It all started Sunday night when I decided it was finally time to update JALC’s header image.
Strike that: it all started almost 2 years ago, when I recommitted to my blogging and decided to use my collection of “badass lady Pops” as a recurring motif in the pictures accompanying some of my posts. (One and two.)*
The first trumpeting of that motif was an attempt to use the full collection as the banner image here on JALC.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t properly thought through the actual proportions of the banner image in this particular WordPress template, so the banner image ended up being less the panoramic wonder I’d imagined and more of an awkward, semi-pixellated closeup of approximately half of my early-2019 lineup.
Now I was kind of annoyed about it, but I’m also super-lazy, and I didn’t have a quick and easy way to rearrange the collection in two rows, especially since they were all arrayed at the very front edge of an overstuffed bookshelf. So that banner image continued to appear on JALC for all the intervening months between then and now.
But here’s the thing: this particular shelf is one of the bookshelves that gets cleared off annually so I can set up my Solstice Village. Which meant that I had a precise window of opportunity—after packing up the houses but before UNpacking the Shakespeare books—where I could jury-rig some display shelves and create a new banner image that better matched the template proportions.
This may become a perennial complaint, but I am really not feeling the love for the journal/blogging prompts I have collected in ye olde “hatbox.” Clearly, there was a point where I liked them enough that I spent however-many hours cutting up little squares of colored card stock and painstakingly copying out dozens of these things. But now, when I try to draw a card from the “hat,” I—at least 9 times out of 10—read it and curl my lip in a flood of “eh”…
But, I’m still grooving on the concept of using these random topics to stretch my writing muscles, and so I’m going to try and do at least one of these “From the Hat” posts each week. (Given the fact that I’m in such a dry spell around finishing books and watching new movies, I might actually benefit from pulling topics out of the hat more often.)
I mentioned last night that I have some hefty books coming up in my March and April challenge schedule. However, my first March book is a wee one, so I’m trying to knock out a couple more non-Around the Year titles in this liminal time when February turns to March. This novel by Rainbow Rowell is one of those quick reads I’ve squeezed into here.
As a fan and frequent-enough reader of YA, I’d heard Rowell’s name along the way, some years ago. I’d even heard of her debut novel, Eleanor & Park, and how incredibly well-loved (and critically well-received) it is. But I never got around to reading any of Rowell’s work until last year,* when an ampersand challenge category led me to pick up the famed debut.
Alas, I ended up being a bit of a contrarian with Eleanor & Park. I really enjoyed Rowell’s authorial voice and her references to 1980’s pop culture. But there was a lot in the core characterizations and plot motions that rang a bit too false for me. Still, I enjoyed Rowell’s authorial voice enough that I was perfectly happy to select her second novel to fill one of 2019’s categories.
Turns out I like the slightly less popular book more than the super-popular one.
I’ll admit, I was kind of impressed with myself for getting Friday’s post up from the hotel room after a 4.5 hour drive from Boston to NYC. (Plus the last-minute housing crisis we had to negotiate, but that’s a story for another day.) But then, after a busy Saturday out-and-about, we decided to do something a little different and go out on the town!
Admittedly, it was to a game bar, so our #nerdcore rep remains intact. Still, after several hours of bar food, games and G&Ts, I just sort of forgot about blogging until we went lights out at around 11:30.*