Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Blogging Slumps

Tomorrow for Bloggiesta's Twitter chat, I'll be hosting a conversation about pushing through the blogging slumps. Please join us even if you aren't participating in Bloggiesta! I want to have a fun and energetic discussion about this since I know many of us are suffering!

It will be at 8 pm EDT/6 PM MDT... use the hashtag #Bloggiesta and you'll find us!

To get you thinking, I thought I'd start the discussion right here right now!

This past week I've reached my 11th year of blogging... well, book blogging that is. I had another blog for a year before that which eventually died when the book blog became the main place. So let's say 12 years. Many of you have blogged for even longer, I know. During all this time, I never thought I'd get tired of it. I figured I could talk about books forever and ever! I also never thought new and exciting other passions would take over.

Well, so about two years ago all those things I thought would never happen, happened. 

1. I didn't have much more to say about books and reading. For instance I felt like all the topics from Top Ten Tuesday I'd done a thousand times already. And I couldn't think of any new discussion posts on my own to throw out here either.

2. A new passion entered my life and that's all I wanted to talk about. Books suddenly took a back seat.

3. Which meant I wasn't reading as much so I didn't really have anything to review either.

4. Life just continues to get more and more complicated...having kids get older just makes things harder even than when they were younger. Just sayin'.

So between all these things, the blog suffered. But I was determined to not let it end. But, I figured that blogging isn't a matter of life and death and that it would wait for me to figure things out. So this is what I told myself:

1. You don't have to blog every day. (I had nearly been doing this for all the years.)

2. You don't have to blog only about books.(While I hadn't totally been doing this already, it was still mostly "all about books".) And since there was a new passion,  who says I can't just start blogging about that? 

3. Blogging is for fun and you can take breaks and then come back. No one is going to freak out.

4. Speaking of freaking out, the real blogging buddies will stick through the slumps with you. So hopefully worry about losing followers and such is not a thing.

It was painful though for a good long while. I felt guilty skipping days, then weeks. And almost months. I felt guilty talking about things besides books, knowing that people that came here to read and check in expected the discussion to be about books. I felt tired and lethargic just thinking about sitting down and writing something to post. I felt like everything was boring with regard to the blog.

It's been a sad time.

And I'm not totally sure it's over. But I feel like that after more than two years of slumping, I can see the light again, for this blog. I feel more energetic again. I'm reading more again. I'm not caring so much about what I post and telling myself that it's my blog and I can post whatever I want on it. I can change it's direction throughout it's lifetime as much as I want and as often as I want. I can try to recruit new readers that match that new content. Or not. And, I can have readers and followers that enjoy some or all of things I do.

And so it's all okay.

So at this point, I don't see the blog ending anytime soon. But I can't promise anything about what the future holds for it! Who knows what direction it will take? The possibilities are endless!

And now I want to know:

What struggles have you had with blogging? Have you gone through some of the same issues and thought processes that I have? Do you get blog guilt sometimes and feel like you owe people something? Let me know how you've struggled and how you've gotten through it! Or if you still are suffering, let me know what's up and how we as a community can help!

Comment here, and/or  if you can, please join us tomorrow at 8 PM EDT on Twitter (#Bloggiesta)  to talk more and see what others have to say!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Movie Review: Black Panther

Movie: Black Panther
Genre: Superhero fantasy
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
My Rating: Two thumbs up

Well, I'm not much of a comic person/fan, but usually I know a little about the superhero in question when I go to one of these movies. This one, however, I knew NOTHING. So the whole story was totally new to me. And I quite enjoyed it!

For those who are like me and haven't a clue, this is the story about a hidden city in Africa who has advanced in technology way ahead of the rest of the world. But they hide it and keep it all to themselves... to protect their people and society.

But then they are infiltrated by a dude who claims to be one of their sons and so has the right to be on the throne. (Whoever is king of this place also gets to have the power of the Black Panther.) And he has plans of revenge against the whole world and wants to use their power to destroy EVERYONE. He is one angry young man.

