2.23.2015

Writer Recharge Challenge 2015- Update 3


Writer Recharge is meant to be a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals, check in once a week (on Mondays), and connect with other recharging writers. It's hosted by the lovely Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren.

Here's how I did for Week 3.


WRITE/REVISE
Did not write the stanza, but I did work on a scene in a WIP and on my SNI.


READ/REREAD
Finished my (at least) 1 book read for the month! Did not do a Hamilton re-read though and I don't know if I'll have time to since I'm traveling this week.


STRETCH
No vlogging this week. I need to catch-up!


SELF
Got a little more sleep, and bought myself some cool gear this weekend.


CONNECT
Met up with Sarah Enni, and we promised each other we'd bother each other to write. :)



FUN
Found another cool theater-y thing to do in NYC and went to the Blackmilk LA store opening!

How did you do this week?

2.20.2015

5 Fandom Friday (14)


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.


This week's theme: Things I've Bought But Haven't Read/Watched/Played Yet

These are all books because I have way more books than I can read, but I can't stop buying them.

1) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Despite how much I was looking forward to this book, I still haven't read it! The crazy thing is, I even have 2 copies of it - the US and UK versions. The UK one the Sister and I picked up last year in London. This is one of her favorite books.


2) The Night Itself by Zoë Marriott

While we were in London last year, I also picked up a copy of The Night Itself because I loved Marriott's Shadows on the Moon, and I adored this original first cover for The Night Itself. Plus, at the time, the book wasn't available in the U.S. yet! Still haven't read it yet though. *sigh*


3) Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor



This is the conclusion to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, which I've been loving because Taylor's writing and world-building is absolutely exquisite. I loved where the story was going by the end of Book 2, so of course, I pre-ordered this baby. Why haven't I read it yet then? No idea. But SOON because I do seriously need to know what happens.


4) I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson



So many people were looking forward to this one last year, including me. Now that it has a Prinz under its belt, I should probably finally read the copy that's been sitting on my coffee table for months.


5) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke



I've legit had a copy of this book since like 2006 and I still haven't read it, despite wanting to and despite numerous recommendations from friends. In my defense, it is a rather hefty volume.

2.18.2015

What's Up Wednesday (58) / Writer Recharge- Update 2

Another double duty post because the holiday messed me up and I completely missed my Writer Recharge update...


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

Same as last week: The Young Elites.


WHAT I'M WRITING

Nothing this week. So much failing.

Writing Goal: Write something!!


WHAT WORKS FOR ME

Working on other, kind of mindless things, especially when I'm stuck. We were doing a lot of cleaning and re-organizing this weekend, which was kind of helpful for pondering various things.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

First, thank you everyone for your congratulations last week on the Riffle MG Editor position! I hope to see some of you on Riffle sometime. :)

I haven't been up to much else since I caught a cold on Tuesday, and it pretty much made the rest of last week go very slowly and kind of miserably.

But I recovered enough by the weekend to make one of my Writer Recharge goals happen and to enjoy the wonderful weather we've been having. Basically, Spring comes early in California.


We were even able to take Loki out to the park where he could run around to his heart's content. He loved it.


I've also been doing some cleaning, which meant reorganizing my book shelves. I seriously need MORE bookshelves and to maybe give away some books because I have way too many! The cleaning is in preparation for Lunar New Year, which is tomorrow! So HAPPY NEW YEAR! I will be pigging out tonight for New Year's Eve dinner with the family.

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Writer Recharge is meant to be a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals, check in once a week (on Mondays), and connect with other recharging writers. It's hosted by the lovely Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren.


Here's how I did for Week 2.

WRITE/REVISE
Nothing this week since I was sick. Bleh.

READ/REREAD
Still no Hamilton reread, but finishing up The Young Elites. I also read a bit of poetry.

STRETCH
No vlogging, but getting the hang of my new position with Riffle is stretching my social media & community muscles.

