So… life. Let’s talk about life and how sometimes things go a totally different direction than you expected.
In July of 2012 I applied for an apprenticeship. In September I took a test. In January 2013 I had an interview, and in March of 2013 I started down a career path I’d never have expected for myself.
I’m an Apprentice Electrician with the I.B.E.W. (Local 6) learning a skilled trade. I work in San Francisco, and commute to the city every morning. I love my job. I love working with my hands and using my brain. I love facing challenges, and learning new things every day. I love being able to stand back and look at what I’ve accomplished. I absolutely love getting to turn on things I’ve wired. Knowing that I’m the reason a light turns on when you flip a switch is still new and exciting.
I am learning about how to work safely, and do some really cool things. I’m learning about unions and why they are still important. I’m making a wage I can afford to live on for the first time in my life. I am in a really good spot. Finally.
During all of this, I read. A lot. I read on the train to and from work (~40 minutes each way) and if a book was especially good, I’d keep reading into the evening. I have a huge backlog of books I can review, and I hope to get back to doing this soon.
(Seriously, check out how stuffed my bookshelf has gotten. Yeah, some of those have been reviewed already, but there are so many that haven’t.)
So, if you’re still around, or if you’re new to me and this blog… let me know.
What’s been going on with you? How are you? How are things? What wonderful or terrible or terribly wonderful things have happened recently?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but my life is a bit busy.
I’m attempting to change careers, away from the job that’s barely paying the bills to a skilled trade where I’ll be using my brain and my hands. It’s not where I envisioned my life going, but a girl’s gotta eat, and there are worse things than being an electrician. (It is the family business– literally– after all.)
I’ve been writing ridiculous things, most of which are not suitable for anyone, but they’re fun regardless.
I’ve been playing far too many video games– Skyrim has officially eaten my brain– and wasting time I could spend reading while attacking bandits and the like.
I’ve been learning how to be a bridesmaid… multiple times. Three close friends are getting (or have gotten) married this year, and I’m a bridesmaid for all three. There are other weddings to attend, but I’m only in the three, thank goodness. (I’m well on my way to Twenty-Seven Dresses.)
What I have been reading is mostly simple novellas and short stories and bits and pieces here and there that aren’t really review-able. Either because I don’t feel strongly enough, or because I don’t feel they are worth the time it would take to review them. (They shall remain nameless, because my goal is not to be mean.) In some cases, it is because I feel too strongly about them and cannot put my feelings into comprehensible words.
But that is what’s going on with me.
What’s going on with you?
Apparently, I missed the entire #occupygoodreads explosion, or whatever the hell it was. It seems the online blogging world had a bit of a clash with some poorly behaved authors. Oh dear.
It’s interesting to me, actually, that it seems to have blown up to such proportions. I’ve had a couple of my mediocre-to-negative reviews get found by the authors. (See The Girl in the Steel Corset) I’ve been lucky, apparently, to have not been outright attacked by the authors. Rather, they saw fit to comment on my issues and then let it lie. I’m alright with that. It’s their right to address minor issues, so long as they don’t make it personal.
Apparently, however, there are some authors who could not just let it go. Instead, they went head-to-head with their reviewers and came out looking like all manner of stupid assholes. They may have intended to discredit their reviewers, but instead they brought more attention to negative reviews which might otherwise have just disappeared. And, in case I didn’t emphasize it enough; they made themselves look stupid, and probably lost more than one reader because of their behavior.
I don’t often hold an author’s personal life against them, but when it’s something of this scale, attacking your reviewers, it’ll make me hesitate before I pick up your title. If I do choose to read it, it’ll make me hesitate even more before I review it, no matter how much I may have loved it.
I’m curious though, since there is a line, and while some authors cross it, others are smart enough to stay on the right side. Where does that line lie? When is it ok for an author to comment on a negative review? Or a positive review? What do you think?
I think I’ve got one or two authors who check my blog, too. What do you guys think? Would you ever address a negative review? Do you avoid looking for them just in case?
Want to know more? Here are a few more in-depth or entertaining posts on the subject:
My resolution? Not a big one. Just to update at least once a week.
