Yup, still breathing.

 

April brought violets.

 

Thanks to all who’ve sent notes asking if I’m still alive. Sorry I wasn’t able to reply to all, but I’m popping in to reassure you I haven’t yet left this earthly plane. For some of you, hopefully that’s what you’d hoped to hear. For the rest of you, I know lots of Scottish swear words and insulting phrases. But I’ll let you slide this time.

Time really gets away from you. This year’s halfway over already, can you believe it? I’d been blogging religiously through most of it, then life reared its head. I had things to attend to, and everything plummeted into the roiling pit of despair.

I pretty much read nothing the entire month of April. I slowly returned to reading this month, but just couldn’t summon the energy to write about it. Welcome the tail end of May, when finally I rear my curly red head.

Once I’ve gathered the few books I’ve not shared about, I’ll do my best to form sentences summarizing thoughts. Then I’ll get myself back on track, as I’d done so well the early months of 2018.

Lots of personal things going on right now, like the continuing search for a librarian position. As I’m willing to go nearly anywhere in the U.S., it’s both easier and tougher. Try hunting for a job in a country of over 300 million people occupying gawd knows how many thousands of square miles.  Narrowing it down is tough, even eliminating areas I’d never want to live. Sift the remainder, and that’s still an awful bit pile.

Uprooting again will be an undertaking, once I do find that mythical job, though not nearly as tough as last year’s wee jaunt to Scotland. I never filled up my new home, anticipating the wanderlust itch was still great with me. I’m not sure the furniture I’m left with wouldn’t be best sold off, new things bought at my destination, considering the cost of moving. But that’s jumping ahead.

Meanwhile, time to get back to life’s plans – both big and small. I aim to post about books over the coming weekend. I may not blow you away with what I’ve read, but I sure as hell will with books I’ve bought and received for review. Still buying back some I sold before I moved away last year, and, as always, adding some everyone would agree are necessary.

Until then.

 

GIVEAWAY winners announced later today/New blog policies to come…

Thank you to all who participated in the GREAT BANNED BOOKS GIVEAWAY! I'll hold the grand drawing a bit later today.

Second, there are changes coming in the Bluestalking world. The reasons behind it involve demands on my time, a very few aggressive authors and publicists, as well as my desire to change tracks a bit, going back in the direction of the way things used to be. There will still be reviews, but…

Well, I'll be back to talk about that later.

Again, winners will be announced later!

Blogging and Bloggery, at age 5

I didn't make a big deal of it – or mention it at all – but Bluestalking celebrated its 5th anniversary over the summer. That's five years of writing at least weekly, if not always daily. It's been both fun and great discipline for me. Five years of mulling over books, sometimes (okay, OFTEN) veering into the personal,  sharing some of my photography, a bit of crafty this and thats, and frankly I don't even remember what else.

To the best of my ability, I've tried to avoid topics of a political or religious nature, though a couple crept in when I couldn't contain myself. As far as outrageously opinionated, snarky or even downright aggressive posts, those are in here, too, mostly regarding books I felt very strongly about, those I resented making it into publication in the first place, when there are so many better unpublished writers out there. And I wouldn't retract a thing.

Going back over the books I've read, would my opinion of all of them still be the same now? In lots of cases, probably not. I'm a firm believer the time and place you're at in life has a very big impact on how you feel about what you read. Some books I read and loved now leave me scratching me head, wondering what on earth I was thinking. And for others, it may be the reverse. But whatever I said was what I felt at that moment. That's the important part.

Blogging for five years has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I've met great people, read a lot of books I'd never have otherwise, gotten a great deal of respect from amazing people, and shared camaraderie with other book bloggers and all-around rabid readers. There just is no better company than readers.

Have there been negatives? Aren't there always? I've often put myself under too much pressure to perform, to blog when I don't feel like it, or read everything I'm sent whether it deserves mention or not. All this pressure I put on myself for a voluntary endeavor? It's a little nuts. Because everything I write is going to have a huge impact on the world, right?

Uh-huh.

Still, I hit the five year mark. What do you know? Something I started on a lark (at roughly the same time other bookish friends decided to try it) has turned into something I've kept up – for better or worse – for five entire years. I guess that's something to feel a bit of pride about, even if I'm not equally fond of all the writing and/or content, or all the incarnations the blog has gone through. I don't know if I'll still be here in another five years. That depends on life, on how much time I have to spare for "free time" endeavors, etc. Meanwhile, Happy Birthday to me. And, to all who've ridden along with me, thanks to you all. It wouldn't have mattered without you.

I'm here now, and assuming I can stave off that inner critic who keeps telling me I could always do better, will be for at least a while. We'll see how it goes.