Friday, December 26, 2014

5 New Years Blogging Resolutions

Happy Friday you guys! Sorry that this post is a bit late, but I needed a little extra time to really think about what I was going to write about here. I hope all of you have enjoyed your various holidays, and I hope those that are still celebrating various holidays are enjoying those as well. On the 20th, The Written Word(s) turned 1 year old, and I hope that my blog will continue on to exist for many more years to come, and I hope to still be posting actively and providing content that people can learn from, enjoy, and take inspiration from. In order to make that happen, I believe some blogging resolutions are in order!
Image brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie
#1: Keep Up A Regular Blogging Schedule. Over the past few months, upon the recommendations of many other wise bloggers, I've begun writing my posts over a week or two in advance, and it has definitely taken some of the pressure off. I'll be sure to keep up with that habit so that I don't find myself getting too overwhelmed. Also, I know that I need to add more to my blogging schedule aside from writing posts well in advance; I need to comment on other blogs more than anything - and Twitter time can be beneficial for the sake of my blog, so I would call it being productive rather than procrastination ;)
#2: Go Out Into The World & Share My Experiences With YOU! This coming year I will be embarking on a multitude of changes happening all at once. After I finish with my undergraduate program I'll be leaving my hometown, my job of 6 years and my volunteer work, all to move into a dorm room and starting a 4 month Creative Book Publishing program. With all that change going on, I'm going to need all the support and regularity that I can get. I'm hoping that this blog will act as my main creative outlet at that time, and I also hope that I'll get to tell you guys all about school and being away from home from the first time and eventually how life will be once I'm completely done with school. It's going to be my biggest adventure so far, and I can't wait to take you all with me!
#3: Keep Trying New Things! If I had a crystal clear idea of what The Written Word(s) was supposed to be after only a year, I'd consider it a kind of superpower XD As I keep trying new things and seeing how people react to certain posts, I find out what works and what doesn't. I also discover what sorts of posts I enjoy the most compared to others. If I keep trying to play it safe, it's not going to be fun for anybody. Whenever an idea pops into my head, I like to see it through as often as possible, even if the result is a bit of a flop.
#4: Challenge Myself! Staying in my comfort zone isn't going to do me any favors, on my blog as well as in my everyday life. I think one key to trying some new things and getting a few blog posts out of it is to take on a few new challenges this year. During 2014, I participated in a photo-a-day challenge and a reading challenge. I may still complete the reading challenge, but I have unfortunately slipped too far behind in the photo challenge. Still, that's 300+ photos that I may not have taken otherwise! For that, I am rather proud of myself. I'd like to read more, see more, do more, and therefore write more.
#5: Collaborate More! I've always been eager to collaborate and connect with fellow bloggers, but in the next year I am going to try to make more of a mission out of finding great collaboration opportunities. Things like link-up posts have been really fun, and I'd like to continue participating in them, but I'm hoping to get into some things such as writing guest posts and finding ways to collaborate specifically with other iggle bloggers. If there are any iggle bloggers reading this that might be interested in a fun collaboration, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email!
BONUS: INSPIRE! My #1 goal with this blog since the very beginning has been to seek inspiration in others, and to in turn figure out a way to inspire others. I enjoy creating content that brightens people's spirits and makes their days just that little bit better. So overall, I hope that I will be able to achieve that in the future. And if I can't achieve that in 2015, there is still hope for other years to come :)

What do you guys think of my blogging resolutions? Am I leaving anything out? Is there a particular resolution that you strongly approve of? Keep me posted!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

25 Years of Popular Christmas Toys!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I thought I'd bring you a little something special today, brought to you by Personal Creations. Remember the post I did in October called 25 Years of Popular Halloween Costumes? Yep, the same people who did that! Here is an intro from Julissa Garcia from Personal Creation's Community Outreach.

"Remember when Furbies were at the top of every tween’s wish list? Or when your neighbor got the Super NES for Christmas and everybody lined up to play it? To bring back some holiday nostalgia, check out the infographic below by Personal Creations. It details the past 25 years of must-have Christmas toys—including Tamagotchi, Pokemon and Easy Bake Oven. Were any of these on your wish list over the years?"

