Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Announcements of Varying Variety

All right, I have a lot to say.  So, I’m going to make this post COLORFUL and do different colors for different Topics so you don’t get lost.

As you can see for yourself, I have changed things a little bit.  Rather than making a whole new header for Christmas this year, I decided just to decorate the one I already had. ;)

And yes, I am aware that the background color doesn’t go so well with the header.  But if you want my opinion (and I’m sure you all DO), Christmas is one time of year where we can dispense with caring so much about what ‘goes’ and what clashes, and do what gives us joy. Especially where festive decor is concerned. ;)

*inserts random Christmassy pictures*

Thanks so much to everybody who has answered my blog survey! (If you have not yet done so, you can find it here.)  Upon reviewing the answers, I have a few things to say.  So if you answered the survey, listen up. :)

I am very amused by the answers to your guesses about where I live and how old I am. Whether this is because you were or were not spot on, I leave to you to determine. ;)

Also, none of you so far have said I post about Jane Austen too much… wow! Haha.

Seriously gals, don’t worry about being offensive.  I want to hear all of your ideas. If I like them, I will listen.  If I don’t, I won’t.  Simple as. ;)

And there is one thing that I was pleased and surprised to find out, which is that most of you requested more personal posts.  Like, you want to know more about me.  

Wait, really?

I’m definitely going to try and incorporate that into the 2016 year of blogging, then.  Talking about myself is actually kind of easy.  I don’t usually do it because a) I started my blog when I was still in high school and had to have my mom’s permission before posting anything about myself, and b) I really didn’t know people were that interested in little old me.  Haha.  But I’m an adult now and can make my own decisions-- OHHH, THE POWER-- so hey.  Time to reevaluate.

Having reviewed your answers, I have made a SECOND survey as I have had more ideas for what to plan.  I’d be awfully pleased if any of you answered that one, too. :D  (By the way, the reason I’m doing it in Google Forms and not polls or just having you comment is that then I have my columns in a spreadsheet of everybody’s answers and it’s just a lot easier for me. Haha. Plus you won’t be influenced by what other people are saying.)

OH, one more thing-- I had one person (we shall mention no names) say that she doesn’t usually comment on my blog because it was too “important” for her.  I know that this was tongue-in-cheek, and I have to say I laughed out loud.  Seriously, though.  Please, please, please.  If you want to comment on my blog, I want to hear from you.  Out of my 214 followers I really don’t get very many comments, and I would LOVE to hear your feedback if you took the time to look at my post!  No matter who you are!  And sometimes I look at the comments on some of the ‘smaller’ blogs and I’m like, hey, these gals don’t comment on  MY blog, why don’t they, they look like fun.

Just so you know that.  And also know that I know exactly how you feel, though.  I was one of the little blogs before, and sometimes I forget that I’m not STILL one of the little ones.  Because I still feel exactly the same, except for the fact that I know whatever I post is going to be read by at least a handful of people, instead of sitting there just waiting for the pageviews to show up and realizing that it’s just myself clicking on the posts. Haha.

May I take this opportunity to elaborate upon my upcoming trip?  I am indeed going to visit Amy, and am leaving in FOUR DAYS.  (Well, it WILL be four days when most of you read this.)  I really don’t think it’s quite going to sink in until I’m all packed, haha.  Right now I’m scurrying about madly to get everything done.  Being gone from home for 14 days at Christmastime means you have to do a lot of planning ahead.  

So, this will be my third airplane trip by myself.  I hope it will go just as smoothly as my last two did… I confess I am a little worried, because it’s a very busy season, and also one where weather is more likely to get in my way.  But let’s be optimistic. ;)

Also, for all you gals with best friends you met through blogging whom you haven’t gotten to meet yet-- here is a hug for you.  I DO understand.  You guys remind me not to take this for granted.  I mean, lately I keep almost forgetting that it was through our blogs that Amy and I met.  We’re just have such solid places in each other’s lives now, we’ve been together in real life on four occasions, we’ve met each other’s families-- we’ve lived with each other’s families, and seen the best and worst.  Even though we’re so far apart, Amy’s house seems like a second home to me.  And all that is just so amazing.  

I would like to add in one thing, though, to those of you who HAVEN’T yet met your dear ones.  Cherish what you have now.  It will never be the same again.  That doesn’t mean that it won’t be as good-- it might be better!-- but having a friend who lives far away and whose friendship means so much to you even though you’ve never seen their face in person-- it’s really very special.  Although I remember it, I am starting to feel like I’m forgetting what it was really LIKE.  Sure, it’s easier now.  When I refer to my best friend, I can say I’ve known her for four years and we’ve stayed a couple weeks at a time at each other’s houses, and nobody gives me any weird looks.  

