Introducing… Christina Marie

Hello, look hello! Christina Marie, here!

Christina Marie

I am one of the new contributors to What A Nerd Girl Says. I will be here weekly, but I am also in other places:

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Tumblr
Instagram

I have my own blog called Luscious & Lovely: Life Lived Creatively. I talk about anything from beauty, fashion, movies, television, books, music, etc. I’m also a contributor for Novel Reality with my friend, Victoria. It’s another site similar to that of What A Nerd Girl Says.

I’m all over the place, folks. So feel free to find me!

Hmmm, let’s see… talking about myself has always been a difficult task. It’s amazing that I was able to do it for college applications back in 2004! But here we go!

I was born in Birmingham, AL but I moved to Los Angeles when I was three. In 2009, I received my B.A. degree from UCLA (Go Bruins!) for Ethnic Studies and Music. Yes, I have a musical background. I’m a vocalist, but it’s nothing that I wanted to pursue professionally. I always had a passion for the education system, so shortly after my B.A. I went back to school for my Master’s degree in Education.

In 2010, I decided to move to Kansas City, MO because I felt that Los Angeles has done everything for me that it possible could have, at that time. I needed a change. I chose the midwest… obviously. Moving to Kansas City awakened such a fire for the arts in me. I couldn’t get enough. Since I didn’t have to worry about school anymore, I decided to pursue my passion for the arts (singing, writing, film making). I just wanted to create. I started a blog, and started singing at my local church. I also started making YouTube videos!

My love for books has ALWAYS been a part of me, but with years and years of schooling, it was easy to ignore that love. I was tired of reading. But being on my own prompted ,e to seek out that passion again. To re-ignite it. I was then introduced to the world of Shadowhunters, Demons, Vampires, Warlocks, and Werewolves by Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. To this day, TMI remains my all-time favorite book series. These books are the reason that I am in love with reading again. Why I’m in love with the power of a beautiful mind. Of course, Harry Potter played a huge role as well, but NO ONE has been able to connect with me quite on a level that Cassandra Clare has. I am forever in her debt.

But I don’t just love books, I also love movies (and film scores) and Broadway musicals. I am not a huge television enthusiast, but I have a few shows that I follow. I will share with you a few of my favorite stuffs:

Movies: Forrest Gump (GREAT film score), Independence Day, The Holiday, Anne of Green Gables
Television: The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sailor Moon
Books: The Mortal Instruments, The 5th Wave, Unwind, Animal Farm, Outlander, Gone with the Wind
Authors: Cassandra Clare, Rick Yancey, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth
Broadway musicals: Wicked, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, The Color Purple, Annie

I have two domestic shorthair cats: Bailey and Rayne (pronounced Rain). When I am not reading a book, I am either reading fanfiction, watching YouTube videos, writing, or watching a movie. I’m a homebody.

My Quirky Facts:

1. I have a not-so-secret obsession with anime and video games.

2. I love pigs — big and small. I think they’re the cutest things on the planet!

3. I love potatoes. I love cheese. Put them together and I’m coming over to your house for dinner! I don’t drink soda. I don’t eat ham. But I eat WAY too much dessert.

4. I love to fangirl. It’s a calling. I feel no shame in what I love. I embrace any and everyone who can fangirl with me. I love books, I love music. I love movies. I love people. I think I’m in a pretty happy place.

5. I have weird sayings that probably only nerdfighters will get. For example, I’m constantly shouting “By The Angel”, “Oh My Narnia”, and many other stuffs that I’m hoping you can all relate to.

I’m SO excited to be here and I hope we can be friends! Or at least feel comfortable enough to be radically fangirly with one another!

I’m a Nerdfighter, a Shadowhunter, a Whovian, a Ravenclaw, and a Candor!

Folks, I’m a nerd. Welcome to the party…and I will see you soon!

Christina Marie

Handmade Fandom Merch!

One thing that is really awesome about books and fandoms and all that is the stuff that comes out of that: fan art, this fan fiction, information pills fan merch, all of it. I love the creativity that pours out of people when they read these books or watch these shows. I seriously admire it. I just tend to drool over fictional characters, and curl up in a ball and cry when the authors torture us with sad parts and cliffhangers.

But, really, I admire so much the amount of awesome that comes from fans. I think its fantastic and I love to admire things like that and I love to BUY things from all these cool people.

And I know a few people, personally, who are part of this, and a couple people who I don’t know personally but I want to talk about anyway.

