Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff

First Stuff to take care of: I was tagged by Kim for this great meme that she came up with for blogging tips! I always love reading new blogging tips because I’m always looking for new ways to improve my blog. I don’t know that I have a whole lot to add and I don’t know that what I do add hasn’t already been added, but here’s my advice:

– Add an interesting header to your blog that says something about you. My header is by one of my favorite artists, Dave McKean, and I think that it fits the theme of fantasy that my blog tries to aim itself towards…though it sometimes falls short. But whatever you choose, choose something that defines your blog!

– Personally I love seeing widgets on peoples blogs…things like “what I’m reading now” and the little librarything catalog widget that stupid WordPress won’t let me install!!! It just adds character to the blog and lets your readers know a little bit more about yourself.

– Finally (and I think most importantly) be yourself! Ok…that sounds really corny, but seriously, I love getting to know a person through their writing and what they share on their blog. This certainly doesn’t mean revealing the details of your life for all the world to see, but let some of your personality shine through in your writing. I don’t think this will be much of “advice” to anyone since everyone does this so well already!

Not very enlightening, huh? Oh well…this is what I like most in a blog though! Feel free to do your own post and add it to her Mr. Linky…if you do you could win an Amazon gift certificate!

So I made a trip to Borders today and two of the books that were on the mega list that I wrote yesterday didn’t stay on there very long :p I had a 40% off coupon so I pumped weights for a little while and then hefted up Orson Scott Cards new ginormous tome, Keeper of Dreams. It’s a beauty! So I think I’ll start reading Maps in a Mirror soon so that I don’t have 2 huge tomes of short stories by him sitting on my TBR shelf. I also picked up Susan Pfeffer’s The Dead and the Gone!!! It’s out already! And it’s not supposed to be until June. So if you’ve been waiting patiently like me, you may not have to…go check! I think I’ll start that one tonight.

I also woke up this morning mysteriously singing “Bigmouth Strikes Again” by the Smiths and have therefore been craving The Smiths all day…this happens to me sometimes and it just won’t stop until I can replace my own singing with the original. Unfortunately all of my MP3s went bye-bye with my broken computer and I seem to have lost all of my Smiths and Morrissey CDs, so while at Borders I also bought a new Smiths CD and have been enjoying that this afternoon. I’ll never stop loving them…You can’t be in a bad mood when you listen to them!

It’s time to join another challenge too :/ It’s all Becky’s fault…that’s the theme of challenges this year: “It’s all Becky’s fault”. This time she came up with the “It’s The End of the World Challenge” which is to read 3 books that deal with the end of the world, the apocalypse, post-apocalypse, etc. between May and September 15th 2008. I’m all in…I love this genre of books. Here’s my 3:

1. The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
2. The Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card
3. The Stand by Stephen King

Finally, I’ve also been tagged again by Nymeth for the 6 things about you meme which CJ tagged me for awhile ago…so I better get on that! I’ll do it soon ladies, I promise! And I haven’t forgotten about the 5 causes you care about meme that you tagged me for Eva! Oh, and Nymeth, you’ll be glad to know that Middlesex arrived for me from Bookmooch today! That’s one of your favorites, isn’t it?


17 Responses

  1. I’ll be reading The Stand as well. I’ve never read it, but I think it’s one of Debi’s favorite favorites…so I’m eager to get to it this summer. I’ll also likely be rereading The Dead and The Gone. The audio book will be coming out soon, and I want to listen to it. 🙂

    I’ve never read The Folk of the Fringe before–though I do own it. I’m curious what you think of it. Maybe I’m judging it by the cover of my beat-up copy, but it’s never really jumped out and said “read me, read me.” A good review from you could move it up on my tbr pile 🙂

    For the record, if you want to count Life As We Knew It you could for the challenge. That’s why I dated the challenge that way. So May reads would automatically count 🙂 I’m sneaky like that!

  2. Good news! There is an LT widget that you can use on wordpress (which I have been using for a while with quite reasonable success). The main difference is that it’s html- rather than java-based, and so what you’re basically doing is throwing up an image file and linking your catalogue to it. Unfortunately you can’t link to amazon from your blog this way… but it still gets most of the job done.

    Here are the instructions:

    If you have trouble, there are lots of good comments underneath that post — or give me a yell and I’ll see if I can help.

  3. Sure, sure. Promises, promises…


  4. “It’s all Becky’s fault!”…I love it…it is the overriding theme of challenges this year, isn’t it? And we can’t even get mad at her, ’cause her ideas are so damn good!

    You have no idea how thrilled I am that you’ll be reading The Stand! If you love it even half as much as I do, you’ll be a happy man for having read it! I almost put The Folk on the Fringe on my list, too. Can’t wait to read your review…it sounds so good!

    You know, Borders really ought to throw out those 40% coupons more often. We simply can’t resist a trip there when the coupon’s that big. In fact, we just got back from there (because you just can’t waste one of those babies, right?!!)…walked out of there with a book for Rich, one for me, one for Annie, one for Max, and three for Gray!

  5. Becky, This’ll be my first reading of The Stand too and I picked it because it’s Debi’s favorite! I’m really excited about it…it sounds great! I definitely agree about The Folk of the Fringe…it’s cover has never really appealed to me and I didn’t know if I would ever read it, but this challenge finally gave me a reason to!

