An Open Letter to Han Solo



It was 1977.  My parents had separated and I was a six year old girl being bounced between mother and father like a hot potato.

Me in 1977.jpg

Me in 1977 – not the best quality pic, but hey – I’m lucky to have this one.  Stepmother threw away my baby pics. Read on.


My father stopped by to pick me up one weekend and announced he was taking me to the movies.  Well, AWESOME, because I had my heart set on watching ‘Sinbad and the Eye of the Golden Tiger.’

“No, Jodi.  We’re going to go watch Star Wars.”

“Um, what is that?”

“It’s a brand new movie that just came out and I know you’re going to love it.”

“No – I don’t know what that is.  I wanna see ‘Sinbad’!”

And so this went on for about 10 minutes or so, until my dad dragged my ungrateful ass into the car and we drove into New York City to watch this terrible life-ruining movie that I never heard of.

We arrived at the theater, I grabbed my program (yes, they used to have movie programs back in those days) and decidedly pouted my way through the movie.  Until one particular scene came up onto the screen.

Han Solo. I’m captain of the Millennium Falcon. …

Han Cantina


I immediately sat upright in my seat, pulled my dad’s head down so I could whisper into his ear, “Dad! Who is THAT?!?”

And it was all downhill from there.  I was hooked.  I was a six year old girl in love with a fictional character old enough to be my dad.

But what was really interesting was that it was definitely more than a little girl’s crush on an obviously handsome actor’s portrayal of a character.

After watching Star Wars for who the hell knows how many times (yes, I managed to convince my father several times over how we needed to go watch it again), it became apparent to me that this was now my life.

Star Wars curtains hung in my bedroom at my mother’s apartment.  I had a Star Wars electric toothbrush. My bedspread and sheets matched my curtains. I had action figures galore (including 10 million Princess Leias. Princess Leia’s head always managed to break off for some reason) but the one action figure I never had was – HAN SOLO.  Irwin’s, the local toy store, never seemed to have them in stock.

This was before the interwebs, so it wasn’t like we could ebay it or something.

My husband DID manage to get my first Han Solo action figure for me when I was about 30 at a comic con!

Anyway, I digress.

I did manage to have quite a few of the figures.  My dad had his own pharmacy at the time and he had this weird little section where he was selling brass doll furniture and other brass oddities.

Well I convinced him I needed the little brass bicycle and the brass table and chair set. I mean where else was Darth Vader and Chewie going to be able to enjoy tea together?? Really!

Comic books became my bible.  I plowed through those things and couldn’t wait for the next trip to the comic book shop.

Then life took a horrible left turn and stayed in that direction for years to come.

My mother died that year.  She was only 27 and the circumstances around the death are still not closed. I was thrust into my dad’s life full time.  We did ok in his 1 bedroom apartment.

He bought me a bunny.  I named him Peter, because I was so original like that. Peter became quick friends with my cat, Camus, or Moo Cat for short.  Which isn’t actually shorter but it worked for me.

I had a handful of my comics with me, as well as my umpteenth Princess Leia action figure (damn head popped off all the time), my Darth Vader, and my R2D2. I pretended they were family and went on picnics at the brass table.  And this was before we knew Darth Vader was Leia’s father, mind  you!  I was so insightful, even back then!  Well, maybe not, but you get my gist.

Immersing myself in Star Wars helped me cope with the death of my mother because I had no closure.  My father could barely take care of himself.  But Han Solo?  He excelled at taking care of himself.  And was a hero doing it.

Don’t get me wrong – Princess Leia was my idol.  She’s strong, smart, and a leader.

But Han – Han also had all of these qualities but was an outsider.  Like me.  He didn’t fit in.  He didn’t WANT to.  He needed to get by, get his shit done, and to hell with everyone else. Like me.

Kids in school were horrible.  Because of the mystery around my mother’s death, the kids used to think it would be very amusing to them to make up how they think she must have died and taunt me with them.

“She choked on a chicken bone!”

“She was a drug addict!”

“She couldn’t stand you, so she killed herself!”

Those are a few of the gems that stayed in my memory.

I really REALLY needed to get the rest of my Star Wars toys and memorabilia out of my mother’s apartment.  It was a necessity at this point.  I was falling apart and I knew that living vicariously through Han Solo’s adventures would put me back together again.