So I’m going to talk a bit about some shops where you can buy some really cool, handmade things, based on some of the fandoms we love!

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Ellie’s Quirky Creations

The first person that I am going to feature is my own mother, Ellie, who runs Ellie’s Quirky Creations. 

Ellie’s Quirky Creations mostly focuses on custom made dolls, of various people in different fandoms. She has made several Harry Potter characters, the 10th and 11th Doctors, and more. She does custom orders, of course, and I’ll let you in on a secret: She’s working on some TMI dolls! Check out some pictures!

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Amy Pond and the 11th Doctor

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Severus Snape

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Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Severus Snape.

She takes custom orders, and ships internationally and her dolls are absolutely awesome. They are made with sturdy fabrics and are super durable. I have a Luna Lovegood, Amy Pond and 11th Doctor and they are constantly on my bed, being tossed around and they are in perfect condition.

She also dabbles in other crafts as well, such as handmade wreaths (her Angels one is to DIE for), and cosplay costumes as well!

Check out her Facebook page for more pictures and how to order!

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FanGirlFeeels Fangirl Design

The next person I am featuring is Sylvia from FanGirlFeels, who just started her own shop, FanGirlFeels on Etsy!

So far, Sylvia is working on over the shoulder bags, with fandom symbols, but she hopes to expand to more, because she is incredibly talented. Check out some of the Divergent bags she has already worked on!

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Dauntless bag

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Amity bag. My personal favorite but I could be COMPLETELY biased because I’m Amity ;)

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Erudite, Candor, Amity and Dauntless. She also has Abnegation bags available as well.

All of these are handpainted and handsewn and are WONDERFUL. I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Each one is individually made, and super sturdy and can hold a good amount of stuff! She also ships internationally as well!

You can check out Sylvia’s Etsy Store, and look out for more things from this creative girl coming soon!

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Bittersweet Stories Designs

Next, I am featuring Natasha and Delilah of Bittersweet Stories Designs!

Natasha and Delilah are BIG fangirls, with some serious creative awesomeness. They mostly are working Mortal Instruments bags, with custom fabric, as well as custom Divergent fabric as well. I know they also are working on blankets and all sorts of super cool things. Check out some pictures!

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Handmade TMI bag, featured on their site. (Photo credit to Bittersweet Stories Designs)

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Divergent fabric (credit/photo to Bittersweet Stories Designs)

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my good friend Victoria from Novel Reality, with her handmade bag.

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myself with my handmade TMI bag (photo credit to Bittersweet Stories Designs)

These girls are fantastic, and their bags and some seriously high quality. They are a little pricier than others you may find, but they are unique and they are worth it. I can tell this bag is going to last a VERY long time. I also love that they take the time to design each bag individually, that they send “proofs” of the design before making it, and all of that. They are amazing!

Check out their website here, and also their Facebook page! Don’t be afraid to contact these awesome ladies for their custom designs! They even gave some of their custom work to Cassandra Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins and Kevin Zegers!

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SugarDukes Magical Sweets

The next person I am going to feature is my friend Suzanne, and her company is Sugardukes Magical Sweets!

Suzanne gets her inspiration from the Harry Potter series and makes her way across the country, building up her business and coming up with new products all the time! She has the traditional Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Sugar Quills, but also fun ones like Dill Pickle Barrels (like root beer barrels; they’re delicious!), Sugar Plums and Ticklish Pears. Check it out!

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Sugar Quills

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Sugar Plums. THESE ARE SO GOOD! I love these!

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Ticklish Pears! Also super delicious!

She makes appearances often at Los Angeles Dumbledores Army events, and at the various Harry Potter conventions, like Misti-Con and this weekend’s Leaky Con!

You can check her out on Facebook and Etsy!

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Hebel Design

The next person being profiled is Viviane Hebel of Hebel Design.

Vivi might be very familiar to you, especially if you are a fan of The Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series, The Lux Series, the Grisha trilogy, the Lynberg Legacy, The Syrena Legacy and more. She works with jewelry mostly, but also bookmarks, keychains and more. Its hard to choose what photos to share but here you go!

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Faerie ear cuffs for the Modern Faerie series by Holly Black

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Customizable bookmarks :) Mortal Instruments is shown

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Quote bracelet featuring a quote from the Lux series

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My own personal Clockwork Princess pendant that was given to me by Cassandra Clare :)

There is SOOOO much more on that website. Vivi does absolutely beautiful work and each piece is made so well. Her stuff is absolutely gorgeous, I can’t even begin to describe it. Her stuff is a little pricey but I’m telling you, its worth it, definitely. Her stuff is made super sturdy and for long wear. I wear mine quite often.

