"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm Still Alive!

Oh my good gracious but the dust that has piled up on this blog.

I miss blogging, I really do. But it's just not in the cards for me right now. But I am always happy when I think about the blogs and people that I met here.

Here are some things I have been doing instead of blogging:

1. Reading like 300 pages of articles a week for my library classes. Werd. And I thought that being an English major was bad.

2. Teaching and grading and molding freshmen minds mwa hahahahaha

3. Learning how to live on about 4 hours of sleep a night without dying.

4. Eating brownies. Occasionally.

5. Working at a bookstore helping crazy people find books.

6. Having a mental break down over writing a grant proposal, but then figuring it all out and doing well on the assignment.

7. Watching a little too much tv.

8. Reading some stuff that I want to read. Even if it's just a page at a time.

9. Listening to as many audiobooks as I can during my commute.

10. Being a crazy geek with other crazy geeks and loving it.

So what have you been up to?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Teaching Joys

So I have commenced my career as an adjunct professor. Having two years under my belt from the amazing TA experience during my Master's program, I feel so much more confident and relaxed as I approach the classroom this semester.

I'm teaching 1 section of English 1201 and 2 sections of English 1202 and I am loving it. There are definitely days when I want to pull my hair out, but I've had a couple of days that went so well I felt like I was walking on air.

In one 1201 class I split the students into two groups and assigned each group a side to take on whether a liberal arts education was beneficial or not. The debate got so heated a couple of times that I had to literally stand between them and shout a little to get them to calm down. The discussion of ideas and the nuance of arguments that began thrilled my soul!

And then this past week I taught one of my favorite visual texts - the alphabet from the New England Primer. After we analyzed and annotated the image I had groups of students come up with their own primer.  They got really into it, even developing rhyming couplets to explain each word and got in a little one-upmanship as they tried to outdo each other with cleverness. So much fun.

Meanwhile in 1202 I had one of the best in-class discussions ever in a class when we started digging into gender roles and stereotypes in connection to The Glass Menagerie. In both classes the students (almost all of them) had so much to say, so many opinions and they debated back and forth with a minimum of guidance from me. Referencing specific moments in the play and referring back to the non-fiction framing texts I used to set up the drama unit. It was amazing.

And on Thursday I asked groups to summarize a scene from Twelfth Night, the Shakespeare play for the class, but I put a spin on it and told them they only had 140 characters: like a Tweet. Some of them struggled with it more than others, but they all managed to get an entire scene, and then the entirety of Act 2, boiled down to such a short phrase. Some of them even got into the Twitter aspect and had @s and hashtags that made me laugh out loud.

The camaraderie in all three classes has been fantastic and, while a lot of it is the luck of the draw and I have great students, I think a lot of it also comes from the fact that I'm more comfortable in my own skin.

But the one thing this has definitely shown me is how much I love teaching these classes and how blessed I am to be doing something so fulfilling.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And Then I Went All Darth Vader

I've  been working on my first round of revisions for my NaNo novel. You know, the really broad strokes of plot and character arcs and all that fun stuff. Filling in the holes that are large enough to lose a rather large dragon in. I've been reading through the rough draft in hard copy so I can make notes and comments to myself and it has been absolutely hilarious. I frequently find myself laughing out loud at my ludicrous sentences that must have been written when I had no sleep (oh NaNo you bring so much sleep writing). One of my favorite comments to write is: Really?! As I ask myself what on earth I could have been thinking.

And I've been figuring out how to fix minor problems like:

  • Characters showing up for one chapter and then vanishing as though they never existed.
  • Someone dying and then three chapters later the main character having a conversation with them. (and there are no ghosts) (or zombies)
  • Contradicting myself in the same paragraph.
  • Ridiculously long passages of exposition that I lamely explain away.
  • Secondary characters that show up so infrequently you forget their name, but the main character keeps saying she knows them really well.
You know. Nothing major.
But I am actually loving it. This is really the first manuscript I have been so excited about and so sure that I can make it into something great with a lot of work.

And I've been doing a LOT of thinking trying to figure out the motivation of the two main characters - what drives them and what arc is going to carry them through the story - what their purpose is.

So yesterday when I was at work I was on the register (which isn't my favorite thing ever, but it is what it is) and it was slow, so I was thinking hard on why Devvon behaves the way he does. And suddenly it hit me.

