Because randomness is the way to go! ;)

Archive for the ‘BookBlogWriMo 2014’ Category

An explanation.. of sorts!

Yes, me being me, I didn’t go through with BookBlogWriMo.
I quit before I was even halfway.
To be fair though, I do have an incomplete post which was to be posted way back on the 20th November or something.
In any case, I intend to complete it soon and post it.
Then again, I intend to do a lot of things and we’ll get to that part in the later half of this blog post- along with an explanation about BookBlogWriMo.

Before that, I need to tell you something.

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Read this book. Just read it.
It is an anthology of short stories by various YA authors such as Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, David Leviathan etc.
Actually wait, I’ll list down all the author names because all of them did an amazing job writing those stories.
I’ll also list the titles of their stories.

image

1. Midnights- Rainbow Rowell
2. The Lady and The Fox- Kelly Link
3. Angels in the Snow- Matt de la Peña
4. Polaris is where you’ll find me- Jenny Han
5. It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown- Stephanie Perkins
6. Your Temporary Santa- David Leviathan
7. Krampuslauf- Holly Black
8. What the Hell have you done, Sophie Roth? – Galye Forman
9. Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus- Myra Mcentire
10. Welcome to Christmas, Ca- Kiersten White
11. Star of Bethlehem- Ally Carter
12. The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer- Laini Taylor

I’ve highlighted the ones that made me feel all warm and nice inside. 😀
I loved all of them but I specifically restricted myself to highlight only about 5.

And since most of the stories are about Christmas, you could probably read them all before Christmas to get into the festive mood.
There’s 12 stories so you could read one in two days each and you’ll be done by the time Christmas arrives (although all of them are so short that you will, in fact, read two in a day rather than one in two days).

So since I’m in the middle of recommending things I fell in love with recently, you might also want to try out 1989.
Taylor Swift’s latest album.
It is brilliant! I wasn’t particularly eager to listen to the songs because for some reason I had thought I wouldn’t quite like the songs.
I was very much into nerdy music (mostly by Hank Green) these past few months but then I somehow ended up listening to a few songs from 1989 and loved them.
Highly recommended!
Especially these songs: Blank Space, Style, Welcome to New York, and Bad Blood.

If any of you have read the book or heard the songs or both (especially if both) do leave a comment- I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions on both the things! 😀

Okay, so the second half I promised:
BookBlogWriMo was about blogging daily for 30 days but I ended up doing it only for 14 days.
(To be honest with you guys though, I’m actually very happy and proud of myself that I did it for 14 days at least. I was afraid I wouldn’t get through more than 3-4 posts.)
The prompts were awesome and I really wanted to write all of them but then I didn’t. Because I’m lazy, and I procrastinate and it’s like quicksand, the more I don’t do something the more I get sucked into the state of never doing it (especially if there’s catching up on the missing parts involved).
And I think I have only a limited amount of creativity assigned for each month; like, there’s always a saturation point. I physically am not able to write more posts after that point.
All of that is sort of what happened.
But here’s the thing, I really do want to complete BookBlogWriMo and so I have decided to do it slowly.
Once in a while, I’ll pick up the next prompt and write about it. No pressure. That way, I don’t scare myself into not doing things I’m meant to do.
It’s just an experiment- I’m trying out various methods to see how I actually work (no I am sirius, I was going through my old diaries the other day and I realized that I’ve always been like that. About everything. There has to be a solution right?).
This should work, I think.

Moving on to more exciting things, there’s something I’ve been planning on doing for a while now.
Before BookBlogWriMo came around, I was all set to do it in November but anyway I’m going to do it this month.

There’s a little bit of details to work on and also a little bit of planning and scheduling of posts to be done, so I’ll be posting an official announcement in my next post (which will be up very soon).

So I’m really excited about it.

All I can say is, it is gonna be legen-wait for it

Restricted from 3 to 5 stars!

Rating books is something I do only on Goodreads since that’s where I keep a track of all the books I’ve read and the ones I want to read.

So, Goodreads has a system that allows us to rate a book out of 5 stars and that’s what I do (very unoriginal, I know).

image

At least if it looked like this...

