1.30.2015

5 Fandom Friday (11)


5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Don't forget to link up at Superspacechick's blog and to TWEET The Nerdy Girlie for a RT.


This week's theme: Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own

1) The Marauder's Map (dress)



One of my favorite things in the Harry Potter books is the Marauder's Map. I loved how they made it come to life in the movies- how it worked and how it looked. So when I went to the HP Studio Tour last year, I had to buy one. It's not exactly an accessory of the wearing kind - unless you put it on a dress! I know, a dress isn't really an accessory either, but this Blackmilk number is seriously one of my favoritest fandom things.


2) Ravenclaw tie


In keeping with the Harry Potter theme (because hey, I'm a bookworm!), another favorite accessory is my Ravenclaw tie. Ever since the movies came out, I've wanted either a House scarf or tie. The tie is subtle enough to be worn as a headband/hair-ribbon or regular tie, but it's also easily recognizable; makes for some of the easiest cosplay ever!


3) Loki Necklace


I'm so lucky that my co-blogger Alz has crazy jewelry-making skillz0rs. I commissioned her to make me a necklace based on the gold band on the front of Loki's armor, and she did a great job. It is simple, elegant, and subtly geeky.


4) Sherlock-y Mementos


Slightly cheater-y because this is a group of things, but it's from an outfit I was going to wear at SDCC last year but wasn't able to. But what you should really note is the Sherlock Holmes silhouette pin and the Sherlock wallpaper print leggings. The pin I got in London last year at 221B Baker Street at the Holmes museum (along with another pin that says 221B), and I love it because you can basically use it to geekify any outfit! (The hat, if you're wondering, was also from the museum.)

The leggings are Goldbubble's Sherlock-inspired BORED leggings, which I saw 2 years ago thanks to the Nerdvember challenge; one of the Set to Stunning ladies wore them in one of her outfits. I knew I had to have them, and so when GB re-released them, I snapped them up immediately.


5) Hamilton Necklace


I don't know how "fandom" US Revolutionary & Critical Period History is, but that subject is something I fangirl about (as you can see in this post where I flail about History Channel's Sons of Liberty), which is no secret to my friends. Also not a secret, my inexplicable crush on Alexander Hamilton.

So when Alz made me a Hamilton necklace for Christmas, there was NO WAY it would not become one of my favorite geeky accessories. FAVORITE. Look at it. It's incredible. I can't believe she made it.


Bonus pick: Awesome leggings


I had to add my BM Hamlet leggings because they were my first (and still favorite) BM leggings, it's my favorite play, and it speaks to my literary soul. And the mecha leggings are here too because they are badass.


What are your favorite fandom/geeky accessories?

P.S. Last day to enter to win 6 awesome YA books!

1.28.2015

What's Up Wednesday (56)


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!


WHAT I'M READING

Finished VICIOUS and oh my god, I loved it. Great cast + complex characters + complex themes = book love for me. Everyone's the hero of their own story, unless they want to play the villain. ;)



For Christmas, my friend bought me the first 3 volumes of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, and so I've finished Vol. 2 and am in the middle of Vol. 3 at the moment. It's pop culture + mythology, so of course, I love it.


WHAT I'M WRITING

Still playing with the SNI.

Writing Goal: Finish that second SNI scene.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME

I think I've mentioned this before, but reading other people's wonderful work inspires me. Yes, it can also be super depressing, but when something is really good and I love it, it gets my own gears turning.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO
It was National Readathon Day this past Saturday. I sadly was not able to read during the time period of the readathon, but I did make time to read that day because I was getting past the halfway point in Vicious.


I finally bought my plane tickets for New York City next month! I can't wait to see Sarah, the city, and my history crush Alexander Hamilton! I will hopefully 1) finally be able to visit his house, The Grange (it was under renovation the last 2 times I was in NYC) and 2) I will be seeing the Lin Manuel musical HAMILTON, based on Ron Chernow's brilliant biography of the man. I'm SO EXCITED.

In fact, if I can swing it, I will probably re-read the 700+ page biography in the next few weeks to prepare.

Speaking of my US History geekery, I have loved History Channel's 3-part mini-series SONS OF LIBERTY. As I said to my friend, it's like the blowing-stuff-up dramatized/ historical-fic version of the birth of the US Revolution (US Revolutionary history & the Critical period are my favorite eras).

I've pushed aside all other TV commitments I usually have on Sunday-Tuesday to watch this thing. I've even dressed for the occasion. (Thanks to my nerdiness & xmas gifts, I have shirts for days.)

1) Join or Die 2) Thomas Paine's Common Sense 3) Washington- Great Britain, not so great.
Also, it has Ben Barnes as an aged-down, dashing Sam Adams. I've had a long-standing crush on him, and not only is he a badass in this (he's Sam Adams, after all), he has a fantastic coat (seriously, the coat!) and is a total babe. Sorry not sorry, I have an ineffable affection for Mr. Barnes.

