A Blogger Gives Thanks

182517_10100111850787163_688392459_nHappy Thanksgiving my fellow readers! With today being Thanksgiving I felt the most appropriate post would be one for giving thanks.  Instead of writing what I’m thankful for in my personal life (my husband, family, and friends) I figured I’d write what I’m thankful for as a blogger. I know I’ll probably leave off dozens of deserving people and for that I want to apologize in advance (I get forgetful when I get emotional!)

First and foremost I’m thankful for the amazing friendships I’ve cultivated since starting this blog.  This October was the third birthday of Reflections of a Book Addict! Over the course of those three years I’ve met hundreds upon hundreds of fellow bookworms that I’ve shared some pretty fantastic bookish conversations with. While all of the relationships have been important to me, some of them have seriously changed me as a person.

I am thankful first and foremost for Laurel Ann, blog master for Austenprose.  Laurel Ann and I became friends when I joined her Jane Austen Sequels group on Goodreads.  Many fantastic Jane Austen-related conversations later she asked me to join her blog as a writer and thus began my blogging career.  Over the past three years she has helped shape me into the writer I am today. I owe her more thanks than I’ll ever be able to share with her.

Secondly, my friendship with Kelly, blog master of Reading With Analysis, has changed my life both personally and professionally.  It all started when WordPress recommended Kelly follow my blog.  (Thanks WP ::smooches:: ) Kelly would leave awesome comments on my blog posts, which led to us friending each other on Goodreads.  Once we saw each other’s book activity and realized we were reading all of the same books (as well as having all of the same thoughts on said books) we began reading them together.  Our text read-a-longs are probably the thing I look forward to most each month.  Kelly challenges me with every book we read, making me think more critically and look for the deeper meanings in these works.  This past October I finally got to meet her IRL. A weekend together cemented what I already knew, that we were long-lost sisters.  Our conversations don’t always consist of books.  We talk life, love, and family.  And even in those conversations I know I’ve found a life-long friend.

Third, author Nancy Kelley.  Nancy helped make one of my dreams come true this fall when she entrusted the copyediting of her third book, Against His Will, to me! I’ve long wanted to become a copyeditor and needed someone to have enough faith in me and my work to get me into the game.  Over the course of September I read, re-read, triple-read (you get the picture) her work, doing my best to make it shine its absolute brightest.  Nancy’s trust and confidence has opened doors for me that I never thought would be open and for that I will be eternally grateful.  At a time in my life where I couldn’t control the change that was happening all around me, Nancy gave me back the reigns.

Fourth, AUTHORS. Specifically: Mary Ann Rivers, Mary Lydon Simonsen, Shannon Winslow, Susan Mason-Milks, Ruthie Knox, Tessa Dare, Tiffany Reisz, Serena Bell, Karen Witemeyer, Abigail Reynolds, Cora Carmack, Tammara Webber, Rachel Van Dyken, Tasha Alexander, Beth Revis, Marilyn Brant, Lucinda Riley, Beatriz Williams, and Jane Odiwe (just to name a few.)  These authors have each taken the time to share my reviews, discuss books with me, and just be generally awesome people.  I’ve shared emails with several of them while they underwent chemo treatments, lost a parent, watched their child get married, or had difficulty with their new book.  The relationships go far beyond just a blogger and author.  I’m proud to call them friends.

Fifth, Tasha, Col, and the rest of the #hitchfest crew!  About two years ago Tasha (aka @heidenkind on Twitter) started tweeting using #hitchfest in her tweets.  Having studied Hitchcock in college (I did my senior thesis on his comedic films) I guessed that she was watching a Hitchcock film. I came to find out that there were several people all across the country watching with her and sharing their thoughts via Twitter.  Luckily this fantastic group of people allowed me to join them in their weekly group watches.  When we ran out of Hitch films to watch we quickly got a schedule together of all old films we wanted to watch together (we’re quite a sarcastic bunch of people, so add alcohol and old movies to that and it’s quite a combination of hilarity.)  Through this group I became quite attached to Tasha, Col, and Jess, all fellow Hitch/old film fans that I found much in common with.  Again, I found this group and its stellar members at a time in my life that I really needed like-minded friends.  This past October, during the same trip I met Kelly, I got to meet Tasha and Col.  I had some pretty deep conversations with them over the course of our weekend in Vegas.  These women have become truly amazing friends to me, helping me deal with job/family drama, moving stress, etc.  Their friendships are priceless to me.  I’m already looking forward to our trip to NOLA together next year.

Sixth: The blog readers and blog staff.  Where would a blog be without its readers or its staff of writers??  You guys inspire me daily to keep writing, to keep reading, and to keep posting.  There have been times where I feel so down about life and think “I need to put up a post today.”  That statement to myself goes a long way in helping dig me out of my funk. Knowing I have to focus on writing that review or that post takes me outside of my own head and lets me think big picture.  And my staff?  A truly phenomenal group of people who make my day when their post and pitch emails come through.  I love that Reflections offers all of them an outlet to be creative and expressive.