Except if you were to go through my Goodreads, you’d realize that there are almost no books that have a rating below 3.
That’s because as long as I complete a book I don’t give it below 3 stars and I don’t rate books I don’t complete.
The book has to be really, really awful for me to give it 2 stars.
I’m not even sure I’ve given those many to any of the books I’ve read.

The most common rating I give to books is 4 stars.

Like, if I read a book, and I enjoyed reading it, then I give it a 3.

If I read a book and I recommend it to at least 3-4 people and seek out someone who’s read the book too (so I can discuss things because I really need to talk about it!) , and I mention the book a few times in the week that I read it, to people who I know don’t even care, then it’s a 4.

If I read a book and it is so good that I have no idea what to do with my life anymore (now that I finished reading the book) and I actually feel like I died a little after reading it, I give it 5 stars.

Doesn’t take much to impress me, really.
I’m generous in granting them stars.

Also, everything I said above, I was just bullshitting my way through the post because when it actually comes to rating a book, I say to myself, “It feels like 4 stars. I’ll go with 4!”
And that’s how I rate books.
Are you starting to see why I am not a book blogger?

Why I don’t review

The BookBlogWriMo prompt for Thursday (the 13th of November) was “Your Review Process” and frankly I didn’t know what to write.
Mine isn’t really a book blog (if you haven’t noticed yet).
I’m just a girl who likes to read and likes to blog but who doesn’t blog about books she reads. (Yes I did realize that it would be a problem when I decided to do BookBlogWriMo because it was essentially for Book Bloggers, but then thought, “What the hell! I’ll wing it. And here I am, winging it).

For some reason I never actually reviewed books I read. I always discussed them with friends, fangirled with the rest of the fandom- but no technical reviews! Nope.
Then one of these days in January 2014 when I was in a very resolution-making kinda mood, I decided to “Never Say Never” and one of the things I decided to do was write more reviews.
Or at least try to.
Because it wasn’t such a good idea to let an opportunity of trying something new pass.
And so I wrote two.
One was a review of the Divergent movie (yeah not a book review, technically) and the other was a really awesome (I say so myself, but yes it is!) review about the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams.
Both the reviews were so good that I wondered why I didn’t do more of this and here are the reasons why:

1. One of the biggest reason (and the only one I could think of before I gave reviewing a thought) is that I am extremely biased towards the books I read. Once I have read a book and if I have liked it, then the chances that I’d be willing to overlook its flaws are pretty high.
It’s like having a dog, or a baby, you always think yours is the cutest and would never point out its imperfections for the world to see.
Also, if it’s my favourite authors- Whoa! There’s a whole logic behind that one which I’ve already written about in the aforementioned post.

2. Another reason could be that I read books for pleasure. I read a book, the experience forms a part of all my other experiences. It is my own to treasure. Most of the times I would rather not dissect the experience and describe it in words for everyone to read and form opinions about.

3. One of the most non-selfish reason on the list is that I don’t agree with the general idea of people reading my reviews and forming opinions about the book even before they’ve read it.
I don’t think I have the right to manipulate influence somebody, when it comes to books, especially if it’s in a negative way.
Only you can be the judge of your likes and dislikes and I wouldn’t want to put you off a book which you would otherwise have enjoyed, if not for my review.

4. I’ve said so much about writing reviews (or not writing, to be precise) but I think one more of the reasons is that I myself never read any book reviews. They spoil books for me. Even spoiler free reviews: they do mention funny scenes or emotional scenes right?
And then when I read the book I wonder if I laughed because I knew it was coming (or found it lame for the same reason) and whether I’m feeling those emotions because I really am, or because I’m meant to.
This constant wondering is tiresome.
And therefore I don’t read reviews either (if I do, I read them only after I’ve finished reading the book and formed my own opinions on it.)

5. Here is perhaps the most insightful point stating why I don’t write reviews:

I’m lazy.

Writing reviews is too much work.
You have to be precise.
You have to go through the book again and again to confirm that you’ve gotten it all right (either that, or you take notes while reading, but that’s unwelcome interruption!)