Oh and to seal the deal, Hans Zimmer wrote this baller theme for the show. I need it in my life.



Now that all 3 parts have aired, I believe you can watch all of them on the History Channel's site. GO DO IT.

(I'm also probably going to go read David McCullough's 1776 now. I've had it for ages...)

What's up with you?


P.S. Sometimes, I feel like people don't understand the extent of my history geekery - but then I make posts like this and then, there's this post as evidence as well.

P.P.S. This 6 YA book giveaway is still going until the end of the month. If you're in the US or Canada, feel free to enter!

1.23.2015

5 Fandom Friday (10)


5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Don't forget to link up at SuperSpaceChick's post for the week.


This week's theme: Songs That Changed My Life

I love music, but I'm really not one of those people where I can say "this song has changed my life" in any other way than I guess the usual associations music has for people about times, places, or events. So I'll play around a little bit with this week's theme.


1) Soundtrack of my adolescence: 90s-00s Pop - particularly the sounds of the Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears.

I will always love these songs, and goodness knows when I am old and gray, I will still know all the words to all the BSB songs, because these were the songs of my youth. These songs will always remind me of my friends (because they brought some of us together) and all the weird things we got up to - not to mention awkward middle school dances. And I will say that the shared love of this music is what brought me to some of my closest friends. Mutual love of the Backstreet Boys gave us an idea in middle school that 'hey, you seem like a cool person. At least, I like your taste in music.'

I mean, even now, I've bonded with people over mutual love for late 90s/early 00s boy bands, hah.

(From the Backstreet Boys' tour 2013: Acoustic version of 10,000 Promises)
A video posted by alice (@akangaru) on


2) Jason Mraz

At the Filmore in SF circa 2008

One of the few singers I will see every time he is in town because his live singing always, always outshines anything he does in studio. There's just something about his voice, his stage presence, and the energy of the audience that makes every show a delight. And I love his music for its positive, uplifting messages, for its playfulness and delight, and for its wordplay. I have too many favorites but No Doubling Back, Burning Bridges, You & I, 93 Million Miles, Details in the Fabric, Long Drive.


3) Moulin Rouge! soundtrack

This is probably kind of cheating, but Moulin Rouge! was such a huge part of my high school years and remains my favorite movie to this day. Since it's a musical and therefore music played a large role in the film, I think it's safe to say the songs used were important to me, if not life-changing. Of course, most of the sung songs in Moulin Rouge! were pop songs not original to the film, but the catalogue of already famous songs mixed in with the meta nature of the film basically speaks to the type of pop culture junkie and geek girl I am. It's kind of fitting that I loved the movie and its music so much.


Not to mention, Moulin Rouge! was about beauty, freedom, truth, and above all things, love - themes that will always resonate with me, like the music. :)


4) Hozier

It's not often I fall in insta-love with a singer or a song, but it happened with Hozier. I saw his show last year in May or June without having listened to anything (like I might have heard Take Me to Church once or twice a long while ago & therefore couldn't remember what it sounded like), and his music completely hooked me. Not only is his voice just amazing, but his lyrics are gorgeous. It's been a while since I've been romanced by the words in songs. Needless to say, I'm seeing him when he's next in town, which is February!

And while I don't know if I'd say any of this is life-changing, a few of his songs are certainly mood-inspiration for some of my current WIPs: In A Week, Work Song, Like Real People Do



5) Winter Song - Sarah Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

Not a song that has changed my life, but I do really like it and I was going to include it in the 5 Fandom Friday post for holiday songs but opted for a few cheerier numbers. But this one is wistful, melancholy, and beautiful and it kind of perfectly captures a feeling from one of my WIPs. It's inspiration fuel, so it gets included here.



Q4U: What are the songs that have changed your life or inspired you?

P.S. One week left on this giveaway of 6 wonderful YA books!

1.21.2015

What's Up Wednesday (55)


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!

WHAT I'M READING
VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab (aka Victoria Schwab in YA circles), which I've had pretty much since it came out, but it's taken me this long to start reading it. Loving it so far. Totally my jam.

I've also finished Issue 2 of ODY-C, a series I am loving more and more. The myth interpretations are great and the art is just trippy-beautiful. Speaking of comics, I'm also reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman Volume 2.



WHAT I'M WRITING
Stuff! Tinkering with my Cinderella story, and I know I shouldn't be, but I started a few exploratory scenes for a Shiny New Idea. I love the characters and the tone. I hope a plot takes shape. :)

1 Writing Goal: Finish the exploratory SNI scene.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Visual inspiration. After the SNI struck me and I decided I had enough interest in it to maybe develop it, I started a pinterest board just to get a better feel of what I wanted the world to look and feel like. The visual inspiration has helped me shape the world and mood of this possible new story. I think a mood board would work too, but that's something I haven't tried myself yet.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

It's been a while since my last What's Up Wednesday post thanks to the holidays and the way January has been busy-busy. So here's what else I've been up to - other than stuffing my face and trying to get back into the swing of things.

