My Holiday TBR!- Ireland 2017

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As I’ve begun packing for my upcoming holiday – I fly out on 1 July eep!!- one very important thing is coming with me… my Kindle. As a booklover, there was no way I was leaving the country without a few books to while away my transit hours. And due to a rather strict luggage limit on the tour I’m going on, my trusty kindle has taken one for the team.

I don’t usually do TBR’s, purely because of my hot and cold reading patterns, but Holidays are always big reading times for me. I also get a kick out of seeing what books people take with them on holiday- it says a lot about their personality style.

Here are the books i’m taking with me to Ireland;

  1. The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales 

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By all reports this is a silly, slightly trashy read which is heavily inspired by genre fiction. Some hate it, some love it. The ones who love it sold me. I wanted something quick and easy to read that would amuse me on a plane ride. This seems to fit the bill. It might be stupid, but I cant wait to test it.

2. Wintersong by S Jae-Jones

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I stumbled on this one by accident as it popped up in my recommended books on goodreads. A reviewer promised heavy references to Labyrinth and that’s all they had to say! The power of the Voodoo was too much and it came into my hands quickly and easily

3. Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder

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So I’ve been looking for this book in bookstores for the last few months and haven’t been able to find it. It’s the latest (and appears to be the last) book in the Chronicles of Ixia which I’ve been hooked on since 2015. When I saw it on the Amazon store I was so giddy I squealed with delight. I really hope this is as good as the rest of the series!!!

4. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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Buzzfeed promised me this book is hilarious. I’m hoping buzzfeed isn’t lying to me. I wanted a comedy book to balance out my reading list. I wanted a cross section of different options to read. I’m also always down to read some diverse fiction.

5. A Conjuring of Light by V E Schwab

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I really enjoyed the first book- V E Schwab has magical writing abilities and, lets be honest, everything she touches is gold- and when the second book popped up in popular on Amazon, I just kinda went for it. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a dystopian fiction on my list.

Top Tips for Pop Culture Conventions

Top Tips

I am by no means an expert in terms of Pop Culture Conventions; I’m a relative newbie to the Con scene, having gone to my first Con in 2013. But I was brought into the community under the very experienced wing of my Best friend who is more of a veteran. Over the last few years, I’ve very quickly learned the dos and don’ts of Cons, and I’m keen to share my knowledge for those who are looking to get into cons or are still relatively fresh on the scene.

These tips aren’t biblical, but they will sure as heck make sure you have a smooth weekend.

Before the Convention

  • Be Organised; at the beginning of the year, plan which Cons you intend to go to. Start visualising where they are in the year, how you will get there and how many cosplays you intend to do for the year.
  • Book your hotel strategically; not all conventions are in the easiest to access places- some are not near hotels or major highways, and frequently you need to stay at hotels to attend. However, you do not have to be suckered in to the absolutely ridiculously high prices of those immediately surrounding hotels (who jack up prices because they know a convention is planned). I am extremely strategic when booking my hotels. I always book a hotel that sits on/extremely close to a major public transport line. And I usually try and book a hotel that’s several stops away from the convention location. The earlier you book this hotel, the better price your will get. You can always use an agent like booking.com to take advantage of their cancellation deals, so if you need to cancel, you can. Try and get a hotel with bag holding services (see why later) and tea/coffee/mini fridge.
  • Start your cosplays early; there’s nothing worse than staying up late the night before, punching rivets into a piece of fabric, let me tell you.
  • Before planning cosplay, make sure you check weapons/props rules of the event company. There is no point spending all this time on a beautiful big prop to have it confiscated when you get there because it exceeds regulations. The prop rules might also affect who you decide to cosplay as.
  • While checking weapon rules for the event, also check in on local legislation. I.e. at the end of 2016, NSW brought in very strict rules regarding ‘fake guns’, making a lot of cosplay props illegal.

