Category Archives: literature

BookCon: Comic-Con for Bibliophiles!

ATTN: Le Fancy Geek has moved to lefancygeek.com. If you’d like to make a comment on this post, please visit Le Fancy Geek’s new home on the web here as comments have been disabled here. I’m still waiting on WordPress to transfer email subscribers, so until the transfer is finally made, I’ll be posting here as well. For more information on this change, please refer to this post.

I got to go to BookCon last Sunday while I was in New York and it was BANANAS — B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I had to spell it out Gwen Stefani style because that’s just how bananas it was.

I didn’t know that it was the very first one, or that Book Expo America (BEA), a trade show for industry folks, would be going on at the same time. One side of the exhibit hall was cut off just for BookCon while the rest was devoted to BEA and it was constantly crowded as BEA attendees were also permitted access to the show floor at BookCon and the panels. It felt like all I did was wait in lines for a majority of the time — lines to get into panels, lines to get into the bathroom (which sounds normal, but 30 minutes?), lines to get freebies, etc. It was mass chaos — especially when it came time for the The Fault in Our Stars panel. My sister and I didn’t even bother trying to get into the queue, so no John Green for me. 😦

But with all that aside, I’m really happy that I was able to go! I just need to remind myself that it was their first go, so it wasn’t going to run perfectly smooth (no convention really does, in my experience). Hopefully they’ll take into account some of the snafus from this year to make the next one more successful. Plus I GOT SO MANY FREE BOOKS (pictured below)!!!

We went to the kickoff panel the night before where Tina Fey (AHH!!!), Jason Bateman, Shawn Levy, and Jonathan Tropper talked about and showed some special clips from the film adaptation of Tropper’s novel This is Where I Leave You. I read the book a couple weeks prior to the trip and I loved it. I’m all for stories about dysfunctional families (who isn’t?) and Tropper is a great storyteller, and based on the clips they showed it looks like it’s going to be a hilarious and gut wrenching adaptation. Oh, and I BREATHED THE SAME AIR AS TINA FEY (and Jason Bateman, but I’m mostly excited about TINA FEY). Just being in the same room as her was a f*cking honor! And Jonathan Tropper read a few passages from This is Where I Leave You to set up certain scenes they showed, which I thought was quite spectacular. He also wrote the screenplay, so it was definitely interesting to learn how he and the director decided to translate the book and figure out what parts to keep, what parts to tweak, and what parts to omit all together.

I also got to go to a panel that featured debut novelists Courtney Collins (The Untold), Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic in a Suitcase), and Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You) where they talked about their own individual journeys on how they got their first novels published — pretty informing stuff for aspiring writers. I also got a copy of their novels after the panel as well. I feel slightly bad though because the volunteer that was putting them on the table for us to collect them said, “One each.” I thought he meant one of each. But he didn’t. He meant literally only take ONE book. Oops. Courtney Collins’ book is in stores right now — I actually saw it at work yesterday. It’s such a trip to know I saw her and heard her talk about her book and a slew of other things!

SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE HALLWAY FOR THE PANELS. O__O

I got a free signed copy of Eric Smith’s The Geek’s Guide to Dating and I was pretty stoked to meet him since I started following him on Twitter after seeing an article about how he proposed to his fiance with a copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars last year. If anyone is qualified to write a guide book on dating for geeks, it’s him, no question. I mean proposing by way of The Fault in Our Stars? SHUT UP, OKAY? OKAY. I high fived him for that too (I’m very enthusiastic about high fives). And he also sent me a copy of Ransom Riggs’ Hollow City to review last month, so I was happy to be able to thank him in person. Which reminds me, I really need to get crackin’ on that! By the way, I highjacked the picture above from his Twitter page since my sister and I are in it. I look unamused, but I promise I was happy. 😀

Like I mentioned earlier, I got quite a few free books! This isn’t everything, but they’re the main biggies that I managed to grab. I still can’t believe I got the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter audiobook for free. CRAYCRAY! I also got a couple tote bags and a tumbler that says “I Read YA” which I will proudly sip Arnold Palmers out of as I read YA novels this summer.

