Saturday, 26 September 2015

Blackpool Comic Con 2015

Saturday the 12th of September 2015 marked the first ever Blackpool Comic Con. Myself and my little nerdish family had been looking forward to it for months and our friend that comes with us to Cons had even got his first ever cosplay together.

Waking up early on that morning to get ready, we were slightly disappointed to see that it was pouring with rain so we had to make the decision not to put the nerdlings in their cosplay outfits (Wonder Woman and the Flash) as we didn't want them to get cold and wet. My hubby however still donned his Arrow cosplay and our friend his Sebastian (Black Butler) waistcoat and tails. I have yet to cosplay as I spend that much time making sure everyone else is sorted I don't have time to sort my own, however I did an everyday cosplay and wore red and black with my Deadpool necklace.

When we arrived we found parking easily just around the corner from the Winter Gardens and walked round to the "front" of the place, we were surprised to see just a handful of people waiting outside the doors. We waited here for a few minutes before someone walking past advised that the queue was actually at the side, so we wandered round and found that the queue was actually the length of the entire outside of the building! By this time we were extremely lucky and the rain had eased off so we didn't end up getting wet. When we go to cons part of our enjoyment comes from queueing and seeing all the people in cosplay and all the effort that these people have put into their costume. In fact a lot of our pictures end up being from the queue.

Once the doors opened, the queue moved fairly quickly and we were in in no time at all. As soon as we were inside we saw an amazing couple of cosplays of Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Maleficent which our oldest nerdling wanted her photo taken with, the women were absolutely lovely and posed for the picture and also gave her a gift of a princess family card game. It's easy to say that she was absolutely made up. Winter Gardens is an absolutely beautiful venue and it has such a grand entrance it really makes you feel as though you are entering a wonderland, however once we were through though doors, we walked into complete chaos. The last con we went too (Preston Comic Con) had printed out floor maps and were handing them out in the queue, they had also put them up on their Facebook page prior so we could make a plan of action (we decide in advance who we want to see and then work out where they are to make our lives easier), but Blackpool had none of this and we only saw one sign in the entire place which was for the WWE Superstars, but it didn't really point you in the right direction. Considering how big Winter Gardens is and how many rooms there are, a map and signs I feel are essential. However, this was the events first year, there were bound to be teething problems and organisation was one of them.

Our first port of call was to find Kevin Nash as he has been one of my hubby's heroes since childhood and he has waited a long time for the chance to be able to meet him. Once we located the right room, we saw a huge line waiting to meet Mick Foley (yes THE Mick Foley, I was in the same room as Mick Foley!) but we were able to get to the front of Kevin Nash's table and wait for him while he finished up his photo shoot. While we were waiting I nipped over the Booker T's table and I was lucky enough to get his autograph. We are a WWE fan family. When Kevin Nash arrived my hubby talked to him for a few minutes and had his photograph taken with him, this absolutely made his day and Kevin was so nice and seemed to really enjoy the interaction.

Next up was Jeremy Wilkin who voiced Virgil Tracy in Thunderbirds, this one was for me. I absolutely love the original Thunderbirds and I have already met Shane Rimmer (who is absolutely lovely). There was only one lady in front of us but we had to wait a while, when I got to the front I found out why, Jeremy is a chatter! He was happy to talk away and engaged with the nerdlings, I was thoroughly happy with my encounter and was very happy with my autograph and how he signed it. Those who also got an autograph will know what I mean.

We were going to see Richard Madden and we did ask a member of staff where he was but they didn't know but luckily a con goer overheard us asking and pointed us in the right direction. When we found the queue it was coming out of a room with no sign and people were just asking people already in the queue who they were queueing for. We waited for a while before being told we might not get in before he had to go to his panel and that everyone had to put their cameras and phones away (not in the politest of ways). At this point we gave up on seeing him and went out to look round the stalls and to see the cosplay guests.

Our friend is a big fan of Doctor Who and was looking forward to meeting Jenna Coleman, but sadly we could not find her anywhere and no one was able to tell us where to find her, so he missed out on his opportunity.

Our final stop of the day was to meet Ian Beattie who played Sir Meryn Trant in Game of Thrones, I had wanted to meet him at Preston but had missed out so I didn't want to miss him again, We had to wait a long time at his table as the people who were manning the tables didn't know where he was or when he would be back (he was at a panel and then a group photo shoot) but I didn't want to miss him and we were the front of the queue. I have never been so glad to queue for anything ever, Ian is an absolutely wonderful man and just so lovely. He has the ability to make you feel like you're the only one in the room and that you have his full attention, which in a room filled with hundreds of people is an impressive feat! We had a brilliant chat and he let me take his picture holding mini nerdling even though he was covered in chocolate.