During the Convention

  • Have a ‘Floor Bag’; your floor bag should contain bare minimum- there is nothing worse than lugging around a huge bag around the convention. Go for something lightweight but big enough to hold what you need. Those super trendy, small, faux leather backpacks are perfect for cons. Also smaller shoulder satchels are a good idea. The bag should be able to hold comfortably a cosplay emergency kit (See next point), a water bottle, your wallet, phone/camera, tickets/coupons and a very lightweight cardigan/shawl.
  • Cosplay Emergency Kit;- This has only been a recent discovery of mine, but has saved my ass on more than one occasion. In your floor bag, keep a cosplay emergency kit; sometimes, things happen… like your hasty rivets/string sleeve breaks and you are walking around with a dirty, great bit of fabric flapping around your elbow. Or your foam armour comes away from the suit/backing. Or your eyeliner smudges like the winter soldier under your eyes. This is where the cosplay emergency kit comes in. There are multiple guides on the internet of what to put in your cosplay emergency kit, and sometimes some items depend on the costume. But there are a few things that definitely should be in there. Here are the items in my cosplay emergency kit;
    – Bandaids/plasters (multiple)
    – Safety pins (lots)
    – Bobby Pins (a small handful)
    – Small role of double sided tape
    – Panadol/pain killer
    – Translucent powder (Small container and small brush for makeup emergencies)
    – concealer (small tube in your shade)

    Cosplaying-on-a-budget and this forum on a cosplay community have some good tips and guides to follow regarding this.
  • Take Snacks; oh man believe me, this has saved me so many $$. Convention food is always ridiculously expensive and fair enough that you need to buy lunch, but if you can avoid buying snacks then you are already saving some dollars. Conventions require a lot of energy, and, if you can, I’d recommend going for some power foods; fruits (especially bananas) to give you an mid-morning energy boost and something like nuts (almonds and peanuts unsalted and raw) or muesli bars (check ingredients for hidden nasties) for any afternoon munchies. These items are small and can easily be slotted into your con bag.
  • If you are staying in the hotel, get your bags (not your floor bag) held at your hotel;- most Australian cons don’t hold luggage and you don’t want to be that annoying person walking around with a big bag and bashing into everyone. Saves your back, and other’s patience. I have not found one hotel, big or small/boutique, that does not hold your bags (if you are a guest).
  • When packing your bigger bags/overnight bag, make sure you bring normal clothes. I do not know about you, but after a big day at the con, I want nothing more to get changed and go for dinner. Dinner at a normal restaurant, not near the con, would be mightily awkward in cosplay.
  • Try to bring, not buy breakfast (hence mini fridge and tea and coffee at hotel). This also saves some much needed dollars and also can save a lot of time of a morning. I usually get those super small cereal boxes and bring them with me to hotels. They will often have milk in the room for tea and coffee making (if the room has that function) so you can skimp there. This is where it pays to do your room research. Another good idea is to get a deal at your hotel for included/free breakfast. This is another lifesaver.
  • Download the program before you get to the con, and highlight what panels you need to go to. Making a plan of attack for the day is essential. If there is a panel or signing that is early in the morning, you don’t want to miss it by rocking up late and not knowing it was on.
  • Buy photoshoots/autograph tickets as early as you can; if you want your preferred choice of time, then this is essential. They also sell out really quickly, so if you can buy them online before the con, I would definitely recommend it.
  • Take a portable recharger for on-the-go phone charging. I learnt this the hard way. If you are using your phone for social media checking in, photos and contact with friends, then your battery is going to die quicker than a background soldier in an action movie.
  • If at the con with friends, always have a spot to meet in case you go separate ways; I can guarantee you they will not ever respond to your texts or calls. Try to pick an unusual spot out of the way of most other con goers; do not clog a walkway.
  • Have your social media deets written down on paper, business cards or something creative (a cosplayer once gave me her youtube channel name on a wooden peg!) to give out to people as needed. Carry it in an easy to access place; you have more of a chance being tagged in photos of your cosplay that way.
  • Always have some cash on you; not all vendors have Credit Card facilities (though this gets better every year)

 

Please be aware of

  • Always, Always, Always be polite to everyone you meet; they are here to have fun and enjoy themselves just as much as you. I do not care if they barged you out of the way/took your friends seat/wearing the same cosplay as you/looked at you weird; everyone, especially your fellow nerds, deserves respect. Yes, people do not always show you the same kindness/politeness, but you will not receive it if you do not give it.
  • Respect other people’s work. This is mainly a Cosplay thing, but please always be respectful of someone else’s cosplay. I do not care if you personally don’t like it. I do not care how basic of a cosplay it is. I do not care how many other cosplayers are cosplaying the same character. People have put a lot of thought and effort into their cosplay. No matter how good it is, or how intricate/complex (or seemingly opposite). Every person cosplaying (even if it is just a slightly influenced one) is worthy and good. They deserve attention and praise just as much as others.
  • If you see someone being harassed, or assaulted, please step in. I cannot stress this enough. Like it or not (whether you have seen it before or not), this is something that still happens at cons. We cannot beat this behaviour unless we, as the by-standing public, call it out and prove that this is not ok. Please step in and protect your fellows. Please report it to Con officials/volunteers. Do not be a bystander. Stick up for people.
  • And finally, please, PLEASE BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR PERSONAL HYGIENE!!! Please make sure you have showered and used deodorant. I’ve seen (and especially smelt) some bad things at cons. Please do your fellows a favour. I do not care if you do not think you smell or do not think it is bad. People will be much more sensitive to your hygiene than you are. It is a pet peeve of mine, and I am so conscious about myself, I get cut when others do not return the favour. There has been so many times when I have been gridlocked into a panel/hall/line and had to suffer through hell because someone has awful body odour. Please- also- if you are sick, please sanitise/clean your hands regularly, and cover your mouth. Germs travel like wildfire during cons.

