Everyday Cosplay: Harriet the Spy

One of my all-time favorite books and movies growing up was Harriet the Spy. Being a bit of a creepy kid myself, I really loved how confidently she trolled her neighborhood, spying on the people living around her. I thought it was so exciting and cool (just like her tomato and mayo sammies, which I also ate on the reg to emulate Harriet), and I definitely started up a spy route of my own. Despite the excitement behind my “spy route”, I should say that I was never as comfortable as Harriet was with divulging to her friends that she regularly creeped on her neighbors and recorded those findings she saw in her journal. Seriously, it took me until right now to realize how weird and creepy Harriet’s (and my) “spy route” was.

spy time

Nbd, just off to hone my peeping Harriet skillz…

However, when the cute boy next door caught me very obviously spying on him from a tree in my backyard (I was chilling, in a tree, in bright summer clothes, writing in a composition notebook as I stared intensely at him–I had not mastered the art of going incognito), and I was not thrust into the depths of “a good spy never gets caught” depression like my girl Harriet…

harriet the spy

…I knew the spy game wasn’t for me. Even though I cast my spying days aside, I continued to journal my thoughts in black and white composition notebooks for most of my childhood and teenage years, and I think I’ll always be weirdly fascinated with people-watching.

So to pay tribute to the inspiration to a large portion of my childhood creepiness, I decided to create an everyday cosplay look dedicated to Ms. Harriet M. Welch. Check it out:

Everyday Harriet the Spy


Were you a Harriet the Spy fan growing up? Did you have your own spy route, or am I just creepy? If Harriet wasn’t your fave, what was your favorite book as a kid? Let me know in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Recap

We’re one episode away from the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, and last night’s episode was CRAZY. We finally got our answer to THAT giant question. I’m talking about it all over at The Mary Sue. I hope you’ll join me there, and let me know your thoughts about the episode in the comments.

Spoilers ahead! 


…back at Alexandria, things are bubbling just under the surface. Ron is continuing to get his sketchy gun lessons from Rick and Carl. I don’t think there’s a soul in the fandom who thought Ron was learning to shoot to aid in home security and walker defense, and the fact that Ron stole ammo, followed Carl with a gun in hand, and appeared to have the intent to shoot Carl. Of course, there was a significant event that derailed Ron’s plans, but we’ll talk about that in a moment. Suffice it to say that it seems our worst fears about Ron were most certainly true. I’m incredibly concerned about Carl’s safety in the weeks to come, but I do think that Carl could certainly hold his own against Ron. We’ll have to see how that plays out.

Arguably the largest problem Alexandria was facing—apart from the inexperienced citizens, the naive leader, and their faulty walker defense plans—was Morgan and his insistence on upholding his “all life has value”. All life, including the lives of the Wolves who attacked Alexandria and killed countless citizens. All life, including the Wolf Morgan has imprisoned, who promised to kill every person in Alexandria should he survive. All life may have value, but the threads are starting to unravel in Morgan’s plan for pacifism. Is Morgan really valuing life by saving the lives of killers? Are you valuing life by keeping killers in the midst of your family and friends?

Rick approaches Morgan about the three Wolves who attacked and nearly killed him in the RV—Wolves that Morgan let escape from Alexandria…

Read the rest at The Mary Sue!


5 Fandom Friday: Fandoms I’m Thankful For


Strangely enough, it’s been a long time since we’ve talked about fandoms on Fandom Friday, but happily we’re bringing it back to the source! It’s nearly Thanksgiving, so it’s time to take a moment to reflect on all the things we’re thankful for–fandoms included. I have quite a few fandoms to be thankful for. Whether they started me on my journey in blogging, creating amazing friends for me, or just gave me something great to watch or read I’m so happy for the fandoms in my life. I’ll be honest, I’m a proud, card-carrying member of quite a few fandoms, but here are my top 5:

Supernatural Fandom


The Supernatural fandom was really the gateway fandom to get me into the world of geek blogging. I love the show a lot, but seeing the intense passion fans had for the show and the huge community behind it really motivated me to explore the blogging world more. I’m so grateful for this fandom–even though it can get kinda weird at times (looking at you, Wincest shippers).

Female Geek Bloggers


*this gif is not a realistic representation of the FGB G+ Group. Though there are dozens of us. DOZENS!!!

Finding the G+ group Female Geek Bloggers was truly stumbling across hidden treasure. This group has been so amazing, and I’ve managed to not only find a bunch of other writers that I admire, but I’ve also made a few friends, too. The Geek Girl Blogger fandom/group/whatever is one I cherish so very much, and am so happy to be a part of.

The Walking Dead Fandom


Look at that Tennessee Tophat run…

I love the Walking Dead fandom. One of the most fun things for me is to finding other Walking Dead fans in the wild be it at work, ballet, or while I’m live-tweeting each week. This is such a fun group of people, and it’s such a ridiculous fandom that we’ve actually got a show that airs after each new show to talk about the show. It’s out of control, but I love it so much.

Hanson Fandom


Despite what this gif might make you think, Weird Al is not the 4th member of Hanson.

I remember the first time I heard a Hanson song. I was in the second grade at a roller skating rink (I’ve always known how to party hard). Despite what you may think, Hanson not only has several songs outside of “Mmmbop”, but they still are making new music. Plus, they usually do a walk for charity with their fans before each show. Hanson concerts are the best, because even if you show up to the concert alone, you’ll leave with at least two or three new friends. Hanson fans are the absolute coolest.

