1. Life Update and Wordbound #28

    September 18, 2017 ♥ Posted in: Wordbound, Writing by Kristina Horner

    LIFE UPDATE:

    I keep re-inventing new ways to be busy. I’m not trying to wear that as a badge of honor, it’s just true.

    This summer Joe and I ended up doing way more traveling than we had planned, which was incredible, but also made the time feel like it flew by. On top of that, I’ve been ramping into a somewhat larger role at work, and on top of that, I’m still planning that pesky wedding.

    Momentum on my book has… slowed, but I’m still squeaking out whatever progress I can make in the cracks of the madness that has been this whole summer. It finally, finally rained today and I breathed this sigh of relief I hadn’t realized I’d been building up – shorter days and crummy weather means I might finally be able to hide away in coffee shops and get back into a good rhythm of writing. And of course, it also means NaNoWriMo is right around the corner…

    Other things that have been going on with me…

    • Joe and I did a really adult thing and bought a new dining room table. Then at the last moment we decided to put it in our living room with the board games instead of in the dining room, so we’re not quite full-fledged adults yet. We’re now eating off our older table, and have had TWO epic game nights since the new one was delivered. #noregrets
    • I went to PAX and didn’t do any cosplay, which is the first con I’ve been to in probably 3 years where I didn’t cosplay at all (aside from LeakyCon, but I was a bit busy there, ha). I’m here to report that it actually felt great.
    • That being said, I will be cosplaying at GeekGirlCon at the end of this month, but just one day.
    • I haven’t made a video in over two months and the jury is still out on how I feel about that.

    I don’t have that much to report on. I’ve been letting myself do a lot more relaxing and non-productive stuff than usual, which has meant watching TV, reading books, and saying yes to things like game nights spontaneous hang-outs.

    For the longest time I really tried to cut out as many consumptive hobbies as I could, to maximize the time I spent on creative ones. Reading books was just about the only one I let slide, since reading is nearly as important for a writer as writing is. But… guys, it was exhausting. I still wish I could make all the things, but you have to give yourself a break sometimes. So that’s what I am working on.

    WORDBOUND:

    I haven’t shared a #wordbound prompt response in awhile, so I decided to work on one tonight.

    Write a scene where a character lets something go, figuratively or literally.

    No service.

    The phone said the same thing every time Allison checked it, no matter how strongly she willed the WiFi signal to find something – anything. She held it up in the air, hoping it might catch some rogue stream of Internet hovering in the sky, by chance. No service. She heaved the old wooden dresser closer to the window and climbed on top, legs dangling over the side, trying to get the phone even higher up. No service. She shoved the window open with her foot and held the phone right out the window, dancing with disaster as she gave it one last effort. Even though her grip was snug, the ground two stories below was jagged with rocks.

    Still no service, loser! she felt like it was mocking her. Allison yanked her arm back inside and slammed the window shut.

    It had been four days since her parents had dropped she and Riley off at their Great Aunt’s house. Four days since any texts had been able to come through, since getting any pictures from her friends, since updating any of her social media. She could only imagine what might happen in four whole days at summer camp. She imagined her friends had not only met boys, but were married off and starting careers by now. They’d surely have families and houses and grandchildren by the end of the summer. She’d be hopelessly behind and never catch up and might as well not even bother going to high school at all – and to top it off, she couldn’t even complain about any of this on social media.

    Allison heaved a sigh and threw herself back on her hard, patchwork bed, the useless phone still clutched in her hand.

    Maybe she’d just move in with her weird aunt permanently. They could ceremoniously burn all their electronics, live off the land, swear off all boys forever. It seemed her Great Aunt had done most of these things already anyway, so Allison was sure she’d be all for it. Cabin buddies. Out in the woods. In the middle of nowhere. Forever. Someone could make a sitcom about them.

    High school seemed hard anyway. Maybe she’d just skip it. Her friends probably wouldn’t even miss her, after all the fun they were likely having at camp without her.

