Thursday, November 7, 2013

Geek Girls Gab with The Nerdy Blogger

My name is Ashley Thomas.  I've got a B. A. in Literature and am working on my M. A. in Literature and Language with an emphasis in Sci-fi & Fantasy (from the coolest school ever, Mythgard Institute).  I'm working towards becoming a college professor so I can teach about Harry Potter, but in the mean time, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in social media and copywriting.  I've been a nerd pretty much my entire life, and was really introduced to a lot of nerdy things by my mother (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc....nobody told me girls weren't supposed to be into sci-fi and fantasy!).  It's gotten worse ever since and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I blog at The Nerdy Blogger and podcast with my brother-from-another-mother Jonathan on The Monsters at the End of this Podcast.  When I'm not doing school, blogging, working, or podcasting, I'm hanging out with my husband Ryan and our two cat-monsters, Luna (named for Sailor Moon's cat Luna) and Oliver (named for the Disney film, Oliver and Company).  Oh, and a buddy I can say that we've been tickled by Gimli.  But that is a fun and awkward story for another day.  
The Nerdy Girlie:  What is your 1st nerd memory? 
Ashley:  Hmmm...this is a tough question.  I think the first time I realized I was a nerd was when I was playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my best friends Adam and James in kindergarten.  Some other boys wanted to play with us too, but they wanted to make me be April since I was a girl.  I vehemently refused, insisting that I would be Michelangelo.  There was a fight, but I think I eventually got my way.  Just realizing that I was a girl and enjoyed playing the "action" part of the Ninja Turtles instead of always being slated as the girl character in whatever fandom I was into at the time made me realize that I was really different from just about any other girls I knew.  I was often ostracized for it, but I didn't care too much.  The peer pressure wasn't enough to make me quit enjoying the things I loved.  I also remember going to the grocery store with my mother when I was around 6 years old and had been reading on my own for a little while.  I asked for a $1 bag of random comics.  She obliged, since she wanted to encourage reading and comics wouldn't rot my teeth like a chocolate bar.  This is how my comics collection started and I've been collecting comics ever since.

TNG:  How and why did you start blogging?  
Ashley:  I started blogging in 2004, just on a personal level, but started trying to write for a wider audience in 2009.  I figured the best way to start writing is to write about what I know--nerdy things!
TNG:  YOUR favorite blog? 
Ashley:  Do I have to choose just one?  I seriously can't.  There are several that I read and enjoy, but the ones that immediately come to mind are The Rabbit Room and The Hogshead.  I'm a lit and indie music geek and The Rabbit Room is my home for those things.  The Rabbit Room is named for the room in The Eagle and Child Pub where J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and many of their other friends gathered to have a pint and share drafts of their writing.  This is where the first chapters of The Hobbit were read, etc.  The Rabbit Room site attempts to recreate that sort of atmosphere.  The Hogshead is a fantastic site for those looking for smart talk on Harry Potter and other related literature, television, and films.  It's an especially great place to check out during October for loads of Halloween fun.  A new favorite is The Retroist, a great site and podcast that features excellent retro nerdy fun--superheroes, television, films, toys--you name it, it's there.
TNG:  What is your favorite thing/things to nerd out about?  
Ashley:  It might be shorter to tell you the things I DON'T nerd out about, haha!  But the short list is as follows (in no particular order): Harry Potter, Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Chuck (Zachary Levi is the big brother I always wanted), vintage video games, comics (especially She-Hulk and the X-Men), loads of things.  

TNG:  Any tips for San Diego Comic Con?  
Ashley:  I have never gotten the pleasure of attending Comic Con, but as for the many other Cons I've attended, arriving early is always a great idea.  That way you're in line to see your favorite celebrities first, pick up the swag, and grab those toys or comics you've been eyeing at the best price.  

TNG:  Girlie things you love?  
Ashley:  Oh dear.  I'm really not girlie.  Seriously.  Sometime on twitter, do a search for the hashtag #awesomeatbeingagirl.  Chances are you'll find my latest non-girlie escapades and give yourself a good laugh in the process.  When I was a kid, I'd have much rather been playing in the mud than playing with dolls.  However, when it comes girl talk, I do tend to go bananas.  I love listening to the problems of my best gals and try to offer some "sage old-married-lady" advice to them when they ask.  Those are the times when I feel the most "girlie."

Thank you to Ashley for answering our questions!  We BOTH have ginger cats and Oliver and Co is what made me fall in love with them!  It is so fun to find similarities with other nerdy girlies!!!  Make sure you check out her blog:  The Nerdy Blogger and follow her on Twitter:  @TheNerdyBlogger!

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