6. Lastly, I don’t write reviews unless I have something different or something of importance to say.
Because if I’m simply going to repeat what everyone else has already said, then why write it?
There’s plenty of those reviews out there- why should someone read them on my blog??

None of these are meant to offend any reader and/or reviewer of books out there.
All of these are just my personal opinions and feelings.
All of you who do write reviews do a great job- like I said, it’s hard work, and I am constantly in awe of everyone who manages to do it.

(They especially gain my respect when they read books and write reviews and yet, they end up reading more books than I do!!! Do you guys own a Time-Turner or something?) 

Gather round, Newbies! I have some advice to offer.

It was a sudden realization a few months ago that I’m no longer a newbie or a rookie when it comes to blogging.

Like, up until I had been blogging for six months or so, I considered myself to be new here.
Thinking that helped in a way, because I made all kinds of silly mistakes and
posted silly things around here; I knew I could get away with it by saying I was new.
But now I’m not.
And suddenly, it’s my turn to give advice.

The first thing I’d like to tell you guys is that you should start writing immediately after you create a blog.
Generally, a lot of people first focus on the themes of their blogs, the widgets they’re using, platforms they’re planning to publicize their blogs on, etc. (something I’ve seen my friends do).
Personally I feel that in your excitement of having started a new blog, you should only write and write! And keep on posting for a while.
Use the excitement and adrenaline for posting; selecting themes is fun even even when you’re bored and feeling uninspired.
Then you can look around WordPress, see how things work around here and then there’s always time for the decorations.
Also, when you do finally get around to having a nice theme with clever quotes posted here and there, with your Goodreads managing to brag about books you’ve been reading, one of the best things to do is create an “About” page.
Write about yourself, or about your blog. Because I’ve noticed that anybody who visits your blog will read the About page first.
I do the same with other blogs.
So yes, an About page is, I suppose, extremely important to let people know about you.

(And then there’s mine. LOL!)

Back when I was new here, I somehow ended up reading a few posts about blogging tips and how to blog more effectively.
Maybe I learnt a few things from those but I don’t really remember.

One thing I remember very clearly though, is about how we should all have a niche.
The blog post talked about how if you’re a writer blogging about your books then you need to write about books, or topics similar to the ones you write books about.
That way, you find a niche audience for your blog.
And I just sat there like

image

Because the whole point of my blog is that I don’t have any particular topics to write about.
Sure, I write about books but I’m not a book blogger.
I occasionally make people laugh, but I’m not that funny.
At times I say thought-provoking things, but those are so rare!

There’s no one thing that I “mostly” write about! What was I to do?

Well, then I was like- yeah! Never mind that post.
So maybe I won’t really have so many followers. I’ll only make new friends because of my blogging.
And that’s fine! I want friends, not followers.
Having followers makes me feel like Voldemort (and believe me, I’d be no good at designing any tattoos or gang signs).

And believe me, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a niche.
If people like your writing they’ll read anything you write (for the most part).
And one more lesson that incident taught me was not to follow every blogging tip you read on the internet.

Feel free to not follow anything I say either.
Once you start blogging and do it for a while, you will learn so much all by yourself!
(And there’s always Google to help you with the technical stuff).

One last piece of advice before I go (and this one you must follow):

DON’T PANIC and DON’T QUIT!

Also (because I’m a Nerdfighter) Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!

Let’s get narcissistic!

Today’s BookBlogWriMo prompt is “Top 10 Posts”.

(… is how I originally started this post, but well I should mention now that I’m three days late- or is it more than that?)

Without further ado (because aah.. you never delay such things), these are mine:

(Ha! I find it ironic now that three days ago, I literally wrote “you never delay such things” and then went on to delay it by 3 days! Wow! Just wow!)

10. WHO THE EFF IS HANK!?!?!?!?!
The fact that this post is in the list makes me so happy!
It’s about a Nerdfighter inside joke and is one of the best representations of Nerdfighteria as a whole.
It was really fun to write, if nothing else.

