PSA: Blogging Jealousy

Here I sit. On my comfortable couch. In my nice warm condo. With Mrs B sleeping away in the other room. Having just devoured a Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza. And a Rockstar Pure Zero coursing through my veins. With November being the best blog month I have EVER had. And you know what is going through my head? How jealous I was of another blogger, 2 1/2 years ago.

I was reading some old posts and saw one of their comments and it all came rushing back. They’d been online less than a year, had more followers than me, were more popular, got more comments while having less than a 1/10th of the book foundation that I had or blogging experience. What makes it particularly ironic is that I really liked them as a blogger. I was happy for them and their success and yet, not that far down, I was really jealous. I couldn’t even think about it at the time because I knew if I dwelt on it that it would sour things on my end and I did NOT want that.

Now that time has passed, I can look a little bit more dispassionately at it and analyze it a bit more, disinterestedly? I actually started this post out as a joke entitled “Po’ Lil’ Me” where I bewailed what a wretched lot I had in life.

Once I started typing though, I realized just how deep this had run back then and it got me thinking. I intellectually know that other bloggers have felt the same towards another blogger. But I have to admit, I’ve never seen it in action. How does blogging jealousy even manifest itself? For me, it was nothing more than an internal feeling that was suppressed so as to not allow outward actions.

Thinking about it, I saw myself as this:

What this other blogger did was make me realize the reality was much more like this:

I suspect they would have been horrified if they had realized what I was feeling. Hence why I kept quiet. I was jealous because I wanted their success, their ease of getting along with others and that indefinable something they had that attracted other bloggers to them almost effortlessly. Part of it was also me not having the confidence here on WordPress that I currently have. I also hadn’t settled completely in my mind just what my goal for blogging was.

On the positive side, being jealous really made me think what I wanted from my blogging experience. Did I want a big audience? Did I want lots of like or comments? Did I want other people to indenture their children until the age of 25 so they could carry my glorious name? (I mean, that’s a given, but still….). Once I sat down and put into concrete form what I wanted intellectually, emotionally and in terms of entertainment that allowed me to focus on a goal instead of on what someone else had.

Of course, there are times when I see “someone” get 100 likes for putting up something “relatable” and for about 30seconds I am jealous again. Then I just shrug it off. I am not that person. I am me. I have strong opinions on many things that run counter to most popular or even generally accepted, culture. I am not a group person trying to please others. In the last 3 years I have grown emotionally in that I have truly accepted my boundaries and decided to work with them instead of bemoaning them. It also helps that Psychic Grandma showed up and began toughening me up, like a piece of leather, hahahahaaha.

And I think that does it for me and this Public Service Announcement. What about you? Have you been jealous of another blogger? What did you do about it? Have you seen blogger jealousy in action? If so, tell me about it. Tell ol’ Uncle Bookstooge, he’s got a sympathetic ear …..

First Line Friday: A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Folks, that is ONE sentence AND the opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens needs to be classified as the 8th Wonder of the World as far as I’m concerned!

Currently Reading & Quote: God of Night

‘Don’t expect a lot of sense from those shitweasels. Why do you think we’re on your side? Fucking Charnelers are crazy. If your lot have any snipers, have at ’em. Otherwise, this is the good bit.’

‘Good?’ the young soldier echoed.

‘Better’n the killing,’ Lynx asserted. ‘Screams, blood, shit and terror. Don’t you worry though. We’ve got the high ground, siege weapons and a whole bloody mage sanctuary to resupply us. The bad bits are mostly reserved for them that’s outside the walls.’

The armies stared at each other in silence. It was some subtle strategy to unnerve the defenders, Lynx guessed. Unfortunately, the Cards were too hungover to spell disquieted, let alone feel it without a long run-up and coffee.

Ahhh, that’s the Lynx I’ve learned to love in this series! It feels good to be back reading this final volume.

Unfortunately, that cover isn’t living up to previous ones and I’m feeling cheated. If I was one of the mercenary Cards, I’d probably go kill someone over it. Good thing ol’ Tommy boy is 3000 miles away.

Currently Reading: Gulag Archipelago, Vol II

This book is totally kicking my butt. I did a Quote Post back in September and since then have only made it to the 34% mark. My plans to read it on the weekends didn’t pan out, as the subject matter is very tough.