Lets see how long that lasts. I haven’t been reading much lately. I attribute it to a combination of video games (Skyrim, anyone?) and work. Still, I’ve read a bit, and will be trying hard to translate that into reviews. Wish me luck.
While we’re here though, lets chat a bit, shall we?
Which books to be released in 2012 are you most excited for? I’d love to hear your answers!
I doubt I’m the only one who has trouble waiting to say nice things about a book.
Yet, here I am, waiting. Because the publishers request that you wait until within 2 weeks of publication to post reviews. Considering Mastiff isn’t out until October, and Centauriad isn’t out until January, I find that difficult to honor. Still, it gives me time to give the reviews a bit more polish and, in the case of Mastiff, perhaps trim a little of my fangirling, and review the first two books in the series.
So, how do you guys wait to publish reviews, when you’re super excited about the book you just read?
I’m just letting you know that I’ll be away for Memorial Day weekend. I’ll be busy having fun at FanimeCon (next year marks 10 years at this convention) which is my yearly escape from everyday responsibilities.
I should be back, with some posts on Tuesday of next week.
I hope you have a lovely time.
While I’m away, I’d love to hear what you do to escape, once in a while.
My computer chose to crap out this month, after four years of being a perfectly serviceable laptop for that time. (Barring a replacement about halfway through because it started smoking…) Anyway, a few weeks ago, my laptop decided that the factory AC adapter wasn’t the right voltage anymore, and nothing I tried fixed it, so I haven’t really been around.
The good news is that I have a shiny new computer which now lets me get to wordpress and post things. The bad news is that said shiny new computer plays video games beautifully, so we are not quite back to regularly scheduled programming. I’ll let you know when we are, or, I suppose the results will be visible.
I have read a few things, mostly from netgalley, so while I work on those reviews, please tell me how you guys approach reviews. I’m genuinely curious, because it seems like a lot of people put a lot of work into them.
How do you start your review-process? Is it before, during, or after you read the book?
Do you ever decide not to review a book? Why?
What is the hardest part of writing a book review for you?
It’s that time again… sitting down to figure out just how much I’ve read in the last two months. December and January have wildly fluctuated from busy to boring, so my reading has gone a little mad, too.
Score: 5/5 (Books I loved and will definitely read again)
Score: 1/5 (Books I actually hated, or couldn’t finish)
Fun Stats: Over the two combined months, I read 27 books, totaling 8,224 pages. 2 of them were anthologies, containing 35 stories. I had 2,274 blog-views. For my challenges, I’ve read 0/10 graphic novels, 0/5 steampunk novels, 2/5 dystopian novels, 6/50 library books. So far I’ve read 9/100 books
I fully blame Chachic for the fact that I’m doing this. Because she posted it, I was intrigued, so I went over to the Maw Books Blog and found out that it’s basically a blogging fiesta (hence the name) where you take the time to do the things your blog needs, and so do a lot of other people. It’s like the NaNoWriMo but for bloggers who want to make their blogs pretty.
My list of projects for this weekend is:
Actually reviewing the last few books I’ve read. Half-Done!
Cleaning up my “Reviewed Books” page.Done! 1/23
Updating the “About Aelia” page.Done! 1/22
Setting up guest posts? (Anyone interested?)Decided against it
Misc. other things that will occur to me.
Mini Challenges Completed: none
Flashback Mini Challenges Completed: Analyze Your Blog & Anchor Text
That said, this weekend there’s an event at work (which involves a volcano!) and I’m not sure that I’ll have a ton of time, but I”m gonna do my best to do at least a few of these things.
End of Weekend Analysis
Well, I didn’t do too well with this, (bummer) though I did get to check out a lot of new blogs this weekend. That was pretty cool. There are some great people out there blogging about books. They are both inspiring and intimidating.
All told I logged about 10 hours on blog-improvements, though you won’t see some of them, since they’re on my side. (I did actually create some templates, and clean up some of the bits and pieces on my “Reviewed Books” page.)
Other cool things I found because of Bloggiesta include a Giveaway (over at Bookalicio.us), and all the Mini-Challenges. Some of them were awesomely informational. (Seriously, the Mini-Challenges rocked.)