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As you read this, I'm traversing the world (well, okay fine, one city of Australia) seeing marvellous sights. I asked my fabulous friend Adiyl if she wouldn't mind babysitting while I was gone. She agreed. (Honestly, I know the nicest people.) SO! Enjoy!
Hey everyone! I was one happy little blogger when Cait asked me if I wanted to help babysit her blog while she was traversing the world. And, since she’s gone I thought traveling would would be a good subject to run with.
I’ve had the happy privilege of getting to travel quite a bit in recent years, which is pretty cool, because to me Traveling equals Story Ideas. And of course story ideas equal inspiration and inspiration equals happy and happy... Ahem. Well, anyway, you get the idea.
So, today I decided I’d make a list of my top ten places I’ve been that I’d be absolutely delighted to have as settings for a book. (What can I say? Cait isn’t the only blogger who loves lists!)
St. Stephens

1. Vienna, Austria.

Let’s face it, this city is amazing. Music, ancient, towering buildings, music, palaces, delicious food, and, well, music. The very best part about Austria though (in my little ‘ol opinion) was St. Stephens Cathedral. More specially what is under the Cathedral: Catacombs. I don’t know if I’d ever seen a real human skeleton before, and definitely not thousands of them. Nor had I ever seen human bones stacked up like firewood to make room for more bones. Or thousands of them just tossed into a hole in the ground because the plague had come through and killed more people than the city knew how to deal with.
The best part though? The area in the catacombs that had been cleared out part-way so they could use it as a bomb shelter in WW2. Instant story right there, folks. Just throw in a music-loving-pet-rat-totting-girl who makes her living helping out in one of the fancy restaurants, stir for several months and you’re set to go.

2. Hawaii, USA.Hawaii

If we want to talk about beautiful, this is the place to do it. Both Maui and Oahu (the only two Hawaiian Islands I’ve been on) had their own unique brand of delightful ocean views. What better setting could you ask for, for a sweet family-centered-contemporary story when you have a quaint little beach house within twenty yards of the pounding ocean with sea turtles and sharks swimming by? (Ok, ok, in reality, the only shark I saw was a dead one that had floated near shore and a stranger and I had fun carrying around, but still...)

3. Creation Museum, Petersburg, Kentucky, USA.

This is one place where I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time and I never grow tired of being there. It’s almost bursting with ideas and practically whispers them to me at night. My current idea revolves around a dinosaur model with a hidden message Morse-coded into it’s skin texture.

4. Switzerland.

Yes, it’s true I only spent a day in Switzerland, but that doesn’t undermine the awe and delight I felt while sitting in a field overflowing with wildflowers and gazing up at the Swiss Alps.

5. Ohio, USA.

This would happen to be my own territory and it will always be very close to my heart. Rolling hills, deep woods, acre after acre of hayfields, all four seasons. Pretty much anything could happen in this magical place.

6. Colorado, USA.

As much as I love where I live, if I had to choose another state to live in and people weren’t factored into the equation, I’m pretty sure Colorado would win. I have this idea in my mind that a road trip through Colorado would make a great story because of course I would have to research it...

Heidelberg7. Heidelberg, Germany.

Can we take a moment to all sigh in delight about this wonderful place? We’re talking about ancient castle ruins set on a hillside overlooking a sprawling city situated around a winding river. That doesn’t even sound real, folks.
It would make my little heart jump for joy if I were able to go back and spend a month sitting in the castle ruins, writing a book that took place there. (The fact that I got to explore an old bookstore and eat ice cream while walking down the cobblestone street in Heidelberg doesn’t have anything to do with me liking the city so much. Nope, not at all...)

8. England.

The week I spent there was breathtaking. Stone cottages, thatched roofs, fish and chips, sheep grazing in lush fields... Let’s just say I’ve read so many books that take place in this exquisite country that my brain went haywire while there, begging me to travel back to the friendly, British-accent-filled land and spill my thoughts onto paper while sipping tea in a garden surrounded by roses.

9. Peru, South America.

I’m guessing it has something to do with the three months I spent in the country, but there’s something about Peru that makes me wonder how I spent the first half of my life with little knowledge of it’s existence.
High mountains. Moon-like desolation. People striving day in and day out just to eke out a meager lifestyle. Dirt houses. Chilling rains. Raggedy children living by themselves. Hollow knocks on the door as another child begs for bread. Vicious dogs. Wind-chapped-skin. It’s a story swirling around in my head, seeking freedom.

