Category Archives: Blog Business

Taking a break

I’ve been doing this blog thing for about three years, now, and it’s time to admit that I’m getting a little burned out. I just don’t look forward to it the way I used to, and I feel like somewhere along the line I ran out of new things to say. 2016 has a lot of changes in store for me. So, at least for the time being, The Bastard Title is going on hiatus.

What will I do with all my free time?

Well, for starters, I’ll get to meet my brand new niece or nephew soon.

(no, seriously. I have no idea.)

(no, seriously. I have no idea.)

Maybe I’ll finally learn to dance.

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I’m going to continue the never-ending quest to get healthier.

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I might move to a new, exciting/terrifying place.

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But one thing’s for sure. I’ll still be reading way too much for my own good.

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So we’ll see. Maybe I’ll miss this and pop back in once in a while. Maybe not. But in any case, thank you all for your comments and your friendship and for loving books and being amazing people. Happy new year!

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Tag: The Liebster Award

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I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award by A Sea Change. So that’s new! Never been part of one of these things before. Thanks, Natalie. 🙂

  • Each nominee must have under 200 followers
  • Thank and link to the nominated blog
  • Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
  • Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they have been nominated
  • Write a post containing the questions
  • Include these rules in the post

1. You Can invite 3 people living or dead to dinner – who would you invite and why?

My grandfather Franklin, because he died over a decade before I was born and I’ve always wanted to meet him. Tom Hiddleston, because Tom freaking Hiddleston. And…oh, I don’t know…Hayley Atwell because at the moment I’m obsessed with her Twitter and I think she’s just super funny and sweet and cool and Peggy Carter is my hero.

2. What is your favourite poem and why?

I’ve never been a big poetry person, despite the fact that like 70% of my undergrad degree hinged on studying it. They just don’t stick in my head for some reason. So here, in lieu of anything else, have some Dorothy Parker:

The Flaw in Paganism

 

Drink and dance and laugh and lie,

Love, the reeling midnight through,

For tomorrow we shall die!

(But, alas, we never do.)

3. What did you want to be when you were a kid? For that matter what do you want to do now?

I went through a bunch of stuff. I wanted to be a hairdresser, a construction worker (that’s where all the boys were and I wanted to be with the boys), for a brief time an astronaut (if only I was good at math!). Most often I wanted to be a teacher. More recently, when I went to grad school I pictured myself at 30 working in acquisitions in one of the big New York or Boston publishing houses. I don’t know where I picked up this deluded idea of myself. It really didn’t work out. But now I’m a librarian, and I get paid to read a lot, so that’s cool.

But what I always come back to is this crazy writing thing, which I’m now trying to approach realistically. I doubt I’ll ever be a NYT bestseller, but one day I’d like to be able to say I’ve put something out there.

4. Tell me a joke – any joke – as cheesy as you like!

How do snails fight?

The slug it out!

5. You can have any animal in the world for a pet – what do you have and what do you call it?

A hippo named Blippo.

6. Favourite Film/ Worst Film – why?

This is difficult. I’m hardly a film buff but picking one favorite is hard. I guess on most days it would be either Newsies or Life of Brian. One’s my favorite musical, the other’s my favorite comedy, and they both make me nostalgic for different reasons. Worst film is also hard; I tend to block out bad ones. Probably the worst film I’ve ever seen is this Elijah Wood thing I caught on Netflix…I think it was called The Oxford Murders and all I remember is that there was a sex scene involving spaghetti.

7. Describe yourself in one word.

Anxious

8. What would your Superpower be?

Flight

9. What Country do you most want to visit?

At the moment, Cuba, because I never ever thought that in my lifetime I would be able to go there.