Brought to you by Personal Creations!
Must-Have Toys

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wednesday Wish Lists #10

Happy Wednesday everybody! How is everybody doing? I know today's also Christmas Eve, and I also believe that it's the last night of Hanukkah (if I'm wrong then please don't hurt me), so I hope that everybody enjoys that. Today I will be at work all day, but that's okay because I actually enjoy working on Christmas Eve every year - I'm not exactly sure why I enjoy it so much, but I do. I hope all of you guys enjoy today, and here is another fun wish list for all of you, so enjoy!
#1: A LootCrate Subscription! You guys have no idea how long I've been waiting for LootCrate to come to Canada! All this time I've frowned at people mentioning what they received in their monthly LootCrate when getting a monthly box of nerdy awesomeness wasn't an option for little Canadian me. But now it is! I'm not sure if this is something I should buy for myself or something I should badger a family member into getting me as an off-the-wall Christmas present, but there is no denying one thing: This. Is. Awesomeness.
#2: Community-themed Stickers from RedBubble! I'm not exactly sure why, but I've been on a real Community kick lately. I haven't met many people who have liked the show beyond the first season (and if you do than please let me know so I can have more people to gush about Community with XD), but even with the year where Dan Harmon wasn't involved with the show, aka the "gas leak year", I still adore the characters and the meta-ness and all the weird and quirky events that the show contains. I'd very much like to express my love for the fandom through RedBubble stickers! I already know that I have time for the "You are a lying junkie" sticker on my laptop, but I'm not sure I can fit the other ones along with the others that I hope to order in the future. I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out.
#3: 104 Things to Photograph from! While the company that I work for sells quite a few Chronicle Books products, evidently we don't carry this one in our warehouse for whatever reason, which is a shame because it looks like it would be a lot of fun! This thing is full of fun photo prompts with different sizes of corners available so you can stick in almost any photo that you would like. It seems like it'd be a lot of fun, and this little number ended up on my Christmas list this year :)
#4: A Perfectly Organized Letter Writing Desk! This past year my mother granted me permission to use the second desk in her old office for all of my snail mail exploits, since all of the stuff that I had for sending postcards and writing letters wasn't fitting properly on my computer desk. I've taken the time to move everything down there, but I have yet to organize everything that I have to make it look as pretty and as organized as I see in pictures online, like this one. I've never been the best at organizing, to be honest, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to figure it out at some point. When I do, I'll be sure to show off pictures of my work area to all of you :)
#5: Tokaido Board Game! I've been wanting to try out this game even before Wil Wheaton's Tabletop episode about it. It was first recommended to me from a video by the people behind Board with Life titled '5 Gateway Games that aren't Settlers of Catan.' This game was described as a low-stress, peaceful playing experience with some gorgeous artwork, and both of those things are definitely correct. This is one of the games that was added to my Christmas list :)

Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Meet Amber Lauver!

Happy Tuesday everybody! It's time to meet another amazing iggle, Amber Lauver! She was nominated as part of Geeks Run The World by yours truly :) Amber is the one who founded the vlogging iggles, and if it wasn't for being part of this amazing group of girls, I doubt I would be the same person that I am today, and I don't say that lightly. This small community of vloggers helped me to find my place in this bigger group of snail mail enthusiasts, and I feel that everybody else should get to know the fearless leader that is Amber. Without further ado, it's time to meet her!
TWW(s): As of this moment, what are your Top 5 Geek Loves?
Amber: My top geek love will always be history. I have such a passion for it and I will never stop enjoying history. I also have a love for reading and what I read depends on my mood, but I never don't want to read. Can I say Disney? Because I absolutely love Disney. Majority of my life as a movie viewer has been loving and crying over Disney movies. The Legend of Zelda is another geek love I have maintained throughout the years; it was my first non-jump start video game that I played and although I have never finished a single game, I love it very much. Trying to pick a fifth thing that I love always poses a challenge, but recently my number five pick would have to be roleplaying or board games. My friends and I have been playing all kinds of board games, from Mice and Mystic to Elder Signs; we've also been roleplaying Shadowrun weekly.

TWW(s): What would you say is your favorite board game and why?
Amber: It's a tie. The DC comic deck builder game because you get to be a DC hero and defeat villains which is really cool. Takenoko also because you get to play with a panda and a gardener and the pieces are all so colourful.

TWW(s): Describe a typical day in your life. Where do you go? What do you do?
Amber: A typical day in the life of Amber would include either work or school which sometimes are boring, but that's how life is. For my free time on the days I spend by myself, I watch all the things on Netflix while reading or playing my DS. On days I spend with my friends, we play Shadowrun or other board games or go on outings to the bookstore.
TWW(s): What is the #1 thing that you're currently obsessed with right now? Something that you're just dying to fangirl/gush about?
Amber: I've been obsessing over the book Red Rising by Pierce Brown. It's such a fantastic book that I just recommend any chance I get.

TWW(s): Reading any good books right now?
Amber: Always. I've also begun reading Y: The Last Man because my local comic book shop had it as its Girls Only comic book club monthly read. It's such a fantastic series.

