WRITING UPDATE!! What Maria is actually gonna do to get her butt in gear!

Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything since I’m SO incredibly busy studying for final exams and hunting down internships, but I have news to share! It’s pretty short news, but still cool!

In my last writing post, I mentioned that I was going to meet with an editor about my manuscript at a local horror convention called Crypticon. For those who may not remember or are new to my blog, I am an aspiring urban dark fantasy writer.

Both the editor and a test reader – a novelist from her publishing company – gave me extremely helpful feedback on my first chapter. I was really nervous to meet with them at first, but they were both super cool people! I’m really grateful that I was able to work with them, even for just a bit. I plan on working with the editor in the near future for the rest of my manuscript. Meeting her in person made me more confident in my work and made my dream of publishing my work seem more attainable. I’m really excited to get started on the editing process – but first, I must finish my spring quarter!!

Are you a writer who has worked with an editor before? Please share your experiences in the comments! Thanks for reading~

Book Review: “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy,” by Sam Maggs

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Hello, everyone! I don’t plan on regularly reviewing books, but I know I have a lot of geeky bloggers that follow me, so this book might be of interest to you all. It’s all about being a fangirl of pretty much anything! I originally published the story in the newspaper I write for, but because I really enjoyed the book, I want to share it on my blog, too.

You can read the review in its original format (and articles from other talented writers) here: http://www.dailyuw.com/arts_and_leisure/article_9a5853a8-f85f-11e4-a8a5-6b735d51f965.html

or you can read my review right here:

Fake Geek. Gamer Girl. Poser. Trend follower. All common insults, among many others, that female geeks are bombarded with. After all, a girl who actually plays video games and reads comic books is unheard of, right? Wrong. In her book “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Sam Maggs sheds light on geek girls, from the various types of fans to the prejudice they face.

So what exactly is a fangirl? A fangirl is a female fan passionate about something usually considered geeky. Though it doesn’t sound too far-fetched, Maggs mentions several occasions where her credibility as a fan came into question by men in geek bars and video game stores, simply because she is a woman. Maggs knows she is not alone and not only hopes to use her book to fight against ever-present sexism, but to help fangirls feel empowered and proud of themselves and their interests.

Maggs speaks to all geeks. She starts off by classifying the different types of geeks, including fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter, anime, comics, Doctor Who, and even young adult novels. She defines common fangirl lingo commonly seen on tumblr and forums and gives survival tips on attending geeky conventions. Along with this, she mentions what conventions include and where to find them, offers suggestions on how to incorporate your fandom into your daily life, such as collecting room decor and choosing a geeky tattoo, and gives great ideas to help geek girls connect with each other, such as TV show viewing parties. Throughout the book, she includes interviews with famous female writers, artists, and actresses to share their thoughts and experiences on being fangirls. Maggs also includes several online resources for geek girls: from meeting friends, to finding fashion, to party planning tips.

Most importantly, Maggs addresses the issue of feminism and how, even in geek media, women are often portrayed as unequal. She defines the terminology that goes along with feminism and related topics, explains how to critically think about the treatment of women in the media, and how to go about calling out misogyny and supporting women in the industry. Maggs points out how important it is to bring awareness of these issues to help create equality for people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations.

Though the book is catered toward female fangirls, it makes a great read for all genders. While males may experience less prejudice for playing video games, the types of geeks and their slang is not exclusive to females. Anyone can benefit from convention tips and brushing up on geek speak. Whether you are a hardcore geek, a new geek, or just a friend or parent of a geek, you will benefit from reading this book. Those unfamiliar with geek culture will finally be able to understand the different types of fans and the things they say. Those who are familiar will find Maggs’s recommendations of media series including strong female characters to be a helpful list of shows and comics to check out. Even if you happen to know every single reference and recommendation in the book, Maggs’s perspective on geek girls and feminism is worth reading.