He has a sister that I didn't know about and she is super important to everything that he does (yes, I am being really vague).

But what happened (and I am not joking) was that I got what had to be this really creepy smile on my face and I said softly (and aloud because I was so amazed and I am that much of a dork)

Sister... You have a sister.

And then I started laughing at myself because it sounded so Darth Vader-y and I was super glad that no customers or co-workers were around.

But it made me very happy to figure out such a major plot point!

Don't you love when our characters start to take on a life of their own? Have any of yours revealed anything shocking or surprising lately?

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Feel All Official

Guess what came in the mail?!
it's kinda fuzzy :(
but not in real life :)
Just in time for BEA :D

I've gone a couple of times as a bookseller and, technically, I'm a bookseller again this year since I'm working at B&N. But this year I'm going primarily as a blogger! Booksellers Without Borders NY is very special to us and I'm so excited to have a chance to make some contacts and get books to review over the next few months.

And these are my first ever real business cards.

*dances with excitement*

Will I see any of you at BEA?!

Friday, June 1, 2012

*Peeks in* *waves*

So. Um. Hi there. Yeah, I've been kind of MIA lately.

But lots of things have been happening!

First, I graduated with my MA in English. Which of course was preceded by the insanity of finishing my last 20 page paper, finals, and last thesis revisions.
After the hooding ceremony with Dad, Mum, and Naomi
I am kind of in love with my thesis which I wrote on my favorite author of all time: L.M. Montgomery and her Emily trilogy specifically and I got to write about houses and appropriated space and kuntslerroman and it was fun and fabulous and I think I am going to see about working it into an article and see if I can get it published!

And my sister came home for the summer and that has been uber fun as we've caught up on stuff together and caught up on our Doctor Who and Vampire Diaries and stuff together :D
Because this is super important.
Plus I started working more hours at the bookstore and I have some really good Retail Wednesday stories.


I have been feeling so uninspired to post anything and I have no idea why. And I know I said I wasn't going to apologize for not being around. so I'm not doing that. I'm just saying that I'm still alive and I'm still around


I'm setting up a schedule for myself each week once I get my work schedule so I will actually do things like work on my WIP and sort through some of the stuff in my room and I will definitely schedule in some bloggy time.

OH! And I'm going to BEA next week with Naomi and Jenn N from our Booksellers Without Borders NY blog and I'm so excited because I get to go all three days this time and there will be BOOKS and maybe MAYBE I will pick up one or two for you guys?
And I ordered my very first business cards
to take with me to BEA with this logo that I designed!
I'm so fancy :D
We are definitely going to be doing some giveaways on our BWoB blog so I will keep you apprised and all of that.

What about you? Any fun stuff planned for the summer?
Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
I plan on doing a lot of relaxing...
How are you avoiding the impending zombie apocalypse?

funny pictures - can't play nao.  iz on zombie watch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Want to Win a Book? Like Shatter Me? By Tahereh Mafi?

A couple of my Borders girls and I went into the city on Sunday to the Spring Into the Future book tour with Tahereh Mafi, Lauren Oliver, Anna Carey, and Veronica Rossi. It was so much fun!

There's a post up over at our Booksellers Without Borders NY website where you can see pictures and even enter to win a book!

And that's the lot from me for today. It's the end of the semester and you know what that means...

But I can't leave you without an adorable animal picture. Of course not!

cute animals - Daily Squee: I'm Cute and I Know It!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hungry for More Hunger Games: Gale Edition

So here's part 2 of my ridiculously lengthy Hunger Games review :) Broken up into manageable pieces just for you :D

And, of course, I have to say SPOILERS AHEAD for both the books and the movie.
I read somewhere (and I have no idea where, sorry) that Gale was a non-entity in the film.

Which I personally find odd, since I was quite impressed about how much Gale they managed to fit in, considering we get very little of him in the books.

First I'd like to say that the casting here was perfect too. I started rereading the first book today and the physical descriptions of Gale (and Peeta) fit the actors amazingly well. They really worked hard to choose the right players for this film.

