Category: Let’s Discuss

Apr 16
I’m Addicted to Exclamation Points!! Let’s Discuss.

I’m Addicted to Exclamation Points!! Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 28

Of course, my main addiction is fiction (as my blog title so aptly points out), but I’ve realized that I’m addicted to something else as well: exclamation points! Yes, I am one of those terrible over-users of the exclamation point. If I have commented on your blog, I have probably exclaimed over you in egregious ways. Sometimes I’ve used three exclamation points in a two-sentence comment!! It seems like the shorter a comment is, the more it needs an extra oomph. Somehow adding that little exclamation point makes me feel like the comment is more cheerful, more interesting, more vibrant, more encouraging. Am I fooling myself? Probably. Will I change? Probably not. I know that some people find exclamation points really annoying. And sometimes I do go and remove one or two from my comments before I hit Send. After all, I don’t want to be obnoxious. But this is a… Read more »


Mar 23
How Much Is Too Much? Sometimes Life Is Stranger Than Fiction. Let’s Discuss.

How Much Is Too Much? Sometimes Life Is Stranger Than Fiction. Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 28

Have you ever read a book and felt like there was a bit of issue overload? Like it dealt with just too many topics, and you started to wonder if it was all maybe a bit too much for one story? I definitely have. But I’ve also read books that handled multiple issues incredibly well, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how, in real life, many of us deal with a lot. I mean, we don’t really get to say, “No, sorry, I’ve already had my fill of ‘issues’–it just isn’t believable that I would have one more.” Believable or not, life is what it is. Take my family for instance: If I tried to write a book about my kids, people would read it and say, “This is so unrealistic. She just wanted to add in a bunch of diversity (or neurodiversity) for the sake of diversity.” And… Read more »


Mar 14
The Challenge of Running a Successful Meme (or Challenge!)

The Challenge of Running a Successful Meme (or Challenge!)

Blogging Tips, Let's Discuss 51

This post actually first appeared as a guest post over at 125 Pages a few years ago, but I thought I’ve probably learned a few lessons since then, and it might be a good idea to update it and post it here. In case you’re not aware, I run the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up and the Book Blog Discussion Challenge. Both of these have been very rewarding – especially the discussion challenge, which is definitely my proudest accomplishment as a blogger. It’s been a huge success, and better yet, I’ve made so many great connections with bloggers via the challenge! But what does it take to make a meme or challenge really work? How do you get it started? How do you get people interested in it? And then how do you keep people excited about it so it doesn’t fizzle out?  Well, I don’t claim to be an expert… Read more »


Feb 25
Why Audiobooks Are Important. Let’s Discuss!

Why Audiobooks Are Important. Let’s Discuss!

Let's Discuss 51

So, I’ve seen lots of posts about how great audiobooks are, and I agree with all of them. I love listening to audiobooks while I drive or while I’m doing boring housework. They make those things much more interesting! My husband isn’t much of a reader. He never has been. But he does enjoy listening to audiobooks from time to time. This is the one way that he consumes books. So for that reason alone, I think audiobooks are wonderful–they bring books to people who might not choose to read otherwise. But it occurred to me just this weekend that audiobooks are truly important to my family for an altogether different reason—one that most people don’t even consider. My fourteen-year-old son is a struggling reader. He has a cognitive disability (because he had encephalitis as an infant in Haiti), and there’s a good chance he won’t ever be able to… Read more »


Feb 20
Fun with Spam #6!

Fun with Spam #6!

Let's Discuss, Spam 42

I’m excited to say that spammers have figured out ways around those pesky checkboxes in the comments section, and I now have plenty of new material for these spam posts again! So… It’s time for a new installment of Fun with SPAM, where we peek into the abyss of the Spam folder to find a few gems and imagine … what if I were really going to reply to these random crazy comments?  Take a look at what I might say: If you happen to use goldfish, they may eat your vegetation. I was really concerned about that. It’s the only reason I haven’t used any goldfish on the blog. I’m really proud of the vegetation around here, and I wouldn’t want it to get eaten! Thank you for your valuable insights.   What i do not realize is in truth how you are not actually much more smartly-preferred than you may… Read more »


Feb 13
Bookworm Confession: Swag Isn’t My Thing. Let’s Discuss. (Plus a Giveaway)

