Thursday, May 20, 2021

Never really gets easier

Story time since it's on my mind and I wanted to share and ask a little extra patience. 

May 20th. Mary and I are at a local garden shop trying to find flowers for our front patch that the rental company has since stoned over. I get a phone call from my mother saying my dad was going in for testing because he was having some trouble swallowing. She thought it might be a hiatial hernia or something and told me not to worry. 

May 25th. I get a call from mom saying they found something in the upper GI and they were sending it in for biopsy just in case. We figured it was benign. Barrets esophagus. Nothing to worry about. 

June 1st. The biopsy results came back. Cancer. They were sending him for more tests. They had to see how far the cancer had spread. 

June 5th. Dad calls. Says the cancer has spread into his lymph system. I've studied anatomy extensively. I know that's a death knell. My construction working father has no idea. I don't know how to tell him. Doctors give him 6 months. He's supposed to go in for chemo. 

November 24th. Thanksgiving at my house. Mary and I host and cook. Dad has been going through chemo. They're showing some reduction in the  tumors. It's shrinking. For the first time in 6 months, I think my dad might just fucking make it. I think maybe they'll shrink it enough to take it out. Give him an extension on life. I start to hope.

February 14th. Dad calls. Tumors have reduced by half. They're looking at surgery. They're hopeful they can take it out, give him a shortened esophagus and he'll have trouble but he'll live. We're all hopeful. I make the offhand comment to him that he's too mean to die.

March 17th. Dad calls. The tumors have metastasized, grown and spread. It's now aggressive stage 4 cancer. My family is still thinking he'll beat it. I know better but I can't tell them. I start planning the things I want to do with him before he goes. He basically tells me to fuck off without using those particular words. He's not dying yet, he says. We have plenty of time for that. Nothing I can do about it. 

All through this I'm doing massage for him. He signed for my loans for massage school. He listened to me bitch about how boring my teachers were. He came to my graduation on his wedding anniversary. He's in a lot of pain. I was the one that found the first tumor and told him to get it checked out. Hard, immovable mass in his back and shoulder. I'm glad I can bring him any kind of relief. I take classes on oncology massage so I can keep him as comfortable as possible.

May 20th the next year. Dad calls. Says he wants us to come up and visit. I can tell in his voice. He's circling the wagons. He tells us they've given him 6 weeks. I hadn't seen him in almost a month. In that time he's wasted away too a husk. Feeding tube. IV fluids. He can't lie down. Has to sleep in his recliner. I do a massage for him. He's riddled with tumors. I can barely massage muscle without tumor. He finally falls asleep. Mom says that's the first he's really slept in over a week.

June 5th. Dad calls and says he's on his way out. He can feel it. I promise I'll come up on Monday after my doctor's appointment if he can just make it that long. I say my goodbyes in case I don't get to see him. I spend most of the night up crying and writing. It's the only way to keep my mind from spiraling. 

June 6th. My niece's birthday. Party at the house . I don't go because I know. I stay busy. I just keep doing my thing at the convention I was working. I pick up gifts for the remaining family. 

June 7th. I park in the lot of the doctors office. Mom calls. It's silent for awhile but then she says finally, "dad's gone".

It's 5 years this year. I thought I was going to be okay and I'm still not. So I'm doing my best but I might be off. I might be distracted. I wanted to let you know. It's gonna be okay. It just hurts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020


 I haven't posted in a long while, but I thought perhaps with all the craziness going on in 2020 (which I thought was going to be MY YEAR) I should post that I am a certified Reiki master and can do distance sessions with anyone interested. 

I can also do tarot card pulls for anyone interested as well. If you will donate to my Ko-fi I will pull a tarot card and post your results on my page.

I am still writing. Hopefully I will have some new work published next year. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Cosplay Registry

Find me on Cosplay!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I Don't Blog Anymore

Have you noticed I don't blog? Probably not. I don't have anyone who read this.

I was listening to an episode of Once Upon a Crime today and Esther was interviewing one of, I believe, only two Ted Bundy survivors. Something she said really stuck out to me.

