In my bed: September 2014

(Psst: contest winners are at the end of this post!)

After spending my last quarterly update explaining that I was NOT going to go on a break, despite being in a rut… I’m here to tell you I’m going on a break because I’m in a rut. Who saw that coming?

twist

For the rest of October, I’m taking a break from:

  • Social media: Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Goodreads. Within reason. If you send me a DM or whatever, I’ll go pick it up.
  • Posting here: Mostly. I have a review in-progress that I will finish because I’m really excited to share (Spat the Dummy be Ed Macdonald.)
  • Reading blogs: Except my very favourites. I unfollowed about 200 blogs (!!) on my WordPress reader yesterday *and it feels so good.*
  • Requesting/accepting review copies: self-explanatory.
  • Reviewing books: kind of hard when I won’t be posting here or on Goodreads.

In addition to being in a reading rut, I’ve been giving lots of thought to the purpose of reviews, the purpose of blogging, what I want to read and write… and I think I need some time away from the noise of blog-land to ponder. There are two posts in particular that really got me thinking, and I would encourage you to read them:

  • Do You Read Book Reviews? A Challenge and a Rant by James Reads Books: this one made me want to sign up for the review challenge immediately, but also made me stop and think about the nature of the book review, like, as a piece of creative writing, as literary criticism, and as content marketing.
  • Authenticity and Diversity in Literature by Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity: this one inspired me to do a sort of VIDA Count, but for ethnic as well as gender diversity. You’ll notice I keep careful track of what I read – it’s easy to do thanks to Goodreads- but I’ve never tracked what I review. It’s reviewing that gives us bloggers some modicum of power in the literary world; we don’t just vote with our wallets, we vote with our voices. We influence people. What we’re doing with that influence, however small, is important. Over three years and 57 reviews, here’s what I found:

So, I’ll be back next month. Here’s what you can expect when I get back:

  • Literary Events Recap: My social media break will be in effect with I meet Joseph Boyden on Oct. 23rd, so expect lots of pent-up fangirling when I’m back.
  • Novellas in November: My favourite blogging event of last year.  I’m already building up my list.
  • BookstravaganzaLast year I was cheering them on. This year I’m joining in! I have zero chance of winning but that’s okay.

But before I go… we have giveaway winners!

Here are the lucky winners from last week’s Literary Festival Giveaway! Winners, check your inboxes.

Winner of tickets to M.G. Vassanji at LitFest: Carolyn

Winner of tickets to event of your choice at STARFest: Riverboat38 (if that is your real name…)

Winner of tickets to Joyce Carol Oates at Festival of Ideas: Natalie of Wandering Bibliophile

Thank you everyone for entering and reading and, as they say, I’ll be gone till November.

Anyone else remember how ubiquitous that song was, and notice how you never hear it these days? I also totally forgot Bob Dylan was in the video.

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16 comments

  1. Jennifer Quist

    Wha? Right after I move to town and get my stuff unpacked you’re going off the radar? Going to have to stalk you the old-fashioned way if I ever want to meet for coffee (by which I mean a hot chocolate ordered with ice cubes in it like a big baby) at one of these events. Enjoy the break. Hope you get some great writing done — maybe not in bed, though. You’ll wreck your shoulders.

  2. eileendandashi

    I enjoyed your comments and popped over to Do You Read Reviews? I try to vary my genre and review lots of newbie authors. My goal this year was 25 newbies. I’ll be interested in seeing how close I got.

  3. Naomi

    This makes me want to check my stats, but I don’t know if it would change anything. I mostly read what sounds good to me, no matter the author (with an emphasis on Canlit). I also want to support the reviews as much as I can, because that is what I’m here for. Have a good break! Looking forward to a newly refreshed you in November! Um, have fun with Joseph Boyden (turning green)!

  4. Carolyn O

    I’ll miss you Laura! Totally understand about the break, though.

    And I think you’d be great writing about race, just as you are about writing about other difficult topics; you’re honest and thoughtful, and that’s way more than half the battle.

  5. wanderingbibliophile

    Thanks a million! I am really looking forward to seeing Joyce Carol Oates! I’ll definitely be making that event.

  6. Kristilyn

    I can’t believe you cut out 200 blogs from your Reader! I don’t think I was ever following anywhere near that many blogs! Even now, I think I have maybe 30? I really should try and find some new awesome ones … it’s tough. Everything is the same, it seems.

    Good for you for taking a break. I feel like I have days where I take breaks and weeks where I have no idea what Twitter is, and then other days where I’m on it plenty. I feel very out of the loop these days and sometimes that’s good and sometimes it feels bad.

    Enjoy your October!

  7. Bree @The Things We Read

    Great post. Love the link to Do You Read Book Reviews? Hope you enjoyed your break. everyone needs one. Forcing reviews or anything makes it a tedious job. Yuck. Blogging is suppose to be fun.

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