Netherlands10. The Netherlands.

This country has filled my imagination since I was just a little girl. Going there this summer and exploring a windmill that used to house a family of 14 only concreted the yearning to write a story with such an amazing setting.

Alright! Now it’s your turn! Where have you been/would you like to go that you think would be a good setting for a story? What places set your brain off with an explosion of ideas? Which of the places on my list sound the most exciting/interesting to you?

Aidyl in Asia
Hi, I'm Lydia Howe, aka Aidyl Ewoh. I write Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, live life with passion, enjoy making lists and blog over at Noveltea.  Find her online at her BlogFacebookTwitter Google+,Goodreads and Pinterest.
Dreams fulfilled:
Travel through Europe
Live in a barn
Publish a book
Hike up a mountain in Asia
Dreams yet to fulfill:
Own a skunk
Camp in Alaska
Become a best selling author
Go barefoot for a month

I'm leaving you.

But only for a few days, I promise. And, because of this very sad leaving*, I'll write you a list of things to keep in mind in my absence**.

I'll (probably) return on the 1st of December.

* Well sad for you. I'm going on a holiday. I'm having fun. 
** Because, I confess! I do mildly panic over my blog when I'm not around. Yes, I'm that kind of obsessed blogger. Gee. Now you know all my secrets. 

1. I have two guest posters coming to keep an eye on you. 

The fabulous Aidyl and Amanda will be babysitting you! Well, babysitting my blog. Look out for them on Monday and Wednesday. A review might also pop up at some point, so you don't forget me. (I really am insecure, aren't I? But also, because I have a lot of reviews. That's the real reason. Of course.)

2. Despite the quote at the beginning of this post, I do not consider you blogglings wild things.

I have a deep interesting in that book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek. Yes, it's a child's picture book, but do you have any idea how freakishly fantastic kids books are?! I wrote an entire novel inspired by WTWTA...and also The Scorpio Races. And also Sherlock, actually. It was a weird book.

3. Where am I going on this hiatus?

Sydney, actually. You may have read this in my weekly wrap-up. I shall be seeing the Sydney Opera House and I shall strut the streets the convicts used to own. That sort of thing. Embracing my convict roots, you know?

Fun fact: There is a very famous convict with the same name as my mother (maiden name, that is). We would like to think there's a connection. 

4. BOOKS, peoples, BOOKS.

You know me. No holiday is taken without a mound of books. In this case, because we'll be driving for a million hours to get to Sydney and then there'll be train rides while we're there, I've stocked up on audiobooks.

I am wise.

5. Have you even packed yet, Cait?

No, no I have not. But thank you for your concern. I really feel packing is best left to the last minute to increase a) traditional holiday panic, and b) minimise the amount of time I repack because I'M SURE I'VE FORGOTTEN SOMETHING. 

Spoiler: I always forget something.

6. So what happened to

Ah, yes, I thought it might be live by now, but there have been small problems. Mostly a) we ran out of time to finalise everything, and b) is a gargantuan blog and importing posts from 4 years of every-single-day blogging takes a LONG TIME. I did not count on this. So! Paper Fury is coming. 

While I'm going, everything should be normal in But when I get back the switch should happen imminently. 

If you don't hear anything from me by December, check on twitter! Because I'm probably around. Lurking. Posting. Flailing. Normal stuff.

7. What about a sneak peek then?


This is how it looks on my iPod so far. (It'll be different on full screen, of course.) ISN'T IT MAGNANIMOUSLY WONDERFUL? I am so happy. I did draw the header. Zentangled it, actually. But I will miss my little cartoonish Notebook Sisters header.

8. When I get back I'm having a Rather Large Christmas Party

You might remember last year when I did an End Of Year Books And Writing Insanity Linkup. Do you? It was glorious. It was a linkup to recap on bests and worsts of the year. Favourite OTPs. Best covers. Tearful editions. And series wonders. 

I really really want to do that again this year! 

There will be a super awesome (international giveaway) to go with it, and plus, I can celebrate my new domain and we can discuss BOOKS together. That is our favourite thing. 

