1. The Summer Challenge TRIPLE THREAT

    July 22, 2017 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events, Journal, Writing by Kristina Horner

    Booktubeathon is upon us yet again, and I fear I have made a grave mistake this year. Actually, let’s take a step back.

    So, as you all likely know, I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I set a modest goal for myself, but writing 20,000 words in a month (arguably the busiest of the summer months) is still nothing to shake a stick at. I knew that attempting Booktubeathon and Camp NaNo in the same month would be a stretch, but I’ve never been one to look in the face of a challenge and back away. I welcome challenge. I thrive on challenge.

    This was all well and good – totally doable – until I found out about the Marauder’s Marathon. This is a month long virtual Harry Potter themed marathon, which I, of course, signed up for because you can absolutely trick me into exercising if you disguise it as a fun Harry Potter fandom activity. Plus I am trying to be more active, so why not apply a NaNoWriMo-esque filter to running, to make it more exciting? 26.2 miles in a month? A whole month? No problem!

    Problem is, it started on the 17th of July. While I was in New York, in oppressively hot weather. Listen, I’m as committed to pretending to be a wizard while I run as the next person, but I’m not going to start my running adventure in 90 degree weather. So here I am, finally home from NY, 5 days behind. But still determined.

    Okay. Okay Kristina. Three marathon style events in one month. All overlapping for one chaotic week starting on Monday. Is this possible? You can listen to audiobooks and run at the same time. You can get up early to write. This is doable.

    You can listen to audiobooks and run at the same time. You can get up early to write. This is doable.

    Oh wait. Your friends invited you on a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas for one of their birthdays starting on the Saturday of your Week of Madness, and you can’t turn down a spontaneous adventure? AND your best friend gets married on August 9th and you’re not only in the wedding, you’re also planning the bachelorette party, which happens right in the midst of all of this?

    Guys, nothing can save me now. I um… I may have over-committed.

    BUT! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter over the next couple weeks to see if I survive, and in the mean time… here’s my Booktubeathon TBR:

    The challenges:

    1/ Read a book with a person on the cover: PAPER GIRLS by Brian K. Vaughan
    2/ Read a hyped book: MILK AND HONEY by Rupi Kaur
    3/ Finish a book in one day: DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    4/ Read about a character that is very different from you: HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi
    5/ Finish a book completely outdoors: MEN EXPLAIN THINGS TO ME by Rebecca Solnit
    6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover: THE WILD ROBOT by Peter Brown
    7/ Read seven books: THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS by Emily Barr

    I forgot to mention… it would be so nice to have this weekend, this glorious Saturday and Sunday, to get ahead in writing, to do some solid running, cleanse my reading palate with some television, do laundry and relax and prepare for the insanity ahead – but I’m got another wedding tonight and won’t be back until tomorrow. *falls over and dies*

    Wish me luck, and please let me know if you’re participating in any of the above challenges. Bonus points if anyone out there is crazy enough to do all three, like I am!

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  2. PAX West 2016 Wrap Up!

    September 10, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Games, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    Hey everyone! Last weekend was PAX West here in Seattle, and while I am totally and completely exhausted, I have decided I need to do a better job of documenting the stuff I’m doing. So here’s a comprehensive overview of the highlights of this awesome gaming convention.

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    COSPLAY BREAKDOWN:

    Cosplay is always a big part of my conventions, and PAX is no exception. I had actually planned to wear costumes every day (it’s a four day convention so I had FOUR different costumes ready) but I only managed to make 3 happen. I seem to forget each time how much energy costume-wearing really takes. Uncomfortable shoes, pin curls and wigs, carrying around props, stopping for pictures… these are all things I love, but I’ve learned that 4 days of anything just starts to feel like how your life is now, so after 3 days of this – I needed a break. The picture above is the very comfortable outfit I opted for on Monday.

    That being said, here’s what I wore on Friday-Sunday!