    Allison tucked the phone under her pillow and vowed to not check it again until the end of the summer.

    Well, maybe the end of the day.

    Okay, she definitely wouldn’t check it until at least after lunch.

    Well, at the last minute it appears my main character decided not to let it go at all, but what can you do. Sometimes your characters are just more stubborn than you are. Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit – now to decide if it will actually make it into the book!

     

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  2. May 2017 Life Update – Wedding Planning and Traveling

    May 21, 2017 ♥ Posted in: Journal, Travel by Kristina Horner

    Life has really been a sprint lately. I wrote a blog post recently called Adjusting, about how I’m trying to chill out and not run myself ragged, and I thought it might be a good time to check in on that. Really, I’m still exhausted and super busy, but I do think I’ve made incremental changes that are worth noting and celebrating.

    I’m going to run through a few bigger life categories both to catch up on what I’ve been doing, and to measure if I’ve made any sort of positive progress.

    GENERAL: My biggest hurdle in terms of lowering my stress levels and breaking free from the cycle of “always being busy” definitely falls in this personal fulfillment category. This is where I suffer from guilt for not making videos, for not having an Instagram with a strictly defined visual theme, for having cosplay photos on my computer that I’ve never posted anywhere, for never being up to date on all the good new TV shows, for ever watching TV at all, for not having made enough progress on my book… the list can go on forever, if I let it. My goal this year is to not let it. These things are

    These things are bonus. These things are the cherry on top. And I’m slowly learning how to be okay with that.

    Lately, I’m not sure if people have noticed, but I’ve significantly slowed down making YouTube videos. So far I’ve made 6 videos in 5 months, and honestly, I feel great about it. I have a few more that I’ve filmed but still need editing, and I have some ideas for others, but YouTube has become a hobby again in a bigger way than I’ve ever let it before, and it feels really good. Goodbye, shackles!

    I’m trying to keep this blog at least updated a couple times a month, with one of these larger life updates each month. I’ve embarrassingly behind in #wordbound, but that’s becoming a priority again as we phase into summer. My Instagram is still probably my favorite social account, and I try to keep it updated – including doing Instagram stories, which is new for me! That’s been kind of fun. I’m starting to get it.

    I don’t have any cosplay plans until PAX (end of summer), so that’s a relief. That leaves me to happily work on my book for the next couple of months in any free time I carve out. And to just… hang out with Joe. Play games with my friends. Be a guest on a super fun Sailor Moon inspired tabletop stream. Go to the gym. The things I so often had to pass up or feel guilty about doing, before.

    WEDDING: We’re still 11 months out from our wedding, so I am trying to take baby steps. Make incremental progress. I’m a planner to my very core, so I’d always rather over-prepare and then take a breath closer to the deadline than save things for the last minute, but the wedding industry is one of very mixed messages. I wish people would do studies on the pressures of being a bride, seriously. Maybe they do. It’s a very, very weird space.

    Almost every day I am hit with so many opposing points of view. “You have so much time, you don’t need to be thinking about this yet. It’s too early. Your weight is going to fluctuate, you shouldn’t be ordering things yet. This is your day, do whatever you want and whatever makes sense for you. We don’t even need to meet until fall. You have so much time. Literally stop working on your wedding it’s too early.” And in the same breath, I also get, “What is your wedding theme? What are your wedding colors? Why haven’t your out of town relatives gotten save the dates yet? Where are you going for your honeymoon? You know a dress can take 8-10 months to arrive, and then you need another 2-3 months for alterations. You should really have ordered it by now. This day isn’t just about you so here’s the list of seventy-six traditions you should consider doing arbitrarily because that’s what people expect. Where’s your hotel room block?”

    *falls down dead*

    I am a very organized person, and I’m trying to do this whole wedding planning thing at the rate that makes sense for me. It’s very difficult not to lose my mind sometimes, but I already plan events for work and I feel like I am doing an okay job. I’m just going to keep repeating that to myself.