What I need to do is power read through it but I’m afraid if I do that, I might end up in dreaded book slump. I haven’t had a real slump in years thanks to my reading rotation, but I don’t know what else to attempt. I do not want to dnf it just because it is hard. With the elections here in the US looking like Biden is the President Elect, this is even MORE important to read than ever.

What I need is a plan that is going to get me through this book. A plan that is going to work for me. A plan that I will actually stick to. I’m wondering if I need to dedicate January to this book and get it done. Piecemeal is NOT working, as evinced by the dates on the quote post and then this. Sigh.

#bookwormproblems
#bookwyrmproblems

November ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 16

Pages – 5964

Words – 2117.5K (2.1million)

Average Rating – 3.37

The Bad:

Rosemary & Rue – 1Star

Blackwing – 1Star

The Good:

The Private Life of Elder Things – 4Stars

King John – 4Stars

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

This month was all over the place. Blogwise, stats were fantastic. This was the best month I’ve ever had in terms of views, likes, comments, etc.

Of course, WordPress ruins it by forcing me to double dip in terms of liking people’s comments. Then today I just started having issues with controlling my spam comments. I had one phrase that would throw any comment straight into the trash. Well, WP deleted that and now whenever I try to add it back, my settings won’t save. I’ve cleared my cache and tried Chrome, Edge AND firefox. Since I’m still banned on the forums, I can’t ask for help. I swear, I’m this close to calling it quits, good numbers or not!

Then you had the real life side of things. From bad work weeks to all the political crap flooding everything to escalation of the covid scare, it felt like this month was all about “killing, stealing and destroying”. That was overwhelming.

Cover Love:

I have to admit, when I saw the cover for the Copper Assassin, I was sure that was going to be the Cover Love choice of the month. And I was NOT wrong! Yum, yum, yum!

Plans for Next Month:

Having skipped the movie review for this month, I want to make sure to get one in for December. I’m about 99% sure it will be The Muppets Christmas Carol. That seems about the level of “Movieocracy” that I can take right now.

Other than that, it should be business as usual. I suspect a lot of my time in December will be spent planning and writing up stuff for the Year in Review post and seeing what I want to do for 2021.

Poll: Opinions Wanted

I stopped doing the book giveaways when I didn’t get any bites for 2 months in a row. I am wondering if I should try again in ’21 or not. I do realize that over half my audience isn’t able to enter, being outside the United States.

Right now, I am leaning towards a “No”, as it is incredibly discouraging when you can’t even give books away. Let me know what you think, not just whether you’d try or not, but what you think of book giveaways in general.

I’ll probably bring this up again in January, so if you feel pressured to answer, don’t be. You’ll get a second chance to tell me how you really feel 😉

Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving in the 1620’s in New England

Today is the day that Americans are supposed to give Thanks to God for the many blessings they have received over the past year, whether they deserved them or not. In this day and age of Commercialism, Covid19, Uncertainty and Fear, it is all the more important.

If you haven’t figured it out yet (or read my About page), I’m a committed Christian. In this context, it means that I’m specifically giving thanks to God and not just having the warm fuzzies while making general “thankful” noises to the universe at large.

Without Further Ado, I am thankful for:

Mrs Bookstooge! What a surprise, right? But seriously, without my wife my life would be so much harder, so much tougher, that I don’t contemplate it. Someday I’ll write up a post for how we met. It wouldn’t have happened without God’s intervention, that is for sure.

Work. You’ll notice there is a “Boo” in that pix. That’s how I feel about work sometimes. But at the exact same time I am thankful for it. I enjoy my work, for the most part (you all just tend to hear the bad stuff) and because of it we live comfortably. We’re not millionaires or even hundred-thousandaires, but all of our financial needs have been met this year and we don’t take that for granted. Because there have been years where work was scarce as gold.

Our Families. The majority of our families live far enough away that it takes something special for us to get together. Both Mrs B and I appreciate that our parents brought us up as Christians and continue to have a strong walk with God themselves.

Our Hobbies. While blogging isn’t on the above list, it should be. Thankfully, reading is. We’re both big readers and we appreciate that the other one understands. We’re both happiest sitting on the couch or lying in bed, reading next to each other.

