We just wanted to thank all the hundreds of people who entered our Signed Book Blog Giveaway!
The comments and answers that we got to our blog entry question were just fantastic. We asked a question; ‘for you to love a book, what elements does it have to have? (examples: funny characters, love triangles, smart heroines, complicated friendships, loving family, magic, mystery, horror….)’.
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts, we agreed with so many of them!! 😀
Now, the moment everyone is waiting for, the winner of a signed copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, is…..
Congratulations Ashley!! We’ll be emailing you shortly!
(Ashley has a YA book blog over at YA big BOOKworm, if you go visit her, say hello from us! 😀 )
Today we have a fantastic read up for grabs, it is a signed TheFault in Our Stars, by John Green. Whether you’ve read it or not, this is a must have for any bookshelf! 😀
Book description (from amazon):
‘Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.’
Ridley: Have many of us ‘follow’ random channels on youtube? It’s amazing (in a fantastic way) that some of these people have become internet celebrities through uploading interesting and often times funny videos. They make their content so worthwhile, that internet users willingly spend their precious free time viewing them. They deserve their ‘famous’ status far more than some of the ‘famous because I’m famous’ types that are always splashed across our magazines.
When I watch them, a small part of me often wishes I could be part of this youtube community, where all the top youtubers seem to know each other and do guest appearances…it just all seems like a lot of fun! These people are without a doubt extremely hard-working; they put long hours in, not only thinking up content to video, but sometimes drafting their script, taping it and then editing it.
It must be quite labour-intensive (though of course work isn’t work if you enjoy it, just an extension of your hobby really)!
But I think I’d have one main problem to overcome to be one of them…this problem leads me to think that these video makers are brave.
Brave, how so?
Well, have you ever tried to stand in front of a camera and just talk, basically to yourself? These youtubers are able to face the world and talk to us, without any awkwardness or inability to express themselves.
Most of the time, there’s no one else there with them- it’s just you, in a room and the round black hole of the camera lens, spearing you with its unending angry gaze…I suppose you’d have to try envision someone at the other end, watching you….but then that gets kind of creepy. So I’d rather not! (I’m now picturing ‘The Eye’, the all seeing Red Eye of Mordor. Run Frodo, I mean me! Run Ridley!)*shudder*
I tried once to do a video. It was just with the little HP webcam thing on my laptop. I was never going to uploading anything, it was just for fun. Even still, I clammed up completely and become really self-conscious. I felt like an eejit. I had no intention of ever showing it to another soul, not even one of my dogs, and yet I just couldn’t be myself. The result was very cringe-worthy- me, smiling like a buffoon, one sweeping wave with the words ‘Hello, world!’
It will go with me to my grave.
Mind, I am one of those people that throws numerous suspicious glances at any camera in my immediate vicinity. Photos of me nearly always consist just of a blur or a random limb- an arm or a foot or a lock of my hair-as I dive out of the shot. So the invention of camera phones, like my beloved iphone, is both a blessing and a curse.
However, I am also aware that writers today are expected to create an ‘author platform’. We are expected to put ourselves forward, to become a brand. Look at Stephen King, that’s a prime example of a branded author. (Though saying that, if your work isn’t good enough and people don’t enjoy it, no amount of selling yourself will bring you any success) Despite this notion of the ‘author brand’, compared to an actor, I can still duck down behind my typed words.
Now, getting back to these youtube citizens and away from my numerous ‘issues’, I do have a few people that I love to follow online. Mostly because they make me laugh or because they’re very insightful and thought provoking…mostly I laugh…
Wong Fu Productions
Ted, Wes and Phil are three friends that make up Wong Fu, they work together as film producers. They write, film and edit all their own stuff. Their official film shorts are beautiful; a lot of them have a romantic slant though there’s a good bit of comedy too. I love their stuff. (Truly, they often inspire me and sometimes make me long to be able to write and produce our work this way. I’m certain Latimer and I could come up with quite a few nice ‘moments’ and shorts. Maybe one day….though I won’t be in them, I’d be the disembodied voice off to the side!) Saying that, Wong Fu are extremely talented, there is a lot of planning and effort injected into each of their projects. They also do Wong Fu weekends, random fun video blog uploads, which make me jealous betimes at the fun they have together. Whether it’s driving tanks, visiting anime conventions, buying Christmas trees, food fairs or just playing games together in their office, they really seem like they enjoy life to the full and are doing what they love. Plus they have merchandise for sale that includes cute chibi-like stuffed animals!
