0

Just Write. Dammit.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day because I noticed that they hadn’t blogged in a while. Their reason was basically there was a lack of ideas for things to write about and so the commitment to keep blogging had waned down.

I get asked a lot how I manage to keep coming up with new ideas on what to blog about every week. I’ll be honest, it can be a bit hard. I’m writing about new topics every week, three times a week. It’s something that I am forcing myself to be disciplined about. There’s no one making me do this. I’m not being paid to do this nor am I trying to impress anyone with my blog. As in, this is not some creative outlet that I’m using to further my career.

How do I write? Basically I’ve come to realize that everything that happens in my life is a potential blog post. The good. The bad. The ugly. Though with any circumstance, I will use discretion. Names get changed or not even mentioned. The details might get shifted around. I’m not going to out anyone or spill all my guts on here. But when you see everything as a story you can share, it really helps you with ideas on how and what to write.

I believe if you really want to write, you can do it on just about anything. If I really wanted to, I could take any boring inanimate object and somehow create an entire backstory and a world based on it. Then again I have to do this when I play D&D so it comes in handy from time to time. I see blogging in the same way. Because I really want to blog, I’ll blog about anything and try my best to put an interesting spin on it.

Sometimes it doesn’t always work out with readers, sometimes posts that I feel are really interesting get super low views. And that’s ok. Because while I love comments and readers and seeing my page views go up, I’m also not really writing just for others. It’s for me. Am I the best writer in the world? Hellz no. But am I having fun doing this? Yeps. And until it stops being fun, I’ll keep doing it.

1

The Year of Enjoying What I Like

drawn-sand-beach-new-year-43591827

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

This was a rather good year geeky wise for me.

Movie wise: I saw 18 new movies in theaters (plus a few older ones thanks to the Alamo Drafthouse) including Guardians of the Galaxy five times. Yes this ties the record with The Avengers for most time seen in theaters. No I did not spend a ton of money doing this. One highlight was seeing Interstellar in real IMAX at the Smithsonian. Definitely worth it.

TV wise: All my shows I watched were great. Gracepoint was good enough for me that I want to switch to Broadchurch (this is a compliment). Peter Capaldi was wonderful on Doctor Who. The Walking Dead was gross and wonderful and will the next half please get here soon?

The shows I watched for Entertainment Weekly were quite good (ok, Metal Hurlant Chronicles wasn’t a fave). It’s a crime Selfie was canceled (it really was) but The Musketeers will be returning later this month. I’ll also be recapping Veronica Mars from the beginning as I watch it for the first time.

Book wise: I read a lot this year. I surpassed my goal and read 229 books in 2014. Here’s a breakdown of what I read.

(Numbers are a bit off because I kept losing track when counting repeatedly)

Christian Fiction 135

General Fiction 17

YA 37

Graphic Novel 19

Picture Book 1

Non Fiction 10

Diversity – 34 books written by males (All White Males)

3 books written by POC authors

Diversity wise I failed horribly. Most of those 34 books books were graphic novels so a lot were by the same authors. Also this just shows that Christian fiction is written almost exclusively by white females because that is their target audience.

But graphic novels in general are outside of my normal reading habits so I’m hoping to read more in the future.

Goals for next year?

Reading wise: I’m going to read a lot again next year. I still have a goal to read at least 200 books but I’d like to go outside of my normal reading for a change. I want to read more non fiction and I want to read out of my normal reads. This doesn’t mean less Christian fiction but more intentionally finding books outside of that genre. My “what books have you been reading” posts are quite popular so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

Movie wise: Oh 2015 is the year of two Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (including new Avengers?), Hunger Games, James Bond, and a new Star Wars movie you say? Well you know where I’ll be.

Blog wise: I want to do something different on my blog this year. While I still want to keep my schedule of what I post on MWF, I’d like to incorporate a new feature for Geekness Fridays. I don’t want to plan out a set schedule of what I’m going to post every Friday because I do enjoy spontaneity. But for this year, I’d like to try something new with my favorite band ever.

Once a month I’m going to listen to a Beatles album and spend a Friday talking about it. I’m not a music expert by any means, just a huge fan. There are twelve studio albums so I’ll be talking about one once a month. It’ll be fun to try something different and I’m looking forward to listening to all the albums in their entirety again.

So yeah. That was 2014 and those are goals for 2015.

2014 has been a good geeky year and I have no doubt that 2015 will be just the same if not better.

Because I do not need these to be a geek: 20140919_162811

4

I’m bringing the party to you aka one year anniversary of this blog

Welp. Today is my birthday. But even more fun, today is my one year anniversary for this blog! (Is it blogiversary or bloggiversary? I’ve seen both.)