For Christmas, my friends gave me a lot of cool things, but probably the coolest were the super geeky things Alz and the Sis got me. I am a huge U.S. History nerd, so I adored the history themed shirts the Sis got me - especially the Alexander Hamilton ones. Crazy talented Alz made me an Alexander Hamilton necklace!


Related to this Hamilton stuff, the biggest thing I've been up to is planning a trip to good ol' New York City at the end of February! It's been a few years since my last trip, and this year, I will have the pleasure of staying with Sarah, who has graciously offered housing. She was also the one who told me that there is an Alexander Hamilton musical!!! And basically, I have to see it or I will regret it forever. So, NYC!

I watched a ton of movies and finally convinced my friends to watch NBC's Hannibal, which remains my favorite show on TV. Glad more people seem to be discovering it / trying it out. Hopefully, this will mean higher ratings for it come season 3 this summer.

It's been a long time since I last vlogged and while it was fun, I'm not exactly super comfortable in front of a camera. Enter Megan Whitmer's #vlogagram, which is basically bite-sized vlogging. You pick a topic (or use Megan's suggested prompts below) and film a 15 second Instagram vid for it. You can find my vlogagrams on my instagram under #AliceVlogs.


Speaking of Instagram things, I've also recently gotten into the #candyminimal thing, which is a minimalist, candy-colored style of photography by Matt Crump. You can read his guide here.


And finally, here's a moment of geek chic and one from my overdue hair trim appointment.



What's up with you?


P.S. This 6 YA book giveaway is still going until the end of the month. If you're in the US or Canada, feel free to enter!

1.16.2015

5 Fandom Friday (9)


5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Don't forget to link-up at Superspacechick's post for the week!

This week's theme: Conventions I've Been To Or Wish To Attend

Does a Junior Statesman convention/conference count...? Because I've been to one of those in high school. My sister actually ran into Fabio at one of these - like unrelated to JSA; he was just staying in the hotel or something. ANYWAY...

In all seriousness, I've been to...

5) A Supernatural Convention

Honestly, this was kind of disappointing because there wasn't that much going on. The cast panels were great, of course, but other than that and a teeny tiny merch room, there wasn't anything else. But this was one my friends and I went to years and years ago, and the more recent things I've seen floating around online seem more lively. But I'm glad we did it and like I said, the SPN cast is always entertaining, so hearing them basically chat with fans was a good time.

I'm hoping the conventions now are more like the "fan conventions" they've put on the show (dedicated to Supernatural, the book series). I too would like to go on a Hunt but preferably not one with real ghosts...

4) Anime Expo

Went to this a couple of times in high school when I was obsessed with anime and loved it. We didn't do too much panel stuff, but it was fun seeing the Artist's Alley and Dealer's Room and of course, all the incredible cosplayers. There's a masquerade, a dance, a karaoke room (where my friend and I killed it in a duet one year - all in Japanese, which neither of us actually speak), viewing rooms with all day anime, and a gaming room.

Some friends and I went back once after college because the convention is now in Los Angeles (it used to be in Anaheim), which is a lot closer to us. It was kind of cool to see how much fancier it is now, but since we weren't as into anime anymore, the appeal was less.

But if you are into anime, AX is probably the place to be. It's huge now compared to when I went in high school! Plus, it's right by the Staples Center.

3) San Diego Comic Con



I've been 2 years in a row now, and I've loved it. It is like the biggest comics and pop culture event around after all. I think if you're into geekdom and fandom and are an all around pop culture junkie like me, it's great because it has everything. But it's also a huge marketing event, so you might not get some of the really focused or intimate kinds of experiences you're looking for. I think it's just important to have your expectations adjusted for something of this scale and to go with the flow. Seriously. The less you stress about stuff, the more fun you will have. KEY to my 1st year being above and beyond.


My first year was still the best experience, so last year was a tiny bit disappointing (it's tough to top seeing all the stuff that went down in Hall H that year - um, Loki showing up anyone?, seeing Tom Hiddleston at Nerd HQ, and bumping into Hugh Dancy in some hallway) and the crazy line situations didn't help. But that said, it was still fun and uh, I'm still going this year! So see some of you there?


Here are conventions I'd like to go to...

2) NYCC

Because it seems like the next logical step after SDCC, and I love visiting New York City! Not to mention, the book industry seems to have a bigger presence at NYCC than SDCC (because publishing HQ is basically NYC), so I think I'd enjoy that aspect more.