Here’s a video short that they’d directed and filmed together:
Here’s one of their fun WongFu Weekend videos:
Purely because I love everything that they do, they can do no wrong in my eyes! Here’s a great video, with Bill Bailey as one of the voice actors!
Ryan Higa, he’s funny and very random. Originally from Hawaii, he’s been around youtube for a very long time. He’s the second most subscribed youtuber, after some other guy that, to me, just shouts a lot (Ray William Johnson-he gives you the highlights of the week on youtube)
He is also just as random as Ryan, he chats about his life and his Dad is very funny (he’s starting to amass his own following too!). Kevin often brings him in to do skits and videos.
This is someone I only recently started following. He’s only been on youtube for about a year, but has amassed quite a number of fans. He’s a Korean comedian, with such expressive features as he delivers his lines, you can’t help but laugh!
Natalie Tran (communitychannel)
The most subscribed Australian youtuber (by the by, if anyone knows who the most subscribed Irish youtuber is, let me know. I tried searching once but came up with nada!) She’s extremely funny and turns every day observations or her own thoughts/phobias/habits into amusing tales. She has my sort of humour really, she always makes me laugh. She would be really one of my favourites. She also has a few videos with Lonely Planet’s youtube channel, where she reviewed travel destinations such as Paris, Singapore, Egypt, Jordan to name one or four.
A brilliant channel with animated videos, How It Should Have Ended, creates alternative endings to the most popular television shows, movies and games out there, from Men in Black, Jurassic Park to Assassins Creed and Warcraft.
How X-men: First Class Shout Have Ended:
Charlie Is so cool like
A British guy who basically shares his opinions, likes and dislikes. He likes science, a lot. You could learn something while you procrastinate! He’s another extremely popular youtuber. He also has a Stephen Fry voice over at the end of his videos, which is pretty impressive by itself! Also along the same lines would be these two guys, Danisnotonfire and Amazingphil, also British!
Mr Weebl-particularly his Cat Face series
Another channel with great animated videos, some of which are extremely weird. In particular, I like his Cat Face series!
And his song, Tiny Japanese Girl
A singer, he promotes his music online, he has one or two really great songs. He’s also taken part in a few fun videos with other youtubers such as with Kevin Wu (KevJumba) and Ryan Higa (NigaHiga). Quite a number of well-established youtubers here and there frequently pop into each other’s videos. They all seem to be friends. Wong Fu have also collaborated with Ryan in the past. I think some of this collaboration and friendship is due to the fact they’ve all taken part in an ISA event. ISA is a concert events company set up by Wong Fu and Far East Movement, which ‘showcases the bright and most talented rising artists of the Internet Generation’.
One of Chester’s music videos, I quite like this song.
Just an example of the collaboration between these particular youtubers I was talking about!
Vlogbrothers (Hank and John Green)
Two American brothers who began their youtube channel by video blogging to each other and uploading it. Very interesting way of creating youtube videos, they’re not necessarily chatting to an audience, but to the other brother, perhaps this makes it easier to just talk to the camera? Honestly, I’m new to watching these guys though.
Here’s Hank, the younger brother, speaking with Charlie (as in Charlie is so cool like)-see they’re all friends!!
This is John Green, the older brother of the two:
Harvard Sailing Team
More comedy, I particular love this video series of theirs….Boys will be Girls and Girls will be Boys…totes!
Anyway, I thought I’d just share a few of the fun places I hang out at during my procrastinating moments. You can’t go wrong with any of the above channels, hours of entertainment there! That said, anyone else a fan of these youtubers? What videos are your favourites? I’d love recommendations if anyone has new people for me to follow! Just let me know, I’ll pop onto them and then tell you what I think!
And yes, I am one of the millions of people that watch the cat videos. They’re just so cute!!