Star Wars Fandom


I have always loved Star Wars, and I clearly remember the first time I saw the films. The Star Wars fandom is great, because the universe is so incredibly vast, which leaves room for fans of all sorts of “dedication” levels–and Star Wars fans are a largely welcoming group. Sure, we can be kind of critical towards the movies (looking at you Episodes I-III), it’s only because we all have so much love for the franchise. The Force Awakens is giving the fandom a whole new life, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow and evolve.

What fandoms are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments, and as always, check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and follow the #Fandom5 hashtag to see what everyone else is talking about today!

It’s Totally a Real Job: Geek Girl Brunch Founders

it's totally a real job...

I’m back with some more amazing, geeky girlbosses! Last week we talked with the fabulous, Geekie Award-winning fashion blogger, Melificent, and this week we’re talking with the founders of Geek Girl Brunch, Jamila, Rachel, and Yissel. GGB has completely exploded recently, with chapters opening up around the world for geeky women to come together, enjoy their shared love of all things fandom and geek, and enjoy some tasty breakfast food. After all, we all know how magical breakfast foods can be.


More than a regular brunch date, Geek Girl Brunch has proven to be a tight-knit, supportive community that is not only working overtime to support its members, but it also working to help those in the communities surrounding GGB chapters. These women haven’t just started a brunch club, they’ve created a global community dedicated to loving and supporting one another and giving back to their communities. I’m incredibly honored to get to feature them in this series. So let’s get to the interview!


l-r: Yissel, Rachel, Jamila


Kendall: How did you three meet?

Rachel: Shout out to The Way Station! We all met at this awesome bar.

Kendall: What gave you all the idea to launch Geek Girl Brunch?

Jamila: Almost 3 years ago I had brunch with fellow geek blogger Kristin and dubbed it Geek Girl Brunch. It was a blast! We figured the more the merrier, so we invited our other geek girl friends to the next brunch. After a few brunches we tossed around the idea that we wanted to start making Geek Girl Brunch a “bigger thing” and open it up to more geek girls. We didn’t want to keep all of this fun to just our group! We officially launched in NYC in May 2014, but soon enough geek girls all over wanted to be part of the Geek Girl Brunch. Less than a year later we were officially international!

Yissel: At that inaugural group brunch I knew I wanted to see it grow. Jamila was on the same page. Fast forward to our Doctor Who brunch, when Rachel joined us. We ended up being the only three there. By this time I’d already created a shared tumblr for the group, and Jamila had bought a domain. With Rachel onboard and just as eager, that brunch became our first planning meeting. Over the past year, GGB has really exploded. It’s all over the US and even all over the world.

Kendall: Did you all expect it to catch on like it has?

Rachel: No way!

Jamila: Not at all, I’m still blown away by how much it’s grown. But it goes to show that there was a need for an IRL space for geek girls!

Yissel: I think we’re still a little shocked at our growth. It’s a testament to how large a need we’ve been filling.

Kendall: What was the biggest hurdle you all faced with launching GGB? How did  you overcome it?

Rachel: I think we’re still working through our biggest hurdles. GGB got bigger than we ever thought it would, faster than we ever thought it would. We’re basically playing catch-up all the time. We also want to make sure that the decisions we make about GGB are the best decisions we can make, and that we are making all the GGB Brunchettes our priority. Sometimes we all disagree about certain directives or what we think is the most important current project. Communicating openly has really benefitted our decision-making processes..

Jamila: Ditto to everything Rachel said. This is all on a volunteer basis, so our work at HQ, our officers and other Brunchettes who help out all do it because they believe in GGB. Most of us are working or in school and have side projects on top of the Geek Girl Brunch work. Not to mention spending time with family, partners, children and friends! So finding the time to manage it all has been a learning experience for sure. We’re working on sharing the workload more. We have a wonderful community of women who are down to help which is beyond helpful.

Kendall: In founding GGB, what is a mistake or misstep that you made that you wish you could tell your past self (or others trying to create something similar) to avoid?

Rachel: One shared email! Yissel and Jamila can confirm that I have a history of struggle with the GGB emails. I can’t really check it throughout the day. I can get overwhelmed when I go into it in the evenings. I never thought we would deal with the volume of emails we get every day. And at least 75% of those emails are from people who don’t know that we’re just 3 geeks with day jobs. They think we employ whole departments of people!

Jamila: I would have probably recruited more help for GGB HQ sooner. Although we have over 2,000 members and over 60 chapters worldwide, we’re only now getting around to having more HQ positions. My advice would be to make sure as you grow, your workload stays manageable. If you more need help, ask! You’d be surprised at how many people would love to help.

Yissel: Just one?! PACE YOURSELF. Go one step at a time. Research, research, research. Go through all the legal stuff first. We are making-and have yet to make important decisions now, that we should’ve made at the start. GGB has in many ways, become bigger than us. Now we’re having to double back to find solutions to old problems. The thing about starting something like this, is that no one ever tells you how exactly to prepare for it. That’s why we’re still figuring things out. What we were offering, there was overwhelming demand for, so it often feels like we rushed into expansion, before we’d perfected it. I will say, it’s nice to have a growing community of people helping us to do just that.

Kendall: What is one of the most challenging parts of starting a website, business, or a blog?

Jamila: I feel like a broken record but make sure you have the time to dedicate to whatever you’re starting.

Yissel: Finding that niche. What is that you can offer that no one else does? How will you do that? When I started Fashion + Geekery for example, there was no one blogging about high end designers taking inspiration from geek culture, and the resulting collections. Like GGB, it was a simple concept that no one had yet approached.

