Loony Literate Blog Hop!

Yes people I know I am very late for this but congratulations to Emily for going self-hosted! Her new blog is now called Loony Literate. You should follow her. [DUH.]

Anyway, I am participating in her blog hop to celebrate! Let’s get started.

1) What’s something a bit LOONY about you?

UMMM… Shall I make a list?

  1. I try not to step on cracks when I walk on the sidewalk.
  2. I try to step on crunchy leaves during fall and winter and I try to step on seaweed bulbs at the beach.
  3. I bought Taylor Swift’s physical album of 1989 even though I already had it on my phone for the polaroids.
  4. I like banana-flavored things and food that has bananas in it but I despise actual bananas.

2) Since I’m Australian – what’s your favourite book by an Australian author?

I heard that Markus Zusak is Australian, so The Book Thief obviously.

3) What’s your favourite kind of post to write, and why?

I like discussions a lot. It’s fun to express my own opinions while hearing others’.

4) Favourite genre of YA?

I’m a HUGE sucker for contemporary. XD

5) Biggest blogging goal?

To be as amazing as you, Emily! Otherwise, be able to post a “I Published a Book” post. :D

6) Name another blogger who has been an inspiration to you.

Cait, Sam, YOU…

7) Trivia –

a) a 2014 contemporary YA release where the main character is called Emily (and I loved it, by the way). This author also wrote a book about a road trip.

I JUST READ IT IT’S SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE and my heart is dead.

b) Madam Rosmerta from Harry Potter makes lovely oak-matured what?

:) Mead. I already knew your last name though…

8) If you haven’t done this already, look up your full name (or your pen name if you use one) on an anagram finder. What’s the best anagram of your name?

Some of my favorites…

Shelby Rochester Moir

Tshombe Chelsie Rorry

Herby Chlori Somerset

Mobley Cherish Storer

Embolie Rochst Sherry [this is German…]

Embrocher Hier Stylos [and this is French…]

I want to do this with these names or one of them:

  • Publish under one of these anagrams
  • Name a pet with one of these
  • Name a child with one of these
  • Name a character with one of these

9) One thing you want to see more of in YA?

DIVERSITY. Specifics?

  • more race diversity–I think this is very important so that everyone can connect to characters.
  • setting diversity–I ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE USA. Tell me about Russia.
  • sexuality diversity–I’m working on it, children.
  • food diversity–Not everyone eats pizza 24/7. Even Americans!

10) And finally – are you excited about Loony Literate????

OMG YES TOTALLY

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are you excited for Emily? have you done the blog hop? tell me in the comments below.

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One-Year Blogoversary

UM. MINIONS. IT’S HAPPENING! IT’S MY ONE-YEAR BLOGOVERSARY!

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And I didn’t get any cake. -_- I am obviously living the wrong life.

I have been blogging for one full year now. On this day, in 2014, I typed up my first blog post on Free As a Girl With Wings and pressed “Publish.” On this day, in 2014, Free As a Girl With Wings began. My adventure of online friends, new books, and everything else fantabulous began on this day, one year ago.

And before I launch into a whole discussion, I want to say: THANK YOU. You, my minions readers, are the reason I am writing this post today. Without your comments and encouragement and all that support and love, I never would have blogged for one year, or even dreamed of blogging for longer than that.

A want to say some special thank you’s to the bloggers who have inspired me and helped me on this long journey.

Sam @ Bookish Serendipity: You are the reason this blog even exists at all. You were the first book blogger I ever met and you are my biggest inspiration. You will always have a special place in my heart. And maybe even one day we can meet each other at BEA. :) Thank you so much, Sam.

Evi @ Where Books Never End: Although we don’t talk as much as we should [maybe Pinterest messaging can change that :) ] you are the bestest bloggy friend ever. We have so much in common and you are so easy to talk to. I can’t wait to see your blog grow and change, and see our friendship flourish. A thousand thank you’s, Evi!

Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel: Your content is inspiring and totally unique. I am glad to have found a fellow atheist and feminist in the blogging community to talk to. Your posts bring up such good topics and you are absolutely hilarious. I aspire to be like you. Thanks a million, Wise Girl. ;)

Cait @ Paper Fury: I don’t know if you know this [you probably do] but you are the ultimate blogging goal for me. You are the queen of the blogging community. Your posts are perfection and your personality is beyond amazing. :) I think you are a wonderful person and role model. Thank you, Cait.