Gale and Katniss in the woods wasn't "necessary" for the plot, but it was completely necessary for our understanding of the world and it gave us a really great look at a side of Katniss that we do not see anywhere else at all. I loved the way Katniss just relaxed with Gale. The two of them are very free and easy with each other and you can tell they are best friends. Even that moment of tension when Gale talks about leaving - you just knew that was an aberration and that they don't normally bicker. Their teasing and open manner is such a contrast to the stiffness Katniss has when she's around Peeta. Even at their most relaxed (on the roof) they are nowhere near as comfortable with each other as Katniss and Gale are.
I loved the little moments during the reaping, especially when Gale starts mouthing the words of the "special film" they are forced to watch. The way they found each other so easily in the crowd spoke to the connection they have. But at the same time, there was no hint from Katniss that she felt this was anything more than a friendship. Gale's love for her was subtly obvious (if there can be such a thing) and once again Katniss is oblivious. He is her hunting partner, her best friend, and the only one she can trust to take care of her family.

When Gale carries Prim away as Katniss volunteers it just rips your heart out and their goodbye in the small room before Katniss is whisked away to the train made me sob. You can just see Gale put everything in his life on the back burner so he can be the friend she needs in that utterly too short moment they have together.

I understand why they have Gale alone out in the fields at the opening of the Games, but I am so glad we got the flashes of him during the interviews and the cave scenes. His eyes were ridiculously expressive and you could just see him dying inside as Katniss kisses Peeta. He tries so hard not to be angry, but it isn't quite working and it's completely believable.

When Katniss and Peeta return to District 12 I loved that Gale was there with Prim on his shoulders. And the hopeful little smile on his face was so sweet as his eyes met Katniss' across the crowd, just like they did at the Reaping. Which made it even more terrible when Peeta takes Katniss' hand in a very possessive gesture and raises their entwined fingers in victory. The undercurrents of confusion, love, jealousy, and heartbreak between the three of them worked very well.

I wasn't a giant fan of Gale in the books, but Liam Hemsworth sold the part for me. I have always been glad that The Hunger Games wasn't just a love triangle story. The point is not whom Katniss is going to choose, but how the three of them, along with everyone else, are going to survive a world where everyone has turned against them. But, at the same time, the triangle is an important part of the plot and of the character development. We learn to care about all three of them and that is one of the things that makes their final fates so compelling, not just because we're glad our OTP got together.

I stumbled across an absolutely brilliant analysis of the love triangle on tumblr - reposted from Raptorific - so if you are curious or interested, or just love these books and this movie as much as I do, then you should definitely read it. I couldn't have said it better.

So there's my Gale piece. Who to talk about next...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hungry for More Hunger Games: Peeta edition

I was going to write a quick review of the movie, but once I started on Peeta I discovered I had a lot more to say than I thought I did. So I may do a number of these little mini reviews. Because I loved the movie THAT. MUCH.

And, I probably don't need to say this, but SPOILERS AHEAD. PRETTY MAJOR ONES. For both the book and the movie.


I was not one of those that was hesitant when I heard about Josh Hutchinson's casting. I loved him in Bridge to Terabithia and reading Suzanne Collins' take on him as Peeta made me confident he could fill the role. I was right. I loved his rapport with Haymitch and Caesar Flickerman. When he follows Haymitch out of the dining car and Katniss is just exasperated and Peet says, "I'll talk to him," fit their personalities well. It was a nice nod to the gift for language that Peeta has and how he uses those powers of persuasion to his advantage. It was the same thing when he sees the Capitol for the first time and how he plays up to the crowd as they pull into the city. Just right (even though in the previews I feared that was going to be overdone).

The chariot scene was fantastic (the fire was a little underwhelming, but actually looked better during my second viewing). The way Peeta gets Katniss to hold hands and raise them up was brilliantly done and you could see how the crowd just focused in on them.

I truly believed that he cared about Katniss. His eyes whenever he looked at her? *sigh* Totally bought that whole side of things. One of the best moments in their developing relationship was when Katniss thought he had eaten the berries and she flips out on him. That glimmer of hope in his eyes that maybe she was actually falling in love with him? Heartbreakingly real.

The scene on the roof the night before the Games began was well done. Though I felt like it was a little too friendly after she had just attacked him a little while before, the scene in and of itself was beautifully handled. You could feel the connection beginning to build between them and Peeta's declaration of rebellion did not come across cheesy or awkward. It was perfectly authentic.

I was really happy with little details like his awkwardness moving through the woods and the way he walks up next to her while she's holding the bow ready right before the Mutts arrive. I knew she didn't end up shooting him, but in my head I was screaming "Get out of her line of vision you goof!" And his camouflage skills! Oh my goodness. The rock thing was almost creepy, but I loved that they played up that aspect and that he mentioned having done the cakes at the bakery. Such a nice touch to make him more than just the strong guy who can't do much else.

