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It’s been quite a while since I posted here last.

(Understatement of the year!)

I don’t know if I have any followers left, but if so, thank you!

I won’t waste my time, or yours, writing yet another whiny post about why I haven’t been here for so long, filling it with empty promises that I will do better this time, blah, blah, blah.

Instead, to the future!

I recently graduated from college (huzzah!), am living in my college town, working on campus for the summer, living with el boyo, all of which is fantastic.

I’m applying to jobs up and down the east coast, but no bites yet (well, one phone interview that didn’t pan out…)

I’ve discovered Tumblr.

And Doctor Who.

And am now obsessed with both.

It’s bad.

Very.

Very.

Bad.

Talk about time vampires!

In other news….

Actually, that’s about it.

What’s new in the blogosphere, dear reader(s)?

ETA: did you know that WordPress seriously dislikes <> in blog titles?  Ah well….

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I had decided that if I could get through one week of blogging every single day, then I was going to officially declare myself part of NaBloPoMo (i.e. National Blog Posting Month), except, as you probably can tell, that failed miserably.  But it’s ok, because it’s encouraged me to return to this blog and post even though I am so sporadic, and barely have the time or inclination to write for school.

So, to recap my life that derailed my NaBloPoMo aspirations:

This past weekend was homecoming.  I went to the homecoming formal on Thursday with my roomie and el boyo.  I’ve gone with el boyo every single year, but this is the first year roomie has come.  Except roomie made us promise that we wouldn’t be all “couple-y” all night, which I took to mean that the occasional dance together was fine, but that we couldn’t be all lovey-dovey for the entire night.  However, I soon found out that she meant that we weren’t allowed to be couple-y for any part of the entire night.  Um, no.  Not happening.  I don’t do ‘modern’ dancing, aka dancing by myself, just swaying to the music.  I like dancing with a partner, as does el boyo.  And we happen to have a lot of fun swing dancing.  So no, I will not not be ‘couple-y’ with my boyfriend if it means I can’t dance with him at all during our senior year homecoming formal.  Screw you.  And yes, I do understand that it isn’t much fun to be a 3rd wheel, but you had other people there to hang out with, and it’s just not fair to put such limits on us.

Anyway.  That was Thursday.  On Friday, we had an awesome bonfire–first one in the school’s recent history (or full history, I’m not sure).  We even burned the other team’s mascot.  And promptly lost the game the next day.  Which I did not go to, because I had to work on my thesis.  Even though I ended up actually playing games on my computer all afternoon, only starting to edit my thesis about an hour before my keepers were due back.  And then we went out to dinner, and I don’t even really remember the rest of the night.  Oh yea, we watched some West Wing, and did some homework on a Saturday night because…

… Sunday was tech!  Roomie and I are both dressing for the current play that opens on Thursday, I believe.  Dressing means we’re in charge of costumes and getting actors in and out of the right costumes at the right time, in a timely fashion.  And since there are only 2 changes, and 8 cast members total, it’s a fairly easy gig.  Which is why, despite the fact that we were technically at tech from noon to midnight, I was able to work for 5 straight hours on editing my thesis.

Which was actually rather awesome for me, since I was able to email my professor a 38-page document, with only one hiccup, and no notes-to-self or outline pieces in sight!  And I have a plan to smooth out that hiccup (which is just a section that has been waiting to be written for oh, 3 months now) and rewrite my introduction and write a conclusion and have a full draft done by the end of the week, which is amazing!  Except, that means I actually have to figure out what everything that I’ve been writing about actually means.  Why it’s important.  Why anyone should care to read this ridiculous thing.  And at the moment, I don’t even care to read the whole thing, so it ain’t boding well…

So there you have it.  Life as I know it.  Oh, and regular class and my two jobs.  And rehearsals and performances for the aforementioned play all through the next 2 weeks.  And then Thanksgiving.  And then a week of classes.  And then exams.  And then the second-to-last semester of my college career is finished.  Uhoh….