Once I was done speaking with Ian we went off to the sea front for a walk and to get some chips so we could cool down after being so hot inside and we were done with the con for the day.

Overall we really enjoyed our day and made of it what we wanted. There were some disappointments (where was the Batmobile and Ecto 1?) and the organisation was horrendous, but the calibre of guests was exceptional for a first time. I've heard all sorts of both rumours and information after the event and if they're all true then I don't believe we will see another Blackpool Comic Con in the future, which is sad firstly for the people who have been affected and secondly because the venue was so perfect and run by the right people I think this Con could be amazing.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

My Review of You

I'm really trying hard to work on my 2015 reading challenge as I'm really far behind on it and I still want to fully complete it by year end. This is meaning that I'm changing up some of the choices I made at the beginning of the year so that the books fit into the current genre mood I'm in. Overall I'm only 4 books off hitting the amount of books I'd set myself to read this year (I wanted to read 100 books) but out of those only 21 of them are from the 70 books for the challenge.

The book I chose for "a book with a one word title" was You by Caroline Kepnes. I was really excited to see this in The Works in their 3 books for £5 offer as I had heard so many good things about it and the whole concept sounded really new and interesting, getting a view from the eyes of the stalker rather than the stalkee. There are some very minor spoilers ahead, but if you've read anything about this book, you'll probably already know.

The start of the book was fantastic, I felt incredibly uncomfortable reading from Joe's perspective and the things going through his mind. The language used was so far from what I would use or hear, especially when the C-word was dropped in the first few pages or so. My hubby kept asking if I was enjoying the book and all I could say was "I don't know" the main character gave me the creeps and I didn't like being in his head but obviously that meant that Kepnes had done a brilliant job of portraying Joe. The book is exceptionally well written and it was definitely a unique way of telling this kind of story.

All of the characters in this book are absolutely awful human beings (apart from Ethan but we barely see him) and they have no redeeming qualities. Joe is awful for obvious reasons. Guinevere or Beck is a selfish, flaky and entitled brat. As for Beck's friends, each one is worse than the last. I know a few people who have read this have felt sorry for Joe and want him to succeed, this isn't my opinion but I certainly understand why they would feel like that with all the people he meets.

I got around half way through the book and I started to think the story started to lose credibility and believability, The story to begin with, was very creepy and made you seriously look at the mark you are leaving online that makes it so easy for the wrong people to find out everything about you. When Joe began on his kidnapping and murderous ways (also finding out about previous murders) it just lost the magic that had been created and just no longer captured my imagination the same way it had to start with.

Sadly the book ended up falling flat for me and it just wasn't what I had expected or wanted. I have since finishing the book found out that this isn't a stand alone which I feel takes away from the uniqueness even more, however being a completionist if I see the next book/books I will probably pick them up, just to see where this story can be taken as I feel everything has already been covered. I would love to be proven wrong and for me to get the experience that I wanted out of You from the next book (Hidden Bodies).

Overall a brilliantly written piece that in my opinion is let down by the story told.

I started reading this book on the 30th of August 2015 and finished it on the 2nd of September 2015
I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Red Blooded - My Review of Red Queen

The book I have ended up reading for the Popsugar challenge of "a book with a colour in the title" was a book that I hadn't planned on reading at all due to hearing so many mixed reviews and that book is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I was in Waterstones with my husband and they had their buy one get one half price offer on and he suggested I pick up this and another. (I also picked up The Kill Order by James Dashner, yes I'm a sucker for punishment)

I've heard a lot of people saying that this book is just a combination of everyone's favourite dystopian novels and yes as you read through you can see comparisons to other books such as the Hunger Games etc but that doesn't change the fact that the book is well written and a very enjoyable read.

I really liked all of the characters both main and peripheral, everyone had a personality and a place where they fit into the story. I enjoyed the mess that was the love interest in the story, it made a nice change from a straight forward love triangle and I still am not 100% sure who I'm rooting for, which normally by now I would have definitely decided on who I'd like the main character to be with (if anyone).

Though the story isn't unique, I thought it was really interesting and I'm looking forward to learning more about the world and the people in it. I also thought the betrayal and twist was done incredibly well, sadly I'd been spoilt as to the fact that there was a twist but luckily not what the actual twist was. Even though I knew it was coming I was still really shocked as I couldn't make up my mind who would be the betrayer and what would come from it.

