Summer Update

So things this summer will be a lot different than last summer, it turns out. I’m not interning or officially working in anything publishing related, but if you’re interested in my other dabblings about, here’s what’s up.

  • As you’ve seen the past couple of weeks, I’m still reading and reviewing as many galleys and self-published books as possible. Mostly, I’m working through YA Bound Book Tours and NetGalley, but I’m certainly interested in working independently, too. If you have galley copies, manuscripts, or recently published books and you are interested in feedback or a published review, contact me.
  • I’m taking classes, as always. I’m finally in the last year of my undergrad, which is exciting, but also means that I have to go through the job/college application processes all over again. Yay.
  • I’ve started a sister blog, The Kipling Project. It’s still about books, obviously, that’s pretty much the only thing I know. I recently stumbled upon a host of vintage books, and I’m documenting my research and restoration of them. It’s pretty cool ~if I do say so myself~
  • I’ve done a bit of a redesign on the site, and I’m looking at updating it again at the end of the summer, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions for that, sling them at me!

All in all, I want to really increase my online presence while I have the chance this summer. It’s already been going well the few weeks I’ve been working on it, so thanks for helping me out and sticking around!

XX. Shelby Jo

P.S. I only read one book in May and, yes, I’m ashamed. It was Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It was fantastic and I loved it, but, man, it aged me.

Six Months

It’s been six months since I returned to blogging! Well, six months as of April 8, but why not prolong the celebration?

So much has happened in my life in the past six months, and even tiniest growth seems like it’s been an enormous change. And there’s been plenty of enormous changes, too.

I decided to wax sentimental this week and post a quick photo gallery of some of the highlights of keeping up Thoughts of a Word Nerd over the past six months.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And I wrote more than I ever have before. Thanks for being a part of it.

And for bearing with this weird post. We’ll be back next week with your regularly scheduled programming.

XX. Shelby Jo

Review: 2015

Happy New Year, y’all!

I’ve never really been a New Year’s resolution type of person, but in the last couple of years I have started setting some goals (lame ones like “get a job,” “get accepted into a decent college,” “survive at least 6 months” – you get the idea), and I actually think it’s helped me out.

So, here are my blogging/writing goals for 2016!

1). Read 50 books. I’ve set reading goals in the past, but never really paid them much mind. This year, I only read 20 (new) books (I don’t count re-reads, because I re-read a lot, and it would definitely confuse the numbers). I am going to journal reactions to each book (bc finding my Lunar Chronicles journal entries was obvs rly entertaining), and then post monthly summaries of my reading progress with the help of those reactions.

2). Finish the first draft of #RhanforyolifeThis is a tricky one, because my goal was originally to finish it by spring break, but that isn’t going very well so far. I also want to include editing the manuscript somehow, but I won’t know how far I want to pursue this book until the draft is finished. So, for now, I’m just sticking with a first draft.

3). Continue posting regularly. I have really enjoyed blogging regularly, but it has also proved to be a lot more work than I anticipated, and my life is only going to get crazier! 😉 So twice a week it is, for another year!

Thank you so much for giving me a shot if you have ever visited this site, and thank you x a million for sticking around if you ever decided to come back a second time.

Here’s to a good 2016.

XX. Shelby Jo

On the Internet

…And the collapse of the universe as we know it…

Okay, so like I said Friday, I spent the last 5 days basically without internet access. I had limited mobile access on a decrepit Ipod Touch, but no computer options. IT. WAS. M I S E R A B L E.

Which, of course, got me thinking. Older generations have this innate idea that younger generations – mine and a few of those surrounding mine – are “addicted” to the internet and to technology, and that its this great tragedy that is going to result in the stupification and ultimate downfall of mankind. Which always seemed absurd and was generally infuriating to me (let’s talk chronological snobbery, kids).

