Armchair BEA Day 1 – Intro & Best Practices in the Online Book Community

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Hi there peeps! I totally forgot to set up my first post earlier for Armchair Book Expo! If you don’t know what this is, I participated in 2015 and last year and had a lot of fun, but basically it’s for those of us who are unable to attend the convention Book Expo America, but who still want to participate in talking about all things books with the community.

First up, the introductions!

  1. I am . . . Rayna!
  2. Currently . . . Answering these prompts and writing this post late! 😀
  3. I love . . . anime and manga, drawing, my husband, Christ, my friends, Kakakshi Hatake, 707, learning, and other things. Oh, and of course, books.
  4. My favorite . . . book? Uh, well, that’s very hard to choose, so I’ll say my favorite genre is fantasy and sci-fi! Okay, that’s two answers, but still…
  5. My least favorite . . . April Morning. So boring. I’m not into classics as much as I want to be.
  6. My current read . . . A Court of Wings and Ruin (and a huge list of manga that just keeps growing…)
  7. My summer plans . . . My husband and I are going to Disney World the last week of August! 😀 Otherwise, just working, hanging with friends, my birthday. That’s it.
  8. My buddy . . . my hubby!
  9. My blog/channel/social media . . . Well, if you’re reading this you’re on my blog, so…. But here’s my Instagram, Twitter, tumblr, and YouTube channel.
  10. The best . . . thing ever is being happy doing what you’re passionate about.

Alright, now that you know me a little better, let’s move onto the SERIOUS TOPIC.

Best Practices in the Online Book Community

So when I think of this topic, I think about many things. The prompt ranges from time management to social media exposure to ethical obligations and beyond. I think what I want to focus on is posting the content that you want to read.

When it comes to the online book community, there are many factors that go into being a book blogger: consistency, reading books (duh), reviewing, replying to comments, etc. And I think through a lot of that we can get lost and forget why we started to blog and why we wanted to talk about the books that we love.

Writing about the topics that you’re passionate about when it comes to discussions rather than joining the hype train (though there’s nothing wrong with that) can make the difference between a discussion that has a lot of potential and a lot of back and forth constructive commentary, to discussion that falls flat and doesn’t get any feedback on. It’s important to remember to state your own opinions without getting too full of yourself or of hurting others in the process.

It’s a delicate balance, but when you write about the things that you actually want to talk about, whether it be book tags or hauls or reviews or whatever, by you talking about it because you actually want to talk about it will not only have an effect on the way you write your post, but on your readership as well.

Your readers will understand you more and get to know you more, and they’ll also know that you’re being a lot more genuine in your posts than just by going along with the mold.

Talk about the things you want and don’t be afraid to do so. It’s your blog, your space, and you’re allowed to talk about whatever is really on your mind and heart. (Of course, if you have other obligations that you promised to do, you better make sure you do those, too.)

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you participating in Armchair BEA? What are some of the best book community practices you’ve picked up over time? Tell me all the things!

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Anime Boston 2017

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Well, I went to my first anime convention in almost ten years. I went to Anime Boston back in 2008, I believe, and I haven’t been to convention since, but I went with my husband this year and let me tell you: it was a blast.

I didn’t really know what to expecting since it’s been about ten years since I’d been to Anime Boston and it was very different this time around, but in a good way.

Anime Boston took place from March 31-April 2 and we went on Friday and Sunday (but I wish we had stayed the whole weekend, which we’re going to do next time). There were SO many people there, but it was such a good time.

So my husband and I did, in fact, cosplay. I wanted to do a different cosplay on Sunday, but let’s be real: ain’t nobody got time for that. We did a couple’s cosplay as Naruto and Hinata from Naruto Shippuden.

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We actually had a decent amount of people come up asking to take our picture together and to also let us know that we were bringing their OTP dreams to life. xD It was so fun. One person even asked if we were a couple and I told her we were married and she was like, “OH MY GOD, IT CAME TRUE IN REAL LIFE!” I couldn’t help but laugh!

There were also so many awesome cosplays that we saw while we were there! I was so happy to be in a place with people of a like mind to me because let me tell you: the looks we got on the train? Yup, we were the “weirdos,” but it’s fine because we did see other cosplayers on the train and one even waved to me (she also smiled at me on the train home, which made me feel all kinds of happy).

When you go to an event like this, you really feel among comrades. You’re among thousands of people (seriously) who love anime just as much as you do (if not more) and who love Japanese culture and who love to cosplay and dress as characters and who are just having a great time with one another.

Here’s some of the cosplays we saw (in slideshow form!):

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Every one of them was so cool, although I’m sad because my phone decided to eat one of the photos I took of a cosplayer dressed as the Corpse Bride. Sad panda.

Of course there were way more cosplayers than just the ones I took, but I managed to scrounge up the courage to ask for pictures and everyone was so nice about it.

So let’s talk about the event itself: my husband and I went with one of his friends on Friday, but he just sat for over four hours waiting for the Dealer’s Room to open, so for that time my husband and I walked around taking in all of the sights – I even showed him the windows I remembered from when I was there all those years ago, hahaha! So for a few hours we just wandered and got some pictures taken before Artists’ Alley opened at 10AM.

Oh. My. God. I was in heaven when I went in there.

Like, seriously, that was a dangerous place to be in…. for my wallet. I bought SO many pictures, but in my defense, a lot of the artists were having sales of buy two get the third print free, sooooo… yeah… That happened.

I bought probably over 25 pieces of individual art. I have no self control. But it’s fine, I know for next time to bring all the money just for Artists’ Alley (and to control myself LOLOLOL like that’ll happen). My favorite piece I bought was a Tokyo Ghoul piece made by baimon and I just… *melt*

And then, when the Dealers’ Room was about to open, 15 minutes before I got to go in early because I’m a Crunchyroll Premium Member and I had the card for my badge, so that was exciting because once the crowd went in there? OMG I COULDN’T BREATHE. SO many people were in there! Ugh.