    Christine, Thanks so much for the help and the link!! You made my day! Now to go figure it out…

    CJ, I Promise!!! Really I do!! 🙂

    Debi, Isn’t that a great theme? 😉 I picked The Stand solely because of you 🙂 I’m sure that I’ll love it! Oooh, if you have time I hope you read The Folk of the Fringe! Not that I’ve read it yet, but I’ve read close to 40 of his books and I haven’t been disappointed by a single one. I totally agree that Borders should spread the love more often and I also think that you definitely need to do a post showing us what you bought at Borders for the family today!!!!

  6. that new challenge looks fine. and very REM.

    Maybe I should resist. I can’t think of any of my immediate TBR books that fits the theme though.

  7. yay, Middlesex! Middlesex is THE book for me. Not only the most beautifully written book I’ve ever read, but I love the story, the characters, the mood, everything. I can’t wait to see what you think of it. I’ll say what Debi said about The Stand: if you love it half as much as I did you’ll be thrilled to have picked it up.

    Take your time with the meme 😛 I look forward to your replies, but there’s no rush.

    And The Smiths! Sometimes I wake up with random songs stuck in my head too. My boyfriend, who likes them but not quite as much as I do, can always tell when I’m singing a Smiths song to myself, even if it’s one he doesn’t know…he says I do my Morrissey voice. It’s not on purpose, it really isn’t 😛

  8. Busy, busy! I didn’t think you’d forgotten about my tag, and I’m sure you’ll get to it eventually. I think it took me a month, lol.

    I like your advice-I like seeing what people are reading too! And all of the challenges that they’re doing. 🙂 My blog layout is horribly bland, in that it’s only colours, but at least there’re customised colours! I just don’t like fighting with WordPress; at blogger, I could just change the HTML, and that was a lot simpler.

  9. Dark Orpheus, It is quite an REM challenge isn’t it? 😉 We should have theme music! Don’t resist…join!

    Nymeth, I can’t wait to read Middlesex…I can’t imagine not liking it after all you’ve said about it. I tend to like just about every book I’ve read that you’ve enjoyed, so this shouldn’t be any different. And you crack me up with your Morrissey I know just what you mean :p It’s a very distinct voice and I tend to do it as well. I have a friend who’s in a band called the Public and whenever they play shows they close with “there is a light that never goes out” and the lead singer always sounds like he’s doing a Morrissey interpretation when he sings it…you just can’t help it!

    Eva, I haven’t reached a month yet I don’t think, so I still have time :p I don’t think your blog is bland at all!! I love your blog, it’s filled with eye candy. I definitely agree with you though about Blogger being so much easier to customize. I like WordPress better overall I think, but Blogger was better for customization. Though if Blogger added tabs and allowed you to connect your blog to it’s own domain, I’d probably go back!

  10. I’m working really hard at resisting Becky’s challenge and it practically hurts. But, I think I’ve read all but one of my post-apocalyptic novels — I think. I’ll just say I have. One challenge at a time. This is my new mantra. One challenge at a time.

  11. Bookfool, She just keeps coming up with all of these great challenges! Now she has this 42 challenge that I went and signed up for, so I’ve committed myself to 42 sci-fi related “items” :p But that really won’t be that hard when you figure you can count tv episodes as an item :p One challenge at a time is a WONDERFUL mantra by the way…you have to teach that one to me one day 😉

  12. Thanks for adding your wisdom! I have been meaning to change the header on my blog, because it is just a template, but I’m not sure how ambitious I’m going to be able to get in making a new one.

    I think widgets are great. I’m so glad that there are people who sit around coming up with them, because I would be lost without that!

  13. I have no idea how to change the header on my blog, which I would love to do, and sit in envy of everyone else’s, which are of course cool and fun to see…..someday I’ll try,but whenever I do, I end up with the blogger template and my blog title gets drowned out…..I agree with everything else you wrote also! And I haven’t heard the Smiths in quite a while, thanks for reminding me!

  14. Kim, I wouldn’t change your banner at all if I were you! In fact, I didn’t even know that you hadn’t picked it! It screams! I love it 🙂 Aren’t widgets great? I feel the same way…I could never create them myself :p

  15. Susan, Honestly, I haven’t used blogger in so long that I forgot how to change the header :/ But I did it sometime ago after playing around with it for awhile. The Smiths are a great band! They’ve been one of my favorites for awhile now and there one of those trusty old bands that I always go back to whenever I need something to sing along to 🙂

  16. The Stand is the absolute best! I read it through without stopping and without picking up any other book. I think I read the 1500 page one, not sure if that was the edited one or not. You’ll have fun with that one.

    Presently reading Meji, by Milton Davis. It’s a self-published sword and soul (African-American sword and sorcery) book. It ALSO has twins. Am beginning to think that as a genre fantasy seems to abound with twins separated at birth.

    Susan, you change the header in blogger by going to layout, then Fonts and Colors or if you want to go radical, New Template


  17. Carole, I’m REALLY looking forward to The Stand…I’ve heard nothing but great stuff about it throughout the years. I’m sure I’ll have fun with it too! Meji sounds cool…I’m liking twins in fantasy! Neat element…I like twins in literature in general, it always adds a certain intrigue to a story.

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