TWW(s): Out of all of the videos posted by the vlogiggles, including your own, do you have a personal favorite?
Amber: I have two favorite videos. The introductions, because that's when everyone was well introduced, and I am very partial to Joanna's video about why she plays Bards because that really made my love for roleplaying turn into a roleplaying.
TWW(s): When did you first become an iggle and how did you originally hear about the IGGPPC?
Amber: I joined the IGGPPC shortly after Kristina Horner uploaded her video to YouTube because it honestly seemed like it would be a really fun experience

TWW(s): What is your favorite part of the snail mail process? Writing the letter, decorating the envelope, licking the stamp, etc.
Amber: Favorite part of the mail process would be putting the envelope into the mailbox. It's the victory of knowing someone is actually going to receive it instead of it remaining unsent.
TWW(s): Describe your favorite moment as an iggle so far.
Amber: My favorite moment as an iggle would probably be when people showed interest in there being a vlogiggles and the first introduction videos for the group. Although we don't upload anymore (or rarely) it will always be my favorite iggle moment. My favorite iggle memory was from the DC meetup in 2013 where I got to meet two fellow vlogiggles.

TWW(s): When did you start to first self-identify as a geek?
Amber: I started self-identifying as a geek as soon as I had heard the word.

TWW(s): Take a look at the Iggle manifesto and tell us which phrase from it is your favorite as well as which phrase you would like to most apply to yourself.
Amber: "I will never stop learning." That phrase applies to me because I believe that to be true.I do not want to ever stop learning something new.
Want to get to know Amber? You can find her on:
Let her know how amazing she is, as an iggle and a geek and as a fearless leader :P

Monday, December 22, 2014

YouTube Video Ideas

As a few of you know, I got started when I first became an iggle as a vlogger that was part of the collab channel vlogiggles on YouTube. It was incredibly fun, and even if the channel is now inactive because of how busy we've all become, I still keep in touch with my fellow vlogiggles as often as I am able. And lately, in spite of my natural anxiety towards being in front of a camera, I've continued to feel that itch to start creating content on YouTube again and somehow have it be connected to this blog - thing is, I don't have all that many ideas as of yet XD

I figured that I would try to open the floor and see if you guys either had some ideas for me that you wanted to put forward, or perhaps you might have an opinion on some of the ideas that have popped into my head as possibilities for videos that I could make. Of course there are plenty of tag videos that I could participate in that would be a lot of fun, so I will definitely try those, but as for the majority of the content on my channel, here are some of the suggestions that I've thought of.
With the reading challenge I have done this past year, it would make sense to make some videos relating to the books that I read. I could track my progress with some new reading challenges with some videos, and I could either use videos to post reviews/discussions about different books, either about random books I've read or maybe as a part of participating in a book club, or maybe I could even start my own for other iggle bloggers/vloggers. I know there's already an official iggle bookclub, but one more wouldn't hurt, right?
General Vlogging
DISCLAIMER: I chose the video above to showcase mainly because I found it funny, and because it's an example of a vlog not necessarily acting as a BookTube video or a beauty blog. I work for a bookstore chain, so I wouldn't actually be allowed to discuss things like quirky customers on the internet, in a video or otherwise.
This is the type of video that I used to make as part of the vlogiggles - sitting in front of a camera, chatting about various topics relating to my life. And yes, with the occasional video tag thrown in. I'm thinking that this would be an easy enough way to go, but I'd definitely be interested in getting ideas from you guys about what sorts of videos I should make and what sorts of things I should discuss on camera. I'm up for teaching you guys more things about myself, maybe doing some snail mail-related videos, and I'd love to ramble about my fandoms with all of you! I remember that the Disney Challenge video that I made with my 2 friends, Melissa Squared, was pretty popular because my friends are hilarious, so I would definitely be up for having my friends in more of my videos. Also, I like the idea of one day starting a Daily Vlog channel, but as of right now my life isn't all that interesting XP I'm thinking that I may start trying to film daily vlogs in April, maybe a few weeks before it's time for me to move to Toronto so that I can share in the experience with all of you :)
Creative Nonfiction
This idea would probably pertain more to a part of a channel as opposed to dedicating an entire channel to this, because this is a genre that I have only recently been introduced to myself. Creative nonfiction is a very under-rated genre of literature. In one of her letters to me, fellow iggle Shelby gave the idea that it would be interesting to blog from the perspective of an English major, discussing literature and what sorts of readings have been assigned, things like that. But this past semester I was recently introduced to this BookTube series by Lindsay's Library, and I was thinking it might be fun to create videos about this genre as I continue to learn more about it. Lindsay also has a creative nonfiction book club, which I have joined, and I'm currently in the middle of the December book. So I thought that trying out these videos might be fun!
Web Series
These types of videos would be made on a bit of a bigger scale, and would therefore be a bit more infrequent, but it's something that I've considered trying lately. One of my friends and I have been discussing the idea of collaborating to write something that can be filmed. The main idea I've thought of pitching is a short video (much like these bit videos from Board with Life) that surround a group of female friends playing board games. We'll get together and start writing in the New Year, and from there we'll have a better idea about what it is we'll want to create, but I thought trying to create something like this and maybe putting out a video a month could be fun.

