Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can I Get a Drumroll, Please?

It's finally May first and here I am, as promised! Taking these last three weeks off has really made a difference in my perspective of things. I was also able to finish painting my bathroom - something I will never ever do again in this lifetime. I'm excited about what will be happening here in the near future - I've got some new ideas and am going to be making some positive changes. But the biggest news is...

There's a new person on my block! (Yeah, I was a big NKOTB fan back in the day.) A little while back, I asked my friend, Jane, if she would like to join me here on my blog. I was totally expecting her to blow it off but to my surprise she said YES. We met a few years ago and discovered that we have the same great taste in what we like to read and have been sharing books ever since. Look for her to start slowly but hopefully be able to contribute more this fall. I'm tickled to have her add her two cents. Maybe we should get a jar?

Now, let's talk about what'll be going on here. Actually, most of that is still in the planning stages so maybe this should be about what's not going to go on here.

Um, what?

OK. I recently read that awesome post by Rebecca over at Dirty Sexy Books about the good and bad habits of bloggers. (If you're a blogger with a problem with your blog, read that post. It definitely helped me.) We book bloggers are not a perfect lot; we make mistakes. I've written reviews where I've ripped the writer a new one. I've piled on the spoilers like they were sprinkles, whipped cream, and the cherry on a sundae. I'm absolutely guilty of being an irregular blogger - three/four posts one week, nothing for a month. No wonder I'm unsatisfied with things as they are!

I started this blog to serve as my book diary. I never expected that other people would be interested and I can't tell you how stunned I was when I got my first comment. I'm sure my husband still remembers that day. Maybe even the neighbors. When a perfect stranger reads what you wrote about what you thought of something and doesn't think you're an idiot, it can kind of blow your mind. (Consider my mind blown.) Almost two years later, I've had three authors show up here. Three actual human beings have made their presence known on my blog!

Get over yourself already, Jen. Jeez.

Right. So this blog, which has had many facelifts and several name changes, has become a little obsession of mine and I've decided that I actually want it to succeed. *gasp* To this end, I have thought of some objectives/rules/guidelines that I (and Jane) plan to follow:

1. Post more regularly. This is the one that will be the most difficult for me. I had thought to hope that I'll be able to post reviews of most of the books I read, which is A LOT. That's certainly pushing it because my average month of reading consists of around a book a day. I can't actually read one book every day since I do have a life and other obligations and I certainly can't write that many reviews or I'd burn out inside a month. If I read the amount of April (so far it's 13) every month, reviewing each book would be doable but the thirteen book rate is rare for me. What sounded most reasonable is to do the ones I find most interesting and which I would have the most to say about. Hopefully that will be more often than not.

2. No more spoilers. Or at the very least, hide the little buggers. I recently regained the use of my jump break function, halleleujah. It required some finesse and cursing on my part as I had to tweak my template code but they're back and they will help. I've already been working on this spoiler issue; in a fairly recent email conversation with someone I met through a book trading site, I kinda got smacked in the face with her not being able to each too much of my blog because of all the spoilers. It's not her fault and I'm glad she brought it to my attention. I'm thinking any reviewer that writes in an off-the-cuff style like me has that problem of filtering and lord knows I suck at proofreading (just ask my college professors and besides, I was a bio major. Hello!) so I end up with what seems at the time to be a perfectly good review but on a later revisit, I get embarrassed by the obvious lack of editing. I'm trying to change my ways so please be patient :)

3. Work on getting some style. I had pretty supportive parents growing up and my family always praised me for being so smart and doing so well in school. Most days, I don't feel like I'm all that smart and when I'm writing, I tend to doubt myself. I also tend to get stuck inside my own head and miss a lot of what's right in front of me and as a result, it makes me think more literally than figuratively. Then I get stuck in this term-paper mode, which is never good in this platform even if I do manage to come up with provable arguments. Who wants to read term papers on paranormal romance novels? How dry and tasteless would that be? Yuck. So I'll be working on my inner voice and translating that into what I write, trying to keep the term paper flavor to a minimum.

4. Author-friendly features could be added in posts. This means links to author websites (or my author linkage page), possibly some quotes, and tags may start to pop up in my posts. I may try to link the reviews to other places like LibraryThing and Goodreads too.

5. Possible name change? As I mentioned earlier, this blog has had several names: What I'm Reading; My Book Addiction; So Many Books, So Little Time. That last one is obviously the current one but I'm not loving it and I've been thinking for a while now that I may go ahead and use the title of this blog as the URL. I don't want to do that until I have THE name since, hey, it costs money to do that so...We'll see. If that does happen, I will make sure that as much as possible notice is given before any drastic changes.

When I announced the hiatus, my brain decided it was ready to write again. I really do wish that the little devil on my shoulder would shut up :) This hiatus was a good thing (too much Martha Stewart on the tube lately?) but I'm glad it's over. Time to get back to work. On Saturday morning I'll be heading to a book sale at the public library where we lived for two years and I'm really excited about it which means it will probably be a bust. A girl can hope, can't she? After that, I'll be writing the review for Angelology and possibly Waiting for You (time permitting) so stay tuned please. I plan to review in order of reading. Hope you think they're worth your time to read them. See you soon!

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