Posts Categorized: discussion

Talk to Me: Commenting Back

January 20, 2015 discussion 12

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

A community is only a community when people interact with each other. In the blogging world, this mostly happens through commenting, link ups, and interaction on social media. Most of the time, the people who comment on posts have a blog of their own. If you’re a blogger yourself, you’re probably aware that some bloggers make it their mission to not only reply to every comment they get, but to also check out their commenters’ blogs (if they have one) to comment on THEIR posts. Other bloggers may never reply, or only reply when they feel they have something insightful to say, and they don’t often – or never – take a look at their commenters’ blog posts. Since bloggers can have vastly different priorities, I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys have to say about commenting back!
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Featuring: Actual Cake

January 15, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 15

You know those weekly wrap ups and update posts? Well, I’ve been wanting to do something like that for a while, so here it is!

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

I feel like I’m introducing a new feature every other day, but hey, I’m still in the learning process; cut me some slack. Cake Conversations gives me a chance to show off my new books STS style and tell you about exciting things happening in my life. Basically, it’s just rambling in disguise.
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Link up! How do you read?

January 7, 2015 books, discussion, fun 10

I was going to do a post on reading habits, but since it would have only consisted of me going on and on and on, I decided to do this survey-style thing instead! I’ll answer the questions myself, and if anyone feels like doing the same, I included the questions and a link up at the end. Just link back to the post, or tag someone or whatever else floats your boat. I’m sure there are tons of memes and tags about the exact same thing, but I’m bored so humor me. ‘Kay? Kay.


1.) When do you usually read? Before bed? During long bus rides? Whenever possible?

These days, I usually read before I go to bed. After my reading slump, I got into the habit again because it’s a nice way to wind down and relax my eyes after looking at artificially lit screens for too long. The only problem is that I’ll keep reading “just until the end of the chapter” when a book is good and… well, you know how the story ends. I almost never read when I’m in a moving vehicle, partly because it can cause me nausea and partly because I like to get comfortable when I read and public transportation just doesn’t compare to my bed. If I’m in a café, a restaurant or even the university cafeteria all by myself (cue power ballad), I’ll also get out a book.

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The End is Near: 2014 Accomplishments and 2015 Goals!

December 31, 2014 discussion, miscellaneous, psa 9

It’s five pm and some idiots are attempting to start a firework outside, so you know it’s New Year’s Eve. I already did my End of the Year Book Survey, but – inspired by this video – I’d like to take the opportunity and reflect back on 2014 and set some goals for 2015.

THIS YEAR I…

…moved out of the student dorms and into a new apartment, where I feel more comfortable.

…went backpacking in Colombia for four weeks.

…attented an improv theater seminar and performed in front of people.

…went to Amsterdam.

…started this blog.

…learned more about myself and to accept who I am.

…went to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

…read a lot more than last year.

…made some new friends.

These are just the things I can actually remember, and overall I’m fine with how the year went. But enough reflecting! I have this weird thing about setting goals. Basically I never really do it because I worry about not meeting them. But SO WHAT – if I don’t set them I’ll never meet them, right?

NEXT YEAR I…

…want to do well in university.

…want to work or intern during the lecture-free times.

…want to do something that’s out of my comfort zone.

…want to keep blogging consistenly.

…want to meet new people, make new friends and stay in touch with the old ones.

…want to continue to grow personally.

…want to participate in NaNoWriMo and win.

…want to make youtube videos.

Alright, I think that’s it. The last one is probably the scariest, and I need a decent camera first, but it’s been at the back of my mind for a while now. NaNoWriMo is also pretty intimidating because I’ve always wanted to write a book and I’ve never come close to finishing one, but I feel like I can do it under the right circumstances (I’m starting early with the pep talks to myself).

What are your accomplishments? And goals? Let me know below. :)

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‘Bout This Blogger (Yes, this one right here)

December 29, 2014 discussion, fun, miscellaneous, psa 2

So, I don’t usually do a lot of tags, BUT this one is all about me, so… obviously I had to do it. Also, I meant to post about some of these questions eventually anyway – now it’s all handydandy (I never use this word in real life, I promise) in one place.


1. Why did you start blogging?

As proven by various whiny teenage blogs (no, they do not exist anymore …I hope.), I have a need to express myself, but I’m not disciplined enough to write a book, so… blogging yay. No seriously though, I just like talking about myself. Let’s be real, this is basically like a diary but better. With people reading it. And more organized. And with less embarrassing topics. All right, it’s not like a diary at all.

