Category: musings

Year in Review: Bookish Stats and Other Miscellanea

Posted 31 December, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

Let’s start with the relevant fun stuff, bookish stats! I’m not trying to toot my own horn but:

Goodreads Challenge:
  • Goal set 1 Jan 2014: 100 books and 25,000 pages.
    • Actually read: 120 books and 36,391 pages (the page count excludes audiobooks)
The Breakdown:
  • 4 audiobooks totaling 5.11 days of listening (not including DeLillo’s damnable Underworld which I’m still listening to.)
  • 62 books written by men and 57 by women.
  • 107 different authors read with 91 being new to me authors.
  • 7 graphic novels
  • 15 YA novels
  • 31 non-fiction books
  • 42 physical books and 75 e-books
  • Average rating was 3.5 stars
  • 19 books from the library *sad face*
  • 33 books from NetGalley
  • 6 books that were gifts
  • 5 books from new book stores other than Amazon
  • 26 books from Amazon
  • 4 books from Edelweiss 
  • 23 books from publishers (other than from Netgalley/Edelweiss)
  • 3 books from Project Gutenberg
  • Money spent on books (just books that I actually read this year… not all the others): $337.54
Not so ‘tootable’ stats:
  • I only read 6 of the 10 books that I pledged off my 1001 Books to Read list
  • I failed miserably at reading chunksters this year. I’m not sure, but I think the only chunksters that I ‘read’ this year were on audio.
I don’t create my ‘best of lists’ until June, for two reasons: one, you’ve been over inundated at this point with best of lists and two, it gives me six more months to read the 2014 titles. Here’s my 2013 list. What I will tell you is the best book that I read (and was published) in 2014. I’m pretty confident that it’s going to stay there. You must remember. You must know. *drumroll*
I just loved this book so much. Review here.

New Years Eve: What are your plans? Our tradition is to sit on the couch and watch Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN in Times Square. It’s better when AnnaSaurus Rex is here, but hey you can’t have family around all the time.
How was your reading year? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader



Bloggers Behaving Badly: Plagiarism Edition

Posted 30 December, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, musings


2014 seems to have been a banner year for celebrities and authors behaving badly. But there’s not a whole lot that we as bloggers and consumers can do about that except for perhaps abstaining from purchasing their books and availing ourselves of their particular brand of entertainment. We can also be vocal on social media and spread awareness, which is important, but the actions of others is always ultimately beyond our control. 

What we can control as bloggers is what we do. Lately I’ve been seeing a rash of complaints from various bloggers about being plagiarized by other bloggers. This, to me, is one of the seven deadly sins of blogging. (Don’t ask me about the other six, I haven’t invented them yet.)  
The book blogging community is a relatively small one. The book blogging community outside of YA bloggers is smaller yet. Most of us do this out of a love of literature and reading, the monetary rewards that we reap from our blogs are minimal at best. So it boggles the mind why one blogger would steal content from another. I’m not talking about reblogging or using content with permission. I’m not talking about using ideas from other bloggers, such as interesting takes on year end lists or discussion posts. I’m talking about subversively taking content from a blog and hoping to pass it off as your own work. 
Whether it’s a sentence or an entire review, plagiarism is plagiarism and quite frankly it saddens me to see such things happening in our community. If you don’t enjoy writing your blog enough to generate your own content, then perhaps you should turn your energies to another enterprise that is better suited to your interests and talents. Perhaps you shouldn’t be blogging. 
Another ill-effect of plagiarism on the whole of the book blogging community is to undermine our power and give further reason for the ‘establishment’ (see: publishers) not to take us seriously as a voice. I know it’s a variation on an old theme of mine – but if we want to be taken seriously it is imperative that we act like we want to be taken seriously as a community. (I know, this is coming from the girl that publishes weird erotica reviews on her blog, but still…) 
So what do I do if I’ve been plagiarized?** 
I’ve never (to the best of my knowledge) been plagiarized and I’m no expert in copyright law. But Allison at The Book Wheel has had the unfortunate experience of having 30 – 40 posts stolen from her and she has provided me with a few practical things that you can do in the event that this happens to you.

