I was recently tagged in a post called ‘20 Facts about My Disney Life’ by the lovely Hannah from Courage and Kindness and it got me thinking. I’m really quite new to the, uh, Disney life. I mean, I visited the parks as a kid, my parents took me to Disney World a few times and I’ve been to Disneyland in California a few of times, too. And of course, I’ve always been a huge fan of the movies! But I think I only really discovered the Disney ‘life’ a few years ago, on my second visit to Disneyland Paris.
It’s really weird looking back on my previous times at other Disney parks. My friend and I went to California years ago, and we went to Disneyland, but I don’t remember much about it. I hadn’t done obsessive amounts of research. I didn’t bore him with trivia about the park, and I didn’t know the tips and tricks necessary to make the day as queue-free and smooth as possible. I forget where we ate, or what it was and, shockingly, we didn’t even think about going into California Adventure! I read that it was mainly food few rides and that was enough to convince me it wasn’t worth the time or money.
What the heck??
Nowadays, I’d know California Adventure like the back of my hand before I even went in there. I’d know where to queue and where to eat and I’d know what was worth the fastpass. I know exactly how to make a trip to Disneyland the very best it can possibly be, and we’d strike with military precision.
So what’s changed?
Well, honestly, it’s the internet - or specifically, the Disney community. I went to Disneyland Paris with Moose last year for our anniversary and it was the most magical time ever. Before we went, I threw myself into planning and research. We’d done DLP before, but only for one day back in 2012, so planning a week long break was a whole new ball game for us. I found forums and communities and vloggers and before long I was making Disney friends on Twitter and Instagram. I learned that there was so much more than the week or two weeks of a Disney vacation - that it all extends so much further through the community, and it’s so great! I won’t get back to Disney World for a long time yet - we’re trying to be sensible and save for a mortgage instead - but I can still live the Disney magic through vloggers and bloggers! Watching people vlog their experiences, even the mundane parts like checking into the hotel or the journey on the bus, brings me such joy and anticipation! Someday that'll be me! And until then, I get to live vicariously through others, and share their joy and adventures. It's great!
So yes, while I'm quite new to the Disney Life, as it were, I've certainly thrown myself into it big time! I can safely say this blog is going to start focusing just a little too much on a certain Mouse! And so, without further ado, I present to you, 20 Facts About My Disney Life!
It's beda time! That is to say, Blog Every Day in April! Every April I use this to kickstart my blog for a few months and this year is no exception.
For the first time I'm ever, I feel as though my blog, as sporadic as its updates are at the moment, has an actual purpose and place in the blogging world. The past year has introduced me to so many vloggers in the nerdy, gaming, geeky world, and everyone is so wonderful and creative and interesting. I discovered the blog culture relatively recently - I had a Livejournal for years, of course, but it's only been the past few years that I've seen a world of blogging beyond diary posts and brain-fart rambles. My first encounter with the blog world was through the many, many lovely lifestyle blogs I found. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them, and found incredible inspiration from them, but they didn't really share a lot in common with me or my blog. They were young women, mostly beautiful and American, who had husbands and children and faith. They shared their journeys and adventures and I loved (still love) reading their blogs, learning about their daily lives, but it wasn't a community I felt I could really take part in. My day to day life involves video games, cosplay, going to conventions and selling art. I still live with my parents, and I'm hardly a young go-getter in the exciting blogging world.
The trouble is, if you try to find gaming blogs, for example, they're few and far between, and the ones that do exist aren't about lifestyle or the daily lives of gamers - they're dedicated game blogs, with reviews and guides, and the geek blogs I found all had very dedicated themes - geek clothing, geek cooking, for example. All fun to read, of course, but few of them felt like places I could reach out to as a blogger myself.
But then I sort of fell into a bunch of communities that bridged the gap. I found whole forums dedicated to geek lifestyle bloggers. They covered a broad spectrum - from gamers, to Disney nerds, to cosplayers and, of course, crafters and artists like myself. It was completely eye opening to me! To be a blogger meant I didn't have to be a mother, or married, or fashionable (though I like to think I look a little bit awesome most of the time!) It meant I had people I could connect with and share content with, and honestly that has been so liberating and fun.
I don't blog or engage in the blogging world as much as I'd like to, and that's something I really want to work on fixing. I think having an actual schedule would go a long way to helping that, which is why I'm hoping BEDA will be a happy kick up the bum for me. Nothing forces you to be imaginative like a tight deadline! I'm really looking forward to trying a whole month of daily blogging with you guys. I hope this blog can join the ranks of those I've fallen in love with over the past year, and I really hope you all enjoy the trip along the way!