So let me know in the comments, or you can always find me on Twitter as @KacieCruise, and let me know what kind of content you want to see me create and upload to YouTube. Be sure to keep me posted!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Always Be Thankful #1

So today, on behalf of my 1 year blogiversary, I figured it was about time that I tried something completely new. This is something that I've been mulling over for a while now and have finally been able to put into a coherent thought.

Every Wednesday I post my Wednesday Wish Lists, and I know that people seem to like those posts. At least, one person does (*cough* Shelby *cough*). Recently I got to thinking that it probably isn't a good thing to do nothing but list off the many things I want in my life when really there are so many things that I have right now that I'm grateful for. I have a great family and amazing friends that are worth going out every day into the cold - and for a wuss like me, that's saying something XD

And I decided that every week, or every other week, I would share with you the things that are already in my life than I am thankful are there, and that I couldn't do without. Some of these will be a tad sentimental, others will be silly and materialistic, but either way this will be a way for all of you to get to know a little more about me on a personal level. I hope this is something you'll enjoy, and without further ado, here are 3 of the things that I'm currently thankful for.

#3: REVLON ColorStay Moisture Stain! It might sound silly to feel thankful for a lip gloss, but hear me out: I love wearing a dark lip when I go out lately; it makes me feel beautiful and confident. But sometimes applying the lip liner and the lipstick that I picked up from MAC can be a bit time-consuming. That's why this Moisture Stain is so great! It's dark berry colour is perfect for the winter (the shade I own is 005 Parisian Passion) and it really does keep its colour for a long time.
This is a shot of what the colour looks like on me, This is just one coat, but it's a solid shade all the way through and it really stands out against my near-Albino shade of paleness. This lip stain feels very moist when you put it on - I know you'd expect a semi-liquid gloss to be moist, but you'd have to try it to understand exactly what I mean - and it's quick and easy to apply, so presto! I have a dark lip to wear out of the house! I am very grateful to the people at Revlon for putting out this product, and also to +Zoella for recommending it in one of her main channel videos.
#2: A Special . . . Something. Truth be told, the thing that I'm the second most thankful for right now is something that I'm not allowed to talk about, especially not on the internet XP That's vague, I know. I can't even give any hints. But I can tell you this: I will be able to tell you guys about it on February 14th, 2015. Does it have anything to do with Valentine's Day? Honestly, it doesn't. But the day I'll be able to talk about this special something will be within that week, so on Saturday the 14th I'll be able to write about it on here. Looking forward to it!
#1: My mother and her creative, crafty ways. My mom has been into scrapbooking for a long time now (she even turned my old bedroom into her scrapbooking room - you should see the amount of supplies she has in there!) but this holiday season she has turned to a whole new type of crafting. She has been making these gorgeous wreaths for quite some time now, and with the amount of Christmas decorations she's been able to nab on sale she's already made all kinds of gorgeous Christmas wreaths which are unique and lovely.
This is just a sample of some of the holiday wreaths my mom has made. Aren't they awesome?! Lately we've been talking about my mom making a surplus of wreaths and then selling them online and putting the money towards my Humber tuition. I'm not exactly grateful for the wreaths themselves - my mom hasn't made one for me yet, but then again I haven't asked her to - but what I love is that she is able to channel her creative energy into making these wreaths, even after a long day at work. She doesn't let exhaustion or annoying life stuff get in the way of her creative projects, and I admire that about her. I have all these things I want to do - special blog posts, making YouTube videos - but there are days where I just don't feel like doing anything. My mom never lets those moods get her down. She still manages to deal with all the annoyances of her job, deal with me (I can be a handful), help out my grandmother when she needs it and then has time at the end of the night to make such pretty crafts :) She's the best!

That's it for this week! Stay tuned for more life-things I'm thankful for. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

5 Must-See Christmas Movies

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that everybody will soon have some time off work or are already off school and are enjoying the relaxation and the Netflix binge watching that should always be a part of the month of December. In my household, the Christmas movies started on the 1st of November, so there are already a few I have started to get sick of watching, and there are also a few I could name that I'm not a fan of at any point in the holiday season. But I do have a few favorites, and here are some of them for you.