One day at the dinner table, I said, “Dad, when can we go back to my old place and get all my Star Wars stuff?”

My dad got a weird look on his face.  He took a deep breath and said, “It’s gone.  The landlord didn’t want to wait for us, so he threw everything out.”

I felt like my world was ripped from me yet again.  I mourned the loss of my mother and now the loss of the only world that helped me get through the loss of my mother.

A year or so went by and my father in his phobia of being without a woman in his life moved us in with a woman who had two sons from a previous marriage.  One was a year older, one was 7 years younger.

We all moved into a new place together and I really looked forward to having a family again.  I never had siblings and I thought it was the coolest thing to have brothers.

Within a week of moving in together, my father’s wife made her opinion of me very clear.

Police and CPS were frequent visitors to our home.  But because of her father being a prominent figure in the police department, nothing ever came of those reports.

School would send me to the nurse constantly to check my bruises, my scratches, and eventually, my behavior.  I started to rebel in school because I had no control anywhere else in my life.

I began finding my baby pictures and my mother’s pictures in the garbage.  She was throwing them away systemically, so that they weren’t all gone all at once. I was being erased.

I tried reaching out to my dad to tell him what was going on, both with me and what she was doing to our family’s history, and he didn’t believe me.

Of course it never happened with him home.  He was working three jobs because she refused to work one and his paltry salary as a pharmacist in a mom and pop pharmacy could barely support him and me, let alone three others.

So he was never home.

I did manage to start collecting more Star Wars comics and at this point The Empire Strikes Back was out in the theaters – reinvigorating my obsession and helping me escape into the world of Hoth, Cloud City, and WHAT??

Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and THE CREDITS ARE ROLLING?? WHAT???

Boba Fett Carbonite Screen Cap

Isn’t anyone gonna STOP this MF?? The movie’s almost over!!


I was stunned. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that they let him go with Boba Fett.  They abandoned him, in my mind.  The way I felt abandoned.

Then Return of the Jedi comes along and thank FUCK within the first 20 minutes that shit got resolved.  There was no way I was sitting though this movie without Han Solo being alive, snarky, and waving that damn blaster around.

The rest of my teen years were spent in not very good ways.  I won’t get into details here, but when the Star Wars movies stopped coming, I focused my energies in not healthy ways.  I needed to get out of the horrible home situation.

WWHD – What would Han do? Well, I think for one he’d have stuck his middle finger up at the world and went his merry way.  Which is pretty much what I did.


Ok, not quite giving the finger, but you know the power of the Ford finger


Fast-fowarding decades into the present.  I’m middle aged, married, four children, three cats, one guinea pig, and a jewelry business.

Going to see Star Wars The Force Awakens was a religious experience for us.

We prepped the kids by having three days of original triology immersion, in order.  Do NOT get me started on the prequels.  I adore Ewan McGregor with all my heart but there’s nothing in my mind that can save those movies.

I managed to stay spoiler-free! Not ONE single factoid – true/false or otherwise made it through my senses!

We arrived at the IMAX theater, thankfully still spoiler-free.  I even went to the lengths of covering my eyes and ears in the lobby so I wouldn’t see people’s faces or hear their comments as they exited the theater.  Yup.

As I sat through the movie with my family, enjoying the looks on their faces, it really came full circle for me.

Until one pivotal moment.  SPOILER ALERT!!!



The moment Han walked onto that bridge, I knew it wasn’t going to end well.  I had ‘a bad feeling about this’.

As I saw the blade emerge from his back, I gasped, audibly.  I covered my mouth with my hands.  I stayed in that position as I watched Han place his hand on his son’s face tenderly, then fall off the bridge into oblivion.

I felt as if I fell into oblivion with him, my thoughts spiraling.  Waiting for some miraculous rescue and a medic droid to make it all better. It never came.

He didn’t get the burial he deserved.  No one said any last words on his behalf.  He was simply…gone.

Han Solo left this world without closure.  As did my mom.  Ironic, isn’t it? Yes, I do realize Han Solo is a fictional character.  However, if you read through this post, you’ll understand Han Solo’s significance in my life.