It seems to be common with PTSD survivors that they can't really talk about what they went through for one reason or another. While I'm not the survivor of someone literally trying to kill me, I've lived through some shit in my life and some of it wasn't pleasant.

She said a lot of victims are blamed or shamed or not believed. And, to be honest, the only times I've ever really talked about what was done to me were met with anger and hostility and people telling me I don't know what I'm talking about. I remembered events wrong.

She said she had put everything behind her and had built up her life and was living her dream normal life when one thing triggered her to remember everything that happened to her all over again.

Some of the things that cause me problems are issues that I didn't know where issues until they became issues later in life. And I'm tired of wondering if I'm being gaslighted or if I really am legitimized with the issues I have and the way I react in situations and I'm just... Maybe I just need to get things out in the open. There are things that upset me that I think I know happened that I just... can't seem to let go of. And then there's times when my brain just up and decides on me that it's going to hide all those things from me because it's too much. And I know that's sometimes for the best, but when I want to just peek inside the box, it sometimes won't let me and that's frustrating as hell.

She said she found some relief in journaling about her experiences and working through things that way. I think I might follow in those footsteps. She journaled for herself. She wrote so that no one else had to read what she wrote. She never intended for it to see the light of day. And in the end, she said that led her to open up to a therapist and finally get things as resolved as possible for her.

I think I need that in my life. I'm tired of jumping at shadows and letting fear get in my way. And I'm definitely tired of feeling like I don't even know my own mind. I'm tired of thinking I don't know what happened and why it was wrong and I'm certainly sick of keeping it all to myself. I hurt. I've hurt for YEARS. And I'm tired of carrying it around with me.

I might start a blog where I actually talk about things in the open. I might start a blog where I talk about things I don't want to talk about with anyone else. And then I'll just... see where that takes me. If anyone wants to come along with me for the ride, they're welcome.

We all deserve to be happy and, at the very least, stable.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Costuming at Marcon 2019

I have been accepted as the Department Head for the Costuming and Cosplay department for Marcon 2019! I am very excited to be involved with this 50+ year convention from Columbus as a department head. I worked with Marcon for two years as a second head for the Gaming department with one of my BFFs.

The convention has moved from the the Columbus Convention Center to the Crowne Plaza North in Worthington. It will be held on May 10-12 2019 and we can use all the help we can get.

Marcon is short for Multiple Alternate Realities Convention and is a multi-genre geek and nerd convention with a sci-fi and fantasy bent. We have a kickass gaming department, some of the best filk in the area and so many panels you can't catch them all.

If you want a super amazing weekend, check out Marcon at

Monday, July 2, 2018

Plush Unicorn Charger DIY

A lot of the projects I've been working on recently have come from other people's hard work. I want to share those videos with you in case you aren't on my Vero stream. If you're not, check me out on Vero. It's my social media of choice. I can't find a way to link to it but you can find me as Carrie Fulk Vaughn.

I have been making unicorn plush chargers. The video for that is from 2 Cats 1 Doll and they're absolutely adorable.

I wanted to share these because a little girl at Tee Jayes asked me where I got my unicorn plushie and I told her I made it. She was so enamoured with it that I told her mom I would post the videos on my blog so she could find them. All the little girl did through dinner was say how much she wanted to make one and how they could probably get all the stuff at WalMart and how she could make one for all of her friends. It was absolutely adorable and I wanted to be sure she could find the videos.

Anyway! I hope she has a lot of fun making the unicorn and, as I said to mom, CVS has some fuzzy socks in ugly colors for $1 a pair. They make really cute unicorns, though.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review: The Retrievers Series by Laura Anne Gilman

Staying Dead (Retrievers, #1)Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

LOVED this book. I really enjoy Wren's character and I like the dynamic between Wren and Sergei, even if their ending seemed a little forced and awkward. The storyline kept me questioning and I would like to see what other adventures they get themselves into. The writing style was easy to read and sucked me in. I didn't want to put it down.

