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.

The Human (Polity: Rise of the Jain #3) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Bookype by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Human
Series: Polity: Rise of the Jain #3
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 402
Words: 159.5K



Synopsis:

Publishers Blurb and Me

A Jain warship has risen from the depths of space, emerging with a deadly grudge and a wealth of ancient yet lethal technology. It is determined to hunt down the alien Client, and will annihilate all those who stand in its way. So Orlandine must prepare humanity’s defense.

Both humanity and the Prador thought their ancient foe—the Jain—had perished in a past age. And they resolve to destroy these outliers at any cost. Orlandine wants the Client’s inside knowledge to act, but the Client has her own agenda. Earth Central therefore looks to the Prador for alliance, after the Jain destroy their fleet. However, not everyone is happy with this, and some will do anything to shatter this fragile coalition.

As the Jain warship makes its way across the galaxy, it seems unstoppable. Human and Prador forces alike struggle to withstand its devastating weaponry. Orlandine’s life work is to neutralize Jain technology, so if she can’t triumph, no one can.

Riker, the Hooper with Jain tech, takes on the Jain warship, believing that the only way to conquer the Jain is to subsume the ship. In the process, Riker becomes what he’s trying to subsume and he takes down Orlandine, now a Jain entity infesting an entire world. The Client was prepared for such an eventuality and prepared a weapon that the other Hooper, Cogulus, uses against Riker. It spreads out in a chain reaction, destroying all the jain connections.

The jain entity survives, but only its mostly dead body. It hides and begins building its strength for the millennia when the galaxy will have forgotten about it.

My Thoughts:

This was the longest book in the trilogy but Asher needed every page to wrap things up. I was concerned when I didn’t see a clear solution by the 75% mark. I was afraid he was going to pull some sort of shenanigans like some other authors, but thankfully, I shouldn’t have worried. And what’s more, the jain are still around to be the bogeyman if he ever needs it in the future. I like that.

The main reason this got a 4 star instead of higher, at least this time around, was because of Asher’s penchant to describe all the “stuff”. He really likes getting into the nitty gritty of what a starship looks like or how many and what kind of weapons it has and what they look like. And the techno-babble about communications and upgrades, etc, it was just a bit much for me this time around. I don’t think it was actually any more indepth than in previous books, but this time I just didn’t care.

The battles were awesome, as always. Asher has done a good job of keeping things interesting. There is always the danger of just making things bigger or badder or both but describing it in the same manner and thus losing your audience. I think he’s skirting that line in places but so far, I’m still interested. Part of that is the continued use of the Hoopers and the Spatterjay virus.

Now I have to wait for him to write some more, sigh. He’s written some standalone books before and I wouldn’t mind if he went that route for a couple of books instead of another trilogy. I guess only time will tell.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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 😉

[Masters of Ironing] Soothing the Savage Beast

It has been said that music can tame the savage beast, without or within. Probably whoever said that was famous and wouldn’t know a savage beast if it bit them on the backside. Here at Masters of Ironing, we know better.

Let put this “hypothetical” question to you. If you were running through the Streets of Amsterdam and a lion was chasing you, would you rather have a tiny little flute in your hand or piping hot 5lb iron, preferably the good old T200 version?

Remember the Old Wise Ironing Adage: “A hot iron in hand is worth two lions in the bush“.

Forget not this precept my children and you will live a long and prosperous life.

The Jeeves Omnibus #5 (Jeeves Omnibus #5.3) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Bookype by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Jeeves Omnibus #5
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #5.3
Author: PG Wodehouse
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 120
Words: 43K



Synopsis:

A trio of short stories consisting of:

Extricating Young Gussie

Jeeves Makes An Omelette

Jeeves and the Greasy Bird

My Thoughts:

This was a fitting end to the Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus series. While each of the short stories had been published before, they had never been published in one volume.

Nothing spectacular but at the same time I think the short story format works best for the Jeeves and Wooster stories. There’s only so much Bertie Wooster one can stomach in one go and short stories allow one to dash in for a bite, then skip out again until one is hungry for another bite. Whereas a novel forces you to sit down at the monstrously huge mahogany table with the Edwardian chairs and dine on each course as they are served to one. That is great if Chef Anatole is doing the cooking, but if it’s Chef Boyardee, well, that’s a different matter altogether!

I started this Jeeves Omnibus read back in April of 2018 with Thank You, Jeeves. Here I am now, 2 ½ years later, finishing things up. I have loved reading this and looked forward to them each time. Some were definitely better or worse than others but I never regretted my time reading these.

Given the nature of this series, if I ever choose to do a re-read, I suspect I’ll only re-read the stories that got 4stars from me. But who knows? Wodehouse tickles my funny bone and very few authors can do that as consistently as he has done.

So let’s give 3 cheers for Jeeves and Wooster, give a hearty “What Ho” to their antics and then have some tea to cool ourselves off from all that exertion. Pip, pip, cheerio and God save the Queen, govnah!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.