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 Success means you are going to be called a “pompous jerk” and that’s OK

For my entire life I’ve been the person who would politely deny every comment given to me. I was painfully shy because the second I said anything someone was always there to tell me to be quiet.

Everyone encounters this but traditionally women are usually hit harder by this. Hey, I was raised Catholic. It’s practically built into the curriculum.

I remember the first year of Intervention. I walked into the large panel room and about 100-200 people erupted into applause. I had done it. I had made an event that no one thought would work into something that everyone there loved – both the attendees and the staff. Someone called out for everyone to applaud me. The sound was thunderous.

I made an awkward face, ducked my head, and slinked out of the room as if I had just committed the worst failure of my life.

Sometime later in the year I broke down into tears and wailed for hours non-stop. Hours. I was inconsolable. Why? Because I was convinced that I was a loser. All Harknell could do was hold me until I finally had no energy left to make another anguished squeak. My entire torso hurt for days.

But still.

Against opposition and personal financial hardship and everything else – we still made it happen again. And again. Most events don’t get more than 1 year. This year is our 5th anniversary. We are already planning Intervention 6 and I just started my second event – (Re)Generation Who: The Doctor Who Convention for Every Generation.

For my entire life I’ve been told to minimize my accomplishments. That’s why I still walk around feeling like a loser. I know it’s wildly insane, but there it is.

I have been trained to set goals that make no sense and always equal failure because I never accept the success. It’s impolite. Of course I was also trained to never accept a compliment and always minimize anything that I do.

This is over.

I am not doing it anymore.

At this point in my life I would rather be up front with everyone about who I am and what I do than take one more step toward belittling myself at my own expense. It’s old.

I’ve beaten myself until bloody. I’ve been harder on myself than any person has a right to ever be to anyone. I’ve literally injured myself and pushed myself into debilitating depression over it.

I am going to relax and be a confident, successful business owner. This means that inevitably people will come out of the woodwork trying to cut me down. Women aren’t supposed to be confident or accomplished. I can actually tell you that the first day I tried this it happened within hours.

I didn’t give a fuck.

My response is simple – tough shit. I refuse to beat myself up anymore. I will not let anyone convince me otherwise. I am going to try and take compliments correctly and own the success that I have earned.

Not bought. Not given. EARNED.

It’s about being able to say, “I did this. I’m proud of it. Thank you.”

That’s hard for me.


 Bad times mean that you just have to work harder but it’s worth it

Geez. I’ve had 3+ weeks of awful. First I got informed that I had something growing inside my thyroid. Then Harknell was in the ER, then his Mom was in critical condition in the hospital and then his best friend was in the ER. I finish what is hopefully the last of my tests tomorrow to find out WTF is up with me. During all of this and while working full time jobs we still managed to launch a big Doctor Who convention in Maryland with Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Thanks to Harknell for doing some of this work from the god damn ER!! Geez.

I am sorry that I have been making less blog/art stuff for a few weeks. It’s been…a time.

We also brought home a lot of loose ends for the planning of Intervention: The Premier Showcase of Online Creativity. That’s my first convention which takes place for the 5th time this Aug. 22-24 in Rockville, MD. We still need your help with registrations and donations to fund us. We are not a big company. We are just a husband and a wife with lots of great volunteers hwo believe in the idea.

We need you to check it out and/or donate and let us send you swag, it would go a long way to helping us bring knowledge to everyone. Your contributions directly help. For example, we just sold 2 ads for our con book that decrease the amount I personally have to pay to get the con books printed.

(Want an ad? Hook it up here. Now. Publication deadline is soon.)

I plan to do at least 1 major talk on marketing for indie artists/authors/artists.

This is NOT a final draft because idk how many Q&As I can do in one weekend while running the con, but it will go something like this:

Oni’s Secrets to Real Marketing for Real People:

Oni Hartstein has been making art since 2003 and blogging since 2006. Her blog has over 6000 unique readers per day and is well-known for it’s excellent coverage of haunted attractions. From this platform she designed, built, and manages both InterventionCon and (Re)Generation Who from the ground up. She’s been featured on Wired, The Washington Post, CNN, and a ton of other places. During the day she manages over 3 million dollars in marketing campaigns – a job she got because of the first part of this paragraph.