Since the line to wait to get into the The Fault in Our Stars panel was too crazy for me (like holy sh!t, so many teenyboppers — but I’m glad they’re all fangirling over something respectable like TFIOS instead of boybands like I did back in the late ’90s-‘oos), so we headed to Jason Segel’s panel where he talked about his upcoming children’s novel Nightmares which he co-wrote with Kirsten Miller. Luckily we got there before the line got too crowded! Listening to him talk, it’s clear that he’s a child at heart which just made me appreciate him more than ever. He talked about some of the crazy nightmares he had as a child — a witch that would eat his toes, and being chased by Dracula in his castle, and how one night he dreamt that he found a secret room in the castle that Dracula didn’t even know about and he just chilled there. And he said that he believes in magic and called Kermit the Frog the Tom Hanks of Muppets.

Oh, bless him. ♡

I didn’t get to take a picture with the infamous Grumpy Cat (that line was too hectic as well), so I had to suffice with this crazy ass taxidermy Fantastic Mr. Fox looking fellow.

Did any of you get to go to BookCon, or watch The Fault in Our Stars or are excited for Jason Segel’s book and the movie adaptation of This is Where I Leave You?

Cheers,
Nina

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Love & Misadventure

ATTN: Le Fancy Geek has moved to lefancygeek.com. If you’d like to make a comment on this post, please visit Le Fancy Geek’s new home on the web here. I’m still waiting on WordPress to tranfer email subscribers, so until the transfer is finally made, I’ll be posting here as well. For more information on this change, please refer to this post.

The month of April is National Poetry Month, and seeing that today is the last day of the month I figure now would be an appropriate time to talk about poetry — particularly Lang Leav’s. I came across her collection of poems Love & Misadventure in December while dusting shelves at work. I was drawn in by the simple cover with the cute illustration Leav drew and the title itself — it implied poems about love and heartache would be involved and I’m a sucker for stories and poems that involve sad things like that. I know, that sounds weird considering that I was in, what I thought was, a happy and loving relationship when I found Love & Misadventure.

The timing of me finding it was, I don’t want to say serendipitous, but… maybe appropriate? I bought it a week before Tim and I broke up. I remember reading some of the poems to him over the phone (the happy ones, not the sad ones). I found us in its pages — the good times, but mostly the sad ones since my relationship suddenly felt like it was in jeopardy and I had an ominous feeling about where it was going. But I also found myself, just me, in her words as well, and sometimes I don’t quite connect to poetry that way (unless it’s sung and accompanied by music). Or maybe I just haven’t read enough poems. I don’t know. I’m rambling now.

Leav’s poems are simple, but packed with such emotion, beautiful imagery, and many are very poignant. And I found so many of them to be extremely cathartic.

Here are some of my favorites which I made look all fanciful with the Afterlight app because I’m currently obsessed with it 🙂 :

 

Happy last day of National Poetry Month! I hope you enjoyed these poems as much as I do. Who’s your favorite poet? Favorite poem?

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Don’t forget, you can win a copy of Love & Misadventure and a bunch of other things in my 3-year blogaversary giveaway 🙂

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Meeting Mr. Gaiman

Earlier this month Tim and I got to meet Neil Gaiman in Santa Rosa!!! Tim bought tickets for the event months in advance, so given the fact that it fell on the day before Papang’s viewing was such a blessing because I really needed something spectacular to help cheer me up and get my mind off all the sadness that was going on back home.