Oh, and did I mention that a friend of mine landed a job at Random House for post-grad?  Lucky bastard…  Not that I’m jealous or anything…

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NaBloPoMo Day 2

It’s almost the end of November 2, and I just realized I haven’t posted anything yet here, despite my plans to post once everyday.  I don’t have time for a lenthy post since I need to get to sleep soon as I have class in the morning, but here’s a sneak peak of the topics I’m planning on covering in the next few days/weeks:

  • controversial art and it’s role in academia
  • a little thesis blogging
  • poetry for children
  • maybe a bit more thesis blogging
  • place of “I” in academic writing
  • of course, I almost forgot: thesis blogging!
  • Review of Windows 7 and my adventures in installing a new hard drive

Fun times!

 

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Happy November!

It’s November 1, meaning it’s the start of both NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where people attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, where bloggers attempt to post at least once everyday).  I’m definitely not doing the former – I’m having enough issues with my thesis as it is, thankyouverymuch – but I am flirting with the idea of doing NaBloPoMo, which is part of the reason I’m posting this, to give myself a boost.

The other reason I’m posting this is that I have something to post about.

I’m thinking it’s kind of a cool idea to make a huge goal for oneself for just one month, rather than New Year’s resolutions for the whole year that no one keeps.

I’ve actually been thinking a good deal recently about setting personal goals, and how to keep them when you have no one to answer to but yourself, or even if you do have someone else to answer to, you don’t care if you fail.  I guess it never works the same for any two people, but how do you figure out what works for you?  How do you develop some sort of system that works for yourself?  Particularly when you know that it’s simply a goal for you to set up a system, yet because you don’t have a system, you have no way or motivation or self responsibility to set one up?  If that makes sense….

I know this is more… existential, if you will, than most of my posts.  But I’ve been thinking, so I thought I’d post and see if teh interwebs had any thoughts…

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As part of my attempt to dive deep into the world of book blogging, I went ahead and signed up for an interview partner for Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  I was paired up with the fabulous and amazing Cinnamon from A Journey of Books!  To see a list of all the other interviews, go here (warning: there are hundreds – I kid you not! – so get comfortable!).

And so, without further ado, I present to you, Cinnamon!

Why did you start blogging?

I really started blogging because I got the opportunity to rediscover my love of reading.  With high school, college and then the birth of my daughter, reading kind of took a back burner to the rest of my life.  Near the beginning of 2009 I finally found myself with a bit of spare time on my hands and began burying myself in books.  Of course, once I started reading I needed to share my opinion with someone, so I started the blog as a way of just letting others know what I thought of the wonderful books I had become acquainted with.

Has it been as you expected?

I expected my blog to be just a way for me to get out my thoughts but I was amazed at the show of support from people stopping by to comment on my reviews or just say hi.  Plus, I love giving things to people and being able to hold contest on my blog really made the whole thing so much more exciting for me.  I’m thrilled that I can help other people visit books that I love.

What is the most rewarding part of running/having your blog?

Getting to meet new people and see their opinions on books that we have both read.  I love to see what others think and the things they picked up on that I may not have.  Also, back to the contests.  I love giving stuff away and the blog affords me the perfect opportunity to do that.

What’s the worst part about blogging?

Sometimes it’s the time commitment.  Right now I’m finding myself in a particularly difficult part of my Master’s program so trying to find the time for work, home, school and blogging is getting difficult, but I still manage to do it.

You have so many followers!  Do you work hard at attracting readers to your blog?  Care to share some secrets for the newbies?

Share secrets for newbies?  I am a newbie!  I do work very hard at attracting readers.  Honestly most of my readers have come to my blog from the various contests that I hold.  I give extra points for current readers that enter to award loyalty because it really makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that there are other people out there reading my reviews and other thoughts.  Also, I have to give a shout out to my readers.  A good number of them have been with me from the beginning and the wonderful (and helpful) comments that I receive from them really make my day.

Do you participate in blog memes/awards (e.g. Sunday Salon, Wordless Wednesdays, etc or any of the numerous “blogger awards” that make the rounds)?  Why or why not?

I try to although lately I haven’t been keeping up as well as I should.  I find that with my lack of time currently, getting the reviews and author spotlights up is about as much as I can do.  I certainly wouldn’t want to sacrifice my actual reading time for online time so I had to make some decisions.  When I get time, I do try to participate in The Story Siren’s In My Mailbox.  I also try to do Teaser Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, and I do my own UnderCover Friday where I try to feature some amazing book cover that caught my eye that week.

Do you read blogs other than book blogs?  If so, what sort of blogs?

