December 12, 2014

December Wrap-Up, Semi-Hiatus and Near-Future Plans

Jingle bells, jingle bells...hi!
Welcome to my last post of the year, which is basically going to look like a three-headed monster :P. Here's where I recapitulate my 2014 in blogging, list my upcoming goals, and inform you of my little leave of absence. Oh, and of course, there will be a season-greetings-filled space in the end :). So, without further ado...

Pt. 1: This Year in Blogging

So I'm past the two-year mark...blimey O_O

This is what happened on Offbeat YA during the year, broken down by number of posts, events I took part in, and books I reviewed...

a) Numbers

By Kablam!

This is my 52nd post this year. I managed to produce an average of a post per week, which was (roughly) my goal. I also slightly increased my post number in respect to 2013, if only by 2 posts. (Not that it really matters a lot to me, in all honesty). Also, this was a year of firsts for me (see below)...

b) Events and memes

Starting to get more involved in the community...it was one of my 2014 goals

In January I participated in my first challenge: the Book Blogger New Year Challenge by Parajunkee. It did help me regain a bit of focus and dedication, since my first year of blogging had been so slow and mostly unrewarding.
In February I managed to produce a grand total of 3 reviews (my highest number in a month...well, in a tie with June).
In March I published my first Sunday Post (a meme by Caffeinated Book Reviewer)...but I only made it to my third. It felt like a chore (even if I had opted for my own monthly edition instead of the usual weekly one), and anyway, I'm not cut out for memes, really...Also, I got interviewed by Guinevere and Libertad @ Twinja Book Revies!
In April I took part in the LGBT Month by Fighting Dreamer and Laura Plus Books (some of you may already know I'm a big supporter of the QUILTBAG community).  I wrote a piece for it, and reviewed a couple of books (see Reviews section below).
In May I posted another think-piece (about comment love) and participated in my first Armchair BEA with 3 posts. Honestly? I expected it to be much more fun :(.
In June I was involved in my first blurb+cover reveal for Perfection by Erin Callahan & Troy H. Gardner (thanks, you guys, for seeking me out!), and posted my first ARC review for the said book (again, see below).
I took an extended hiatus in July and August. Summer drains me out O_O.
In September I was part of the cover reveal team for the new edition of Deadgirl by B.C. Johnson. I also started my own feature about iconic TV shows past and present, Screen Time (see my Features Room), with an article about Fame.
In October I was contacted by J.L. Morin, who offered me an ARC copy of her cli-fi novel Nature's Confession. I felt so lucky, since I had entered the giveaway on Goodreads, but was resigned to never win...again. Later, J.L. even posted an excerpt of my review on the back cover of a reprint (and among the forewords). It was another first for me. Thank you J.L.!
In November I participated in my first blog tour, again spotlighting Deadgirl by B.C. Johnson. Also, I finally took the plunge and started emailing a few selected authors who have some really promising books out in 2015, asking them if they would like Offbeat YA to review/promote/spotlight their novels. I usually tend to shun that because I'm well aware that my blog is still a small one, but on the other hand, this year taught me that some authors are inclined to seek even a small blog out if it suits their contents - so I have hope :). I chose their books for that very reason, after all - they have the potential requisites for suiting my oh-so-picky blog... ;)

c) Reviews

Not many...but always heartfelt :)

These are the books I reviewed this year, broken down by genres/Reading Rooms:
Christopher Pike: Die Softly (YA) | The Season of Passage (adult).
Afterlife: Absent by Katie Williams | Soul Beach, Soul Fire and Soul Storm by Kate Harrison | The Everafter by Amy Huntley.
Supernatural: Perfection by Erin Callahan & Troy H. Gardner (ARC review).
Sci-fi: Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson | All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill | Nature's Confession by J.L. Morin (ARC review).
Contemporary: An Unstill Life by Kate Larkindale (for LGBT Month) | Trying Hard to Hear You by Sandra Scoppettone (for LGBT Month) | How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford | Fighting Kudzu by Mystic Thompson (review request) --- Contemporary With a Twist: Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz & Ron Bass.

Pt. 2: Goals for 2015

...which I accomplished ;P
  1. Keeping up with my a-post-a-week average schedule (which, admittedly, is not much, but a feasible goal at least...).
  2. Posting at least one review per month (again, I know, this sounds really small, compared with most blogs. But I'm only being realistic...This is something I know I can do, so I'm sticking to it).
  3. Broadening my webverse (either by befriending more people or joining more meaningful and interesting events) and...my audience ;P.
  4. Doing...I'm not sure what yet, but I feel the need to do something different - something refreshing. I hope to come up with new ideas, to spice up my blog somehow.
Pt. 3: Holidays Hiatus

Hitting the pause button (wish I could freeze time instead. You know, cool power. Go Piper, go Hiro!)

