1. What I’m Up To: Summer Update!

    July 16, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Journal by Kristina Horner

    Hello friends!

    I figured there’s enough exciting stuff going on to warrant a little life update, yeah? Here’s a neatly organized list of everything going on with me lately that is noteworthy:

    BOOKTUBEATHON

    It’s Booktubeathon time, starting on Monday the 18th! This means every second of my spare time will be spent on reading, which will be quite difficult this year with Pokèmon Go taking over my life and it being the equivalent of “finals week” at work. But I’m not going to let that stop me! Here are the books I am planning to read, and you should follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you want to keep up with my progress (and slow decent into madness, most likely)!

    POKÈMON GO

    This game is everything. I’m one of those people who actually kept playing Pokèmon between the first game and now, and it’s been incredible to see the world caring again about something I’ve stayed consistently a fan of for almost 2 decades. And while I’ve loved Pokèmon Red, Fire Red, Black, X, Omega Ruby, etc – getting to play it in a totally new way, in just about the closest way it could emulate real life, makes me wish I could go back and tell 11 year old Kristina with her first Gameboy Color “don’t worry that the other girls at school are already starting to date boys… POKEMON WILL START MATTER TO YOU THIS MANY YEARS LATER. AND THEN YOU’LL GET TO EVOLVE YOUR EVVEE INTO A FLAREON IN REAL LIFE, AND IT WILL BE JUST AS MAJESTIC AS YOUR TINY HEART IMAGINES IT COULD BE.”

    Here’s my Trainer (I’m level 12 now, this picture is a few days old):

    POKEMON KRISTINA

    I’m not really sure what my Pokèmon Go life goals are, but right now I am working on making all 3 Evvee evolutions my main fighters, walking twice as many steps as I normally do in any given day, and trying to keep a lock on the gyms around my house.

    And also maybe make the outfit my trainer wears in real life… hey, speaking of:

    COSPLAY

    My friends and I are gearing up for PAX where I will be making anywhere from 1 to 3 cosplays depending on how much time I have. I also got a beaaauuutiful new dress form, so I’m hoping this inspires many more progress photos than I’ve remembered to take in days past.

    I’ll have more to say on this in the future, but for now, here’s a picture of Eia and Jenn and I picking up fabric a few days ago for the group cosplay we’re definitely doing at PAX:

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    WORK

    Work keeps me busy! I don’t think I mentioned this here before, but around May, Microsoft actually hired me as a full time employee (previously I was a contractor) which meant a lot of great new added benefits to working there! It also meant lots more responsibility, which has been fun and challenging and exciting – but also, you know, exhausting. It’s always weird figuring out where the balance is on what I can and should say about work, for a number of reasons.

    By nature of working on HoloLens, I’m not actually allowed to talk about some of the stuff I work on, so there’s that. Also, it’s so vastly different from what I normally project as my online ‘persona’ that it feels so.. I don’t know, it just feels like another life. I think coming home to my books and my cosplay and my writing keeps me sane through this new life of the 9 to 5 that I’ve taken on, so I really love keeping it mostly separate. But of course I’ll share some awesome things when I can, and when it’s relevant!

     

    That’s about it for me, for now! I’m wrapping this blog post up because Joe and I made quiches for breakfast and he just took them out of the oven… the smell is wafting into my room and I can’t stay away any longer. I hope you are all doing fabulously, and hopefully, if I have time, I will do a BookTubeAThon recap at the end of the week.

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  2. Welcome to 2016!

    January 1, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Journal by Kristina Horner

    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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  3. Life Update: July 2015

    July 4, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal by Kristina Horner

    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.

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  4. 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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  5. 5 Magical Items I Would Love To Own

    April 10, 2015 ♥ Posted in: 5 Fandom Friday, Journal, Nerd Topics by Kristina Horner

    I’m 2 for 2 now  on 5 Fandom Friday! I’m on a roll. For those of you who don’t know what 5 Fandom Friday is, you can check it out here.