John @ Teens Can Write, Too: Your blog opened my eyes to the world of querying [is it quEEr-ee-ing or quER-ee-ing???] and publishing. All your content is done really well and it educational, but fun. I especially appreciate your friendliness on Twitter and all the conversations we’ve had, especially our latest one where you encouraged me about my writing and were a true friend.

I really appreciate all that you do.

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Now that I’m done with the thanking, I’d like to share some of my experiences and what book blogging and the community has taught me.

  1. I’m not alone. I’m not the only crazy fangirl. There are others like me! This is one of the best things about the book blogging community; we’re all crazy. And we stick by each other through it all.
  2. Books and writing are a huge part of me that I should embrace. Before I was a book blogger, I read a lot and I loved it. But reading was just…there. Once I started blogging, I realized that I am a bibliophile. Bookish. Fangirl. It really opened my eyes and let me be who I really want to be.
  3. You’re not always going to be perfect. I mean, I kind of already knew this, but I have experienced this in book blogging. My first posts compared to now? O.O It’s not pretty. Blogging takes a lot of practice. And once I did get into the rhythm of things, I would always compare myself to other, more experienced bloggers. And I learned that although my posts may not always be as perfect and flawless as theirs, that’s okay.
  4. BE YOU. The blogging community is really great because no one is afraid to unleash their inner crazy, loony, weirdness. It’s the best. No one is pressured to confirm to some social norm–we’re all outcasts.

To wrap this *celebration* up, I’m going to show you some [embarrassing] screenshots…of my past “blogging” experiences. OMG.

The first blog I am going to show you as from just a couple years ago. It’s called “Olive and Valarie’s Hangout.”

I made it with my then-best friend. We used pseudonyms, as you can tell.

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This was our homepage…

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And our welcome message. *dies* I know, it’s bad. >.<

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My bio. This was when I was very girly. I thought I was so cool… XD

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And my “fashin” tips. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT TYPO. BTW, these tips are totally…horrid. I can’t even.

Okay so what was I even thinking???

And now for “Authoress4Life.” It was kind of a writing blog…

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DON’T JUDGE ME. -.-

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This is an awkward guide-thing I started. *runs away*

I have gone so far from my first posts and these [horrid] blogs. Thank you to everyone who follows me, comments, and likes my post. You are all beautiful, wonderful people. DFTBA.

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Going Self-Hosted Very Soon

[Yes, I am aware that today is Friday, which means an FF. But because of my extremely busy schedule, I have not had the chance to plan out what to post, and I only want to write quality content. Expect one next week!]

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I am going to be going self-hosted.

It’s happening! Very soon, probably in the next couple of weeks. I am guessing you have some questions, so here are a few I thought of.

What host are you using?

I am using Book Host, which is about twelve dollars per month and the product I’m buying comes with these features:

  • It is completely free if you get the hosting package [what I’m doing]
  • All the posts, comments, pages, menus, and widgets are transferred–which means I don’t have to!
  • Free guide on how to transfer subscribers

Pretty awesome, right?

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What will your name be?

I am changing it to The Book Hugger. My focus has changed since I started blogging, and my current name just doesn’t work any more. My URL will be thebookhugger.com, unless it is taken already.

Will there be virtual cake?

Glad *you* asked! The first fifteen people to comment on my first post on my new blog will receive:

  1. Virtual cake
  2. A shoutout on Twitter and my blog
  3. A personal, handwritten thank-you note from me, personalized and lovely.

So be sure to comment right away and try to be one of the first fifteen! It will be open for 48 hours ONLY.

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Will there be a party/anything special that we can participate in?

Well of course there will be a party…complete with virtual cupcakes, chocolate, and fondue. [Fondue is really cool and fun to eat, am I right?!] And awesome printable party hats that you can take pictures of and share on Twitter with the hashtag #thebookhuggerparty and I will favorite ALL of zem.

I will also make a blog hop [if that’s what it’s called…] that you can participate in! Yay!!!

Along with this fabulous party and blog hop, I will be sharing my past of blogging. Because, believe it or not, I had a few blogs when I was younger. They were horrendous and I never kept up with them, but they seem like something you’d want to see. I will also be sharing a snippet of my hero’s quest novel for school that is very exclusive!

Be on the lookout for that wonderful party, my minions.

Are you excited as I am? I hope so! Share your experiences with self-hosting and any questions in the comments below.

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Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award

I was nominated by Bridget @ Stay and Watch the Stars AND Rebekah @ Horse Feathers. Thank you so much, both of you! <3 I will be doing both of your questions, because, why not?

The rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

Put the Award logo on your blog.

Answer the ten questions sent to you.

Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.

Nominate seven blogs.

The questions from Bridget:

What’s the saddest book you’ve ever read?

It’s a tie between The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

What’s your favorite animal, and why?

CATS. ALL CATS. They’re so furry and soft and adorable and cuddly–I JUST CAN’T. I also find them quite intelligent and peaceful.

Would you rather write a best selling book that everyone loves but you, or write a book that only you love?

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I can’t answer this. Just, no.

What’s your opinion on potatoes? (Yes, this is a very important question. It’s for research purposes.)

Ummmm…

They taste good? :P

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent marathoning a movie/ TV series?

I’ve never done this. :( I want to, but I never have, IDK why.

Why did you decide to start blogging?

Because I saw another blog and I just had to make one EVEN BETTER.

Jk, jk.

It’s because I saw Sam’s, and I thought it would be cool. Bam–blog!

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

Just one? To be able to read people’s minds. I think that would be awesomely creepy and cool. >:D

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LOL

What’s your favorite word? (The way it sounds, the meaning, whatever. Just your favorite word, for any reason.)

I really like the word periwinkle. It just sounds so cool. :P

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? (Disregarding costs and such)

UMMM

HOGWARTS ANYONE??!!

That is technically in the world.

What’s the last song you listened to?

I am currently listening to “Ours” by Taylor Swift.

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And no for Rebekah’s fabulous questions:

What is your favorite book ever. Just one. (Mva ha ha)

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG why must you torture me so???

My favorite book changes a lot, so I usually go with my old standby: “Harry Potter.” But I’m feeling…different [nope wrong word] special [no again] adventurous today, so I’m going to go with Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor because I am reading the trilogy right now and it’s just FABULOUS.

What is your favorite animal?

See my other answer.

What are you wearing?

Ummm personal much??? Jk, jk, it’s cool.

I’m wearing my very boring uniform: white collared shirt, navy pants, white sweater. I know. It’s amazing. But next year, at my new school, I get no uniform! *dances awkwardly*

What is your favorite and least favorite food?

Favorite: CHOCOLATE.

It keeps the dementors away.

Least Favorite: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, eggplant, nuts

So like anything really healthy. XD

What is your dream job?

I’m going to add “besides being an author.” And then “besides feminism activist.” Because those are two jobs I’m 60% sure will happen, and I like to dream of the impossible.

I would actually really like to be a flight attendant, You get to see the world! But this probably won’t happen because it takes a lot of training. And you have to be able to walk on a moving plane. In heels.

And I can hardly walk in heels on non-moving ground. So. Not the job for me.

Are you good at Mario Kart?

Never played it…

What is your favorite joke?

I don’t really know…

Top five favorite blogs?

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You make me answer thus question? And offend trillions of people? Ah, no.

Are you an outdoor person?

I like the idea of it. But not the bugs. Or dirt. Or lack of wifi.

Have you ever ridden a horse/pony?

I have ridden a horse before. TWICE actually.

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My Questions:

1. What is your favorite GIF?

2. Have you ever met a “famous” author? What was it like?

3. What color would you dye your hair?

4. Coke or Pepsi? Why?

5. 2-10 fandoms you’re in!

6. Best bloggy friend.

7. Least favorite book? Why?

8. Favorite type of chocolate–white, milk, or dark?

9. Favorite fangirly item?

10. Pics of your lock screen and home screen on you phone, if you have one. If you don’t, what would be those pics.

I nominate…

Evi @ Where Books Never End

Sam @ Bookish Serendipity

Cait @ Paper Fury

Emily @The Loony Teen Writer

Matt @ The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Isa @ Books and Stuff

And YOU! If you would like to participate, just leave the link in the comments below and I’ll check it out. :) And if you’re a guy, feel free to change it to “Peoplehood” or something.

Have a fantabulous day/night/afternoon/morning/evening. What would you like to see me post? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Blog Reflections Linkup Hosted by Bookish Serendipity

I was originally going to do a rant-post but decided to do Sam @ Bookish Serendipity’s linkup instead. Who wants to hear a bunch of my school angst, anyway? This will be much more fun.

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How do you think your blog has developed over the year? (content, views, opinions, etc.)