SELF
More sleep goal win - mostly because of my cold and Nyquil, but it has put me back on track to getting to bed earlier. Facial was also a success, and I got some nice new product to add to my face-washing routine.

CONNECT
Didn't happen this week because of sickness again. :(

FUN
I will be packing my bags the next time I update this Recharge! NYC soon, but I am so not ready for the cold!


Other Writer Recharge people, how did you do for Week 2? and WUW peeps, what's up with you?

2.13.2015

5 Fandom Friday (13)


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 at @thenerdygirlie!


This week's theme: Favorite Fictional Couples I Ship (Valentine's Day)

Since I don't really do the shipping thing too much anymore (though I will always ship Laurie and Jo from Little Women, and yeah, I'm kinda on board with Olicity as well...), I'm going to change-up this week's theme. So...

New Theme: Favorite Fictional Females in honor of Galentine's Day!

Source: gifstelevision tumblr
It's a day - traditionally the day before Valentine's Day (so today!)- to celebrate all the cool women in your life, and the term and celebration were coined on Parks & Recreation (which I really ought to watch...) by Leslie Knope.

TBT to about 2 years ago, fake-laughing with some of my favorite gals.

I recently did a vlogagram about my Top 5 Female Characters, where I focused on book characters. So I'm going to talk about book characters again here, but with new picks since there are many awesome girls and women in books.

While it's easy to hold up female characters like Katniss or Arya Stark because they're competent (or excelling) at the challenges thrown at them and they tend to be doing well in traditionally male roles, it's easy to overlook the awesomeness of women who don't physically kick ass. So I'd like to highlight female characters that are badass in different ways than what we're used to seeing when we're given a "strong female character."

1) Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle


As a young and old woman, Sophie knows how to take care of herself. She may not have magic powers or killer moves, but she manages to hold her own in a world of vain magicians, fire demons, curses, and moving castles. Her no-nonsense approach to the curse that befalls her and the strange company she ends up keeping earns her the respect and admiration of the people around her. And along the way, she learns that maybe she wasn't fated for a "dull life" after all.


2) Seraphina from Seraphina (and the upcoming sequel Shadowscale)


Seraphina's heritage is one she must keep secret, but she doesn't let that stop her from pursuing her love of music and joining the court. She struggles with self-acceptance, with having to lie to her friends/allies, with the terror of being discovered, but still she manages to help when she can. She manages to save and protect people with only her wits and words.


3) Suzume from Shadows on the Moon


This is one of the best YA Cinderella retellings I've read, and Suzume is a big part of it. Yes, she is gifted with an illusion magic, but it's not a gift she is immediately adept at. She learns to use it, just as she learns to see herself as strong and worthy of love. She is driven by so much anger, hurt, sadness, and vulnerability to begin with, but she slowly starts trusting and re-examining herself as the story progresses. I loved her for her flaws as much as her resilience.

4) Phaedra from the Lumatere Chronicles


I give a shout-out to the entire female cast of the Lumatere Chronicles in my vlog because this trilogy contains some of the most nuanced and varied portrayals of women I've ever seen. It is masterful. I named Evanjalin in the vlog because she leaves an immediate, strong impression, but I wanted to talk about Phaedra (who doesn't appear until Book 2, which I've linked) here because she's a wonderful example of a woman in a fantasy in a traditionally female role who is nonetheless freaking amazing. She starts out as this ostracized, self-doubting foreigner in a strange land, who seems helpless, a little clueless, and unhappy. But she gets this incredible character arc that doesn't include her transforming into some warrior princess; she simply finds her confidence and her voice, and she learns to use them. She goes from this kind of meek character to a character who embodies gentle strength.

5) Allyson from Just One Day


Most of my picks are from fantasy books because that's my preferred genre, so I added in a contemporary heroine. I saw so much of myself in Allyson - her insecurities, her naiveté, her feelings of being trapped in a situation. She has one of the best days ever to one of the worst days ever, and she spends a year figuring out how to recover from it. And she's awesome because after she mopes for a few months, she takes the plunge to do something out of her comfort zone, to actively pursue a chance.


