Sunday, August 25, 2019

Return of the Skeleton Key swag!

The Skeleton Key!
Called "Skully" for short,
I've made piles of these ...

Before I headed out to WorldCon 2019 in Dublin, I considered what fun stuff I might want to bring along to share.  Business cards are of course a must, since little slips of random paper torn from the schedule upon which people scribble your twitter handle do quickly get mixed with the dirty socks in the suitcase and are never seen again (except as shreds of unknown origin emerging from the dryer.)  A colorful business card has a better chance of being retrieved before being lost to the laundry, and perhaps even of surviving the extra rinse cycle, too.

Years ago I had gotten myself some cool business cards, which were very fun to hand out and seemed to mostly serve the purpose of an information source with a certain durability.  But then before the HallowRead Horror Con in 2018 I decided that it would be even better if it could be promoted to actual swag.  You know - a nice little free bonus that would be fun and useful to make getting someone's business card a time of joy instead of "crap I now have tons of these things."  That's when I made the Skeleton Keys, as noted in a previous post.

The Skeleton Key with traditional skull charm, as well as
moon phase charm, and dragon charm.
The Skeleton Key (or Skully) consists of four important parts:  The business card, the key ring, the aluminum key-shaped bottle opener (probably breaks on first use) and the charm (stone skull and crystal bead.)  Definitely cool swag.  Plus, if you don't want my card, you can ditch that part and just keep the bottle opener, or use the charm as a zipper pull for your jacket, or at the least have a backup key ring.  No one has yet objected to getting my card in this form, and instead they seem to think it is at the least something different.

I've now made tons and tons of Skullys (not 'Skullies' that seems insulting to the powerful Skully) and handed them out whenever I give workshops or presentations, and have them on hand at Cons to trade with other scientists, writers, and fans like me.  So of course thinking I was heading to my very first World Science Fiction Convention, I made about 60 and hauled them across the pond.

The "Skully" updated with kitty charm
and special blue crystal butterfly!
Given this was not specifically a horror Con, this time I created a few different variations, all with a small crystal accent.  First I played off of the design of the card itself and attached not only skull charms, but dragon and moon charms as well.  Then I kind of lost it and started putting on all kinds of weird things like little pewter light bulbs, blue stone star beads, little metal flower charms, and whatever else I had on hand.  The most highly prized of which became the cat with the special blue butterfly crystal!

But as it turns out, WorldCon Dublin was so hectic I hardly got a chance to breathe as I was swept from one panel to another.  While I managed to share some with my fellow panelists and a few fans, I ended up bringing most of my dear Skullys back home with me.  They were bummed they did not get to spread their joy and power.

However, this does mean I now have Skullys on hand, and will probably be dragging them everywhere for a while.  So if you see me at a Con or panel or workshop (or anyplace at all), ask for a Skully!  It might even be a skull, but no guarantees ...

Cheers, JA

Image Credits:  Me!