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. 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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