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New Year of Positive Cheer

02 Jan

Happy New Year one and all, I hope you all had an enjoyable eve of it.

Unlike other years, I’ve refused to look at the end of year stats round-up that WP kindly provides, partly because I don’t want this post to become a vehicle of a self-critical nature and partly because although I feel my standard of writing has been raised, my overall post total is down on last year and as a result so are my page views.ย  I know it isn’t all about views but there is a certain manic joy at exceeding x number of visitors and views and I do like to think that this year I will stop those diminishing returns and become better at blogging.

To avoid self flagellating too much, I have decided to become more focussed when on the laptop and write posts in two hours or less, that way I can devote more time to reading other blogs, although when I do that, it takes me on average around four hours to get around all my usual haunts.ย  Saving time with that will mean more quality reading can be done for writing content and that is my round about way of justifying an excuse for spending the morning of New Year’s Eve scouring bookshops for more fascinating stories and ideas.

WP_20151231_004 [327111]

I managed to find a blend of new and second-hand books, balancing an atheist with a theologian as well as mixing up the different cultures, prize winners and genres which will hopefully interest you.ย  Previously I have attempted to turn back to my book roots only to be distracted by other things but this time I am hoping the wind will blow back more towards the books with other posts to break them up rather than – as has been of late – the other way around.

My current read is none of these by the way but as I still have hundreds of books to review, I will keep you guessing over what the next one will be, a clue of which is it doesn’t include ducks…at all.

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57 Comments

Posted by on 02/01/2016 in Blogging, Classics, Fiction, Philosophy

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

57 responses to “New Year of Positive Cheer

  1. writersideup

    02/01/2016 at 16:55

    I’m likin’ this, Ste J ๐Ÿ™‚ No worrying about stats. In fact, you just reminded me that I did get emails about my two blogs, then forgot to look at the stats! lol

    I hope you accomplish what you’re shooting for, my dear. And if you don’t—keep things relative; take solace in the fact that it’s not a weighty matter ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Ste J

      02/01/2016 at 17:03

      Thank you my friend, I am close to having an exciting opportunity come my way, it’s so close it’s tangible as long as everything goes alright. I am remaining positive though and I hope the year is a great one for you as well. All we can do is keep blogging and seeing where the adventure will take us.

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      • writersideup

        02/01/2016 at 17:07

        OOoooo…I’m SO intrigued AND very hopeful and excited for you! Whatever it is, I hope it happens and makes you happy! ๐Ÿ˜€

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        • Ste J

          02/01/2016 at 17:08

          It’ll be a blog post full of giddiness and I am hoping to be able to write it sooner than later, you know that feeling of doubt you get when something exciting is right there in front of you, I’m there at the moment so attempting to distract myself with a book…that doesn’t involve ducks in any way.

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          • writersideup

            02/01/2016 at 17:11

            OK, I obviously missed a recent post about ducks ๐Ÿ™‚ Must look! And yes, I’ve been there many times, actually, and distraction is KEY! ๐Ÿ˜€

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            • Ste J

              02/01/2016 at 17:14

              I aim to load up an old football management game and attempt to win leagues in obscure (in football terms) countries like Indonesia or Singapore, that’ll focus me. Don’t worry there was no post about sucks, I have just become oddly fixated on them recently.

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              • writersideup

                02/01/2016 at 17:16

                When I did a search just now, it brought up a post about old maps (which I LOVE) and you mentioned a gang who stole some ducks?

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                • Ste J

                  02/01/2016 at 17:21

                  Blimey that’s a blast from the past, two years ago! My humour is still a bit weird, I hasten to add I was never involved in any nefarious duck business.

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                  • writersideup

                    02/01/2016 at 18:00

                    …and now that you got me looking at my stats, I had to come back to thank you for being my top commenter! oxoxox

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                    • Ste J

                      02/01/2016 at 19:15

                      Well it is a pleasure to visit and be your number one of course…I am sure my badge and certificate are in the post lol.

