Thoughts

Back from vacation!

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So we just got back from our cruise to Cozumel, Jamaica, and the Grand Caymans.  We are exhausted but we had a great time.  I wanted to keep you up to date on some things here on the blog.

  1.  It’s just me and no one else.  As you can tell, I’ve really slowed down on the reviewing and posting.  I still love the blog but I’m working full time now as a substitute teacher.  Yes, I work every day so my time is limited on the computer.  I’m still trying to dig out of the emails from last week.  *sigh*  At least no one is yelling at me.
  2.  Besides working every day, baseball season has officially started.  I’ll even be more scarce.
  3.  As you can see, any free moment I will have, I’ll be sleeping.  I know, I wish.  However, I have pre-ordered a HUGE stack of books for the Nook.  I never pre-order anything but lately, I have.  I still love to read but the pressure to post on the blog…not for me.
  4.  My social media presence will be limited, too.  It’s a time suck and sleep is more important.  I’m not getting any younger.  🙂

Does this mean that I’m not paying attention to some of the awfulness on social media?  Nope.  I’m caught up and it’s depressing.  Romanceland lost its freaking mind when I was gone.

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Altuve and Correa.  *sigh*  My Houston Astros.  Yes, major league baseball is starting.  It will be a long season but I’ll be in my happy place until October.  Baseball is a passion of mine since I was a little girl at my daddy’s knee and both of my grandfather’s.  It’s more important than football in some respects.  But that’s another blog for another time.

So please bear with me in the coming weeks.  I’m super busy with life and that’s what comes first.

And let’s not forget about this, too.

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Until next time. #TeamCap

Harlie

 

Thoughts

Why I stopped watching Star Wars movies!

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If you don’t know this about me I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan.  I remember my dad taking me and my little brother to go see a movie that he thought would be like Star Trek.  I was 10 years old in 1977 and in some ways, it defined my outlook on men.  Yes, men.  At that age, I didn’t quite understand boys but once I saw Harrison Ford/Han Solo, I got it.  He was dashing, a rogue that made mistakes and got the girl in the end.  Of course, I had to wait until the next one came out.  He was a loyal friend, a fighter to the end and knew what his fate was when he meet his son again.

Yes, I’m talking about THAT scene in The Force Awakens.  For most people, the new movies are all about Carrie Fisher.  Not me.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia.  But as I’ve said in an earlier post, I was surrounded by strong women and therefore she is the damsel in distress…sort of.  I’m more of the romantic type when it comes to women in movies.  I loved Wonder Woman but I wanted to see the romantic relationship with Steve above all else.  I’m just wired that way.  I grew up that all women could do whatever they wanted to do but they also needed to be a bit of June Cleaver, too.  I’m over 50 years old now and I still feel that way.  Yes, I’m all for women’s rights but what I don’t get is all the screaming and shouting that women are doing now.  I think its a southern thing to just give someone “the look” and they knew what you are thinking and doing.  My mom says that I can tell someone off with just a look and a smile on my face.

So when the kids at school keep asking me why I haven’t seen the movie, I explain it to them like this.  My childhood was wrecked, over in that one scene in The Force Awakens.  My first love, my hero died and I’m still not over it.  I realize that all good things must go at some point but I feel cheated that I waited almost 40 years to see Han, Luke, and Leia together again and I didn’t get that.  Not one scene of them together in the movie and now with Carrie’s death, I will never get that.  Not to mention that Luke never utters a word AND we have to wait until the end of the movie to even see him.  I feel as if my Star Wars experience is over.  I love the new characters but it’s just not the same.  I’m one of those that read the authorized books afterward and the storyline just doesn’t do it for me.  JJ did such a fantastic job with the reboot of Star Trek but I feel as if the new people in charge of Star Wars missed the mark.  I say that but I will have to say that Rogue One is my second favorite Star Wars movie of all time.  I can watch that movie over and over again.  You know the outcome but the journey to get there is a beautiful one.  The characters came to life for me and the struggle that they went through and the sacrifices they made for the Rebellion.  I don’t see that in the new films.

So why am I writing this today?  Because people still ask me about the movies.  I tell them how Star Wars and Han Solo defined me as a woman.  There is one other fictional character that has defined my outlook on men and that is Jack Ryan.  Ironically, Harrison Ford played him, too.  See a pattern.  When I look at Harrison Ford, I see my dad.  I see strength, courage, a twinkle in his eye but above else, the ability to put people first.  Han Solo made the ultimate sacrifice but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

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Thoughts

Things to Harlie likes in the book/blogging world! @UTCbookblog @PrismBookTours @GoddessFish @GiveMeBooksBlog

*EDITED*

I know, this blog was supposed to be up months ago and I’m sorry.  Life, vacation…you know.  Anyway, I didn’t take out a thing.  Enjoy!

I’m back!!!!!  This week is going to be busy.  The kid turns 12, in-laws coming in, and still don’t have a clue what the boy wants to do for his birthday!  *beats head on desk*  Oh to be 12 again…NOPE!

