Ashleigh’s Three-Year Blogging Anniversary! Blogger Love, Thoughts, and a Giveaway

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.

19 thoughts on “Ashleigh’s Three-Year Blogging Anniversary! Blogger Love, Thoughts, and a Giveaway

  1. HAPPY THREE YEAR BLOGOVERSARY! You are like… a blogging grandma. Ancient and full of wisdom but still taking off your wig when you get drunk (this is supposed to be complimentary… I fear something has gone wrong). Anyway, I feel like I’ve known you for ages, and love love love talking to you on the regular and reading your reviews and basically getting to know your awesome, snarky, Starkid-loving self. And all this negativity recently has just made me more determined never to leave the blogosphere and to always love and support the bloggers that I… well, love and support. And that includes you, my friend!

    To three more years of blogging! ❤

    • I’m a blogging grandma and yet I’m younger than almost every blogger I know/am friends with. Weird how that turns out! Whether or not you lost track, I now need a wig and my DVD of Starship because of your comment. I WANNA BE A STARSHIP RANGER–

      Or maybe Holy Musical B@man. I’ll figure it out after class. I haven’t sung along to Rogues Are We lately, so that’s a point in its favor.

      I sure hope I stick around for three more years! if I’m still around for when ALA hits Florida in 2016, that will be my gift to myself because I’m on track to graduate shortly before it happens. Whoop whoop! I’m glad you’re committed to sticking around because I’d miss you too. ❤ Even if half our posse leaves, new bloggers meeting someone like you is sure to inspire them.

  2. Congratulations Ashleigh! That’s awesome. You were actually one of my biggest inspirations to start book blogging. I loved The YA Kitten so was delighted when you “moved in” with Usagi. Here’s to many more years of blogging! ❤

    • Seriously? *hugs* Hearing stuff like that can make the suckiest day suddenly amazing. Thank you for the well wishes and for telling me that!

  3. *hugs* *pets* I get to meet you in just over a week! DO NOT DIE ON THE HIGHWAY. THIS IS AN ORDER.

    Part of me does want to rage-hiatus, but, you know what?, I refuse. I’m pretty sure I need to keep blogging and being honest and standing by what I do and you do and Steph and Wendy and Blythe and Gillian and EVERYONE of us does as long as dumbasses are being awful. So I suspect I’ll be here a while. I think, in the future, if I’m attacked, I may just screencap and then delete, because I do not think I can deal with this level of shit. Of course, that’s assuming it happens in my space. On someone else’s blog, you can’t do anything which sucks so hard Hoover should be marketing it.

    I’m planning a similar giveaway with blog comments in the future, because I want the books I’m spending MY money on to go to people who actually interact with me.

    • TELL THAT TO THE OTHER DRIVERS. Mom says she trusts me, but the other drivers are fucking nuts and I don’t have the experience to deal with them yet. (That’s almost an exact quote.) Then again, I only ever have problems driving when someone else is in the car with me, so…

      When it comes to trolls and people being bothersome in my space, I’ve been deleting their comments a lot lately without responding. I read one sentence into someone’s comment on my Born at Midnight review, figured out what was coming, and deleted it. She got mad because I did. 😛 Oh well!

      Ooooh, good idea! I pulled mine out of nowhere last night because I figured out Rafflecopter was never, ever going to work ever. You get a bunch of commenters too, so you’re sure to be able to get books to someone good. ❤

  4. You’re right. It’s so hard right now and I really want to quit. But I am trying my hardest not to. I already miss Steph and Blythe, and the only reason I stick around at this point is because of the friends I’ve made. But sometimes I don’t feel like I am strong enough to withstand the bullying and nastiness that gets thrown at us. And WE are the bullies somehow? It’s disgusting and backwards and delusional and not so easy to get over when you know some of your closest friends are hurting. But I love this community and (I don’t want to sound like I have an ego here, so forgive me if I do), I know people depend on me to be strong. So I will try my hardest to continue to do that until I can’t anymore. I am so happy to have met the people that I have, and I wish I could express in words how much you all have changed my life for the better. I have a reason to go on and a reason to be happy now. I have friends that are REAL and TRUE and not FAKE and share the same interests that I do, and that is not something I ever had before. Our ages don’t matter, and no matter what is going on in our lives, we can always come together and be there for each other. And that is something SO IMPORTANT. When it gets tough, I just need to stop ranting and remember this. And I am sorry I totally took up your blog with this long-ass comment when it probably should have gone in a blog post. And it might. But thank you for being you. And thank you to everyone else that reads this for being you. You have no idea the impact you have all made on my life. So when you feel down, depressed, and ready to throw it all away, just remember how important you are to ME. And this community as a whole. Without your voices, it would not be the same, and you would be missed more than you could ever possibly know. And this is not just to you Ashleigh (though it is to you too) but to everyone that has been hurt over the past couple of months and then some by selfish people who should have kept their mouths shut.

    • Like I told Christina yesterday, you can’t fix stupid and some people (like that site, the people behind it, their supporters, and people who can’t do their research on it) are just terminally stupid. They don’t get bullying and never will and I wish we could it ignore them, but with their kind of bullying, it’s not that easy. I want to give you so many hugs right now, but I’ll save them up and give them all to you in eight days. (EEEEEEE!)

  5. Love love love this post. People like you are what make and keep blogging fun. People will keep creating drama, or drudging up old drama, and friends like the ones you mentioned are what make it worthwhile. I’m so glad you’ve been around three years — your account was one of the first I followed when I joined GR! – and hope for many more to come.


    • I feel like the luckiest duck in the pond today because of the impending meetup (I’ll have to drive two-and-a-half hours on the highway by myself, which I’ve never come close to doing before, but I will get there!) and hearing friends like you say such kind things to me. ❤ Thank you so much, Jessie!

  6. This post makes me both happy and sad. Of course, I’m ecstatic that you’re still here, you’re still blogging and reviewing, and you’re not letting these asshats take that away from you. But I’m also heartbroken that these people are STILL allowed to harass and torment bloggers I love.

    Also, I’m super jealous that everyone but me gets to me you!

    • Some people are just assholes with a terminal case of stupid. As the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid. One day, they’ll get what’s coming to them and all will be well. Eventually.

      Trust me, we’ll meet soon enough! It’s looking like you’re going to BEA next year, right? My family says it’s still iffy right now due to finances, but I got so stressed out about it last year that they’re going to try their hardest to help me get there. THEN we can meet and you can hear the story of the Golden Balls Saga like Christina and Kara will soon (and like countless other people will if Kara takes video of it).

  7. Congrats!! It shitty things are soo.. well, shitty right now. But you’re still here so that’s something. I know it isn’t easy when people try and knock you down but I hope you continue to be a strong person and continue blogging 🙂

  8. Pingback: Books and Blogs! | Books in the Burbs

  9. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves #57 | Great Expectations

  10. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves #57 | Great Imaginatios

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s