5 A.M. Bad Ideas

Published March 26, 2014 by Shannon

Shortly before I moved to my quaint little apartment in Seattle, I woke from a sound sleep, realizing I had about three weeks before the move was to occur, and I had neglected what at the time seemed a highly important purchase. I proceeded to get up and go to Amazon.com, and I bought pillows, because I did not want to leave the place where I was living and abscond with the pillows that rightfully belonged to my BFF and partner in crime, Meka, with whom I was living, even though Meka would have gladly parted with them, because she would give the shirt off her back for her friends.
Ever since then, anytime I make a questionable purchasing decision, Meka will ask me, “Were you on Amazon.com again?”

Yesterday, I tweeted that I was looking for blogs that reviewed M/M books that were smart and a little snarky. (The blogs, not the books.) I used to read several, but they’ve all long since ceased being updated.) This morning, at around 5 A.M., I woke with the burning thought: ‘Hey, you could start the kind of blog you want to see.’ I then spent several minutes contemplating my domain name, and wording review policies, comment policies, and requests for co-reviewers in my head.

Thankfully, I failed to come up with a name that I thought fit the image I wanted to project, and fell asleep. When the alarm went off an hour later, I realized that I already don’t post enough on this blog, and I can barely keep up with the other hobbies and projects I’ve taken on. Leading a group blog would be a headache I couldn’t realistically manage. Plus, there’s something about the idea of giving myself a brand that gives me the shudders. I read what I want. If tomorrow I should decide reading romance and YA isn’t my bag and switch to reading Tom Clancy, I want to be able to do that. (This is unlikely to occur; capsule descriptions of Clancy’s books have been known to make me snort with the kind of laughter no author ever wants to inspire–what do you mean, Jack Ryan is still fighting terrorists even when he’s the president of the United States?)

I read with fascination this post on Dear Author about online reviewing. I’ve been trying to figure out my own opinions, and have come to the conclusion that I enjoy reviewing, but over the past six or seven years that I’ve participated in online book blogger communities, I’ve had to adjust what I do constantly to keep it fun. I liked writing for a group review blog, but don’t know if I could do it again, because I have enough homework reading as it is. I used to try to review consistently on Goodreads, but then they started deleting reviews, and now I basically use it as a means to catalogue my books. (I’ve caught the librarian bug! Oh noes!) Even this blog has gone through lots of different evolutions. (I had to learn not to be too worried about posting daily, because I learned quickly that that leads to burn-out, which is, well, not fun.

I have also managed to avoid all the author and reader drama that’s been so prevalent. I haven’t gotten a nasty comment from any butthurt people about something I wrote since I started blogging more consistently. I suspect if I were to write for a larger blog, that would happen more often and I’d find it disheartening.

I am grateful for the half dozen or so of you who stop in when I post. I’ve had good conversations in my comment spaces, and I think I wouldn’t enjoy having to moderate a larger community.

Now I just have to look back on this post the next time I get a brilliant idea for a website. What I’ve got is lovely and more than sufficient for my needs.

Thanks for continuing to visit my little corner of these often terrifying Internets. You guys rock!

9 comments on “5 A.M. Bad Ideas

  • “Plus, there‚Äôs something about the idea of giving myself a brand that gives me the shudders.”

    This. I love being able to do whatever I want at my blog, and not having to stress about it. That more than makes up for the fact that about three people read it. Though I confess, I was just reading some of my old reviews and thinking, “damn, these are really pretty good! I wish someone saw them.”

    • Yeah, I have that experience often. I mean, when I put forth a lot of effort in a review (my random flaily posts that aren’t substantive are totally different) I do sometimes get sad that those are the posts no one ever comments on. But I’m guilty of not commenting, too, and I’d rather have conversation than lots of, “Oh, I’ll totally read this now!” comments.

  • Gadzooks, I know what you mean about missing good m/m review blogs. At least LJ is starting to nibble at the genre, but I wouldn’t call their reviews “fun” — not the reviewers fault, I gave up reviewing for them because their format requirements are too strict.

    But I’m actually commenting on this post (from my personal laptop) to let you know that you are now blocked from my work computer for “pornography”.

    Bad girl, even THINKING about smut while typing — the filters always know!

    • Does this mean I’m a real reviewer now that I’ve been blocked because I’m porn?
      Ha. I guess I’m grateful I can still look at my own site from work still. :P

      I don’t know about where the good M/M reviewers are on LJ. There was one person I used to read who reviewed there, whose taste didn’t match up to mine either but who entertained me–but she hasn’t posted for years. Where should I be looking?

      I think the problem I have with the blogs I have found is kind of the same one Sunita addresses in this post. Say what you will about Dear Author and SBTB, but with a couple of easily ignored exceptions, there’s not a lot of cover squee and interviews with authors asking about their favorite book crushes. (Gag me with a spoon!) Only this is a much smaller niche in broader romancelandia, so I notice it more.

        • *Laughs* That… suddenly makes your comment make a lot more sense. I keep forgetting that Library Journal is a thing it would be good if I accessed more often, if only for collection development possibilities.

  • Thank you for the post. Many days you leave me with a smile on my face and I really like that your blog covers well anything.

    I thought of you the other day while doing research. Don’t know if you’re still looking for a book on Transexuals but this one popped out on one of the lists I was looking at.

    I Am J by Cris Beam

    I had a roommate who’s trans. I met her long after her transition. She was a very wonderful friend. I hope you and your friend are doing well.

    How did your makeup adventure turn out?

    I echo Library Journal. I like the content, even if it’s sometimes slim on a given title. It’s just so fun to jump from title to title on a given page. But it’s not really fun and snarky like some blogs can be.

    • I’ve heard of I Am J. I feel like I tried to read it once but found the style needlessly obstruse. But maybe it’s worth visiting again.

      Anyway, my friend is well. We talk frequently, and we’re hoping to arrange a visit later in the year.

      • I haven’t read it. It was on a librarian list. I’m glad you & your friend are doing well. Thanks again!

  • Comments are closed.