#5: Santa Clause 2! There are quite a few funny moments in this film, but perhaps one of my favorite memories associated with this film is that my mom's boyfriend Peter can perfectly imitate the voice of plastic Santa. It's really hilarious to hear in person XD And he'll do the imitation at random times, not just as it's getting close to Christmas, so this film always comes to mind.
#4: Home Alone 2: Lost In New York! I've always preferred the second Home Alone to the first one for many reasons - Kevin's a bit older so his wit gets a bit more punchy, it's set in New York City which is always amazing, and there's also a whole new set of traps for Marv and Harry to fall for even though they think they know better. I have another personal memory associated with this film as well. Remember the scene where Marv keeps getting bricks lobbed at his head, and then the two thieves split up to try and corner Kevin in the house? My mom does a hilarious imitation of Marv with his eyes crossed, looking all dazed as he keeps calling out, "Harry? Harrrry" in a silly voice. She doesn't do this imitation often, because it involves crossing her eyes, but when she does it's always a real hoot.
#3: The Muppet Christmas Carol! This film is a childhood classic of mine. I'll admit, when I was younger, some of the creepy puppets from the Christmas Yet to Come scenes really freaked me out, but the rest I always loved. Michael Caine as scrooge is really great, plus it includes a bunch of original songs and the entire thing is just generally really nice to look at.
#2: Christmas with the Kranks! This movie came out at the perfect time, where everyone was starting to get a little sick at the Christmas special that would replay on TV, all of them basically telling the same story over and over and over again. Christmas with the Kranks is definitely a nice break from that. It's really funny, it's filled with talented actors, and it's a delight to break up the predictable rhythm of Christmas specials.
#1: Love Actually! Now, to all of the men out there that have heard the title of this film and dismissed it as just another romantic comedy, get over here so that I can slap you XP This film is a Christmas special, and a very good and hilarious one at that. You've got Martin Freeman and some girl that I don't know the name of as stand-ins for porn actors, you've got Rowan Atkinson being his amazing self as he almost drives Professor Snape up the deep end, and Bill Nighy telling kids, "Don't buy drugs . . . Become a pop star and they give them to you for free!" XD It may not be appropriate for children, but when the kids have gone to bed this is a great movie to snuggle up to. Is love a central theme? Yes. Is it the only thing consuming this film? Far from it.
Bonus #1: Last Holiday! While this movie does take place during the Christmas season, its main holiday focus happens to be New Years Eve. This is a great film and even if it's not dripping in holly and candy canes, my mother still agrees that this film is a must-see during this time of year. If you need a break from the continuity of your typical Christmas special, try popping in this film. It's funny, it has heart, and the message is honest: Live Today.
Bonus #2: The Holiday! Clearly it's proven impossible to just stick to 5 films XD I saw this film for the first time last year when it was airing on TV, probably on The Women's Network, and I really enjoyed watching it. Again, the focus isn't so much on Christmas, although there is a New Years Eve party that takes place at the very end. This film is more about a holiday in the sense of an escape from the problems of your real life. More than likely, this film could've taken place at any point in time, but I'm glad that it was set during the actual holiday season because it gives me an excuse to pop this film in during the month of December XD A Blu-Ray copy of this film was actually sitting under the tree for me last Christmas, and since then I've gotten a decent amount of watches from it :)

1 Year Ago Today . . .

December 20th, 2013
One December night when I didn't have to get up early for work and I didn't have Christmas wrapping to worry about, I marveled over the first ever Postcrossing cards I'd ever received. On a whim, I decided to write about them on a blog like the ones I'd seen a lot of other iggles keeping up in their spare time, where they talk about their interests and about their lives and where other people are able to invest in their lives in a whole new way that doesn't involve simply clicking a "Like" button. I started off by sharing the mail I received each day, whether it be letters from my amazing pen pals or Postcrossing cards or random packages I ordered and had delivered in the mail. It grew from there, and here we are today, a year older and a year wiser :)

The readership and the support I've received through this blog has made me so incredibly happy, and I cannot thank you guys enough for all that you have given me. I just wanted to quickly say that I appreciate every single one of you and I hope that I'll be able to continue to expand what The Written Word(s) means, not just to me but to all of you as well.

I believe that's all I have to say for now. If you guys have any ideas or suggestions on what you would like to see on this blog in the future - posts you liked, posts you didn't like, more giveaways, etc. - let me know in the comments below and I promise to read and reply to every single one. All of you guys, the readers, make me and this blog better, and I couldn't have come this far without you.