Kendall: Where would you like to see GGB going over the next five to ten years?

Jamila: I hope to have chapters on all of the continents! Although Antarctica may be a bit difficult.

Yissel: GGB Tokyo. GGB Milan…. Yearly national meetups. #BrunchCon anyone? Brand partnerships would be amazing. Collaborating on capsule collections with fashion and beauty brands… that’s my hope.

Kendall: You guys have also co-founded several other projects. Jamila, you’ve started Straight Outta Gotham and Girl Gone Geek Blog. Yissel, you’ve founded Fashion + Geekery and Rachel you’ve co-founded FireandLunch. Can you all talk about some of the other projects you’ve founded, and how you manage to keep yourself sane when you’ve got so many different projects going at once?

Rachel: FireandLunch is a group that came together via a mutual love of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. We often found ourselves discussing the books over meals hence the name. We organize fan meetups (called Moots in the ASoIaF fandom) and we document all our adventures as fans of ASoIaF. We’ve met so many awesome fellow fans through FireandLunch. It has been very fun and has given us all a chance to really explore our shared fandom.. We also produce a podcast called The FireandLunch PieCast. There are 6 of us so scheduling is our biggest obstacle. We go to events, travel, blog, record and edit a podcast. We can get extremely busy, especially during the viewing seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones series. We work mostly in email and shared google docs and we try to cycle responsibilities amongst ourselves.

Jamila: Girl Gone Geek Blog was launched in 2010 and it’s where I blog about my geeky obsessions and musings. It’s pretty much what birthed a lot of my other geeky endeavors. Straight Outta Gotham is a Tumblr blog where I curate geeky rap lyrics shared as gifs and memes. It’s a lot of fun, I have bigger plans for it as well. The good thing about Girl Gone Geek and Straight Outta Gotham is that they are my creations and I only answer to myself. So there isn’t pressure to make sure I blog or post frequently if life is hectic.

Yissel: Fashion + Geekery stemmed from a desire to remove the intimidation factor of high end fashion, by demonstrating that designers were geeks too. I suppose I wanted to do the same for the closet geeks among the fashion set, by showing them it’s okay to like this geeky thing.  There are many geek fashion sites out there, but they’re run by geek girls (some fabulous ones at that) that only covered budget to moderate level clothing, without much insight beyond price and availability. What I cover is mostly young designer and designer markets, from the perspective of someone with a background in fashion.  So I will go into detail about inspiration, brand history, fabrication and design development. I wish there was another me to focus on that blog. I’ve devoted so much more time to GGB lately, that I neglect F+G for long periods. Fortunately Jamila had written a post a while back about getting over bloggers guilt that helped me. I’ve learned to forgive myself for not posting often. Rachel has even contributed a post to my blog, offering her insights as an art history major.  I hope to enlist other knowledgeable contributors in the future.

Kendall: What inspired you to create so many different spaces for yourselves on the internet?

Jamila: My blog Girl Gone Geek (although it probably represents me the most) wasn’t the best platform to host some of my other interests. So I made new ones!

Yissel: I wanted to put my BFA in Fashion Design to good use. I saw a need and I wanted to fiil it!

Kendall: Have you dealt with any negativity from starting either GGB or any of your other projects? How have you dealt with it?

Rachel: Negativity comes in many forms. There’s the obvious – people saying things directly to you at an event or on social media or in an email. I try to learn from every experience and do something about whatever it was that made someone have a negative experience. At GGB we have a code of conduct that makes dealing with a lot of things pretty clear cut, but I also allow myself to dismiss feedback if it is obvious trolling or unhelpful. I can’t please everyone and sometimes people are just hateful. I really focus on positive comments. Doing more of what makes the people I’m reaching happy. I think the more insidious kind of negativity is being taken advantage of by other people. When you are starting something new many creators feel pressure to say “Yes” to anything. Any kind of partnership or acknowledgement. But many people out there are just farming you for content or trying to use you as free labor. If it doesn’t match up with your goals for the project, if there isn’t a mutual benefit – say “No”.

Jamila: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Yissel: Ditto.

Kendall: What advice would you give to other women looking to follow in your footsteps?

Rachel: Starting up a project with your friends can be really hard but really rewarding. So absolutely go for it. Communicate, always! Tell each other when you disagree (I feel like a lot of young women have a hard time telling their friends that they disagree.). But tell each other when they are awesome too! It’s a give and take and it’s cliche but communication is key!

Jamila: Communication, delegation and organization are essential.

Yissel: Don’t underestimate the power of planning. I can’t stress enough that research is an integral part of any venture. It’s also possible to go it alone, but you’ll be grateful for a team. If you get overwhelmed and you need to step away, you’ll have people ready to step in, and the work continues.  Lastly, it so important to network as much as you can, and maintain healthy relationships, because along the way, you WILL be calling in favors! People like Leslie Stewart*, our pixel princess, and a co-founder in her own right  who helped us at the beginning by creating our logo and our website are a prime example of this. Make ALL the friends.

Kendall: Where can we find you all online?

Rachel: Twitter: @DarthRachel, Instagram: Darth_Rachel, and FireandLunch.

Jamila: Twitter & Instagram: @JamilaRowser, as well as  Girl Gone Geek and Straight Outta Gotham

Yissel: Twitter and Instagram: @TheDesignerGeek, Snapchat: TheDesignerGeek, and Fashion Plus Geekery


Kendall: Anything parting thoughts?