    The topic this week is: 5 Magical Items I Would Love To Own

    1. Invisibility Cloak (from Harry Potter): I’m actually sort of iffy on this one, to be honest. I KNOW I’d always run the risk of using the invisibility for bad reasons – spying, etc. You know you’d never find out anything you actually wanted to know that way. But I think that risk is worth it, because the real reason I want an invisibility cloak is to like, sneak into concerts or other events that are sold out or are extremely expensive. Though as I am typing this, I realize that picking The Doctor’s psychic papers would probably be a much simpler way of achieving this goal. Okay. I’m switching to psychic papers.

    invisibility-cloak

    2. The Babel Fish (from Hitchhiker’s Guide): I think this one is fairly obvious. Being able to understand any language would be beyond badass. I don’t even think I need to justify this with any more explanation, I just wanna travel and this would make travel so much easier.

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    3. Transformation Brooch (from Sailor Moon): Okay, even if it like, didn’t actually work, you know? Even if the brooch only transformed me into a girl in a Sailor Scout costume, that’s still worth it. I JUST WANNA TRANSFORM, DAMMNIT. I wanna yell “moon prism power make up” and then I want jaws to drop because of the magical lightshow that engulfs my body. And then I want to be wearing a pretty sailor suit.

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    4. Everlasting Gobstopper (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory): It’s the only candy you’d ever need. I just want one! I could create a whole review series “today it tastes like popcorn.” “today it tastes like beef stew.” “oooh oatmeal, that’s new. anyone else got to oatmeal yet?”

    gobstopper-1415392217

    5. The Clow Deck (from Cardcaptor Sakura): This is sort of my catch-all final magical object, because really any power I didn’t get with my previous objects will be in here somewhere. A deck of 52 cards, each containing a different creature with a unique ability.. yes please. Flying, jumping, control of wind, etc. It’s all in there. Just don’t make me have to catch them all first.

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    This was a surprisingly difficult list to put together, but I had a lot of fun. In a conversation I had with Joe about this after writing it up, he pointed out that I forgot to mention a Time Turner, which I immediately regretted. But! After thinking about it a little more. I decided I didn’t want one. While time travel would be amazing, I would definitely Hermione all over that thing. I know myself, and I would only use it to get more work done, and in the end that would not be a good thing for me.

    What would you pick? What would your magical items be? Let me know in a comment!

     

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  6. 5 Fandom Friday: Five Times I Totally Fangirled

    April 3, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Bucket List, Conventions, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    Okay. I’ve had 5 Fandom Friday bookmarked for months and months, and even though it’s totally right up my alley — I just haven’t done it yet. So! That ends today! Today, I am delving into this blog link-up thingy! Woo!

    So this week, the topic is “5 Times I Totally Fangirled”. I am a fangirl of many, many things, but there are very few things/people that make me stammer and squee and lose my composure. Usually I can keep it together, but there have been those few moments in my life where cool-as-a-cucumber Kristina might have freaked out a little. Here are the ones I can think of:

    1. Meeting “Topanga” from Boy Meets World aka Danielle Fishel at VidCon. When I got word that Danielle Fishel was just chillin’ at the con, I dropped everything and ran. Seriously. If you weren’t born in the late 80’s ish, it’s probably hard to understand just how important Boy Meets World was to our generation. It was everything. It was life. Fridays meant new episodes of Boy Meets World, and I swear to god Mom if you try to make plans for me that conflict with TGIF I will scream. It was a good time to be alive. Anyway, I started by taking some creeper selfies with Danielle Fishel in the background, but then managed to get this gem, pictured below.

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    2. Meeting “Shirley” from Community aka Yvette at MyDamnChannel. I was asked to be on weird little show for My Damn Channel that involved being interviewed by a mildly inappropriate cat puppet, and lo and behold… so was Yvette Nicole Brown. Nevermind the extremely bizzare parameters of the situation; I got to sit in a green room and make small talk with Shirley from Community. And it was great.

    DSC051333. Meeting “Andrew and Tara” aka Tom Lenk and Amber Benson at LeakyCon. I’m just going to put it out there – after following Tom Lenk on Instagram for a few years, I can astutely deduce that he’s a weird dude. But he’s a weird dude in Buffy as well, where he’s also my favorite character. So meeting him was pretty awesome, and meeting Amber Benson was just a nice bonus.

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    4. Almost but not quite meeting R.L. Stine at New York Comic Con. I have no picture, because it didn’t happen. I’m still hoping to get to shake R.L. Stine’s hand someday, but that day is yet to arrive. I heard he was at New York Comic Con and I LOST MY SHIT. I realized I missed his panel, ran to his signing line, saw it was A MILE LONG and cried my way through the rest of the convention. Someday, Mr. Stine. Someday.