View all my reviews
Curse the Dark (Retrievers, #2)Curse the Dark by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I became hooked on this series by getting a free book through a book club. I am SO GLAD they did. I fell in love with Wren and Sergei in book one and this book did not fail to keep the love affair going strong. There were a few foreshadowing that actually threw me off the scent trail and I was shocked and surprised at the ending. I'll save the spoilers for last so you don't have to read them should you wish to be surprised. :)

The downside to this book was the fair amount of head-hopping that happened within the chapters. I'm not put off by the particular style, but it was different than I was used to. I didn't quite know whose head I was in all the time. Thankfully she was artful enough to keep me up to date on who was whom, but it was a little difficult in a couple of places to keep track. Otherwise this is Laura Anne Gilman's usual style and grace with the written word and I was glad to have picked it up, especially now that I have my Nook and it's available in e-format.

There cannot be a revolution without the loss of those you hold dear. I look forward to future books.


As I tweeted so passionately in the heat of the moment, I was really angry that she killed off Lee. He barely had the chance to become a character before he was being removed. He was my favorite of the characters, as I'm sure you can tell, and he will be missed by the readers as well as the characters. It's not often, in politics, that someone becomes an active member without putting themselves at risk. Not to mention the possibilities for character development with the death of a friend. His death was not in vain, however. It was his blaze of glory because he totally kicked some butt. Way to go, Lee. You will be missed.

View all my reviews
Bring It On (Retrievers, #3)Bring It On by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The overall plot arch is really beginning to thicken! Wren is in over her head with nowhere to go but with the current (pun-intentional) and do what it is she does best. I'm really curious to see where this series is going and what is going to put the kibosh on KimAnn. I'm not entirely sure what she's got up her sleeve, but it can't be anything good.

The retrieval in this book was almost too easy for Wren and she nearly failed, which is a first so far. I'm glad to see that she isn't perfect. Too much perfection and the character gets boring. There's no thrill to read. The retrievals are starting to take a back seat to the overall plot and while I was slightly disappointed in that, adding in anything more would have made the book too huge and too much to follow in one chunk. Gilman did an excellent job staying to task despite so much going on. Bravo!

My only complaints in this book was the snippets at the ends of the chapters leading into the next and the reptition. I think, from a perspective of flow, it would be better if the snippets were included in the next chapter and simply removed from the end of the previous. Minor complaint, I know. Since I've been reading the entire series back to back, the repetition is a little annoying, but it can't be helped. If I was coming in as they were being published, that reminder would be refreshing.

All in all, a good read. I'm looking forward to getting into the next book!

View all my reviews
Burning Bridges (Retrievers, #4)Burning Bridges by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews
Free Fall (Retrievers, #5)Free Fall by Laura Anne Gilman

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Blow the Dust Off!!

Carrie Fulk Vaughn aka Marshmalohgrrl
Carrie Fulk Vaughn aka Marshmalohgrrl
*coughcough* *hack* *wheeze*

I think it might just be time to blow the dust off this blog or something and actually, you know, do some updating or something? Of course I choose today to do it because I'm spinning my wheels and rather than do nothing, I should consider doing SOMETHING instead. :)

I'm going to clean up my blog. Delete some of the "state of the author" stuff because I don't think anyone is interested in my bitching and whining, although I may change my mind later. I'm going to try and add some categories or something so you can find things on my blog. And then I might go through and just... clean up the links and my about me page. In general, an overhaul. I'm going to change that background I've been using forever to one of my photos or something instead. Make it a little more personal and a little less stock photo.

So stay tuned if you're still reading me! I'm making a lot of personal changes right now and my blog and everything should, I believe, follow suit. :)

If you have suggestions for me, PLEASE say something in the comments and let me know!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Origins Game Fair 2018 Theme announcement!

Columbus, OH – Plans for Origins Game Fair 2018 are underway. The Game Manufacturers Association, host of Origins Game Fair, has announced that next year’s theme will be Mystery! Origins 2018 will serve up a high level of fun with activities and events that may require some sleuthing skills. 

Mark your calendar, Origins Game Fair 2018 is happening June 13-17 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH. If you are interested in running an event at next year’s show, event submission will be open on the Origins website, September 1 - February 1, 2018. Hotel blocks for Origins will be made available starting in September. At that time, you can make reservations and begin planning your stay in Columbus. 

