Spotlight on SPNFamily Creativity and Making A Difference – Little Pop Workshop!

Sometimes it really helps to shine a light on all the good things about fandom – how we help each other, how we help others, how we try to make change in the world. It’s an integral part of fandom, and one that I cherish – that’s why every purchase of Family Don’t End With Blood benefits Random Acts’ important work helping those who need it all over the world, and Attitudes in Reverse with their mission of ending stigma and opening up conversation about mental health challenges to combat suicide. On this #GivingTuesday, if you haven’t read FDEWB yet, you can help make a difference by picking up a book for yourself or for a friend. Most of the Supernatural actors wrote chapters — Jared, Jensen, Misha and many others — in which they shared their own personal struggles and challenges, hoping that will inspire others to keep going when the going gets tough.

The book has been our way of trying to help, but there are so many people in fandom whose creative talents enrich us all and also make a difference.

Recently a wonderful thing happened in the fandom that also benefits one of Misha Collin’s many charitable endeavors. With the help of charitable organizer Stands on twitter, the “I Wish For This” campaign to benefit Lydia Place was launched. Lydia Place works to disrupt the pervasive cycle of homelessness and foster autonomy for families, something that Collins knows about from personal experience. Fan artist Little Pop Work made a customized Pop Funko Misha doll which was signed by Misha as an incentive to participate in the campaign – which was seriously awesome!

The I Wish For This Misha Pop is based on the touching story that Misha has told about his daughter, Maison. When Misha asked his kids what they wanted to wish for as they picked dandelions and got ready to make a wish on them, Maison simply replied “I wish for this.” Misha can’t tell the story without tearing up, and frankly I’ve never been able to listen to it without tearing up either.

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The #WoManns Con – Supernatural New Jersey!

New Jersey con holds a special place in my heart, simply because it’s the closest con to my hometown of Philly. That means I can actually drive there instead of flying, which makes being a vendor a bit easier. That also meant I could caption this con ‘Adventures in Vending’ because we definitely had some adventures – and some misadventures.

Being a Supernatural con vendor is like joining a tribe of frankly awesome people. For the SPN Creation cons, it’s mostly the same group of friendly, creative, resourceful folks at every convention – and because those cons happen a few times a month on average, the vendors get to know each other very well. They’re like a group of traveling carnies, moving their wares from one city to the next. They have each other’s backs just like the rest of the SPNFamily does, and I would trust any one of them if I was in a tight spot.

That doesn’t mean vending is easy. My friend Karen offered to help me out at NJCon, so we drove up together. The day before, the FedEx guy delivered my many many boxes of books, each of which weighs over 40 pounds. I bolted out the door as soon as he pulled up and asked what the policy was for leaving the books in my car instead of on my doorstep, and luckily the very nice FedEx man agreed. When Karen and I got in the car the next day, I swear it felt sort of like getting into a rocket ship – the boxes of books in the trunk and back seat made the front of the car point dangerously towards the sky.

With apologies to my poor overburdened Honda Civic, we started out, slowly making our way north to scenic Secaucus. The giant convention center had a back loading dock where we could unload the books, so we drove up there and asked where we could park to unload lots of boxes of books. The bored looking man waved us into a spot and said we could park there. Karen and I looked at the very long ramp across the lot where we would have to enter the convention center and exchanged a look of dismay. That was a steep ramp and a long way with forty pound boxes of books!

True to my always-frantically-busy-and-not-quite-prepared state, I hadn’t been able to find an actual hand cart but I’d brought along my green and white striped beach chair on wheels that doubles as a transport cart. You know, for taking your cooler to the beach or whatever. If it can transport a cooler, I thought, why not a box of books? So Karen and I heaved a box out of the trunk and onto the beach chair. The canvas sagged but didn’t break, so we counted that as a win. Then we began the trek up the long steep ramp. After a few minutes of struggling, we finally got up and into the convention center, wheeled the books and the chair down the hall and found our vendor table. One box down, ten to go!

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Wait, Is That Eileen?? Supernatural 12.21

The past week has been a whirlwind, much of it Supernatural-related, and now I’m writing this from family vacation, so my review of last week’s episode is influenced by the context in which I watched the show and the fact that right now my feet are up and it’s a sunny spring day in San Francisco. And that’s probably a good thing, because – like the majority of Supernatural fans – I had a lot of issues with last week’s episode.

I did, however, have a good time the night I watched it anyway. That’s because the book release party for my new book, Family Don’t End With Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives, happened the night before at The Study Hollywood in LA. It was an amazing, inspiring, emotional night, where actors and writers and producers and fans all came together to celebrate this amazing show that we all love. The next night, a group of us gathered in our hotel room to watch the episode together. It was the first time most of us had watched together an episode of the show that made us friends, so it felt very special. We ordered Grub Hub, shared some delicious nachos, and waited with a mix of anticipation and trepidation for the show to begin. Literally sitting on the edge of our seats (on the hotel beds…)

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A Chat With Shoshannah Stern –Bringing Kickass Hunter Eileen Back to Supernatural

I’m not alone in loving the return of Eileen Leahy on Supernatural a few weeks ago, so I couldn’t wait to interview Shoshannah Stern again. She’s crazy busy right now (with all good exciting things) but still took the time to answer my questions – which just proves all over again how awesome she is.

In her most recent Supernatural episode, the character of Eileen gets to flirt with Sam Winchester, prove what a badass hunter she is by singlehandedly taking out a demon, fire the Colt, and accidentally kill a particularly annoying British Man of Letters, for which she needs a Sam hug. As you do.

Lynn: Eileen was a fan favorite by the time that first episode in Season 11 (Into the Mystic) was over, and fans—me included–were so excited to have her back. What is it about the character that you think has clicked so much with fans?

Shoshannah: I know that for me, when I got the first draft of the script for Into the Mystic, Eileen leaped off the page and into my heart. There were just so many dimensions to her. I love that both of her episodes so far haven’t really been about her taking down monsters, but the different sorts of emotional baggage that’s left behind in their wake. There’s a side to her that’s hard, and I think that’s the side you see first, but then there’s another that’s vulnerable, and it’s kind of surprising. I also love that she can take some things seriously and take the piss out of others. And yeah, she’s deaf and shoots a Colt. None of these things are exclusive.

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The British Invasion Indeed – Supernatural 12.17

Here’s one thing you cannot say about last week’s Supernatural episode: “Eh, not much happened…” A lot happened, that’s for sure. Some of it was a shock, some of it wasn’t; some of it I liked; some of it I most definitely did not. It’s a beautiful spring day on the East coast, so let’s start with the good stuff.

1. The return of hunter Eileen Leahy (and actress Shoshannah Stern). I loved the character in her debut episode, as did just about everyone in the fandom, and miracle of miracles, Eileen actually survived the episode, so I was hopeful she’d be back. Eileen is seamlessly integrated back into the narrative, giving the boys some intel that intersects with their current search for Kelly Kline. I loved watching Sam and Dean’s frank appreciation of Eileen and her hunting skills – the genuine pride on their faces as they both said ‘Nice work, Eileen’. I also loved the care they both took to be sure she could see them when they were talking with her via iPad or in person – it’s those little touches that only happen on a show when someone cares. I interviewed Shoshannah after her first episode, and she talked about her choice to have the character read lips as well as she does.

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