Archive for Blog Nuts and Bolts

A New Blog and the Harry Potter Project

Jan
18
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts


I’m starting a new blog! Obsessed with Creativity will be home to all of my obsessions. I’m hoping to feature posts on music, movies, TV shows, crafting and cooking, as well as the occasional life-happenings type post. There’s no schedule – I’ll just be posting whenever I have something to squee about! I would love to have you join me!





Cinder Read-Along

Jan
15
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts
Cinder Read-Along
I know. I’m crazy. I’m rereading three books already, and I want to add a fourth to that? But, but, BUT! Cinder is THE BEST, and I just got my copy, and I need an excuse to read it (since I now have MY OWN), plus I really REALLY want to! SO, I am joining the Cinder Read-Along! It is being hosted by Tt at Neverending Stories and Alice at Rotten Apple Reads and the schedule is as follows:
Here is the Schedule:
1/15- Read to Chapter 2
1/16- Read to Chapter 4
1/17- Read to Chapter 6
1/18- Read to Chapter 8
1/19- Read to Chapter 10
1/20- Read to Chapter 12
1/21- Read to Chapter 14
1/22- Read to Chapter 16
1/23- Read to Chapter 18
1/24- Read to Chapter 20
1/25- Read to Chapter 22
1/26- Read to Chapter 24
1/27- Read to Chapter 26
1/27- Read to Chapter 28
1/28- Read to Chapter 30
1/29- Read to Chapter 32
1/30- Read to Chapter 34
1/31- Read to Chapter 35
2/2- Read to Chapter 36
2/3- Read to Chapter 37
2/4- Read to Chapter 38
2/5-Done (Last day to tweet) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Released!
2/6-Winner’sAnnounced!
The best part is 2 winners will be chosen to receive a signed copy of either Cinder or Scarlet at the end! I probably won’t be updating here that much, but I’ll definitely be tweeting about it! Anyway, click the link above to sign up and join us!




Happy New Year 2013!

Jan
01
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts
2013

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it’s 2013 already??? I certainly can’t! 2012 absolutely flew by!

Despite that, it was a really great year for me, blogging and reading-wise. I read 138.5 books which is 26.5 more books than last year. I took less unscheduled time off, and (officially) participated in my first 3 community-wide events (Bout of Books, Bloggiesta and Armchair BEA). This led to making some great new friends: Kristilyn, Amanda, Alissa, Kelly and many more! I also made the switch to WordPress, and I am loving it! Second-best blogging decision I made all year! First-best decision? Deciding to stop accepting and/or requesting ARCs and all review requests. I was able to spend the second half of the year reading for me, and getting much more done towards my massive TBR pile, and it was GREAT!

I have never been much one for New Year’s Resolutions – for one thing, they’ve begun to carry the stigma of expected failure! But I do think a new year is a great time to revisit your goals and see if there are any that should be updated. Some goals I have for myself this year:

  • I will stick to my published schedule for posting.
  • I will write reviews within a week of reading the book.
  • I will write a discussion post at least every other week.
  • I will be more organized, so that (heaven forbid) should I get sick or lose internet for some reason the blog will not be forced into unscheduled hiatus. (Speaking of which, sorry for the silence last week – I did intend to announce a short break for the holidays, but our router broke on Christmas Eve just as I was about to sit down and write it…)
  • I will comment more on others’ content, and will reply to comments on my own blog in a more timely manner.
  • I will participate in community events whenever possible.
  • I will have fun and make new friends – that’s what this is all about!

Thank you all for such a lovely year in 2012, and here’s to another year just as good to come!

PSSST – Don’t have enough challenges for 2013 yet? Have you signed up for the Book Bingo Challenge? We’d love to have you!

 

 





Time to be Thankful!

Nov
21
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts

It’s that time of year again! I know I, for one, am counting down the hours to watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade (no joke, that’s the thing I missed most about being out of the country for Thanksgiving 2 years in a row), stuffing myself with more food than I should eat, and spending enough time with my extended family to remind me why I like living 3 hours away from them! But before that, I’d like to take some time to do what the holiday is supposed to be for: be thankful! There are so many bookish people I am thankful for, and I feel like I don’t take enough opportunities to thank them. These are in no particular order, and I’m sure I’ll forget someone in the process – please don’t be offended, because I am thankful for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!