It was so lovely just listening to Neil Gaiman talk about his writing process, what inspires him, how Shirley MacLaine asked him if she could touch his hair because she didn’t believe it was real and tugged at it (real hard), and he also read an excerpt from his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (which is F*CKING GORGEOUS by the way), and a bit from his soon to be released children’s book Fortunately, The Milk, which will be released in September (or October… don’t recall). I’ve been excited about that one for awhile since I heard that Skottie Young is doing the artwork for it. His art is simply beautiful! But back to Neil. He also talked about how when he wrote Anansi Boys, there was a point where he just felt it was utter rubbish and called his editor apologizing for it, and that he’d stop wasting her time, that he would just quit writing all together, find a decent job or hobby (bee keeping!), and be on his way. His editor’s reply to that was, “Oh, so you’re at that part of your novel.” Apparently, he gets like this with each book he writes and she also noted that her other clients tend to do this as well. He said, “I couldn’t even feel unique in my own tragedy!” Haha!

Tim and I had requested an art commission from Jenny Parks to create a portrait of his dog Cabal, who passed away last year, as the 11th Doctor [pictured below] so we could present it to him as a way to say, “Thank you for your wonderful stories and for inspiring us in all of our artistic endevors.” Once we finally got in line I told Tim to give it to him because I was so damn nervous and I knew I was going to stumble over my words if I tried to say anything to him.

So, we were in the first batch of folks to go meet him and I had a silent panic attack because I was about to meet one of my, for lack of a better word, idols. Or maybe role model? I think role model sounds a little less intense than idol. Okay, so I’m about to meet one of my role models! I don’t write science fiction/fantasy per say, but the man’s an amazing story teller so it’s hard not to be inspired — y’know what I’m sayin’? Anyway, I go before Tim and I handed him my copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which had a sticky note with my name on it so he would know who to make it out to, and I wanted to tell him that I read it and thought it was so brilliant and that it helped me re-think about the way I wrote the narration of a story I did during my last semester at SFSU and haven’t touched in years, but my mind went blank. I said, “I work at a bookstore and was able to borrow it before I came here!” After I said that I was like, “You twit! Think of something else to say to recover!” But my thoughts were running in zigzags and my mouth and brain couldn’t coordinate a string of coherent thoughts, and he had already signed my copy of The Graveyard book and gave me thanks for coming. I didn’t even at least say, “I loved it and found it inspiring.” Nope. A co-worker told me that my being there was enough to show him that I’m a huge fan and whatnot, but NO!

I stood to the side as Tim was getting his books signed and then he presented the portrait to Neil Gaiman. He said “My girlfriend and I got this commissioned for you…” etc etc, and his eyes went all buggy as he looked at it and exclaimed in his charming British accent, “That’s my dog! As the Doctor!” And then he shook Tim’s hand and said thank you and I’m thinking, “WAIT! I GAVE IT TO YOU TOO!” x__x

But oh well! I’m just so glad that he really liked it and also the fact that I was able to just be there.

He’s actually going to have a panel tomorrow at Comic-Con and I have a day-pass for Sunday, so who knows. Maybe I will get to redeem myself 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

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Curiouser and Curiouser…

outfit details – dress & belt: Heart Soul // cardigan: Lily Pulitzer (Goodwill find)  // necklace: Hot Topic (not available anymore) // purse: LeSportsac x Fafi // keychain: Tado // shoes: Dirty Laundry // watch: Timex x Disney // ring: ModCloth (buy here) // glasses: Derek Cardigan (buy here) // leather bound book: Barnes & Noble (buy here)

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Vanessa of Nessbow asked myself and a few other bloggers if we’d be interested in doing a blog collaboration by putting together outfits based on our favourite fairy tales. I was excited about the idea, but overwhelmed by what character I could possibly seek inspiration from. TOO. MANY. CHOICES!

While browsing through Ross last week, I came upon this white lace dress with a pleated black bow belt and immediately thought that it would be perfect to base an Alice in Wonderland ensemble around it! But I need to be honest: I’ve never actually read either Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass. AH! I have a copy with both books in it, but every time I attempt to read it I just immediately flip to “Jabberywocky” because that poem is my jam. I know that poem by heart! ❤ And of course I’ve seen and love the animated Disney film.