Definitely check out her site for more pictures, because you want to get your hands on some of this awesome work.

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Karen Hallion

The last person I am going to feature is my favorite fan artist, Karen Hallion.

Karen Hallion’s claim to fame tends to be her Disney/Doctor Who mash-ups, but she also does a lot of Disney, Doctor Who and other fandom in Art Nouveau style. She does prints, paintings, cards, stationary, stickers, and you can get her shirts on various sites like TeeFury, etc, if you pay attention. Here are some examples of her art.

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Art Nouveau of Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

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Note card with a Doctor Who and Nightmare Before Christmas mash-up

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Art Nouveau bookmark of The Princess Bride characters, Buttecup and Wesley

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One of the MANY Disney Princess and Doctor Who mash-ups, this one featuring Cinderella. My favorites are the ones featuring Belle and Rapunzel!

You can check out her Facebook page here, and her Etsy page here. She also travels a lot to various different conventions so look out for her :) Also! If you check Day of the Shirt daily, you can catch her designs on various sites, if you look carefully as well!

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I hope you enjoyed checking out all this super cool, handmade fandom merchandise. All of these are super fantastic, made well, and are super creative and beautiful. I hope you all are able to buy some of these!

If you, or someone you know, has their own shop set up, please contact me, send them my way! I would love to feature them, and I’d probably love to buy their stuff too!

Fandom Friday-My Little Pony

The Fandom Friday is a weekly feature, find with each blog post written by a new contributor.

This is the weekly post where either myself, or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. I’m very excited about this segment.

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or contact me HERE

This week’s entry comes to you from my dear friend, Tabitha, who I met through my Harry Potter group, the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army. She is a huge nerd and a seriously cool mom. Here’s a nice little self description of herself for you. Try not to laugh as hard as I did.

Tabitha (Potter) Davis is a lifelong fangirl and die hard geek. While she enjoys and obsesses over many fandoms, her truest passion is literature. She is raising two minions and together they are on a continuing mission to seek out new worlds and meet new people. She hopes that you will live long and prosper and that the force is with you, that it is secret and safe and that she will one day find one eyed Willies treasure.

My Little Pony

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My Little Pony. You’ve seen the merch, most of it lining the pink shelves at Target or your local toy store, but what’s up with the ponies at Hot Topic? And what the heck is a Brony?

As more and more conversations with my kids centered on the Ponies I had to find out what was up in Ponyville. So, here before you is a hard hitting breakdown of the pony invasion that is hitting your local cons like a sonic rain boom, all I’ve learned on my journey to equestrian enlightenment.

My little Pony: Friendship is Magic is NOT the My Little Pony you think it is

As an avid fan girl, watching cartoons is more the norm than the exception, but not all toons measure up. Most cartoons out there are full of airheaded characters and totally weak story lines. My first foray into the Ponyverse came with the best episode possible. Discord, played by iconic John de Lancie of STNG fame, comes to Ponyville to wreak havoc amongst the ponies. As his name so obviously demonstrates, the character is not too far of de Lancies ‘Q’ and the episode itself is well worthy of his presence. My interest piqued I went to my second favorite source of all things geek, Ye Olde Interwebs.

If the great story lines and well developed, anti-stereotypical characters aren’t enough to hook you the fandom will. These are some talented cartoon fans. Half these amazing spoofs could pass as actual episodes. From wibbly wobbly Dr. Hooves to the touching take on Lord of the Rings, the Fandom spans across so many other fandoms you’re almost guaranteed to find the pony version of your favorite fandom character.

Positive Rolls Models for every pony: A Mom perspective

The “Mom” side of my brain was instinctively nervous when my little girl first mentioned the ponies. As a kid I remember all the girls playing with the goofy ponies. It was all goofy giggles about boys and pretty hair, and around here, we raise time traveling Jedi princesses who are too busy saving the world to worry about their hair.

It was about a week or so into to the pony presence when my Lego loving, camo wearing son asked for a stuffed rainbow Dash for his birthday. He wanted it given in secret, he wasn’t too sure being a pony fan was going to go over with his friends.

A quick search for boy pony fans yielded a treasure trove of reassurance. Not only was he not alone, but there were whole web pages dedicated to the average Brony, that’s a guy who loves the ponies (Grown up ladies are Pegasisters, though some adult female fans also consider themselves Bronys).