    For inquiring minds, here is my actual progress: At 11 months out, Joe and I have selected our venue and the date. We’ve talked with a friend about designing our save the dates. We have some ideas about fun things we want to plan for during the wedding reception. We’ve mostly selected our wedding party but we haven’t asked them yet. I’ve picked out a dress, even though I had given myself another month or two to make that decision. And now that I have a decided on a dress, I am pretty sure I am set on our wedding colors.

    Now that those things are decided, I think I deserve a tiny break.

    Then we’ll start addressing envelopes.

     

    TRAVELING: Work has been so, so busy lately – so I am extremely happy to have a few trips lined in the coming months. Last weekend, Joe and I went to Vegas with his family, which was a total blast.

    The trip was for a combination of Joe’s mom’s birthday as well as mother’s day, and we did such a unique combination of activities for a Vegas trip. We started with the Beatles LOVE Cirque show, which I’d seen before but not since my 21st birthday. Sidenote – that was a long time ago.

    The next morning we got up very early and headed out to Red Rock Canyon for a morning hike. I was very skeptical of hiking in the desert, but the weather was beautiful and there was a slight breeze, so it was actually kind of a perfect scenario. The trail was pretty bouldery, too – which I think makes hiking a lot more fun.

    We also spent a good amount of time at the pool, in the casino, and eating delicious food. The gambling method of choice for both Joe and I is blackjack and craps, so we partook in just enough that we came home from the trip about even. There were of course jokes and delusions about winning the money for our wedding in Vegas, but unless you can throw a wedding for $-40, that’s a no go.

    One of our biggest regrets is that we didn’t at least try this Dungeons & Dragons themed slot machine. I’m always on the lookout for the funniest slot theme, and this was the trip’s winner.

    I started reading The Book Thief at the pool, and while it’s not the most lighthearted summer read, I’m glad I finally decided to give it a try. I am loving it so far. We also went to an ice bar, where they give you a parka and gloves, and essentially stick you in a very social freezer. Everything is made of ice, including your cup. I would show you pictures, but because it was Las Vegas, we weren’t allowed to take any.

    Only in Las Vegas would they construct a bar made entirely out of ICE in a DESERT and then not even let you take pictures. The whole situation was very, very poetic. Las Vegas is a ridiculous place.

    Upcoming trips include a camping trip for Memorial Day weekend, a jaunt to North Dakota to see relatives, and then a week-long trip to New York a bit later to meet some of Joe’s extended family. I also plan to do some hiking this summer, so I’ll hopefully do blog updates about that as well.

     

    Overall, I’m still a little busier than I’d like to be, but I’m continuing to find the balance. I’m getting there. I don’t think there’s any real “there” to actually ever get though, so it’s just a system of constantly checking in with myself. And right now, I’m okay. 🙂

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  3. Welcome to 2017!

    December 22, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Journal by admin

    Societally, 2016 will be known as one of the very worst years of the modern age – but for me, I actually had a lot of really great highlights. It’s confusing, knowing the year was so terrible on a grand level, but still wanting to celebrate my own successes.

    I’m all about the camaraderie of hating things together, and I know we have our work cut out for us for the next four years… but right now, I just want to take a deep breath and admit 2016 kind of rocked in a lot of ways, too. I saw online someone saying “don’t wish your life away”. So even though there are still 2 days left in this facepalm of a year, I want to take these final two days to be proud for having survived it, rather than rushing it to be over.