Here's to another year of keeping you posted!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Afterworlds - YA Bingo

Completed on: December 11th
# of Pages: 599
Bingo Category: FREE SQUARE!
Oh Afterworlds . . . all of the lovely, wonderful things I could say about this massive, ingenious book. If you haven't already seen a copy of this book at your local book store (near the end of the YA section in typical alphabetical fashion), I suggest you head over there immediately to double check, and once you find this book (it's pretty massive, so it's hard to miss), I suggest you pick it up and bring it over to the cash register, immediately if not sooner. Whether you're a guy or a girl, a YA enthusiast or a future writer, this book is incredibly entertaining and moving in many ways, and you should give it a read - as soon as you have enough time to devour an almost 600 page novel XD

I probably shouldn't complain about this book being massive, because it's not like it's the largest book I've ever read, it's just really big and heavy compared to the other 23 YA books I have read this year XD But I didn't include this book under the free square because I wanted to talk about its physical proportions; I would much rather talk about its internal proportions. See, Afterworlds is a book told from two perspectives: First is Darcy Patel, a young girl who has just graduated high school who wrote a book in the course of a single month (in November - that sounds oddly familiar . . . XD) and sent it off to a publisher, who ended up giving her a contract for her book, titled Afterworlds, as well as a sequel that is known throughout Darcy's story as Untitled Patel. The book follows Darcy's journey from her home town to the bustling metropolis of Manhattan where instead of attending college she dedicates her time and the budget drawn up by her younger sister to living as a writer where she can revise Afterworlds and also finish the sequel.

The second perspective is that of the main character in Darcy's novel (her completed novel, as the reader finds out, not the story line of her draft). Her protagonist's name is Lizzie (again, I'm seeing a pattern here XD) and after living through a near-death experience in the form of a terrorist attack in an airport in Dallas, she ends up crossing over into the Afterworld, a realm where the ghosts of the departed roam until entities such as the handsome Yamaraj, and eventually Lizzie, known as psychopomps help to keep the memory of the dead alive and also help lost spirits to cross over. It's a highly compelling story and the reader is able to see traces of Darcy's personality and her life experiences bleed into the words on the page that take us through Lizzie's very own journey.

I have to say, perhaps one of my favorite moments of this novel was when Darcy was walking back to her temporary living space with fellow deb writer Imogen Grey and as they're talking Darcy realizes the connection between her name and her main character's name. The fact that she didn't clue into the connection ("Jane Austen much?") had me roaring with laughter.

This isn't technically a spoiler, since it states on the book jacket that Darcy ends up falling for a fellow writer, but I honestly found myself surprised to find out that the love interest in this story would be Imogen. I'd like to attribute this to the fact that it's only been over the past 5+ years that same-sex relationships in YA fiction have become more and more commonplace and not because there's a small part of me that I didn't previously know about that somehow has ended up a homophobe XD Because I'm honestly not, I proudly support a person's right to love whomever they want. Another hypothesis I have is probably that the reader finds out about Darcy's feelings for Imogen, and girls, at about the exact same time that Darcy figures all of that out herself, and that was Westerfeld's intention all alone, not as a shock factor because it's not all that "shocking" but just to prevent Darcy's story from becoming too predictable. There is also a male character that works for Paradox publishing that gets introduced fairly early in Darcy's story that I was pretty sure would be the one that would continue to show up in Darcy's life though, although I don't believe he himself was a writer, so that could just be my own misguided guess.

Having a character with her own cast of characters in her head that make it into a story is something that I have been longing to see for a very long time, so the second perspective of this story where the reader is invited into the world of Darcy's novel is incredibly satisfying. This book could have easily just been about Darcy as a writer and the experiences that she goes through as a deb author, always leaving the reader to question just what this book that's been awarded by a massive advance from Paradox is really like, but the author is kind and rewards us with both perspectives in a single tome, and for that I am incredibly grateful. Seeing this as two separate books would've been maddening. That being said, I hope we get to read more about Darcy's story, along with getting an inside look at Untitled Patel - once it gets a title that is XD
2 More To Go!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Wish Lists #9