But there are drawbacks too.  And the biggest one?  TIME.  Adulthood offers freedom to do things like going on trips by yourself and getting jobs and making money in order to DO this… but it takes away your time like nothing else ever has.  Suddenly it seems like the days are shorter, like you just can’t get as much done in one day as it seems like you should be able to.  And as for long-distance communication with a bestie, well… it gets a lot rougher.  Amy has a full-time job now and I would be lying if I said it hasn’t made a huge impact on our communication.  That, combined with my job and volunteering that totals 25-28 hours a week, AND the time zone differences, we definitely don’t talk as much as we did.  

Don’t get me wrong, I hear from her every day.  But it’s more in the form of short Facebook messages or texts.  If we phone or Skype twice a week we’re very lucky, but even when we do there’s usually this feeling of I-should-be-doing-something-else-and-not-just-talking-to-you.  (But we like it too well and stay on anyways. And then later stress more. Heh heh.)

So yeah… I’m REALLY looking forward to this visit.  I feel like it will involve more catching up than any other one so far has.  But, along with the theme of having to do Adult Things, Amy only has certain days off (combined with other half-days and such), and the rest of the time she’ll be working during the day.  This means we’ll have to be more creative about spending time together, and also it means I’m going to have some time on my hands while she’s working.  Some of this time will be spent hanging out with her siblings-- which are pretty much my siblings-- and I’m looking forward to that.  Also catching up on computer stuff!  Like my INBOX!

And blogging.  Wow, I’m getting really long-winded here.  Note to self: even if people ask for more personal things in my posts, that doesn’t mean they want to hear my train of thought going all over the place.

OKAYYYY so.  If you’ve been yawning through the last section, rub your eyes and listen up.

I got an idea the other day that burst upon me like lightning.  Quick version: I want to hold a Christmas short story writing contest.

I’m going to flesh out a few ideas here before I lose my nerve.  That way, if I DO go through with it, those of you who may be interested in entering can be Thinking about it already.  (The only reason I might bow out is lack of time.  So we’ll have to see if my enthusiasm trumps my busyness.)

All right, so to pique your interest, here are some of the details I’ve come up with thus far.
  • The story will be set at Christmastime. Duh.
  • 2015 is such a nice timeline-ish kind of year, I thought we could make use of that. For the story you write you can go back in time to 1815, or use a fifty-year mark between then and now. (So 1865, 1915, 1965, 2015.)
  • The story is to focus on familial relationships/bonds that are a bit more rare to see in fiction.  You can choose to write about a niece and aunt, a brother and sister, or two cousins (one girl, one boy).  However, nothing is firm as yet so if you have any ideas, let me know.
  • I will be the judge of the contest, although I may ask close friends for analysis if I can’t decide between two or something.
  • The winners will be revealed during the week in between December 25th and January 1st-- because I always think it’s fun to have something special to do after Christmas. :)  Also, there will be prizes.  I’m working on those.  There will be one Grand Winner, and then either two or three category winners.

So, let me know what you think, and please, PLEASE vote on the poll on the side.  It will help me a LOT in figuring out if there is actually enough interest for me to do this.

Okay, that’s it for now!

(P.S. I don’t always write blog posts… but when I do, I stay up late doing it. :P)


Naomi Bennet said...

Yes, we'd LOVE more personal posts - I LOVED THIS POST. :-)

I filled in the second form. :-)

Ah, your words to people Like Me. :-) Thank you for that. I'm not too mournful about it, though. :-P I know it'll happen one day. I'm just thankful to have great long-distance friends! THAT is an amazing thing in itself. :-)

I LOVE the Story contest idea. I actually wanted to write a Christmas story, so that would be so much fun. :-) (OH PRIZES.)

I loved this post, and I'm so glad you're getting back into the swing of blogging! Much appreciated, Melody - Love your blog. :-)

~ Naomi

Molly said...

The Christmas short story contest sounds like a lot of fun! I would very much like to do it! I'm already getting ideas... :D

Heidi said...

Okay, I'm commenting ;) and I LOVE THIS POST!!! Seriously. And your new design is so lovely! :D

And... I'll be voting on the poll that I'd like to participate in the short story contest idea, but.... I also have a lot going on (on top of Christmas festivities) -- i.e. editing a different contest story and I'm also planning a party for my own blog right around there and have a lot of prep, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it. It's a wonderful idea, though, so I'll be thinking about it! Do you have a target word count?

