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ECCC and Spring Update!

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Hey lovely readers!

I’ve been miserable about keeping this blog updated, but I’ve had to make some personal sacrifices to prioritize working on my novel, and because of that, other writing needed to be lessened. On that note though, editing has been going well! I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, and with a self-set goal of 25,000 words, I am doing quite well. It’s amazing how easy NaNoWriMo feels when you’re only doing half.

I’ve also been busy making costumes! This weekend is Emerald City Comic Con, and I’ve got a 3 day lineup ready (well, I still have a few finishing touches to add…)

emerald city comic con, cosplay, cosplay lineup

I’m also speaking on a couple of panels this weekend, in case you’re going to the con and want to stop by! In fact, I hope you do, because I would love to have a chance to say hello and meet any of you that may happen to be going to the con as well. Here are my panels:

The Couple Who Games Together: Friday April 8th, 5pm – Sheraton Ballroom A

The Rise of Booktube in the Northwest: Saturday, April 9th, 1:45pm – T302

Sorry I’ve been so busy lately, but I can promise you silence on my end means 1 of 2 great things for those who enjoy my work. If I’m quiet, it either means that 1. I am working on my book, or 2. I am working on a cosplay. Or it could mean I am wholly exhausted and watching Netflix or reading a book, but that’s neither here nor there.

Thanks for sticking with me, and make sure you’re following me on Instagram if you want the most regular updates.

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Welcome to 2016!

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It’s been awhile since I updated this blog, and the very first day of 2016 felt like a good time to fix that. It’s a new year. A whole new year. I have no idea where the time is going but for once, that thought isn’t freaking me out. I’m actually… pretty excited.

Kristina Horner as a cat on new year's eve.

This was me on New Year’s Eve, minutes before midnight, pondering if life would be better or worse in 2016 as a cat.

2015 was a pretty amazing year for me. It had its ups and downs of course, but I feel like I accomplished so many things, made huge life decisions that have set me on a path I am proud of, and will bring me to an even more amazing 2016.

Last year I:

  • Hit 1 year working at Microsoft, in which time I not only moved to the main campus permanently, I got hired onto a new team where my very specific skills are being utilized in a way I’m really excited about.
  • Started the UW certificate program for YA Novel Writing, which encompasses night classes I love every minute of and really has inspired me to work on editing my novel.
  • Made the concrete decision to edit my 2014 novel to a point where I feel confident submitting it to agents in hopes of publishing.
  • Completed my 10th NaNoWriMo in a row, a goal I’ve been working on for the entire decade comprising my adult life.
  • Celebrated 3.5 years with Joe, the most incredible human being I know and a big reason I am so happy and self-confident these days.
  • Chopped all my hair off and dyed it green! I feel more like myself than I have in a long time, and I can’t see myself growing it out for awhile.
  • Bought a brand new car! This was my first big adult purchase, my first loan beyond student loans, and I’m totally in love with Chip, my root beer colored Mini Cooper.
  • Went to BEA entirely be myself (but as a result got to spend nearly a whole week with the wonderful SuperSpaceChick) and had the most amazing time being submersed in the book industry.
  • Completed FIVE cosplays over the course of the year, including Rapunzel, Blake from RWBY, Wendy from Gravity Falls, Joy from Inside Out and KiKi from the Little Twin Stars.
  • Didn’t have my vocal nodes impact my life in any way that kept me from doing things nearly the entire year. I’m keeping it under control, finally!
  • Read 78 books, something that means more to me than I can even fully explain – but other book lovers get it. Books really filled my soul this year. I’m so happy.

My twenties haven’t always been easy. I know that even at the hardest of times I’m still an extremely fortunate person: with amazing friends, a loving family, a house to live in right in a beautiful part of Seattle, a job, good health – these are things I try not to take for granted even a single day of my life. But my view of my own self worth, my personal happiness, my ability to work on the things that matter to me, the removal of toxic people from my life — these are the things that really came into focus for me in 2015. This has been my brightest year yet, and I can’t wait for things to just keep getting better.

In 2016 I plan to:

  • Make at least one more cosplay than the previous year!
  • Finished editing my novel by the end of the year!
  • Read at least 52 books (one per week!)
  • Invest in professional photo shoots for my cosplays
  • Hit year #2 at Microsoft!
  • Find a method of exercising and eating healthy that works for me!

2015 was all about working on my mind and spirit. This year I want to be about my body, as well. I’m hoping to make exercise and healthy food a part of my life in a way I’ve never managed to do before. I hope to take more time to relax, to learn more about health in general, and to look and feel great in my cosplays.