Well, it hasn’t been a year since I started blogging! But I definitely have improved since the beginning. I didn’t even classify myself as a book blog. [I didn’t choose the book blogger life; it chose me. :P] I didn’t start writing real reviews until June 2014 [I began blogging in the beginning of February]. I recently gained a lot of followers [Thank you, everyone!]; I am now VERY close to 100. O.O I went through a few designs, too, and finally found one I like a lot. I’m hoping to learn coding in the future and design my blog so it’s perfect, though.

In your opinion, what is the best part of blogging?

I think my favorite part of blogging, especially in this bookish community, is meeting other readers and writers. I don’t have any IRL friends who write seriously. And I’ve gotten so much advice from them to improve on my writing. And I can fangirl on my blog with all of these fantabulous people!

How did you start blogging?

I discovered Sam’s previous blog, Young Writers Café, through the internet, and was immediately entranced. I decided to do something like that, and now, here I am!

Do you have any role models? Favorite blogs?

Sam, the creator of this tag, is probably my main role model. She was my first. <3

Here are a few others:

Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer

Cait @ Paper Fury

John @ Teens Can Write, Too!

Matt @ The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel

Honorable mention to Evi @ Where Books Never End for being my best bloggy friend and possible twin. ;)

Name a few of your favorite 2014 releases?

What’s your advice to new bloggers?

  1. Comment on other blogs that are similar to yours. This way you can join a whole community of bloggers whose interest are similar to yours.
  2. Post meaningful content. If you’re bored and don’t know what to blog about, don’t blog. It will probably be boring [no offense] and not be very interesting to read. You can, however, create a list or something of things to blog about so you always have interesting and new content.
  3. Be yourself. If you are part of a blogging community, you probably know people like you. It is important to be yourself instead of trying to fit in. It’s different than school.

Name a few of your all-time favorite reads?

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?

New Years Resolutions About Blogging:

  • Have more thoughtful posts
  • Interview authors
  • Possibly upgrade my blog more

And that’s it! If you want to participate in the linkup, click here. It’s really fun. :)

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Some Tips and Tricks for WordPress Bloggers

I don’t know about you, but I recently learned that WordPress has many more features I didn’t know about that are [kind of] obvious.

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Okay. So the first one is the feature that changes the color and size of the text in a post. I know, I know, you’re thinking, What the heck, Chloe? You didn’t know that? Yeah. I didn’t know that. I thought it came with an upgrade or something. So imagine my surprise when Precious @ Clockwork Desires and Cait @ Notebook Sisters are just like, “It’s the toolbar toggle thingy.”

MIND BLOWN.

The second mind-blowingly ridiculously simple feature is the parent category option for a page. I wanted to clean up my blog a bit [I had A LOT of pages] and remembered seeing on another WordPress blog a drop-down list of sub-categories. I used this, and now my blog is much more organized and clean.

This next feature I’ve known about for a little, but I thought I’d mention it just because.

On many websites, there is a little icon next to the URL/name of the tab that is their blog’s symbol. For example, the Pinterest symbol is a cursive P surrounded by a rec circle, the NaNoWriMo symbol is a red N in a blue block [for YWP], and the Google symbol a lowercase G in white surrounded by blue. You can do this for your WordPress blog, too, for free! It’s really simple. Just go to “Settings.” On that bar, click “General.” At the right of this page, you have the option to upload an image as your blog’s icon. Upload, crop, and voila! You have your own, professional-looking icon.

Next, here is a hack anyone can use.

Many blogs have a button, a symbol with code that can be pasted onto a post or page to advertise that blog. I am not a coder; I know virtually nothing about coding. I looked into some options like paying an experienced coder to do it for you, or just learn it myself. But I wanted something that was free and easy. [God, I sound like a commercial right now. XD] I searched something like “free blog button” and found a blog post that gave a link to a code generator. This code generator is a gem. [Just to let you know, it didn’t work for me once. BUT I AM PAST THAT. IT IS BAE NOW.]

The code generator is pretty self-explanatory, but I decided I’d walk you through the process of designing a blog button and how to put it on your blog, for WordPress users.

Step 1: Find an image creator/editor to design your button.

I use PicMonkey. Many of the features are free and it’s really user-friendly. You can use Photoshop, Photo Director [what came on my computer], or if you have a Mac you probably have something fancy. Paint, which comes on PCs, could work, too. You can also download a free app onto your phone/tablet and email it to yourself later.

Step 2: Decide on the design.