    5. Meeting Ken Jennings at a PAX after party. Most people laugh at me when I tell them meeting Ken Jennings was a highlight of my life, but let’s get real here – this guy is awesome. My dad and I were already avid Jeopardy fans, but we were ALL ABOUT THAT IT when Ken Jennings went on his 74 game streak. I think I watched every single episode during that time. I don’t even know why; I was just fascinated by watching history being made. He’s also hilarious on social media, and a nice dude in person.

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    There are so many people I’d love to add to this list, but I guess I have my whole life to do that! Really I just need to meet J K Rowling. I don’t know how, or when, but it needs to happen.

    Woo! If you’re interested in 5 Fandom Fridays, the official home for it is here. I hope you enjoyed this post and I am looking forward to doing more.

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  7. Spring 2015 Life Update!

    March 13, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Nerd Topics by Kristina Horner

    I’ve got a few cool things I want to fill you guys in on, stuff I’m working on and whatnot. I’ll just throw it all together in a little update blog because, why not?

    1. I decided (about a month ago) to put my head down and actually start editing one of my NaNoWriMo novels. I am making absolutely no promises about what this means, except that it’s a thing I am doing. I just thought it was worth mentioning that I liked my 2014 NaNo novel enough to focus some serious energy on sorting through the mess that is my first draft, cleaning it up, and potentially giving it to some friends to read to help me turn it into… something.

    Mostly I wanted to let you guys know because unlike the thrill of NaNo and writing that first draft, it turns out that editing is an extremely solitary activity with no way of sharing anything until it’s done. So, if I’m quieter online for awhile, that’s probably why. If you were following me during NaNoWriMo you already know this, but the novel is called “Delaney Unlaced”.

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    2. My Patreon page is still a thing, and I try to take an active effort to keep it new and exciting as often as I can. Especially now that I have a 40-hour-a-week day job, it’s harder than ever to prioritize what I use my extra time for. I’ll never stop making YouTube videos, but after that – Patreon really helps me decide where to dedicate those precious few remaining hours. Want to be able to influence the types of things I’m creating? What new projects I work toward? Here are a few of the goals I’m considering, that you can help make possible by becoming a patron!

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    I’m always curious to know which of these ideas/projects people are the most excited about (and there are of course other ones listed on the site; these are just the bigger ones). If these sound interesting to you at all, or are things you’d like to see me do, consider checking out my Patreon! I would never ask for something for nothing, so in addition to these overall goals, there are other perks available for becoming a patron (including being part of the Secret Facebook Group, getting your link in the sidebar of this website, joining my monthly Google Hangout, etc).

    Again, don’t feel any pressure to use Patreon. I’ll never make it a requirement for watching my content and I won’t think less of you if you don’t care to use it. But I do have to make sure that potential new readers/viewers at least know it exists at all!

    3. Costumes, costumes, costumes. I’ve been hard at work getting my cosplays together for Emerald City Comic Con, and it’s been a crazy amount of work – especially Rapunzel! Curse you, Rapunzel!! There will be pictures to come, of course. I seriously can’t believe how much work it’s been. If I seem a little crazy over the next few weeks, it’ll be because of this costume. Dear god. So much hair. There’s so much hair!!

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    That’s about it for me right now. Be sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram for more frequent updates about costumes, what I’m reading and general news. It’s been really difficult not having the same amount of time to interact with you guys, which is why I am so adamant about keeping this blog current.

    I don’t want it to feel like I’ve gone away. I’m right here! I’m still making things! Love me!

    Until next time,

    Kristina xoxo

     

     

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  8. I Can Feel The Sun Coming…

    March 6, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Writing by Kristina Horner

    There’s something incredibly magical and infectious about knowing the weather is getting nicer. I realize it’s only March, but here in Seattle the sky has opened up and the sun’s peaking through, and I can feel it in my bones.

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    Seattle’s a funny place, because when the sun comes out, we know our time is limited. The sun is a finite resource here, and when we have it – we use it to its full potential. As soon as those clouds part, the city goes crazy. We plan vacations. We have picnics. We start jogging again. We sit on our decks. We make lists, we spring clean, we dust off old hobbies and vow to start doing them again.