Okay okay the actual honest answer: it’s all for the ARCs. That I never get. Darn it, guess I’ll have to stop blogging now.
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Semicolons and Superpowers

December 19, 2014 discussion, fun, miscellaneous 2

Semicolons

I almost shared the grammar blog post on semicolons I had to write for university here because no one in my seminar is going to be interested in the other students’ grammar posts (who can blame them). Plus, my example sentences involved Avengers, Doctor Who and Orange is the New Black. I even made a semicolon graphic in Paint: prove below. What can I say – it was a slow Wednesday night. But then I thought naaaaaaaaaah. You deserve better than to read a post about semicolons from someone who acts like it is the most interesting subject in the world, but still doesn’t get regular comma rules.

supersemicolon

The Semicolon returns from a long day of saving the world from comma splices. All it really wants is some recognition for its work and a hot bath.
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Talk To Me: Followers and Give-Aways

December 17, 2014 books, discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link me up.


Topic

FOLLOW MEEE! Give-aways are almost ubiquitous in the (book) blogging scene. In a lot of give-aways, you have to follow the blogger on various social media sites to have decent chances of winning. Sometimes there’s a free entry, but if there are ten more possible entries, you’ll probably want to enhance your chance of winning that cool book you’ve been waiting for for ages. But do you stay subscribed or unsubscribe when the give-away is over? Are give-aways worth it in the long run – for bloggers and for subscribers?
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Talk To Me: Romance Novel Heroes

November 24, 2014 books, discussion 4

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!


Topic

As I previously mentioned I just had to give a presentation on the representation of the male romance novel hero at university, so I thought why not take it to the blog! My presentation was based on a chapter from the Smart Bitches‘ Guide to Romance (hilarious book, I highly recommend it) and an academic essay on male virgins in romance novels. Basically, I talked about the stereotypes of romance novel heroes and how they have changed over time. I’m pretty sure we’ve all read a book with a controlling, dominant alpha hero, who is naturally the most handsome guy around (or if he has competition, he just has that extra something that gives him an edge) and is competent at everything but stepping the macho behavior down a notch. So… good and entertaining or stupid and sexist?

My Opinion

Personally, I fall into the category that would say good and entertaining AND stupid and sexist. I can’t speak for everyone, but even though it doesn’t always work for me (there’s a fine line between I-had-a-tragic-childhood-and-that’s-why-I’m-a-jerk-but-I-will-change-for-you and I’m-just-a-jerk-and-all-my-excuses-are-stupid), I have read a lot of novels like this and liked them. I think the same concepts would probably apply to same-sex relationships if one is always portrayed as the more dominant and controlling one (although there is probably a different history of stereotypes and portrayal), but it would be interesting to think about how that might or might not change the dynamic.

If I recall correctly, one of the points the Smart Bitches’ Guide made (yes, I did choose the presentation topic because I saw that title on the reading list) was that one shouldn’t underestimate the reader – we’re aware it’s a fantasy and don’t necessarily want our partner to behave like that in real life, but sometimes the fantasy is nice. The book also talked about how the male role has changed over the years due to the fact that heroines are now often in control of their lives without needing the hero to save them, so the hero can be a more interesting character because he gets to do more than swoop down and save the damsel in distress.

So I guess I don’t always mind the macho behavior, as long as the heroine is not completely dependent on her love interest and can support herself and kick ass all on her own. To be more precise, I don’t mind it as long as it’s more showing off than really acting like an overbearing jerk. I do appreciate a more realistic portrayal of men (or, you know, people in general), and I think it would be much more interesting to read about more diverse and complex characters. To be honest though, I have a MUCH higher tolerance for jerk-y behavior in books than I do in real life. Would I approve of a friend’s relationship with a guy who killed several people, werewolf or not, in real life (yes, the werewolf hypothesis still holds up in this scenario)? Proooobably not, but it’s not like I’m going to throw my book across the room when the hero kills off all the bad guys either.

Your Turn!

So, what’s your take on romance heroes? Are you into controlling alpha males in books, or do they just plain annoy you?

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Talk To Me: Blogging and Stress

November 1, 2014 discussion 4

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!


Topic

I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while now and this recent post prompted me to finally write up my opinion on blogging and stress. If you’re reading even just a couple of (book) blogs, you’ll have read things like “I’m sooo behind on my ARCs” or “I’ve only blogged twice this week even though I wanted to blog every day” and so on and so forth. It seems like a lot of people deal with stress related to blogging.