So, this week I decided to let you know what I actually like the book/blogging world.  Shocked, aren’t you?  Last week I had a list of what I didn’t like.

When I started to blog, I thought that it would just be a hobby.  Something to keep me occupied and busy.  I went into it blind.  We had recently moved from Dallas to East Texas and I was bored.  I went to Walmart and bought the book, Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood and I fell back in love with romance.  I went to the library and devoured everything that I could get my hands on.  The librarian and I became friends, too.  She would ask me for recs for books to buy for the library.  And yes, not just romance books.  I would also donate my old paperbacks to the library and watch them being shelved.  So blogging for me became a way for me to share my love of books.  I still love books.  My current library doesn’t have near the romance collection that I had before but OMG, their YA section?  Jealous.  Hell, even our high school library has more YA that I’ve ever seen.

But then, I found that I actually liked talking about books.  English was my favorite subject in high school and college because I got to read.  Score and the win for me.  I just treated blogging like writing a book report.  Of course, I didn’t do the whole spoiler thing and I still don’t.  What I didn’t anticipate was how much work actually goes into actually blogging.  Over the years, the blog has taken a life of its own and at one point I almost shut it down.  I just couldn’t say “no” to everyone.  My anxiety had anxiety and it was slowly eating away at me.  I took some time off and really thought back to the “why” I blogged and the blog itself.

I take breaks now.  Especially in the summer.  We go on vacation.  I know, it’s very old-fashioned.  But we do have two family reunions that we go to, also.  I realize that I substitute teach full time that maybe I should take the school year off but reading/reviewing/blogging is how I keep sane.  Taking the summer off, I can recharge.

So here is what I like about the book/blogging world:

Sisterhood

I know that I will never be as popular as my all time favorite blog, Under The Covers (http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com/) and I’m okay with that.  Francesca is the best in the business.  She doesn’t put up with the b.s. and she is a great sounding board for me when I get frustrated.  She runs a tight ship with her ladies and the professionalism is top notch.  I’ve seen a lot of blogs come and go but her’s is consistent and up to date.  I used to worry about a number of followers, likes, comments, etc. that other blogs have.  Each blog is different and that’s what makes us unique.  Plus, when I stopped all the craziness about being popular in my head and discovered my niche…the blog took off.

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Blog tour companies/Publicists

Blog tour companies come and go.  It’s just the nature of the business.  I’ve had some interesting companies that I have worked with over the years and the fly by nights are gone.  I feel bad for the authors that signed up with them but I learned a thing or two from them.  Like I said before last week when it came to publishers…clean up your own house before coming into mine.  I’ve had some truly dreadful ones that never got me stuff on time, not to mention never getting the book to read.  I used to completely stress out about it but I learned that it wasn’t my issue to deal with.  You can send email after email but when you get no response, you’ve done everything you could do.  Now, if I knew the author, I would definitely let them know what is going on.  Publicists are the same for me.  They are even more flighty than tour companies.

I have some companies that I will work with until they close shop.  Goddess Fish (http://www.goddessfish.com/) is the best in the business.  I had a few hiccups when I first started working with them but now…they are my go-to tour company.  Give Me Books  (http://givemebooksblog.blogspot.com.au/) is my other go-to company.  And of course, my source for anything Harlequin is Prism Tours (http://www.prismbooktours.blogspot.com/.  I have some publicists that I love, too and even when they have left one publisher, they always keep me in the loop.  I can sense the head-scratching right about now.  So what do I like about them?  It’s called professionalism.  Look it up.  It goes back to good manners, no b.s. and just doing their job.  And trust me, I’ve had publicists and tour companies drop me for THIER incompetency.  I still have the emails to prove it.

Aren’t they pretty?  *swoon*

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Friendships made and lost

I know, it sounds weird.  I’ve made some wonderful friends through blogging and I’ve lost some, too.  Life gets in the way, blogs come and go; I get that.  I met some wonderful fans from other blogs, too.  I remember when Author Blogs were HUGE!  Social media was still new and no one was on Facebook or Twitter.  Yahoo groups still ruled the roost.  When I was going in and deleting some emails from 2009, I got really sniffly.  I was re-reading some group emails from Yahoo.  I can honestly say that most of the ladies that I was in groups with, I don’t talk to anymore.  Sad but that’s the way life goes.  Do I miss them?  You bet.  The authors, at the time, were new and fresh.  They appreciated each and every one of us in those groups.  But when I moved to Facebook, I made new friends and found new authors.  Do I try to keep up with all those authors from yesteryear?  Honestly…no.  I have a few (maybe 3) that I’m still friends with and buy their books.  I’ve seen some very BAD behavior from authors from those groups and I don’t associate myself with them anymore.

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That’s about all that I’ve got right now.  I know that I had more dislikes but I picked my top 3 likes.  Tell me what you like about the book/blogging world.