10. You can give three book recommendations – what are they?

Helene Wecker- The Golem and the Jinni because more people should know and love this book

Tana French- In The Woods because Tana French is probably the single best author I’ve discovered in the past five years

Mary Shelley- Frankenstein because on most days it’s my favorite book of all time

Questions

  1. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  1. Tell me three of your favorite songs.
  1. What is your favorite book cover ever?
  1. You have come into possession of a time machine that can make exactly one trip- forwards or backwards. With the understanding that nothing you do in the place you visit will have any effect on your present (so that you can’t screw things up by stepping on a butterfly or use your knowledge to become rich/famous), when would you go, and why?
  1. If you could play any character in the film/TV adaptation of the book of your choice, who would you be and why?
  1. Who is your favorite superhero?
  1. You have to get a tattoo. What would it be? (Or, if you have tattoo(s), which one is your favorite?) Why?
  1. What is your favorite classic book? Least favorite? Interpret ‘classic’ however you wish.
  1. Do you think aliens exist, or are we alone in the universe?
  1. What is the title of your future Biography/Memoir?

Nominations–

Ok, guys, here’s where I fail.

Almost all of the blogs I follow have well more than 200 followers.

I know, I’m such a bandwagon jumper.

ANYWAY. If you are reading this and want to do it, consider yourself nominated! Or if you want to engage with me in the comments about any of my weird questions, have at it.

This tagging/nominating stuff is hard work.

 

 

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“And then what happens?”: A rant about defective ebooks

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Seriously, what the hell is going on with my ebooks?

The last three ebooks I have tried to read have all had errors. Whole pages missing. Hitting the next button and inexplicably going from page 204 to 201 (and then you never can find page 205, anyway). Invariably, this happens near the end of the book, just as the plot is reaching the climax. And it is really starting to piss me off.

These books are published by reputable houses. The three I’m speaking of now were published by Algonquin (full disclosure, I used to intern for them), Avon, and Bantam. But I’ve had tons of ebooks with these errors. And I don’t understand it.

You wouldn’t buy a book from a store, find that page 152 is completely missing, and just think, oh well, guess I’ll try to figure out what’s happening and move on. You would return the stupid thing. But once you own an ebook, you’re stuck with it.

I read books on a nook, which means that they are .epub format. Do any of you read on Kindles or tablets? Do your books have missing pages and random errors? [Another favorite of mine- the squares. Where what I assume is punctuation or some sort of accented letter is turned into a blank square.] Is it just that nook is terrible?

When I buy digital editions of magazines like Apex and Lightspeed they are always flawlessly put together, despite, I’m assuming, having fewer resources than major book publishers. I don’t understand where these errors are coming from, and why it seems like there’s no quality control of the products. I wouldn’t think that creating a file to send to the printer and creating a file to send to ebook distributors would be that different, but if there are major differences, why isn’t anyone checking to make sure everything transcribes okay?

This is why I never pay full price for any ebooks, though I have to say, even four or five dollars is starting to seem like a waste of money when I keep coming across these errors. I’ve considered giving up my physical library, but I never will when the quality of ebooks is so shoddy.

Anyone else have these problems? It can’t just be me, right?

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In Other News

Hi everyone. I made it through my surgery, but had some unexpected complications. One of the side affects has been a difficulty in concentration–which means I’m not reading at all! So unfortunately, until further notice The Bastard Title is going to be on hiatus. I hope to be 100% soon, but I really need to focus on my health over anything else.

The real reason for this post, however, is that I would like to encourage each and every one of you to donate blood. Blood donations save lives–including my own–and there is always a need. It’s easy, fast, and is a simple way that you can make a real difference in people’s lives. If you are eligible to donate, please do it as often as you can!

The American Red Cross

Canadian Blood Services

blood.co.uk

European Commission

And as always, happy reading. Hope to be back soon!

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Blog happenings

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Hello lovely readers. I just wanted to drop you all a quick note to let you know some of what’s up with the blog. This week, I’m going to be going into the hospital for heart surgery. I have a number of already written posts scheduled through the rest of this month and April, but when I’ll get back to blogging after that all depends on how I feel throughout recovery. I’ll be back eventually, hopefully with lots and lots of books read. The TBR pile is huge–I’ll need plenty of distractions since I won’t be allowed to get out of bed for awhile! But I may not be approving/responding to comments for quite awhile. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, as always, happy reading!

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February Happenings

Well, here we are at February already. Ack!

There is a ton of stuff going on in the blog this month. I’m a stop on the Book of Apex blog tour, and will be hosting an author interview and guest post. I’ve got some great books in the pipeline for review. And for the last week of the month, The Bastard Title is turning into a foodie blog, celebrating cookbooks! I’m kind of obsessed with cookbooks, so I’m really excited about this one.