    Kristina Horner 2016 Pink Hair

    In 2016, I:

    • Was hired as a Full-Time Employee at Microsoft in May, which is a career path I wasn’t expecting or even necessarily trying to take, but one that’s helped me grow in so many ways I’ve truly lost count.
    • Graduated from my UW certificate program in YA Fiction Writing! This has given me so much more confidence and direction as a writer.
    • Wrote my 11th NaNoWriMo novel in a castle in France, where I met incredible people and learned a great deal about myself along the way.
    • Got engaged to Joe! He proposed in front of Hogwarts castle, with a ring he made himself, and I’m reminded every day how lucky I am to have found such a sweet boy who cares so much for me.
    • Dyed my hair pink! After 28 years of feeling timid, I just decided to take the plunge. I’m a pink girl to the core, and now everyone knows it.
    • Played a reunion concert with my band The Parselmouths! This is something I truly never thought would happen again, but somehow the planets aligned and we did it. And it felt good.
    • Started cooking dinner more regularly thanks to Blue Apron! I’ve learned an insane amount about cooking since we began this endeavor, and the dedicated time with Joe doesn’t hurt, either. Plus it’s all pretty healthy food, which was a previous goal of mine.
    • Ran my first 5k! Microsoft put on a charity 5k, and a bunch of my teammates and I signed up! I only actually ran about half of it, but I was proud of myself nonetheless.
    • Created NINE new cosplays, including Future Twilight, Piranha Plant Girl, Lolita and Pajamas Princess Bubblegum, Taffyta Muttonfudge, Wendy from Lumberjanes, Gunner Peach, Renaissance Tinkerbell and Misty from Pokémon. This was maybe too many, in hindsight, but I had a great time doing it.
    • Read _ books. I’ll fill this number in at the proper end of the year. I’m currently at 41, but there are two days left in this year. Who knows what might happen.

    Last year I set some New Year’s resolutions for myself, so I thought it would be fun to revisit these and see if they worked out, how much I grew, and what to change for next year.

    • Make at least one more cosplay than the previous year! (Last year I made 5, so this year I definitely hit this goal and more. In fact, because of how busy I’ve made myself, I actually want to think about this next year. Cosplay is fun, but it really has the power to eat up my life, so I want to limit what I attempt to do so I can balance with my other goals.)
    • Finished editing my novel by the end of the year! (This did not happen, but I am okay with that. I decided instead of editing to do a total rewrite, and right now I am 2/3 done with that draft. I imagine I will have another solid draft of this done by spring of 2017, so that’s reasonable.)
    • Read at least 52 books – one per week! (I’m racing the clock on this one, but I did make the executive decision to bump this goal down to 50. I still might not hit it, but I will get close. I really enjoyed the books I read this year, so I am satisfied here.)
    • Invest in professional photo shoots for my cosplays! (I did this… twice, this year. I wasn’t overwhelmingly blown away by either set of photos, so I might just go back to casual photoshoots with my friends. I really want cosplay to just be a fun little hobby, so I think I am altogether backpedaling on my previous goals of taking it more seriously.)
    • Hit year #2 at Microsoft! (Check! My anniversary is Dec 19th, so I’m officially at 2 years!)
    • Find a method of exercising and eating healthy that works for me! (I got halfway there this year! Joe and I have been cooking dinner together regularly, I eat significantly less fast food than ever before, and I don’t crave as much junk food as I used to. This is a slow process, but I am proud of my progress. Exercise, on the other hand… well, that can be 2017’s problem.)

    Here are my new resolutions for 2017:

    • Actually finish your book to an extent where you feel okay sending it to beta readers and then, potentially, agents.
    • For the love of god, start writing a completely different book. (After you finish this one, Kristina. After.)
    • Plan an awesome wedding you’ll always look back on fondly, but also don’t let it make you crazy.
    • Cosplay, or not, but only because you want to.
    • Read at least 40 books. Be mindful of the books you choose to read. Consider #diversebooks and #ownvoices. (My reading goal number goes down every year because I am trying to be kinder to myself.)
    • Continue to de-clutter and minimize possessions/wardrobe. Invest in nicer things, but less of them.
    • Exercise. Please. Even just a little bit.

    In 2017, I want to help others and this planet as much as possible. I want to live a more sustainable life. I want to help raise others’ voices when I can. I want to focus less on possessions and more on experiences. I want to write more, love more, worry less. I welcome 2017 with open arms.

