Nicki Clyne Fan 'Zine FTW!

Hey everyone! I'm really excited to roll out this lil' collaboration I've been working on. With the help of some talented friends, the first ever "Nicki Clyne Fan 'Zine" has been created! It's all for fun, kind of a throwback to comics from the 50's with cut-outs and games. You can even help Cally find the cylon through a maze! The art work is pretty spectacular, somehow Pedro Vargas captured a certain "Nicki-ness" and managed to translate it into a cartoon.

I'll be releasing a limited edition run of 1000, so get 'em while they're hot! I'm giving first dibs to everyone who comes to I-CON 30 this weekend, then it's fair game to the internet populace thereafter. Every 'zine will be numbered and hand signed - even personalized if you so desire!

Looking forward to hearing what your thoughts! Please send feedback, as this is only the beginning of my creative endeavors.

Here are a few sample pages to whet your appetite, there are 16 total. Full details coming soon... Enjoy!

(i'm glad) some things never change

I've always loved looking at photos of my friends when they were wee little munchkins. Last year for my birthday, I asked my friends to bring along their favorite kid pictures to my party and it was even more fun than I imagined. My favorite part (besides the typically awesome fashion) is noticing the subtle qualities and attributes that are so uniquely “them;" that even twenty or thirty, or forty, years later, they still curl their lip on one side or squint that one eye, or have that expression as if they're waiting for mom to say it's okay to dig in to dessert. You know, those indescribable nuances that allow you to recognize them in a crowd or at a great distance—the way they walk, the way they slouch, they way they flick their hair (even if they no longer have any). There’s a certain innocence to existence I think we often forget, or mistakenly think we lose. We all start out as these little lumps of flesh and love, and then we grow up, and somehow we believe we’re supposed to know stuff, have stuff, do stuff... But deep down, we’re that same little child who stared in awe out the car window, endlessly fascinated with every movement, every smell, every sound. This, I believe, is our nature—this curiosity and joyfulness. I love that photos from our past can be a reminder of that. I was inspired to write about this because I discovered an amazing photo project by Irina Werning. She's been recreating people’s childhood photos at their current age. This is what she says about it:

"I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today... A few months ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future."

Quite literally, she takes my fascination to a whole new level. Check them out, I’m sure you’ll love them. Here are a few of my favorites...

the limits of language

I recently spent some time in a country whose native tongue was distinctly different than my own.  Though I conversed comfortably in English with most people and felt only slightly left out when they’d engage in more familiar or urgent conversations in the melodious tones of Spanish, I also found myself in situations where I needed to communicate desires or fill uncomfortable silences in a forced and foreign dialect.  Now, I wasn’t completely at a loss, I had traveled through Central America as a teenager, learned French as a child (a language similar in structure), and even taken a year of Spanish at university.  Still, it had been many years, leaving most of my verbs not conjugated and the gender of inanimate objects offensively misdirected.  But once I let go of my self-sabotaging inhibitions and allowed myself to flounder, fail and genuinely f- up, I had an experience of myself I rarely have speaking English. For one, I realized how dependent I am on my well-stocked library of words and phrases when expressing myself or, most commonly, bailing myself out of awkward situations (though often it's what gets me into them in the first place, but that's another story).  At first I felt like I couldn’t “be” myself because I was lacking the proper expressions to effectively communicate.  Of course, this wasn't true.  Not only because we all have different meanings and attachments to words regardless of the language anyway, but also because a label is strictly that, a label - it can never actually be the thing itself.  I am not my expression, it is merely an effect of me.  And there is no way to transmit my thoughts and feelings beyond another's ability to relate them to his or her own experience.  (At least not yet, but if George Lucas has any say...)  What I realized is this desire to be correct and precise, coupled with an equally pressing need to sound smart and well read, actually limited me from expressing genuinely and relating on a more human level.

Growing up with an English teacher for a mother and a preoccupation with being "right," it’s no trying task to see why I might end up with these beliefs; why the words “irregardless” and “disingenuine” are like nails on a chalkboard, or why I have an uncontrollable impulse to circle spelling mistakes on take-out menus.  For these reasons, I think my undeniable limitations in Spanish turned into an unexpected gift.  My tool box was so sparse, I was forced to use what I had in creative ways, think more simply about what I had to communicate, and even uncover tools I didn’t know I had.  It’s amazing how the art of hand gesturing and animal sounds can really drive a point home.  For the most part, I felt more expressive, more playful, more connected, and more curious.  To understand people, I had to be present and pay close attention.  Speaking English, it’s easy to feel like I know everything, just because I can designate a label and make logical distinctions, but in a place where my labels cease to function, I am forced to re-examine the essence of my experience.  I can only imagine what it must be like for a child to discover the world in this way, through multiple languages.  It seems there would be more freedom to explore, without rigid labels and cultural constraints.  I may not be able to start over, but I can certainly add to my repertoire and push the boundaries of my conditioned definitions.  Entonces, *in most exaggerated Midwestern accent* donde esta la biblioteca?  ;-)  (ah, the universal language of emoticons, where were you when I needed you?)