There’s also a small change to features. I came to realize that a lot of the reason I’ve been slacking off on Short Story Sunday was that I freak out way too much about it. I always feel like I have to say something deep and profound about each story, and it gets kind of exhausting. (There’s not a reason to overthink these things, I just do it. My brain, ladies and gentlemen).

So, from now on, no summaries, no analysis. Just the first line, publication information, and a link. If the first line is enough to hook you, it will draw you in on it’s own, no matter what I say. So now I can focus on finding more brilliant stories to share with you all.

Let’s get back to the books, woo!

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Top Ten Tuesday: New Year’s Resolutions

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The subject of this Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014. I’m focusing on both my blog and my creative writing, here.

1. Actually do a Short Story Sunday every week (hah, I can dream).

2. Reach out more to other bloggers through commenting, and respond better to people who comment here.

3. Make myself DNF books I’m not enjoying.

4. Participate in book blogging events (memes and readathons).

5. Host a giveaway.

6. Submit at least 15 different stories to professional markets.

7. Read 100 books.

8. Join a face-to-face writing group.

9. Go to bookstore events in Raleigh and do more than sit quietly in the back of the room.

10. Read genres I’m unfamiliar with.

What about you, any reading goals for the new year? Any suggestions to help me keep my resolutions?

Happy 2014 to you all!

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A Little Vacation

Greetings, lovely readers! Just a quick note to let you all know that except for one scheduled post, I’ll be taking the month of January off. I’m hoping this will allow me time to catch up on my reading and plan bigger and better things for The Bastard Title. Hope everyone has a wonderful new year, and I’ll see you again come February!

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Blog Business

I just wanted to take a second to apologize for my sporadic schedule of late. I WILL be getting back on a reliable two-post-a-week schedule fairly soon, hopefully by the middle of June. I’m just having some issues adjusting to new real-life things.

In other news, the Nebula awards came and went and I totally failed at my no-stakes-no-consequences reading challenge. (Let’s all blame my budget for that). Of course, one of the four books I didn’t make it to, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, was the winner. It’s on my to-read list, but who knows when I’ll get to it.

So the start of that feature was kind of a bust, but I’ll take suggestions. What do you think I should challenge myself with next?

I’m in a little bit of a reading rut, wherein all I even want to deal with are predictable YA paranormal romances and historical novels. That’s fine as far as it goes, but nothing really screams out to be reviewed. Any wish lists for future reviews?

Thank you all for continuing to read as I work to figure out this whole blogging thing. If you’d like, friend The Bastard Title on Facebook (I post random, amusing book related links!). And remember to tell your friends!

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Blog Business

For another week, this is not a review.

I started this blog to talk about books, but also to review them, and I know it’s been quite awhile since I’ve done that. Basically, I’ve been going through a move and a lot of personal upheavals. It’s not that I’m not reading–on the contrary, being stressed out means I’m reading like crazy, going through a few books a week. But they’re not the sorts of books I necessarily want to review or talk about in depth.

So for one more week, this is not a review.

I figure maybe it’s a good time to talk shop. I started this blog almost three months ago now. I’ve made 24 posts so far, and I enjoy writing, but I’m still not sure how to attract readers, or get you all to talk to me. There are 24 posts, and essentially only one ever gets looked at. It’s the 4th I made. I’m considering deleting it just to see if I can get some accurate stats for once.

Blogging can be a ridiculous endeavor, spewing opinions into the void of the internet. I want to keep doing it, and I want to get better and become someone worth reading. I want to know what you guys are looking for. There are so many types of book reviewers, and book-oriented blogs out there. As readers, what keeps you coming back?

Hopefully next week there will be an actual review in this space. I have short stories laid out for a few weeks, it’s just the rest of the content that’s tripping me up at the moment. But I definitely don’t want to be one of those blogs that updates for a few months and then disappears. I want to be here for a good long while. I know there are things I have to get better at (commenting on other people’s blogs, keeping up with my reading), but I really am striving to make this the best blog I can, and I hope if you are reading this you find something here to enjoy.

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