Yissel: A couple times a year, Geek Girl Brunch will host events that the Geek GUYS can attend too! We also launched an initiative a while back called #GGBDoBetter in an effort to promote outreach, to highlight girls that give back to their communities. We also have a page on our site called “Help Beyond Brunch,” to raise awareness of more serious issues that you may feel uncomfortable talking about in a brunch setting. The page offers a list of resources, should you need to reach out for professional help beyond our capabilities.

*Leslie aka Stewie will also be featured in this series. So stay tuned!!!

Thanks so much to Jamila, Rachel, and Yissel for taking time to talk with me. If you haven’t already, check out the Geek Girl Brunch site to see if there is a brunch chapter near you–if there isn’t consider starting one in your area! All the info you’ll need is on the GGB site. Don’t forget to check out the other posts in the series as I continue to talk to amazing women creating a space for themselves, starting businesses, and pursuing creative careers. Be sure to use the hashtag #RealJob to follow along on Twitter!  

Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops Is Your New Favorite Movie

I recently got the opportunity to watch the new film, Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops–yes, that’s really the title–and I also got to chat with the film’s co-writer and co-producer, Kylie Claude. You guys, this movie is completely out of control. Take a look at the film’s trailer:

Here’s the basic plot of the movie:

In the clandestine research tower of a ruthless Japanese security and arms company, Saisei Security, scientist MALI awakens employed mercenaries killed in combat, their death giving rise to a new, vicious breed of zombie… ZOMBIE NINJAS. Trapped amongst unsuspecting civilians, including former tactical operative DILLON (Adam T Perkins), the ZOMBIE NINJAS commanded by a ferocious leader (Soa ‘The Hulk’ Palelei) are unleashed in the inner city high-rise. They soon face off with the covert response mission deployed to fight back. This elite black ops team underestimates the brutality of their encounter, which ultimately tests their loyalty and friendship, resulting in a frightful assault between these two highly skilled lethal forces and DILLON thrust in the middle fighting for survival.

I’ll be honest, I had no clue what to expect from this movie, but it is a fun, action-packed ride from start to finish. If you’re looking for a heavy, serious zombie drama, you should probably look somewhere else. This movie is all about completely uncorked, ridiculous, out of control action, zombie fun. It’s available now, so head over to the website to pick yourself up a copy–you won’t be sorry you did.

Like I said, I got the opportunity to chat with one of the film’s writers and producers, Kylie, and it gave me even more of an appreciation for the film, the world they’re trying to develop, and life as an indie filmmaker. Here’s our conversation!