9. Too Much Information- Read At Your Own Risk!

Aah! The TMI Tag! Now wasn’t that fun? I enjoyed answering those questions so much, we need more tags like these (or if there exist others, somebody please nominate me 😛 )

8. New city, but the same old

You know how every writer has this something that they hold close to their heart? Out of everything they’ve written, this one’s extra special (perhaps for no reason whatsoever).
This post is that for me.
It is actually a short story I wrote at 2 o clock in the night.
I enjoyed writing it so much, I even wrote a second part to it.
I don’t think anybody realized that it was actually the second part (and I didn’t expect anyone to) but I think it’s a nice continuation to this one.

7. I am having a hard time digesting the fact that John Green wrote TFiOS

This is the first post I ever wrote about John Green as a vlogbrother. I had just started watching Brotherhood 2.0 and it was an amazing time.
Aah nostalgia! 🙂

6. Tumblr Potterheads FTW!!!

God! I was new to this world of Tumblr and was blown away by it’s sheer awesomeness.
That still hasn’t changed. Everyday I see new things on Tumblr and I’m blown over every time.
Harry Potter is why I first fell in love with Tumblr (just like most things in my post Harry Potter life) and back then I mostly just read stuff on Tumblr by Potterheads.
Now I think Tumblr has it’s own fandom.
In fact I’ve been planning on doing an “Amazing posts on Tumblr” kinda spam but haven’t actually gotten around to it yet.
Soon.

5. Carbon Potter and The Unsaturated Benzene Hydrocarbon

This one though!
It has such fond memories.

Anyway, I’ll just tell you what it is.

Actually! Even I don’t know- just read to find out.

4. LIEBSTER!!!!!!

I was on Cloud Nine the first time I was nominated for the Liebster award.
So excited that I ended up never writing a post. The second time I was nominated though, I decided that I had to post. And I did.
And loved writing it a lot. Nominating people and asking them questions was the best part!

3. All those little things

Alright, to be frank, this post is third not because of my superior writing skills but because of T Michael Martin (or, as Mike from How To Adult, as most of us know him).

image

This guy

He reblogged the Tumblr version of this post and, well, loads of Nerdfighters visited to see what all the hype was about and were thoroughly disappointed, I’m sure. (Because those are just the ramblings of a random girl who isn’t anyone special- except she is a Nerdfighter too).

2. About

People actually read this.
Haha!

1. A poll for readers (not MY readers, book readers! :P)

#1
Octothorpe 1! Wow!
(Yes. Octothorpe. Nerdfighters, do you get it?)

This is a few questions I asked readers around the world because I’m really effin’ tired explaining to non- readers that the things I do are completely acceptable in the social circles I move in.
I mean, if I ever wore a fandom T-shirt and a fan of that fandom didn’t approach me to discuss my T-Shirt ad infinitum I’d be severely disappointed in my fandom.

Thanks to everyone who answered the poll, now I’ll simply shove this blog post in non-readers’ faces the next they tell me not to approach a fellow fangirl (you can still vote, if you’d like to- more proof is always great!)

Everyone who’s not participating in BookBlogWriMo, tell me what your most popular posts are!
Or, you know, chuck the stats! Tell me which is your favourite post out of all the ones you’ve written?
Also leave a link.
I’d love to visit your blog and read it!

My Blogging Workflow (Realized today that I have one)

When you’re blogging casually, you don’t think you actually have a workflow.
But if you’ve been doing it quite a long time (a year isn’t that long, I know, but it is for casually doing things) and then you think about it, you realize that you do in fact have one.

I have quite a few ways about how I go through writing a blog post.

If it’s fangirling over something, then I’ll probably have just finished reading or watching that thing and so I’ll come directly here to vent, because ALL THOSE FEELS!!
I need to get them out.

Those are the posts that I write the quickest. And I’m the least distracted while writing them too.

I then add a lot of pictures and gifs in those and voilà, they make a good read (for ‘future me’ if nobody else).