My Opinion

It stresses me out just reading those things! And I mean that literally, I’ll start comparing myself and my blog and feel inadequate for a few minutes until I remind myself of what actually matters to me. I’m not judging anyone because if I started requesting ARCs, I’d get worried about not being able to stay on top of my reading list too. I also understand why it’s so important to post regularly if you have a lot of readers you don’t want to disappoint, or if you want to build your audience or even just because of a goal you set for yourself. I do also get itchy when I haven’t posted in a while. Honestly though? I blog because I love it. I don’t care to make it a competition. I’ve read like 30 books this year and you know what? With that I already surpassed my own goal and I really couldn’t care less if that’s 200 books less than someone else read. I read because I enjoy it (or because I have to for uni) and I blog because I enjoy it.

I downloaded an ebook from NetGalley once in the Read Now section and was stressed out about abandoning it for about a day before I realized I don’t even want ARCs because I don’t want to feel obligated to someone. I think accepting books for review consideration instead of for review is a great idea, and I adamantly refuse to do any sort of weekly feature because I know the pressure of things like that would take the fun out of blogging for me. Instead what you get with me are rambly posts, I’ll-do-it-when-I-feel-like-it-features and an irregular posting schedule. I’m obviously not saying everyone should follow my example – I like some weekly features on other blogs and I love when my favorite blogs are updated regularly. However, I do wish there was less comparing and feeling stressed and more chilling the eff out.

Your Turn!

So, what’s your opinion on this? Are you deeply offended by what I just said, or have you had similar thoughts? And please tell me I’m not the only one who feels stressed when she reads about other people’s stress!

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Talk To Me: Authors and Social Media

October 21, 2014 books, discussion 2

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!

Topic

AUTHOR ALERT! AUTHOR ALERT! …is what goes off in my head every time an author replies to me/favorites a tweet/comments on a post of mine. Theoretically, I knew social media give everyone a chance to connect better, but it was only when I got into this blogging thing that I really realized what that means. I’m not really someone who tends to be startstruck by anyone, but let’s be honest – it does kind of give you a kick when someone whose work you admire acknowledges your existence.

My Opinion

As with everything there are two sides to this. I think it’s amazing that writers, performers – basically anyone who has a fan or two or two million – can connect and interact with the people that love their work. This usually benefits both sides enormously. BUT, and you knew there was a but coming, it does make me think more about what I say and how I say it. That alone is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is such a thing as thinking TOO much about it. I think it’s important to remember that reviewers are criticizing the work and not the maker behind it (unless they’re jerks), but I generally believe in being respectful in my reviews. I do however make exceptions sometimes: If I really hated something, I might be tempted into a rant and, if they hit my kind of humor, I like reading bad reviews from time to time. Oops.

Naturally I don’t like everything I read or watch. Even when I really liked something there will probably be things that could have been improved. Let alone the times I DIDN’T like something. Does the fact that the person who created whatever I’m criticizing might see my review make me change the content of my post? No, I like to think it doesn’t, but sometimes I have to really force myself to leave things in. My blog is TINY in comparison with others and this has already happened a couple of times, so I can imagine this can get stressful for some people who accept review requests from authors who personally send them their books, especially if they know and like the author.

All of that doesn’t mean I don’t want authors (or whoever else) to see my posts or to connect on social media. Quite the opposite – 99.9 percent of the time it’s AMAZING. I do think this could be stressful the other 0.1 percent though, and I’m wondering how people who are under a lot more pressure due to a bigger audience or a personal relationship with the author handle this.

Your Turn!

What do you think? Is it part of the job description to deal with rants and disrespectful people when you’re a creator or should people be respectful at all times? Have you ever changed a review or a post because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? If you’re an author, how do you deal with bad reviews?

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Talk To Me: E-Mail Subscriptions

October 12, 2014 discussion 4

Talk To Me

is a new no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!

Topic

Subscriptions!

When I started this blog, I hadn’t really been following any blogs regularly and, once I created it and started posting, I was faced with the same problem every newbie blogger is faced with: how do I announce my presence to the rest of the world? How are people supposed to find my blog? I felt like I was shouting into the endless depths of the internet with no echo to speak of. I quickly discovered that there is a community within the world of (book) bloggers and things became a little easier. I added ways to subscribe to my blog and finally created a twitter account I actually use.