Nope, I was serious. I think chronological snobbery, more specifically  juvenoia, are concepts that come into play here. Chronological snobbery is a logical or rhetorical fallacy in which a user assumes a fact based on an age or other length of time. Juvenoia, though not necessarily a technical term, is a fear based on the effects of social change on youth. Clearly the combination of paranoia, and juvenile (Liberal Arts major. Shut up.). It seems logical then, to assume that the “juvenoia” for our time is this fear of the internet and it’s effects. But juvenoia on the whole is chronological snobbery. It’s an illogical and and pointless fear.

Because the Internet, like anything else on this earth, is a tool. It therefore cannot shape entire generations, and, frankly, a generation on its own cannot shape the world.  Foolish people will find ways to be foolish no matter what the era or tools at their disposal; intelligent people will use every available tool to better themselves, no matter what the era; and the downfall of mortal existence was bound to happen anyway so don’t get your panties in a twist.

The Internet is an amazing, collaborative, revolutionary thing, and without it, my career choice (and life/human existence goals) would not be possible. It was opened up entire worlds, and maybe that is a little scary, but it’s also astounding. I am not afraid of this unknown, because it gives me something new to explore in this old world. That thought thrills me, and maybe I am addicted to it. But you know what? Instead of looking down on people, for any reason, let’s look at how we can help people and how we can learn from them.

Weekly Goal: 5,000

Weekly Count: 431

Total Count: 3,633

XX. Shelby Jo

The One About Fandoms

The One About Fandoms

*Builds protective pillow barricade*

*Clears throat*

I dislike fandoms.

*Dives into fort and prepares for siege*

Okay, maybe I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones. But, in all seriousness, I don’t understand the phenomena of the fandom. I don’t feel a sense of community in the virtual midst of people who supposedly love the same thing as me. It may just be me, but I honestly feel more attacked in fandom settings than supported. Many fandoms appear incredibly judgmental about the people who “join.” If you didn’t read and love every book and every short story and every author tweet, you simply don’t belong. You don’t love it enough to be in the fandom. Which, of course, begs the need to define fandom.

What is a fandom? By being a fan of Lord of the Rings, am I automatically a part of the Lord of the Rings fandom? Do you consciously have to engage in fandom activities to be part of the fandom? What are fandom activities, then? How do I explain to someone that, even though I adore Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I’m not part of the Rick Riordan fandom, and I would really rather discuss the variation in the character arcs in the Olympians series than joke about Heroes of Olympus memes? Are there factions or niches within the fandom for that kind of thing? How does this work, and am I the only one that feels the need for an explanation?

I despise myself for disliking something I don’t fully understand, but I feel that my lack of understanding is primarily why I feel so attacked by fandoms/fan-people. This is a concept that I struggle to express, and fandom people tend to seize up instead of attempting to explain because I probably come off as condescending. I don’t look down on fandoms; I would never judge or criticize anyone for how they prefer to celebrate and process the media they enjoy. But the reality is that fandoms are a huge part of the literary world and I feel like I need to understand them to better embrace that world. (aka THIS IS GOING TO BE MY CAREER AND I DON’T WANT TO STARVE FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER TEN YEARS OR SO) And, honestly, I am seeking a community that relishes the same content that I do. I just haven’t found it in fandoms.

SO PLEASE HELP. Talk to me about your fandom(s). Why do you love them? How do you feel like part of the community? Can I better involve myself in fandoms? Or should I just give up and move on? (BUT TO WHERE?) How can I, as a literary/pop-culture blogger communicate with the fandom generation?

Posting Goals

I have been posting everyday to get caught up on my schedule, but, now that that is FINALLY done, I am planning to start a regular schedule. I want to post twice a week: something writing or reading related around Tuesday/Wednesday and something fashion related on Friday/Saturday.

I’m definitely going with twice a week, but I may adjust the days, depening on what I find works out for me best. Not everything is going to be my own creation, but hopefully I will be getting a lot of work up here.

Thanks for reading, please stick around!!