Monday, August 30, 2010

Writer, Reader or Reviewer?

So, this blog has slowed down a bit from my usual frantic and random posting :) but maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing according to an excellent post by Anne R Allen. The message is quality over quantity. Alas, for me, it's the 'quality' part that may be problematic! Sure I'll slow down due to RL but whether my posts improve beyond what they are, well we'll see. . .

I've been pondering a few things. Often I've come across debates on issues related to themes in books (mostly YA Paranormal) and I've wanted to jump straight in and throw in my 2 cents. I've wanted to post my thoughts and opinions on issues such as censorship, feminism (or lack there of) and other 'isms' but I often stop myself from posting. Sometimes because I feel my opinion isn't going to contribute much to the debate, as many of the points have been well made, or that I feel I haven't grasped the complexity of it all and want to measure the opinions of the different sides before jumping in. . . but sometimes I don't post for a different reason. Rachel Gardner did a recent post highlighting tips for book reviewing - one tip advises only reviewing books that you like.

As a writer, I agree with what Rachel says - publishing is a business and there's no point shooting yourself in the foot before you get it through the door by criticising others' books. Maybe that's a cynical view of things but it's something I consider (or at least try to) before I post here or anywhere else. I may post funny things about certain books but I don't believe I've ever insulted a book or its author. Every comment I make on the internet I make as 'Emily Cross', maybe a never to-be-published writer or maybe future author . . .

As a reader, I want to read others' opinions on books - good or bad. I actually enjoy reading reviews which actually give an opinion (not insults mind) on the book they've read. And often I want to give my opinion on books. Now, as many of you know (and probably realise by now from this post) I'm a wimp. One of those people who works themselves into having an ulcer worrying about upsetting other people (not the best quality to have in a reviewer). When I do review, I sandwich my criticism in between positive comments - even if said comments are small, I do try and find some positive to mention but I also include criticism -respectfully but to the point (or at least I hope). As a reader I believe this is a good way to review, but if I consider Rachel Gardner's post, should omission be reflective of opinion?

I've been pondering this for a while as I've read a few books recently that are extremely popular in the genre I hope to write in, but haven't exactly warmed the cockles of my heart (actually they more boiled my blood). For the reader, reviewing is liberating and allows you to make your opinion and thoughts heard in a way that never before was possible but in the end for a writer what is the advantage of negatively (constructively) book reviewing in public? But then if you review only books you mostly like, is it being unfair to your readership? Or in the end will they care?

I guess I need to draw the line on this:

What am I?

Writer or reader or, should I say reviewer?

Image 1: source - by Cindianns
Image 2: source - by

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Design Change - Any thoughts??

So this blog has been looking a bit 'meeh' lately, well I'm on a waiting list to get a new template designed (all shiny and new :)) but in mean time I'm trying to decide between 5 blogger templates and I'm hoping yeh can help me decide.

Going to show a pic of each, what i like and don't like and then yeh can vote at the end of this page :) and be great if people left comments too (if yeh like!)

So #1

Link to big image here
Pros: I like the 'otherworld look of it, especially the header! I don't hate the colour scheme either
Cons: No nav bar, not mad about the text thing at top either and I'm not big lover of insects i.e. butterflies, only two column


Link to Big image here
Pros: i like the feel of it, funky and don't mind colour scheme (can change easily), nav bar, three column,
Cons: Is it a bit normal? Text (header is a bit blah)


Link to Big Image here
Pros: Love the 'feel' of it. Colour, header, text! Really cute
Cons: only 2 column (sidebar is quite narrow). It's a bit girly. Does it convey me? Don't think possible to widen side bar


Link to Big Image here
Pros: My little pony YaY! Kinda happy feel to it. decent sidebar, navbar, cute!
Cons: two column only. Maybe looks like kiddies blog?


Link to the Big Image here
Pros: I LOVE grungey vectors, colour scheme is coolio!
Cons: Maybe it's a bit much? Very very narrow posting and sidebar space (see the utube video that's the smallest size!!) Not sure if be able to change it. Not insanely happy about the buildings in header

So there's the choices to far - Please vote and let me know. I'm on the fence here! Leaning one way then the other so other's thoughts would be great :)

Thank you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

30 rock. . . rocks?!?!

Well it seems the Psych Saturday yokey is a bit of a bust - got no responses. No worries though, I'm always coming up with stuff (that lasts about two weeks till i forget to update lol).

I haven't had much to post lately, which is odd for me considering I post about anything, but good news is I've been writing DarkShines. Tis complete and utter crap at the moment but hopefully during rewrites etc. it'll come together. At the moment I'm just putting words on the page and going to see from there. . .

Nothing much to report apart from that, so I leave you to my friend Kenneth - who I thought I had nothing in common with till I saw this:

Between 30 rock and Dexter I'm getting nothing done. . . damn tv shows making me procrastinate!!
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