Anyhow, I found this blue Lily Pulitzer cardigan with crystal buttons for $3.25 the week before at Goodwill! If that’s not a thrift score, then I don’t know what is. I think my outfit would’ve looked better with my black ballet flats, but I’m pretty sure my house ate them because they’ve been M.I.A. for at least a good month. *sigh*

My LeSportsac x Fafi bag is something I’ve had for years. I remember being so excited when I found out about their collaboration! The design Fafi created has a Wonderland feel to it so I felt that it would go perfectly well with my outfit 🙂

What’s your favorite fairytale?

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Here’s a video of The Muppets performing “Jabberywocky” 😀

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Once Upon a Fable

outfit details – dress: Fun & Flirt // necklace: Once Upon a Smorgasbord // belt: Xhileration // watch: Timex x Disney // glasses: Brooks Brothers (buy here) // boots: Rampage (buy similar here) // purse: Kate Spade (buy here) // keychain: Arpakasso

Hello kitties! I didn’t realize it’s been well over a week since my last blog post. Whoops! The the blog negligence is unintentional — as I’ve mentioned before,  posts may be sparse as I’m balancing out two parttime jobs, but I’ve been finding myself getting reaquainted with a pastime that I feel I have been neglecting for far too long: reading.

I love reading and despite the fact that I’m a reading tutor,  I’ve been having difficulty focusing on the written word as a recreational act and I find that rather bothersome. To ease back into it, I binge read volumes 15-18 of Fables, a graphic novel series I got into 3 or 4 years ago. Of course it’s easy to breeze through a graphic novel in an hour or two, but it still counts as reading! And if you haven’t heard of Fables, you MUST look into it if you’re into fairytales, folklore, mythology, and Once Upon a Time. It’s about a group of  characters from all walks of literature, particularly fairytales and folklore, who seek refuge in New York City and build their own community called Fabeltown after a force known as the Adversary  exiles them from their homeland. READ IT. IT’S AWESOME.

And I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s latest novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is absolutely beautiful and magical and dark and just simply amazing! I don’t want to get too into though since I feel like it’d be more appropriate to  blog abou it after I go to his singing in Santa Rosa next Saturday. That’s right. I’MMA MEET MR. NEIL GAIMAN!!!! ERMERGERD. ERMERGERD. /fangirling

Shall I talk about my outfit though, since this is a personal style blog? Okay, cool. After putting it together I realized it paid a teeny tiny nod to Fables with my Snow White necklace (one of my favorite characters in the series), my beloved Kate Spade typewriter bag with the little Arpakasso keychain, and my red cowboy boots. There’s a particular extension of Fabletown known as The Farm where all the furry fairytale characters live and at one point in the series a scribe comes to investigate. I won’t say much more about that because you need to read it!

Next up on the reading list might be Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I don’t think I’m quite ready to leave the world of science fiction and fantasy just yet. What’s on your reading list this summer?

Cheers,
Nina

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The Great CATSby

outfit details – glasses: Derek Cardigan (buy here) // pullover: Out of Print Clothing (buy here)

Hello, Old Sports!

With the recent release of the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, I wanted to re-read the novel before seeing the movie… ’cause that’s how I roll. My expectations aren’t too high for it though; I already have a feeling that it’s going to be one of those the-book-is-better-than-the-movie kind of deals. And Christina Hendricks should’ve totally been cast as Myrtle Wilson, am I right?! I mean, Isla Fisher is gorgeous, but Myrtle’s described as having a bit more of a figure. Plus Christina Hendricks and Carey Mulligan are my lady loves, so it would’ve been mind blowing to see them in a movie together! Anyhow, I found my old copy from high school with notes dated from May of 2002 (#hellaold!) hidden within the pages, but both of my part time jobs have kept me busy and so has my Etsy store, so I haven’t really found a whole lot of time to sit down and read. RUGH. But thankfully audiobooks exist ! I just bought the version Jake Gyllenhaal narrates on Audible (it’s $6.95!!!), and I’m listening to it as I type this very blog post!