  • Email the blogger in question. Sternly worded emails can be very effective. By sternly worded I mean stern not insane. Calling names probably won’t get you anywhere, you should be firm but polite. The plagiarism probably isn’t a mistake, but sometimes when called out personally, people will take down or change the language in their posts. Ciska at Ciska’s Book Chest reminds us that when sending the email, no matter what the response is, to remember that you are in the right.
  • Contact Google. Google is not cool with plagiarism. Contact them and they will remove the site from their search engine. No one wants their SEO affected that way.
  • Contact the authors/publishers of any book involved. Name names here. This can be an especially harmful action against people who rely heavily on ARCs/galleys. Inform the publisher that the blogger is not publishing their own review.
  • Contact the plagiarizing blogger’s host, if relevant. Wordpress definitely has a clause within its user agreement that prohibits plagiarism of any kind. Other hosts are likely to have similar clauses. This could result in having the entire account suspended.
  • Contact a digital content lawyer. Obviously this is going to depend on how badly you were ripped off on whether you want to go this route (along with your own finances and how much it really matters to you) but there are experts in the field that will tell you whether you have a case and if you want to pursue it. I’m withholding my own ‘legal thoughts’ on this subject because I am far from an expert. 
So, what about you, Reader? Have you ever had content stolen? What have you done about it? Any further advice here? (Also, Happy New Year if you’re over the International Date Line!) 
**I am not providing legal advice here, nor should this be substituted as such.

April @ The Steadfast Reader



Bookish and Blogging Goals: 2015

Posted 30 December, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings


  1. Sometime during the year I’d like to migrate to WordPress. I think. So many people seem to prefer it, but it seems like so much work.
  2. Recognize it’s okay to take a breather. Keep reminding myself that it’s not really about the numbers.
  3. I’d like to add more legal flair to posts where possible. It keeps me on my toes even if it takes me twice as long to write.
  4. Along the lines of the sentiments Monika expressed in her post: eliminate unnecessary tasks.
  5. Keep having fun.
  1. Read off my backlist as much as possible. I literally have over 400 unread books on my Kindle alone. This means cutting back on ARC requests and recognizing that just because everyone else is reading the ‘latest and greatest’ doesn’t mean I always have to do it right away.
  2. Other than the Goodreads challenge – I’m not participating in challenges in 2015. I read by mood, so I found the challenges this year to be more stressful than useful or fun.
  3. Read off my backlist.
  4. Read off my backlist.
  5. Read off my backlist. This one is going to be hard for me… can you tell? 
  1. Get a job commiserate with my education and experience. I’m losing my mind over here, y’all.
  2. Find an exercise regiment/routine and find a way to stick with it. I’d love to get back to running but I just don’t think it’s practical in the heat of the summer in Atlanta. I’m thinking maybe trying Pure Barre.
  3. Stop making unnecessary apologies. It sounds weird, I know. But women, including me, have the tendency to apologize for things we don’t need to apologize for. Like when people bump in to me.
  4.  Read off my backlist. 🙂 
What about you, Reader. What are you looking forward to changing as we head into 2015? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader



Sunday Salon: Part Deux: On the Nativity and the First Amendment

Posted 21 December, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

With Christmas upon us I feel the need to address something that I have endless fascination with and endless frustration.

The First Amendment. Specifically (you guessed it!) the two religion clauses found within. In case you slept through high school civics the relevant text reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

So, quick breakdown. The two clauses are known as (1) the Establishment clause (…no law respecting an establishment of religion…) and (2) the Free Exercise clause (…[no law] prohibiting the free exercise thereof…). So the government may neither endorse a religion nor prevent people from practicing their religion as they like (with certain exceptions that the Supreme Court has found, but let’s set that aside so we don’t get too deep in the weeds). 

So, the reason I bring all this up is that I recently ran across a blog post (one of thousands, no doubt) entitled Born in a Stable and Still Being Bullied. I’m not in the habit of responding to other people’s posts on my blog, but I think that this common misconception of the law is something that as an attorney I have something of a duty to educate about. 

The Down Low
There are two cases that are key when interpreting the First Amendment in regards to religious holiday displays. The first is Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) the issue was whether or not a Nativity scene sponsored by the city in a Christmas display was a violation of the Establishment Clause. The Nativity scene was surrounded by secular symbols such as Christmas trees and candy canes and was located on private property owned by a local non-profit.

The Court found that it was not a violation of the Establishment Clause because it met what is known as The Lemon Test, (again, we’ll skip that to stay out of the weeds, but I encourage you to follow the link and learn about it) but in a concurring opinion Justice O’Connor set forth a clarification on the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. The most relevant part reads: 

”Government endorsement or disapproval of religion is unconstitutional. … [e]ndorsement sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.