I can’t believe I’m still writing this thing. And that people actually read it. Honestly, it’s still really weird to hear from people that they read my blog. To those of you who have told me that you have, hello and thank you! To those of you who are lurkers, feel free to unlurk anytime.

When I started this blog a year ago, I honestly didn’t know if I would make it to a year. I had been blogging earlier for 6 years straight and then burned out completely. Since this blog didn’t really have a set goal in mind, the temptation to quit was always there. I’ve seen many bloggers start off being really excited only to quit 3 months in. So for me to make it this far is excellent.

I set a schedule of when and what I was going to write three days a week. And I kept it! Kinda like with my running (no, I won’t talk about that again right now. Don’t worry.) In case you missed it the first time around, here is the reason of Why Do I Blog?

I can be a stats nerd and I’ve been keeping track of what the top viewed posts on my blog have been since I started writing. The top five has been a very close race and I’ve been refreshing every day to see what would come ahead. The last one came out of nowhere but based on what keywords people are searching, it appears I am not the only one who has faced these in life.

  1. That Time that God Hit Me in the Head (aka that time God made me do something I didn’t want to do but worth it)
  2. Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible (aka why one should always just keep trusting that God knows best)
  3. The Girl Who Waited (aka waiting sucks but if God wants to you do it, do it)
  4. Celeb Fangirling: The Josh Groban edition (aka this is how my relationship with Josh Groban began)
  5. When Someone is Mad at You and You Don’t Know Why (aka one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in life)

While those were the top five VIEWED posts, here are some others that I really enjoyed writing and are also personal favorites

Since I started this blog, I’ve had a lot of opportunities happen for myself which has been great. But in all honesty, what is far more awesome is the reaction I get from folks who have gotten stuff out of what I’ve written. I never really thought that all the crap I go through in life actually can help people but apparently it has if all of you seem to have stuck around for this long.

And for that I say again thank you. Thank you for all the comments, the follows, the retweets, the shares, liking the Facebook page. I wish I could offer a giveaway or something (perhaps in the future) but for now just know this:

Now let’s just go out and celebrate. Here’s to another year of blogging!

1

Why Do I Blog?

Sometimes I wonder why I keep blogging.

It’s certainly not for the numbers. Every time someone asks me how many subscribers I have, I don’t like telling them because it’s a really low number. My stats are not amazing. Anytime someone says they have low stats, I want to say “you don’t know low stats.” I do know that a few people read almost everything I post, but otherwise I have no idea who actually reads my blog on a regular basis. While I share new blog posts on social media, unless someone tells me that they read something, I just assume no one reads it. I don’t expect any of my friends to actually read this. There are days when I get really excited about writing a post and I put a lot of time and effort into it only to have nobody even click on the post at all much less read or comment on it.

 I

It’s not for exposure. I’m not getting famous by doing this. I’m not expecting any of my posts to go viral, for me to get discovered, or for me to get a book deal out of this. Nor am I doing this in order to work on my writing so that I can go somewhere with it. It’d be cool if this could lead towards a job because of my blogging but as of right now that’s not happening.

And contrary to popular belief, this blog is not so I can write about everything that happens in my life. It’s not like I’m waiting around for events to happen so I can talk about them on here.

You may think I’m being completely open on my blog and to some extent I am. But I don’t treat this like a diary and there are a lot of things that I am not going to overshare with the rest of the world. At least not on a public platform like my blog. Therefore if you only read my posts but never actually talk to me, you only have a one-sided view of what I’m really like.

No, the real reason why I started blogging again was because I want others to know that they are not alone.

There’s a difference in wanting to be by yourself and then feeling like you’re alone in what you’re going through.

I know that one of the first things I do when I go through a crisis or situation is to Google it. Because I want to believe that I can’t possibly be the only person that’s going through this situation. Surely there must be someone in the world who knows what I’m going through and I’m not just some freak of nature that this is happening to.

A lot of times however I can’t. And while some of you are perfectly fine in situations where you’re the only person, I know for me it is super hard because I feel like I’m drowning and there is no one who can help me. I don’t like the feeling of being the odd person out in a negative way. When I feel like nobody understands what I’m going through, trying to make things better is a very steep uphill climb.