So mark it on your calendars. Off you pop. 

9. Also, this needs celebrating...

In 5 months I went from 600 followers (via Bloglovin') to 1,010. This...oh my gosh...I CANNOT EVEN EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE. 

I started this blog not knowing how to blog. Up until this year, I was lucky to get 5 comments on a post. NOW LOOK AT THIS BLOG. I have met the most amazing bloggers and friends and fellow bookworms and writers who share my posts and comment and tease me on twitter and fangirl with me incessantly. 

You guys are literally the best

And, honest, if you haven't gotten up the courage to comment or tweet me or message me...please do. I blog to TALK to you. (Although getting free books is kind of awesome too.) My ultimate blog ambitions is to a) talk to you, b) make you laugh, and c) basically have you bow and pledge allegiance to me so when I take over the world it'll be swift and painless. 

I'm very good at a) and b), so I assume c) is coming.

But, um, remember...if you do talk to me this week and I ignore you: it's because I have no WiFi. I will get back to you. Eventually. 


See you in a week or so! I will miss my blog. And you. Of course. I will miss the blog and you. Ahem.

Cait is reading and X-Men comic instead of, you know, packing. Although she will get to throwing her clothes in the caravan at some point. (The comic is hilarious, though. WOLVERINE. Also Captain America. In the same comic?! This is brilliance.) She's still reading Egg and Spoon which makes her hungry. 

I read a lot of books this year. 

200 to be exact. A lot of them were freakishly amazing. Which leads me need to categorise all these books in lists (you know how I have this mild infatuation with lists). Lists of best books. Lists of worst books. Lists fabulous debuts. You get the picture.

I'm teaming up with Bookworld today with a (glorious) list of my favourite 5 debuts of 2014.

And, I might add, if you're Australian and have not yet popped by to see the glorious things Bookworld offers, you are clearly missing out. They have fabulous sales and when you're a member you get discounts. Can it be any more awesome?!

I bought Heir of Fire from Bookworld at a fabulous price and it arrived in 2 days! (Heir of Fire was also so gorgeous I hugged it a lot, but I digress.)

1. Half Bad by Sally Green

If I could only pick one book for the entire year, there's a huge chance it'd be Half Bad. I don't even know how to handle this book! Do I slap it for the pain it's caused me? Do I hug it? Do I kidnap poor mistreated little Nathan and hide him from his author until she promises to be kind?! 

The writing is perfection (I love short choppy sentences and lists I really love lists and prose so vivid it's like someone's talking). The characters are meltable. Except for the ones, you know, that are viciously cruel. Half Bad is about "good" and "bad" witches, but it should really be titled "Grey Area" because no one is just good or just bad. 

It's incredible. Why are you still here? GO READ IT. 

Wait! I forgot. I have other books to throw at you.

2. The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco

This one is about a dead ghost. Seeing as I have no experience about being a dead ghost, I feel like it's wise to read up on it. (The book is also like a glorious extended episode of Supernatural and if that doesn't convince you to go read it now, what will?)

There are numbers! Murders! Plates! Wells! Japanese mountains! And a ghost that is a little bit loving and a little big psychotic. 

3. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Despite the author's name reminding me of characters from The Mortal Instruments, I loved this book. I have only one phrase for you, my friends: FAIRY TALE RETELLINGS. They are life! Or death! In this case, lots of death. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and it digs more into a mythological side too. It's quite disturbing. A 17 year old girl (Beauty!) is married off to a demon (Beast!) in a magical house (I like!) with a sneaky shadow to aid her (well, hello there!). It's gob smackingly unique. 

And the ending? There's this twist. AH. I won't say! But I may have screamed a little. 

4. Bird by Crystal Chan

Diversity! Family! That's what I adore reading about. Bird is a real feels-twanging book about Jewel who's living in the shadow of her dead brother. Okay, that sounds weird. But imagine if your brother had died when he was just five-years-old....the same day you were born. You can imagine Jewel gets shoved in the background. 

Plus it begins with this sentence: Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, John.

Do you need any other reason to read it?!

5. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang 

This book is beautiful. That's the only way to really describe it. The writing is just gorgeous and it flows off the page in absolutely quotable lines. The book's also totally awful too because it's about mean characters who destroy their own lives and take down casualties with them. Highschool. Heh. Never say it's easy. 

And it's written by a teenager. A TEENAGER. Amy Zhang writes so well, so beautifully, and with such depth, I could nearly cry. 

Except I'm 1/3 Vulcan and do not lubricate my tear ducts very often.

Don't forget to check out Bookworld, fellow bookworms.

And if you're looking for bookish Christmas presents, Bookworld has a very interesting gift guide for your perusal (including Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Long Haul which is 35% off). Because we all know that books make the perfect presents, despite family members saying either a) "you have too many books" or b) "just read the books you've got"...because they are clearly missing the point. TO OWN BOOKS IS TO OWN WOLRDS.

talk to me, my fluffy blogglings...what are your favourite debuts of 2014? (it's actually hard to track down debuts specifically...i wrote this list like 3 times because i kept accidentally using authors who had published before) have you read any on my list? i recommend them all. and tell me which debuts i need to read asap.

Note: I'm about to change to! (As I've said like, a million obnoxious times, but hey, at least you'll all know, right?!) If you don't hear from my blog in a long time, type in Otherwise, all feeds should be redirected!

Even though I suck at finishing series (as you know) I still have voluminous dreams of reading sequels.

Because what is life without impossible dreams?

Oh, ho! But WAIT. There are some sequels that I will read. There are some sequels I will read because my life cannot continue if I ignore them. THERE ARE SOME SEQUELS I AM LITERALLY SCREAMING ABOUT AND CANNOT SURVIVE IF I DO NOT READ THEM.

I'll tell you about those. (Although they're not all strictly "sequels", but rules are made to be twisted. I do what I want. I am partly Loki.)

This week's prompt is: Top 10 Sequels I Can't Wait To Get

1. Ensnared (book 3) by A.G. Howard

Because, obviously.

This is the 3rd and final book in the Splintered trilogy. And yes, I have been suffering while I wait for this book, thank you for asking about my wellbeing.

But I'm also terrified of this book because look at that cover. Just LOOK. It's Jeb. If it's Jeb there is an awful and highly possible likelihood of him winning Alyssa. And I can be okay with that as long as Morpheus wins The Entire World. I don't really understand why they don't just lock Jeb in another Jabberlock box and let Morpehus and Alyssa marry for ever and have little blue haired children.

2. Corruption (book 2) by Jessica Shirvington

I have not shipped a ship like I ship Maggie and Quentin before. Sure there's Morpheus and Alyssa like I just ranted on above. But this is different. THIS IS MAGGIE AND QUENTIN. They hate and love each other. They complete each other. And Maggie totally lied, manipulated, and was horribly mean to Quentin...and accidentally fell in love with him.
Quentin and Maggie-if-she-were-a-goat


But adorable.

Also this book contains Gus, who hates Maggie a lot too, which makes for the best banter in the history of the world. (Actually, come to think of it, everyone hates Maggie. Huh. Interesting.)

3. Untitled (Starbound book 3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 

I don't know what this book is about. 

I don't know what the cover is. 

I don't care. 

I need it like a whale needs a delicious conglomeration of krill. I need it like Kirk needs his BFF Spock. I need it like I need cake. That really sealed the deal, didn't it?

4. The Death Cure (book 3) by James Dashner

I actually have this on my shelf and it's glaring at me quite woefully. And the only reason I haven't eaten it yet is because I saw a spoiler. A deathly spoiler. 

Now I just want to cry and deny the truth that I know. 

5. Half Wild (book 2) by Sally Green

OF COURSE. Be honest with me now: does anything on my list so far surprise you? No? I thought not. I need to be a little bit more spontaneous, don't I?

But Half Wild. Let me hug you, poor, poor little book. I'm sure it'll be full of dangerous and awful things and if Nathan isn't insane already (I think he is) then he'll lose his crackers in this one for sure. And besides, half wild

Nathan is the ultimate villain. I'm positive this is a villain origins series and it will end with Nathan smiting the world in revenge. And I'll just let the poor baby do it with no questions. 

6. The Ask and the Answer (book 2) by Patrick Ness

I really love Patrick Ness' books. I've read A Monster Calls and More Than This and The Knife of Never Letting Go, so obviously I need to continue the Chaos Walking series, right?