1) YALLfest

I was going to put BEA/BookCon here because it's huge and it's filled with books, bloggers, and writers, but I keep hearing so many good things about YALLfest. It seems like a book and writer people favorite, and it seems more casual and more personal if what you're looking for is chatting with authors and getting your books signed. I'm seriously considering flying out to attend this year.

It also has a sister fest launching in LA in April of this year: YALLWest! This would be perfect because then I can drive instead of fly to it, but unfortunately, I can't make it this year.


*Bonus Choices*

1) Dragon Con - Because it seems like a fan favorite and is always spoken of highly.

2) BEA - As I mentioned above, books. Lots and lots of books.

3) Star Wars Celebration - Because Star Wars.


What's on your convention wishlist?

P.S. In case you missed it, I'm hosting a giveaway of 6 fantastic YA books! It's easy to enter, your chances are great at the moment, and it ends at the end of the month!

1.14.2015

Giveaway: 6 of TIME Magazine's Top 100 YA Books

Recently, TIME Magazine published lists of their Top 100 YA Books and Top 100 Children's Books of All Time, honoring new and old classics in these categories. You can check out the lists through the links above.

Candlewick Press had 10 titles from their publishing list that made it onto the lists-  6 Young Adult books and 4 Children's/Picture books.

To celebrate this honor, Candlewick is giving away a full set of their 6 YA books. These beauties right here:




Yep, one of you lucky ducklings will receive paperback copies of...



Related tangent: A Monster Calls is probably one of our (yes, this includes super critical co-blogger Alz) favorite books ever. It is a powerful story with haunting-gorgeous illustrations. We named it a Favorite Old-Timer Best Read of the Year and Favorite Family Drama in the 2012 edition of the YA Superlative Blogfest. So yeah, you want this book (and the others)!

So cross your fingers, enter the rafflecopter below, and thank the awesome folks at Candlewick Press for these goodies and for publishing such delightful books! Giveaway closes at the end of the month, January 31.

P.S. This giveaway is open only to people in the US & Canada. The books will be shipped out by the publisher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1.09.2015

5 Fandom Friday (8)


5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

I was not blogging over the holidays, so I missed a couple of these. On Wednesday, I blogged about my One Word Resolution for 2015, which covers the New Year's Resolutions prompt from a few weeks ago. Today, I'm going to do 2 Fandom Friday prompts - last week's and this week's!

The Themes

January 2nd – New Year's Fandom Resolutions (last week's prompt)

1) Meet more geek girls/ online friends IRL. SDCC anyone?

2) Go to more conventions. I'm going to SDCC again this year, but I'm kind of thinking about WonderCon, and I'd like to finally get to a book convention. I'm eye-balling YALLfest.

3) Join up with more groups and/or participate in more challenges. I sort of started this at the end of 2014 by finally joining the Female Geek Blogger group, and I just signed up for Geek Girl Brunch. I'm also going to try this #vlogagram project by YA author Megan Whitmer for beginning/occasional vloggers.

4) Read more graphic novels/comic books/webcomics. I just picked up my first on-going comic book series at the end of 2014 (ODY-C, if you're curious), and I devoured Emily Carroll's horror comic anthology THROUGH THE WOODS and her issue of FRONTIER. The medium is so great, and obviously, I love reading. So this seems like an area I can explore more of, and I'm excited for the upcoming book-version of Noelle Stevenson's NIMONA.

5) Geek trip or activity. Already doing good on this: going to NYC for a musical about my US History crush Hamilton (my trip last year was London for Tom Hiddleston, Shakespeare, and Harry Potter Studio Tour!) and very likely at some point this year will be holding a Star Wars trilogies viewing party with friends before the new one drops in December.


January 9th – My Favorite Things About Winter

Disclaimer: I'm from Southern California, so yes, our winters can hardly be called winters. And yes, I am weak to cold.

1) Hot Chocolate/ hot drinks. Nothing warms you up like a nice, hot drink in your favorite mug on a chilly night.


2) Coats / Sweater Weather. I love coats and sweaters, and while it's not often cold enough for my heaviest coats, I still have plenty of other choices. I love the different styles and looks of both coats and sweaters and how you can pair and layer them with other things. So great. Every year I can't stop myself from buying new sweaters.


3) Scarves. I have no great pics of my scarves, but trust that I own many and love wearing them. My favorites are ones friends have crocheted for me.

4) Sleeping in. I'm already a fan of sleep but when I get to sleep in during the winter, it is divine! There's nothing like being all warm and comfy in bed when it's gray and cold outside- bonus if it's raining too.

5) Brisk winter days. While I don't want to be freezing, I do like a little bite in my winter days because there's something crisp and refreshing about it. Overcast skies can be dreary, but every once in a while, we get such gorgeous, moody weather in the winter. The chill just makes me feel more awake, more alive.


Don't forget to link up! What are your favorite things about winter?