Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Times... They are a Changin'

I've been meaning to type this post since the beginning of the year, but... things get in the way, I get busy, and blah blah blah.

So, *takes deep breath* I've decided to go back to reading the books that I want to read, and writing the reviews that I want to write. When I opened the blog up to review requests, I really didn't expect many people to be interested. I guess I thought since my style wasn't as professional as other book reviewers out there that there wouldn't be much of a demand for reviews from me. But... I was wrong. 

The majority of the books I read last year were for review requests. I quickly became tired and overwhelmed trying to balance the demands of work, home, medical appointments, and life in general.  And on occasion I was mocked, sent horrible emails, and  even received one written letter to my place of employment making it clear that I had no place in the book review writing world. Add to that the lack of support from family and close friends of mine in Utah, and, well, the stress almost caused me to shut down the blog altogether.

Thanks to good friend and fellow book reviewer, Elizabeth A. White, I received the advice that I needed (not to mention a written ass-kicking) that helped me take back control of my blog. She helped me to refocus and remember why I started the blog, and pushed me back on track. After all, this is my blog... and I can read the books I want to read, and review the books I want to review in the style that works best for me... and regardless of what others may think, there is no right or wrong way to write a positive review. We all have different styles... and you're certainly not obligated to read mine if they don't suit your taste.

With that being said... I'm not stopping review requests completely. Just know that the reviews probably won't be written by a set date. I'm currently reading a book of my choice and then a review request. It helps maintain a balance for me. Things may take a little longer, but it's less stressful for me and I promise... it's much better for the person I'm writing the review for. So if you've sent me a book to read and review and it hasn't been done yet... know that it's on my list to be read.

I love my blog. It's got me written all over it. Even the girly picture is me... although I really wouldn't mind switching for something a little more... badass! I write because it's fun. I write because my friends enjoy it. I write because I want to serve and support authors. And some days I write to free myself from my own past.

I'm thankful for all of my followers, and all of the friends I've met through twitter, and all of the wonderful people I've met from having this blog. I hope we can continue and grow in the crime fiction community together. When one succeeds, we all succeed. And when one stumbles, falls, or fails... we all lose in the end. 

So, with that out of the way... I'm pleased to tell you that I've found another wonderful writer that has agreed to write a short story at My Friends Call Me Kate. All original. All written week by week. This author is a good friend of mine and is interested and encouraging feedback during the weekly posts. I've read some chapters in a novel that she has written and I know that she'll be a great addition to the site. I encourage you to participate. Leave comments. Give advice. Instruct and teach. I'll be introducing her tomorrow and her weekly series will begin this Friday.

I'm also starting a new series on the blog called... My First Literary Love. I've received some great posts from some wonderful authors, and I'm hoping to get more people involved with the project. So, if you get an email from me requesting your participation- please, please don't delete it. And, yes, men... I want you to join in on the fun, too. 

 I'm hoping for some great things this year... even if it is almost over. So I hope you'll stop by from time to time and check things out. 

Love to all of you-

Sabrina Ogden 
My Friends Call Me Kate


Sarah McCanless said...

Good for you, Sabrina! A blog like this should be a labor of love, emphasis on love. That passion is what makes it so much fun to read and follow. You always inspire me to find my own happiness; I'm glad you're protecting yours :D

The Daring Novelist said...

I don't understand people....

Anyway, congratulations for getting back to what reviewing is really all about!

Anonymous said...

*threatens your enemies with tonfa*

Anonymous said...

hey, it's your blog, they're your opinions and it's your life. Read what you want, write what you want, and those of us that get it will happily come along for the ride. Folks that don't like it don't have to read it. Assholes that don't like it and think that's your problem? Fuck 'em.

Ginger said...

Good for you. When you are doing something just because you love it it should never become stressful. I'm looking forward to a new series and your future posts.

Anonymous said...

Nobody does reviews like you, Sabrina. You remind us all how fun reading can be, how fun it should be. You also make me, I'm sure other writers as well, want to write even more. I'm honored to call you my friend and I'm so glad you're doing what you love and you're not afraid to do it your own wonderful, refreshing way =)

Holly West said...

I think reviews are really hard to do, and you do them well. But life is way too short to be reading books you don't feel like reading. I think you've made a good decision and I look forward to reading your future reviews!

Josh Stallings said...

You continue to amaze and delight . I love your funky wonderful style. You are a true gift to all that are lucky enough to cross your path. Keep doing what you do, and I'll keep reading it.

Elizabeth said...

I stand ready, willing, and able to kick your ass again - in writing - should it ever be needed. ;-)

So glad you've decided to say "Fuck 'em!" and do things your way... cause your way is quite awesome.

Thomas Pluck said...

Sabrina, I'm glad you are standing up and doing what you want to do. You have great heart and it shows in your reviews, which is what makes your writing, and you, so special. Keep fighting, hon. Remain unbowed. You don't deserve that sort of treatment.

And to whoever sent her hate mail: you are a coward and a pathetic human being.

Andrez Bergen said...

Good choice, mate - on you.