So much that I loved, but there were a few nitpicks I had as well.

I felt like he was too emotional as they were leaving District 12. I don't even really know why, but it annoyed me that he looked like he was about to burst into tears and then was fine once they were on the train. I also felt like his pronouncement of love for Katniss fell flat. Like I said, his joking with Flickerman was spot on, but I just didn't get the emotional pull that I expected when he says she came with him.

And I wasn't a big fan of the cave scene. I liked Peeta's openness with Katniss (though he seemed a little stalkerish when he repeated "Every day"), but without Katniss' reciprocation the scene felt a little overdone like HEY LOOK HE REALLY DOES LIKE HER and I wanted to see more softening of Katniss. But you did get some of these great moments where you could just feel to the depth of your core that Peeta is in love with this girl and she is so oblivious. And I loved Haymitch's note and the way Katniss kissed Peeta felt like it was taken straight from the book.

I also would have liked to see a bit more of his side of the arena. I understand that we mostly get Katniss because that's how the books were written, but in the novel we get the replay after the games so Katniss can see the way he teamed up with the Careers in order to protect her. In the movie we never really know for sure why he was helping them track her. And that was a huge thing for me.

And finally, he seriously healed over night? I could buy that the wound was significantly better, but not that his fever and infection had disappeared so quickly. I know it would have affected the fight scene with Cato on the cornucopia (which I loved), and I know that it was already a 2 1/2 hour movie, but for me, the scenes of Katniss screaming as she pounded on the door while they rush the seriously wounded Peeta away were key to understanding how much she had come to care for him without even realising it.

Oh yeah, and that leads me to one of the smallest and most nitpickiest things - why were they on separate chairs in that last interview with Flickerman? Katniss' dress was way too poofy. They were supposed to be in a seat together that made them have to kind of snuggle together and Katniss' dress was supposed to be simple and girlish (not poofy and glamorous) to garner sympathy and help sell to the gamemakers that they really weren't a threat, just desperate kids in love.

I know this makes it sound like there was more I didn't like than I did, but that's not true. These are just things that I would have liked to see or would have liked to see developed a little further. Someone on another review commented that it should have been done as like a 5 hour miniseries. This is a good idea. But for the time they had, I thought this movie was absolutely fantastic. I've seen it twice and I would go see it again at the drop of a hat. Can't wait to own it so I can watch it whenever I want!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gimme a Break

cute animals - Daily Squee: Call Me Buttercup!
Today starts my spring break. Oh that lovely time of the spring semester that allows me to take a break from my academic rigours and enjoy the lovely, balmy weather.
Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
Yeah right.

I wanted to read some of the YA books that have recently come out, watch some movies with my mom, sleep in, cram in some Supernatural marathons.
funny pictures of cats with captions
Instead I must finish my thesis rough draft, write a 10 page paper for another class, read 2 novels, grade 2 sets of final drafts, and try to find the book the library says is overdue. No idea where that thing is.
Funny Animal Gifs - Animal Gifs: Dishwasher Tetherball
It's kind of like this - it NEVER ENDS :)
So my dreams of lazy days and easy reading are pretty much kaput. But I'll manage to squeeze some good old fashioned procrastination in anyway. Like now for instance :)
What are your favorite ways to spend a break? Anyone going anywhere fun? Do tell!
And do you like how I made a totally inane post more entertaining with LOLcats? Well, entertaining for myself anyway...
funny pictures - Go away! I busy  storming the castle!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Contradictions, or Sleeping Beauty Attacks My Brain

Recently I have been dying to write something. Anything. I've been in a kind of gloomy mood, which is perfect for my 2011 NaNo novel. But there have been 2 major problems. The first is my schedule. Now I know that I could find time to write if I really wanted to, but I haven't. And that is closely related to the second problem. Both WIPs are in the now-I-need-to-figure-out-what's-going-on-here-so-I-can-actually-do-this-rewrite stage. I have the bones of the story, but I really can't write anything until I do some character development, figure out world-building stuff, and other such things. I ponder them in the car. In fact, I had a giant AHA moment just last night. But overall, it's a different kind of creative from the actual writing part and my brain just can't do it at the moment. I think it's too close to the stuff I'm doing for school and teaching.
Anyhoo. So I've been all gloomy and mopey inside myself. For no reason, just a little blah. Maybe because of the weird weather. But, to quote Polonius, let me be brief. And to quote Clue, TOO LATE.