For the longest time, 2004 has been a real hard year to beat. It was my first year out of uni, while all my friends still had a year to go, and they all lived in a shared house in Bath. It basically meant that I was free to come and go as I pleased, spending time at university without actually doing any work there, and living it up with my friends in the house. I essentially had a years extension on my student lifestyle free of charge, and it was awesome. I've done a whole lot of awesome things since then, of course, but Summer 2004 really was something else.
2015 finally beat it. I've done so much, achieved so much, and had so many amazing experiences this year, I'm really sad to leave it behind. However, 2016 starts with a trip to Disneyland Paris, and hopefully will end with Moose living in Bristol, so I'm really excited to see where the next twelve months take us all!
...Moose and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary in Disneyland Paris.
...We went to EGX Rezzed for the first time!
...We attended Termisoc's 24 hour LAN down in Plymouth
...We celebrated Mum's birthday in London seeing 39 Steps (which was amazing!)
...We celebrated Luke's birthday at Longleat
...and went to Gloucester Quays for their Springtime Celebration.
...We explored Oakham Treasures, an amazing vintage museum.
...I sold on my last ever Comic Village table as they finally put the boot in on fanart sales.
...but also sold at my first ever Dealer's Table at Manchester MCM, instead!
...and got a dealer's table at London MCM too!
...AND it wasn't a waste of money!
...I celebrated my birthday with family at Marwell Zoo, and with friends seeing Jurassic World!
...We all went to Kitacon and it was incredible!
...and then Moose and I went to our first ever Secret Cinema, which was The Empire Strikes Back!
...(which meant I actually had to watch Star Wars for the first time ever.)
...(2015 will forever be my Star Wars year...)
...We finally had a meet up with some of our very best friends when Saran and Xharag, two guys we met on TF2 years ago, finally came over to England (and it was so awesome!!)
...and then Moose and I went to Legends of Gaming, which was a little Youtube-centric gaming con!
...and THEN Laura and I had a quick whirlwind trip to Disneyland Paris and it was AMAZING because it was Halloweeny and we met all the characters and the weather was perfect and it was just wonderful!
...Moose, Luke, Sarah and I saw Weird Al perform in London straight afterwards!
...and then it was time for me to go to Ponycon!
...and THEN I went back to London with Moose to see the League of Legends Worlds quarter-finals!
...and THEN we went to London MCM, where I had a dealer's table and it was wonderful.
...and THEN Luke, Sarah, Moose and I went to Bristol for a Halloween Zombie Walk!
(All of those last things happened in October. October was ridiculous.)
November and December were decidedly emptier, save for some lovely Christmas things (my parents and I went to the Bovington Tank Museum for a Wartime Christmas celebration, Mum and I went and visited the Coke Truck as it made a local stop).
In 2015 I really feel like I finally got my art groove back. Having a dealer's table at London Comic Con was a huge motivator, given how much extra those tables cost! Also, I fell in love with Steven Universe in a huge way, which gave me a new muse to draw from and a new fandom to enjoy. I started Youtubing more, uploading art videos instead of vlogging, and that's definitely an achievement I'm proud of. My goal in 2016 is to keep at that. It's really the best of both worlds, because I'll be able to create videos while not neglecting my art. In the next few days, we're going to get much faster internet (finally!) so I'll be able to stream, too! Hurrah!
2015, you were rad. 2016, you've got a lot to live up to!
I've been meaning to take part in The Nerdy Girlie's 'Five Fandom Friday' for ages now, so when I read today's topic I thought I'd jump right in! I've been in love with fandom ever since I got online a hundred years ago. It gets a lot of flack sometimes, and it causes a lot of drama and heartache, but when a community is created out of sheer passion for a subject matter, of course emotions run high. Fandom is home to some of the greatest creativity I've known, and full of the most interesting, intelligent, strong willed and dynamic people I've ever met.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Or... specifically, I suppose, Sonic the Comic, the comic that ran in the UK from 1993 to 2002. As a kid, I was obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog. I had all the consoles, all the games, and my room was decorated in about every piece of merchandise you could imagine. I collected everything, from cans and crisp packets featuring Sonic and his buddies, to books, posters, ornaments and bubble bath. I actually still have it all in various boxes up in the attic, because I can't bear to part with any of it.
