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#Readathon Mid-Event Survey

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Okay. We’re officially halfway through Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and I’ve officially done a terrible job thus far. I’ve only read about 60 pages of a book, I overslept, my head hurts so I spent even more time napping, and I haven’t even gotten to do any of the challenges! This is a very good example of “life getting in the way” of a readathon I was super excited to take part in. Sigh.

However! We’re only halfway through, so there’s still time to turn it around. I’m grabbing some water, a blanket, and I’m gonna power through my book. And I’m gonna start getting back on board by filling out the “Mid-Event Survey”.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? I am 60 pages into Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, which is something I’ve had on my shelf for years but never picked up.
2. How many books have you read so far? Eh… this is still my first book of the day.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Well, if my some miracle I can both finish The Graveyard Book and start another, the next on my list is Landline by Rainbow Rowell.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I guess I shouldn’t have started this blog post with a preface, since I seem to have answered many of the questions already, indirectly. I have had ALL the distractions, most of which being this stupid headache. So far I have dealt with them by letting them win, but I am GONNA READ THIS BOOK NOW. OR ELSE.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? It’s hard! But I’ve been enjoying seeing everyone taking part in it and doing the challenges, and I hope my next foray with this readathon is better than this one.

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How are you doing? How much have you read? Have you read either of these books?

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Weird Reading Position Challenge!

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Hello, lovely blog readers!

Today’s blog post is going to be a little bit different, because I am actually hosting a challenge for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! To find out more about this read-a-thon, check out their website and consider joining in! Because – good news! It’s only currently Hour 3 of this 24 hour event, so you’ve got plenty of time to grab a book and dive right in.

For those of you specifically here for the challenge, here it is:

Take a picture of yourself in the weirdest reading position you can think of.

Whether that’s standing on your head, hanging upside down off your bed, or with seventeen things stacked on top of you — I wanna see pictures! Here’s mine, if you need some inspiration:

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Leave a comment on this blog post with your photo entry as well as your twitter username so I can contact you directly if you win.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper challenge without a prize, would it? The winner of this challenge may choose a prize from this site! I’ll be announcing the winner on my blog later today, so check back to see if you’ve won!

If you’re participating in the read-a-thon, good luck! And if not… what are you doing?! Grab a book!

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Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld – Review!

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This video is a week or two old, but I wanted to give people a chance to get out and grab this book before posting my review here. I’m talking of course of Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld, a really unique new book that centers around both a girl name Darcy and the character she creates named Lizzie. This book really spoke to me because she wrote her first novel in 30 days, in November, which many will recognize to be NaNoWriMo. I loved reading about someone else’s experience with the project, and I had a lot to say about the book!

Have you read Afterworlds yet? Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Please leave me comments and let me know your thoughts!

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Geeky Pumpkin Carving!

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Hello, lovely blog readers!

Halloween is my favorite time of year. It’s the only time when the rest of the world shares my love of costumes, everything smells like cinnamon and pumpkins — and suddenly it’s totally normal to do things like getting lost in fields of corn and scooping the innards out of a pumpkin!

My family was diligent about carving pumpkins together each year, and that’s a tradition I’ve carried on with me into my adult life. But I’ve never been a “scary face” jack-o-lantern type of girl… no, I’ve been making geeky pumpkins since my parents trusted me with my own knife. While I’m now a big fan of drawing my own pattern, I definitely used to look them up online before I had any idea how to do it myself.

In the past I’ve made Harry Potter Pumpkins, Lumpy Space Pumpkins, and this year I’m planning to figure out how to get Sailor Moon’s face on there. Maybe. We’ll see.

However! If you’re a bit artistically challenged (no judgement here!) Nintendo has graciously offered these sweet Mario templates for video game nerds to geek out with their… seeds out? That joke sort of got away from me there. Anyway we’ve got Bowser, Boo and Shy Guy for you to pick from:Bowser-Stencil KingBooStencil ShyGuy-stencilIf you decide to use any of these templates, let me know! Or, if you design your own original geeky pumpkin, please send me a picture! I would love to see what you create. Send me an @reply on Twitter, you know my username!