So I came up with this great first line for a short story, but I couldn't think of anything else, so I shelved that to work on later.

And then I had to read Anne Sexton's Transformations for one of my classes. It's a book of poetry where she retells a bunch of Grimm's fairy tales. And they were pretty interesting, even though I'm generally not a big poetry fan. (I know, an English major that doesn't like poetry OR Jane Austen?! How can this be?!)

Well a tiny little thing in her retelling of Sleeping Beauty got me thinking and the other night I sat down when I should have been doing research and pounded out a rough opening paragraph to a short story.
funny pictures of dogs with captions
I thought the story would match my emotional tone of gloom and sadness, but instead, Miss Sleeping Beauty attacked the page with this saucy, snappy attitude. Guys, she even said "horse poo" right there in the first section.
funny pictures of cats with captions
I'm just as shocked as you guys are. Just. As. Shocked.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
And you know what? It was exactly what I needed to write. It made me feel better about a lot of things. And, I'm just realising, it came right before my revelation about Solo. Whether that's a coincidence or not, I don't know, but I felt all inspired and writer-y again after typing it.

So my advice, which you can take or leave considering I have never published a book and currently have 3 rough drafts waiting for rewrites, is to have fun. Go where your imagination takes you. Sometimes it will provide exactly the break you need to allow you to see something else more clearly.
funny pictures - Pigments  of  your   imagination  ?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Ahem. I may have gone a little overboard with the animal pictures, but really. Aren't they adorable?!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This is Apparently Becoming a Tradition

So, last year I posted the fake people that I have found ... palatable. (it's a long story and a private joke, but yeah.)

So to celebrate Singleness Awareness Day and distract myself from perpetual aloneness (it's really not as pathetic as I'm making it sound) I will make a list in no particular order of tv or movie guys that have made me smile this year.

One of my friends at school kept talking about Downton Abbey so I finally started it. OH. MY. WERD. Totally obsessed with it now. Totally. For many reasons, but Matthew Crawley doesn't hurt :)
I mean, come on! Look at that face :)
I would love to put Castle up here again, but I decided not to duplicate from last year, so I'll add one of the other Castle characters that I love: Ryan. And actually, I just can't talk about Ryan without adding Esposito. These two are so adorable.
Here's a case where character development is everything, because at first I detested Tyler. I wanted to throw him out the window. Then I started to love him and totally ship Tyler/Caroline. And now I'm not sure what I think anymore, but he's certainly not hard on the eyes.
I started watching Robin Hood on Netflix and I have to admit that I totally found Sir Guy WAY more interesting than Robin Hood.
I love Dr. Who, but I'm so far behind :( I still haven't completely bought into Matt Smith, but I adore Rory - honestly, I don't think he's that cute, but his utter devotion to Amy is so freakin' adorable I can't help but love him!
Dad and I have been slowly working our way through the X-Files. So, yes. Fox Mulder
Though I have to wonder what mother names her baby Fox.
I mean. Can you see her in the grocery store?
FOX! You get back here right now!
And I've finally jumped on the Supernatural bandwagon. Dean and Sam? Yes.
This is pretty much how it went:
1st episode: Oh hai Sam. I like you.
2nd episode: Hey Dean. Okay you're not so bad, but Sam is better
3rd epsidoe: Dean you are so adorable with Amy Acker's son and oh hai there!
Okay, I swear that's all the superficiality for today. Have a great Valentine's Day no matter who you're spending it with!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Is Flashing the New Honking?

As a commuter I've noticed a strange new and bothersome trend. This happened both on our family's long drive from New York to North Carolina over Christmas break as well as driving around the highway near my house.

When I do something that annoys another driver (aka only going 6 miles over the speed limit instead of 24) they flash their lights at me. Repeatedly.

Let me give you a for instance.

I'm on a 4 lane highway. There is a semi in front of me that's going just under the speed limit. There's plenty of space so I pull into the left lane to pass. I'm about half way past the truck when we head down a hill so, of course, the truck picks up speed, but not enough for me to get back behind him. Meanwhile a car has come flying down the highway behind me and had to slam on the brakes as he comes up behind me, his nose nearly on my bumper.

