Geek Girl of the Month – Mandy
Here at Geek Girl Brunch we are proud of our many accomplished members and officers. That’s why we decided to start a blog series called “Geek Girl of the Month”. Each month we will highlight an amazing member of our community with a special post.
This month, we have chosen Mandy from GGB Austin! Mandy was nominated by GGB Officer Sandra.
Bio: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world who—by day—is a technical writer for a large technology company, and—by night—blogs about YA books and pop culture. She lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and their two dogs, Mrs. Mollie Weasley and Frigga.
How did you start/get involved with your project?
– A Nerdy World: I’ve been fascinated by pop culture for as long as I can remember, and found blogging about a decade ago to be an amazing way to connect with people all around the world who share my obsessions. Forever Young Adult: In late 2012, I started a 30 on 30 project that included “going outside my comfort zone.” (I’m a total introvert and hermit, haha.) One of the ways I did this was joining a local chapter of the Forever Young Adult Book Club —which I HIGHLY recommend you do, if there’s one in your area. The head of the Austin chapter is also the founder of the FYA website, and I struck up a conversation with her about possibly contributing to the site. I happened to ask at a time when a bunch of the core writers were leaving the site, and—et voilà!—I joined the team.
What motivates you?
– Praise? Kidding—sort of. I’ve always been a terrible teacher’s pet, but positive feedback is only one thing that motivates me. Helping others and making others smile are two huge reasons that I do the things I do. I also love making connections/friends through common interests.
Tell us about an obstacle, or obstacles you had to overcome to get to where you are.
– I touched on this above, but I’m a huge introvert, have social anxiety, and hate being the center of attention. Through FYA, I’ve received opportunities to moderate book and author events at festivals and book stores in front of huge crowds. At first, I had to practically force myself to do these events, but with each new event, I feel more comfortable both with being in front of crowds and myself in general.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
– To keep making connections with fellow nerds and book lovers. To spread nerd culture and the love of YA books far and wide!
Who is your role model?
– My mom. She’s a strong, independent woman who instilled in me a love of nerdy stuff from a very early age. (Fun fact: She named me Amanda after Spock’s mom, Amanda Grayson.) She also, in retirement, has become a world traveler—she goes on trips to Europe and the UK … totally by herself. Serious #momgoals.
What’s your secret superpower?
– Speed reading, which is important considering that I read 1–2 books a week for FYA.
Favorite tip for self motivation/productivity/organizing etc.
– I’m a total list nerd, and love making (and color-coding) my schedule each week, both in my physical planner and using a digital calendar. I have a busy day job, write for two different blogs, often have other writing projects, have a husband who likes to hang out with me, and occasionally need to be social with friends … all of those deadlines/events/etc. would get super muddied and/or overlooked if I didn’t write everything down. I also highly recommend the task manager app, Todoist. What a lifesaver!
How did you hear about GGB?
– I think it was either a blog post or a tweet. I can’t remember who said blog post or tweet was by, sadly. (I have a terrible memory!)
What do you enjoy most about GGB?
– Getting to hang out with awesome women who have a wide variety of geeky interests. I feel like I learn something new each brunch I attend, thanks to this diversity of interests.
Do you have any words of wisdom for your fellow GGBrunchers?
– I have two tattoos on my wrists that serve as daily reminders to be brave, strong and true. They’re snippets of quotes from two brilliant women: “Do one thing every day that scares you” (Eleanor Roosevelt) and “It is never too late to become what you might have been” (commonly, but perhaps incorrectly, attributed to George Eliot/Mary Ann Evans). Words of wisdom to be sure.
Thanks Mandy for being apart of Geek Girl Brunch and letting us feature you in this blog series!
If you would like to nominate yourself or a fellow GGB member to be our next Geek Girl of the Month, then simply send an email to the main site with the subject “GGB of the Month”. In the body of the email please give a brief description of your project and any links, or the name and info for the brunchette you’re nominating, so we can get in touch with her.