Happy Wednesday everybody! Hard to believe that there's only 15 days until Christmas, right? Have you guys finished your shopping yet? I'm hoping to be done by this weekend. Even if people are trying to finish up their shopping as quickly as possible for their loved ones, it doesn't stop me from adding to my wish list with new finds that have caught my interest every single week :)
#1: Unlimited funds to spend in Michael's Craft Store! I recently popped into Michael's with my mom for some late-night shopping; she needed some more wreath-making supplies, I needed to pick up a couple of wooden boxes to paint for a few Christmas gifts, and we both wanted to take in all the items currently on sale that we could get our hands on. I adore this store, and only if I've ever set foot in it twice, I wish I could live there XD Just being in that place inspires you to be creative, no matter what sorts of crafts you enjoy making. I found items for box painting, Christmas-themed washi tape to help seal those Christmas cards, and so many cool and crafts items that are too plentiful to list off.
#2: Safekeeping by Abigail Thomas! I recently joined a book club on Good Reads, one that is dedicated to reading a different creative non-fiction book every month. It's hosted by Lindsay, a BookTuber behind the channel Lindsay's Library, which I recently wrote a paper on for my creative writing class. I hadn't really been exposed to creative non-fiction until this year, both through that course and through my reading of The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, where half of the book contains examples of creative non-fiction. I find the genres very interesting, both for reading and writing purposes, and I hope to examine it further through my own readings and YouTube watching and maybe even writing some creative non-fiction of my own :)
#3: Bee and Puppycat-themed stickers from RedBubble! These are all awesome, aren't they? Lately I've been obsessed with the new show Bee and Puppycat from Cartoon Hangover, especially with new episodes coming out. I was one of the people who pitched in for the Kickstarter after hearing about it from Ashly Burch's twitter, who happens to be a voice actor on the show, along with another favorite YouTuber of mine Hannah Hart :) It's adorable and so freaking weird and quirky, I just love it to bits. And I don't have anything to show off my love for the fandom yet, so I need some stickers. Which of those three above is your favorite? I think I'll need to get the Mail one at some point mainly because I could use it for snail mail purposes, but I know I can't fit all three on the back of my laptop so I'm trying to decide which I like better . . .
#4: New York Pretty Dress from ModCloth! It wouldn't be a proper Wednesday Wish List without my including a dress from ModCloth, now would it? XD I've only visited the Big Apple once during a school trip in the 11th grade, but since then I've always been dying to go back. I'm pretty sure that owning this dress would feel like owning a little piece of the city that I could call my own, which would be quite the incredible thing for me :)
#5: Both enough Time and enough Skill to paint my own nails XP I have always had an unsteady hand, whether I'm filming something with my video camera or grimacing at how sloppy my handwriting is (any and all of my pen pals can attest to this XD). Because of this, I'm not all that great at applying my own nail polish. This really sucks, because I have a subscription to Black Sheep Lacquer, and every month I get a bunch of new polishes to wear, and I always have cool ideas I want to try and I even purchased Nail Vinyl's at one point, but I haven't actually had my nails done since the summer. I'd really like to try a nice, pretty nail design sooner rather than later - one benefit of the cold weather is getting to try out all the new thermal polishes I've been accumulating ever since I first started buying polishes from Black Sheep. If anybody has a tip or two about doing your own nails when you don't have the steadiest hand, shoot them my way in the comments below.

Also comment with telling me what items you're currently lusting after and which ones made it onto your Christmas list this year. Keep me posted!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Meet Jen / SparkleGirl!

Happy Tuesday everybody! It's time for another Geeks Run The World interview! Today's a special treat, because we'll be getting to know Jen, aka SparkleGirl, one of our amazing IGGPPC Overlords!
This nomination came from none other than myself. Not only is Jen an awesome Canadian like myself (Canada represent!) but she works so hard for all us iggles and she has a great attitude and I'm constantly looking up to her as an overlord, as a blogger, and as a geek girl in general. So without further ado, time to meet Jen!
TWW(s): As of this moment, what are your Top 5 Geek Loves?
Jen: 1. Lumberjanes comic book - I've been devouring each issues that's come out. I just cannot get enough of the writing and the story lines and the awesome friendships in it.
2. The Walking Dead - Since the new season has started back up, I'm back to discussing the plot and what I think will happen with anyone that'll listen to me.
3. Christmas - I geek out of Christmas every year and now that Halloween is over, I'm diving right in . . . movies, music, crafts, decorations!
4. Disney Tsum Tsum - I recently got most of the IGGPPC staff playing this app and it's made this game even more fun. My obsession to collect all the characters is intense.
5. Ready Player One - I just finished the audio book and it was so good! The writing was amazing and Wil Wheaton does a fantastic job narrating it. I can't stop recommending it to people.
TWW(s): That audiobook has been on my to-listen list for a while, can't wait to finally give it a try :)

TWW(s): If you had to describe yourself in 5 words, what would they be? Why those words?
Jen: 1. organized - I have learned that I am an organizational freak while working on my own projects and for IGGPPC
2. catlady - This is self-explanatory and technically two words. Either way it's me!
3. cute - I have an addiction to cuteness and I am to be cute. It's my way of life.
4. motivated - Most days I have a giant to-do list and I love working through it. I love feeling productive.
5. supportive - I try my hardest to always be there for friends and family.
TWW(s): What does a typical day in your life look like? Where do you go? What do you do?
Jen: It depends on the day. I work part-time at a retail job so my schedule is all over the place. But when I'm not at work, I'm working at home. I keep a calendar where I write in to-do lists on each day, which can range from sewing, updating my Etsy shop, pairing pen pals for IGGPP, applying to craft shows, or setting up achievements on the IGGPPC site. I try to find balance using a calendar to schedule things because I could easily spend all my time working on something. I make a point of scheduling date nights with my husband or giving myself an evening off to catch up on current TV shows.