Then there’s that kind where I’ve thought of something really cool and awesome and mindblowing and I think, I need to put this on my blog, everyone will enjoy it so much!
And apparently that post is too awesome to be written. And so I end up not writing it.
I’m so busy planning it all and making it so damn smart and funny before I write it that I end up not doing it!
This phenomenon is also known as “Brain Crack“.
I’m quite easily addicted to brain crack.
The solution to this one, I’ve found, is not treating a particular idea as the best ones you’ve ever had. To not make it this life changing thing and to not give it this status of Something Really Important.
Treat it like any other blog post idea and simply work on it. Maybe the end result won’t be as amazing as you imagined, hoped, thought or expected to be (and maybe it will be better than that) but it’ll be a whole lot better than a no-show.
And you won’t know until you’ve done it.

Some of my posts fall into this category of “random thoughts I put into a WordPress draft”.
Some days when I browse through my drafts I complete them and maybe post them then.

Late at night, sometimes before I go to sleep I’m thinking of stuff and somehow I get an epiphany of sorts and I take out my phone, start rapidly typing into it, give if a title and post it!
Or maybe I keep it all ready and post it first thing in the morning.
Those are the best ones, I’ve noticed.
It’s almost like writing drunk.

There’s one more kind of blog flow (and this is the latest and my current favourite, of sorts).
With this BookBlogWriMo thing I’ve been doing I’ve developed a routine now. I know the prompt beforehand (sometimes I know it since 2 days before) and I’ve been thinking about it for like a few hours and then when it’s almost midnight (the other day it was only like 15 minutes to go for midnight) and in a whole frenzy I write and quickly reread and edit and then finally (finally!) hit Publish!
Later I spend at least half an hour browsing through others’ BookBlogWriMo posts and commenting on them.
Like I am about to now.

It is just so much fun! 😀

And yes, for the most part I need to keep my internet off so I can concentrate on writing instead of getting distracted 😛

BookBlogWriMo Day 8

I’m cheating today, by reblogging. But this is perfect. No it really is.
You go, Writing Hufflepuff!

From way back when…

Oh God! I’m so bad at giving titles to my posts.
Never mind that though, if you click to read it in spite of the titles, at least you won’t be disappointed!

So, as per today’s prompt (Flashback Friday: Blog’s First Design) I visited the website that has archived all the websites that ever exist, from way back when.
I was extremely disappointed though, because while they do have my blog with the old design, it’s not proper.
Like, my theme was “Crafty” in this nice shade of green with cream colored flowers on it.
What they have instead is this:

image

Oh yes! No flowers, nothing!
Just the background color.
Oh well! I should’ve probably taken a picture of my own blog before but you know, I never thought of that- because I’m not a narcissist (my ramblings would prove otherwise, I know- but really!)

More interesting to look at is this other picture I took from that site!

image

I had probably recently posted my back to back John Green posts then (this one and here’s the other one) , and I had recently become a Nerdfighter as well.
And this picture shows how there was a lot of back and forth commenting by me and Leanna, my friend over at Short Story Long Blog.
This is perhaps one of our first conversations (I don’t remember anything from before this) and that’s how we became friends actually.
Because we both were (are) Nerdfighter Potterheads.
Having a picture of it to treasure and look at later makes me really happy for some reason!
(So happy, in fact, that I’ve forgiven the previously mentioned website for messing up my blog’s first theme.)

I actually used to love that theme a lot! It was perfect for my blog, and really colorful and random!
But then, I don’t remember what exactly happened (*whispers* this did actually) and I felt like I needed a change- so I changed the theme and a little bit of stuff around here.

Anyway I do love my new theme now, it is also very colourful, albeit in a more Spectrum-y way!

image

Took a picture now itself! Not making the same mistake twice 😛

One of the best things about this theme is (which may or may not have been the deal maker -is that the opposite of deal breaker though? If not, what is? – while I chose a new theme) the tag cloud at the very bottom of the page.
For some reason I love it!
It displays all my tags in different colours and the sizes vary depending upon how much I’ve written about the topic.

image

Isn’t it lovely?

Which are some of your favourite themes on WordPress?
Or what features of some particular themes do you like a lot?
Tell me in the comments!