So without further ado, here is my letter to Han Solo:

Dear Han,

Your sense of survival, your quick wit, and your heart really changed my life forever from the first moment you appeared on screen when I was a  6 year old little girl.

I lost myself in your adventures through an incredibly difficult childhood up through my teens, and even through my 20s.

Now, a middle-aged woman with 4 kids, I find myself in mourning of the character that swooped in on the Millennium Falcon, helped save the galaxy, as well as this little girl at heart.

You will be remembered as being a scoundrel, a mercenary, a general, a mighty opponent, a survivor, and my hero.

May the Force be with you, Han Solo.


Here are some Han Solo-inspired pieces you will find in my shop

Han Shot First

Han Shot First

I Love You - I Know Necklace

I Love You – I Know


The Death of Han Solo 2

The Death of Han Solo



May the Force be with You


Interview with Brittany of Legacy X!

Many of you may be wondering what I am doing with my posts recently.  Most of them have absolutely nothing to do with my jewelry. 

But in a way they do.  Because of my career traveling the Supernatural convention circuit selling my handmade jewelry, I’ve had the honor of meeting so many incredibly fascinating people whom I otherwise would have never known.

I feel compelled to share these people’s messages, to promote their businesses, to celebrate their amazing accomplishments.  I feel better as a person when I write about them.

I originally started doing customer features once a month to acknowledge my amazing customers and friends, however, I seem to be collecting many more customers and friends in my journeys.  Writing about them once a month doesn’t cut it and I wanted to create a connection between my work and providing a platform for these individuals to be heard. Which brings me to Brittany.


Brittany and me doing a selfie in VegasCon

Brittany and me doing a selfie in VegasCon


When I did VegasCon last month, I had a table next to me called Legacy X.  I met a group of amazing, determined, passionate women whose mission was to collect anti-bullying messages from the crowd. These messages were to be written on red paper and then used to recreate Legacy X’s logo in the desert.

It cost nothing to write, but each message’s value was priceless.

 Being the mother of an eleven year old boy who was traumatically bullied to the point where we had to press criminal charges, Legacy X’s message really hit home and I was drawn to its members to learn more about their organization and how we can each make a difference.

I met this absolutely beautiful young woman, Brittany, who has generously allowed me to interview her about her bullying experiences and how Legacy X has transformed her.


The beautiful Brittany Ritz!

The beautiful Brittany Ritz!

I’m Brittany Ritz. I am 17 years old and from Las Vegas, Nevada. My favorite colors are blue and red :).  I am part of an anti-Bullying group called Legacy X.

Why Brittany likes Blue

Why Brittany likes Blue


Why Brittany likes red!

Why Brittany likes red!

I am attending a private school because I was bullied a lot from 6th grade to 10th grade.  I went through so much; I’ve been spit on by girls and boys, they’d put gum in my hair, and boys would write ‘go kill yourself’ or ‘make a video of you hanging yourself!’

The bullying didn’t stop there. One time a couple of girls had jumped me and hurt me badly.


Brittany after the attack

Brittany after the attack – she used her images to help others.  One of a million reasons why I admire this woman.

They broke my teeth.  They cut my hair.  It affected me in many ways. I was feeling suicidal and depressed. I lost weight and then gained it back 2x more. It got to the point where if I died I didn’t care! But now I care about my life. I love my life so much and am grateful for my whole family and friends ❤

Because of all of this, I am now part of an organization called Legacy X. It’s a rebuild yourself program that was founded by Justin Spencer.  You may know Justin as the founder of Recycled Percussion from America’s Got Talent 🙂 Everyone is like family to me ❤

Brittany on the Teen X Team! She's up front and center with the organization's founder, Justin Spencer!

Brittany on the Teen X Team! She’s up front and center with the organization’s founder, Justin Spencer!

Brittany got the Vegas-based vocal group Mo5aic to create anti-bullying messages!

Brittany got the Vegas-based vocal group Mo5aic to create anti-bullying messages!

While I was with you in VegasCon, it really astounded me how many people actually said, “NO” when asked to write an anti-bullying message.  One person actually got extremely confrontational about it and the mother bear in me had to grab one of the Creation staff over the incident.

In this day and age where bullying is so much more in the public eye thanks to social media and the internet in general, one would think that most of us would have empathy.