My favourite of the whole bunch, though, was Sonic the Comic. For a time, it was one of the best selling comics in the UK and I was obsessed. STC made me realise how badly I wanted to draw for a living. I wrote to the artists and the writers behind the comic, asking for advice on how to get into the industry. When we finally got the internet, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the first things I looked up, and I eventually discovered a whole mailing list dedicated to other fans of Sonic the Comic, and so many of them were around my age, with similar dreams of creating comics for a living. The most awesome thing is that I'm still pretty good friends with a whole bunch of people I met there! And what's even more crazy is that almost every one of us has a job in the video game or creative industry now. STC was the first thing that made me sit down and decide what I wanted to do for a living, and even though I took a very long time to get there (and, heck, I'm still working on it!), I'm so, so thankful for that initial spark. Sonic the Hedgehog as a fandom and a franchise has kind of gone down the drain a whole bunch since its height in the 1990s, but I'll always be thankful to the blue guy for giving me a kick-ass childhood, an amazing set of friends, and a dream I knew could very much be a reality.
Starsky & Hutch
These guys! While I'd been involved in several fandoms over the years, S&H was pretty much the fandom that really exploded for me. When the (pretty awful!) movie came out starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, my Mum and I went to see it because she'd been a fan of the cop duo in her younger days. She then suggested that I should give the original series a try and boy was I hooked! The buddycop dynamic was at its very best, the guys were, let's face it, pretty darn cute, and it was cheesy as heck. It was great fun!
Starsky & Hutch had a large, old fandom, full of people older than me, who had been in love with it since its original run in the 1970s. I should have felt intimidated, jumping into such an established fandom, but they were all so welcoming and sweet. I actually got so involved with this fandom that I flew out to America twice to attend two different S&H-centric conventions (SHarecon and Zebracon), and I had an absolute blast! It was also the very first time I sold art at a convention, winning an award for one of my silly fanart pieces, which made me realise that, hey, maybe selling at conventions could very much be a thing and, well, you guys know where that went. Thanks, S&H Fandom!
Ah, the RTD days of Doctor Who. I never thought I'd miss it, but as the series goes on, I really do miss the harmless, stupid, emotional days of David Tennant and Billie Piper.
I never watched Who as a kid, and when the series got its reboot in 2005 I came in completely fresh. I enjoyed the show a lot, but it was only when Tennant took over as the Doctor that it really kicked into gear, for me. I absolutely adore the Doctor/Rose relationship, it's still my ultimate ship, haha. I got involved in the fandom, writing fanfic and drawing some fanart, until my buddy Luke and I came up with the idea of making an intentionally dumb, silly webcomic poking fun at the oft-emotional state of Tennant's Doctor (I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.) Working on 'Worst of the Time Lords' was one of my favourite times. It got very popular and we had tremendous support from so many fabulous people. It was the first time I felt like my artistic endeavours were actually really, truly, valued, by a community that enjoyed and cared about our creation. I dropped the ball on it at the end, something I deeply regret now, and I'm very keen to actively get involved in something like it again, because it was incredible being a part of something like that.
Doomsday still makes me cry like a baby.
My Little Pony
My first 'fandom', this is the 'lifer'. My Little Pony was my childhood toy, my kiddy obsession, my first favourite anything. I was a child of the 1980s and My Little Pony was everywhere. My parents bought me hundreds throughout my childhood, and I was spoilt with the larger playsets every Christmas. As a kid, I wrote my own stories about the ponies and drew so much pony art (funny how these things go in circles, huh?)
When our school got the internet installed (before it was a regular household thing, crikey I'm old), My Little Pony was one of the first things I looked up, in a spark of nostalgia. There, I found a whole community of collectors who were now grown up, like me, and who still loved their childhood ponies. I discovered forums and places to chat to other like-minded people. I'd thought I was a little weird for still hanging onto my ponies like a collection (not that I'd ever once had the thought of selling them, mind), but the sheer amount of other adults who had done just that was so inspiring. I joined forums and chatrooms and made a bunch of friends, many of whom I'm still good friends with now! When UK Ponycon took wing, I went along and found a whole community of new friends. Obviously, the fandom has exploded again with the new 'Friendship is Magic' series and I've met some wonderful people through this new, younger community, but I'll always be super thankful to the original pony fandom that gave me so many friends (and so many ponies!)