Your button should have your blog’s name. That’s the only requirement. [Or at least, what I think is.] But that would be…boring. So add an image! On PicMonkey, they have several “stickers” you can put on your button. Consider using these! If you want to add a different picture, make sure it isn’t copyrighted. [To be honest, copyright issues aren’t something I prioritize, but you might.] On my blog button, I have six little people reading a book and reacting differently. These are my own images I made using FaceQ, an app I have on my phone. It’s free and really fun to use, so you could consider that!

Step 3: Upload it to the internet.

The code generator needs a link to your image, so you need to upload it somewhere that will give you a link. I use Pinterest, but some other ideas are your blog, Facebook, or Flickr. When I uploaded my buttons to Pinterest, people were actually really interest in them! If you use social media like this, you can publicize your blog. :)

Step 4: Use the Code Generator.

Follow the directions on the generator. You will need your blog’s name, blog’s URL, and the image URL. The second part after that easy information does not need to be changed. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, do not mess with it. There is, however, one exception: the Container Type. This is the first bit. If you are on WordPress, check the box marked “Pre” because WordPress is special.

Step 5: Get your code and paste it into your blog.

Once you have filled out the form, click “Preview” and then “Get Code.” Copy the code. [Highlight it and right-click then select “copy” or highlight and press Ctrl and C at the same time.]

To WordPress users: Go to your blog’s dashboard. Click Appearance, and then Widgets. Scroll through the widgets and select Text. Add it to a footer or sidebar. Paste the text into the text box and click save.

You’re done! :)

I hope this post helped. Otherwise, you can laugh at me. :P JUST KIDDING. Love you and have a fantabulous day/night/whatever!

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10 Simple Ways to Please a Book Blogger

I sometimes feel like we [bloggers] don’t get enough love. Or maybe it’s just me. But even when others read our posts and enjoy them [I do this, too, come times. :(], they don’t comment or like the post. So here are simple ways to please a book blogger, or any blogger in general. I just consider myself and the community I’m in to be book bloggers.

  1. Like the post. It’s not that hard! Yet it means so much to us. I recently passed 100 likes, and it felt great. If you don’t have time to comment, just click “like” and know that that might have made my day. :) It’s at the bottom of a post, and you just click the button. Ta-da!
  2. Comment on a post. This is also really easy, but can take longer, depending on the length of your comment. A simple “Great post!” or “What an interesting book,” will suffice. If a question is asked in the post, it can be nice to answer that, too. A lot of bloggers respond to comments. I respond sometimes [Sorry!], and mostly if it’s a question. But comments let bloggers know what readers think and encourage us to post more.
  3. Follow a blog! If you really love a blog, they will usually have a button or spot to put your email so you will get emails when a post is put up. This is a huge think for bloggers. “How many followers do you have?” “Fifty-three.” “Oh, cool, I have thirty-seven.” It tells us who is regularly reading our blog, even if they don’t like or comment. Following blogs is also a great way to promote your blog. A lot of bloggers will check out the person’s blog once they follow them. It’s really important to go on other blogs to make yours more well-known!
  4. Repost. Some bloggers don’t like this, but I don’t mind. If you really love a post, you can usually repost it on your blog. You should always check the blogger’s “About Me” page or “Policies” before you repost, because some find this unoriginal and unnecessary. If it doesn’t say anything, I’d say you’re in the clear.
  5. Share a post through social media. Lots of blogs have the option to share a post through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. There should be a bunch of buttons at the bottom of a post with social media links to them. If a blogger has an account on the social media, it can be nice to add their account name  to it, too.
  6. Send them a message! Many blogs have a form to contact the blogger with. You just put in your name, email address, possibly some other information, and your message. It an be nice to just hear from a follower. I don’t have one of these, but others do.
  7. Email a post. This is also with the social media buttons. You can email a post to friends if you like it, too. It’s a great way to promote a blog. That is, if your friends even check their email.
  8. Feature them on your blog. If you’re another blogger, maybe older/more experienced, it can be a nice thing to talk about a smaller/newer blog or one of their posts you enjoyed. If you’re a smaller or newer blog, doing this for another, bigger blog, others can [possibly] find your blog through it. :)
  9. Just tell your friends! If you have other bookish friends, tell them about a blogger you like in person. Then you can talk about it, too!
  10. Become a blogger. This is the highest honor: become a blogger because of someone else’s blog. I know I did this, with Sam @ Bookish Serendipity, when her blog was Young Writers Café. That blogger will feel so proud to be an inspiration for someone else, and might even help you. I know Sam did, and she still does. :)

Do something nice for a blogger today, to let them know you like their blog. :) Or do each of these things! Now, there’s the ultimate kindness.

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