And last, but certainly not least, my partner in crime, my husband Todd. Three years ago my husband stood behind me and pushed me to start this blog.  He knew I wanted a forum to be able to discuss books with other readers and share the books I was raving about.  You see, I don’t have many friends IRL that consider themselves readers.  I was constantly raving about all of these books I was reading and I’m pretty sure he got tired of listening to me extoll these books daily.  He convinced me that I had a voice strong enough to be heard and trusted and that my writing (which I thought was atrocious) would improve with a little work.  He was right.  Without his push (and Laurel Ann’s) Reflections of a Book Addict may have continued to just be a pipedream in my head.  He has been completely supportive of my wish to do freelance copyediting and has been there for every amazing project that has come my way due to this blog.  Every kind email, Twitter remark, or blog comment that makes me happy I share with him.  He never tires of seeing the joy that the blog and the people I’ve met through the blog bring me.

And that folks is what A Blogger Gives Thanks For. Share in the comments below some of the things you’re thankful for this holiday season! Happy reading, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you all.

We’ve Been Tagged!!

Friend of the blog, Kate from Musings of a Book Lover, recently informed us that we’d been Tagged!  Tagging is a way to get to know bloggers better and hopefully help you find new blogs to check out.  First things first, the rules!

Rules
1 You must post the rules.
2 Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3 Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4 Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Here are the questions that Kate has asked, and my answers!

  1. Favorite ice cream flavor?
    1. There is a really small ice cream place near my house in CT called Wentworth Ice Cream that has the BEST ice cream.  My go-to flavor when I’m there is light mint Oreo. It’s basically heaven in a cup!
  2. What’s in your purse?
    1. My wallet, cell phone, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy, nook, and some Vanilla Coke chapstick. (Yum!)
  3. If you could meet one author, who would it be and why?
    1. Jane Austen! She is what started my passion for reading and to be able to meet her and tell her how profound an impact her novels have had on my life would be a dream come true.
  4. If money were no object, what is one thing you would buy yourself right now?
    1. Hands down a trip around the world.  I first got to travel outside of the US in the spring of 2011, taking stops in Spain and Italy.  I can officially say that I have the travel bug.  I don’t think I could ever be happy again if travel was not part of my life.  I’m heading to Mexico in August to see the Mayan ruins and go whale shark diving!  Places I’d like to visit on my trip around the world would be Greece, England, Ireland, Fiji, Australia, India, China, Germany…..it’s a never-ending list.
  5. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    1. HAHA great question.  My mind is ALWAYS changing. When I was little I went through wanting to be a teacher, a film director, a professional dancer, secretary, and nurse.  As an adult I went to college for communications, specializing in media production, but I wound up getting a job in finance when I left school.  I now see myself as settling down in what I really want to do: work in publishing somehow.  Whether it’s doing social media PR or editing manuscripts, I need to work with books professionally.  Anyone want to help me out with that?
  6. Whats another hobby besides reading?
    1. I’m a big film fan!  Fellow Reflections of a Book Addict blogger Charlie and I have recently been hitting up the theaters every Tuesday night to see something new.  In fact last  night we went to go see The Artist (I highly recommend it).  Besides books and films I enjoy scrapbooking, volunteering, and bowling.
  7. Favorite recipe (link to it, if you can!)
    1. Hands down Ina Garten’s chicken piccata!  I love to cook and my favorite chef to use recipes from is Ina.  What good is a dinner recipe without one for dessert?  Try Ina’s chocolate cake!!
  8. Sweet or sour?
    1. Can I say spicy instead?!
  9. What is one movie you could watch over and over again?
    1. Oh man – this list has the potential to be enormous. If I had to pick ONLY one, I’d pick Casablanca from 1942 with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.  It is my #1 favorite film of all time and one that I fall in love with all over again each time I watch it.
  10. Have you ever been to a play?
    1. Yes! Over my 25 years I’ve seen a good number of them.  I’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera three times, The Lion King twice, Wicked, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Riverdance on Broadway, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, Crazy For You, The Sound of Music, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, RENT, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. In March, Christine from A Rambling Fancy and I are heading to Newsies (along with our friend Stacey), and I also received tickets for Spider Man- Turn Off the Dark for Christmas!
  11. Why did you start blogging?
    1. I wanted to share my love of reading with others!  How many people pick up a book because it’s recommended to them by a friend?  I wanted to share the books that I was finding and start discussion with like-minded people who enjoyed/disliked them.  Hearing from blog followers that they’ve read a book because of my review and have enjoyed it has been one of the most rewarding things about being a blogger.

The 11 bloggers I’ve selected to tag are:

  1. Adam at Roof Beam Reader
  2. Meredith at Austenesque Reviews
  3. Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
  4. Christine at A Rambling Fancy
  5. Kelly Ann at Oh My Muse!
  6. Laurel Ann at Austenprose
  7. Tasha at Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books
  8.  Colette at A Buckeye Girl Reads
  9. April at Good Books and Good Wine
  10. Teresa at Teresa’s Reading Corner
  11. Trai at Tutor Girl Reads

And my 11 questions for them are:

  1. As a book blogger you obviously read a lot of books.  What is the one book you recommend to people over and over?
  2. (I have to steal one of Kate’s questions above) Why did you start blogging?
  3. If you had all the money in the world and could travel to ONE place, where would it be and why?
  4. Who is your favorite author?
  5. If you had to give your blog a color to describe it, what color would you give it?
  6. What book started your love of reading?
  7. What is your favorite genre to read?
  8. Is there a film adaptation that you think was better than the book? What film?
  9. Where is your favorite place to read?
  10. What is your favorite guilty pleasure read?
  11. Do you prefer solids or e-books?

I hope this has given you more insight in who I am behind my blog and some new blogs to check out!

As always,

Happy Reading!