I thought the story was paced well and built up to all the action at the end of the book which has left a perfect opening for the next instalment in this series (trilogy?)

Though it was not the book I set out to read, I'm very glad that I did and I will be recommending it to other people and picking up the next book.

I started reading this book on the 27th of August 2015 and finished reading it on the 30th of August 2015.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Monster Joke Month 2015 Snail Mail Project

A few weeks ago I had an idea which I thought was really fun and the more I've thought about it the more I wanted to share it with other people and hopefully for those people to get involved and join in.

My idea is that for the entire month of October, every piece of mail that I send out, whether it's a letter, package or a post card, will have a monster joke on it. I absolutely love Halloween and I thought this would be a really fun way of celebrating it using snail mail and sharing the fun with other people.

For other people to join in, I thought that I would create a hashtag and then every piece of mail you receive/send with a monster joke on, you could post a pic on Twitter or Instagram (or any other form of social media that you use) with the hashtag #MonsterJokeMonth or #MJM2K15

I really hope that people get involved as I am really excited about this and I'm really looking forward to seeing the monster jokes, the cheesier the better!

Please let me know if you're planning on joining me and I'll be watching the hashtags and re-tweeting/re-gramming any and all that I find. I'll also be blogging about the project throughout the month of October and I'll share some of my favourite jokes.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Snail Mail August 2015 Round Up

I thought I'd share something a little different this month and show my snail mail stats. I'm a member of the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club (IGGPPC) and through them I have met a lot of wonderful friends that I exchange letters and postcards with. During August I've been keeping a record of how far each of my letters have travelled for both incoming and outgoing mail. I recorded the distances as the crow flies rather than by transport as I have no way of knowing which route any of them would take.

I sent a total of five letters and 2 postcards throughout the month and individually they travelled the following distances

Letter one travelled 4049 miles
Letter two travelled 33 miles
Letter three travelled 4782 miles
Letter four travelled 70 miles
Letter five travelled 5198 miles
Postcard one travelled 155 miles
Postcard two travelled 65 miles

I received one letter and two postcards which travelled the following distances

Letter one received travelled 70 miles
Postcard one travelled 4043 miles
Postcard two travelled 3797 miles

I then thought it might be fun to add up the distances to see how far in total everything has travelled, I'm thinking of maybe doing an quarterly and annual round up to see just how far my post travels

Letters sent total distance travelled 14.132 miles
Postcards sent total distance travelled 220 miles
Post sent total distance travelled 14,352 miles

Letters received total distance travelled 70 miles
Postcards received total distance travelled 7840 miles
Post received total distance travelled 7910 miles

Overall total distance travelled
Letters - 14,202 miles
Postcards - 8060 miles
Combined - 22,262 miles

I really hope you enjoyed having a look into my snail mail life, I'm hoping to do more blogs about the kind of things I do with my pen pals in the future.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

August 2015 Book Round Up

After a bit of a reading slump, I am slowly getting back into my reading groove. After reading the Gone series and it being so intense I've been reading a lot of quick easy reads to break myself into things but by the end of the month I was ready for more.

Book 1 - Wolverine MAX, Vol. 1: Permanent Rage by Jason Starr - 4.5 Stars
Book 2 - Batman Incorporated, Vol 1: Demon Star by Grant Morrison - 2.5 Stars
Book 3 - Ms Marvel, Vol.1 No Normal by G. Willow Wilson - 3 Stars
Book 4 - Fear by Michael Grant - 5 Stars
Book 5 - Light by Michael Grant - 5 Stars
Book 6 - Elektra, Vol. 1: Bloodlines by W. Haden Blackman - 5 Stars
Book 7 - A Night In Terror Tower by R.L. Stine - 4 Stars
Book 8 - Fright Camp by R.L. Stine - 4 Stars
Book 9 - The Unexpected Occurrence Of Thaddeus Hobble - 4 Stars
Book 10 - Batman Adventures Vol. 1 by Kelley Puckett - 5 Stars
Book 11 - Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid - 5 Stars
Book 12 - Rogues Revenge by Geoff Johns - 3 Stars
Book 13 - X-Men: Wolverine/Gambit by Jeph Loeb - 4 Stars
Book 14 - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - 5 Stars

I'm thinking about trying a different format of how I do my round ups at the end of next month to make this a little more interesting. If there's anything specific you'd like to see, like recommendations or synopsis of the books, please let me know.