    FRIDAY: These costumes were from last year, but we had so much fun wearing them that we decided to do it again! Plus Roosterteeth always has a presence at PAX and the were demoing their new RWBY game, so it seemed fitting to bring Blake and Ruby back. Jenn also remade a big portion of her scythe, so a round two was in order. I downplayed this at PAX, but you’ll notice I opted for slightly more comfortable shoes this time… 😉

    ruby rose and blake belladonna costumes cosplay pax rwby

    SATURDAY: This was one of the best cosplay days I’ve ever had. The three of us fell in love with this as a cosplay idea last year at GeekGirlCon when we met the artist (Skirtzzz) in artist’s alley. I’ve always loved Princess Peach but I am not the biggest fan of her basic iconic dress, so seeing such a fun alternative outfit for her instantly grabbed my attention. Luckily Eia and Jenn also loved the outfits, and we vowed to make them for PAX, this year. And we did.

    Fanart Gunner peach daisy rosalina FF-X2 princesses cosplay costume

    People at PAX really seemed to like the costumes, even if they didn’t totally get them. They’re a stretch, believe be. The concept is Mario Princesses wearing FFX-2 dress spheres, in the style of the gunners. I haven’t actually played FFX-2, so I had to have someone explain this to me, but I was relieved when a number of people referred to it as “isn’t that the dress up game?” I’ll take it.

    skirtzzz art peach daisy rosalina cosplay costume

    Here’s a side by side reference of the costume I was recreating. I this this is my favorite costume group we’ve done yet, and personally – I cant wait to see what new art Skirtzzz brings to GeekGirlCon this year! Maybe we’ll be inspired again!

    cosplay inspired by skirtzzz art gunner peach

    SUNDAY: Maybe it was the Pokemon Go craze this summer, but I was finally, finally motivated to do the Misty cosplay I’ve always dreamed of. I have literally had this Togepi plushie sitting on my shelf for years. Funny story – a fan from Germany actually sent me this Togepi because he thought I might need it if I ever dressed up as Misty. Amazing – and he was right!

    misty cosplay good wig arda pumpkin togepi plushie costume halloween

    Eia was in the Pokemon spirit as well, and since we ran out of Indigo League to watch while we were making our costumes and recently started XY, she decided making a Serena costume would be the perfect thing for her Sunday outfit. We had fun representing the old and new of one of our favorite franchises, and Pokemon XY is surprisingly fun. I do miss the old voice actors, though.

    misty from pokemon, serena from pokemon xy, costumes cosplay wigs

     

    BEST GAMES:

    We played a LOT of games at PAX. I mean naturally, since that’s what the convention is all about, but I am actually very impressed with how many games we fit in despite how much time cosplaying tends to eat up at cons.

    Here are a couple of my favorites from the weekend:

    Firewatch: First person mystery adventure game that looks like a lot of fun. Played a demo and liked it so much I bought their adorable camp-themed logo tank top.
    Grimm Ecplise: RWBY game. 4 player online co-op hack-n-slash. I’m not usually into these types of games, but getting to play as Blake really sold it for me.
    Complicated Board Game The Card Game: This game was hilarious. It’s a card game about playing complicated board games. It’s like a combination of Fluxx and Munchkin. To be fair, I don’t actually like either Fluxx or Munchkin all that much, but we had a great demo-er and we had a pretty good time with this one. If you don’t like Fluxx though, proceed with caution, because it’s definitely a constant rules-changing card game.
    JunKing: Another card game, and probably my favorite one from the Indie Mega Booth. You play as a… garbage imp? And you basically rifle through the trash to collect prestigious items to raise your status with your garbage tribe. I think you’re essentially a raccoon. I don’t know. It was fun.
    Star Realms: This game was by no means new, and Joe and I actually already owned a copy, but my friends and I spent a good deal of time at the Star Realms booth – and now I think I have everyone hooked. It’s a great game because it plays 2, but if you combine two decks, it can play up to 4. Great versatility in a game! It’s a competitive deck builder set in space and now that we have all the expansions and whatnot, I imagine we’ll be playing this a lot more.
    Captain Sonar: We happened upon this game by chance in a tabletop free-play room. It’s an 8 player game (four on four) and it’s like if you added a ton of skill and strategy to ‘Battleship’. Very stressful, very fast paced, and a lot of fun.
    Costa Rica: This was a cute little game Eia and Jenn and I stumbled upon, and we had a great time playing it. It’s like if you mixed ‘Hey That’s My Fish!’ (hex piece puzzle game) with ‘Zombie Dice’ or ‘Pass The Pigs’ chance-taking gambling game. It was a fun mix of the two, and collecting cute animals from the rainforest was a plus.