Happy Galentine's Day, my fellow geek girls!!! (And Valentine's Day too!)

What are your favorite fictional females (or tell me your ships, I like those too!)?

2.11.2015

What's Up Wednesday (58)



(It's still unseasonably warm here, but I couldn't resist this snowman button!)

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

Marie Lu's THE YOUNG ELITES.

Really enjoying the world-building in this one, and I'm curious to see how Adelina evolves.


WHAT I'M WRITING

World-building for the SNI because it's glitzy and sparkly, and I like that.

Writing Goal: Write a stanza for the verse story.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME

Playing the game of What If? This usually helps with world-building and/or the early stages with the SNI. There are usually a few details that come with the initial idea, and from there, I'll pick the few bits that I think are the most interesting and ask what if?. If this exists in this way, then how would it affect this?


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

I have been anticipating the new sitcom FRESH OFF THE BOAT and hoping that it would be good. It's been 20 years since an Asian American family has starred in a broadcast sitcom. Last Wednesday, it had a 2-episode premiere and it was HILARIOUS. I have never laughed so hard at a half hour TV show since maybe Arrested Development. The 2 episodes this week were somehow even funnier. If you've been thinking about watching the show and haven't yet, do so immediately. It is so great!

Thursday

Though I found out about this last minute, I made it to Gayle Forman's signing at my local indie! It was really fun because she brought her friends (and fellow writers) Margaret Stohl and Deanna Kizis. These 3 women were hilarious together and could have gone on all night, but the Q&A was brought to a close by a little boy who asked "When is it over?" before his mom could stop him. It was the perfect end to the night.

And then I picked up a copy of Gayle Forman's new book I WAS HERE and got my old books signed. Yay!


Friday

The Sis and I went to the Hozier show at the Fonda, and it was wonderful (of course)! I've been looking forward to this show since the last time (which was the first time) I saw him in 2014 at the Troubadour, and it did not disappoint. I fangirled about how I fell in insta-love with this voice and music at that first show in my Fandom Friday post about songs from a few weeks ago.


I had a great weekend that involved some retail therapy. I bought a new weekender (that I needed), some shoes I had wanted ages ago but my size wasn't available, and a fabulous blue coat (for NYC coldness). Elodie and Katy asked for pics, but I don't have any yet. Maybe I'll take some this weekend! :D

And lastly, I have some good news that was just finalized this week: I am the new category Editor for Middle Grade at Riffle!


What's Riffle? It's an online community of book lovers, sharing their recommendations, reviews, and TBR lists in a visually appealing way - like a Pinterest for books. It's also a nice alternative to goodreads if you're looking for a new literary playground. (The lists are probably my favorite current feature.)

While I'm more of a YA reader, I do love me some MG too, so I jumped at the opportunity to curate and grow the category at Riffle. Since I am learning and exploring this category as well, I'd love any of your suggestions for MUST-READ MG books. Let me know in the comments or on Riffle!

You can find me getting up to mischief here:

Riffle: Middle Grade Editor
Riffle (personal): Alice (Krispy)
Twitter: @RiffleMG
Tumblr: Riffle Middle Grade

Give me a follow if you are so inclined! :) (But please bear with me this month as I start finding my footing.)

I'm very excited to be working with the folks at Riffle! Here's to fun times ahead!

What's up with you?

2.09.2015

Writer Recharge Challenge 2015- Update 1

Writer Recharge is meant to be a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals, check in once a week (on Mondays), and connect with other recharging writers. It's hosted by the lovely Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Liz Parker, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren.

Here's how I did for Week 1.

WRITE/REVISE
Still having trouble getting past my block, so I tinkered around with some other things. Working on getting into a daily writing habit. I did start reading the books I borrowed for the verse story (some poetry and poison), so there's that I guess.

READ/REREAD
No Hamilton reread yet, but I have made some good progress in reading my 1 book - Marie Lu's THE YOUNG ELITES.