Five years later the Supreme Court considered Allegheny v. ACLU (1989), which concerned two recurring religious displays on public property. The first was a Nativity scene that was erected and prominently displayed on the ‘Grand Staircase’ of the county courthouse. The second was located outside the City-County building, included a menorah, a Christmas tree, and a sign, which read, “During this holiday season, the City of Pittsburgh salutes liberty. Let these festive lights remind us that we are the keepers of the flame of liberty and our legacy of freedom.”

The Court ruled that the Nativity scene was unconstitutional because it stood alone in a position of prominence and therefore constituted a government endorsement of religion. The majority stated: 

“No viewer could reasonably think that it occupies this location without the support and approval of the government. Thus, by permitting the ‘display of the crèche in this particular setting’, the county sends an unmistakable message that is supports and promotes the Christian praise to God that is the creche’s religious message.”

The menorah and the sign were found to be constitutional because of the particular setting of the display the secular symbol of the Christmas tree was the prominent point of the display and the sign celebrating liberty diminished the possibility that a reasonable observer would see the display as an endorsement of any religion. The Court stated that the city’s overall display must be understood as conveying the city’s secular recognition of different traditions for celebrating the winter-holiday season. 

What does it all mean?
I’m glad you asked. What it boils down to is that government bodies that are displaying only a Nativity scene in a place of prominence, on public land is in violation of the Constitution. 

But Christians just want to celebrate our faith, why does the government want to crush our spirit? Personally, I don’t think that the government (or rational reasonable people of other faiths or non-faiths) want to crush anyone’s spirit or poop on anyone’s religious traditions. However, to maintain the integrity of the First Amendment and to respect the wide variety of belief systems that are found in the U.S., governments have a responsibility to all citizens to ensure that they are not acting in ways that endorse a particular religion. 

Private citizens (and corporations) are more than welcome to set up whatever religious symbols they feel drawn to on their private property with no interference from the government. In fact the Free Exercise clause prohibits interference from the government on that point.

The First Amendment is not about political correctness. Separation of church and state is not ‘mumbo-jumbo’. It’s the law of the land. It’s about ensuring the freedom of (and from) religion for all citizens – including Christians. It’s about not being marginalized by your government no matter what you choose to believe in (or not). 

With that I’d like to wish everyone the warmest of holidays and the hopefulness that you are happy, healthy, and surrounded by loved ones always, not just during the holiday season.

Thoughts, Readers? Questions? As always, respectful dissent always encouraged.

April @ The Steadfast Reader



Sunday Salon: Freedom

Posted 30 November, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

Time // 11:04 am EST.

Temperature // 58 degrees. Seriously? This is November?

Drinking // Irish Hot Chocolate. (Hot chocolate with a nip of Jameson and Baileys)

Watching // Octonauts. We have the whole series of the books – but la husband is still upstairs sleeping/reading/watching trash on his tablet. The Girl demands entertainment.

Listening // I just finished the audio book for Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride last night, and it was awesome. I feel like I missed something deeper and more important because I didn’t read it (I’m not an auditory learner) but I also went back and re-read I Dream of Zenia with Bright Red Teeth, a short story that was included in Stone Mattress but also was published separately. I read that first, and totally didn’t get it. Re-reading it after the fact – it made much more sense. 

Feeling // Relieved. I can post a Sunday Salon and not have to worry about the (admittedly wonderful) Spread the Love … Nishita is taking care of it well and you should totally link up.

Reading // I’m about to start The Ploughman to read. I’m starting The Once and Future King on audio to continue on with my 1001 Books to Read Before You Die challenge. Underworld by Don DeLillo is doing nothing for me.

Cooking // I don’t cook for holidays – we go out to super-fancy buffets/brunches instead, seriously, you should try it – tons less pressure. But now that we’re in between Thanksgiving and Christmas I’m going to try to concoct (today) Cranberry Pie with Thick Pecan Crumble (which we’ll never eat by ourselves as a family) and Horseradish Meatloaf (a classic).

That’s all I have, Readers. How is your Sunday going?

April @ The Steadfast Reader



More to it Monday: The Fault in Our Stars

Posted 24 November, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings, Reviews

More to it Monday: The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Published by Penguin Pages: 180

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

So, if you’re stalking my Goodreads account, (I know you must be) you’ll noticed that I started and finished this title yesterday (in between finishing The Magician King and starting The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (my reading mojo is to die for right now, my blogging mojo… not so much). You’ll also notice that I gave it a big fat three stars only.

