I only remembered it this week, but today–September 4, 2013–is my third anniversary as a reviewer! This day three years ago, I posted my first review, which was a five-star for Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. I was a long-haired junior in high school and desperately looking for a way to talk about books to someone other than my poor best friend, who had just graduated the year before and was no longer around to get her ear chewed off when I loved or hated a book.
I’ve got a lot to babble about, so I’ve divided it up into three parts: the blogger love, the thoughts on what all has happened since I started so long ago, and the giveaway, The best people stick around for all three. 😉
Part the First: Blogger Love!
Lately, ninety percent of the fun in blogging is the people. They were what I was most reluctant to leave behind when quitting looked like my only option earlier in the year. As it crept closer and closer, I broke down and decided to get a coblogger because though working with other people is difficult for me, I would do it to be able to stay with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever talked to and stay in this lovely community. Therefore, a toast to my favorite bloggers!
- Usagi, the coblogger who decided to take me in and has been willing to see it through with me despite how tough it can be to work with me (love you, BB!);
- Kara and Lyn of Great Imaginations, who are funny, smart, and take no bullshit no matter how much gets thrown at them;
- Christina of A Reader of Fictions, who is always fun to talk to and who now completes my Thursdays with Cover Snark;
- Steph of Cuddlebuggery, who was one of my first friends on Goodreads and I’m so happy to see her do so well with Cuddlebuggery;
- Blythe of Finding Bliss in Books, who writes some of the best snark around and whose reviews are amazing even though she steers me wrong half the time (The Program, hisssssssss);
- Gillian of Writer of Wrongs, who I’ve only known for a short while but already love dearly (and can’t wait to tell the golden balls saga to!);
- Ceilidh of all sorts of places like The Book Lantern, who I’ve followed since way back when there was only the Sparkle Project on LiveJournal. She was half my inspiration when I started blogging;
- The Book Smugglers, who probably have no idea who I am but were the other half of my inspiration when I started blogging;
- Megan of Book Brats, who entertains my cynicism and childlike behavior without complaint when we talk every day;
- Shae/Shelver of Shae Has Left the Room, who I only just met like a week ago, but my friends have loved her for ages and I already consider awesome because 1) Florida blogger and 2) user of Team Starkid gifs;
- Molli of Once Upon a Prologue, one of the most awesome Twitter-friends I could ask for;
- Jessie of Ageless Pages Reviews, who I’ve been friends with for so long that I sometimes forget her, but that’s a good thing because that means she’s a normal part of my life;
- Bekka of Pretty Deadly Reviews, whose reviews and plethora of adorable cat pictures (Gummy!) are very important parts of my day;
- Emily and Brandi of The Book Geek, who are consistently fun on Goodreads even though I tend to interact with both of them in completely different ways;
- Nenia Campbell of the Armchair Librarian, who I loved back when she was Pikachu Ketchum and love just as much now that she’s an author who puts out awesomesauce books;
- Wendy Darling of The Midnight Garden, whose elegant personality and way of writing leaves me happy half the time and green with envy the rest (in a good way!);
- And too many more to name. I fucking love you. ❤
Part the Second: Thoughts!
I was originally going to talk about what’s changed in the three years since I started reviewing (this includes two name changes and an entire move to another blog/platform, my tastes, and what subjects got more/less annoying), but all the fuckery yesterday that isn’t worth getting into put a major damper on it. I’m trying not to dwell on it because I’m going to self-destruct if I do, but I can’t say nothing at all because I do give a damn about what is happening.
In just the past twenty-four hours, two of the above-mentioned dearest bloggers decided to take an indefinite break. I don’t blame them and I wish Blythe and Steph all the best while they’re gone. I’ve seen a few other friends say they’re close to leaving too and I really don’t want that to happen. Not only will their valuable voices and contributions to blogging be missed, but so will their friendship.
The friends I’ve made through blogging are ninety percent of the reason I didn’t quit earlier this year even though I knew a tough semester was incoming and I would need the time for my studies. If more of my friends leave indefinitely or permanently because certain authors and a bullshit “anti-bullying group” that does more bullying than they say we do (and I’ve long had proof of that) want to create a hostile environment for us, I can’t see a reason to stay around.
That’s really all I can say without wanting to cry or smash something out of anger.
Part the Third: The Giveaway
WordPress-hosted blogs (as opposed to self-hosted blogs done through WordPress) hates Rafflecopter, so I can’t use that for the giveaway, sadly. I technically COULD, but since my last two giveaways using Rafflecopter on WP were massive failures, I refuse to. Seeing those kinds of results make me never want to hold giveaways again, but I couldn’t think of any other way to show my appreciation for everyone that’s made me stay.
So you know what? We’re going to try it a new way. Here’s what you have to do to:
1) Be on Twitter. It’s surpassed Goodreads and this very blog as the #1 way I communicate with fellow bloggers.
2) Follow me and interact with me at @MsAshleighPaige.
That’s it! For the next week, I’ll be keeping track of everyone who tweets me and next Wednesday, I’ll select one person randomly as a winner. They might not be conscious they’re entering and they’ll still win!
What do you win? Oh, a book of your choice up to $20 from your retailer of choice. International, baby!
And it can be anything within that price limit. Want to preorder a 2014 book you’re already certain you need no matter what? Yours, baby! Need a finished copy of an ARC you loved? You got it! Or if it’s a book you just really, really want and it’s already out, that’s on the table too.
Here are the rules:
1) Be thirteen or older
2) Don’t cheat. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday and will recognize a bad account when I see one.
3) Make sure your retailer of choice ships to you if you win.
4) As said above, follow me and tweet me to enter. Multiple tweets are not multiple entries because that would tilt the scale too heavily in favor of anyone I got into a long conversation with.
Seriously, thank y’all so much for sticking with me. I’m the worst blogger ever at being social and commenting on stuff and letting people know how much I value them as friends and as reviewers, but I’m so glad all of you are in my life.