Church. This year especially we’ve been very thankful for our church and church family. The leadership team has been committed to keep us meeting in person but also providing ways for those who don’t feel comfortable to see and hear the sermons live online. They have also made it a special point to use this time to bring us together as brothers and sisters in Christ instead of allowing things like wearing or not wearing a mask to divide us. It takes real wisdom to navigate those channels, especially when people feel very strongly on both sides of the issues. I don’t know what we would do if we couldn’t go to church for an extended period of time.

I think that is enough for now. God bless you all and may you find Peace in Christ Jesus.

Currently Reading & Cover Love

Both of these books came out at the end of October. Obviously, I had November already filled up with reads so I have to wait until December, but let me tell you, I am jamming these in first thing! Uhhhhh, I just looked and it won’t quite be “first thing”. Second week. I promise!

Blood Relation is the 6th Arcane Casebook by Dan Willis. He’s been churning these out at a pretty good clip too. I read the first one, In Plain Sight, at the beginning of 2020 but it was published in 2018. Larry Correia introduced me to the series in one of his posts and besides his own works, it’s some of the most enjoyable stuff I’ve read this year. And the covers are to die for!

Next up is God of Night, the 4th book in the God Fragments series by Tom Lloyd. The cover of the first book, Stranger of Tempest, is still one of the best covers I’ve ever seen. The stories are fun and violent and I am really looking forward to this.

So come on December, do your worst! I’ve got some fantastic books to combat anything you can throw at me.

*Ultimate Muscle Pose*

(now that brings back some memories. I guess we know another post I’ll be doing in December)

ps, I do have an actual Thanksgiving Post coming up later today.

WordPress is Forcing Me to Double Dip (and that is disgusting and gross)

Starting sometime this week, possible last weekend, WordPress.com began forcing me to double dip. Double Dip on “likes” that is. Every time that I have “liked” a comment, whether on my own posts or on someone else’s, after about 30-45seconds, it magically “unlikes” and I have to hit the “like” button again for it to stick. How unhygienic and disgusting is that?

I might as well be making out with Corona-chan! And here I thought WordPress had the best interest of their users at heart. I mean, if they forced the block editor on us because they knew better, I’m really surprised they aren’t embarrassed to be encouraging such behavior during this time of pandemic’ness. Shame on you WordPress; I claim the Dishonor Meme against you!

I am doing my part though. Washing my hands between double dipping AND I’m wearing a mask. So don’t worry, those “likes” from me are completely hygienic and totally covid-free. No thanks to WordPress though. I’d go protest peacefully by burning down a few cities but honestly, I’ve got a Wild Mike’s pizza just waiting for me. Ohhh baaaaaby…….

Currently Reading & “Quote”: Blackwing

I am currently reading Blackwing, the first book in the Raven’s Mark series by Ed McDonald. The following isn’t an exact quote, but I feel it gets my point across slightly better this way.

(2 characters randomly meet on a street)
Fuck you!
No, fuck you!
Well, fuck you for your fuck you.
I don’t give a fuck about your fuck you, so fuck off.
If you fucking think I give a fuck about your fucking fuck off, then fuck you.
Fuck you!

This book is getting the profanity tag for sure! I won’t be continuing the series after this book and I have this creeping feeling that this is going to turn into a DNF book.

Since these posts are a place for me to kind of talk about things not directly review related, this year has seemed like I’ve read a lot more books on other bloggers’ recommendation (not personally to me, but just in a review) that have turned out to be real stinkers. Most of them I had already avoided due to my gut but I let myself be convinced my gut was wrong. Only to find out my gut had been right all along. I certainly don’t hold the other bloggers responsible, not at all. They didn’t put a gun to my head and scream “Read this book or I’ll pull the trigger, I swear I will!” I chose to read the books.

What I am learning is that I need to listen to my gut more. I guess I’m the literary equivalent of the Rogue Lone Agent who does things his own way and gets results. * poses in sunglasses * It’s either that or I’m the evil villain convinced of the righteousness of his cause, no matter the cost. If I am the villain, then I’m going to buy myself a cosmic horror tentacle monster. ALL the cool villains have them you know.