The movie was awesome in special effects and music and all the great things we expect from a superhero movie. The actors where awesome... I enjoyed the two "Tolkein"white guys. (That joke has gotten around right?) Martin Freeman is a favorite for sure. I knew I recognized the general, I think was her role, and only afterwards realized why... Mishonne from The Walking Dead! I also especially enjoyed the sister. She was fabulous!

The stars. They are all so freaking beautiful. 

Their accents were a little hard to understand. I needed subtitles, lol. I'm so used to them these days. I felt so at home when they went to Busan and bam, there were my subtitles! But hearing them speak Korean with their accents was...very interesting! LOL. I loved it. Did they really film in Busan? Because that was awesome if so.

Anyway, it was a fun movie. Very engaging and entertaining. Marvel you've done it again.

Here's the trailer:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Book: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★☆

I've been looking forward to reading this one all year! And finally it came up on our book club list. Finally.

But, I was put off right from the start when the main character was described as being 59 and then proceeding to act much older than that. I'm all like, 59 ain't that old, you know? And people who are 59 aren't THAT computer illiterate. In fact, they are the ones, I thought, that brought the computers to the masses. Don't make a 59 year old computer stupid!

Anyway... but it got better... lol.

Still, I had to picture this character more like 69 or 70 for what he was saying and doing to make sense in my head. Because guys, 59 just isn't that old these days.

Anyway, it was a bit of a sad story in that this guy is missing his wife like crazy and he kinda sorta wants to die. But he kinda sorta doesn't want to either. So when he gets new neighbors that both irritate the crap out of him, and yet become endearing to him too... he starts to see life a little differently.

And that's the beautiful thing about this book. How making simple connections and helping the people around you, even if they make you crazy, is what makes you want to keep living.

In the end, I quite loved this book and its message. How people that at first seem so different can come together and be a sort of family. And how no matter how ornery this old guy is, he can still be loved and he still has a ton to contribute to the world and to those around him.

Yes. It's a great story. Read it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


It's already time for another Bloggiesta! The annual week long spring cleaning event! It starts tomorrow and goes through Sunday. I don't have a whole lot of things I want to do but there are things I SHOULD do! I'm looking at my list from last time and I plan to just pick up where I left off:

  • Archive lists...I started this last time but didn't finish. Let's see if I can totally catch this little, ugh, task up!
  • I fixed my social media icons last time, but it looks like it needs fixing again. 
  • Maybe try to tackle some email mess. 
  • Think up some discussion post ideas 
  • Do some housekeeping on the YouTube channel messiness, organize files, and etc.
  • Participate and HOST a twitter chat. Yes, please join me for my chat on Thursday at 8 PM EDT! We'll be talking about how to push through a blogging slump! #Bloggiesta on Twitter. :)
  • Get some review posts written and scheduled.
  • Edit videos.

Will you be joining the fun? What things do you need to do with your blog/channel/website? Let's do it together this week! Check out all the info here and link up with your to do list!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Our Book Club Schedule 2018-2019

We've just finished up the voting process for the book club and here's what ended up on the list:

June 2018: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
July 2018: Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
August 2018: Summerlost by Ally Condie
September 2018: The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright
October 2018: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
November 2018: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
December 2018: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
January 2019:  Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
February 2019:  The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson
March 2019: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
April 2019: The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee

May 2019: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

What do you think? Have you read a bunch of them? Do we we have much to look forward to? I think so!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review: Celebrity Superhero by Jennie Bennett

Book: Celebrity Superhero by Jennie Bennett
Genre: YA romance (a Kpop one!)
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This author has a line of kpop romance books which is super fun. This is the second one I've read, and my guess is I'll have them all read before it's over. Just because, you know, kpop.

So, in this one we have our girl, Anna, who is obsessed with a certain kpop group, one who promotes and markets themselves using the superhero concept (like EXO if anyone knows in real life groups!) And she particularly loves one member, as we all do, and is... well.. obsessed.

One day, her family is preparing to host a family from Korea, a family that happened to be their neighbors and friends from way back when, before they left to go back to Korea to live. So Anna remembers their son as the kid she played with when she was little and that was fun and all, but she is kinda bummed that she is expected to entertain him now.