Kendall: You and your husband both wrote and produced this, correct?
Kylie: Yes. My husband and I developed the concept together and we kind of wrote it together, but primarily I guess I was the “chief writer” on it, juggling that with producing it. It was definitely fun.
Kendall: Which role did you find more challenging?
Kylie: That’s a really tough question! They’re both really challenging. I’d have to say that the most challenging part for me was the writing because so much rests on the writing, the concept, the idea, and with a movie like Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops, you’re not going to be winning any literary awards, it’s more about having lots of action and excitement. So trying to balance that into a script was the most challenging, but also the most fun.
Kendall: Where did the idea come from? That has been my biggest question!
Kylie: Well that in itself is a quite convulted story, but basically we’re action geeks and movie geeks, first and foremost. We love action movies, and being indie filmmakers we’ve got to have ideas that can be feasibly shot without buckets of money, and so my husband always wanted to see two very sort of capable combat forces go at each other. So he initially thought Ninjas vs. SWAT, but Ninjas being more restricted to knives and swords up against SWAT’s full tactical artillery, we thought it would be a bit of a no-brainer. So we thought how could we soup up the ninjas so they could be a mroe tactical opponent and so we loved the idea of the Bourne Legacy where the assets are all genetically enhanced, and we thought that was a cool concept. So we thought why don’t we do that with our ninjas, making them harder to kill, so we developed the zombie idea. And the interesting part is that they’re not really zombies. You being a zombie fan know they’re not your traditional zombies, they’re not actually even zombies, but it’s the most plausible answer that our characters in our movie can come up with, because they were once dead. Now they’re alive. I mean, what else do you call them? So at the loss of a better term, it kind of fit. So we really liked that part of it.
Kendall: Zombies are kind of all over the place, especially with shows like Walking Dead. And you said your zombies are different from what we normall see. Where did that inspiration come from to have zombies, but zombies that were a bit different?
Kylie: Well we love zombie movies, but I wouldn’t say we’re hardcore zombie fans, so we’re very conscious of not delving into an area that we couldn’t necessarily do justice to. WE’re action fans, so we tried to apply it to something that we knew. So our zombies, we wanted to come up with something different because zombie movies are everywhere–it’s very saturated. And for obvious reasons because they’re very entertaining. We wanted to come up with something a little bit unique, and we wanted our zombies to be a little bit more ferocious. So rather than something that’s easy to run away from, we wanted our zombies to feel more like a physical threat. So unless you have heavy artillery or something like that you don’t really stand a chance. So from an action standpoint, that was the most significant catalyst to turn them into something more ferocious. I don’t know if you recall the movie I Am Legend?
Kendall: Yeah!
Kylie: The creatures, the zombie creatures in I Am Legend, we really dug those. They were really ferocious, they were ruthless and very scary, so we really loved that element and hoped we could inject a little bit of that into our creatures.
Kendall: Yeah, that first action sequence was when I decided I was in love with the film, because it’s so out of control and oh gosh, it was fantastic. Now there’s a web series tied into this, right?
Kylie: Yes! We’re really excited about it. It’s an animated comic webseries, so the comic itself is a little bit different. So a lot of animated series have that traditional voiceover, but we really wanted to tie in that animation with a traditional comic feel, so we’ve got things like speech bubbles and stuff like that. And the comic series is very wondeful opportunity to really explore and expand the Zombie Ninjas world, so things that we can’t necessarily put into a film production, we can achieve with a comic webseries. SO we wanted to start it initially as a bit of a prelude to the movie, but the story does continue after the movie story line. And we’ve got big plans for quite a big world, and quite a ferocious world. So we’re really looking forward to bringing in new installments as well.
Kendall: Can you talk about what you’re envisioning for your world for this?
Kylie: Well it’s, the sorts of things we can incorporate into the web series is a lot more of the action brutality. A lot more of the gore. A lot more is revealed about what these creatures are as well. We know they’re zombie ninjas, but as we’ve talked about that’s a title given to them by the characters for want of a better term so we find out more about how they’ve come about, what their plans are and how far across the globe they’ve spread, so we’re very excited about it.
Kendall: As an indie filmmaker, what challenges have you experienced as you’ve tried to make this movie a reality?
Kylie: Like any indie filmmaker, there’s a raft of challenges, and entering into making a movie is obviously a massive, massive undertaking. So aside from things like virtually no money and limited resources, having such a small crew and having to do so much of it yourself from the lighting to shooting on location to even doing all of that production stuff to even post production. My husband edited the movie, did all the music, sound design, so doing everything is exhausting so exhaustion and energy is a challenge. But I’d say probably the biggest one that we’d love to improve for next time is to allow for more time. Because you can’t afford to pay cast for so many rehearsals, time on set, you get limitations for how long you can access the set, so having more time allows us to prepare a lot more to do more takes so that we can perfect the shooting as well as the performances and storyline. So I’d say time. Time is the biggest advantage and it was the biggest challenge.
Kendall: I’m sure there’s lots of memorable moments from a movie like this, but what would you say was your most memorable moment from the set?
Kylie: You’re right, there’s lots! One that stood out to me where we realized, “Oh my god, we’re having so much fun,” and you can only do this as guerilla indie filmmakers. We have one of our shots at the end of the movie where Soa who plays our zombie ninja boss escapes the building and it is the first time out of the building. Shooting that scene with him running in the street was so memorable because we really literally had to wing it. There were no road closures, we just went at 3am in the morning, we were like, “Okay, let’s just have a look.” The city was, at that time, deserted thankfully because it was during a weeknight as well so we found the intersection that we wanted and put a person on each corner to watch traffic and we just were running around with a camera and shooting it and we just had so much fun. It felt real free, guerilla filmmaking stuff. There were a couple of times where we’d notice the CCTV would turn to see what we were doing, so we’d have to get in and get out again. I’m not sure what would have happened if someone would have come up to us. They probably would have been freaked out. Sola, in life, is this huge, imposing figure of a person, and dressed as a zombie, yelling and screaming in the middle of the road? It was just a lot of fun because we just had to wing it.
Kendall: When you were writing the script, what kind of challenges did you encounter? I feel like this would be an interesting writing process all the way around.
Kylie: Trying to balance enough action with enough revelation of the story. Because as I said, first and foremost it’s an action movie. We weren’t wanting to really compromise divulging the story through writing forsaking the action. Action was our priority, and we wanted our audience to feel like they were on an adrenaline rush from start to finish. Writing for a story where it’s just that particular snapshot in time where you don’t have the luxury of going back in time to describe things with this overarching timeline, keeping things condensed in a challenge. Keeping that hour and a half as action-packed as possible while telling the audience what they need to follow along with the story and the characters. Short answer is writing in enough exciting action.
Kendall: You’ve mentioned the webseries, and you’re really just creating a huge universe with this Zombie Ninjas and Black Ops story. How long have you been playing with this idea? Was this sort of a passion project for you?
Kylie: We’ve definitely been working on this project for the past few years. We initially wanted to shoot it at an exterior location that we had in mind, so we had a different timeline in mind, then we got access to a building. We were really fortunate to get that opportunity. As indie filmmakers you don’t get that all that often, so we decided to take advantage of that, rework the script and shoot it in that context. So that was a real advantage for us and was really exciting to take advantage of. Since then the world has really expanded. Shooting some of the characters we’ve thought, “Oh, yeah, this would be a really great video game,” and we’d really love to see it and explore it. So it definitely is a passion project, but we put that passion into everything we do, so it’s not necessarily more than other scripts that we have in the works that we’d love to develop as well. But yeah, it’s definitely been been a great couple of years.
Kendall: Who are some of your film making role models?
Kylie: That’s a great question! From a director’s standpoint there’s a number of them. Tony Scott for me personally, I really hold him in really, really high regard. I just find his movies, he’s action beautiful, the cinematography was, I feel, very ahead of his time. Very dynamic, very visually spectacular, so definitely Tony Scott. Quentin Tarantino is like a genius to me. He’s like my hero. I think that he’s incredible and I love that he takes inspiration from filmmakers that have stepped before him. He honors them in his films by being inspired and using some of their techniques. But in terms of mastering characters, he’s just phenomenal. And then I also love all movies and can be a bit of a romantic at times, so Nancy Myers and Nora Ephron, back in the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan kind of days on the romantic side of things. So you know, very well rounded. But I would say JCVD? Jean Claude Van Damme? He’s like, so great. I know it’s very ecclectic group, but off the top of my head they’re the ones that make me want to make movies and get into the business more seriously.
Kendall: How long have you been making movies?
Kylie: I’ve always been a movie geek. It’s always been a dream, but in terms of actually going for it, probably the past seven or so years we’ve been exploring how we can actually do it, honing our skills and playing around with it. But certainly more seriously in the last sort of 4 or 5 years we made our first movie called Dead Time a few years back, and that was a great sort of learning experience to really explore what it’s like to take movies from a short sort of inter to feature length to feature film. At the same time with Zombie Ninjas we’re still learning as we go. So for me, movies have always been a passion. So finding our fit in where we fit with movies has kind of been what we’re trying to explore.
Kendall: What is it like working with your husband?
Kylie: Well we’re really lucky. It sounds really cheesy, but we really gel together. Anyone on set would know that. It’s not always perfect harmony, but we really compliment where we’re so fortunate that we have a collective goal, that one dream that we share together, so we can help each other. If we’re feeling challenged or down at times, the other person can go and help the other person up, and vice-versa. It really does help. It’s a massive undertaking, you get beaten around, people have opinions, so sometimes emotionally it can be difficult. So it can be really great to have each other and to have each other’s backs. I don’t think it would be possible without him. I really believe that we’re such a great unit together, and because we’ve found each other we’re able to pursue our dreams. It sounds cheesy, but.
Kendall: I totally get it! What are you working on next?
Kylie: Certainly further exploration of the comic series, and we haven’t made any hard and fast decisions yet on a feature direction, but we have a number of cool scripts that we’re wanting to develop. Maybe we’ll go in a bit of a different direction, we’re not sure, but for now we’re really focusing on developing the Zombie Ninjas world. Also with distributing we want to spend as much time as we can getting it out there, globally, so that’s really going to take a lot of our time. No real hard and fast decisions made just yet, but we’ll definitely be looking at doing a new feature as soon as we can.
Kendall: Where can we find you online?
Kylie: ZombieNinjasMovie.com, ZombieNinjasComic.com, Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks so much to Kylie for chatting with us! Don’t forget to head to the website to get yourself a copy of the movie, and let me know your favorite quirky horror or action movie is! 