and let's not forget the universal language of the advertising...



finally home from some exciting travels, i realize it's a little late for a comic-con wrap up, but a brief one you shall receive nonetheless.  there were several highlights amidst the chaotic explosion of genuine fandom, sundance-esque celebrity hype, and thinly veiled car salesman-like consumerism.  as per usual, connecting with my beloved castmates was the bestest, but i would be remiss if i didn't express the honor, astonishment and pure love i felt watching the Battlestar Orchestra perform at the House of Blues Friday night.  i've always emphasized the integral role music plays in backing the emotional fortitude of a story, but it's often taken for granted.  engrossed in a characters' strife and struggle, seldom do we step outside to say, "wow, what an incredible score."  not only did the live performance provide such an opportunity, but it brought life this otherwise mysterious side of the production process.  what moved me most was witnessing the relentless and beautiful life force driving each instrument, each person's essence expressed through his or her contribution to the greater experience.  it was wonderful.  however, between the smiles there were also tears, as we paid tribute and celebrated the life of Harvey Frand.  i don't believe this is the place to share my personal feelings on his passing, but i will say he is in our hearts and will forever be an essential part of the battlestar family.  i was grateful we could all be together to celebrate his life and how he enriched each of ours. Visit bear mccreary's blog for an awesome account of the whole weekend's festivities and shows.

battlestar orchestra

other highlights included hanging with matt pizzolo and the rest of the Halo-8 crew doing Godkiller signings and other fun shenanigans, complimenting someone on her "cally" costume to which she replied, "thank you" and kept on walking, and watching Michelle Forbes watch the Mighty Boosh - i can't say i fully understand or appreciate their humor, but watching the pure delight she derived from their performance made it all worthwhile.

in the stars

i'm not sure if anyone can relate to this, but sometimes i feel like getting up in the morning is like confronting mount everest - i used to compare this feeling to being covered by the x-ray blanket at the dentist; or sometimes i simply question my direction and the choices i've made in my life so far.  you with me?  and while i think introspection is important and imperative to the evolution of humanity, I think it's a fine line between mindful contemplation and living in the past...  but then i'll have an experience that changes my perception of everything.  if i subscribed to astrological beliefs, i would say the stars are aligned in these moments.  such experiences come in all forms - having a chance encounter with an old friend; reading a book that feels as if it were written to me, for me and only me; absorbing an awe inspiring view of the ocean; having an accident that provokes an evaluation of priorities; watching a film that challenges my beliefs about the world; witnessing the struggle of another and the will exerted in pushing through adversity...  these are but a few examples of things that inspire me. as often as i can, i seek to see and understand the essence of everything that exists in my world.  i think part of understanding ourselves is considering our environment and how we relate to every little detail.  i also believe it is possible to find beauty and magnificence in even the most seemingly benign image, object or act.  and then there are times when i am completely caught off guard by what moves me.  it could the innocence i see in a small boy walking self-consciously, hands shoved in pockets, imitating an oblivious father.  it could be the generosity of a stranger offering their spot in the grocery line, or the humility i feel when i stub my own toe.  it is my impression that it is these simple things that we often overlook that can give us the most insight into what it means to be human.  one such experience occurred recently as i was reading through my fan mail.  [on a side note i would like to apologize to those whose mail i have not yet responded to, i know there are many - i have been occupied with myriad travels and work commitments, but i assure you that your letters are read and greatly appreciated.]  i'm not sure whether it was the accumulation of the correspondence or something about the particular letter i was reading, but i felt a shock of recognition of how we participate in each other's lives to such an explicit degree, and often without any awareness of it.  it's incredible to me that i can do what i love to do and have an impact that reaches across countries, cultures and social demographics.  it's something i've been thinking about a lot lately and part of the reason why it's important to me to express the intricacy of my values and not just those you see on tv.

"A wider of more altruistic attitude is very relevant in today's world.  If we look at the situation from various angles, such as the complexity and inter-connectedness of the nature of modern existence, then we will gradually notice a change in our outlook, so that when we say 'others' and when we think of others, we will no longer dismiss them as something that is irrelevant to us.  We will no longer feel indifferent."— from The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom

the world