Then he walks in the door and she is blown away when she realizes her childhood friend is now her ultimate bias from her ultimate kpop group of which she, you know.. obsesses over! (I was wondering how she didn't know what had happened to him, but they basically lost touch over the years and I guess he kept his two personas quite separate or something.)

Anyway, and so it goes. He acts all jerky toward her and lets her know right off that he has no plans to hang out with her, so no worries. She is sad to learn his personality does not match his looks, but still. She can't help but drool at the sight of him.

Meanwhile, he keeps doing stuff that has her convinced he really truly does possess super powers, just like in their videos. Turns out they do get thrown together and have some adventures and she is even more convinced. At one point he's all "you know my secret, right?" and she says, "yes, but I won't tell anyone."

But of course, we the readers are pretty sure about not that they aren't talking about the same thing!

So, does he come around? Is he REALLY that jerky, or is something else going on? Does he truly have super powers? Can he and Anna be friends in the end?

Of course I had a great time reading this book. It's so fun to imagine a close encounter with one's ultimate bias (or biases in my case since I can't choose one. or two. or three) It's fun to imagine what these idols would be like in real life, or how they are as normal guys, or how they are not in front of a camera.

It's a very quick and short read. I'm always left wishing for more. But I laughed a lot and it kept me engaged and reading until late in the night one night to see how it all ended! Sigh.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Anne of Green Gables Read Along Part 1 Discussion: Chapters 1 - 13

Well, so far I'm loving my re-re-re-read of this book! Just as fun and sweet and all happy making as ever. If this is your first time with it, what are you thinking so far? (We'll talk more about that our Twitter chat on Monday... 6:00 pm MDT. Dang... Daylight time again. Sigh.)

In the meantime, here are some other questions to be thinking about and if you want to post your thoughts and answers on your blog that would be awesome. I'll add a link at the bottom so we can quickly find your posts!!

(all these nabbed from various websites because I was too lazy to think up my own.)

1. In chapter 2, when Matthew is driving Anne back to Green Gables, she asks him: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive.” Given her tragic childhood, how do you think Anne is able to maintain such a positive attitude?

2. Anne is insistent on renaming places and inanimate things.  Why do you think she does this?

3. Marilla gives several reasons for finally deciding to keep Anne. What reason do you think most changed her mind?

4. If Anne grew up today, would she have been happier with how she looked? What would she have pined for, looks- and fashion-wise? What is our society's equivalent of plumpness, dark hair, and puffed sleeves?

5. How would Anne have turned out if Marilla had let Mrs. Blewett take her? Would that life have crushed Anne's imaginative spirit, or would she have changed in a different way?

My Answers:

1. I just think Anne was born this way. It's her nature and in her soul and it's something we should all embrace. It's my favorite thing about this book. Positive attitude! It's hard but it's awesome. 

2. I think she likes to name things because of her crazy imagination that she can't contain no matter how hard she tries. And boring names are... boring... so she is compelled to make things better and prettier. At least in her mind. 

3. I think it may have been because of Matthew. She wanted to make him happy. But then again, I think deep down, she really wanted to brighten up her own life. Also, despite what she may have thought, she fell in love with Anne from the get go too. 

4. I think Anne would have embraced her red hair much much more today than she did then. I don't think red heads get made fun of or looked at weird near as much as they used to. Do they? Also being skinny is sought after, so I think she for sure would have been happier. But she would have probably still not be satisfied, as none of us really are. So for today's standards... not plumpness for sure! Healthiness and fitness. As for hair, I have no idea. Is there a hair color people like more than others? Colors and streaked/highlighted?  Then for fashion... just whatever is in, right? What's in today? Skinny jeans? Leggings?  LOL, I don't even know. 

5. I think Anne had a spirit that would have been really really hard to crush, despite her circumstances. She'd proved that already with how resilient she been so far in her not so happy life. But it's sad to think about her being in that situation even so. I'm happy we don't have to find out!

Okay everyone! Join us on Twitter tomorrow (Monday March 12) at 6:00 PM MDT. We'll talk more about these questions and other random Anne stuff. We'll be using the #GreenGablesRAL. See you there!

And here's the linky if you would like to write a post with the above questions. Share with us!


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