Everyday Cosplay: Indiana Jones

I’m an editor and a writer, so usually my daily excitement doesn’t stray too far beyond dealing with a dangling participle or fixing a dead link in a post. Still, there was definitely a time in my life when I craved a job that brought a hearty amount of adventure. I thought it would be so cool to be an archaeologist. I even practiced the archaeologist’s creedo:
indiana jones
Even though I told myself that I understood that a regular 9-5 for an archaeologist wouldn’t look anything like a typical day for Indiana Jones, I secretly hoped it would. I took an archaeology class in college, and sadly, I realized that the job simply didn’t have the excitement, Nazi-fighting, and Holy Grail snatching thrills that I hoped. So I decided archaeology was not for me. Indiana Jones, on the other hand, most definitely is always going to be something I’m obsessed with. To pay tribute to my favorite a-typical archaeologist, I’ve created this everyday cosplay look:
Everyday Indiana Jones


Did you ever want to be an archaeologist because of Indiana Jones? Did you ever pursue a career or education based on inspiration from a movie or TV? Let me know about it in the comments!

The Mary Sue Post: The Walking Dead Recap

You guys, this season of The Walking Dead has been giving me tons of feelings. With a major character that I love potentially dying but potentially being okay, this season has left me a hot mess of big fandom feels. It also doesn’t help that the showrunners are low-key trolling us all by taking the actor’s name out of the credits and making us wait WEEKS to find out this guy’s fate.

Well, this week still didn’t give us answers on that particular characters fate (can you tell I’m avoiding spoilers up here?) but it did give us an episode more Daryl-focused, which is always a plus. I’m over at The Mary Sue talking about it, and I hope you’ll join me over there to break down the episode–and the mysterious voice on the walkie at the end! (spoilers ahead–be wary)


…Daryl is separated from Sasha and Abraham after a spontaneous attack. While my first instinct was to call the attackers Wolves, they seem far too in control and too calculated for the crazy, unrestrained brutality of the Wolves. They’re also attacking in cars with guns, when Wolves–at least the ones we’ve met–attack on foot without guns. I have a guess on who the attackers are, but more on that later.

As Daryl is trying to hide from his attackers, a group of three road-weary travelers take Daryl captive and steal his crossbow. Right off the bat, it seems like these three think Daryl is someone he isn’t, repeatedly saying Daryl is “one of them”, defending the bag they’re carrying by saying, “we earn what we took.” It’s obvious that these guys have clearly escaped from someone, but again, their lucid nature and the lack of a grotesque W carved into their forehead makes me think they aren’t Wolves.

While Daryl was busy being a prisoner, Abraham and Sasha held up in the office of Sunrise Auto Insurance to wait for Daryl and plan their next move if he never showed up. I’ll be honest, things got a bit weird between those two. Sasha spent a great deal of the episode trying to figure out where exactly Abraham’s head was. Both Sasha and Abraham have really struggled with living life in this new world, but Sasha seems to have some wisdom and peace that Abraham is notably lacking. While Abraham is busy being reckless, jumping from moving cars, nearly shooting a lone walker, and yelling in the faces of walkers, Sasha tries to figure out what exactly Abraham’s motivation is for being so reckless. Sasha and Abraham have big conversations on the point of life, especially in light of their losses, Abraham losing his family and his world-saving mission, and Sasha losing her brother and her boyfriend. Their entire interaction here seems bizarre, Sasha trying to keep Abraham lucid and safe, and Abraham essentially going a bit stir crazy. Of course, it all culminates with Abraham coming on to Sasha because he just knows she’s into him. That gross pick up line aside, it’s unclear if he was right about Sasha’s feelings for him. It’s also unclear if, when she said he had things to get in order back home, if it was in reference to Rosita. We’ll have to see how that random pairing plays out…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue, and tell me your thoughts on the episode in the comments!

