Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Blog & Channel State of Affairs

Hey, all! You may have noticed some changes around here, and this post is just to address some of those changes if you're interested. If you've got more questions for me, feel free to ask them in the comments as well!

A.) You haven't been as active lately. What's up?

For almost a month now, it's been as though I've got two jobs. At work I've tried to get all my shit done, but the thing about academia is that there's always work to be done. I have a manuscript (maybe two, given a recent development) that I need to write. I still have some free time right now (the further you get in your career the less free time you have, it's said) -- so shouldn't I be learning a valuable skill too? There's always more literature to read, more things to know and update yourself on. That's on top of regular administrative and research duties. And then I leave work, go to the gym, and come home. By that time, I'm tired. I have only a couple of hours before I need to sleep. I need to feed myself. And with the second job feel, it's basically that in those couple of hours, I need to read up on an entirely different set of literature than the one I normally work with, so I'm "catching up" in those hours. (If it's not the literature, it's the other things that go with having to move soon, like finding a new place, dealing with deadlines and doctor visits and whatnot). Needless to say, it feels kind of exhausting. When I'm on that kind of schedule, it's hard to have the energy and motivation for my blog and channel. My creative juices aren't flowing as much, and even when I can think of a new post, will I have the time to finish it? Maybe not, unless I wake up earlier and try to do it before I have to leave. Except then that contributes to the cycle because I become more tired and being more tired definitely doesn't help with finding the time and energy to write and film posts and videos.

That's not a real complaint. I realize that far better people deal with this on a daily basis and have found ways to cope. I just haven't found my way to cope quite yet, so the blog and channel are lagging behind until I find the adjustment right for me :).

B.) You changed your social media profiles to Tina Burke. What's up?

Well, you probably already know that Burke is a part of my pen name. I chose a pen name because I need to separate my social media profile/ online book personality from my work in real life. My actual name is Christina, and my family has always called me Tina. I've always wanted to encourage people to use a nickname instead of my full name. So it seemed appropriate to just go with Tina. Really, the better alternative would've been to not name a blog Christina Reads YA, but alas I've had this for too many years now, so meh.

Also, my blog name and my channel name are different. I did that on purpose, because I don't like my blog name. But in terms of people thinking about this blog or the channel, it's not good to have separate names. So I thought that it'd be better to unite them both under a name -- Tina Burke. Tina Burke Books everywhere I can manage. Since booklikes and tumblr are just extensions of my blog (i.e. all blog posts are uploaded there), they stayed the same, but Pinterest, twitter, etc. were changed. Search for me as that! And feel free to call me either Tina or Christina or your own nickname :D.

C.) Are you ever going to bring back your "bookish rounds" posts?

I have every intention to for multiple reasons. They were my most popular and defining feature. Just because something is popular though doesn't mean you should keep it-- but the truth is I enjoyed them too. They take a shit ton of time, but they also keep me up to date with what's happening in publishing and the blogosphere. I'm twitching right now thinking about all that I've missed FOR ALMOST FOUR MONTHS. But you can see that it gets harder the longer I postpone making a post. I'm such a perfectionist that I can't even picture starting afresh (i.e. just making a post for this past week, ignoring all that has passed before). I've considered making separate posts for each "element" of those (Bookish Rounds: Publishing Posts and Book Deals; Bookish Rounds: New Releases, etc.), but haven't done that yet. So far, I've managed to keep up with cover reveals (post 1, post 2, post 3), and that helps. It also helps that I'd started to make a post months ago, so it wouldn't be completely empty... though there's still so much left...

Basically, the answer is yes. I just haven't figured out how to do everything since I'm behind on my life, not to mention this blog lol. Weeeeeeeeee!!!

D.) What do you have in store?

Yo, I'm not quitting blogging and booktubing for at least another year. There's always going to be plenty in store. Though I haven't been reading as much lately either -- or really reading things that take up more brain space (sometimes I read romance novels, but I skim a lot of scenes in those) -- I definitely have a lot of books to review and post ideas just waiting. Seriously, there's at least like 20 drafts, and there always has been, and I keep thinking about new graphics that I want to make. The MBTI graphics take a long time, and there aren't many popular books/series that have enough characters to fill every slot, but I have been thinking about creating a new feature around graphics of quotes from books I love. The limiting factor isn't me thinking about posts. It's just getting around to them and the books! The books I have to review at some point include:

The Voyage to the Magical North - Claire Fayers
The Wrong Side of Magic - Janette Rallison
The Treasure of Maria Mamoun - Michelle Chalfoun
A Darkly Beating Heart - Lindsay Smith
Enter a Glossy Web - McKenna Rae Ruebush
Three Dark Crowns - Kendare Blake
Of Fire and Stars - Audrey Coulthurst
Bright Smoke, Cold Fire - Rosamund Hodge

(If any of you have these books and want to buddy read, let me know!)

So, yeah. Definitely stuff coming up! And see my answer to C and E.

E.) Is it true that you're participating in an anthology?

YES. It's an amazing opportunity. In case you haven't already read or heard about this, HERE'S THE POST DESCRIBING THE AWESOME BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO HATE ME. I wrote a draft of my essay months ago, and the prompts were conceived a while ago, so at least this hasn't been embroiled in my current ack-need-coping-mechanism-for-work situation. Plus, even if it was, honestly I'd prioritize my commitment to that over writing blog posts. Y'all can survive a week without a Christina post or video. Me missing an important deadline, though, is unacceptable. Can't wait to share more about that anthology with y'all -- I hope you're excited too!

Got anything else you'd like to ask me? Let me know! I'll answer in the comments. Sorry that I'm such a bad friend as of late and haven't been as involved :/.

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