Are you a fangirl? Do you have any experiences to share? Maybe about a cool convention you attended or a time you were discriminated against due to your gender? Please comment below! Thanks for reading~

5 Fun Comics to Brighten Your Day With Silly Spookiness!

Here’s a new topic: comic books! As those who follow my blog may know, I’m a big fan of comics. Especially silly spooky comics! This includes anything with gothic and/or horror elements mixed with humor (often black humor). Here’s a list of 5 really awesome comics that made me laugh out loud – and hopefully will do the same for you!

1.) “Oh My Goth!” by Aurelio Voltaire

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While Voltaire is most famous for his singing/songwriting, he is also an accomplished author, toy maker, animator, and comic book artist. Many of his works are satirical, especially towards the goth subculture, and “Oh My Goth!” is a prime example of his humor. An alien is sent to earth in search of intelligent life forms to keep his species from invading. However, this proves to be a difficult task as he encounters several zany groups of earthlings, all satirized to the max. He befriends a group of goth teens – the main targets for Voltaire’s dark humor, but really no one is safe. From vampires to aliens to ravers to Bjork, everyone and everything gets a chance in the spotlight. I recommend buying the 2.0 graphic novel, as it includes everything from the first edition graphic novel + extras! A must read for all Voltaire fans or anyone part of the goth scene!

2.) “Little Gloomy” by Landry Walker and Eric Jones

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This has actually been my favorite comic since I was a little girl. That being said, “Little Gloomy” is fun and appropriate for all ages! Gloomy is a little human girl who lives in a world full of monsters. She’s often targeted by strange occurrences, usually due to her mad scientist ex-boyfriend Simon. Her friends are all classic monsters: Frankenstein’s monster, a werewolf, chtulhu, and a mummy. But they’re all drawn really cute. While the art appears childish at a glance, the story is pretty age neutral. It provides the perfect balance between spooky zombies and silly little monsters who help Gloomy with her struggles…and sometimes make them worse.

3.) “Fillerbunny” by Jhonen Vasquez

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Creator of “Invader Zim” and “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac,” “Fillerbunny” is basically the result of taking all the dark, silly humor from Vasquez’s work, removing the plot line, and then multiplying the silly stuff by 100. “Fillerbunny” was originally made to fill the vacant ad spaces in his “Squee!” comics, and soon became its own mini-series. “Fillerbunny” is basically 3 15-paged volumes of a pink bunny who really wants to die, but is forced to stay alive and be tortured in the weirdest ways possible, like getting a monkey shoved up his butt or eating rectal meat. It sounds horrible, but it’s actually really funny. I swear. “Fillerbunny” was recently released into a graphic novel with new material added and can be found in most comic book shops.

4.) “Amity Blamity” by Mike White

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I recently purchased volume one of this series at my local comic shop. I had no idea what it was about, but the art looked cute and I always enjoy comics published by Slave Labor Graphics, so I figured it was worth a shot. While it’s not as dark or gothy as most SLG comics, “Amity Blamity” provides enough hilarity to justify its place on my list (and I really liked it, so I’d like to give it a moment of fame), and the humor would most likely appeal to those who enjoy the other series I mentioned. It’s about a clever little pig who speaks like a human (this is never questioned), a mute little girl, who live on the countryside with her grandma and uncle, who is more pig-like than the pig. It’s another all-ages comic, but I doubt kids would pick up on the drugs/alcohol jokes. From running careers to making moonshine to hunting for fluffy white creatures, hilarity ensues as the quirky characters are swept away on crazy little adventures.

5.) “Bear,” by Jamie Smart

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Quite possibly the darkest on the list and loaded with black humor, “Bear” is like a really f***ed up “Amity Blamity” or “Tom and Jerry” on speed. It’s also another comic I bought out of curiosity and was quite pleased with the surprise. An ordinary guy lives with his talking stuffed bear and psychotic cat Looshkin, who also talks. Again, this is not questioned. Looshkin is really, really, really psycho and find great pleasure in torturing bear with sadistic pranks and making things explode. It’s brilliantly random, shocking, and silly.

Have you read any of these comics? What did you think? Do you have any other dark and/or silly comics that you’d like to recommend? Comment below!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more comics reviews~