Bookworm Confession: Swag Isn’t My Thing. Let’s Discuss. (Plus a Giveaway)

Giveaways (Ended), Let's Discuss 97

You go to a conference or book event, and there’s swag all around you, as far as the eye can see … bookmarks, lip balm, buttons, magnets, tote bags, notebooks, posters, chapter samplers, and more. Sometimes you see something utterly creative that you never even imagined could be made into swag! This sounds fantastic, unless you’re like me and you really just don’t like swag all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a pretty bookmark just like the rest of you. But usually when I get home from an event or big conference, I end up thinking, What am I going to DO with all this stuff?  I’ve made a vow that I’m going to be better about turning things down. But a lot of times these things were shoved at me with exuberance and I felt guilty when I said no thank you. The look on… Read more »


Jan 25
Why I Love the Book Blog Discussion Challenge (Even When I Fail)

Why I Love the Book Blog Discussion Challenge (Even When I Fail)

Let's Discuss 36

Here’s a sad fact: I didn’t make my goal for the Discussion Challenge in 2018. This wouldn’t be so bad, except it’s my challenge (along with Shannon, of course). How do I fail my own challenge? There’s a teensy part of me that worried about this. A nagging little compartment of my brain that said, “You shouldn’t be hosting a discussion challenge if you’re not going to be the ultimate book discusser. Maybe you just don’t have much to say anymore.” But don’t worry, I told my brain to just shut up already. And it listened (mostly). Because I LOVE the Discussion Challenge! (Even when I personally fail.) And here’s why: The Discussion Challenge is a community. Honestly, I can’t even begin to tell you the number of bloggers I’ve connected to because of this challenge. And I feel like I’m truly getting to know bloggers through their discussions. These types of… Read more »


Jan 08
Things I Learned About Fairy Tales By Reading the Grimm’s Versions

Things I Learned About Fairy Tales By Reading the Grimm’s Versions

Let's Discuss 52 ★★★★★

I have a collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales that I’ve owned for as long as I can remember, possibly even since birth. It was published in 1973, a year before I was born, and it seems like the type of book my eccentric dad or one of his eccentric friends would have thought was really funny to gift to a baby due to all the cannibalism and cutting off of body parts, etc. Anyway, I’m fairly certain I read the whole thing as a child, but apparently it didn’t scar me for life because I didn’t remember much except for the fact that they were sort of bloody and brutal. Since I’m currently plotting a fairy tale retelling (The Selfish Giant), I decided to go back and read some other original fairy tales to get more of a flavor of those stories. Thus, I picked up my copy of Grimm’s Fairy… Read more »


Jan 02
2018 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

2018 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

Let's Discuss, Monthly Recap 46

This is a (very) modified version of Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner’s annual End of Year Book Survey. I’ve taken out quite a few questions and added some of my own, along with graphs (because everyone knows that pretty graphs make the world a better place). 2018 Reading Stats Number Of Books You Read: 153 Fun Pie Graphs: I thought it might be interesting to look at my reading in pie charts since I kept a spreadsheet this year and have really good stats. The first stat I compiled was how many books I read each month. As you can see, I read a lot more during the second half of the year. There are probably a few reasons for this. First off, I was still teaching at the homeschool co-op until May and then I really jumped headfirst into revising my MG manuscript. I sent it off on submission… Read more »


Dec 18
My (Everlasting) Quest to Catch Up on Review Books. Let’s Discuss.

My (Everlasting) Quest to Catch Up on Review Books. Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 44

I know I’m not alone when I say I’m behind on books I have for review. Sometimes it’s because my eyes were bigger than my … eyes? (Yeah, that metaphor doesn’t work for books the way it works for food.) Or sometimes it’s because a book that I really wanted to read somehow lost its luster along the way and I wasn’t excited about it anymore. For whatever reason, not every book I have for review has gotten read. But recently I’ve been making a concerted effort to read some of those older review titles that have been waiting for me. Some strategies I’ve used lately to catch up on those review books: Sign up for blog tours. Nowadays, when I sign up for a blog tour, it’s almost always for a book I already have for review. So, why bother signing up for a tour, you ask? Because then… Read more »