So with this blog, in case someone happens to stumble up on it, I just want them know they aren’t alone. Whether that’s a someone who suddenly has a completely random thought and is curious if anyone else thought it, or someone who happens to like watching the Olympics AND Doctor Who and wonders if it’s possible to like sports AND be a geek, or if someone is struggling with an issue and worries they are the only ones going through this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

While it doesn’t have the highest amount of hits, the post on my blog that constantly gets viewed every week is my post on Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible. Out of all the posts I’ve written on this blog, every week since I first posted in October, this post is the most searched and most regularly visited. There have been so many variations of the phrase of trusting God in impossible times used in search engines to find that post. Which to me seems that there are many people who feel the same way I did and they want to know what to do and to know that they are not alone in that situation. I don’t know if my blog helps. I’d like to think that what I said has some impact and can give them some reassurance and advice but I’m not sure. What I do know is that for me, every time I see that post appearing in my stats for the day, it helps to remind ME that God is still working in my life and that I need to trust him even when I have no idea how things will work out for myself.

I just feel like I am meant to do this right now. I may feel like stopping at some point but for now this is what I feel like I’m being led to do. Like I’ve said before, I have a story. Several stories actually. And if I can help others somehow with my story and make an impact in their lives, then that’s what I want to continue doing. I’m pretty sure I’m getting better at it and will continue to do more so in the future.

Writing this blog has also helped me a lot. It’s keeping me disciplined and accountable as I’ve kept up with my schedule of posting three times a week. It’s helped me become more creative and allows an outlet for me to let it out. Even if I’m not actively trying to have a writing career, I am writing more and I do believe it is improving. Doing this has also helping me figure out more things about myself. And that’s always a good thing.

0

All the blog stuff you can handle today

So two milestones today: First this is my 100th post since I started this blog almost 7 months ago. Woo! Other than a break during the Christmas holidays, I’ve posted 3 times a week, every week since then. This is pretty awesome simply because I’m amazed that I’ve been dedicated enough to keep posting even when I can’t think of what to post. And that I’ve somehow managed to come up with 3 different types of topics each week. Woot.

And second: If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, I know you’ve seen me keep talking about this and you’re probably sick of it and want to be like “You already told us! Go away!” But for the rest of you, as I mentioned previously, I am a contributor to the newest blog on Entertainment Weekly‘s website, The Community. And this was the first week that my post was up!

To recap (heh), I’m currently recapping the show Metal Hurlant Chronicles on the SyFy channel. The show airs on Monday nights at 10pm.

So I’m slightly at a disadvantage than most people when it comes to watching and reviewing TV shows because well…this is my TV:

smalltv

Yep. That’s right. I have the tiniest TV ever. And obviously it’s not HDTV. And I don’t have a DVR either. (Heck at this point, I don’t even have a DVD player that works.) So if I want to watch a show, I HAVE to watch it live and I can’t pause, rewind, or fast forward. So this makes things challenging. Luckily for me the show comes on at both 10pm and midnight so if I didn’t catch something the first time around, I can wait an hour and rewatch. Now if I miss it the second time, then I’m just screwed.

Since I didn’t know exactly how I’d be writing this or what was expected of me, I ended up staying up all night trying to write my recap. I haven’t done an all nighter with this much pressure on me since grad school. I ended up going to bed at 6:30 am. The next day was very rough. I think I’m getting too old for this type of thing.

Anywho this is very exciting to see this!

ew

You can click here to read my entire post! Don’t worry if you haven’t watched it or it makes no sense to you. That’s how I felt the first time I watched the episode as well.

For the next four weeks, I’ll be recapping two episodes a week. As I said, the show airs on Monday night so my recaps will be up sometime Tuesday morning. Since I’m pretty OCD with my posting schedule on THIS blog, I probably won’t keep posting when I do have new posts up, so be sure to follow me on Twitter or on my Facebook page (links are in the sidebar to your right) to find out exactly when they do go up.

So yeah, allow me one last geek out about this and woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enhanced by Zemanta
0

Blast from the Past: How Would Jesus Enter a Blog Giveaway

This isn’t a Thursday but I’m doing a throwback post that was on my old blog. This was one of the most popular non book review posts I posted on my book blog. For background information, when I used to run giveaways, I had the hardest time having people follow the simple instructions on just leaving a comment (the days before Google forms and Rafflecopter). Another blogger suggested, since I had a lot of Christian readers, to write about WWJD about entering blog giveaways. And thus, this was post was born.

So let’s go back to 2009:

If you’ve read my post about the Do’s and Don’ts of Contest Entries, then you know my stance on the corrective behavior about entering contests. Now I’m a pretty laid back person and I don’t complain a lot. Heck, I don’t even really talk about my personal life on this blog (except the wedding business but that’s because you all begged me for it. And because I wanted to show off a little 🙂 I don’t mind a little mistake here and there. I’ve done it before, everyone’s done it. No harm, the best is when you catch yourself and delete that wrong entry before I even notice. Kudos bars (do they still make those? I haven’t had one in years) to everyone who’s done that.

