30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 1

Day 1: Cressida from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 1)

Welcome to a brand new series of my biannual hair challenge called 30 Days of Nerdy Hair. Here’s the story… One day I was reading Shape magazine (a rather non-nerdy publication) and I read about a 30 day hair challenge where the author of the article tried a new hairstyle every day for 30 days. And I thought to myself “Liz, you are terrible at doing your own hair! You should try this.” And of course I had to find a nerdy way to do it!! So 30 Days of Nerdy Hair was born.

If you are new to Nerd in the City and don’t know what I’m talking about you can CLICK HERE and check out all the past hairstyles I’ve accomplished. Trust me when I tell you, before I started doing this I had very un-extraordinary hair!! It’s true!

Kicking off my 5th series of nerdy hair is Cressida from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

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Ok…so it’s not a completely accurate representation because I didn’t shave my head and get ivy tattooed on my scalp. (Though I really thought about it!!)

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I’m ready to overthrow the Capitol!!! May the hair be ever in your favor!

Check back each day for the month of June for a brand new nerdy hairstyle and don’t forget to send me any suggestions you might have.

You can also follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google +.

Nerd in the City Book Club

A Time to Reap

By Jonas Lee

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“After Carter Gabel arrives back from his most recent travel through time, he learns that his unpredictable syndrome isn’t the only thing in his life he’ll have to find control over.” – Back of the book

This day and age YA books about youths with extraordinary skills and powers are pretty common. But Jonas Lee’s voice stands out in the crowd! Carter Gabel is a confused boy who’s world is much bigger than he knows. And when thrust into circumstances beyond his control and understanding he not only rises to the challenge, but becomes better for it. In this future, there is something called Chronological Displacement Syndrome. Basically people with this “affliction” leap back in time at random and without choice. But what Carter doesn’t know if that this power is controllable. Along the way he learns more about his family, a girl he barely knows and about himself.

I had a chance to ask Jonas Lee a few questions about his book. Here’s my interview:

NitC: What were some of the stories and authors that influenced you growing up?

Jonas: It’s hard not to mention the likes of Stephen King being an influence as a writer. He has written something that everyone has seen at one point or another. Other great authors would include the likes of Joe Hill, Clive Barker, Lois Lowry and Madeline L’Engle. One of my favorite books I’ve actually read through the most is called The Thief of Always. I think writing from a younger perspective can help draw everyone toward that age again.

NitC: In a post Hunger Games/ Divergent/ YA centric world, did that effect your writing at all? DId you find yourself actively trying to distinguish your voice or did it come naturally?

Jonas: This novel was very organic. Honestly, I took no inspiration from any other YA novel. They are all very popular, but for me, it just wasn’t how I envisioned a teenager talking or acting. So I had to channel a little of my youth and mix that in with how I envisioned Carter to be.

NitC: Is this the book you set out to write? How did it change along the way, if at all?

Jonas: This book is not what I initially set out to be my first novel. Quite honestly, I completed my first book and tried the traditional route for awhile with trying to find an agent and so on and so on. In the meantime, I started this chapter by chapter story out of the reservoirs of my think tank. It got to be so fluid and fun to put together that there really was nothing much to think of or change throughout the way.

NitC: Do you personally identify with Carter Gabel and in what ways?

Jonas: Carter holds a certain quality of mine in regards to when he talks to himself. I always find myself saying something like a smartass like him inside my head. His outlook on his life is how I wish mine could be at times. Impetuously ready to do something and prepared for anything. I think I tend to overanalyze everything to a fault.

NitC: If you lived in the Star Wars Universe, would you be apart of the Rebellion of the Empire?

Jonas: Oooo, such a difficult one. I’d have to say out of the two, I would have to choose the Rebellion. Something about trying to be stealthy versus flexing might. Although, I would ultimately rather by part of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild. Always loved Boba Fett the most.

If you are looking for some post summer reading that is quick and captivating, the please go pick up A TIme to Reap right now!! And let me know what you think!

Get it here.

Book Con and the Fun (Part 2)

So I make it to the Javits. Blood washed off my hands. And I pace outside deciding… should I go in? But in the end I decide to go and be distracted by books and reading and panels and fun. Cause when faced with the brevity of life it’s important to embrace what you have and the time you’re given and not wallow! So I didn’t wallow and I didn’t break down. I went to Book Con.

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Book Con… a place where words become novels and dreams become reality. People here are living the dream. As a writer myself, it’s a dream I too want to be apart of one day.

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I always start with the Con floor if I can. It’s over crowded and you feel like a sardine, but it’s fun to see all the booths and costumes and such. And I’m meandering the floor when I come across a booth for the Fairybirds. They are fraternal twins, Heidi and Heather and they started writing a book together about giving and what that looks like for kids. Hence Fairybirds was born. I started following them on Instagram months ago, not really knowing much about them, but just thinking how adorable their Insta was. And when I saw their banner I had to stop and chat. So I bought a copy of their book and was just inspired by the fact that they self published it. Self Publishing seems like such a big, bad, scary world of doing it yourself, but they encouraged me to give it a try. I left their booth inspired, happy and a little whimsical. Completely opposite of how I’d felt a mere 30 minutes before walking through the doors of the Con.

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Next, I attended the panel with Veronica Roth and Alex London in conversation about their news books. His book, Guardian, is a sequel to a book called Proxy about a dystopian society where the poor receive the punishments that the rich actually deserve. I haven’t read it, but after this panel it is definitely on my To Read list. (That’s a long list.)

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And Veronica Roth’s new book is a collection of 4 stories about Tobias, a character from her Divergent series. Listening to these two talk about cookies and romance and guilty pleasures (something Veronica Roth does not believe in – if you like something, you don’t need to feel guilty about it!) was a joy. What fun to hear two young writers discuss their work and see them fully living out the dreams that made them write in the first place.

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I followed that up with the Cary Elwes panel. And talk about perfection. He came sweeping in the room just as you’d expect from the Dread Pirate Roberts himself. His new memoir is all about what went on behind the scenes of the filming of The Princess Bride. It’s called As You Wish: Tales from The Princess Bride. And what a mind blowingly awesome panel. They showed clips from the movie and Cary talked about his experiences with the like of Robin Wright, Andres the Giant, Billy Crystal, Fred Savage, Mandy Patinkin and Rob Reiner. I mean… we were essentially watching the movie with Westley!! What?? It doesn’t get much better than that!! And I can’t wait for this book to come out. The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite books!

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And finally I went to Jason Segal’s panel about his new children’s book, Nightmares. I already loved Jason from previous works such as Freaks and Geeks, How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets. But this panel and the stories he told made me admire and love him even more. Stories about the nightmares he had when he was a child and how they inspired him to write a book. Stories about wearing a cape under his clothes when he was younger just in case he was ever called upon to spring to action. And about how he takes steps towards the things he’s afraid of in order to overcome them.

I talk a lot about dreams in regards to Book Con. I think that mainly has to do with me. And how much writing a book seems like a far away dream. Something that happens after many drafts and many rejection letters and editing and publishing and someone liking it in the first place. But this place… this is a place where it all seems possible. Where success stories are tangible and walking around and doing panels about their work.

At the end of the day, Book Con was exactly where I needed. And if you have a chance to go next year, writer or not, you should go. It’s place of fun and inspiration. A place where literature meets YA fan girl culture. Where The Fault in Our Stars author, John Green is a veritable rock star. A place that you have to see to believe and a perfect distraction from the harsh realities of our world. Yep… #ilovereading… a lot!