Get the picture:
Do you like my fancy diagram?
I pick up a little speed, but I'm really not comfortable going like 80 in a 65 so I'm maintaining speed and slowly creeping ahead on the semi, getting ready to pass it.

So what does the car behind me do? Well, it's certainly not a honking offense. So instead he gets all passive-agressive and starts flashing his lights at me. Over. And over. As if he can't tell that there is a MASSIVE TRUCK NEXT TO ME and I have nowhere to GO.

And his light flashing is so distracting in my rearview mirror that it's making it hard for me to concentrate on passing the truck.

What is up with this?

People. Let's not flash if we wouldn't honk. It's not any better. We all know you really want to just blast your horn. So do it or chill.

Preferably chill.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buckets of Tears or Don't Read this Book While Driving

So my original title for this post was Tears and Snot and Drool, but I though that was a bit disgusting for a post title. So instead I subject you to it in the first line. Classy, no?

I drive over 2 and a half hours 3-4 days a week commuting to school. Most of the time I really don't mind it and when people ask how I can stand it I have two words for them: Audio Books.

I can't even begin to tell you how many books I have managed to read over the last year and a half by listening to them.

However, sometimes this can cause problems. Such as when I listened to the ending of Bridge to Terabithia. I have read this book multiple times. I have seen a couple different movie versions of it. I ALWAYS CRY. I am a crier. I freely admit this.
But usually I just kind of tear up. Or have the silent tear trickle. I honestly can't think of ANY book or movie that has ever made me sob the kinds of body shaking sobs that Bridge to Terabithia does.

Until now.


11-year-old Aubrey has everything she needs: food, a house, and a new family - her beta fish Sammy. A tragic accident has taken her family away and when Aubrey has to move in with her grandmother one of the only ways she can express what she's going through is writing letters. But as she develops a friendship with the girl her age next door and gets to know her grandmother better, Aubrey slowly learns that maybe she's not so alone after all.

Aubrey's grief is so raw and so harshly painful that I found myself literally gasping with sobs. Part of the experience is listening to the amazing performance of Becca Battoe. She captures the voice of Aubrey so well and does remarkable justice to Suzanne LaFleur's beautiful prose.

Perhaps you think my adjectives are a bit too glowing? Go read, or better yet, listen to this book. I guarantee it will touch your heart. I can't get it out of my mind and I can't wait to get in my car tomorrow so I can hear the rest.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grown Up or Something

I can't believe I graduate this May with my MA in English. These two years have flown by in a blur of reading, grading, writing, and, fortunately, a lot of laughing too.

But the scary thing is that I now have to figure out what I'm doing next.

I have definitely decided not to go straight for my PhD, but that means I have no plans.
funny pictures - There's nothing to be scared of. There's nothing to be scared of. There's nothing to be scared of. There's nothing to be scared of.


Except I just found this great accredited online program to get my Masters in information and library sciences.

So I started the application today.
funny pictures of cats with captions
I also set up a "professional" e-mail address.

donut worry we iz professionals
And started working on my CV.

And updating my resume.

funny pictures of cats with captions

I'm feeling all grown up and everything.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Now excuse me so I can go get dressed and maybe eat some Lucky Charms.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breaking the Rules

If you read my post yesterday you may remember that I said one of my goals for this year was to figure out what I wanted to do with this blog.

Well, last night I think I finally realised what the problem is. Then I read this post today by Jamie Harrington, and she's come to the same conclusion.

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. I was following one blog (Nikki Stafford's fabulous Nik at Nite) and pretty much only talking about Lost. Then I started visiting the blogs of other Nik at Nite followers whose comments I enjoyed. And I discovered the world of author and writer blogs. I also found that people wrote about funny stuff from their lives. And food. And movies. And socks. And other random stuff. So I started writing random posts about whatever I wanted to write. Then I started reading more and more blogs and suddenly there were "rules" - There were things you were "supposed to do" to build readership and develop a platform.
funny pictures - Can't heer yur rules  Earz too small
I felt like I was doing everything wrong. So I set up a schedule and failed miserably, so I started only doing one regular feature (Retail Wednesdays) and feeling guilty for not doing more. And I stopped having time to go to other people's blogs. My readership dropped off and I got frustrated.