 

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October Video Round Up!

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I’ve been trying my hardest to make it up to you guys lately that I took such a long blogging break by making it really easy to find everything I created in the absence. Between my cosplay news, books I’ve read and videos I’ve posted, I’ve been a busy little bee!

Today’s blog post will give you a round up of the most noteworthy videos I’ve made in the last month or so, starting with this GeekGirlCon Candyland video I posted yesterday!

 

I am quite proud of it, and my friends were all such good sports for being involved. I love showcasing the things that make me happy for others, and I think this video did that perfectly.

Next was this hilariously exciting Snack Exchange video I filmed with Joe – we had organized a collab of sorts with a couple living in Korea named Evan and Rachel. They sent us a big box of Korean snacks in exchange for a box of American foods they missed from home.

 

We had a BLAST trying everything. Some of it was weird, some was absolutely disgusting… but a lot of it was really great! Thanks again, Evan and Rachel!

The last video I want to share with you is my FALL BOOK HAUL! I can’t get enough of books and reading lately and this is my newest stack of stuff to read.

I can’t wait to get through many of these, and October has been a big reading month for me. I’m only 2 books away from hitting my 30 book goal for 2014! You can bet I’m gonna raise that goal next year – 30 was easy!

I hope you enjoyed my videos, and I’ll be back soon with some more October/Halloween fun!

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GeekGirlCon 2014 WRAP UP!

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This past weekend was GeekGirlCon up here in Seattle, which is a great little convention centered around being a fun and welcoming community that promotes the role of women in geek culture. While men and boys are welcomed and encouraged to attend, the con itself exists to “celebrate and honor the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide.” I hadn’t been in a couple of years and it was such a treat to see how much it’s grown in that time.

While I attending a number of amazing panels (Working with WorblaWomen and the Horror Fandom, to name a couple) my favorite part of the weekend was cosplaying. This was my third official cosplaying event and I was so pumped to rewear and old costume and try out a new one.

On Saturday, my friends and I wore our Candyland costumes. We debuted these at PAX earlier this year, but since then we obtained a gender-swapped Mr. Mint, filling the group out even more.

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I love these costumes. Not only is Queen Frostine the first costume I made entirely myself, 100%, everything from scratch – but it also brings a certain joy to people’s faces when they realize what we are that I just love. Nearly everyone played Candyland as a child, but very few have seen the characters in any way other than a few inches tall on a game board. Not to mention all the small children who just want to follow us around because they like our “pretty dresses”. Wearing these Candyland costumes is always a delight and GeekGirlCon did not disappoint.

Now we just need the other characters! Anyone interested?

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Sunday, however – Sunday was the day I had looked forward to with both extreme euphoria and fear. After months of work, my Sailor Moon costume was ready, and I couldn’t wait to show it off at the con surrounded by seven (SEVEN!) other scouts.

I’ve been watching Sailor Moon since I was a child – I remember waking my mom up to watch it in her bedroom at 7am before I even knew what anime was or how much it would later affect my life. I remember my resurgence of interest when I was 11, when I started doodling Sailor Scouts on my middle school notes and calling dibs on which scouts we were with my friends at lunch time. I never got to be Sailor Moon. This was a big point of contention for me in middle school – I WAS THE BLONDE ONE. I WANTED TO BE SAILOR MOON.

Sometimes it takes years for justice to be served, I’ve found. Fifteen years, to be exact – because at 26 years old, my cosplay group unanimously decided I was the obvious choice for Sailor Moon. I was giddy, I’m not going to lie. This costume, this group of friends dressing up as the Sailor Scouts… this fulfills a fifteen year old dream for me. So take that, middle school friends. Who’s Sailor Moon now?