But for every person that refused to leave a message, there were many others that did, including some familiar faces.

Kim Rhodes' message says it all: "Don't let

Kim Rhodes’ message says it all: “Your worth is infinite.  Let your heart define you.”

Kim Rhodes, actress and activist, left a very poignant message which reads, “Your worth is infinite. Let your heart define you.”

I shared this message with my son and as a result, he started to crack that hardened shell he built around himself.

Brittany refuses to let her bullies define who she is.  She has many facets to her sweet personality, including being an aspiring designer!

Jodi: Do you have creative outlets? Tell us about them and if you have photos of your work, please feel free to share!

I make lots of things from dresses and hair bows I do not have any photos but will soon 🙂

I’m making Brittany promise that to us so we can see her amazing work.  She described a lot of her designs to me while we were in Vegas and I have to say we are going to be in for quite a treat when she sends me those pics!!


Brittany, what kind of advice would you like to share with us?

If you see something, say something. Don’t allow your fellow peers to hurt someone! How would you like if it was your sister or brother? If you don’t like being picked on why pick on someone else ?! Because you never know what they are going through.  They might be suicidal.  So please if anyone is ever feeling down or upset you can email me or message me on Facebook

Brittany, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to allow me to interview you.  Your message is a powerful one that resonates loud and clear with us all. Be good to yourself.  Help others to be good to themselves.  Help others to be good to others.  

And because of your hard work, Legacy X was able to fulfill its goal to create their logo in the desert!

They did it!

They did it!

You are a beautiful young woman and I look forward to seeing you again!

Please follow Legacy X on twitter @LegacyXonline and on FaceBook

And to everyone out there I hope to see you in DCCon next month! I’m working away on tons of new designs and you’ll have first pick of ’em there!  Until then, just keep checking my shop for daily updates!

Thankful for My Family, the BurCon Experience and Phoenix Wins!

Okay, well first things first – As you all know, I’ve been trying to get to BurCon for quite a while now.  And thanks to my family out in California, Aunt Doree and Uncle Jeff  – my son Phoenix and I made it!

BurCon was an incredible opportunity because it would be my jewelry’s first West Coast exposure in the US.  A completely different demographic that I’ve never had the chance to tap into and meet.

Thanks to my my family’s generosity using my ClickStartMe campaign: I was able to fly over from New Jersey to Los Angeles and see a part of the country I’ve never been to. And my son has NEVER  been on a plane or left the tri-state area, so this was a special treat for him as well.

This trip wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  Thank you, Doree and Jeff.  I love you.

My incredibly supportive husband, Merrill, as well as our oldest son David, our younger son, Jaden and our daughter, Raven all are the most amazingly understanding people on the planet and I love all of you so much!


Phoenix channeling his inner William Shatner
Phoenix channeling his inner William Shatner
Phoenix spent most of the flight doing his homework, since he was going to be missing three days of school.  Responsible kid - who ARE you?!?

Phoenix spent most of the flight doing his homework, since he was going to be missing three days of school. Responsible kid – who ARE you?!?

What made the trip extra special as well was that one of my cousins from Tennessee, Alexis, and her beautiful son, Zane were going to be there as well – a rare treat getting us together!

Upon arrival, seeing my aunt, my cousin and her baby boy were a heartwarming welcome.

Unfortunately my trip was mostly business, which meant I spent most of my time at the convention working while my family took care of Phoenix.  But we did sneak in some quality time together and will be doing much more of that in the upcoming months, which I look forward to more than anything!

My first night there was spent learning that the rumors of LA traffic are TRUE!  We spent forever on 405N.  It was literally a parking lot.  For those who chose not to turn their cars off while we waited learned the hard way and there were many stalled cars once the lanes opened up again.

I arrived to the convention late, but still had JUST enough time to set up the majority of my wares.  I was very excited about the new coffin jewelry boxes I hand-painted  and lined them up along the front of the table.

My very patient aunt Doree waited until the vendors room closed and we went back to her home in Santa Monica.

The next day I was to get a much earlier start and Doree drove me into Burbank.  It was great!  Almost no traffic!  For me.  After Doree dropped me off, she got stuck in traffic for hours on her way to work.  Sorry!!  I still feel terrible about that.

