at Evil Hat Productions. (A sci-fi story heavily influenced by Babylon 5 and Schlock Mercenary.)
  • Having too much fun posting quotes from Babylon 5 as I re-watch the series. Y’know. Research. Honest. *nods* (In fact, I should really do a blog post on the show as it had an enormous influence not only on the sci-fi genre but on television as a whole.)
  • Preparing a display for BrickFair VA, a local and very large Lego convention (yes, I do non-writing things — check out those photos and tell me that’s not both impressive and genuine art). The show’s this weekend and I am not yet ready. Weee!
  • And then between BrickFair and Taste of Fate, I’m off to a conference in New Jersey for elbow-rubbing, card-exchanging networking.

All in all, I’m pretty booked between now and mid-August.

In the future, I need to do some more updates. I’ve been writing stuff down, so I just need to actually sit down and write blog posts. I’m a very naturally talkative person, but I’m also a perfectionist — which is good in an editor, and kind of bad in a blogger. Alas! I’m much more active over on Facebook, especially on my personal page — but my personal page covers far more than my opinions on writing, so that doesn’t really count.

Oh, one other announcement: my above-mentioned co-author (and mutually-adopted little sister) Elizabeth is getting married, probably before our book comes out. She’ll still be Mrs. Nathan Hajek.

Now I just have to make certain her fiance earns the honor of her hand in marriage. (*evil laugh*)

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