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                    • writersideup

                      02/01/2016 at 19:27

                      lol! As you know—I don’t “do” badges ๐Ÿ˜‰ My “badges” are in the form of actions and words, my dear ๐Ÿ˜€

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                    • Ste J

                      02/01/2016 at 19:28

                      That’s good enough for Ste!

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                    • writersideup

                      02/01/2016 at 19:29

                      ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ … and good enough for me! ๐Ÿ˜€

                      Liked by 1 person

                       
  2. colemining

    02/01/2016 at 17:02

    Happy New Year, Steve!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      02/01/2016 at 17:03

      And to you too my friend!

      Like

       
  3. cricketmuse

    02/01/2016 at 19:04

    It is too easy to get caught up in overworking posts, isn’t it. I’m trying to preschedule a couple of weeks out at a time so I can focus on writing and reading.

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    • Ste J

      02/01/2016 at 19:17

      That’s a good idea, I may have to borrow that one if I can put enough time together. Already the year looking pretty positive, good luck with your prescheduling!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Love, Life and Whatever

    02/01/2016 at 19:20

    That makes you a busy man. But I like the spirit and yes looking forward to your posts. My new year wishes to you and family Ste.

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    • Ste J

      02/01/2016 at 19:27

      The same to you and yours my friend! I amused to being overly busy now, it seems quite alien to relax properly these days but I’m not complaining, long may I be distracted by things that improve me!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Letizia

    02/01/2016 at 21:24

    I see a Marquez book in that pile although I can’t read the title – wonderful! I’m going to Colombia for the first time next week so will be thinking of him as I walk the streets of Cartagena!

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    • Ste J

      03/01/2016 at 13:44

      The Marquez book is Memories of Melancholy Whores which is one of the few fiction pieces of his, I haven’t yet read. Take lots of photos please, I would love to go to Columbia and see something that may have inspired the great man himself. Although when I think Cartegena, I am more inclined to first conjure thoughts of Romancing the Stone. A fine film I shall watch whilst your away!

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      • Letizia

        03/01/2016 at 14:14

        I loved Memories of Melancholy Whores- a great one. And I always think of Romancing the Stone when I think of Cartagena too, haha! Brilliant film.

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        • Ste J

          03/01/2016 at 14:16

          It’s proof that we appreciate the finer things in life. I may get Jewel of the Nile on as well, just so you feel compelled to visit Egypt as well.

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          • Letizia

            03/01/2016 at 14:51

            Haha, a good incentive! But perhaps a tad far. Since moving back to the US I’ve been exploring South America more as there’s almost no time difference/jet lag which is wonderful.

            Like

             
  6. gargoylebruce

    02/01/2016 at 21:47

    The Perfect Vacuum, eh? That’s the dream of every housewife and househusband the world over.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/01/2016 at 13:52

      It’s what attracted me to the book, that’s for sure.

      Like

       
  7. Jill Weatherholt

    03/01/2016 at 00:23

    I think you’ve got a great plan, Ste J. Last week I received my year end stats report. The report hasn’t been opened. I don’t pay much attention to stats. I’m more interested in the interaction and connections I’ve made with fellow bloggers, like yourself. Happy New Year!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/01/2016 at 13:59

      The connections are what it is all about, I agree, I just like to massage my own ego sometimes such is my way lol. The stats themselves don’t bring half as many opportunities as actually connecting with people and as ever I met some great new friends last year.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  8. Purpleanais

    03/01/2016 at 00:59

    Haunting bookshops is such a great way to spend New Year’s Eve morning! I could spend a large part of each and every day in bookshops, if left to my own devices ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy New Year! Looking forward to reading you in 2016 ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Ste J

      03/01/2016 at 14:07

      I didn’t want to leave but as I had spent up and decided a trip to the bank wouldn’t be the wisest way to start the new year, I begrudgingly left. I could sit there all day inhaling that wonderful old book scent and discovering plenty of hidden gems. I can’t wait to go back now and start sharing my purchases with you. I hope your New Year is as fruitful on the reading and writing side my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Purpleanais