No, the problem lies with the people who continue to make these mistakes even though I’ve more than many times pointed out the rules of how to enter a contest on my blog. In case you somehow missed them, I always post my rules in bright red, and they are as big a font as I can get on blogger. They are also posted in the contests tab at the top of the blog, but here again for your added enjoyment.

People please….I’m in my mid 20s. You are giving me more gray hairs on my head than I need right now! I’ve found that most of these mistakes that happen in the Contest Do’s and Don’ts post occur whenever I post a Christian fiction giveaway.

BTW you may say, it’s such a minor thing, why don’t you just get over it, it’s not life and death. Ok you may say that but hey this is MY blog. Don’t like it? Well. I don’t know what to tell you.

Which brings the question: How would Jesus enter a blog giveaway?

Jesus is a mac user?? *Looking sadly at my PC.*

Never mind the fact that I do give away some books that
Jesus wouldn’t enter for. I really don’t think he’d read chick lit, iffy on the YA (I bet he’d win at The Hunger Games), although I’m sure he’d love the Christian fiction. I wonder if Jesus would go for the edgy stuff or the Amish fiction? And why yes, Jesus would read fiction contrary to the popular belief that reading stories is reading lies and we shouldn’t’ be doing it. Jesus told stories aka parables. Are you saying then that Jesus told lies?

Would Jesus forget to leave his contact info when entering a contest? – Nope, because He always wants you to contact him. Whether you want to or not.

Would Jesus leave his mailing address for everyone to see? Ok well that one he might, but this may be the one time you don’t want to do what Jesus does. B/C while he wants all of us to go find him in his big house, I don’t think you want those random kooks at your house! To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, “Only you can prevent giving away your info to strangers!”

Would Jesus enter for a contest after it’s over and comments have been closed? Well even though Jesus is rather persistent and would like all his followers to be, I think when a door is closed permanently, it can’t be open again.

Would Jesus make sure he was entering the right giveaway and not enter on something that was not a giveaway? I think Jesus can tell the difference between right and wrong. Can you?

Would Jesus use an alias to keep entering giveaways? Well he does have that whole Trinity thing going for him but I really don’t think he’d use that for his advantage to win something (except maybe followers…I bet Jesus would have lots of people on his follower list, if he was doing a giveaway I bet you’d get extra entries for joining!).

So what’s the overall point of this post? The point is, I’m sorry for having to get all snarky and write a potential sacrilegious post like this. I know I may have offended some people and you will now all unsubscribe and hate me. I just feel like I’ve done as much as I can to make things as easy for people to enter and it still backfires on me. I feel bad having to disqualify and delete posts but if rules aren’t followed then that’s the way I have to go. If you can tell me how to make things more easier for you, please let me know.

And for the record, I love Jesus. Seriously. That’s why I’m so passionate about this blog, so I can give Christian fiction a good name and get the word out about it out there. Even when people made awkward pictures of him like this

 

1

And so for (insert my name) of (insert my hometown), opportunity knocks!

So in fun news for today: I can officially announce that I’m going to be contributor for Entertainment Weekly‘s new blog The Community.

community

How did this happen? Well, I happened to be on Twitter (ok ok, I’m always on Twitter) and saw that the EW was looking for bloggers about television shows. So I applied. I then got back an email asking for writing samples about shows I’ve written. I sent in my blog posts about How I Met Your Mother, The Walking Dead, and Doctor Who. Apparently there was something in there that was good enough because then I got a reply back saying I had been chosen and could I be available to speak on the phone with an editor?! I’ve been chosen along with 20 other bloggers to write about TV shows and I’m geeked. It’s been an awesome whirlwind experience over the past few months and I’m really excited about doing this. I mean basically I get to do what I’m already doing, just with a potentially bigger audience.

If you like TV shows, you should definitely check out the blog. It’s written by other superfans so you’ll get a nice variety of shows and different styles of writing. While the blog is already up and running, I won’t start posting until the week of April 20.

The first show that I’ll be covering is Metal Hurlant Chronicles on the SyFy channel. (It’s ok. I hadn’t heard about it either when I was originally assigned to it.)

 

But after watching the trailer, I’m excited to see it. It’s a sci fiction book based on a comic book series. Meaning, yes it’s a geeky show.