5 Fandom Friday: My Favorite Thanksgiving Foods (TV Style)


I’ll be honest, Thanksgiving isn’t one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with my family, and I like a day devoted to thankfulness, but the holiday itself isn’t on the top of my list–especially with a holiday full of lights, music, gifts, seasonal movies, and general awesomeness looming just around the corner. Still, Thanksgiving often gets ignored, which is too bad. So in this week’s Fandom 5, I’m tipping my hat to Thanksgiving by talking about my favorite seasonal foods with a twist–my favorite Thanksgiving foods from my favorite TV shows. No more pushing Thanksgiving aside for Christmas, let’s get our Thanksgiving on and talk food, you guys.

Squash and Beef, It’s Always Sunny in PHILADELPHIA

After realizing that they have beef with TONS of people, the gang has a “beef squashing” party on Thanksgiving to clear the air with those they’ve wronged. Party planning naturals, the gang decides to offer some themed items to help get everyone in the spirit–naturally serving squash and beef to symbolize their squashing beefs with their neighbors as well as literally burying a hatchet and wiping the slate clean.

sunny-squashes-beefs-onthenose-1 sunny-squashes-beefs-onthenose-2 sunny-squashes-beefs-onthenose-3

That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, you guys. #beautiful.

Nick’s Thanksgiving Fish, New Girl

After being accused of going soft, Nick decides to invite the entire group to do Thanksgiving in the wild, camping-style. Of course, because he’s Nick, he doesn’t bring any food, planning on foraging through the wild. Of course it doesn’t work, as the group has zero survival skills, and Nick ends up nearly killing Jess when she tries to be supportive and eats the rancid fish he caught.  

The eye popping out is most certainly not how you tell it’s good, Nick. I love this episode, and the underlying message is one of the most wonderful and important of all time: camping is awful.

Will’s Cranberry Sauce, Will & Grace


Fans of Will & Grace know that Will Truman is one hell of a cook, so when he decides to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal for his boyfriend’s–Vince–family, he is certain he’ll impress everyone and instantly fall in the good graces of Vince’s mom. That, of course, does not happen. Instead, literally everything goes wrong, and Will ends up freaking out. It’s hilarious, but ultimately heartwarming, and is one of my favorite episodes. The best part? Though Will spends hours making the entire meal from scratch, the one item that gets him a compliment from Vince’s mom is the cranberry sauce–which comes from a can. 

Okay, so that wasn’t a clip of Will’s epic freakout or Vince’s mom complimenting the cranberry sauce. I couldn’t find one anywhere, but watching Jack try to sit on a plastic-covered sofa is a Thanksgiving gift to us all.

Eriksen Family Seven Salad, HIMYM

Eriksen Salad

I absolutely love the Eriksen family seven-layer salad. It’s completely ridiculous, and basically the stuff of legend by now. I love how, in any holiday episode that followed this one, you can almost always catch sight of this beast in the background. I had thought this monster of a side dish was a hyperbolic statement on the way midwesterners do “salad”–and it definitely is, but not as much as I thought it was. Just yesterday I heard my friends talk about their family tradition of having similar “salads” with their Thanksgiving meals–minus stuff like chips and Funyons of course, but still, the fact that I know actual humans who annually eat something even remotely adjacent to the Eriksen’s seven-layer salad stunned me. Want to make your own Eriksen family seven layer salad? I don’t recommend it, but here’s the recipe.

Lance the Turkey, Bob’s Burgers

It’s no secret that Bob loves Thanksgiving, so during a particularly weird Thanksgiving of pretending to be Mr. Fischoeder’s cook and letting his family pose as Fischoeder’s family, Bob discovers and drinks some absinthe in Fischoeder’s kitchen. After that, things…get weird.bob's burgers totoro

Bob always names his Thanksgiving turkeys–this year’s turkey being called Lance–but after the absinthe, Bob imagines Lance coming to life Totoro-style and whisking the family away on a tiny pumpkin to perch on a giant tree made of Thanksgiving vegetables.

weird thanksgiving

Yes, Bob. It is weird. But also the best thing ever.

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods–from TV or your real life? Let me know in the comments, and as always, check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and follow the #Fandom5 hashtag to see what everyone else is talking about today!

It’s Totally a Real Job: Melificent, Blogger

it's totally a real job...

I’ve gotten to meet some amazing women since I’ve started blogging, and one of the coolest women I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with is the lovely Meli from Melificent.com. Meli has managed to create a blog that celebrates her favorite forms of fandom and geekery, but she also brings her signature style in with some amazing and inspiring fashion posts and writes about her newest adventure: parenting (geeky parenting, of course). She’s created a brand and a true community with her readers, and it’s not only inspiring for someone like me who’s also trying to create a brand and community, but seeing her build something and truly succeed is inspiring to anyone who comes in contact with her. Even more awesome, her hard work paid off in October when she was given the Geekie Award for best website and blog. I’m so excited to start off my newest series, It’s Totally a Real Job with her. Meli has been a huge source of inspiration to me in my writing and blogging, and I know she’ll inspire you, too. So without further ado, let’s chat with her!

What were your big dreams for Melificent.com when you first started your blog?