Authors:

  • Kristin Cashore (The Seven Realms series) – Her books have had a major effect on me, both for her writing style, and their topics. If I had to pick one writer that I wanted to be when I grow up, it would be her. Plus, she is such an inspirational person for me, living with similar RSI’s (though hers are much more prohibitive than mine).
  • Beth Revis (Across the Universe) – Beth Revis is one of my favorite blogging authors. She writes funny and accessible posts about writing, and some pretty good novels too!
  • Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) – Another of my favorite blogging authors. I love her books, I love her blog posts, I love her fancy hair colors. I think if I ever got to meet her, well, I don’t even know, but I’d be REALLY happy!
  • Maureen Johnson (SO MANY THINGS, but most recently Name of the Star) – Maureen writes THE funniest tweets and posts ever. I admire her so much for her “I’m me, love it or leave it” attitude. Oh, and the great books, that too.
  • All authors EVER – I know, this is a cop-out. But seriously, without authors, books wouldn’t exist and without books, I think I might actually have to curl up in a corner and wait to die. I COULD NOT LIVE!

Bloggers:

  •  Amanda (On a Book Bender) – I want to be Amanda when I grow up. She has such class, and always writes really insightful discussions and reviews. At the same time, she knows when to cut loose – I’ve never laughed harder at a blog post than when reading one of her GLA posts with Kelly!
  • Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) – I don’t know Jamie on a personal level like I do some of my favorite bloggers, but I love her posts! She doesn’t read much of the same stuff as I do, but her discussion posts always get me thinking!
  • Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) – I know, I plug Kristilyn a lot. But seriously, I could not love her more! She lets me come up with crazy ideas AND THEN AGREES TO DO THEM WITH ME! She has three snazzy blogs (more than I could ever imagine keeping up with!) and puts out amazing content on all three. I can’t imagine a blogging life without her around anymore, so I really hope she keeps it up for a long time.
  • Smash (Smash Attack Reads) – Smash is another blogger who likes way different books than me, but I love following for the non-review posts. She has sass, writes incredibly smart discussions, and I love her sense of humor!
  • The whole community in general – I would never have kept going without the supportive community you have all built. Every time I’ve considered quitting, someone has done or said something that brought me back from that ledge, and I am insanely grateful for that. The blogging community has become so much a part of my life that I cannot imagine being without it – and that’s all due to you!

And of course, I am grateful to anyone who has ever commented on anything I wrote. I live for comments, and every one makes my day.

Now, go have a piece of turkey and celebrate! You deserve it!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? (Also, because I’m curious, if you don’t live in the US, do you have a holiday to be thankful on?)





An open letter to friends of the blog

Oct
09
11 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts

I Heart YOU

Dear you,

Have I told you lately how awesome you are? Let me explain.

No… there is too much. Let me sum up.

Last week, Alissa from The Grammarian’s Reviews wrote a post about blogging coming in contact with her personal life. It was a great post about being shy talking about what we do to “real people.” Her whole point was that we shouldn’t be shy – we should be proud of what we’ve done, because heck! Running a website takes lots of work! But what it got me to think about most is the differences between people in my real life, and all of you in the blogging community. I don’t know why I never thought about the two groups in that way, but the conclusions I came to were real eye-openers. The big one? I don’t appreciate you guys enough.

A lot of us grew up much the same way as I did – the ONLY avid reader in the class, always stereotyped as the nerd etc. etc. It wasn’t that fun. Luckily when I got to college I fell into a community of readers entirely by accident. It was great for a little while, because I could always get a recommendation from somebody if I didn’t have anything to read next. We occasionally even discussed what we were reading, if we managed to read the same thing at the same time (which was rare). The biggest difference between those discussions and the blogging community, though, was that most of my friends in that community were extremely strong willed, and more often than not, we got into arguments over the books we were discussing. After a while I found my opinions on the books we ended up reading together would be completely colored by the other person’s opinions, because I didn’t want to get into an argument.