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Photo by Sharctank

I had an absolute blast. We found that walking around with a couple of scouts wasn’t too bad – you could still manage to make your way around the con and see things, but if you had more than three (or, god forbid, the whole group) you might as well just stop and pose for pictures. Because that’s all you’d be able to do.

But we loved it. When you spend as much time on costumes as it takes to make these, you want your picture taken. You want to see people’s faces light up when they see you. Sailor Scouts day at GeekGirlCon was one of my favorite days of all time, top five at least. I had the most fun, and I can’t wait to wear them again sometime. Especially since we have a Neptune and a Uranus, they just couldn’t make it to this particular event!

I want to give a special shoutout to GeekGirlCon itself for being such an amazing atmosphere in which to wear costumes – the con has very strict rules about asking cosplayers before you take pictures and it enhanced the experience so very much. I had a number of wonderful conversations with people who enjoyed my costumes because of it, as well as chatting with other cosplayers (who were all extremely friendly and nice). I also loved how open everyone at this con was, turning the “Sex Scenes from the Female Gaze” panel into good old fashioned smut story time. Where else could authors share their favorite sex scenes aloud in front of a respectful and mature audience? It was wonderful.

GeekGirlCon was a fantastic experience, and even though I swore I’d take a break from making costumes until 2015, I’m already mentally breaking that rule by figuring out what’s next.

Stay tuned to my cosplay page on Facebook to keep up with my costuming adventures!

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October Life Update!

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Okay, I haven’t just “sort of fallen off the blogging wagon” – it’s completely left me behind and I’m going to need to call a Lyft to catch back up. Even though writing is just about my favorite thing to do, whenever I start to get busy this blog is the first thing to get the axe. I don’t mean to! I love this blog! But I am going to try to be better. I mean we’ll see, since next month is NaNoWriMo, but I am going to try.

So what’s been getting in the way of blogging for me? Well, I have two easy answers to that, actually.

1. Cosplay

2. Reading

Usually I have a million excuses as to why I haven’t got time for a damn thing, but lately, it’s been those two things, 24/7. If you haven’t noticed, I have recently jumped headfirst back into reading, and it’s been seriously awesome. Every once in awhile I’d feel that little tug, like there was something missing from my life – and it was totally reading. I’ve been doing a book challenge over on Goodreads to read 30 books this year (modest, I know, but I wanted to start realistically) and I am flying through! You can follow me there if you want to see what I’m reading and how much I like the books I’ve read.

And the cosplay… don’t even get me started. To be fair, I love it. I am head over heels, honeymoon phase totally smitten with it. But good lord it’s expensive and time consuming. I don’t even want to know how much money and how many hours I have dumped into this hobby already. I really don’t.

But this weekend I’ll be at Geek Girl Con here in Seattle and I’ll be cosplaying both days! Saturday I will be reprising my Queen Frostine costume I wore at PAX, as we now have the addition of a Mr. Mint and plan to enter the costume contest with them.

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And then on Sunday I get to fulfill a life-long dream of cosplaying as Sailor Moon. That’s right – I’m dressing up as Usagi herself. The best part is, we have an entire cosplay group of every single Sailor Scout, including the outer scouts. The only sad part is that our Uranus can’t actually make the event, but we know she’ll be there in spirit.

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I don’t know how I managed to snag Sailor Moon, but I am so pumped it’s actually happening. I’ve put literal blood, sweat and tears into this project. Between a sewing machine needle going directly into my thumb, to hot-gluing my finger prints off, to having to redo a depressing number of parts of this costume due to mishaps and mess-ups… this pretty soldier of love and justice cannot wait for her costume to be finished so she can just wear it and feel like a magical girl.

I will definitely be posting pictures! Be sure to follow my cosplay page on Facebook for more regular updates about our costume journey.

That’s all for now! Please don’t abandon me – this blog will be up and running again very soon. I promise. Pinky swear. See you later!

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Review!

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I recently read the summer book hit We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and I loved it – enough to record this long, rambly, superfun review of it. Join me for what one commenter lovingly described as “more of a chat about a book with a good friend than an official review”. I’m into that description.