Miss Evie said...

Gosh Melody such a beautifully long post where to start?

Yes yes yes!

*hugs you* Thank you for those words about the long distance blogger friendships they really really help!!
:-D, although.. why is Australia so far away from every.single.thing.

Story *Shoots hand into air* I'll give it a go.. we're going away so it will be handwritten and then written when we get back.

Merry Christmas Melody and Amy!!


Heidi said...

Idea! what about a Christmas poetry contest? That might be easier for people to fit in during their festivities and also a lighter reading load on you. I'd definitely be game for it...

Emma Jane said...

Wow, it feels like I haven't been on your blog in a long time. ;-P I really enjoyed this post, Melody! It made me realize how much I actually missed your voice in the blogging world. You were, in fact, one of the first bloggers who inspired me in my starting-out days, so this was kind of a blast from the past. ;-)

Whiiiiiich....led me to follow your blog again. Confession: I unfollowed you awhile back, simply because I got sick of all the Jane Austen-ness. (I'm not a huge fan myself.) But then, reading through posts of yours that I missed made me remember what an awesome person you are. I've missed your blog. :-) And I'm excited that it sounds like you'll be posting more regularly in the future!

And what REALLY got me excited while reading this -- YOU'RE HAVING A STORY CONTEST!!!! That is so ironic, because I've been working on a short Christmas story that would be PERFECT for this! (Seriously, even the rare familial relationships/bonds part -- did you read my mind or what???) So, yes, I am definitely on board for that! I hope you decide to do it!

I hope you have a wonderful time with Amy around Christmas! :-)


Melody said...

So, about the short story contest-- at this point in order to move forward I kind of would like to see more votes in my poll. If you could spread the news a little, however you like (even if it's just emailing people whom you know might be interested) and encourage them to come over here and read the end bit of the post and vote, that would be great. So that I better know how to Proceed. :)

Aww, thank you. :)
It is indeed amazing. :D
Haha, well, we'll see about The Swing... I am trying. ;)

Oooh. Okay! Thanks for your input. :)

Awww, thanks. :)
Target word count... I'm really not picky. I don't like to limit people too much, so I might just say between 1,000 and 5,000 words. As to the poetry contest-- thanks for the idea! Honestly, though, that would be much harder for me because I am really not a poetry person and trying to judge poetry would be beyond me! ;)

Miss Evie,
Ha. I know all about Australia being far away from everything, believe me. ;)
I used to write all my stories by hand first. Somehow it just worked better with my Creative Juices. ;)

Emma Jane,
I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I'm sorry the amount of Jane Austen stuff is too much for you. You can feel free to read whatever you feel like and ignore the rest! But the fact is I AM a huge fan and Jane Austen is the sole reason that I have this blog to begin with. :)
I hope you can participate if I end up doing it! And how delightful that it corresponded with an idea you already have!

jessica prescott said...

Love your new header! So Christmas-y :)

I'd love to do the story contest--I finish the college semester in about a week and I would LOVE to work on a story for the contest as a way to relax! (I have no time to write fiction during school, basically, and it makes me sad.)

Rosie McCann said...

Yay! A post! And oh Melody, I do like your new blog look! So what if it clashes - it's full of Christmas joy!

I voted Yes on the poll for the story contest :) I mean, hey, PRIZES!! And it's just such a fun idea! Please do it :)

I took the survey, too :) I hope it helps you! I would LOVE to read more about you!

Anonymous said...

Sorry it's taken me awhile to comment, I've been away on holidays. :)
I took the second survey...they're rather fun to fill out. ;)
Oh....*blushes* Well, I'm glad you laughed out loud. :P I guess this is my first time commenting....hello! I think you can count on hearing more from me, then. :)
I hope you and Amy have a regularly splendid time (although I'm SURE you will)!! Haha, and thanks for the advice, I guess I shall keep on making sure I make use of the time I do have for friends. :D
I'm still deciding about the Christmas story...I'm not a very good writer, and I know some of the girls entering are VERY good, but that doesn't put me off because it can still be fun anyway...I just have to find time to write, inspiration to think of what, and the brains to figure out how to enter. :P (I'm not very "tech savvy". Ahem.) So I'll go now and decide on what to do...I mean, I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.... ;P
~Miss Meg March

Would you rather hear the story...

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