Grab your detective gear and get ready for five full days of gaming…and mystery! Check for updates. 

### Origins Game Fair is one of North America’s most prominent annual gaming conventions. It is run by the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Origins serves the gaming industry in general, including miniature gaming, boar games, trading card games, LARPS, and role-playing games.


Okay, so Meta Arcade is at booth #509 and they're doing a mobile game, Tunnels & Trolls Adventures. You can create and share your own adventures with a software they're demoing and play a kind of choose your own adventure story. It looks really freaking cool.They have a launch trailer available if you want to check it out. 

Given I'm playing Mystic Messenger right now, something a little less cringeworthy is going to do me some good. So check it out and we'll play together.

If you want to learn more about the game, check out the trailer above or go check out the MetaArcade website.

I know I keep saying this, but there are seriously so many games here. Games. All over. Everywhere I look. I'm crushed in the throng of moving people and moving along and missing things because there's so much going on. This is only going to be a serious little snippet of things you can see at the convention and you really need to book in advance for next year. 

Ahhhh, Greenbriar games! Booth #1649. I've been a follower for awhile now and I'm super stoked that they were at Gencon this year with some new games. Vengeance is a new release from Greenbriar and they were doing demos all week. It's a one to four player game where you build up your hero and beat the enemy back on their home soil. It's all about revenge! They're also playing demons of Folklore through the week. The game looks absolutely gorgeous. It's coming out in October this year.

I have never before heard of Oni press, but I checked out some of the things they had to offer this year. They have a card game based off of Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. They plan, in the future, to partner with game designers and graphic novelists to create more games based from the creator-owned comics. I'm not sure what all they have planned but they were definitely enthusiastic when I popped in for a visit and asked all the questions.

I also checked out Dized games, another company I hadn't heard of before. The biggest draw was their Throne of Games made of more than 100 board games. The throne was comprised of board games like Dominion, Pandemic and Catan. One lucky gamer won them all in a drawing and the games would be delivered to the winner's home. Until then, attendees were welcome to sit upon the throne of games for photo ops. Next time I need to bring a photo buddy!!

The really cool thing about Dized is they have an easy to use app that lets you learn any tabletop game without a game book. There's a lookup tool and they have future digital expansions planned. It launches at the end of August on the 28th on IndieGoGo. DEFINITELY check it out and consider backing. 

Another new and incredibly fun game company is Big Potato. They're at booth #2115 and they're doing a really cool giveaway. They have hidden 200 toy chameleons around Gen Con. Find one and take it to the booth and you get a copy of their new game The Chameleon. They're also doing demos of OK Play. Challenge the staff, win a copy of the game.

Chameleon is a family friendly social bluffing game. If you are the chameleon, you have to figure out the code word without giving away that you're the chameleon. If you're not the chameleon, you have to figure out who the chameleon is without giving away the code word. It's for three to eight players and game play takes about 10 minutes. Super fast, super fun and the accusations fly! 

Big Potato is a game brand exclusive to Target, so look for them! I'm super excited to pick up a copy of Chameleon. It's only $20 bucks and it's a PERFECT convention game!!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Gencon 50: Wyrmwood, Japanime, Rule & Make, Roll20, BOB ROSS ART AND CHILL

If you didn't order your badge early for GenCon 50, ladies and gentlemen, you are out of luck! The entire week was completely sold out by Friday!! HOLY CRAP THAT'S SO AWESOME. There are no badges being sold at the door. They are at capacity. Woo! They have also expanded, according to the staff in the press room, from the convention center and hotels to the Colts stadium!! They're also going to have They Might Be Giants at the Stadium. Free with your badge!! WOO!!

And, for the technical stuff about GenCon, it's owned by Peter Adkison from Wizards of the Coast. They're sponsored this year by Mayfair Games, Paizo and Rio Grande Games. 50 year convention, 15th year in Indy. Pretty impressive track record.