 

What did you think? What were your favorite “hints”? Tell me in the comments – I just can’t stop thinking and talking about this book!

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Making Time For Reading

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As summer is winding down, all I can feel is the impending knowledge that life is about to get a lot more busy. That can be both a good or bad thing, but either way it makes finding time to read a bit more difficult. That’s why I’ve made this video!

 

Have any other good tips for how to fit in some reading time when your to-do list is stacked against you? Leave a comment!

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Device Theft Awareness Month – Wrap Up and Sweepstakes!

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As August draws to a close, so does Device Theft Awareness Month with Absolute LoJack Uncovered. I feel like I have learned so much throughout this month and have a much better handle on what to do if something like this ever happens to me! I hope you feel the same way. Today’s blog post is my last one on the subject, and a bit of a wrap up and refresher of the most important information to take with you into the rest of your lives.

Device theft can happen anywhere, at any time — but here’s a list of the top places you should really make sure you’re on your guard:

1. Bus or subway stations. Especially at peak hours and when transit is in the process of leaving or arriving.
2. Restaurants, especially near exits. Don’t leave your purse hanging behind you on the back of your chair!
3. Concerts, bars and clubs. People are in extremely close proximity and there’s typically little to no storage options for your purses or jackets.
4. Offices, when many people feel secure enough to leave their phones on their desks while running to the bathroom or on an errand.
5. Stores or gas stations, where people often are juggling many items at once and may leave their phone in a cart or on a counter for a moment.

It’s a little depressing having to worry about keeping our devices safe at all times, but what I’m finding is that just a few little steps here and there can help stop these types of robberies before they even start. Keeping your phone tucked away at certain times might make a potential criminal overlook you as a victim, because you haven’t made it easy for them.

The biggest change I am making in this regard is to start packing a book again when I take public transit. Most thieves aren’t going to steal a book, and if you have that out instead of your phone, you might have just significantly decreased your likelihood of being a target. Sure I sometimes miss playing Dragonvale on the bus, but I’d much rather lose a bit of gaming time in exchange for knowing my phone is safe. Because if your phone is stolen, think about everything else you’ll be missing.

At the end of the day, device theft is a real threat and it’s growing all the time. It was one of the top 10 complaints with the FTC for the 13th consecutive year and had an increase of 32% in complaints back in 2012. Here’s a sobering statistic: in 2012, about 16.6 million people (which is 7% of all U.S. residents age 16 or older) reported being victims of one or more cases of identity theft. People age 20-29 are the most affected by this, so be aware.

You don’t have to live in fear – just live slightly more carefully. Live knowing your information is safe, because you took the necessary precautions way ahead of time. It’s actually a really freeing thought, especially if your phone/laptop are such integral parts of your job, like mine is. :)

I want to help you protect yourself and your smartphone! If you’re interested in Absolute LoJack, readers of my blog can get 30% a 1 year standard or premium subscription by using the code “UNCOVER30″ at checkout. This offer is valid through August 31.

Also! They’re offering a pretty sweet sweepstakes in exchange for putting up with us blathering on about device theft all month. If you sign up for a 30-day free trial & enter the Absolute Software Laptop Lifeline Sweepstakes 2014, you could win a large cash prize & other great stuff!

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Simply visit https://www.laptoplifeline.com/ and enter a valid email address to receive a one month trial code of Absolute LoJack. Follow the instructions to activate and you are entered into the sweepstakes! There is no purchase necessary.

There will be three winners! There will be a grand prize, one first place prize and one second place prize – all with different prize packages.  Each winner will be randomly drawn by Absolute LoJack on 9/15.  Eligibility: legal residents of the United States and Canada, excluding Quebec, age 18 or older as of August 18, 2014. The sweepstakes runs through September 12, 2014, see the official rules here

Disclosure: This product has been gifted to me, however all opinions expressed in my review are my own.

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