Blog Hop: A Blogger By Any Other Name

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you agree or disagree with this statement: A blogger’s first name should be in a prominent place on his/her blog.

I guess I must disagree, since my name is not particularly easy to find on my blog.  (It’s Cheryl, by the way.)  I guess I don’t see why it’s inherently important!  Some bloggers choose to blog anonymously for various reasons, which seems like a valid choice.  Some bloggers are building a brand, and in that case having your name, or easy links to the rest of the work you’re building/promoting is good marketing.  (This will become much better on my blog, once I do the redesign I’ve had in mind for, oh, two years or so…)

On one level it’s nice to know the person behind the review, but on another level, their name doesn’t matter that much.  There are a lot of people I know through the internet alone, who I think of by their username or blog name, even when I learned their “real” name somewhere.  I put “real” in quotation marks because…what we choose to call ourselves online is real, in a way, for the realm we’re blogging in.  So if you think of me as “Marvelous Tales” rather than Cheryl, that’s totally valid.  I probably think of you as “Bookish Reads” or whatever your blog or username is!

Do you like to know the “real” name of a blogger?  Do you think it should be prominently displayed?

Blog Hop: Congratulations?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: What’s your proudest blogging milestone or achievement?

Huh.  So I had to really, really think about this one.  Because I did not (do not) find it easy to point to something.  I don’t think (that I can recall) that I ever got into blogging with number goals (however many comments, readers, page views, etc).  I have been and am proud of some numbers I’ve hit in that regard.  They went on my resume, in fact, but putting them on my blog feels…sort of like sharing my salary?  It’s that kind of weirdness, because I don’t know how other blogs are “performing” and it feels weird to talk about it in numbers.  And those aren’t my proudest accomplishments anyway.

I started blogging to connect with other bloggers, have a place to share about the books I read, and promote my writing.  And I do all of those things, so success!  But they’re ongoing, hard to point to as accomplishments.

I think I’ve worked it out though.  Two accomplishments, sort of.  I’m proud that, when my first book was first out, I contacted a number of bloggers I knew online to ask if they’d help me promote my book.  That was nerve-wracking.  Was I pushy, or asking too much?  And of course they were all lovely, and I got to be on a number of other blogs.  But I’m proud that I asked, and proud that I had built the relationships where asking made sense.

The biggest accomplishment though, that I’m most proud of?  Just that this blog is here.  And it’s still here.  Even in the last few months, at my lowest posting frequency over the entire eight years I’ve been blogging, I feel like I’m still here.  And that’s what I’m proudest of.  That I started a blog to begin with, and that I have stayed on it all this time.

A long while back I read this New York Times article that said 95% of blogs are abandoned.  (That was in 2009, but it probably hasn’t changed.  I somehow must have found it a few years later, because I was blogging when I read it.)  I found this extremely validating.  Staying with a blog, that’s far and away not the norm.  It’s a real thing to do it.

So my proudest blogging accomplishment?  It’s blogging.

Blog Banquet: Interview on Lynn’s Book Blog

PFF Orange Grove Cover - SmallToday is our second course in my “blog banquet” for The People the Fairies Forget!  Today you’re invited to Lynn’s Book Blog for an interview with questions ranging from the writing process to pitfalls of publishing to what to expect from this new book (and beyond).

Lynn is another book review blogger who I “met” during Carl’s awesome seasonal reading challenges.  More than one book she’s reviewed has landed on my To Be Read list, and I always enjoy her Top Ten Tuesday posts too.

For today, check out my interview about The People the Fairies Forget!

Feasting Around the Blogosphere

PFF Orange Grove Cover - SmallAs you (hopefully) know, my next novel will be published one week from today!  I always like to celebrate a new novel (and spread the word) with a blog tour, with guest posts and interviews on other blogs.  So far I’ve done a Blog Wander and a Blog Waltz 🙂 and this time, I’m calling it a Blog Banquet–because my narrator, Tarry, really loves good parties and excellent food.  So think of this as a kind of Movable Feast, with each course of the written banquet on another blog!

So you know where we’ll be going, here are the lovely bloggers who are letting me visit:

I’ll let you know each time a new post is up, so keep an eye out.  And if you’d like to join the party, it’s not too late–just let me know! 🙂

Blog Hop: What’s In a Name?

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: How many years have you been blogging, and is there a story behind your blog’s name?

I started my blog November 1st, 2010, so it will be five years in another couple months (wow, it goes by!)

Some time years before that I stumbled on L. Frank Baum’s quote: “For since I can remember, my eyes have always grown big at tales of the marvelous.” The funny thing is, it’s a woefully unnoticed quote. It’s buried in an author’s note at the beginning of one of his lesser-known novels, and no one else seems to know about it. Seriously, do a Google search for “L. Frank Baum” “tales of the marvelous.” You’ll get very few hits and most of them will be my blog.

I thought it was a lovely turn of phrase and when I needed a name for my blog I decided it was a good one to adopt, since no one else appeared to appreciate it!

Blog Hop: Holiday Reviews

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you ever do a review post based on a holiday? For example review Christmas theme books in December.

Frequently!  Although it often turns into movie reviews for holidays–somehow I tend to tie my holidays to movies more than to books.  I usually try to do something Christmas-related for December, I posted about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington for the 4th of July, and I reviewed Jesus Christ Superstar on Good Friday.  Although I did miss Guy Fawkes Day for V for Vendetta.

Among my more unusual holiday posts was reviewing Casablanca on Pearl Harbor Day, and the time I shared an old Star Trek fanfiction piece about a very unfortunate redshirt for Friday the 13th.

Bloggers, do you do holiday-themed reviews?  Readers, do you like to read holiday books close to their related day?

Back from Fairylands

oncetimenine400Summer is beginning, and that means an end to the springtime Once Upon a Time reading “challenge.”  A couple weeks ago, actually…but I have a somewhat belated wrap-up post today!

This is always a laid-back challenge, and I have been particularly laid-back about it this year…because I started a new job at almost the same time the challenge began!  A good problem, but still distracting…

I started well with reviews, but dropped off more recently.  Here’s the break-down on fantasy reading over the past three months.

Even if I couldn’t focus as much as I like this year, I always love this challenge!  Did you participate this year?  What did you read that you enjoyed?