So, you’re thinking if I only gave it three stars and my blogging mojo is shit right now, how come I’m up at 3:07 a.m. blogging about the damn book? Good question.

Let’s start with my overall first impressions. Like Monika (I’m not sure if she’s said this publicly, but I’m outing her), I went into this novel with fairly low expectations. Why? Let’s make a quick list: 1. I’m generally bored of YA. 2. This book has been hyped to the heavens and back for years now. 3. Romance and feely-feel novels generally aren’t part of my wheelhouse.

So, I came, I read, and found that it was better than I expected, it was compelling enough to read in a single day, the writing was strong, and it had a good story. So why the three stars? Well. For one, while it was all those things that I just listed it didn’t really blow me away or make me feel all the feels. There was no misting up for me and while I enjoyed the ‘twist’ there just wasn’t enough ‘wow-factor’ to make this anything other than a well-written story for me.

But I just woke up, I was dreaming about this book. Despite having been wrapped up in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy (those books just keep getting better) for at least a week, at least six to seven hundred pages behind me, this is the book my brain chose to dream about – why? I don’t know, (I’m not a damn psychologist) but it makes me feel like there might be something more to this book. What that is, I really can’t say at this moment – but I’ll let you know if anything other than a coughing fit in the middle of the night and the name ‘Augustus’ in my brain wake me up.

Yes, I also realize this is less of a review and more of the ramblings of a crazy person at three a.m.

So, what about you Reader? Do you ever have books you didn’t think make much of an impression on you at the time come and haunt you later? What about books that may not be intended to be haunting? On second thought, did you find The Fault in Our Stars to be a haunting novel? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader



The Whirlwind Trip to D.C. – Stephen King, An Ode to

Posted 17 November, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in books and publishing, musings, writers

So, I went to Washington D.C. for three days with the express purpose of seeing Stephen King speak. I had the added pleasure of being able to meet up with Shannon at River City Reading for the event. I’m going to tell you of my trip in reverse order, because I know what the people really want (and that’s this post). 

The event was a reading that was a part of a six city tour to promote his new book Revival. Before we get started with the main event I need you to know a little bit of my personal background with Stephen King. If you’ve been hanging around for any period of time, you probably already know this about me. 

I picked up my first King book (Cujo) from my father’s stack of King novels when I was eleven. I remember being relegated to walking around the fences of the tennis courts during gym class because I had ‘accidentally’ forgotten my gym clothes (again). 

Growing up walking home from school with The Giver, A Wrinkle in Time, and of course the ubiquitous Baby Sitter’s Club, and Fear Street novels made me quite proficient at walking and reading. So walking that rectangular fence, expertly avoiding the cracks in the asphalt I found something in Cujo that even to this day I can’t quite describe. 

Before Cujo it never occurred to me that things like pubic hair could be spoken of outside a health textbook, that there could be such suspense, and as King often puts it himself ‘balls to the wall horror’ contained within a novel. That death and despair were possible and all you had to do was open the book to be completely transported somewhere terrifying. It should also be noted that in my opinion Cujo is not one of his better novels and weirdly, holds no special place in my heart.

For this reason alone I think that King and his writing are special to me and molded me as a reader, but something also struck me about him while watching a biography program. I couldn’t have been more than fourteen or so and what I remember best about the program is the idea that King conveyed that even if he wasn’t being paid a cent for his writing — he’d still be doing it, solely for the passion that he has for the craft. His love of reading and writing made a lasting impression on me and he is someone I very much admire for that passion. 

Okay, let’s get to the goods, you’re thinking. So! The (sold out) event was scheduled for 7 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium which has a capacity of 1,409. Shannon had to work that morning and I was just grateful she was willing to brave the D.C. traffic. So I killed the morning visiting The Supreme Court and The Library of Congress (details coming in future posts). After some slight snafu’s regarding meeting locations Shannon and I finally met up at the National Museum of American History where Shannon had just concluded saying hello to the First Ladies dresses.

Obligatory proof of life meeting picture.

So while employees of the Lisner Auditorium told me that people had been lining up since at least one p.m., Shannon and I chose to enjoy dinner and we made it to the venue at about 6:30, it turned out very nicely, while we weren’t overly close, that was probably for the best as that way Shannon was not forced to restrain me while I attempted to throw myself on the stage like a madwoman. 