Even though it’s not what I intended to do when I started this blog, I have found myself an all new set of friends. I can be having the worst day ever and receive a comment that will turn the entire day around. I get a little nervous but mostly excited every time I have a post going up, just because I can’t wait to see what the response they’ll get. I haven’t met any of you, and have never even heard most of your voices, but I miss you when I don’t spend enough time on Twitter hanging out. Some days my entire day is made by reading a post that makes me laugh, or cry, or even just FEEL something after being way overwhelmed with everything else for the day. And some days I take that just a little too much for granted.

I’ll admit I’m terrible at commenting. I rarely comment on reviews for various reasons, even though I should. I save posts to “comment on later” and then by the time I get to it, I feel like it’s way past the imaginary expiration date. And sometimes I’m just kind of intimidated, especially if it’s a blog I’m new to, or somebody with a big presence or personality. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, and I feel incredibly guilty for not showing my appreciation. It’s there, I promise.

Recently, though, I’ve even been falling down on replying to comments here on my own blog. I love every single comment – they all make me smile. Sadly I have so much to do that I have been telling myself “oh I’ll go and do a bunch at once!” so that I don’t stop whatever I’m doing and get distracted (trust me – once I get started doing the things I don’t want to, I have to FORCE myself to keep going) and then it just keeps getting put off. I’m trying to train myself out of that, but it’s taking time.

All of that long rambling-ness to basically say that I love the blogging community SO MUCH! You guys are an integral part of my life, and I want you to know that, because I’m not good at saying it.

I love YOU!

Anne





Summer Hiatus

Jul
25
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts

On the beach!Hi everyone! Just a quick note to let everyone know I’m going on a short summer hiatus. I’ve been getting a little overwhelmed with trying to juggle blogging, work and everything else, and to top it all off, I’ll be house-sitting for my parents for 10 days starting tomorrow (which means a TON of extra work, because my dad keeps a garden, meaning constant attention to that, and no time for anything else!) Besides that, I have quite a few other hobbies that have been neglected because I’ve been so involved in blogging, and I’m finding I miss them more than I thought I would. I’ll be taking this time to catch up on my TV watching, music research, transcription, and, and, AND to build myself a new set of bookshelves! Not to worry though! I’ll be back with lots of interesting discussions, and plenty of reviews before you know it.

So, while I’m wishing I was on the beach somewhere, why don’t you grab a book and have some fun? You deserve it!





We’re having a birthday!

Jul
10
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts


Two years ago today, I was bored. I was house-sitting for a family on vacation, waiting until August so I could fly home from a year’s study abroad trip. To pass the time, I decided that it would be a really great idea to keep a blog of all the books I read. I was sure I was the first one to think of such a thing – blogs were so over (I was, at the time, more a part of the Nerdfighter community than I am now, and vlogs were all the rage) so I wasn’t likely to get too many subscribers but if I had a few people to talk about books with, it would definitely be an improvement over what I already had, right?

Fast-forward a few years. Boy was I wrong about just about everything! I have learned so much in the past few years and met so many awesome people! I still have tons to learn, I know, but I thought I would pass along a few of the things I wish I’d known early on.

1) THERE’S A BOOK BLOGGING COMMUNITY! Okay, so if you’re here, you probably already know that. But it’s true, I didn’t even know it existed when I started, and once I found out I had no idea what to do with it. Figure that out, friends, and you’re set for the rest of your blogging life – they’re your support system, your best friends, and so much more!

2) Blogging is about you. So maybe I started out thinking I was all alone, but once I figured out there were other people out there I started worrying that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t post enough, or about the right kind of books. I worried that I wasn’t into social media enough, that I was too snarky, had the wrong kind of humor, didn’t attract enough of a following and the list goes on and on. But what it comes down to, really, is you are blogging for you, and if somebody doesn’t like it, TOUGH. They can unsubscribe if it bothers them so much. I’ll admit, I’ve only recently gotten myself out of that particular downward spiral. I still have bad days. But, if you’re going through the same thing, here are a few things that helped me:

  • Write a mission statement, and read it when you’re feeling down. Decide why you’re here, what exactly you want from your blog and put it in writing (even if you never publish it – I decided to put mine in the About the Reviewer tab, if you’re curious). Next time someone complains (or you worry) that you don’t do “X” you read that, and remind yourself why.
  • Hide your stats/followers counters if you can – This really only works for me because I decided my goals are discussion oriented, but it really helps me focus on what’s important to me rather than those numbers that can just get really depressing. (This can really backfire if you’re trying to court publishing houses for ARCs/author interviews etc. – It works for me, but like I say, it may not work for you.)
  • Find a blogger you can be buddies with, so you can rant, complain and tear your hair out when you need to. Trust me, it helps :)

3) To go with number 2, just because bloggers X, Y, & Z are doing ______ doesn’t mean you have to too. I went through this with ARCs, giveaways, memes – just about anything you can think of. You’ll probably notice I don’t do too much of any of that, because I decided that that’s not what’s important to me.