I'm taking a little time off for the holidays. Not that I have a lot of Christmas commitments - it's more of an excuse for relaxing a little and making up my mind about my new year in blogging. I will be back at the beginning of 2015, and you know what? I'm not sure about what I'm going to do then yet. And it feels good, really :).

In the end...just this:


See you next year! Take care :).

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Personally, I loved all of your reviews. Even though there were not that many, each of them was thoughtful and worth reading. As for your other posts, they always sparked great discussion.
    Happy Holidays and enjoy your break!

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    1. Thank you thank you thank you :).
      Happy Holidays to you as well!

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  2. Woo-Hoo! Seems like you accomplished quite a bit for 2014.

    I struggled just to hang in there lol I did really well with reading. At least I'm enjoying it again. I don't review everything anymore which is a huge burden lifted! & makes reading FUN.

    It was the actual blogging that was a struggle. Between being unhappy with my design, to hating having to write/format each post - everything about it felt draining to me.

    I seem to be coming out of that though and feel a renewed interest so here's hoping that 2015 is better!

    Enjoy your time off and Happy Holidays Roberta!

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    1. I actually think I did very little compared to what most bloggers do - but I march to the sound of my own drum, so I suppose it's OK ;).

      You've been around so much longer than me, and gone through so many blogging phases, it makes sense that you got a bit weary. It's great that you finally fell in love with blogging again! Here's to a great, fresh 2015 for both of us!

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  3. You had a great 2014, and I think your goals for 2015 are realistic but still challenging. I'm always striving for consistency but there were a few months (October and November in particular).where I fell off the blogging horse. I love this time of year though, because it really makes me evaluate my life and what I want to do with it. Fortunately I love blogging and our cpmmunity, and I very much look forward to blogging in the New Year with blogger friends like you! Happy Holidays, hope Santa brings you lots of Christopher Pike books!

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    1. It's only normal to go through phases in blogging, like in anything else, I think. What really matters is to be there with our whole heart and soul - so to speak - when we get back in the swing of things :). I hope to read more of your funny and/or heartfelt posts in 2015!

      I'm afraid I've been a bad girl this year LOL. Seriously, our old friend Pike needs to have his books reissued at some point...or I don't see how I can lay my hands on them! Though it looks like Amazon changed its policy about payments...

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    2. Have you tried Book Depository? They have free international shipping-- although it can take awhile to get to you.

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    3. They only seem to accept payments via credit cards, and I don't have one :(. Thank you for trying though!

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  4. Happy Holidays Roberta! 2014 has been a wonderful year, since I found your blog (and Christopher Pike too)
    We are all proud of you!
    Sending you lots of hugs! :D

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    1. *blushes*
      Sending hugs as well! Happy Holidays!

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  5. This is great, Roberta! You did so much this year! My sister and I are always pretty lax about posting and what not, it'd prolly be better if did have some kind of goals in mind, but nope! We're kinda last minute lazies!

    Looking forward to your posts in 2015!

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    1. Thanks, but it looks like you've done much more than me! what with all the book-showcasing and diversity-awareness posts and giveaways. Looking forward to your future posts too!

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  6. Happy Christmas to you also Roberta :) Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, especially as I missed you turning two, which I'm really sorry about. Belated congrats to the blog on being so old :D Hiatuses are something I feel like an expert on, if you can call indefinite leave (but with the intention to eventually come back) a hiatus. It's questionable.
    Keep up the momentum I hope (after the hiatus, of course), enjoy reading good books (then making us aware of them with awesome reviews... clearly so if actually making it to a book!), make more friends (which I know you can do, it's slower without social media but potentially more meaningful & long-lasting & it's one of the highlights of the blogging community ngl) & continue being the creative individual we all know you are :)

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    1. Hey girlfriend! I tried and messaged you on Goodreads some weeks (months?) ago, but I suppose you forgot to reply...aaah, that Doctor keeps you busy ;). I, umm, kind of noticed the hiatus (indefinite leave?). And often wondered what the reason was...Luckily, GR was there to let me know you hadn't vanished from the net! I hope to read you again soon!
      And thanks, you're a sweetie :). Happy Holidays!

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