I read a lot of author blogs but outside of that, no.  Again, with my lack of time, book blogs and author blogs are all I have time for.  Plus, when you have so many great blogs out there, I really don’t need to go looking for more.  I could probably be content just staring at the computer and catching up on book blogs and author blogs all day long.

Do your family and friends know about your blogging habit?  If so, what do they think of it?  If not, why not?

It really is a habit, isn’t it.  Or an addiction.  Do you think there’s a twelve step program?  I’m sure my family would recommend one if there was.  Most are pleased with it, some are not.  Some think I devote too much time to it while others are glad that I have a project that I can actually complete (since each post only takes me an hour or less to write).  It’s not like knitting a scarf where I lose interest after a few weeks.

What do you envision for the future of your blog?

I just hope to continue posting my reviews, become acquainted with new and interesting books and above all meeting new and interesting people.  Did I mention how I love my readers?  I do.  They are what really keep my blogging and I hope to continue to offer them quality content.

How do you find your books to review?

Some of them are through the authors, some are through the publishers but a vast majority of the books that catch my eye are through other book bloggers.  That’s what I love about the sport/activity/habit/addiction; I get to learn about books that I normally wouldn’t pick up otherwise.  Some of my favorite books I have discovered through other book bloggers.

Do you review all the books you read?  If not, how do you decide which to review?

I don’t review every book that I read.  I review every book that I have accepted to review although the timing of when the review gets done may vary.  If you offer a book and I accept or I request a book then I feel obligated to give you a fair an honest review.  I don’t, however, review every book that I read from my own personal stash however because I simply don’t have the time.  I do try to get those reviews up as well, but books that I have received hold priority over those.

Do you prefer to keep books once read, or swap, or give away, or what?

I think I have an obsession.  It pains me to give away a book.  Literally pain.  Once, when I was in school, I went away on a trip and my beloved box of books was sold at a garage sale while I wasn’t there.  Admittedly I had not read the books in a while, but I still wish I had those books as there are often times that I would love to pick one of them back up again.  Plus, there were like five series in there.  Collecting series books is hard!  Occasionally I will take a book that I know I won’t read again to the used book store and trade it for something else but this is very rare and only ever happens with a book that personally offends me.  There have been only two books like that in 2009 so it’s not like it happens every day.

Once you start a book, do you absolutely have to finish it?  What’s the biggest reason you might decide not to finish a book?

I don’t absolutely have to finish every book that I start, but I always try to.  As above, if the books offends me, I won’t finish it.  If, however, I don’t just mesh well with a book but I have accepted it for review, I do force myself to finish it so that I can give the author or publisher a fair and honest review.  Sometimes these sorts of books don’t get reviewed for a while because I have to go through the book slowly taking frequent breaks, but eventually they get finished.  Usually it’s my own books that don’t get finished or get finished slowly because the review books become the priority.

What one thing might a reviewer say that would entice you to immediately add that book to your list?

Paranormal.  If that word is associated with the book, you can guarantee I’ll be taking a closer look.  I suppose another thing they might say is that they liked the book for one reason or another and would recommend it.  If it fits with the sorts of books that I like and one of the book bloggers that I follow likes it, I more than likely will give it a shot.

Is there anything (genres, authors…) you refuse to read?

You know, horror terrifies me.  Sometimes I wonder if I couldn’t be an awesome horror writer (probably not) because I have such vivid nightmares.  I am also horribly terrified of the dark.  Super scary books where the whole premise is just to frighten probably aren’t a good idea for me to read.  Also, many inspirational or political books I try not to read simply because I hate disliking a book simply because a difference in opinion.  I only really read books that I know I can do with an open mind, otherwise, I’m not being fare to the author.  Textbooks or anything that resembles something I read in college is also strictly a no-no.  I still have nightmares of having to repeat my undergrad studies.

What book(s) (or other reading-type-thing, like fanfic for me) is your guilty pleasure?

Hmmm, good question.  Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal.  I say guilty pleasure because I’m an adult and anymore we’re not supposed to be reading YA.  Preposterous, I know.  Plus, my peers tend to make fun of me when I shop in the YA section.  Still, some of the best books and my favorite books are YA (The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike).

Have your tastes changed since you’ve started blogging?

Not really.  I read more genres now than I would have before, but I still love Paranormals and Paranormal Romances the most.

Do you find yourself reading more, less, or about the same than pre-blog, now that there’s the extra pressure to post reviews?