This is an informal discussion where she talks about everything she did to get to where she is and how you can use the same techniques on your own business. There will be no buzzwords or scenarios that you have to be a lucky fairy princess to achieve. Real Talk. Nothing is held back. Attendees OF THIS PANEL ONLY can book a 10 minute Q&A to get feedback and pointers about your specific small business needs at any time by signing up at con ops. Spaces are limited. Yes it’s free because you already paid to get into the con. Thank you for that. You rock. You are why we can offer this.

Intervention is all about Intervening and Inspiring everyoen who attends. A fun weekend where you can learn or share what you love with the community. So many great projects came out of it – one of which is my Doctor Who convention, but there are hundreds more.

I’d by lying if I said things were easy, but that means that I have to just work harder to make things the best. Too many people get frustrated and get bitter over setbacks. That’s some weak shit.

My experiment about just doing the right thing even at my own expense seems to be working. Someone could kick me in the vagina and I would still be fair about hitting them over the head with a chair.

And soon, it will be Haunted Attraction Review season. Yeaaaaa.


 MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: I just started my second convention, (Re)Generation Who: The Doctor Who Celebration for Every Generation in Cockeysville, MD this Mar. 27-29, 2015

I love how when I started Intervention in 2010 people thought I was crazy and told me so. We do such an awesome job on Intervention that literally no one is verbalizing that this time. We bring it.

I am honored to be working with the 6th Doctor, Colin Baker and many more Doctor Who celebrities TBA on the Mid-Atlantic’s major Doctor Who convention, (Re)Generation Who this March 27-29, 2015!.

Please share this news now, because even over the holiday our website was being hammered. We already have many VIP levels sold INCLUDING the Time Lord level.

We expect this event to sell out.

The staff that raised the bar on cons with Intervention is now bringing that same love and level of quality and community to the DW Fandom! Artist and vendor applications are live NOW.


 What a terrible 2 weeks

These last 2 weeks I’ve had to play on Hard Mode.

I am in the middle of investigating some medical issues that have been making me feel terrible. I have a new doctor and it seems that this one knows what he is doing. I am going for more tests.

Then I ended up having to take Harknell to the ER on Wednesday afternoon.

We spent many hours worried because we did not know what was wrong with him. He may have needed emergency surgery. It could have been appendicitis or worse. The doctor said that there was a 35% chance that he would walk out of there that night.

We got lucky and after lots of painful tests and many hours got to go home together just with a prescription for Vicodin. He will be alright but there will be some pain.

The support I received from many of you over on Facebook was critical to being able to handle this terrifying night. I can’t thank you all enough.

Thanks to Isaiah for showing up in the ER with food so that I didn’t pass out. And thank you to Bree and Colin for sending us some cake pops from Shari’s Berries:


 Price for tix to my convention and art festival in Rockville, MD go up Sun, Jun 29 at midnight

Ok guys. Sorry this post is a little late – we spent too much of this week in the hospital.

We are closing in on the price increase (midnight this Sunday, June 29) for my convention, Intervention in Rockville, MD.

We are here specifically to support families, all people and all genders to do what they love . Art, comics, blogging, podcasts, makers and more is what you’ll find here in addition to the best video gaming, board gaming, and film festival you’ll ever attend.

We provide a place for creative professionals to network and a place for fans to discover their work, meet, and learn from them.

We can’t do this shit without your financial support. Same as PBS. None of us get paid. Not even me.
We believe in this. Every member of my staff has donated their time, money, and support. That’s why you can feel that great atmosphere we are famous for.

This year the number of folks donating is larger than last year. THANK YOU. I can’t do this on my own. But we still need your help.

Nothing good is ever easy. But it’s worth it!

We certainly have a fun weekend lines up for you this Aug 22-24!

Please check us out, register, donate, or spread the word. It all matters.

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