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    This happens to me every year, and I am always thankful for those first, early rays of sun that really get my muscles pumping (both actual muscles and creative muscles). And after a solid three months of adjusting to my new job, I think I just might have started to find some semblance of a life/work balance again, which means I actually might have the capacity to take on these new summer plans I’ve got churning in my mind.

    I am a chronic over-achiever. I mean this in every sense of the word – while I love saying yes, yes yes to everything, it often leaves me with not enough time to accomplish everything I set out to do, stress knots in my shoulders, and a to-do list that would make even the most organized cringe.

    But at least when the weather is nice, I have that extra something on my side. Energy. Motivation. Positivity. The promise of long car rides with friends, inspiring conventions, seeing people we never get to spend enough time with, camping trips, and best of all – getting stuff done.

    I have a lot of things I want to do this year. My convention list has eight events and counting, I’ve got a laundry list of cosplays I want to make, and I’m trying to bite the bullet and finally edit one of my novels. I miss doing Team Hypercube regularly. I would love to take a personal vacation for once. I’m still trying to read 50 books this year, work exercise into my routine, and keep in better touch with the people I care about.

    It’s going to be a crazy summer. But somehow, the sun on my face on this chilly March morning is telling me I can do it. And whatever I can’t accomplish – that’s okay too. Because we’re only capable of exactly what we’re meant to do.

    What are your plans for the good weather season? Does the hint of sunshine ramp you up? Let me know in the comments, and let’s all try to encourage each other!

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  9. Book I’ve Read 2015

    February 10, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I wanted a place to document which books I read this year, in what order, and what I rated them. Because I like when things are organized into lists, and because apparently Goodreads alone isn’t enough. So here it is! My 2015 Reading List:

    January:
    1. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (4.5)
    2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (4.5)
    3. Hazed by Mark Sable (1.5)
    4. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (4)

    February:
    5. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (4)
    6. Cinder by Melissa Meyer (3.5)
    7. On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison (4.5)
    8. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson (4)
    9. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (2)
    10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (5)
    11. In Real Life by Corey Doctorow and Jen Wang (4.5)
    12. Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer (5)
    13. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (4)

    March:
    14. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski (5)
    15. Wait Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn (3.5)
    16. Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer (4.5)
    17. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (4)
    18. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (4)
    19. Cress by Marissa Meyer (2.5)
    20. The Woods: Vol 1 by James Tynion IV (4)
    21. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (4)

    April:
    22. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (5)
    23. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (3.5)
    24. Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5)
    25. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson (4.5)
    26. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (3.5)
    27. Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5)
    28. Sex Criminals Vol. 2 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (5)
    29. Doll Bones by Holly Black (3.5)
    30. Bossypants by Tina Fey (5)

    May:
    31. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (5)
    32. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (3.5)
    33. The Heir by Kiera Cass (3)
    34. Talon by Julie Kagawa (1)
    35. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (4.5)
    36. The 100 by Kass Morgan (3)
    37. The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes (3)
    38. The Woods: Vol 2 by James Tynion IV (4)
    39. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (3.5)

    June:
    40. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (5)
    41. The Martian by Andy Weir (5)
    42. An Unwelcome Quest by Scott Meyer (3)
    43. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (3)

    July:
    44. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson (5)
    45. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey (4)
    46. Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison (3.5)
    47. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (5)
    48. Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison (4)
    49. Armada by Ernest Cline (3)

    August:
    50. I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest (4)
    51. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman (4.5)
    52. The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich (4.5)
    53. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (3)
    54. Survive The Night by Danielle Vega (1)
    55. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (5)
    56. If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? by Kurt Vonnegut (4)
    57. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (4)
    58. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (2.5)
    59. Amber House by Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed and Tucker Reed (3.0)

    September:
    60. Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle (3.0)
    61. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (5.0)
    62. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (4.5)

    October:
    63. In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis (3.5)
    64. Revival Vol. 1 by Tim Seeley, Mike Norton and Mark Englert (4.5)
    65. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (4.5)

    November:
    66. The Haunting of Gillespie House by Darcy Coates (3.0)
    67. Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol (2.5)
    68.
    69.
    70.
    71.
    72.
    73.
    74.
    75.