The glasses I’m wearing might look familiar — I put them on my “Wishful Wednesdays” post awhile ago. I bought them immediately after I wrote the post too. Waste time I do not! The frames are a lot smaller than I’m used to, but I really like them. I’ve always wanted to try out cat eye frames too. And just like my first order from Coastal.com, the glasses came in a nice case and also came with a bottle of glasses cleaner, a cloth to wipe them with, and a screwdriver to tighten/loosen the glasses. I was a little freaked out when I first put them on though because they were really narrow and had the sides of my face in a tight bear hug. I thought, “OMG, NOOO! I don’t want to have to return these!” And then I remembered that I could go to LensCrafters and have them adjust the glasses for me, and for free nonetheless. Crisis averted! I’m over the moon about these glasses, and I loooove the fact that they have semicolons and colons on them. It’s a subtle detail, but as someone who majored in Creative Writing I can’t help but be super excited about it. Haha! If you haven’t checked out Coastal.com, they have smorgasbord of fantastically wonderful frames and first-time customers get their first pair of glasses for free. Well, you pay for shipping, but other than that they’re FREE!

And don’t my new glasses look just dandy with my The Great Gatsby pullover?  😉

Cheers,
Nina

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“Isn’t it pretty to think so.”

outfit details – shirt: Out of Print Clothing (buy here) // peter pan collar necklace: TJMaxx (doesn’t have a brand label) // cardigan: Kersh // belt: Mossimo // skirt: Xhileration (buy here) //boots: Steve Madden // glasses: Derek Cardigan (buy here)

On Friday I went to San Francisco with Jen and Shanice since I didn’t have to work in the morning. Yay four-day weekend (for me anyway)!!! While Jen went to school, Shanice and I window-shopped around the downtown area and I picked up a Glinda wand at the Disney Store! But all the walking around we did left us ridiculously tired and the burgers we ate for lunch didn’t pack much energy. And I spent effing $3.50 on orange juice because I was too tired and thirsty to find Jamba Juice (gift card yo!), but it just so happened to be right next to Jen’s school. *grumble* By the time we met up with Jen to take pictures in the studio I was feeling pretty loopy from being malnourished and dehydrated. I lept, danced, spun in the spinny chairs, and made stupid faces during and in between test shots. Lots of silliness occurred (see picture below).

I posed for a few photos for Jen’s digital photography class and did some for funsies. I found a beautiful typewriter on the props table and had to incorporate it into my shoot since it went perfectly with my The Sun Also Rises shirt from Out of Print Clothing! This might look familiar to you as it was on my Christmas Wish List post in December. Tim ended up getting it for me for Christmas 😀 I added a glitzy Peter Pan collar necklace to it that I found at TJMaxx last month. Fancy, yah? Ernest Hemingway probably wouldn’t be impressed, but that’s okay. Me likes it! I read The Sun Also Rises for a Modern American Novel class during my first semester as SFSU. It was the only book I thoroughly enjoyed from that course, which is kind of sad considering that we read five books. Well, I find it sad anyway.

You know what else is sad? I sent my camera off to Best Buy to get it checked out — it’s unfixable and the camera I had is no longer sold/available so now I have to go and look for another one! They gave me a list of cameras that are “comparable” to mine, but they were all regular point and shoots whereas mine was a DSLR. I don’t want to do camera homework! I just know that I’m looking to get another Canon. I’m kinda iffy of the G15, which is basically the upgraded version of my camera, just because it doesn’t have a swivel screen and the screen it does have is exposed. I need the swivel screen. I just do, okay? Okay.

If you happen to be into cameras, I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Cheers,
Nina

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