A lot of people use sites created solely for the purpose of keeping up with their favorite blogs like bloglovin or pinterest, whereas others are more comfortable with social media designed for a broader range of possibilities like twitter or facebook. From what I’ve observed, twitter seems to be more popular within the blogging community, and Jessi at Novel Heartbeat recently wondered whether facebook pages are actually useful, but a lot of blogs still have them anyway. If you’re using wordpress.com you already have a built-in community you can take advantage of (one of the only things I’ve been missing since switching to wordpress.org), and I assume the same is true for blogger. The real reason I am writing this post, however, are e-mail subscriptions.

I hate to say it, but I DEEPLY distrust every e-mail I get that informs me of a new registration to my blog because I always wonder whether it’s a real person or a spambot. Judging by the e-mail adresses some definitely are spam, but I don’t want to go randomly deleting people in case some of them are actual e-mail subscribers. Which, you know, I’d be very happy about. I’ve had some weird e-mail addresses in my life, no judgement. But are there really a lot of people who follow blogs via e-mail?

My Opinion

I recently stopped using bloglovin and now subscribe to blogs via e-mail or twitter or both. At first I thought bloglovin was a great idea and I haven’t deleted my account, but the app wasn’t really doing it for me. I didn’t like that I can’t comment on posts or see others’ comments within the app, or that posts disappear from my feed once I’ve read them. Sometimes it seemed like it took a couple of hours for new posts to show up as well.

I never really considered following blogs via e-mail an option because I thought it would be unnecessarily complicated to receive an e-mail and then log on to my computer to actually read the post. Now I follow blogs I like on twitter AND subscribe to my favorite ones via e-mail. I like that I can actually read the blog post within the e-mail and then check it out later. If the subject of the post isn’t for me I can just delete the e-mail, no harm done. Keeping up with folks on twitter is also fun because you don’t get to just see the posts, but share interesting articles or fun pics. Or, you know, stalk your favorite celebrities and authors, whichever. Apart from the fact there’s an unreasonable amount of cat and baby pictures, I’m starting to really like this totally new thing that none of you knew about before I pointed it out in this post.

Your Turn!

What’s your favorite way to subscribe to blogs? Which options do you offer on your own blog if you have one? And, most importantly because I haven’t found a way myself yet: how the eff do you filter spambots from your e-mail subscription list without deleting people who are ACTUALLY interested in your content?

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Talk To Me: Are Translations Important?

September 19, 2014 books, discussion 3

This post is inspired by a BBC article on why English speakers won’t read books in translation.

Talk to Me

is a new no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!

Topic

When I was younger, I never really cared whether a book was a translation – unless I had to wait for the next book in a series because it had to be translated before I could read it. Other than that, the main criterion that decided whether I would read a book was, of course, always the story. To be honest, I never even thought about the subject that much until I read the above linked article. The author of it wonders why literatures from other languages make up so little of the English-language publishers’ output and it got me thinking. I almost exclusively read books written in English these days, and I read them in the original because I can, because I like it and because I don’t trust the translation. Before I was able to do this, however, I was already an avid reader. When I think back to my childhood, I’m pretty sure that the majority of the books I read were translations from English, so I never really thought about the fact that this could be different in other countries.

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Talk to Me: Commenting on Old Posts

September 4, 2014 discussion 10

Talk to Me

is a new no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!

Topic

While reading other blogs, I have noticed that often I scroll down, see an interesting post, think about commenting and then… don’t. Not because I suddenly realized that I don’t find it interesting anymore or because I’ve run out of time, but because I saw it’s been a while since the entry has been posted and I think my comment is “too late” somehow.

Opinion

Now on my own blog I love comments, no matter on which posts. Granted, it’s still a baby blog, but I don’t think I’ll feel about this any differently once I’ve been posting for a while. I’m sharing my thoughts because I love to write it all down and communicate with someone else, so I’m always happy when someone comments (unless it’s spam obviously). However, whenever I’m reading another blog, I find myself unwilling to comment when the post is even a few days old – especially when other things have been posted in between. Somehow I must think that my comment wouldn’t be relevant anymore because it’s already “old news”. And that’s just if the post is a few days old; let’s not even talk about months or years. Lately, I’ve been trying to get over that and just comment if I have something to say if the post is reasonably recent (yay alliteration).

Question

So, whatch’all think? Do you do this too? Do you think it makes sense or should people feel free to comment on posts no matter how old they are? If you have your own blog: how do you feel about comments on old posts? Are you happy about them, or have you already forgotten what the heck you were going on about back then?

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