I was lucky enough to land a press pass for this year's event and I'm SO STOKED. This is my first GenCon and I'm blogging through the day from the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Parking is an absolute BIIIIIITCH so my advice (and a note to self for next year) is get here on Thursday and get a room near the convention center. I'm already going to plan for it for next year.. 

I'm not going to lie. The dealer's room is fantastic. SO. MANY. SHOPS. 

And, no, I'm not being a "professional reporter" when it comes to this. Seriously, this is an awesome convention. It trumps Origins and that's saying something.

I stopped by the Wormwood booth (#2545) and checked out their new booth. My first encounter with them was at Origins three years ago. They still have the same incredible dice towers and trays in the zebrawood that took my attention originally, but they've expanded with new towers, new woodworking and amazing deals. As a secret: if you go to the booth and tell them "show me what you've got", they give you a discount. Well, you get to roll for a discount. Which is the same thing. Check out the new merch and give the towers a try. The reps will be more than willing to give you a demonstration. The way the towers come together is really awesome and they're super portable.

For those of you not at the convention, you can check out Wyrmwood by clicking their graphic.

As most of you know, I am a huge Japanime supporter. I worked for them during Origins. They are fantastic folks and Robert and Rich are great people to work with. 

Japanime games has a new game to demo at booth #435. There's a new expansion for Tanto Cuore and, wait for it.... 


The newest expansion is Winter Romance and it is on Kickstarter now! They have a deal if you preorder during Gencon. It counts toward your purchase totals for awesome swag and if you preorder, you get in on the first ship date. WOO! Seriously, if you're into Tanto Cuore, get to the booth and get your swag. Also, they have super awesome tote bags to carry your haul in. I'm super jelly of the bags. Not gonna lie. There are tournaments with big prizes so definitely stop by!

Can't make it to Gencon? There's a live stream on Twitch TV with Robert on August 22nd at 9pm EST. You can check out the game there. Also: you can visit Japanime Games at their website by clicking the banner below.

And for the kickstarter: CLICK HERE

If you're in the mood for a new KICKASS game, check out Terminator 2 Judgement Day TABLETOP GAME. I'm a huge fan of tabletops and this game honestly doesn't disappoint. The tabletop version of the franchise is from Queensland Australia based Rule & Make and follows the events following the 1995 classic film. Using dice and minis, players control John Connor's army. A teaser trailer with more details on the game will be released on the 20th anniversary of Judgement Day, August 29, 2017. If you're interested in more details, you can check out Rule & Make here:

Many Gamers know Roll 20 and, if you don't, I'm happy to enlighten you. Roll 20 makes it possible to play tabletop games online with your friends around the world. Create a campaign, make it public or not, set up your landscapes and play. You can even create custom avatars for your characters. Super super awesome, especially for me. My friends are all over the country.

As many exhibitors and panelists, Roll 20 is having a party tonight at 7pm at the Tomlinson Tap Room. Beer, wine, cider and mead is available and cocktails are after 9pm. If you attended one of their panels, your first drink is on Roll20! If you make it to Capitol 3 at 2, you can pick up a drink ticket. Show up, hang out and talk nerdy to me.

If you want to learn more about Roll20:

And if you want to play in a game with me on Roll 20 when I'm not at conventions, you can find my campaigns by CLICKING HERE.

And now to tell you about this game... it is an awesome game filled with mystery and wonder. Mostly wonder. Mostly why did they make this game but why is it so awesome?

The game? BOB ROSS ART OF CHILL but I am totally calling it Bob Ross and Chill because I would SO BE DOWN WITH THAT. 

Look at the magnificence of this game cover

Gen Con is the ONLY place to buy Bob Ross: Art of Chill until October 1st and there are only limited quantities each day. You can also earn the "Chill" status if you visit their booth. No spoilers. You have to go to the booth. You have to check out this game. Guys. Seriously. It's Bob Ross. Do it. DOOO IIIIITT!!

This is part 1 and there is definitely more to come as I head through this massive maze of fun and games, so look for more posts soon!

Never really gets easier

Story time since it's on my mind and I wanted to share and ask a little extra patience.  May 20th. Mary and I are at a local garden shop...