     

    THORNWATCH:

    I had the pleasure of getting to play a demo of the new Thornwatch by none other than one of the creators himself, Rodney Thompson. Plus, the other players in my demo were Jimmy Wong, Kiri Callaghan and Lauren Bond – fellow creators I know and love dearly! All in all it was an ideal situation for getting to check out an awesome new game, and a big thanks is due to my friend Tara of the GeekyHostess, who set the whole thing up.

    Thornwatch Demo PAX west

    Thornwatch is described as a “graphic novel adventure” and it’s made by Lone Shark Games and Penny Arcade themselves. It played liked a game somewhere between a longer form RPG and a sit-down-and-play board game, which is my favorite kind of game. The coolest part was that so many elements of the game changed depending on which campaign you played – from the pieces of the board used, to which monsters you fought, to actual in game elements like protecting villagers or stopping the enemy from making matches of tokens needed for them to win.

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    Replayability is such an important feature in a game, especially when they are an expensive as full games can be! Thornwatch seems like it can change over and over again, and I seriously look forward to owning this, when it’s out. If Thornwatch sounds like something you’d like, it has a live Kickstarter running right now, which ends on Oct 5. Joe and I already backed for our copy!

     

    PAX was such an awesome time. Getting to run around in costumes, play games with my friends, and take two days off work is an ideal way to spend a weekend, and I can’t wait until next year. Were you at PAX, or have you ever been to a game-centric convention? Tell me about it in the comments!

    Leave a comment!
  3. Vloggerfair and PAX Prime 2015

    August 20, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    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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  4. VidCon 2015 Wrap Up

    August 4, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Geek Events, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    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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  5. BookTube-A-Thon 2015!

    August 3, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    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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  6. BEA 15 Haul + Video Diary!

    June 10, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Conventions, Geek Events, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    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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  7. Bout of Books – Day 4 Update

    May 14, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    Whew! I could not have picked a crazier week to attempt a readathon – I’ve had to squeeze reading into the nooks and crannies of my schedule, but I’ve still managed to find a bit of time each day, which is important to me. I even managed to read on my lunch break twice, which I’m sure made me look anti-social but luckily I could not care less about coming across as the weird book-reading girl. Literally everyone who works at Microsoft is a nerd in some way. I’m in good company.

    I’ve also shifted up my TBR a little bit. I’ve read way too many amazing reviews of An Ember in the Ashes in the past week or so to ignore it any longer, so it’s earned a spot in the stack of books I am trying to finish for this readathon. In fact, it’s almost replaced everything else, since it’s so long.

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    My goal is to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (TGWCFIASOHOM, if you will) first and then to power through An Ember in the Ashes this weekend. If I can do all of that, I will be 100% satisfied with myself. If I can’t, well… that’s okay too.

    I haven’t actually read anything yet today, but I didn’t get home from work until almost 8pm and then I decided to go running because I had pent-up ‘i just sat through a five hour meeting’ energy. I needed to relax a bit by writing this blog post (because working relaxes me, yes, I’m strange) and then I’ll start reading.

    Current progress overall:

    Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: Done! (323 pages)
    The 100 by Kass Morgan: Done! (323 pages – weird, they’re the exact same length)
    Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: Put on hold.
    The Utterly Unintersting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant: Listened to 2 hours of the audio book
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland: Just started.

    Why are all of my book titles so long? These are abnormally long.