But I got a few things from there, including the 12th signature volume of Tokyo Ghoul which isn’t being released until April 18th, so YOU KNOW I JUMPED ON IT AS SOON AS I SAW IT. And when I asked if I could buy it, the guy was like, “No.” very seriously, but then my face fell and he laughed and said, “Of course.” I was like, “why would you do that to me!? ;-;” So I bought it and was very happy.

Here’s what I got:

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get at least one plushie. Let’s be honest, here. Also, it was a very Tokyo Ghoul weekend for me… I got four pictures of Ken Kaneki… FOUR. I’m slightly obsessed, it’s fine…. plus a keychain (also Touka) and a plush… It’s fine.

But overall, the experience was phenomenal. My husband had a great time, too, and definitely wants to go again next year. He said he wants to do a much more complicated cosplay next time, and I’m just like, “Okay, but you’re gonna make me do all the work…” Whatever, I’m excited and can’t wait to pick my next character to cosplay.

If you’ve never been to convention like Anime Boston, Comic Con, Katsucon, whatever, I highly suggest going. It’s so much fun and I definitely think you’ll enjoy yourself. We didn’t get to any panels that I wanted to go to, but next year I’m going to do my best to try and go to a few.

Let Chat! ^w^

Have you ever been to Anime Boston or any other convention? What was your favorite part? Have you ever cosplayed? Who did you cosplay and do you have any photos you’re willing to share? What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone going to their first con? Tell me all the things!

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #8: On the Road (Trip!)

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Well, it’s the last mini-challenge for the Love-a-thon and I’ve gotta say, I’m sad to see it come to a close. But it was so fun participating in this event again! I’ll have my wrap up post tomorrow, but for the last mini-challenge, it’s a road trip!

The objective is to bring along three to four people – characters, fellow bloggers/grammers/etc, or authors – along with you on a roadtrip. You pick the destination and then talk about what you’d do on this road trip, such as discussion topics, who’s driving, who’s in charge of the music, who made the lunches, etc. So here we go!

I’d take some of my fellow blogger friends along with me because I think it would be really fun to be on a road trip together! They are:

Okay, now that I’ve got my road trip buddies, where will we be going? Well, we’d have to get Cait over from the other side of the world, but once that’s settled, I think we’ll road trip to Walt Disney World! (Because if you don’t know me, Hi, I’m Rayna, and I love all things Disney.)

Destination: Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL

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Photo taken by me

Who would be driving? Honestly, I don’t trust anyone to drive, so I’d be the driver. I mean, I’m fine when other people are driving, I would just prefer to be the one in control.

Person in charge of music: Sarah because she always makes cool book trailers and I think she’d know just what we’d need to listen to at the right times.

Person in charge of lunches: Cait, because I know she’d also bring the cake so, duh. Obviously.

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Topics of Discussion: I’d leave Austine to come up with some fun topics and such, but I’m sure we’d talk about recent books we’ve read, why we’re excited to go to Disney, what we plan to do there, if we should make a few sight seeing pit stops along the way, our current favorite TV shows, and more. Lots of room for discussion and it would be super fun, too!

I think this would be a really fun road trip. Too bad none of us live near each other, but oh well, that’s what makes it fun! xD

And that’s it for the mini-challenges! Thanks for joining me these last two days and I’ll see you tomorrow with the wrap up!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you take with you on a road trip? Would you be able to relinquish control over anything, or do you have to be the one to decide? What kind of music would you listen to? What about lunches?

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #7: Let Me Sing You a Love Song

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Welcome to the second to last mini-challenge of this event! I’m having a lot of fun doing these challenges, as I hope you are, too, and I’m sad that there’s only two left. But for this challenge you bring in your musical talents and dedicate a love song (or two or three or ten) to your favorite characters and tell us why.

Okay, here are three of my favorite characters and the love songs I’d dedicate to them:

Aeduan from Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I would dedicate My Immortal by Evanescence to Aeduan. This is more of a tragic love song than a romantic one, but I think it really fits who he is as a character. Plus this song is just beautiful and I love it and him so it works.

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I mean… do I really even need to explain this one? I’m pretty sure I’m one among many who would want to dedicate this song to Rhys, let’s be real.

Okay, those are the only characters I could come up with for love songs. I was seriously having a hard time and my mind decided to forget every long song I’ve ever heard. Oh well, at least I got two!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you dedicate a love song to? Would it be a sad song or a happy one?

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #6: Valentines Care Package

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

So we all love to receive care packages, right? I mean, who doesn’t love presents? This mini-challenge is all about the care package we would send to one of our favorite characters.

I think I would send a care package to Scarlet and Wolf from the Lunar Chronicles! I’d probably send one big box since they’re practically attached at the hip and I’m sure they’d like some of the same things. But I’m going to separate what would be in the box by who would receive what:

Scarlet

  • A big bag of M&Ms candy because she just seems like the kind of girl that would like this kind of candy.
  • This is My Too Tired to Function sweatshirt because… yeah.
  • A scrapbook for all of her memories, past and present. I think Scarlet would enjoy this one the most and it’s the most sentimental.

Wolf

  • Texas Roadhouse Giftcard. Because the boy likes to EAT. He’d be in heaven there, I’m sure. I’d probably get two or three gift cards just so they wouldn’t have to pay for the amount I know they’d buy.
  • This Rothco flannel shirt because he just seems like a flannel kind of guy.

I think they’d like their care package, don’t you? I mean, it’s comfy things and comfort food. Why not?

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you send a care package to? Would it be a single character or a couple? What would be the biggest or most expensive thing you would send? How about the smallest?