 

I hope these tips have been super helpful and you have a fantastic time at your next con. 🙂

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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag!

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag- Undecided Bookworm

So like most people, I’m Disney trash. And I live for the new Beauty and the Beast. When looking for blog inspo, I lighted on this tag. I just had to do it.

“Oh what a guy, Gaston!” A villain you can’t help but love-

Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes Novels. Both via the on-screen adaptions and the original book adaption, there’s just something weirdly fascinating about Moriarty. I am not validifying his crimes or saying he is not- at times- despicable. I think that’s why I like him; he’s weird, more than a little bit psycho but our resident friendly megalomaniac

“Here’s where she meets Prince Charming” Your OTP-

I have a lot of ships. Like a lot. And sometimes my OTP changes depending on what I read and loved recently. But my all time fav OTP (Canonical here) is probably Elizabeth/Darcy. Common yes, but I just cant even with those two.

“I want so much more than this provincial life” A character destined for greater things. –

So. Many. Of. My. Children. Deserve. More!!! A constant pet peeve of mine is characters destined for far greater things than they’re given time for. There’s so many, so I just picked the first one which popped into my head which is Manon from the Celena Sardothian series by Sarah J Maas. Amirite?

“Be our guest!” A book that made you hungry.-

The Hunger Games. Ironically. Probably because Food is such a sacred thing to both Katniss and Peta that when they actually get the food, you kinda feel like you’re eating it with them. Case in point, Catching Fire at the Victors Ball.

“Beauty and the Beast” Opposites attract.

DUDE! Again, way too many options here. I live for opposites attract. LIKE LIVE. Purely because I’m reading the series at the moment, I’ll whack in Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp/Randal/Fraser from the Outlander series. The best opposite attracts pair who are destined to be together!!!

“But there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see” A character who is more than they appear-

Once again, too many. But to settle on one for now, let’s go Rhysand from the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ Series. To avoid spoilers, that is all I will say.

“I was innocent and certain, now I’m wiser but unsure” A book that changed you in some way-

Little known fact, the first book I read that wasn’t a middle grade fiction was actually Romeo and Juliet. It had a massive impact on me and cemented both my love of reading, but also my love of theatre. I’ve been obsessed with Shakespeare ever since and have gone on to perform in several Shakespeare plays. This book changed me a lot, and while it’s not my favourite of the Bard’s works, it holds a special significance for me.

“Kill the Beast!” A book you picked up because of hype. –

I’ve picked up many a book due to hype, some good, and some not so good (literally see all my book reviews). In the spirit of positivity, one of the best ones I picked up that was worth the hype was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This book was SO FANTASTIC it’s literally insane. i am trash for this book. I’ve literally recommended it to three different people over the past two months (only one of whom has read it since). Do yourself a favour and get your paws on this book.

“I’ll never shake away the pain” A book or moment that always makes you cry-

Can I name literally all of the Harry Potter Series? No? Well tough luck, the whole damn series makes me cry.

“How does a moment last forever” A book that you’ve loved since you were little.-

Funny story, one of my favourite childhood books was a random book that no one seems to have ever heard of. My gran owned it and I used to insist on having it read to me every time we stayed at her house. It went missing sometime when I was a teenager, and I’m still devastated to this day. The book was called “What a Pest” and if anyone else has read it, please raise your hand so I can bond with you.

 

I tag literally everyone. Please do this if it tickles your fancy. Leave your blog link below so I can check it out and give you some love.

 

Credit to the Book Nut where I originally found this tag. And credit to Amber Elise from Du Livre as the original tag owner