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  8. Bout of Books 13 – Day 3 Update

    May 13, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    I decided to participate in my own challenge, even though I obviously can’t win. Today I had the honor of hosting the Bout of Books challenge, and I have a fantastic time reading all the book haikus people sent in over the course of the day. It was a lot of fun, and now I want to do it too. I literally just finished reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and I’m a big goopy mess on account of how great it was – but there is no time for book hangovers in a readathon. So I am affording myself enough time to write this blog update before diving into Rebel Belle before bed.

    Rebel Belle

    My haiku about Attachments by Rainbow Rowell:

    Beth and Jennifer
    write extremely long emails.
    So, when do they work?

    I’m a little bummed it took me 3 days to finish this book, but I can’t even really be annoyed because I loved it so much. If I don’t read all five of the books on my TBR, well, life goes on. I’ll replace them with a few graphic novels on Sunday so I still hit the number. Yolo!

    Here’s my day 3 update:

    Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: Done! (323 pages)
    The 100 by Kass Morgan: Listened to 6 hours out of 7
    Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: Just started.

    Hope everyone else is doing well with their readathons – please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing, or send in more book haikus! Go nuts! I love them.

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  9. Bout of Books 13 Challenge – Day 3 – Book Haiku!

    May 12, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    Today’s blog post is going to be a little bit different, because today… I am hosting a challenge for Bout of Books 13! To find out more about this read-a-thon, check out their website and consider joining in! Because – good news! If you catch this blog post in the next 2 hours – there’s still time to sign up! But if it’s already Wednesday where you live… you’re probably too late. I’m sorry! 🙁

    This challenge is only for participants, so if you’re feeling left out, you should consider doing it next time!

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    For those of you specifically here for the challenge, here it is: Write a haiku about whatever book you’re reading right now.

    Here’s one I’ve written about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, as an example/a bit of inspiration:

    Boy Wizard. Harry.
    His school is cooler than yours.
    But no internet.

    Feel free to tweet your haikus as well, to share them with the world!

    And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper challenge without a prize, would it? The winner of this challenge may choose a book up to $15 from Book Depository and I will get it for you! 

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

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Leave a comment!
  10. Bout of Books 13 – Day 1

    May 11, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events by Kristina Horner

    I don’t know if I’ll be writing blog posts about every single day of this readathon, but I will be updating here and there, especially if the challenge for the day makes sense to write a blog post!

    I think today, the first day, is my busiest day of the readathon. Not the best way to hit the ground running, but I will manage. I had to work today (9-5) and have a writing workshop that begins in 45 minutes. I’m writing this from the cafe where we meet, before anyone else has gotten here. In the small breaks I’ve had today, this is what I’ve managed to accomplish:

    The 100 by Kass Morgan: Listened to 1 hour out of 7
    Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: Read 57 pages

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    I plan to go home and read a bit more of Attachments tonight, but I also have a video to edit, so I’m not sure how much more I’ll get done. I’m still feeling confident about the rest of the week, though!

    Today’s challenge is by Writing My Own Fairytale – Bookish Survey.

    1. How do you organize your shelves? There is very little rhyme or reason to my shelves right now. I have two – a big one and a smaller one. The smaller one has mostly my favorite books, organized mostly by author and whatever seems aesthetically pleasing. The bottom shelf of this one is entirely Harry Potter and its companion novels. The large shelf goes (from top to bottom) 2 shelves of books I haven’t read yet, arranged mostly by size and by hardback vs. paperback, then a single shelf of books I plan to read soon, then the next one down is comics and graphic novels, then the bottom is childhood books and older books in a state of disarray.
    2. What is one of your favorite books that’s not in one of your favorite genres? Hmmm. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix. I don’t read much horror but I really loved that book.
    3. What is the last 5 star book you read? I believe it was Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. That or Saga Vol. 4.
    4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon? I am dying to read Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I’m purposefully reading it last, to use as motivation.
    5. What book do you recommend the most? Recently? Probably either Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs or Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I’m a pusher.

    That’s it for today! How are your readathons going? Remember you can still participate in Bout of Books 13 if you sign up by Tuesday night (at midnight, I think).

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