Lauren Faust and her amazing team of writers, along with a stellar voice cast including Terra Strong (Ultimate Spider man, Teen Titans Go!) and Tabitha St.Germain ( Lego Star Wars, Martha Speaks) have created a cast of ponies that are so much more than a pretty mane.

With Characters like the hard working country girl Apple Jack , the head strong hero Rainbow Dash, the fun and silly Pinkie Pie, the shy and caring Flutter Shy, the fashion forward designer Rarity, Our heroine Twilight sparkle learns that saving the world is always better with friends around and that that friendship is, indeed, magic. Faust and friends do an amazing job avoiding typical stereo types and its easy for both guys and girls of all ages to find a pony they can identify with. I am totally a Rarity/Twilight.

While their adventures regularly lead them to the dark and spooky parts of Ponyville and the nearby Equestria, the ponies bravely battle love sucking changelings, dragons and even misunderstood monsters. It’s nice, as a mom, for my kids to have a show that they can agree on that teaches them that friendship really is magic.

The Boy Who Loved a Pony: A Brony Perspective.

I like this show because it’s just a really good show. It has good actors, a good story. At first I was kind of embarrassed, but still happy to like the show. My mom showed me that Bronies were more than just a couple of guys. They actually have cons for Bronies. After that I wasn’t that embarrassed and I started showing my rainbow Dash colors. When I started to show I was a Brony I actually even converted my friend. I think the show shows that girls like the same things boys like; Adventure, action and love. The show shows that everybody has and needs love and friendship and love is magic. I encourage all non-Bronies and Pegasisters to watch. You will get Laughter, drama, action and many surprises. I am proud to watch the show. Thank you to Lauren Faust and all the other writers for making this wonderful show for boys and girls.

A tiny Voice Roars: the 6 year old girl perspective

( I asked her to tell you all she thought you should know about the show)

My little pony is about friendship and magic.

The elements of Harmony are Loyalty, Laughter, generosity, honesty and kindness. All together they make the magic of Friendship. Some people are a mix of ponies. The ponies have cutey marks because that’s their talent and their passion. Everybody has one really great talent. The cutey mark crusaders are my favorite. They don’t have cutey marks so they go on adventures to find their talents and basically messing things up and people’s lives. Basically the pony six have to always fix stuff because of them.

My little pony makes me want to make my own videos. I like to buy the toys and make up my own stories. You should watch my little pony because you don’t have a choice. You will check out one episode and you will love it. Then I saw the toys and I loved them. You should watch the show and buy the toys because it is awesome and if you buy the toys it will stay on because they really want to sell the toys. Plus, you can make your own pony videos for You Tube.

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So, there you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about My Little Pony. If not, a simple Google search will open a gateway to more brightly colored pony fun.

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So there you go guys, all about this crazy phenomenon on My Little Pony, straight from a mom and her two kids. I love it. This was one I was particularly excited about, so I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe we’ll make some new Bronies here today :)

If you’d like to check out any of the previous Fandom Friday posts, you can check them out HERE. We’ve had Shadowhunter Chronicles, The Big Bang Theory, manga, Lost and Phantom of the Opera!

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Fandom Friday-Manga!

Hi guys! Welcome to the Fandom Friday! This is the weekly post where either myself, doctor or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. We’ve had one about the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices written by me, and one on The Big Bang Theory as well, written by Jackie, the brains behind Seeking Bazinga. You can expect more from the Fandom Friday, like My Little Pony, Battlestar Galatica, Star Trek, Comic books, and so much more. I’m very excited about this segment.

This week’s Fandom Friday is ALL about manga. It is brought to you by one of my super awesome followers, Kathleen.

Kathleen is a HUGE fan of The Mortal Instruments, Harry Potter, Vampire Kisses and many, many other book series. She reads a lot, whether its novels, or manga, the topic of this conversation. She also would like to be a writer (wouldn’t we all?), so definitely check out her wattpad page, HERE, to read some of her work. In her own words, “I’m a bit of a nerd, but let’s face it, isn’t everyone (well, all the best people are!).” 

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Hello everyone :o

So, I volunteered to be a guest blogger for the ONLY blog I actually follow. I read every post on this blog, so it’s pretty exciting!