    What are your resolutions?

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  4. ECCC and Spring Update!

    April 6, 2016 ♥ Posted in: Conventions, Cosplay by Kristina Horner

    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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  5. 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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  6. 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”.

    963afb85e39da493a5e4bbfd8d1cf8b9

    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!

    Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.12.34 AM

    Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.12.40 AM

    Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.12.50 AM

    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!!

    TANGLED

    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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  7. 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.

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    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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  8. Winter Video Round Up!

    January 12, 2015 ♥ Posted in: Books, Journal, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers!

    Yet again I have sort of fallen off the face of the planet, but I’m here to make amends by doing another little roundup of my favorite videos I’ve posted in the past month or so. If you missed any of them… go ahead and catch up! I’ll wait here.

    So, first of all.. this video I’m about to show you is probably my favorite video I’ve ever made. Half the views it has are probably from ME, rewatching it and laughing hysterically alone in my room. I have no shame about this. It’s that funny.

    Joe and I did a slightly different take on the whisper challenge. Rather than asking each other inane questions sent in on twitter, we just said nerdy phrases at each other. It was amazing.

    The next video I want to share is my wrap-up from the #xmasbooktubeathon. I love booktubeathon. In fact, I am really coming around to just loving ALL readathons, and I can’t wait to do so many more in 2015. But this was the weekend long readathon I did right before Christmas, complete with a lot of struggles:

    This year I am, of course, doing the 50 book challenge, so there will be MANY more readathons to come. And, I can imagine, more book struggles.

    As we get closer to the end of the year, I started getting reflective. About books, of course. I realized too late that the trendy thing to do was your top FOURTEEN books of 2014, so I look a n00b only listing five. Whatever!

    Then I had to show off all my NEW books, of course. This is a very book heavy blog post, I’m finding. No regrets! Here is my most extreme book haul yet:

    I posted many more videos over the last month or so, so scoot on over to my channel to catch ’em all! Like a Pokémon master. Or you can stay here and leave me a comment telling me what kinds of videos you’d like to see more of in 2015. Whatever you want.

    Thanks, as always, for reading my blog! It makes me smile. I like you guys.

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  9. The Whisper Challenge

    December 10, 2014 ♥ Posted in: YouTube videos by Kristina Horner



    This video went live on my channel today and am just so excited to share it with people — it’s a collab video I did with Joe, and somehow it ended up being the funniest video I think I’ve ever made. I seriously keep rewatching it.

    I hope more people make videos using this concept because I want to watch them! Hope you love the Whisper Challenge as much as I do!

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  10. YouTube Video Roundup!

    August 12, 2014 ♥ Posted in: YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

    Okay, I’ve been slacking a little on this blog. It’s summer! I’ve been busy reading, traveling, etc. It just occurred to me that I’ve totally forgotten to post my videos on this blog, so here’s a few of my most recents to catch you up (if you’ve fallen behind).

    This is the video that went live today, a little glimpse into the madness that has become my cosplay obsession. My roommates and I have been scheduling weekly work dates to sew costumes, make props, read tutorials, customize wigs, and so on. I thought it would be fun to give a little work in progress before I reveal the finished costumes at the end of the month:

     

    Then I shared this past month’s favorite with you in a standard recommendation video. These are always some of my favorite videos to make, since I’m always obsessing over new TV shows and app games and products, so make sure to watch it if you missed it!

     

    And the last video I wanted to share with you for this particular update is a fun little vlog I posted that was much more in my ‘older’ style of videos, musing on the idea of lost things and sharing a few of the items I’ve lost over the years. This one is a tag video, so feel free to make a response if you are so inclined!

     

    That’s it for now! I’ll be back tomorrow with this week’s installment of Device Theft Awareness Month, as well as a few more video updates over the course of the week (I told you, I got pretty behind but I didn’t want to overwhelm you all in one post). Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon!

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