The Furry Fandom
I actually had a hard time trying to decide which final fandom I was most thankful for, but as I wrote up above about signing online for the very first time and finding other Sonic fans or other My Little Pony collectors, it immediately came to me. Every fandom here has been linked by one thing, really, and that's its impact on me as an artist, and where I am now as a person. As a child, I drew all the time (far more than I draw now, sadly!), but I only ever, ever drew animals, or animal people. If it wasn't The Lion King, the Animals of Farthing Wood or Balto, it was my own creations, my own animal characters doing their own crazy things. I didn't really think anything of it, I just far preferred drawing and worldbuilding around animals to people. Heck, all the books I read were animal stories (Redwall, Duncton Wood, Farthing Wood), and all the movies and shows I loved featured animals as the main protagonists, too. It was only natural that my own stories and art would be all animals, all the time.
I remember very, very clearly, the moment I found 'furry' art online. I found Yerf, which was a gallery dedicated to quality and clean furry artwork, and I found other artists who draw animal people, and I was blown away. I was actually so excited to find other people who drew animals all the danged time, I ran home and told Mum all about it. I was just so excited - I could carry on drawing animal people, and enter competitions and take commissions and join galleries and it was just so so inspiring. Some of the art and technical skill of the artists in the fandom was outstanding, and I don't think anything has pushed me so hard as an artist as that community has over the years. I'm incredibly thankful for that.
So how the heck do people manage it? I'm the queen of meticulous planning when it comes to trips away or events, but when it comes to planning and organising my day-to-day life, I find I'm falling short so often. I'm not drawing as much as I'd like to be, I'm not blogging as much as I'd like to be. Dreams of making Youtube videos, practising my accordion more, or actually maintaining a healthy balance of, well, anything, seem very fleeting! I've had my hours increased at dad's cafe as I cover for a girl on maternity leave, and while I'm finally able to chip away at the credit card I've very much 'enjoyed' over the past few years, I'm finding it very hard to balance my creative pursuits around the extra work. Of course, the first thing to suffer is my blog. Sorry guys!
I bought this lovely big planner from Paperchase, which unfortunately is far too large to use as a portable diary, so I'm going to use it as a personal planner for projects, plans and creative pursuits. I think actually listing out everything I want to do and setting myself a bunch of mini deadlines is the best plan of action, for me.
What about you guys? How do you stay on top of everything when you've got a billion different things you want to do?
I've spent the past two days, off and on, arranging my room and sorting out my art/craft area, and tonight I finally finished! Now my room is largely organised, neat, and pretty pastel colours - just the way I like!
However, as you guys might have seen in my previous Battlestation post, I have a huge black monitor that really doesn't match the rest of the room! It's been bugging me for a while so when I found some cute washi tape in amongst my scrapbooking supplies, I knew what had to be done.
Now everything's neat and pretty I think I'm going to do a little room tour so you can all marvel at the clutter and awkward juxtaposition of being a girlie girl who is also a Gigantic Nerd, and the skill I have at cramming All Of The Things into a small space. Stay tuned!
Well, it's a kind-of Battlestation! This is where I spend most of my days at home! Ever since I got a new PC, I've wanted to set myself up so I could use my Yiynova with it (my old PC didn't have enough connections to install multiple monitors). The Yiynova is on the left - it's a Cintiq alternative (at a third of the price!) that I treated myself to a few years ago now. I'd played around with Cintiqs before and really wanted one, but this review convinced me to try a Yiynova and I'm so glad I did!
The screen on the right is actually a Samsung Smart TV. It's hooked up to my PC via hdmi, so I can stream videos to watch in bed! I need a television! I'm one of the few nerds that actually loves regular TV, I've always got it on for background noise if nothing else. I'd much rather watch a show like Doctor Who on live TV than streamed later - it's something about the comradery of knowing I'm watching with the rest of the nation.
Speaking of Doctor Who, the Doctor Who Van Gogh picture was a gift from my friend DC, and the Tetris Blocks are actually an amazing light that Moose gave me for Valentines a few years ago! Behind it hides my PS2 and 360, and you can just see my PS3 under the monitor. I have an iPod touch as well as the ancient old iPod docked there, but my old iPod holds so much more music. I don't really use either, since I'm usually watching television or listening to Spotify, but they're nice to keep around.
It's important that this little nook of my room is colourful, fun and (relatively!) tidy! This is where I draw, game and do all my social media, so it has to be calming and nice to sit in. I have a small pull-out table that I set up next to it all for my real media arts and crafts since the PC desk isn't really large enough for it. Yes, that's really how much room I allow for my mouse. Office desks really aren't made for gaming!