I am a member of so many fandoms, for this reason it was hard to pick one to write about. I thought about which fandoms are really underappreciated in the public eye, this brought me to the conclusion that manga is something which you either love or you hate. Is it a fandom? I mean I think it is, you could even say it’s a fandom which in itself contains fandoms.

For those of you who don’t know what in the world I’m on about I’ll explain it a little. Manga is a Japanese term meaning ‘whimsical sketches’, and wiki refers to it as comics or cartoons… It’s not comics or cartoons. It’s more like a graphic novel with different art styles. Think of it as a novel with pictures, which truly add to the story and its read from right to left. Crazy right? Not really, once you read one you’ll be hooked. You won’t even notice that you are reading something which appears to be backwards. Some manga publishing companies in America such as ‘Tokyopop’, publish some manga’s to be read left to right. This frustrates me to no end, but I’m sure we can talk about that later.

I’m not going to go into the history of manga hugely because multiple reasons are screaming don’t. One being most of it is disputable, for example there is debate whether scrolls from the 12th century are manga or whether the first manga was created in the 18th century. Secondly you do not need to know the complete history of something to enjoy it, at least not to begin with. You cannot tell me that before you try a fandom you research everything about it? One thing is for sure, since creation manga has continued to change and will continue to change.

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One important difference between manga and novels is that I think it’s important to judge a manga by its cover. If you don’t like the art style you will NOT enjoy the manga. No matter how great the plot is or how loveable the characters are, if you don’t like how the panels are drawn you will not enjoy it as much. In saying this, don’t just pick up a book completely based on the cover, they have blurbs for a reason. Read them! They are so cleverly written and they will hook you in. I have read many manga books based on the cover and blurb. Despite some of these being a genre I would not normally read, I have really enjoyed them.

There is a manga book for everyone, they cover every genre, every character type and every possible situation. There are two main genres which more genres branch off from. These are Sh?jo and Sh?nen. Just like any book these are only a base for the story, a manga will not just be Sh?jo or Sh?nen. Sh?jo manga is aimed at girls between 10 and 18, I guess it’s not specifically a genre it’s more of an indication as to what age group the manga is aimed at. Sh?jo manga usually have some sort of romance, drama and relationships in them. Some very famous manga which fall into this category are fruits basket, cardcaptor sakura, sailor moon, host club and vampire knight. These are great gateway manga if you want to try it out and think the sh?jo style is right for you. I’m not a huge fan of sh?jo manga even though I fall into their demographic. In saying this I have read a lot of sh?jo manga which have fantasy themes in them and have loved them! What I’m trying to say is don’t judge a manga by its genre, just like you wouldn’t judge a book based purely on its genre.

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Sh?nen manga are created mainly for males 10 and up, the translation means ‘boys comic’. This type of manga usually features male protagonists, a high action plotline and lots of humour. The strong bonds are often highlighted in these manga’s between friends, sport teams and ‘fighting squads’. A popular theme is challenges which test the protagonist’s abilities, skills, maturity and honour, often they have to sacrifice something in the call of duty. Some very famous gateway manga which fall into this category are one piece, fairy tail, dragon ball z, death note and kuroshitsuji. A lot of these manga’s also contain medium to high levels of fan service. Fan service you say? What is that? That is a good question, it is usually in sh?nen manga and not popular in sh?jo manga and that is because it is usually aimed at boys. It is really a service which is aimed at pleasing the fans… this pretty much means there is eye candy added for the male audience (usually). If there is fan service aimed at females it’s usually a yaoi manga.

Yaoi is a subgenre which is important to understand. Yaoi is also known as ‘boy love’ and well that term pretty much explains itself. These manga are usually created by women. I’m a huge fan of the genre! I read most yaoi manga I can get my hands on. It’s usually about a boy who falls inlove with another boy and their relationship. Under Yaoi there are again lots of subgenres which specify which type of ‘boy love’ it involves, but they are most likely referred to as Yaoi anyway. It is a very popular genre, I like it because the relationships are so cute and the main characters come together against all odds. There are lots of theories which try to explain why this genre is so popular, especially with the female audience, but for you to truly understand you would have to try reading one. Some really great yaoi gateway manga include loveless, boys love, sugar milk and bukiyou na silent.

Yuri is the opposite of yaoi, it means ‘girls love’. This genre is less popular and in all honesty I don’t know why. I personally don’t like reading a lot of this genre because it usually focuses on the sexual or emotional aspects of a relationship. This genre didn’t appear until 1970’s which is quite late considering how long manga has been published. If you think you are interested in reading yuri manga you can google the most popular titles, I have very limited knowledge with this genre as I do not read it often. However it is becoming increasingly popular when it comes to dojinshi. Dojinshi is basically fanfic in manga form.