That someone would actually read it!
No, seriously – I didn’t know what I actually wanted when I started the blog other than to share. I had always had some sort of blog, whether it was a Livejournal account or a blogspot. At that point in time, I was just using blogs to chronicle my life so starting a “big girl blog” was a little daunting. I also started it without much of a focus, but I always knew I wanted to connect with others – something I had always loved about blogging and the Internet in general.

Did you always have an interest in fashion, or did that develop in time?

I had always loved fashion, playing with patterns and colors, and expressing myself through my wardrobe. I decided to start posting outfits as part of a 30-day challenge a few years ago, and I got such good feedback that I started incorporating them into my blog. Before I knew it, I had a fashion blog!

You recently won the Geekie for Best Website/Blog. Did you ever imagine getting an award like that? 

Not in my wildest dreams!!!! I’ve been blogging for so long, and have worked so hard to make my content original and special, that it was incredible to finally be recognized. When I got the news, I seriously thought I was dreaming (granted, I was on a couple of hours of sleep right after my daughter’s birth). ;)

One of the tough things about starting a blog and website, especially when fandom is involved, is finding your niche. It’s tempting to write about all the things and have a crazy, scattered site. Obviously being a geeky mom came from being pregnant, but even before Luna, how did you manage to settle on a theme and idea for your blog?

This was very tough for me. As I said, I’ve been blogging for a very long time, but I could not just focus on one topic. My blog was everywhere. The biggest criticism I received when asking for advice from other bloggers was that I needed a focus, but I didn’t believe them. Boy, were they right.
One day, I realized that I had ventured down a road that I was unfamiliar with. I felt disingenuous, which was the last thing I ever wanted to be. It was then that I sat down and thought of what I really love and who I really am. That’s when the Melificent you all know and love was born. I’m geeky. I like geeky things. I’m a fangirl. I love fashion. It’s incredible how easily posts are written when you are focusing on something you absolutely love.

Not only have you set yourself up as a reliable voice in “geek chic” and being a geeky mom, you’ve really created a Melificent.com community. What is the thing you want your readers to take away from your site? 

Aw, well thank you!
Most importantly to me, I want to be real. I want to help others, whether it be in superficial ways, like putting together a great outfit, or delving a little deeper, like sharing my experience of loss and growth. I don’t want to present a facade because I feel like that’s too prevalent in the blogging/social media culture. No, my life is not perfect. No, I’m not perfect, but that’s OK.

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting your site? 

That working hard pays off. No matter if it takes 2 days or 2 years. You will see the payoff.

You also work a “normal” 9-5 in addition to your work on your site, correct? How do you balance a job, a life, and a site? 

I get asked this constantly!
It really isn’t hard work for me, and I attribute that to being a little OCD and anal about scheduling. I have, and always have had, excellent time management skills. My 9-5 is also not necessarily 9-5, which makes it easier for me to keep up with writing posts. I’ve realized that if you love something, you truly will make time for it. I was worried about falling behind when I gave birth to my daughter, but I found it pretty natural to fall into a routine again (aka; blogging during my late night/early morning shifts). I’m sure the same will apply when I have to go back to work after maternity leave. If you want to make it happen, you will.

What mistake did you make in the formative years of Melificent.com that you’d like to help other aspiring creators avoid?

Write about whatever you love. Do not start a blog (or anything for the record) because it seems to be working for other people or is popular. Follow whatever you are passionate about. You will always speak and create from the heart.

If you could impart one piece of advice to others aspiring to follow in your footsteps, what would it be? 

Similar to the above, be yourself. You’ll never go wrong. :)

Where can we find you online? 

Facebook, Twitter: @somelificent, Instagram: @melificent, or Pinterest.

Thanks so much to Meli for taking the time to answer these questions. Be sure to check her out on her blog and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Her OOTD posts alone are worth the follow! Have questions for Meli or other geeky girlbosses I’ll be talking to in the future? Let me know in the comments, or ask me on Twitter with the #RealJob hashtag! I’ll be back next week with another awesome woman talking about her unique path that is totally a real job. 

The Mary Sue Post: Walking Dead Recap, “Now”

I’ll be honest, y’all. Yesterday I took a vacation day, and I had BIG plans to get All the Writing done, and it didn’t happen. Turns out I really, really needed a day to recharge my batteries and do nothing other than play Ocarina of Time. Because of that, I didn’t even link to my recap of Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. Fail for me.

Still, I wanted to be sure I linked to it because Sunday’s episode was filled with some solid character development, a big announcement, and still NO WORD on that certain character for which I’m still holding out hope of his survival. Here’s an excerpt (spoilers ahead, obvs.):


…Deanna was not doing well after losing her son, her husband, after the attack on Alexandria, and then Rick leading a twenty-deep herd right to the city gates. It’s been a rough week for a woman who has essentially been riding out the apocalypse in a gated community. She spent most of the episode walking aimlessly around Alexandria and getting yelled at her drunk son.

As she’s processing the horrors she’s seen, Aaron confesses to the group that the Wolves found Alexandria after he and Daryl fell into a Wolves trap while out recruiting, and Aaron lost his bag—which led the Wolves right to Alexandria. Rick shoots Aaron a glance that I had a tough time reading—I’m not sure if it was one of anger, frustration, or understanding. Either way, he says they’ll talk about it more later, so we’ll have to see what comes of Rick and Aaron’s relationship. Regardless of Rick’s feelings towards what happened, it’s obvious that Aaron feels personally responsible for all of the death in Alexandria, and is looking for some way to try to make amends….

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue and let me know your thoughts on Sunday’s episode in the comments!