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.

Living With A Book Addict – Giving Bookish Thanks

My mother-in-law’s Thanksgiving turkey!

Thanksgiving season is upon us, and I figured instead of writing about the usual things we give thanks for (family, friends, health, etc), I’d focus on those things I’m thankful for that pertain to all things bookish.  Writing for Reflections has opened a whole new world to me, one which is filled with new book genres, audio books, author interviews, and much much more.  I figured that a quick summary of the great opportunities afforded me in living with a book addict would serve well to keep things in perspective and thank those of you who have helped us succeed!  So, without further ado, here is a list of my thanks (in no particular order):

1.  Books.  Before writing for this blog, I had no idea that publishing companies gave out perfectly good copies of new books (that may or may not yet be published) in exchange for an honest review.  Also, it doesn’t even have to be a good review!  Just an honest representation of what you thought of the book.  Pretty cool, eh?

2.  New Bookish Friends.  Ever since Kim began her blog, she also simultaneously increased her activity on Twitter and Goodreads, in part to promote the blog and in part to find out more about how other blogs were successful.  One great side effect to this was gaining a bunch of new Twitter friends who share a common interest in books and literature in general.  We’ve even been lucky enough to meet some of these folks in person (one of whom currently writes for this blog: Hi Christine!)

3.  New book genres.  Although I wouldn’t call myself a voracious reader, I’ve definitely increased the amount of books that I’ve read and the variety of book genres that I try now that I write for the blog.  Sure, I still enjoy old favorites, like sci-fi and adventure novels, but I’ve also had the great opportunity to try new genres, such as memoirs, historical fiction, and JAFF novels.  I’m certainly glad I did, as not only has this made me discover new authors, but it’s introduced me to entirely new areas of literature that I never knew existed.  It’s like finding out you have an unlimited source of great work to choose from that is always expanding, as long as you look hard enough.

So, there you have it.  Although it’s a short list, I’d have to place an emphasis on bookish friends!  There are so many great people who I’ve met through the blog that share a love for books and films.  Twitter is an especially valuable tool in this regard, and I’ve met many of these friends though it.  Although we can’t hang out in person, it’s always cool to share new ideas and stories in 140 characters or less (shout out to the #hitchfest crew!)  I can only hope that all these things I’ve given thanks for continue to make this experience a positive one in the future!