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I really hope after all this you give reading manga a go, it’s truly amazing and addictive. Before you rush out and buy a manga, read it online. This means that you can try the series before you buy it. Manga books are quite expensive in my country and I’d assume in most countries. Most manga creators don’t mind if you read their work online as it means a larger audience for their work. A lot of the manga online are fan translated from Japanese into English, so it’s best to use common sites which have better quality translations. I personally use http://www.mangareader.net/ , http://www.mangahere.com/ and http://mangafox.me/directory/

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Throughout this blog I’ve mentioned gateway manga. It’s a term used by people who read manga and have moved away from the most popular manga. Gateway manga are manga which hook you in, they are common but they are so good and ‘acceptable’ to read in public that you’ll want more. I know that you read a blog for nerds ;) but if you’re still shy when it comes to showing your inner nerd you can read mainstream manga without too much attention. Common gateway manga include; death note, vampire knight, naruto, bleach, fairy tail, fruits basket and full metal alchemist. I fully recommend you try at least one of these, with the genre which most interests you, or you could use one of the recommended websites to search by genre.

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Thank you Kathleen for an amazing entry to this week’s Fandom Friday! You rock, girl :) Don’t forget to check out her Wattpad, to see her writing!

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or hit the “contact” tab above :)

Fandom Friday-The Shadowhunter Chronicles

So I’ve decided to start a new segment of my blog called the Fandom Friday

This basically comes from my desire to find more fandoms…and this doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m trying to fill my life with more fandoms but I’m trying to be more open to other ones.

The biggest reason I’m doing this is because I’ve always felt like…so many fandoms preach acceptance and tolerance and equality and respect and all that. And yet…I’ve found that a lot of us nerds can be kind of judgemental on other fandoms, sick myself included. I mean, some people are REALLY judgemental and mean about it, sometimes.

And I’m trying to be better at it. And I’ve decided I want to learn more about different fandoms and kind of have people…backing up the fandom? That doesn’t sound quite right. I guess I just want people to write of the fandoms that they like and say why they like them, and what they mean to them, and maybe we can all start to understand each other.

Hey, I’m not saying that you have to like the fandoms. There are some things that we’re just not going to like. But I’m hoping that we all learn about some new ones, understand the ones we don’t like and finally figure out the ones that we don’t really understand.

So the first one is my own. I’m looking for anyone and everyone who would like to contribute to this. You can do any fandom that you’d like, except Harry Potter, Stars Wars and Doctor Who…ONLY because these are my three biggest fandoms and they are also really, really popular and I write about all three of these all the time. Any others though, free game, and leave a little comment below (make sure to click “email me for replies”) and we’ll get this going!

So this week’s first Fandom Friday is The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. And I know its Sunday but its been a busy weekend and we’ll just forget the days of the week just this once okay?

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Now, the reason that I pick the Shadowhunter Chronicles as my first fandom of the week, instead of Harry Potter or Star Wars or Doctor Who is that I have almost never had to really defend my obsession with these. These are VERY popular fandoms and very highly accepted fandoms and some people may shake their head at HOW obsessed I am, but I never really have to defend it as a whole.

The Shadowhunter series…those I am always, always, always defending. They are honestly a big reason why I’m trying to be more accepting of other fandoms, even the ones that I just think are plain awful. Then I realized…a lot of people have a problem with Cassie and her books. It goes both ways.

Officially right now, there are 8 Shadowhunter books in two different series. The Mortal Instruments takes place in present time and is as follow: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and the 2014 finale, City of Heavenly Fire. The Infernal Devices is a companion series, taking place in Victorian England. This series is complete: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess. Cassandra has three more series planned: The Dark Artifices, (Lady Midnight, Prince of Shadows and The Queen of Air and Darkness) which is a Los Angeles series taking place five years after the finale of the Mortal Instruments, TLH, which is acronymed and not named and will be following the children of the Infernal Devices series and a completely secret series, that will take place three years after the Dark Artifices series.