I have no idea what this book is about. I suppose I could read the blurb like mere mortals do, but pfft. I'd rather be surprised. I hope it has answers because I have a heck of a lot of questions.

7. Salt and Stone (book 2) by Victoria Scott

Despite not being the world's hugest fan of Fire and Flood, I am still hugely keen to know what happens in this book. 

A huge part of this is because of the covers. What?! Stop judging me. They're all icy and survival-ish, and that just cheers my heart greatly. (I love survival stories.)

Also I want to see Tella finish this race already. A race that last longer than a book seems very wearisome. 

8. Winter (book 4) by Marissa Meyer

WHY IS THIS NOT OUT YET? And worse still, it doesn't come out until November. Oh, the world hates me. Don't get me wrong, I am keen for Fairest. But Fairest isn't Winter and there are things I desperately need to know about Winter, like:

a) What's happening to Scarlet?
b) Is someone going to eat a poisoned apple?
c) Is anyone really awesome and fabulous and special going to DIE?!

9. Untitled (book 4) by Sarah J Maas

Again. I don't know the cover.

I don't know the blurb. 

So why on earth do I know I desperately want to read it?

BECAUSE IT'S SARAH J MAAS PEOPLE. She is a notorious bookworm-life-ruiner and I will never get out of this fandom now that I'm in it. Reading Throne of Glass (book 1) was a lot like attempting to eat one chip. There is no feasible way to eat ONE chip and walk. You have to consume them all. Sarah J Maas' books are like salt and vinegar chips - painful and utterly delicious. 

10. Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

And I call myself a fan? Pfft. I haven't even read this book yet. BUT I HAVE REASONS. It was extremely expensive, so I cried a lot and wailed and then finally the Ruler of the Internet heard me and instructed Book Depository to have a sale. A wonderful sale. I ordered it for just $11 and my heart may have wept a little with joy. 

This is basically how I feel about Blue and Gansey. 
It is, as we speak, chugging across the ocean on little postal wings (I imagine my packet has wings...basically like the Golden Snitch, but a parcel) to land in my grabby hands. Then I'll devour it. My life will be infititely better. 

Or infinitely worse, because feels after all. Especially if my ship sinks.

how about you, my fiendish friends? what sequels are you desperate or dying for? any of mine on your list? and can we talk for a minute about how freakishly awesome 2015 is going to be for sequels?!! (especially with Marissa Meyer and A.G. Howard finishing up series, and then Sarah J Maas and Maggie Stiefvater continuing? OH MY GOSH. HOLD ME.)

Cait is busy flailing. She's also busy tripping over all the books on her floor because she, logically, decided to empty her bookshelf and dust it. Pictures of the chaos will come. She's also reading WINTERSPELL which is a terrifically beautiful but boring book, and she's still listening to WHITE CAT which she pitched to her sister as "Supernatural meets the Mafia" and coincidentally convinced her sister to read it. Cait is fabulous.

This did not go quite as I envisioned. 

The blurb doesn't specifically actually say what the book is about, so I thought it was a mermaid book! Hello?! Water on the cover! THERE WERE NO MERMAIDS. Not that it's a bad thing. But I just want you, people of the internet, to know that this is not a mermaid book.*

But it does have sirens.

Although the sirens don't have fins. They're just normal people who speak and people obey.

The problem is, I feel like I just reread Matched

The Matched trilogy is Ally Condie's first series and...Matched and I didn't have a good relationship. A lot of authors' writing matures or changes as they go, so I thought, "Hey, there's a big chance I'll love Atlantia, so why not give it a go?"

Well? No. It did not go. It sank.**

* I repeated it because it kind of shocked me. NO MERMAIDS?
** Epically lame pun intended. 

The narrator's name is Rio.

Hey, don't get me wrong, I like the name Rio! It's just...the whole time my head was doing this:
ANYWAY. (Sorry.) Let's talk about the actual book, right?!

Besides sounding 87% like Matched, Atlantia was very watery. And blue. And ethereal.

I could basically feel the water sloshing around and that is fabulous. The descriptions of the world were perfection. Just think of a giant octopus-structure underwater where people live in like this bubble. Like The City of Ember but...underwater instead of underground. 