It was a great day.  Many people stopped by to check out my table and budget the weekend away.  Everyone was trying to figure out where and what to spend their money on.  There was so much great stuff around like a makeup table, movie posters, books, a rare gem jeweler, and CLIFHANGERS!

Yup – I was Clifhanging again!  I had a great table lined up with Clifhanger shirts and beanies (including rocking grey ones!).  My beautiful friend Shannon designed the gear and owns the company with none other than Clif Kosterman – the shirts are amazing, the beanies are rockin’ and you NEED to get the edge and WEAR THE GEAR!

The Clifhanger table - GET THE GEAR

The Clifhanger table – Get the Edge – Wear the Gear

A very happy Clifhanger with her new shirt!

A very happy Clifhanger with her new shirt!

Come visit the Clifhanger page at

Saturday continued to be pretty eventful for both Phoenix and me.  Doree and Jeff took Phoenix to Disneyland!  How cool is that?!?  He refused to wear the mouse ears, but did get an awesome Jack Skellington baseball hat!

As for me,  I met some guy named DJ Qualls….a few weeks ago I had tweeted DJ asking him to come by my table at BurCon so I can give him something.  He replied back saying he would.  Oh SURE he would!

Would you believe He SHOWED UP?!  I showed him the bracelet I made for him and he asked me to put it on him, gave me a huge bear hug and a kiss.  I hereby declare that DJ Qualls is one of my favorite people ever!!!  What a nice guy!!!

Saturday was when things started to pick up a bit.  More people arrived, the excitement was building.

You think that would be the icing on my cake of a day, right?  Nope.  I had dinner with one of my friends that I hadn’t ever had the pleasure to meet in person.  We’d been friends via internet for years, but never had the chance to sit in a room together.

Here’s the view of the other side of the dinner table:

The stunning Julie Anne Rhodes - even more beautiful in person

The stunning Julie Anne Rhodes – even more beautiful in person

We had such a great time catching up and talking about our businesses, our kids, life in general.  Julie Anne is the owner of – I’m a proud member and her services have literally changed the way I cook and my family eats. If you’re a busy person – and who isn’t – this website will save you countless hours.  Julie Anne has dinner all planned out for you or you can plan it out yourself with her menu builder! Check her out and tell her I sent you!

Julie Anne is extremely passionate about her membership – it’s a cyber family that she cherishes and appreciates so much!

Our selfie:

Julie Anne says hi to all of her amazing PCA members!

Julie Anne says hi to all of her amazing PCA members!

Phoenix was absolutely beside himself to meet her – she inspired him to start his own food blog:

Sunday was a huge day because Phoenix would be with me for the day – I barely got to spend any time with him.

Phoenix was jet-lagged and a tad cranky, so I decided to take a break from the table and walk him down to the Random Acts table.  Random Acts is a charity founded by Misha Collins.  They had some cool activities to do at the table, so he decided to write a note in a book to Misha and color a Misha drawing in.

We made a donation and Phoenix’s name was entered into a raffle.  Which he WON!  Phoenix became the proud owner of a Random Acts journal signed by none other than Misha Collins!

Phoenix accepting his prize from Random Acts

Phoenix accepting his prize from Random Acts

Phoenix and Random Acts

Phoenix and Random Acts

Random Acts tweeted him - he was a bit overwhelmed, lol!

Random Acts tweeted him – he was a bit overwhelmed, lol!

So the lesson Phoenix learned from all of this is “get cranky and miserable and you’ll win an autographed prize from Misha Collins.”  YAY!

Then it was photo op time!  Phoenix was getting a trio op with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins – WOW!!

When it was his turn, he showed Misha the journal.  I then asked Phoenix if he wanted me in the pic – Misha grabbed me and said, “Of course he does!” and pulled me into the shot.  Then Jared tried to pull my Clifhanger beanie off my head for some reason…I’m sure the photo came out well and we’ll  have it in the next few weeks.

This was Phoenix’s first photo op and he was very VERY happy.

So what were some of my big sellers?  My coffin jewelry boxes were a big hit!

My original coffin jewelry box painted ala the Impala, complete with its own devil's trap under the hood and handstamped license plate!

My original coffin jewelry box painted ala the Impala, complete with its own devil’s trap under the hood and handstamped license plate!