The books are an urban, contemporary fantasy. Its a world that we all recognize and know, but there’s more to it than we know. Demons roam our world, along with vampires, werewolves, warlocks and fae. And there are those that would protect the world from those demons, called Shadowhunters, humans with a dash of angel blood, warriors trained their entire lives to fight these demons. They have their own secret world, can shield themselves from us and have their own secret country, Idris. They use special weapons like seraph blades, blessed by angels to defeat demons, and use steles to draw “Marks” or “runes” on their body to give them extra or enhanced abilities in battle.

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The Mortal Instruments takes place in countemporary world, with Clary Fray, a sixteen year old girl who suddenly can see people and things she wasn’t able to see before. She stumbles upon some Shadowhunters while they are on the hunt, when she shouldn’t be able to see them. Shortly after, her mother is kidnapped and it is revealed that her mother is a Shadowhunter and once was married to a man named Valentine, who has a desire to “purify” the race of Shadowhunters and begin a superior order. Clary has to find her mother, and help to defeat Valentine, along with the help of her human best friend, Simon Lewis, the warlock, Magnus Bane, and her new Shadowhunter friends, Jace Wayland, Alec Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood. The first book in the series, City of Bones, will be hitting theaters this summer, on August 23rd.

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The Infernal Devices takes place in Victorian England at near end of the 19th century. Tessa Gray, again, is a human girl, who leaves New York to join her brother, Nate in England. She is kidnapped as soon as she reaches the dock, and soon learns that she has abilities she was never aware of: shape-shifting. As long as she’s holding the personal item of a person, she can change into them, and access their memories. According to her kidnappers, she’s being prepped to become the wife of a man called the Magister, who has a use for her and her talents. She is rescued by the Shadowhunter boys, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs and, just like Clary, is suddenly aware of a world that she wasn’t before. Her story  shows her trying to figure out what she is and why the Magister wants her, and what he has planned for her and the Shadowhunters.

I first discovered these books three years ago, in 2010. To keep a story short, my boyfriend and I had broken up, and lets just say it wasn’t a nice break up. It was kind of a messy one and a lot was going on at the time. My boyfriend and I had gone through a tough time, and broke up due to that, and a couple other reasons. I was feeling crappy at my job. I was taking five classes in college and was overwhelmed. Everything was just kind of down in the dumps and I was absolutely miserable. It SUCKS to break up with someone that you had plans for in the future. Of course, it all worked out, in the long run because we ended up back together and have been together for five years :)

But at the time, I just needed to be distracted. I didn’t want to think about all the crap that was going on; I needed distractions. I discovered Starkid during this time, and became super addicted to their Harry Potter musicals because of how much they made me laugh. And I found Cassandra Clare. I went to Borders to pick up a book, and I found City of Bones. I read it that night, and picked up City of Ashes the very next day, and picked up City of Glass the day after. Then I read Clockwork Angel. I got addicted FAST.

Now, a big part of the reason that I was addicted so fast, and that it remains one of my biggest fandoms, is because of what it did for me at that time. It really helped me. I needed to be distracted and it did just that. It kept me from being absolutely miserable. The stories are super funny, especially with Simon and Jace and their sarcasm. The pop culture references are always awesome, makes me think of Boss Joss Whedon and his pop culture references in everything that he does. Its action packed, and it has a lot of biblical and mythological aspects (though I do think she could go further with these). The world she builts is sexy and addicting and she spins a romance that I’m in love with. And Jace Wayland is a character that you just can’t get over, especially when you’re single and lonely haha.

But its also more than that. Despite what a lot of people say, I think Cassandra Clare is a great writer. I think she’s very contemporary and that’s the way I write. Not all of us are going to write like Jane Austen or whatever. Not all of us can write classically but that doesn’t mean we aren’t great writers and I think she’s a great writer. I also don’t think that she’s “stolen” all the things people believe she has. I believe she used a lot of it in her fan fiction but that was her fan fiction and let’s move on. And yes, there are allusions to different worlds from different books, but doesn’t everyone do that? There are no 100% original stories anymore. We all tell the same stories, but HOW we tell it, and the characters we have, in the places we have…that’s what makes our stories unique. Cassandra Clare pulled from J.K. Rowling who pulled from J.R.R. Tolkien who pulled from Norse mythology which…and on and on.

But sometimes, we just enjoy things that aren’t literary masterpieces. Not every book I read is going to be an excellent example of literary prowess. Sometimes I just want my not so guilty pleasure book. I enjoy these books. I love the stories and I love the characters and they’re good for me.