STRETCH
Got my #vlogagram on and blogging.


SELF
More sleep goal has been a fail this week. I have, however, scheduled a facial for next weekend!

CONNECT
Hoping to hang out with tweeps next weekend, and must still beta read.

FUN
Prep for NYC trip continues! Bought some new luggage bags this weekend at a great price and a fabulous blue coat.


Other Writer Recharge people, how did you do for Week 1? Don't forget to link up here at Sara's Update post.

2.06.2015

5 Fandom Friday (12) / Inspiring Blogger Award

This Friday post is going to be a 2-fer: Fandom Friday and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award (thanks Natasha for the tag!).


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 at The Nerdy Girlie!


This week's theme: Favorite Funko Pop Figures

1) Loki (Bobble-head)


I missed out on the original Loki POP Vinyl, so when the one for THOR: The Dark World was released, I bought it as soon as I saw it. But Loki's cooler with the horns, so when Funko released a helmeted bobble-head, I pre-ordered that ish so fast.

2) (Golden) Smaug



This guy was a Hot Topic exclusive, and while I liked the regular Smaug just fine, I couldn't resist this golden guy when I happened to see it at the store. I love his smug little face.


3) Masked Will Graham

I desperately wanted the bloody Hannibal SDCC 2014 exclusive, but the Funko booth was nigh impossible to get into; total nightmare and probably the worst part of SDCC 2014 for me because of the frustration and time I wasted trying to get in. ANYWAY, this Masked Will Graham basically makes up for it though because it is adorable and kind of more interesting to look at (and I love Will).


4) Wendigo

Continuing on the Hannibal trend, the wendigo is one of the creepiest and coolest things on the show. So I had to get this creepy cutie.


5) Bloody Sharknado (SDCC 2014 exclusive)


I don't have this one, but it was another SDCC 2014 exclusive that I wanted. The regular Sharknado is cute too (I love the fat shark), but a bloody one just seems more appropriate...


Fandom 5 Q4U: What are your favorite Pop Vinyls?

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Writer-friend and geek-lady-I-aspire-to-be Natasha tagged me for this award. I usually don't do too many of these blog award memes anymore, BUT part of the award is to share seven facts about myself, then nominate 3 more people to do the same.

And since I feel there are quite a few of you who are new around here, I thought the 7 facts thing might be helpful. (I've done things like this in the past, so apologies in advance if I have shared these facts before...)

1) It wasn't until high school that I learned I have a weird Chinese surname. It's 2 characters instead of just 1.

2) I'm double-jointed - which basically means I can do weird bendy things with my fingers.

3) I have been an extra in a music video. This OK GO video, actually. :)


4) I have won something from the radio - my current Macbook!

5) Last year at Comic Con, the Sister and I told Raúl Esparza at the Hannibal signing that we love him on Law & Order: SVU. He responded with equal enthusiasm and showed us the cool SVU phone case they gave him. Magic Comic Con moment!

6) For my 22nd birthday, I got to go to my post-internship awards banquet (where my group won an award), wear a sparkly gold dress, have a Taiwanese talk-show celebrity host guy lead a ballroom full of people in a rendition of Happy Birthday to me, and go karaoke-ing with my friends until 2am in the morning. All of this in Taiwan. Oh, and then at the hostel, my group bought me a cake and wished me a happy birthday again.

This is actually from 1 of those glamour photo shoots
I did the day after the banquet (same dress though)!
These were all the rage at the time.
7) My friends and I started writing a tongue-in-cheek sequel to The Grapes of Wrath because we were weirdos like that in high school. I wrote an entire interstitial chapter about how dusty dust was - you know, in the style of Steinbeck.

And I'm going to tag some of you frequent visitors that I don't know lots about:

1. Prerna Pickett
2. Fida Islaih
3. Miss Cole (ok, we actually chat often enough on Twitter, but I want the 7 facts. ;) )