Reading much more than pre-blog because of the books that I accept and the deadlines that I impose on my self.

Do you have any reading quirks/habits/rituals?

Oh, good question.  I make my husband drive to and from work (we work in the buildings next to each other) so that I can use the time to read.  I also find myself constantly in an internal debate between reading and homework.  My husband says he’s heard my audibly argue with myself.  As far as rituals, give me chocolate and a comfy spot to read and we are good.

What is your favorite book from the past year? Ever?

My favorite book ever is a toss up between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire series.  My favorite book this year is definitely Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer.

What one book would you suggest to someone who claims they don’t like to read?

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer.  Romance, action, adventure.  My husband hates to read and I think he’d love it.

Is there any book (or author) that you have always intended to read (and perhaps have on your shelf right now!) but never actually gotten around to?

Christine Feehan and Kelly Armstrong.  Those books sit and stare at me every day and yet review books always end up coming first.  Some day dear books, some day.

What do you do when you’re not reading or blogging?

Take care of my husband and toddler, work on my MBA program, and do actual work work.  It’s not glamorous, but then it can’t always be.

Do you harbor a dream to be a writer someday (or perhaps are one now?)?

It’d be nice.  I have authors as family members, but we’ll see.  The market is so competitive now and I tend to have a fairly defeatist attitude.

Who or what inspires you?

Great stories inspire me.  Truthfully.  A great story can keep me going throughout the week.  All I do is close my eyes for a second, imagine the story and my mood lifts.  Suddenly the world seems like so much more of a pleasant place.

Thank you so much!

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Though I was blogging this time last year, I hadn’t yet wandered into the realm of Book Blogging, so this is my first year learning about Book Blogger Appreciation Week, started by the fabulous My Friend Amy!  So here are my answers to the meme questions, and I look forward to reading everyone else’s!

1)  What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?

  • I got into blogging because I am an information junkie, and love reading anything I can get my hands on, which is why I am currently subscribed to a couple hundred blogs, and yet still on the lookout for more!  I started blogging in response to this, as a way to get my voice out there, to get myself writing about all these things that were swirling through my head, and hopefully chat about them with others.  I’m definitely still working on actually accomplishing all of that, but blogging is so rewarding simple because it allows me to speak my mind and discuss so many things that might otherwise fall to the wayside!

2)  What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?

  • No one specific jumps to mind currently since I fear I am not very good at reaching out to others for help or links or anything of the sort – though I’m working on it, I promise!  Hopefully, I’ll be able to answer this in a month or so…

3)  What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?

  • How do you keep up with all the crazyness that surrounds BBAW?  I mean, at the time of this posting, there are already 93 responses to this meme – how do you catch up?!

Though this isn’t officially part of the meme, I must say that, though BBAW is officially still a month away, I have already found some new favorite blogs and am so totally looking forward to the coming month of celebrations, if you will (and please excuse the total valley-girl-esque-ness of that sentence!)

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… instead of posting on this here blog!  We had family in town this weekend for my mom’s 50th birthday, so I’ve been a bit too busy to do anything.  Plus, I’ve leaving for school on Friday, so I’ve been busy getting all my stuff (and boy do I have stuff!) together.  So here’s a quick run-down of some interesting articles I’ve read on my blogroll this week:

  1. Book Do’s and Don’ts For the 21st Century via Book Patrol
  2. The bad bad books that read so well via The Guardian Books Blog
  3. Penguin wants to suck your blood via Quill & Quire
  4. Competing for Eyeballs: Reading in the 21st Century via Booksquare
  5. Book Bloggers: Warm Community or Backstabbing Bitches? via J. Kaye’s Book Blog

Meanwhile, I have decided to experiment with Google Chrome, a newish browser released by Google.  And I would never recommend it for bloggers, or even blog lurkers.  First, Google Reader keeps freezing – ironic, n’est pas?  The only positive part is that when the tab for Reader freezes, the other ones don’t (a big selling point for Chrome in the first place).  And then there is no easy way to subscribe to blogs.  There is no feed button in the address bar like you find in Firefox (and IE, but I haven’t used it in so long, I can’t be sure).  If a blog does happen to have a feed button in their blog itself, Chrome tries to send me to Microsoft Outlook when I click it!  Outlook!  Seriously, Google?  I expect so much more from you.

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