And I do like the ideas that Cassie brings in. She talks about fears a lot. She talks about bravery and courage and the idea of fears. Clary is afraid of loving Jace, she’s afraid of her father, she’s afraid of a lot of things. Jace is afraid of letting himself love and be loved, both in family and romantic ways and he’s afraid of Clary. Isabelle is afraid to let her tough girl guard down. Simon is afraid of losing his best friend. Luke and Jocelyn are afraid for Clary‘s safety and what Valentine is capable of. Alec is afraid of his sexuality and coming to terms with it. Valentine is afraid of not having control. And a lot of times these fears hold them back, and cause more problems than anything.

And she doesn’t preach of just overcoming your fears, but learning to accept them and learning to live with them. This is a huge reason why I have the Fearless rune tattoo on my arm. I really agree with the way she approaches fear, and courage and bravery, and overcoming and accepting fears. These people aren’t fearless, no one can be fearless but you can learn to live with your fears.

One last thing, I do like that Cassie has included gay, bisexual and lesbian characters. Alec is gay, and Magnus is bisexual and Aline and Helen are lesbian. I really like how a familiar concept can be presented in an unfamiliar territory. I do love that more and more authors are exploring these in books, not just in subtext but in more obvious ways. I love that even though Cassie gets letters from parents complaining about the LGBT characters, she continues to write about them. Its fantastic.

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So maybe you’ll never be a huge Cassandra Clare fan, or even a fan at all. But maybe you can understand and respect my own obsession with it, the way I am starting to respect YOURS!

And don’t forget, I am looking for some guest blog posts from ANYONE on their fandoms! Comment below, with what fandom you’d like to write about. It can be anything: movie, tv show, book series, video game, card game, cartoon, whatever. I want to learn ALL about it. Comment below and I’ll be able to contact you and you can be part of the Fandom Friday :)

Can’t wait!

Calling All Fandoms!

A couple days ago I was talking books with someone and they really put down Cassandra Clare.

And the thing is…Cassandra Clare has a back story. She’s had issues with plagiarism and transferring her fan fictions to general fictions. These are things that I’m aware of and honestly I moved on because I enjoy her books. They have done so much for me, order and maybe if I would have read them and found this out about her at a different time, visit I would feel differently but that’s not the way it happened and I don’t. Those books mean a LOT to me.

Then my dear Shaina from The Urge to Write wrote a guest post for this blog about guilty pleasures, you know, books and tv shows or whatnot that aren’t great but we love them anyway.

I mean…I watch great shows, shows that have been acclaimed and recognized as great shows. But I also like to throw on some Gossip Girl or Vampire Diaries or Degrassi because its just fun and addicting.

And I think we all judge each other based on the things we like, myself included. I try to be better at it, I do and I know that I slip a lot.

And I notice it a lot more now that I get it back as well. We spend so much time judging each other on what we enjoy and what we like to do.

And I’m going to be honest. There are fandoms that just baffle me. Adventure Time? I have no idea. I’ve tried watching it and I don’t get it. I don’t understand the obsessions with the video games like Halo, Call of Duty or Minecraft. The obsession with the show, Supernatural, baffles me, I couldn’t get past season two.

But then I know people who are baffled at my Doctor Who obsession or my obsession with Cassandra Clare’s books. I know people beat the crap out of the Twilight, and while I know that Twilight isn’t the best written books around, but I have friends that are deep in the fandom and they explained why. I may not 100% understand that but I respect it.

And I hope that I can start respecting it more and more. I mean, so many of the books and comic books and movies and tv shows and all that teach us of acceptance and tolerance and respect. So we need to better at that. How can I sit here and claim to be a big fan of something that preaches it and I don’t even follow it.

So here’s my idea: I want to find people of fandoms that are different than mine…fandoms that I may not like or enjoy or fandoms that I don’t know. And I’d really like if you guys in these fandoms could write a short piece for the blog on why you like it and what you get out of it, so that way I can maybe start to understand these other fandoms.

Fandoms like Star Trek, 50 Shades of Grey, Adventure Time, Halo, Call of Duty, Minecraft, True Blood (well most vampire stuff), Final Fantasy, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Wolf, Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, Yu Gi Oh, World of Warcraft, Naruto, My Little Pony, etc.

I will say: I do dislike all of these! Majority of these, I just don’t simply understand them, or know much about them and I want to learn.

So let me know in the comments if you’re interested in writing a short little piece on your particular fandom.

And of course if its something that’s not above, let me know! I am so curious to learn more about other fandoms and to broaden my horizons.

Can’t wait to hear from all of you!