4) You don’t have to review everything. The number 1 cause of burn-out for me is trying to review EVERY BOOK I READ, EVER. I’ve had to take some time off more than once because I tried and I couldn’t handle it. Read for yourself every once in a while, just to remember you can.

And finally 5) Blogging should be fun. It’s that simple!

Thank you all for sticking with me for two whole years (GAH! It doesn’t feel that long, does it?) and here’s to more awesome years to come!





Summer Reading Goals

Jun
21
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts

Welcome to my very first vlog in this venue! Today I’m talking about my summer reading goals:

 

Mentioned: Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

Also, thanks to Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Alexa from Pages of Forbidden Love for encouraging me to do this! I’d forgotten how fun it is :)

Want me to do more vlogs? Hate my face and never want to see it again? Let me know!





As some of you may have been able to tell, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about what I want my blog to be about. Let’s face it, I had an extremely rocky start, and I’m only just now finding my feet. But, in the end, what I decided is that the focus of this blog needs to be discussion. It’s the reason I started blogging, and when I lost sight of that, I ended up burnt out, frustrated, and tempted to quit.

I’m in the process of making changes to reflect that. So today, I want to draw your attention to the new page under “Other” called “Discussions up for grabs.” This page features a list of books, divided up by genre, that I would love to discuss with you! I’m going to do my best to keep the list updated, and rotate titles in and out fairly regularly. If you would like to discuss a book with me, and you don’t find it on that list, you’re welcome to also check out my GoodReads To-Read list, but be warned: it is VERY long. I would suggest limiting it by a genre to sort through, or friend-ing me and using the “compare books” feature, if you have a profile yourself.

Please let me know if you’re interested in discussing any of the works I have listed – discussions are more fun the more people we have!





End of Construction!

Jun
03
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts
End Construction!

Don't you just LOVE these things?

 

It’s the beginning of summer, and yet the construction is done!

Yes, as I mentioned in my Clock Rewinders post earlier, my new blog design is finished! I am so very excited, as it reflects what I wanted perfectly! A huge thank you, again, goes out to Cialina of Paper Wings Design Studio for being awesome about all my stupid questions and nitpicky requests!

Since I changed some things during the redesign and move, due to the extra options that come with WordPress, I thought I’d give you a short tour. Eventually, this post will be converted into a page and will live in the welcome message, so don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to go through it now.

First things first, I will no longer be manually adding my reviews to a list of books in certain genres. If you scroll about halfway down the right sidebar, you’ll see a section that says “Categories.” Just click on the category you’d like, for instance “Steampunk” or “Young Adult,” and you’ll see a list of posts that I’ve placed in that category, with the short blurb. (It works a lot like the search function.) This will make my life TONS easier, as before I was spending 10-20 minutes copy/pasting links into pages after posting a review. Now, a few simple clicks, and new posts will show up automatically!

Second, commenting is very different now. Most of us in the community have probably been on both Blogger and WordPress sites, so we’re aware of the differences, but mainly: 1) If you’re viewing the homepage the link to the comments form is at the TOP of the post (I’m still getting used to this one). 2) Comments are completely threaded – remember to hit “reply” if you want to reply to a person, instead of just typing into the box provided. 3) I’ve installed a plugin that will let you know when someone replies DIRECTLY to your comment. This doesn’t subscribe you to all comments, just those in reply to yours. Even so, if you would like to opt out, there is a check-box where you can do so.

Third, NEW BUTTON! It’s pretty too, and I would really appreciate it if you’d swap it out for my old one if you still have that.

Creativity's Corner

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And finally for those of you who are new around here, or haven’t already, the subscribe buttons are immediately under the search box on the right.

Disclaimer: I make no promises about the end of construction outside of this site 😛

Daleks ahead!

No promises of avoiding this, either.





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