Then I got bored. 

The writing was beautiful and very plain (which I actually like) but it was very repetitious. We'd be told something and then -- we're told it again. And maybe one moooore time! I didn't mesh with the plot. It all seemed so illogical to me. It had the trimmings of a normal dystopian: choosing day, government conspiracies, random murders, nobody eats or sleeps but are still spritely, aaaand the occasional background info dump.

I was also really really bored.

It's dystopian, but also paranormal.

There's sirens and magical seashells and gods. Lots of gods. I do most emphatically NOT like reading books with cults. (Not that the cult was a main focus, but it was pretty big.) THIS IS JUST ME. But I feel like cults are backward and you'd have to be uneducated and misinformed to swallow the wild tales. Why in your right mind would you worship a piece of stone?! I get people who worship cake (at least it does something for you) but a weird gargoyle like rock? I don't get it. 

There's a heavy "family" influence...which is nice!

Rio (narrator) has a twin sister (Bay) and when it comes to the "hey you're 16 so you can pick whether you go Above or stay Below" Bay makes Rio swear to stay below. Rio agrees and then Bay (the sneaky little blighter) goes above. Way to go, meanie sister! There's a reason, but I felt it was incredibly unfounded. It just didn't make senseIf Bay had communicated with Rio at the beginning: THERE WOULD BE NO STORY.


And Rio felt so like Cassia from Matched. (Who I really didn't particularly like.) But she has a boy (cue romantic sighs) called True Beck. I LOVE THAT NAME! I loved True. He was really sweet and kind and useless and had no personality but oh so sweet. 

I've come to the conclusion Ally Condie's writing is probably not for me.

If you liked Matched, READ THIS BOOK. If you like dystopians with interesting settings, give it a go! I like the style, but I was bored to a watery grave. 

Just know, before you read it:

- It's not a mermaid story. (I seriously thought it was)
- But there are sirens. Just without fins.
- It's got Ally Condie's very specific style.
- True Beck is adorable.
- Everything else is just there. Whatever. True Beck, I tell you.

Thank you Penguin Australia for the ARC! Atlantia by Ally Condie hit shelves on November 6th, 2014.
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths. 

do you ever find yourself not fussed about an author so you try a second book from them to see if the feeling sticks? do you find your opinion ever changes? tell me about it! (please. look. i have manners!) did anyone else think Atlantia looked like a mermaid book? and if you've read it, thoughts? thoughts?!

Cait has this thing about not reading blurbs properly. In fact, she barely ever reads blurbs. She mostly reads books based on a) cover, and b) genre, and c) author's name. She realises this is an odd method, but whatever, she survives. Currently she's colour-coding her bookshelf. It's fabulous. She just finished THIS SHATTERED WORLD and is trying to form a coherent review. Bah ha. Not working.

You know what frustrates me? Unnecessary apologies. 

I totally understand why a lot of bloggers apologise all the time. But you know what? You do not and should not have to apologise for the way you run your blog. And to prove it, I have a small (but fabulous) list of reasons why you should NOT apologise on your blog.

Obviously it's just my opinion and you can disagree with me (in fact, feel free! Comments are for discussion!), but you will, unfortunately have a 97.8% chance of being wrong.* What?! It's painful to be right all the time**. But, hey, I just am.***

* I was supposed to be named Mary Poppins, you know. Practically perfect in every way. 
** I'm also joking. It's my insane sense of humour. But we're all used to it by now, am I right?!
*** Not even sorry. Heh...see? See what I did there? Okay...okay never mind. I'll get on with it.

  <-- NO! WRONG!



1. It's your blog, your space, yours. OWN IT. 

No one is paying you to blog (though you might, perhaps, be paid for advertising space or for writing pieces at some point, and we can be paid in books) but mostly we book bloggers are NOT paid. We blog because we want to, right? We enjoy it.

Do you apologise for consuming food that enables you to live*? No. Blogging is like food.

* I obviously mean cake, but apparently one has to consume fruits and vegetables to live too, so I suppose these are counted here.