TWW(s): If you could travel anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why? A foreign country, the world of your favorite novel, sky's the limit!
Jen: Oh, there's so many places I'd like to travel! I'd like to visit Hogwarts and Hogsmede (via Disney in real life and the fictional world), Japan and England!

TWW(s): Tell us your favorite Sight, favorite Sound, and favorite Smell.
Jen: Currently:
Sight - my kitties snuggling together which is happening more often due to the cold weather.
Sound - my husband playing video games downstairs. I find it comforting.
Smell - fresh coffee on cold mornings.
TWW(s): Tell us a bit about your family/household :)
Jen: I live with my husband, 2 kitties, and an aquarium full of fish. We recently moved into our first house, so it's been a fun adventure decorating and working on DIYs around the house.

TWW(s): Reading any good books right now?
Jen: I recently finished Ready Player One which was great! Currently I'm listening to Amy Poehler's Yes Please audio book which has been fantastic so far. I'm a huge fan of hers and the book has been funny and very honest.
TWW(s): Tell us a bit about how you got started with your online shop.
Jen: I opened my Etsy shop back in 2006 (crazy!). I had heard about it through a friend and at the time I was doing a lot of craft shows, so selling items online seemed like the next step. I thought I'd give it a try and I've stuck with it since then. It's easy to use and I've found a lot of amazing shops on there as well.

TWW(s): What is it like being one of the IGGPPC Overlords? Does the job come with a cool throne or any sweet laser gadgets?
Jen: It's seriously a ton of fun and also incredibly inspiring. Working alongside talented, hilarious, sweet ladies is my favorite thing as an Overlord. There are ongoing discussions and a never-ending to-do list to work on for IGGPPC. But I love that. Everyone brings something different to the table and we've been able to come up with some sweet ideas. I'd like to think the rest of the staff are my cool gadgets . . . each one provides me with something depending on the day, whether it's a laugh after a hard day, photoshop help with a project I'm working on, and friendship and support which keeps me motivated for IGGPPC and Sparklegirl things.
TWW(s): What is your favorite part of the snail mail process? Writing letters, decorating the envelope, filling up a package with goodies, licking the stamps, etc.
Jen: I love searching for the perfect goodies and treats to add to packages! I try to squeeze in as much as I can into every envelope. And I have an insane sticker collection so there's usually a sheet of stickers inside or the envelope is covered with them.

TWW(s): Do you have a favorite moment/memory that you've experienced as an iggle? Tell us about it!
Jen: I would have to say it was during our first birthday when iggles were writing in and making videos about IGGPPC. Talking about how it changed their lives. It hit me hard just how we're affecting people's lives, connecting people all over the world and helping create friendships.

TWW(s): When in your life did you start to self-identify as a geek?
Jen: I spent my childhood and teenage years playing video games and spending hours on end building Lego cities with my brothers. I guess it hit me during my college years when I started watching friends and other girls my age go out to clubs and spend their money on high-end clothing and all I wanted to do was stay in and have Mario Kart marathons and spend money on character t-shirts.
TWW(s): Tell us about any pen pals you have!
Jen: Well, I write to a lot of the staff members and we swap things like tea and candy often. But there's also a couple f other ladies that I've sent cards and parcels to over the years, and surprisingly I didn't meet them through IGGPPC, but through social media and blogging. I guess because I already had a couple of pen pals, I felt enthusiastic about IGGPPC since I knew how much fun and supportive having friends around the world could be.

TWW(s): Look at the Iggle Mnifesto and tell us your favorite line from it or which line you think you'd want to most apply to yourself, and then tell us why.
Jen: This is hard because I seriously love every line in it! Umm, I guess "I will proudly be myself." As a 30 year-old geek who doesn't have a full-time professional career, I sometimes find myself defending who I am, what I do, my interests, and my choices in life. Surrounding myself (even if just online) with other amazing geeks, has made me more and more proud of who I am and what I do. I will not be shamed for collecting toys or watching My Little Pony. The IGGPPC has taught me to be proud and to do what makes me happy.
Want to get to know Jen? You can find her on:
Let her know how awesome she is & to keep up the good work!