Synopsis from Wikipedia: Métal Hurlant Chronicles is an English-language Franco-Belgian television science fiction anthology series based on the popular comics anthology magazine Métal Hurlant, known in the United States as Heavy Metal and in Germany as Schwermetall. All the episodes are a self-contained story taking place on a different planet with a different cast, linked together only by the idea that an asteroid, the “Métal Hurlant”, passes the planet in question during the events of the story. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tal_Hurlant_Chronicles)

It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok. The next few weeks I’m going to spend time doing some research on the show and comics so I can familiarize myself as best I can. Either way, this should be a fun time! If you follow me on Twitter or on my Facebook page, you’ll find out when I’ve posted!

Addendum: This is a really interesting opportunity for me. Unlike the other folks that are also going to be writing, I am not a journalist. I didn’t plan on writing about entertainment for a living (though it’d be pretty cool) and except for a few years as a high school correspondent for my local paper, I haven’t really tried my hand at journalism. I have a career outside of this. Yes, I like writing. Yes, I like to blog. Yes, I love entertainment. But it’s not what I was originally planning on doing. So it feels a bit weird to get chosen to do this and sometimes I really question why I got picked. Also it doesn’t help when I go online and see articles saying that I shouldn’t be doing this and that “exposure” doesn’t count as compensation and how I’m just screwing things up for “real writers”. It’s really easy to have all the insecurity slip in right now, and tell myself “you’re not that good!” or “you shouldn’t be doing this!”. But you know, I’m not going to focus on that. Right now, I’m ok with just getting experience and exposure. And no, nothing is wrong with me for wanting that. I’m also looking forward to learning things that I wouldn’t have I not been granted this opportunity. This isn’t a full time job for me and I’ll always have this blog to fall back on. So if next year I’m right back where I started, it’ll be ok. I’m excited to do this and we’ll see what comes out of it. I’m also going to have to grow a thicker skin it seems.

0

You like me! You really like me!

This is a sort of blog housekeeping post. I recently created a Facebook page for this blog.

facebookpage

Why, you may ask? Well, I would like to reach out to more readers than I currently do now. For the past 6 months, my publicizing has been mainly through my Twitter feed and my personal Facebook feed. Unless someone came across my blog through random searches or I happened to post a link to my blog on a website, the odds of people finding and interacting have been limited to those folks I already know.

So I did a lot of research and looking into the benefits of creating a Facebook page. And there seem to be quite a few. It will mean double work on my end since I don’t want it to be just me reposting my links AGAIN. But I do hope that eventually it can become its own community as well.

I’ve been hesitant to individually ask my Facebook friends to like my page. I don’t want them to feel like they are getting spammed. I don’t want to them to like it because I’m their friend. If they aren’t genuine readers then liking my page isn’t going to do anyone anything. Though I was also told that it’s not spam if it’s something I’m proud of. I just know I’m guilty of ignoring requests to like pages from my friends of things I don’t know about and I don’t want to do that to other people.

That being said, I don’t want to have a dead Facebook fan page that gets abandoned after I ask everyone to join. Or as I said even just me posting up links to my blog all the time. I would like there to be interaction with people. Perhaps you didn’t want to leave a comment but you wanted to just quickly say something. Or perhaps you wanted to ask a question that didn’t seem right to email me. I’m trying to post something every day, maybe links around the web I found interesting that I wanted to share or created discussion.

If you want to join in on the adventure, click over here https://www.facebook.com/agirlwhoisageek and have at it. I wish I could give you all cookies but instead you’ll have to just accept my thanks in advance!

0

Reader Input Wanted!

It’s been almost four months since I started blogging again on this website. And it’s been good and fun. I’ve enjoyed getting back into the blogging frame of mind and I’m enjoying writing again. I haven’t felt like I HAVE to blog, instead I WANT to blog. There are admittedly some days when writing is easier than others but overall this has been a good experience for me.

Since the year is almost up, I’m trying to see what I want to do next year for this blog. I may stay with the same format or I may switch things around. Still not sure yet. Either way, I’d like to get input from you blog readers. Thank you for taking the time to read what I write and your lovely comments. If you could take a few minutes and fill out this short survey for me, I’d really appreciate it. While ultimately this blog is going to be what I want to write about, I still would like to know what you guys would like to read and what you don’t. I’ll keep this up running this week and depending on how much feedback I get, I’ll share some of the responses in a future post. Thank you again in advance for your help!

Finally on a housekeeping note: With Christmas coming up this week, I’m going to take the rest of the week off as I’m sure most of y’all will be celebrating the holiday and not wanting to read a blog. I myself will be travelling back to my hometown and spending time with my own family. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and I’ll see y’all again next Monday!.