    *feel free to bookmark this page and check back over the course of the year to see what I’m reading.

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  10. I Got a Job at Microsoft

    February 7, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Writing, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers!

    As you can see by the title of this blog post… I’ve got some rather big news to share. Life alteringly big news, in fact — and something I’ve kept quiet for the last two months.

    I got a job at Microsoft.

    This is some intense news, so here is a picture of some kittens at a birthday party.

    This is pretty intense news, so here is a picture of some kittens at a birthday party.

    To be honest it feels a little cliched, having grown up in Seattle. If you were raised here, you know what I’m talking about. If your parents didn’t work at Microsoft they worked at Boeing. While I’d mulled over the idea of getting some sort of day job over the last year or so, I always imagined some hip new media company. Not… Microsoft. Not the most obvious place to work in the Northwest.

    But here I am. And to be honest, it is a pretty hip job. I was hired as a Community Manager, which means my responsibilities include a whole spectrum of various types of community engagement for a laundry list of games owned by Microsoft Studios.

    But Kristina!? you’re probably asking. Why did you take this job? I thought you were a professional YouTuber! I thought you made oodles of money talking to your camera!

    First of all, I am flattered if you think that. Alas, while I enjoyed my freelance time immensely, it was really starting to weigh on me. If anyone ever tells you that turning your hobby into your job is the ~American Dream~, then you should just tell them to talk to the hand. Because (let me drop a wisdom bomb on you for a second here) if there’s one thing I have learned in my twenty-seven years of life, it’s this: we have hobbies for a very specific reason. We have hobbies because we are creative animals, and we enjoy making things, doing things, being part of things. Sometimes we even enjoy making things just for the sake of creation, but when you add financial pressure to that, you can literally feel your enjoyment start to deflate.

    I didn’t want to hide sponsorships in my videos anymore. I didn’t want to make videos for other companies’ channels anymore. I didn’t want to wake up every day knowing I had to film videos, or had to write blog posts, or I might not pay rent. And I also didn’t appreciate the ever-present self awareness of “what am I actually doing with my life” looming overhead.

    I am acutely aware, however, of how special a thing I’ve created online. And how lucky I am that so many of you care enough about what I’m doing to have stuck around this long. For a long time, considering getting a different job felt like giving up. Throwing in the towel. It felt like I was admitting I hadn’t “made it”.

    But then I start re-evaluating my goals. Made what, exactly? I starting thinking about what I was actually doing, and what I wanted to be doing. I love making videos. I love blogging. I love my Patrons, and my book club, and I love the amazing community of intelligent, caring people who engage with the things that I do.

    Why would any of that need to change, just because I wanted to get a day job?

    It was at that moment that I realized it wouldn’t change. I could still make videos. I could still read books. I could still blog, and tweet, and interact with people online exactly like I always have. This moment of clarity changed everything and I began applying for jobs. The Microsoft opportunity came at exactly the right time and while I’ve been extremely stressed out as I struggle to adjust to a vastly different lifestyle… not much has actually changed, at least online.

    In fact, that only thing that’s been really tough has been not telling you guys about what I’m doing, which is precisely why I am writing this blog post. So… I work at Microsoft now, 40 hours a week. This probably explains why I might have seemed a little distant lately. It was tough to figure out what to talk about without spilling the beans, but I wanted to give myself time to adjust on my own before I told the whole Internet.

    Oh, it’s also been tough to keep up with my email. I did not realize how much email I got until I wasn’t able to check it regularly. How cow. But that’s another issue entirely.

    127f3f3

    So just to sort of let you know what to expect from me now, my online presence mostly won’t change. You can still count on 2 new videos a week. The Restricted Section book club is still going strong. I’ve got three cosplays planned for Emerald City Comic Con. And this blog will always be here.

    I’m just going to have a bit less free time, and I might complain about traffic a lot more, since my commute is right in the heart of rush hour and includes a toll bridge. But audiobooks are a new obsession of mine, so there’s always a silver lining.

    Whew. I don’t know why I am so nervous to be announcing this. I guess it makes sense, because it’s the biggest change that’s happened in my life in a long time. It’s been sort of a tough adjustment, and I miss having all the time in the world to create things for you guys.

    But I think this is going to be a very good thing for me.

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