As always, it means so much to me that there are people out there who appreciate what I do, whether that’s watching my videos, commenting on my cosplay photos, reading my blog or just chatting with me on Twitter. I feel so lucky that people care about what I’m doing. I love that I continue to have YouTube as an outlet to keep people updated on my life, and here’s to 2016 involving many, many more projects and memories.

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Vloggerfair and PAX Prime 2015

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I have a busy couple of weekends coming up – and I figured it was time to fill you in on what’s going on and what I’ll be doing!

First up is Vloggerfair, a fun little YouTube convention happening here in Seattle this weekend – August 22-23. I will be there Saturday the 20th, on both the “Women of YouTube” panel (happening at 3:15pm) as well as hosting another little book swap (happening at 12:30pm) with the lovely Mallory. Are you going? You should go! It’s going to be a lot of fun, and the more people we have there swapping books, the better it will be for everyone!

Book Swap Kristina HornerIf you find yourself with a free day on Saturday, swing on by and bring a wrapped book! You can get a discount on your ticket price if you use the code “SPACE NEEDLE”.

Next up will be PAX Prime! That’s happening over August 28-31 and I seriously can’t wait. It’s a jam-packed weekend for me, as I will be doing things for work, cosplaying, and I’m on a number of panels. If you’ll be attending, I’d love to meet you!

Here are the panels I’ll be speaking on:

The Couple That Games Together – Friday, August 28th at 12:30pm in the Sasquatch Theatre.
Women in the Gaming Industry – Friday, August 28th at 2:00pm in the Chicken Theatre.
Damsels in Distress: Exploring Tropes in Gaming – Monday, August 31st at 12:30pm in the Chicken Theatre.
As I said, I will also be cosplaying! I toned it down a little this year (last year I debuted three new costumes at PAX, whereas this year it’ll only be one). My friends and I will be wearing the costumes we’ve made of the main characters of RWBY.
TeamRWBY
I am going to be Blake Belladonna, the quiet, sarcastic, book loving badass (and the second one from the right, for those who don’t know). I usually end up picking the bubbly happy characters, so I’m happy to be doing something outside my norm.
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PAX is going to be great, and I’m so incredibly happy my job let me cosplay at least one day of this con. Thank goodness for Sunday! That’s the day I’ll be walking around in costume, so keep and eye out for me! I’ll be working the other three days of PAX, but I can’t imagine not cosplaying at all. This is such a great convention for cosplaying and I’m hoping this year will be no exception.
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The last event in my 3 weekend summer extra extravaganza is Faerieworlds (from Sep 4-6), a three day outdoor music festival/renaissance faire/faerie festival/gathering of awesome people. I can’t wait. It’s probably my favorite event of the year, surprisingly.
It will be a nice break from the craziness of conventions, and I’m taking a day off work to go to it. By then, I’ll need it.
Let me know in the comments if you’re planning to attend any of these events and if I’ll see you there! I’m going to get back to my costume making now, since PAX is currently 7 days and I’m not finished. Yikes!
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VidCon 2015 Wrap Up

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I just spent a lot of time writing a long blog post with my thoughts on VidCon, but then when I hit “publish” – rather than, you know, my blog post going live… WordPress decided instead to delete it! Isn’t that cute? Isn’t WordPress so quirky and fun tonight?

I really can’t bring myself to re-gather all of those thoughts, so I guess that’s just gone to the ether, then. Here are the videos I made:

This first one is a video I filmed over the course of the entire trip. Basically any time I was talking to another YouTuber, I asked them what they were reading. I was very pleased with how it came together, and even more pleased to see literally every person I talked to was reading a different book. Can you believe it?

This second video is my more all encompassing “VidCon vlog”, and it contains a bit of footage from the panel I moderated (The Growing Community of Booktube), the Team Hypercube “Ultimate Werewolf” gaming meetup, and of course, the first annual VidCon Book Swap.

Okay. It’s been 2 days since “the great blog post crash” and I think I am finally ready to retype this stuff. I’m going to talk about the Book Swap for a second.

It was incredible.

There were things I would change. I would have a megaphone, for one. Or we’d not be doing it in the middle of a construction zone. I’d love to have music playing to signify when we’re just looking at the books and when we’re actually picking them, a la musical chairs. I’d love for it to be indoors, and potentially even on the VidCon schedule. I’d love to work with a sponsor in the future to donate books for those who might not have known about it beforehand, and I’d love an opportunity for participates to donate an additional book to a charity.

But even without all of these changes/things I learned this year, it was still really incredible. I loved seeing so many people gather in the name of books, get to know new people and share which books they ended up getting. I loved to see books getting new homes, seeing people walking away excited, knowing they could read a book its old owner maybe never read.

I was such a beautiful meetup and I can’t wait to do it again.