Here’s my TBT Post (On a Friday)

Never thought I’d ever do a Throwback Thursday post in my life. Ever.
But I guess that’s why they say Never Say Never. And here I am, doing a Throwback Thursday, on a Friday!

Well, last night I was very tired and really couldn’t have written this post.
This morning I figured that while it might not be Thursday here, it’s definitely Thursday in some time zone, so I’m not behind on my posting after all.
Thumbs up for time zones! 😀

Getting back to the topic at hand, today’s (yesterday’s) prompt is (was)
Favourite Childhood Books.

The books I remember consistently reading, and loving, from the age of 7 or 8 are Enid Blyton books.
My first ever Enid Blyton book was a Secret Seven.

image

I own this book- same cover and everything!

I was fascinated by their telescope and the idea of owning one and then spying on the neighbours to make sure they’re not involved in any criminal activity.

Later though, I started reading more of Famous Five and books from the Adventure series by Enid Blyton.
For a very long time after that, the only thing ‘adventure’ meant to me was getting lost in the woods with loads and loads of food with your friends and cousins, where one of you (more often than not) gets kidnapped.

I’d not call Enid Blyton books a phase because I never quite got over it.
I’d still read an Enid Blyton book if I find one that I haven’t read (and no I’m not kidding. I love those books. They remind me of my childhood now, if nothing else. And you’re lying if you’re saying you no longer wish to land up in a lush green valley and eat tinned pineapples and drink hot cocoa!)
I’ve read close to 50 of Enid Blyton books now.
I know that’s not a lot, but what ended up happening was that in the later years I didn’t know which ones I had read and which I hadn’t.

Then, I also read a few Babysitters’ Club Books when I was 11 or something.
I loved them a lot. I had a whole art club planned in my head and I’d even shortlisted a few friends who’d be in it and how we’d all meet up and paint together and whatnot!
(Because c’mon! I was so totally a Claudia. And that’s the first time I heard the name and I love it 😀 )

image

Enid Blyton was probably the person who got me reading longer books but before I picked up my first Secret Seven I did read lots and lots of short stories, especially fairy tales.
I specifically remember reading Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk.
I also read the Aesop’s Fables and everything which had animals and a moral at the end. 
I also read comic books, but I don’t remember anything related to them comics.
Except of course this one comic deserves a notable mention, Tinkle.
I used to love it so much!

image

It had really cute stories with morals (yeah, I was obsessed with moral stories as a kid. It came as a bit of a shock that novels don’t end with “Moral: Where there is will, there is a way”)

I feel a little sad sometimes because nobody was there to tell me what to read and so I missed out on Dr.Seuss and Roald Dahl.
But I’m also glad because it meant that nobody was there to stop me from reading anything either.
(I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho when I was all of 11, and for the most part I understood it.)

Often I think my mum worries that with no one to censor me (especially since nobody knows what I read as e-books) I might be reading literotica or something.
Which I find really funny, because I don’t. I’m not even that interested in it, to be honest.
Who needs to know about heaving bosoms when there’s so much to read about horcruxes, invisibility cloaks, double-edged swords and Rings that rule the world?

You know how I know when it’s time to end a post? When I start talking about literotica in a post about my favourite childhood books!

Wrote this one lying in bed

I blog here at A Blast Of Random.
Haha yes! That link does lead to my blog’s homepage.
But honestly, that’s my only response to today’s prompt which says, Where You Blog.

There’s no one place where I sit to write my posts. Yes, when I’m home I write most of them sitting on my bed.
That’s because I usually blog from my phone.
In the very beginning, I would write posts in a Word Document, and then copy-paste them here on WordPress, after which I proceeded to tag and post them.
That’s because I wanted to have each one of them on my computer. Later, when I wrote something when I wasn’t home and it wasn’t on my laptop I would publish it using my phone and then copy-paste it into a Word file.
Eventually I stopped the whole Word deal because it was too much work and I’m a huge lazy ass as anyone around here would tell you!

Other than that, I don’t think I have much to contribute towards today’s prompt.
I’ve written posts while in college, in trains and at home!
So I basically whenever and wherever an idea hits me and I run the risk of forgetting it altogether!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: