Blog 11th Birthday (and Giveaway!)

Eleven years ago, at this exact moment, I started blogging as Miss Print. It’s been a wild ride and I can’t believe this blog is still growing more than a decade later. What a ride.

(If you’re only here for the giveaway just scroll down.)

I am so grateful for the people and opportunities I’ve met through the blogging community. This past year one of my priorities has been growing my following on social media and as a blogger. It’s been amazing to see the progress I’ve made since the start of the year as part of bookstagram and to realize that new people are finding this blog–even after all this time.

And what’s a big birthday without gifts? This year I’m giving away three prizes:

  • One winner will receive a mystery box (kind of like a bookish subscription box) with some of my favorite things including bookish goodies, one or two of my favorite books, and who knows what else.
  • One other winner will receive a personalized list of ten book recommendations from me based on what they tell me about likes/dislikes/owned books/etc.
  • One winner will receive a non-scientific fortune told by me with Tarot cards (if you’ve ever seen my #TarotTime on Twitter it will be like that).

THE DETAILS:

  • Giveaway ends August 31 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Winners will be notified September 1. If I don’t hear back from the winners by September 3, I will pick a new winner from the entry pool as needed.
  • US only.
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter.
  • You must be following this blog to enter.

TO ENTER:

  • Comment on this blog post with one good thing that happened this month. Include how you are following the blog in your comment (options include email subscription, wordpress, feedly, etc.)
  • BONUS ENTRY (you can do this once): Follow me on Twitter @miss_print
  • BONUS ENTRY (you can do this once): Follow me on Instagram @missprint_
  • BONUS ENTRY (you can do this once per day): Share this message on Twitter: Now that @miss_print’s blog is turning 11, she’s hosting a giveaway. Enter here: https://wp.me/p6kfM-7Eo
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Get ready for #missprintbookaday on August 25

Big news, everyone!

I’m hosting a reading challenge this August. I’m hoping to make it a monthly thing so stay tuned for updates.

The challenge can be done on your blog, Twitter, Instagram, or a combination of all three. It’s part reading challenge or read-a-thon, part photo challenge, and maybe even a Twitter chat. It’s also really low key.

Here are the details for my first ever Miss Print Book-A-Day Challenge

  • When: August 25 to August 31 (if this goes well it will be back!)
  • Where: Anywhere you want. You can share updates on Twitter or Instagram as well as on your blog.
  • How: Between August 25 and 31 you commit to reading one book a day and talking about it. Use the hashtag #missprintbookaday to share titles, updates, anything you want.

I’ve made a handy graphic you can use for photo prompts if you need them (or make up your own!):

My vision is for the challenge to be low key–you can read as many or as few books as you want.

Since it’s my blog birthday month, I’ll also be doing a small giveaway for someone who participates every day of the challenge so be sure to use the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram so I can see your updates.

Questions, comments, other concerns? Let me know in the comments! (Or just let me know if you’ll be joining the fun!)

Chick Lit Wednesday Will Be Back Next Week

Today is July 4 and since I am off for work I decided to also take a day off on the blog.

I’ll be back on Saturday with my Week in Review and regular programming will resume on Monday.

In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on some reading with my shiny ARC of Impostors by Scott Westerfeld.

What are you reading today?

Announcing a New(ish) Project

I have been hinting at this news for a couple of days but I wanted to take some time to make a formal announcement:

Nicole (of The Bookbandit Blog) and I are relaunching out short story blog!

This has been an on again off again project for us since 2012 and we are both very excited to reignite our love for writing and sharing short stories.

You can find us over at Little Women Stories (littlewomenstories.wordpress.com)

Here’s what you can expect from Little Women Stories as we gear up for our May relaunch:

  • Two stories a month from Emma and Nicole
  • Each month we will share one free write story each
  • Each month we will each write a story based on a predetermined prompt

Nicole and I are both really excited to get back to short stories, this blog, and writing. If you like any of those things I hope you’ll join us on this journey and read some of our stories.

You can head over to the short story blog now for a preview of some of the prompts we’ll be using.

