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Friday, November 28

Nerd News (Lite) | Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Friday, November 28

Nerd News isn't quite back up and running yet, but I can't not share this new teaser.

Regardless of how I've been burned in the past with new Star Wars movies, I still feel positively giddy thinking about the fact that there will be a new one released next year.

Thursday, November 27

Giving thanks

Thursday, November 27

Happy (American) Thanksgiving!

I, for one, am thankful for a great many things. Good health, a comfortable place to live, loving family and friends, a steady and well-paying job, puppy love, superhero movies, ridiculous(ly entertaining) TV shows, engrossing books, Funko POP! figurines, macarons, beef jerky, the Internet, the popularity of the color neon yellow ... I could go on.

To celebrate the holiday, and because I can't resist a good quote, I whipped up these Thanksgiving printables to share—because I am also thankful for you!

Marilynne Robinson is an American novelist and essayist. (This quote was yesterday's  Goodreads daily quote, which you can subscribe to receive via email. I love the little bit of inspiration this mini-newsletter often provides.)

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, polymath, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. (Just typing all of those makes me tired.) The entire quote reads:
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite—only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”
You can download both, which, if you'd like to print them to use as last-minute decor, should fit two to a standard page, here.

And because I'm nosy, before I sign off to go stuff my face, what things are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 25

To Facebook? Or not to Facebook ...

Tuesday, November 25

At some point along the way with my previous blog, I started a Facebook page. It seemed to be "the thing to do" at that point in time, and I had high hopes that it would become something additional to the blog, rather than just a link dump of every post. The fact that I, personally, don't really use Facebook often—plus the fact that Facebook's algorithms for how often someone sees a post are weird and unhelpful—kind of hindered those hopes.

I haven't closed down the C&CC FB page, and I could change it to a page for ANW, but ... do I need to? Do I want to?

Some pros:

  • It's another way to promote the page.
  • It would give me an opportunity to connect with you guys more than just here on the blog/in the comments.
  • I could share links (particularly of the Nerd News variety) in a more timely manner.

Some cons:
  • I don't use FB much, so I might forget that I needed to share things (i.e., it would become just another blog post link dump).
  • I don't know how many people would actually see the things I posted.

What do y'all think? If you're someone who "likes" blog FB pages, what do you like about them? If you're not, why not? I'd love to hear what you think.

Thursday, November 20

Haiku Revieu | John Wick

Thursday, November 20
John Wick

Former assassin
Keanu Reeves is back, yeah
Eff you, Theon G.

An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead.

John Wick is the kind of movie that immediately calls to me. If you've been reading my blog for while (or know me), you know that I love a good "action for action's sake with the teeniest bit of plot thrown in to hold things together" kind of movie (see: The Expendables, Fast and Furious franchises). I'm not a violent person by nature, but something in my personality gets a serious kick out seeing bad guys get what they deserve. And John Wick is certainly filled with that.

A misunderstanding of sorts—one that will make even the hardest of hearts SO ANGRY—forces the main character, John (Keanu Reeves) into reentering the life he left behind many years ago, a life filled with not so nice people with a set of very specific skills. Even John is sort of an anti-hero. I mean, he does (did) kill people for a living. Keanu plays the role minimalistically (which isn't a word, but I think you'll understand what I mean), but that's a good thing. No offense to him, but Keanu's a much better actor when he has fewer lines.

The supporting cast—which includes John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe and Alfie Allen (hence the Theon Greyjoy reference in the haiku above)—added a good helping of actual acting to the film, in addition to a surprising amount of understated humor. John Wick is surprisingly funny. Once you get over the scene that causes John to return to his former life, that is.

The movie also had a little bit of a Wanted vibe, what with the underground society of assassins that John belongs to (or once did) who pay each other and for goods and services with these big gold coins. The backstory isn't completely fleshed out, but the little we do see of it builds a really intriguing world around John's quest for vengeance. I'd love to see more of this world.

Check it out:

Tuesday, November 18

Awesome Artist Alert | Michelle from Creature Type

Tuesday, November 18

When I started working on ideas for this new space, one of the first things that came to mind is that I wanted something unique and fun for my header. The ones I've designed in the past have all pretty much been type-based, and while that's all fine and dandy, I knew I wanted something really different for this go 'round.

Enter the idea of a custom illustration. I like to think that I'm a creative person, but a skill I sorely lack (and have always lamented lacking) is the ability to draw from my imagination. I can do a pretty decent copy job if I have something to refer to—do y'all remember those commercials and advertisements for the Art Instructions Schools asking you to draw the turtle with the hat and turtleneck in order to prove your worth as an artist? I would have aced that.—but the ability to just sit down and sketch completely eludes me.

I can't recall when I started reading Creature Type, but Michelle's style and personality has been a blogging inspiration since before my last C&CC redesign. I knew she did the occasional custom portrait for bloggers, so I emailed her asking if she was taking commissions. Luckily for me, she was!

Over the next couple of months, Michelle and I went back and forth on the design. My initial idea was pretty "big picture":  ... my face, looking like I'm in thought, with a few little icons (Doctor Who's TARDIS, a book, the Avengers logo + a couple others) floating above my head like I was thinking about them. (I'm so good with words, y'all.) Being the consummate artist that she is, Michelle took this idea and ran with it.

Our email conversations led these sketches:

Which progressed to:

And then:

Which turned into the awesome header image you see at the top of this blog. I'll post it here, too, #becauseawesome.
I can't say enough good things about how great it was to work with Michelle. She's professional and fun and easy to work with and—did I mention?—talented. If you're looking for a custom illustration, definitely get in touch with her. (Her contact information can be found here.)

Plus: Need a cute gift? The Creature Type Etsy has some really great items, too. Such as:

Thursday, November 13

Welcome to A Nerdy World!

Thursday, November 13

Hi friends! And thanks for coming over from Chocolate & Cream Cake, or wherever led you here.

2014 has been quite a year. With only one month left, I can definitely say it's been a great year, but once that brought a lot of change, particularly in recent months. Since August:

  • I changed jobs, moving from the one I got right out of college (minus that year in between working at the lumber yard) that I'd been doing for eight years, to something completely different. Not gonna lie—it's been hard. But overall, I'm super happy with my decision, and being challenged is not always a bad thing.
  • I took part in YA events outside of Forever Young Adult by moderating a Q&A with author/director Chris Weitz in Houston and Q&A panels at two different book festivals in Austin. This took me pushing myself out of my comfort zone more than I ever have before ... And it's been awesome! (Still dislike public speaking, though. Probably always will.) (More on the book festivals to come.)
  • The Mister and I moved from an apartment to a house, which, although really fun, has brought with it a lot of unexpected issues. Apartment life is definitely way easier than house life, but our landlords have been really great about resolving things when they pop up.
  • I decided to take a break from blogging on C&CC. Something had to give, and I'd been doing the bare minimum for a while. (You might have noticed.) Something just felt stagnant about it. But I love blogging, and wanted to try to break myself out of the rut. And so ...
  • I created this new space: A Nerdy World.

ANW will be quite similar to C&CC in that it will be filled with things I like and stories from my life. Features you know and love* will be back, including Nerd News, Haiku Revieu, and Recently Read, although they might look a little different than they did before. obsessed. has become Fancies and Fascinations. I think the name encompasses more of what the feature will cover, rather than limiting me to current obsessions ... sometimes which I don't have, surprisingly enough. (This limitation might be all in my head. But it's my blog, so I do what I want.) Other new features are bound to pop up, and I might revisit some old favorites from years gone by.

The design of ANW was inspired by the awesome illustration you see in my header, which was done by the crazy talented Michelle of Creature Type. (More on that to come, too.)

I'll be leaving C&CC up for a while on its own, but will eventually redirect the site to this one. I hope you'll join me here, and enjoy what you find.

As this post is beginning to get a little TL;DR, I'll sign off for now ... but check back soon for more!

Oh, and if you have any thoughts about the new site, new design, etc., I'd love to hear it! Leave a comment, or shoot me an email if you prefer.

*For the most part?