Just add a miniature Crowley!

Just add a miniature Crowley!

Carry on!

Carry on!

Some other big sellers of mine were my leather cuffs with stamped plates!  Such as this one:

Family don't end with blood bracelet - Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and Garth

Family don’t end with blood bracelet – Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Ash, Rufus and Garth

The highlight of my weekend?  Meeting YOU!

Ramona with her "Demons I get" "It's people that are crazy" earrings

Ramona with her “Demons I get” “It’s people that are crazy” earrings

I thought she was cosplaying Ruby - does she not have Ruby's face???  She's beautiful!! I think she looks just like Gen!

I thought she was cosplaying Ruby – does she not have Ruby’s face??? She’s beautiful!! I think she looks just like Gen!

Leah was one of the most interesting people I met – she collects quotes and gave me a couple of her faves”

“No artist tolerates reality” – Nietzsche

“Normality is a paved road – it’s comfortable to walk but no flowers grow on it” – Van Gogh

One of my new friends, Leah!  She's sporting an "I found a liquor store - and I drank it" bracelet

One of my new friends, Leah! She’s sporting an “I found a liquor store – and I drank it” bracelet

Here's Leah again with her best friend, Brucie.  Great people!  They're wearing matching "Bitch" and "Jerk" bracelets!

Here’s Leah again with her best friend, Brucie. Great people! They’re wearing matching “Bitch” and “Jerk” bracelets!

Crowley's woman - Elizabeth!

Crowley’s woman – Elizabeth!

I had the incredible fortune of meeting this young woman, Shanaya Fastje.  She is an accomplished author who specializes on the subject of bullying, which all of you know is near and dear to my heart.  I obtained a copy of her book, “Bully in the Mirror” and am sitting down with my son to read it tonight.  If you’d like more information, please read on at

Shanaya - a remarkable young woman!  She's wearing my Dean tribute earrings (One reads "Awesome" , the other reads, "Pie"

Shanaya – a remarkable young woman! She’s wearing my Dean tribute earrings (One reads “Awesome” , the other reads, “Pie”

Susie and Taylar!  Susie is wearing one of my woven necklaces and mosaic tile earrings and Tanya is wearing my white feather earrings with the goddess Diana symbols!

Susie and Taylar! Susie is wearing one of my woven necklaces and mosaic tile earrings and Tanya is wearing my white feather earrings with the goddess Diana symbols!

There were so many more of you – if you can send me a pic of yourself wearing the jewelry you bought from me to, I’ll publish your photos in an upcoming post!

And next week’s feature is going to  be great! It’s going to be a Featured Customer of the month starring Melstiel!!  Keep your eyes on this space!

As of today, I am 30 days away from the end of my Click Start Me campaign:

Misha Collins shopping around at my table at a Salute to Supernatural convention

Misha Collins shopping around my table at a Salute to Supernatural convention

I will have exactly 30 days to meet my goal to raise funds which will go 100% towards building my handmade jewelry business:Eldwenne’s Fantasy

If you are in need of a gift idea this Black Friday or Cyber Monday – I have FANTASTIC offers!!!

If you donate $25 or more, you will receive a gift certificate from me worth the exact amount of your donation PLUS an additional $25!! Spend it on yourself AND use it to buy gifts – including custom orders!

If you share my Click Start Me campaign with someone who donates – they will receive a gift certificate in the appropriate amount – and YOU will receive a gift certificate for $25! It’s a win/win that costs you nothing!

My business is a primarily online presence which I am in the process of building in two ways: developing my own – which is currently under construction. In order to get the domain to a point where it provides my customers with an excellent shopping experience, it will cost me in fees and possibly bringing in developers.

The second way I am working on this is to put money into advertising on both Facebook and on Etsy.

I am also building my brand as I tour the convention circuit for Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. The travel expenses I incur just in airfare and hotel alone are vast and while I am trying to build a strong presence, I am in need of support to get me to the locations that will be successful for the business, such as the upcoming The Vampire Diaries convention in Florida in a couple of weeks.

The supplies I buy are expensive and the funding will help cover those as well.

If you donate to my campaign, know that you are investing not only in my handmade jewelry business’s future, but you are also helping a woman realize her small business dream.

Thank you for reading and sharing!