        04/01/2016 at 01:42

        I so can relate, books were my first love and it’s a love that’s endured! I can’t wait to read all about your wonderful finds ๐Ÿ™‚
        I wish you a great New Year, I know mine will be fruitful when it comes to the reading (my average is about 3/4 books a week, I wish it was more!) but I’m not so sure about the writing, we’ll see. I am sending you all my best wishes for a 2016 full of inspiration and, of course, reading ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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        • Ste J

          04/01/2016 at 13:45

          3 to 4 books a week, that is impressive, I wish I could be at that level of commitment. It is always great to have people affirm your love in anything, especially books. I think you will conjure the perfect mix of reading and writing and there is a lot to look forward to for both of us and anybody reading this, let’s do this year in style!

          Liked by 1 person

           
  9. clarepooley33

    03/01/2016 at 01:04

    I refuse to be influenced by stats – I blog because I enjoy blogging for its own sake and I love all the friends I’ve found too. Reading friends posts and making sensible/relevant comments does take a lot of time but it’s worth it. I am looking forward to hearing your good news! All the best for 2016 Ste!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/01/2016 at 14:15

      I see a lot of bloggers who have an amazing ability to read and like (yet never comment) on a post that I only published 30 seconds previously, these people who are only after the views never get a look in with me, I am all about the connections and taking my time with people’s words and thoughts. I think eventually people will realise that unless you have so much money you can afford to be on WP all day, it’s either the stats which are just numbers or the friends which make life so much more interesting. I will try not to pay too much mind to the views this year, in fact I have taken them off the sidebar so I’m not tempted to obsess. Have a great year my friend and hopefully within the next month I can pour you all a glass of champagne!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • writersideup

        03/01/2016 at 18:06

        That’s exactly it, and I really hate the “likes” when you know someone didn’t read it. They’re either just showing they took the time to open your page, or they “may” like the subject heading, or they want to draw attention to themselves hoping you’ll check out their blogs.

        And it IS all about the interaction. No question! ๐Ÿ˜€

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        • Ste J

          04/01/2016 at 13:34

          I think a lot of it is spam liking in the reader, that way you don’t even get a view which is always annoying but then again I only want to see who has taken the time to actually come to the blog. My other annoyance is people that come on and say nothing but invite you to go to their blogs and provide a link. I’ll go view a commenter or liker through politeness and curiosity but not through the hard sell.

          Anyway time to dismount this soap box and think happier thoughts like all the awesome people I follow!

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      • clarepooley33

        03/01/2016 at 22:36

        Thank-you Ste. I concur completely with your views here! I am all agog waiting for the news – so exciting!

        Like

         
  10. Lyn

    03/01/2016 at 17:12

    May the new year be filled with excitement and contentment, Ste J. I’m looking forward to a whole new batch of reviews ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      04/01/2016 at 13:16

      I still have a pile to review from last year to do, one from the year before that and one already from this year…I aim to catch up before too long and then I can go into the back catalogue of books on the shelves, of which there is much diversity! I have a feeling there will be plenty to interest you this year!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Lyn

        06/01/2016 at 22:04

        I’m sure there will ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    03/01/2016 at 20:46

    I actually remembered WP did send me an email when I saw people posting those stats ๐Ÿ˜€

    It takes time to read other blogs and comment on them. Sometimes, it is difficult to manage everything…I can understand that. I don’t know how people manage following hundreds of blogs!
    Anyway, let the mystery remain… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Looking forward to your reviews in 2016… ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Ste J

      04/01/2016 at 13:27

      It is amazing that people can follow so many. I try and visit all who visit me and of course keep up with my regulars at least twice a week but it is still a challenge at four hours plus as I try to visit you all within the same day. I think we are an understanding group though and it is just great that we stop by and chat with each other and form connections and friendships, not to mention bigger book lists hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

        05/01/2016 at 20:12

        Yes, and most of us are involved in other professions to earn the bread and butter… so managing time is really a big issue. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. Liz Dexter

    04/01/2016 at 09:19

    I use feedly to keep my blogs in order, then I go and have a session reading, say, the book ones and commenting on those I feel I have something to give to. I also get lots of immediate “Likes” but they never seem to translate into interaction, comments or indeed stats (remember that people who read your posts in blog aggregators but don’t pop to your actual page to like or comment don’t show up on your WP stats).