Over the summer I established a schedule again. And actually kept up with it. But I had even less time to visit other blogs. Then school started and I stopped having time to do any blogging or reading and I felt guilty. Constantly.
funny pictures of cats with captions
It stopped being fun. It started being a chore. An extension of all of my other responsibilities instead of a chance to be free and goofy and enjoyable.

So I've decided to do two things - actually three - actually four things this year:
  1. Post what I want to post when I want to post it. I want to rediscover the fun of blogging. I want to remember why I loved coming here.
  2. Stop feeling guilty for not posting regularly. Who wants to read my continually apologies for not posting? No one! That's who. So I'm not going to apologize. I'm just going to post.
  3. I'm going to go back to visiting other people's blogs. Not to get more people to visit me (though I've noticed that's usually a side-affect), but because I miss reading what you guys have to say. I miss laughing and chatting and getting to know you all better.
  4. Clean up the clutter on my blog. Maybe even mix up the background - though I do like this one. Get rid of old things I don't need. Make it a little fresher. You know. Before the end of the world and all :)
So Much Pun
So that's my goal/plan. I'm breaking the blogging rules and doing what's right for me. I hope you'll stick around for the ride!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back:

This has been an interesting year for me, and I thought it would be good to do a little reflecting on the highs and lows:
  • Survived a full year of grad school, which I loved/hated/loved depending on the day.
  • Survived a full year of teaching freshman English, which I pretty much loved/loved/loved - except for that whole grading papers part :)
  • I started a tumblr. Best time sucker EVER.
  • I won NaNo for the second time and ended up with an actual workable, revisable manuscript that I love.
  • I managed to keep up with all my favorite TV shows and still do all the work I was supposed to.
  • I read 140 books - only 10 shy of my goal.
  • Experienced the heart-rending closure of Borders. Saying good-bye to my co-workers, customers, and the store itself was one of the saddest things I've gone through and brings tears to my eyes even now.
  • Started a book club and then a book blog with a bunch of my coworkers who just couldn't bear saying good-bye to each other forever.
  • Became an aunt to the CUTEST little ladybug girl in the entire world.
Proof that she is in fact the cutest ladybug girl. ever.
  • Cut my hair. (hey, that's a big deal for me!)
  • Managed to post on my blog pretty regularly over the summer.
  • Lost track of my bloggy buddies. Didn't carve out the time to visit around and keep up with everybody. I really, really miss it.
  • Experienced the premier of the final Harry Potter movie with an amazing group of movie-goers in Toronto.
  • Went to Italy! With good friends and professors from school.
  • Was a panelist in three panels at Polaris (including moderating 2 of them) - WAY outside my comfort zome, but SO loved every minute of it!
  • Started going to the gym again!
  • Decided not to go straight on for my doctorate, which is a decision I'm happy with.
  • Laughed a lot, made good friends, cried some.
Looking forward:

This year is going to bring a lot of changes and, while I don't really make "resolutions" I think it would be good to make some goals or articulate some hopes.
  • Finish grad school on a high note! I graduate in May and I want this semester to be more positive than this past semester was.
  • Get at least one adjuncting job. I love teaching freshman English and I would love to be able to do this while I figure out what my next step is.
  • Figure out what I want to do with this blog. The every day thing is most definitely not working. Also, I feel like it gets stale when I put myself in too much of a schedule. But I need some sort of regularity to keep myself motivated. So I need to figure that out.
  • Get back to visiting all y'all's blogs. I miss it. I miss it so much and that made me realise that I don't want to do without it. So I need to carve out some time to do it.
  • Rewrite Solo, my NaNo novel. I love this book, but it needs some serious work. I will buckle down and do this. I don't want another crummy rough draft sitting around moping at me.
  • Win NaNo for the third time. Yes.
  • Read 150 books. I want to make this goal this year.
  • Step out of my comfort zone more. I'm not sure what form this should take, but I'm getting claustrophobic and if I'm not moving away from home yet I need to do more things to get me out and meeting people with like interests.
  • Help build our group book blog into a great place for readers to gather and share book love.
  • Waste less time on the interwebs. Twitter is fantastically fun and Tumblr is a great place to share fandom love, but honestly? I need to set a timer or something and get out more.
  • Go to the gym regularly. Even when I'm busy. I know I feel better when I do this, so why is it so hard?!
  • Laugh hard, cry sometimes, make more friends.
What are your highlights from last year? Things you're looking forward to this year?