2. No offence, but your readers aren't waiting for this apology.

Half the time they didn't even notice it happened. Oh gosh, you said there'd be a review on Wednesday -- BUT YOU FORGOT?! How could you? Just because you had an unexpected trip to the dentist and your mouth is numb and you want to sleep and cry into ice cream instead of excuses. You are so lazy. 

I am being mildly sarcastic. Sorry. It happens a few times every hour.

Most people who frequent your blog read several other blogs and there's a high likelihood they won't even notice you didn't come through with a promise-of-a-certain-post-or-whatnot. 

Stop apologising for unforeseen events.

You're also allowed to accidentally change your schedule. It's okay! It truly is!

3. It makes you sound unprofessional.

I'm not a really "professional" sounding blogger, am I? GOOD. I hope NOT. I am a fangirl and a flailer and more than a little ridiculous at times. That's how I want to be. BUT. I feel like it's unprofessional to be timid on your own blog. It makes you sound small and unsure about your own content.

Now I'm a super shy person. If you met me in real life, you would get a real shock...but hang on. Ha! You wouldn't meet me in real life because I avoid places that attract human beans. But my blog? I own my blog. I do not have to be timid because no one has to read this blog if they don't want to!

I don't feel like I need to apologise for a) not liking a book everyone loves, b) not posting my review on time, c) writing posts with too many gifs* or d) posting whatever the heck I want, e) doing a discussion where my opinion is controversial.

* Although, to be fair, sometimes I do apologise for that because gifs can be rather epileptic inducing on the eyeballs.

4. No more apologising for "being weird" or "being yourself".

I have seen this in the blogosphere. Bloggers saying, "Sorry I'm weird." WHY ARE YOU SAYING THAT? For starters, no one is "weird". Everyone is fabulous. Secondly, it's like giving yourself a papercut and pouring lemon juice on it -- it's silly and it hurts you

Please. Be weird. Be yourself. That's what the internet is for anyway. No one on the internet has to hang out with you unless they want to, right?

5. Don't apologise for...

a) your health
b) your sense of humour
c) your choice of posts
d) what you like to read
e) blogger glitches (like formatting that goes wrong...though totally say "this formatting is weird and I'm angry I couldn't get it right" but don't act like it's you personal fault)
f) taking a break
g) changing your style/format/layout/blog title
h) if you don't like chocolate (though really, there is possibly something wrong with you...but still don't apologise for it)

Okay, fine, Cait. So shall I never apologise again? Huh?

Well, no, don't take this too far. There is a time and a place for saying sorry. Like when you:

a) make an incorrect statement on your blog. You should probably fix it and maybe apologise.
b) if you make hurt another blogger's feelings on purpose. Duh.
c) if you misread or miscommunicate and Bad Things Go Down

Basically: apologise if there's a mistake, an accident, a catastrophic apocalyptic event that you are the cause of.

But don't start your blog posts with "sorry I didn't post for a week" or "sorry I didn't read that book I said I'd read". STOP DOING THAT. Own your blog. Be professional. Be confident about it. And leave sorry for when you need to say it. Hey, I say sorry for things sometimes. I say sorry for things I shouldn't say sorry for, because I'm a bit of a people pleaser* and when I think people aren't pleased: I apologise. I shouldn't do that.

But if you're going to say sorry, at least be creative.

* I'm a PPIR, which is People Pleaser In Recovery, which means I went from attempting to please everyone to pleasing, maybe, two or three people a month. I'm nearly down to pleasing zero people a month, but somehow I think I've swung on this pendulum a little too far?

So, honestly, can you take a peek at how often you apologise in your posts...and see if you really need to?

This post is directed at no one! (My discussion never are...usually they're directed at me, if we want to be honest. So I obviously have been tempted to write "sorry" way too much lately.) But I kind of want to hear your thoughts on this...

do you think you need to apologise on your blog for little things? do you reckon it makes you look unprofessional? or is this just my weird thinking? are you a people pleaser and feel the urge to say sorry for anything even if it's not your fault??

Cait is not sorry she is a weird and often loud blogger who flails in everyone's comment sections of their blogs and lets out inhuman screeches at mention of words like "Heir of Fire" or "Maggie Stiefvater" or "Morpheus". It happens. This is who she is. Currently, she's reading THIS SHATTERED WORLD (and flailing) and listening to WHITE CAT (and flailing a bit more because....con artists!!).