Regarding my VidCon video — if nothing else, you should watch it to see Joe and I duke it out in giant inflatable balls. You won’t regret it. VidCon was great. I can’t wait for next year.

 

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BookTube-A-Thon 2015!

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I have been excited for this ALL YEAR LONG and now it’s finally here… BOOKTUBEATHON!

Above is my TBR video. This is the video that explains the reading challenges and which books I’ve decided to read for each one. The overarching goal is to read 7 books over the course of the week, and due to my extremist tendencies (coughNaNoWriMocough) I obviously take this one the most seriously.

Here’s a photo of the books I’m reading. Aren’t they pretty? The phone represents the Jenny Han book, since I am audiobookin’ it:

11838890_10204240696129213_4866062118417568841_oHere’s my progress so far:

The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich: 50% done
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest: 50% done
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: 15% done

I have successfully started 3 of my books (1 is an audiobook, 1 is a compilation of short stories and 1 is straight fiction, so I’ve been juggling all three pretty easily) and I’m feeling pretty good for my first day. At least on the reading front – as far as video and instagram challenges go, I’m failing miserably. I’ll start doing those tomorrow. Today I was too excited for the actual reading, and also having a day job AND a dentist appointment were not conducive to day one of a readathon the way it is.

I’m loving this week already. Stay tuned to my blog/twitter/youtube channel/instagram/basically everywhere for my reading updates. Also, don’t know what #BookTubeAThon is? Check out the YouTube channel!

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Life Update: July 2015

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Despite having a full time job right now, I’ve spent much of the last month out of town. First I spent 1 week in NYC for BEA (a personal trip) and then another week in LA for E3 (work). And of course, a natural side effect of this is watching everything I’m doing online just sort of dissolve around my feet while I’m traveling. I used to be so good at it, guys. I used to be so good at filming everything, blogging on the go, tweeting my adventures nonstop – but now that I’m a little older (I think it has to do with being older? maybe not), I really appreciate that personal time and it’s so nice to just… detach a little bit.

But now, I am making an active effort to jumpstart everything back up for summer. It’s interesting though – when I’m busy, when I’m really aware of how much time I have to accomplish my personal hobbies and goals… two things happen.

1. I usually tend to get MORE done. There’s no time to lie around trying to figure out what to do. When you have 1 hour in the morning before work and something like five hours when you get home (not including nights when you have plans), that time gets used to its absolute best ability.

2. When there isn’t enough time to do everything, it really becomes clear which of those things are the most important and which can be put on the back burner. This is another thing I am trying to keep track of.

So what does this mean? I’m not really sure yet! I will be blogging and making videos all summer, but I am going to try to cut down to only the content I really want to make. I’ll also be making some costumes, reading, hosting a reading event or two, and maybe doing a live show here and there.

I’ll also be spending a lot of time outside. I want to spend at least 2-3 days a week at the lake I live by. I want to do less talking about reading and more actual reading (though I’ve already read 43 books this year so this clearly isn’t my biggest issue). I want to spend more time working on my writing. Going on more walks. More runs. I want to clean out my room and downsize my belongings. I want to make some clothes. Go camping. Dye my hair.

In immediate life news, I bought a new car. This was my first major adult purchase and it’s still a little scary, but I got a great deal on it, and it’s so cute.

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It’s a Mini Cooper Countryman in “brilliant copper”, though the salesman really sold me on it when he called the color “root beer”. Also there’s this hidden mickey on the dash:

Hidden mickey on the dash of the mini cooper

I’ll be at VidCon, PAX Prime and Faerieworlds this summer. There might be a few other events that pop up but those are the big ones, and I am so, so excited for all of them.

It’s interesting – I’m doing entirely too much every day (like usual) but I’ve also been trying to slow down, read, spend time outdoors and relax lately. Nothing like scheduling in that relaxation time, but I’m trying to get better.

What are you trying to focus on this summer? I’d love to hear about it.

Want to stay updated on what I am doing? Subscribe to my mailing list!



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Americans Try Snacks from Israel!

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These videos are growing to be my new favorites – Joe and I have had many chances to try snacks from foreign countries lately, and it’s been a ton of fun. The newest adventure? Israel.

Thanks to Universal Yums, we got an entire box of fun snacks to check out. We definitely still want fans to send us things if people are interested, but it was neat to take a look at a subscription service doing a similar thing. Check out our video and tell us what you think!

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BEA 15 Haul + Video Diary!

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I was a little late on this, but here’s the video I put together about my trip to NYC for Book Expo America! I had a fantastic time, got to spend time with friends new and old, and came home with a sizable stack of ARCs I can’t wait to read. I absolutely adored this event and I can’t wait to go again next year!

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