    Happy reading, blogging and commenting for 2016, however it goes. Oh and I can’t read the titles on those new books – time for new glasses or is it slightly indistinct??

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      04/01/2016 at 14:06

      Sorry my mistake, the picture looked better on my phone, the tiles are: A Wreath of Smoke- A.L.O.E, Thรฉrรจse Raquin- Emile Zola, Earthworks- Brian Aldiss, Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics- Georg Hegel, A Perfect Vacuum- Stanislaw Lem, Myth Literature and the African World- Wole Soyinka, Fear and Trembling- Soren Kierkegaard, Death in the Andes- Mario Vargas Llosa, Memories of my Melancholy Whores- Gabriel Garcรญa Mรกrquez, Letters to a Young Contrarian- Christopher Hitchens and Satantango- Lรกszlo Krasznahorkai.

      This year I think I will be all about the chatting, I hope that I can embrace some new people and get them talking about books and whatever else, I say this before the predictable jadedness of New year’s resolutions filters in but hopefully I can hold onto some of the positives lol.

      Like

       
  13. anna amundsen

    04/01/2016 at 18:26

    This is definitely an alluring pile! New year will be a happy one if we are to make conclusions based upon this picture.
    I wish you a great balance, a lot of inspiration and adventure, and many satisfactory hours spent reading and writing!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/01/2016 at 19:38

      I have already read the Mรกrquez and the Hitchens books and hoping to keep up this form for as long as possible. Both are fascinating in their own ways and more than worth the time it took to read them.

      Like

       
  14. macjam47

    05/01/2016 at 01:07

    Happy New Year, and happy reading!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/01/2016 at 19:26

      The same to you my friend, may it be varied and inexpensive!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  15. Jilanne Hoffmann

    05/01/2016 at 19:28

    Time management is a huge issue for blogger-readers. It’s something I struggle with constantly. I also struggle with how much time I spend on my other writing work, too. I think I’m going to focus on getting my work accepted for publication this year. The blog may suffer. I’m going to still try to visit as many blogs as I can, though. Everything comes with some sort of sacrifice, doesn’t it? I wish I didn’t need to sleep.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/01/2016 at 19:42

      Sleep is such a waste of good time when you are a blogger. Your readers will be patient and understanding, getting published will be awesome and we would all love to have a little share in that so you go for it, we aren’t going anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  16. Sherri

    08/01/2016 at 16:27

    Happy New Year my friend. I’m very slow getting going here, only just posted yesterday since before Christmas. My stats too are down from 2014 because I couldn’t post as much. But how can one write and edit a book and keep the blogging going so often? I can’t. Good to see you back to your ‘book roots’. I’ll do my best to keep up, but I did just want to pop in here and touch base and say I hope you had a great Christmas, even though it seems ages away already…

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      08/01/2016 at 19:15

      Happy New Year to you too! Christmas does seem so long ago now and it was a good one, plenty of Doctor Who was watched, I hope yours was equally as good! It is increasingly challenging to get everything in to life these days, I find that the more one blogs and becomes a stronger writer the longer it takes to compose posts so that doesn’t help much either. Luckily your fellow bloggers understand the time constraints and are supportive which is because we are so blummin’ nice.

      Like

       
  17. RoSy

    24/01/2016 at 19:15

    Happy 2016!

    I didn’t do the annual review either. Mostly – because I just didn’t get to it.
    Anywho – I know who my peeps are. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Ste J

      26/01/2016 at 14:27

      We have your back! Maybe next year we will get to the review, if not I still love my regulars!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • RoSy

        12/02/2016 at 20:02

        It’s great to have awesome peeps on my side!

        Like

         

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