Anyway, that's about that! I figured you guys might like a glimpse at where the magic happens, as it were. I love seeing other people's desks and setups so if you've got any pictures to share I'd love to see them!
I absolutely love rainy city lights. When Moose and I were in New York City last year, we were caught in an almighty rainstorm, and I made us both rush over to Times Square to enjoy it in all its twinkly light and yellow taxi glory. Add a little Christmas magic to the mix and it's pretty much my favourite thing. This photo was taken in Bath, which is one of my favourite cities.
I made a Facebook page for this blog! I know it's early days for the blog but I figured I'd give it a go! You can find it here: Dream Somehow - please give it a 'like' if you fancy being kept up to date that way. Also, my comments are finally using Disqus, something I spent days trying to implement before. I'm hoping that makes it easier for folks to comment and chat here - I'd love to know what you have to say about the silliness I post here!
I'm setting myself a huge challenge in 2015! I know, it's a little early, but it's good to have goals, right? See, I really really love books, but I'm really, really bad at reading them. Before I had a tablet and an iPod, I'd devour books with ease, reading them on the train, in the back of the car and even in the bath. These days, however, I tend to use this time to catch up on my latest TV shows. Thanks to Netflix, I watch a lot of television lately. Yes, even in the bath. Don't worry, I make sure the tablet's out of harm's way!
And yet, I still love buying books. I'll go into charity stores and buy them cheap, or find my way to Waterstones taking advantage of their frequent '3 for 2' deals. I buy books far faster than I read them, and they take up so much room! I've even clogged my tablet up with ebooks and comics, with the best intentions in the world. One day, I'll read them! One day... Honest!
So here's my little project. I'm not allowing myself to buy a new books until I some of the many books I already own. I'm going to go through my shelves and list every book I have on them that I haven't yet read, and I'm going to make an active point of reading them! For real this time!
So here's my list... it's a whole lot of Young Adult and Dystopian fiction. Sometimes it's even Young Adult Dystopian fiction. And sometimes it's Sweet Valley High.
My Big Book Project 2015
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident -Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code - Eoin Colfer,
Northern Lights - Philip Pullman
Amber spyglass - Philip Pullman
Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
Feet or Clay - Terry Pratchett
The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
The Last Continent - Terry Pratchett
Interesting Times - Terry Pratchett
Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
The Somnambulist - Jonathan Barnes
The Atheist's Guide to Christmas - Various
Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel - Adam Roberts
World War Z - Max Brooks
Neuromancer - William Gibson
M is for Magic - Neil Gaiman
The Resurrectionist - James Bradley
Mister B Gone - Clive Barker
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
Blind Faith - Ben Elton
Are You Dave Gorman - Dave Gorman
Googlewhack - Dave Gorman
Last Chance To See - Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine
The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Blitzcat - Robert Westall
Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep - Philip K. Dick
The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick
The Divine Invasion - Philip K. Dick
The Man In The High Castle - Philip K. Dick
We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife - Sam Savage
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Skeleton Crew - Stephen King
Everything's Eventual - Stephen King
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams
Cryer's Cross - Lisa McMann
Knife Edge - Malorie Blackman
The Maze Runner - James Dashner
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Timeriders - Alex Scarrow
Storm Front - Jim Butcher
The Time Machine / The Invisible Man / The Island of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells
There's a tag going around Facebook at the moment where you share five random photos that make you happy, so I thought I'd give it a go! I actually found it difficult to narrow down, because so many things and memories make me happy, but the strongest always involve friends or family, so that's where I began.
My very best friends, together on holiday in Cornwall ♥ Moose, carving his first ever pumpkin on one of the best Halloweens I've ever had ♥ The usual suspects, in Disneyland Paris ♥ My 'gang' again, in a pub for Sarah's birthday, after seeing Captain America in the cinema ♥ My best pony pals, on a site visit for UK Ponycon!
And, because I feel like cheating, here's five actual things that make me happy, too!
Team Fortress 2 ♥ Oingo Boingo ♥ MCM Expo (and pretty much all geeky conventions!) ♥ Doctor Who (specifically Tennant era stuff!) ♥ My Little Pony (all gens, all the time!)
That Reaperfox girl...
Hello! I'm Selena, aka Reaperfox, and this is Dream Somehow, my little home on the internet. This blog is dedicated to my adventures and my daily nerdy life!
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