 

Did You Know?: Blog Feature Rundown

Hey everyone! I wanted to do a quick roundup post with some of the things I do here on the blog. I also wanted to share an important update: I have changed my blog email. The new email can be found on my contact page and my arc adoption page. If you had previously saved my email address please update your address book.

Not that that’s out of the way, did you know that I offer:

  • ARC Adoption: If you are a US blogger I often put ARCs of recently published or soon-to-be published titles up for adoption to any blogger who can cover shipping and promises to write a review by my deadline. The program has a few loyal participants right now but if you’re a newer/smaller and want to start reading ARCs this is a great first step. I will check if you are a consistent blogger though so keep that in mind. Full details here: missprint.wordpress.com/adopt
  • ARC Tips: If you want to start requesting ARCs yourself I also have a page with all of my tips. Currently it has contact information too but I’m not sure all of it is up to date. You can find the page here: missprint.wordpress.com/tips

Post Features:

When I’m not blogging you can find me here:

If you ever want to know more about me and the blog I have a few pages to cover that as well:

Support:

If you’re in the position where you would like to and are able to show monetary support for this blog there are a couple of options:

  • Ko-fi: ko-fi.com/missprint (You can “buy me” a coffee)
  • Amazon Affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2uIW8bp; (When you shop through this amazon link I get a tiny commission on all sales. Alternately you can always buy a book I’m reviewing through the Amazon link in each of my reviews.)

Here’s what happened when I KonMari-d my life: Part 3

To get the full story be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 first!

If you aren’t familiar with the KonMari method, it boils down to a few basic ideas:

  1. Finish discarding everything before you start tidying. Do it all at once, intensely and completely.
  2. Keep only those things which spark joy. Visualize the life you want after you tidy and instead of focusing on what to get rid of, focus on what you want to keep.
  3. Tidy by category, not by location. Go in order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous, sentimental.
  4. Treasure who you are now and thank the possessions you are discarding for getting out there. I didin’t thank everything individually but as I let go of certain items I am trying to thank them for the purpose they served before moving on.
  5. Store like with like. This should be obvious but it’s been a game changer as I’ve started moving all of my clothing, shoes, etc. into designated spaces.
  6. Vertical storage is key. You can find things at a glance and everything is easier to get to.
  7. Appreciate your possessions. This goes back to thanking that which you discard and also treating items with respect.
  8. Follow your intuition. There’s no right answer for how much to keep or discard, focus on what you love and when you hit that sweet spot you’ll know you have enough.

It’s been a couple of months since I tackled my clothes and books. In that time I’ve been working sporadically on papers, miscellaneous, and sentimental items. I still should probably loop back to more sentimental items (and books, always books) but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made. As Konmari promises I also haven’t had any rebounds.

For papers Konmari recommends to discard everything. I’m not sure what personal records are like in Japan but this is a little overzealous and there are some things I just like to hold onto (like my college acceptance letters) for my own reasons. My main takeaway here was to consolidate my papers. Instead of separating everything into different folders I now have a larger envelope with important documents (bills, tax records, etc.) and one with more sentimental items (diplomas, college awards, etc.). In going through them I also was able to get rid of some things I would never use and no longer needed so everything is consolidated, neater, and clearly labeled (thank you washi tape!).

 

As its name suggests, the miscellaneous category is a bit vague. I’ve tackled a lot of it including CDs, makeup, electronics, stationary, and valuables. Some Konmari tenets: keep things because you love them rather than just because, a gift can serve its purpose the moment it’s given, keep only things that have an intended use (not for someday). I think there’s still some stuff I’m missing but again the big thing here has been that I’m consolidating and can find everything at a glance. I also only have stationary and postcards I really like now and know exactly what kind of pens I want to buy when I need new ones.

Sentimental is the hardest KonMari category which is why it’s all the way at the end. KonMari urges people to focus on the now rather than the past and, as with all categories, to handle items to evaluate them and also to process the past.This category has involved a lot of curating again ending with me only having things that I love and which bring joy.

After really knuckling down and KonMari-ing my desk area I have finally been able to keep it pretty tidy during the week. I have a big space to do instagram photos, minimal book piles (more need to go but since they’re here I want to read them first–hubris I know), and a place to easily use my laptop or update my planner.

It’s not directly related to KonMari but I’m also keeping up with my lofty planner goals for the year and am starting to make more time for writing and other hobbies. It’s not a total lifestyle change but it’s a good start.

Have you tried KonMari before or do you have another organization strategy you use? How has it been working for you?

Here’s what happened when I KonMari-d my life: Part 2

Get the whole story by reading part one first!

If you aren’t familiar with the KonMari method, it boils down to a few basic ideas which I’m sharing again:

  1. Finish discarding everything before you start tidying. Do it all at once, intensely and completely.
  2. Keep only those things which spark joy. Visualize the life you want after you tidy and instead of focusing on what to get rid of, focus on what you want to keep.
  3. Tidy by category, not by location. Go in order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous, sentimental.
  4. Treasure who you are now and thank the possessions you are discarding for getting out there. I didin’t thank everything individually but as I let go of certain items I am trying to thank them for the purpose they served before moving on.
  5. Store like with like. This should be obvious but it’s been a game changer as I’ve started moving all of my clothing, shoes, etc. into designated spaces. In this vein I’d also add: put things back where they belong the moment you finish with them.
  6. Vertical storage is key. You can find things at a glance and everything is easier to get to.
  7. Follow your intuition. There’s no right answer for how much to keep or discard, focus on what you love and when you hit that sweet spot that’s “just right” you’ll know you have enough.
  8. Appreciate your possessions. This goes back to thanking that which you discard and also treating items with respect.

Last weekend I tackled part two in my KonMari project. It wasn’t easy . . .


Books:

KonMari has a couple of specific pieces of advice for dealing with books. Like everything else Kondo recommends putting everything on the floor in a pile and working from there so you can touch everything and really make the most of your joy meter.

I hate doing this for books because a couple of my shelves are incredibly precarious and I don’t like going up and down the step stool while watching the shelf wobble around. I was going to still try this method but wound up getting sidetracked when my mom decided to keep my company. (That was partly my own fault because I am still tweaking my jewelry storage and was in the middle of that when she came in.) I think the process still worked even without everything ending up off the shelves all at once.

Obviously the main factor is still finding the books that spark joy. Again, as I was being more attentive to the process it was fascinating to realize that I really could tell when a book did or did not spark joy. It was especially clear while going through my old picture books and classic editions I received from relatives. It turns out I don’t need every book Chris Van Allsburg wrote nor do I need a giant phonebook sized edition of A Little Princess. In talking through some of the books Mom and I both realized we don’t particularly like Andersen’s or Grimm’s fairy tales. Yet I had three copies of them on my shelves.

All told I sorted out about forty books to give away including some picture books, novels, and duplicate copies. I was able to move a lot books so that they authors and genres were grouped together. As with everything except my clothes (speaking of which I still have to tackle my sweaters) I am still tweaking the exact storage method. But I’m feeling a lot better about how many books I’m keeping.

I am also happy to say I didn’t have any issues except for a low moment when I went and rescued five books I had already set aside to give away. It happens.

According to KonMari, “sometime” can mean never when it comes to rereading books. I’m trying to keep this in mind but a lot of my books are from signings and author events so they also have sentimental value attached. I think the solution might be to go back and look at them again when it’s time for my sentimental item sweep.

Another KonMari tenet is that the best time to read a book is when you first encounter it. I didn’t always think this was true but I’m starting to see the light. I’m working on a multi-pronged system to read through the books I have in a timely manner and especially to read advance copies I have before the books come out. I used to be better at that, but I also used to receive fewer ARCs so I’m not going to stress too much.

Regardless of if you are going to read the books again or when you encounter them, you should only keep those which you truly love. I’ve realized part of this ties directly to having easy access to books (to remove them or not) which I don’t have because all of my shelves are in ridiculous spots. I don’t want to dedicate another weekend to the process (I have to start taking down Christmas decorations) but with a day’s distance I’m realizing there are still some books on my read shelves that I don’t truly love and can definitely part with. As for the books to read–I’m trying to search my heart and only keep those which I truly want to read for myself and not for the hype.

I will be blogging about the rest of my KonMari process as I get to it, so stay tuned!