I’m still rambling, aren’t I? Well, when the King made his way on to the stage Shannon did have to deal with a mild amount of squeeing and she may have handed me the smelling salts at some point but once the event got going it was everything I wanted it to be, and more. King was charming, funny, down to earth and… a terrible dresser. Pictures in a moment.

I was really impressed how he segued from the first line of a bad two line joke, (“Two jumper cables walk into a bar…”) into the craft of writing, his own writing process, and everything else in-between. I won’t go so far as to say he’s a formidable public speaker, but he’s definitely engaging. The audience was slightly insane and clapped every time he mentioned the title of one of his books (even Gerald’s Game, I mean seriously?) but he took it in stride and never came off as arrogant or irritating (or irritated, for that matter). I was also delighted to find out that he’s friends with John Irving (my top three authors, Stephen King, John Irving, Margaret Atwood). 

There wasn’t supposed to be photography allowed but the girl two seats down from me had a full on DSLR camera and if she had taken one more picture with a flash in the darkened auditorium, I was going to shank her. In hindsight, I should have given her my card and asked her to email me her photos. By the time Q&A came up and the floor lights came up I decided to damn the rules and eke out two fuzzy little shots. Here’s what I got for my effort and breaking of the rules. 

Oh, the end of the joke is: Two jumper cables walk into a bar and say, “Can we get a drink?” the bartender says, “Yeah, just don’t start anything.” <rimshot>.

Overall great time meeting and hanging out with Shannon at such a phenomenal event. Totally worth the price of tickets, especially considering we each got a hardback copy of Revival (though sadly, we were not among the lucky few who randomly got signed copies). 

So, Reader, do you have any authors that you’d travel 1200+ miles round trip over the course of three days to see? I flew, no worries. Though the pilot on my trip back to Atlanta might have been wearing heels during the landing.

April @ The Steadfast Reader



How I Really Feel: Sex, Money, Mad Men

Posted 8 September, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, musings

Okay, so there’s nothing about sex in this post. That’s unrelated. Also, it sounded good.

So. Ever since Shannon at River City Reading posted her thoughts on Disclosure, Sponsored Content, and Keeping it Real. I’ve been thinking. Actually, I’ve been thinking since I received my first Influenster VoxBox. What I’ve been thinking about is what kind of blogger I want to be.

There are a lot of different feelings that I have wrapped up that go a million different ways. Sponsored posts, bloggers feeling as if they’re owed books by publishers, publishers feeling as if they’re owed reviews by bloggers. I’m not trying to piss anyone off, but invariably when you preface statements that way, you’re about to say something pissy.

In my post on the importance of negative reviews, I talked about the unique voice that book bloggers are gaining within the book world and the importance of maintaining the integrity of our blogs. If we want to continue to expand our credibility and influence as a community, then we must guard our integrity with the utmost care. 

My problem with Influenster and by extension Klout, further extending to Blogging for Books… (and so it goes) is best explained by a scene from the first season of Mad Men. The good ol’ boys advertising club is having difficulty coming up with a decent way to market lipstick, so they “throw it to the hens” and watch their reaction through a one way window. Here’s a quick video to see what I’m talking about.

Unknowingly, for the price of trying out some new shades of lipstick, the women are turned into a focus group to be used by the men (The Man) to better market a product. 
I fully realize my analogy is far from perfect. After all, as bloggers today we are (or should be) aware that what we’re doing is marketing (to some extent) for someone, so to maintain our integrity we must be selective over what we choose to promote. Is a tube of lipstick the price we put on our integrity? 
If we’re being paid to promote something, (which is fine) the only way to maintain our credibility is to fully disclose any endorsements as such. For me this is less about the FTC and more about the good of the community as a whole. The more bloggers that fail to disclose, the less credibility that we as a community have.
The VoxBox. So initially, I thought that Influenster was a pretty bitchin’ program and was super-psyched when I was notified I was getting my first VoxBox. When it came in the mail I had to sit down and have a long hard talk with myself. Was I willing to sell out my readers for a bar of soap, some paltry makeup, and a carton of ice cream? After a few Instagrams and tweets I started to feel a bit icky with myself, not because the products were bad but because I felt no passion for the products. Sure, I loved the new packaging on the soap, but would I have tweeted about it if not for some silly carrot Influenster was dangling? No way. So I quit. My ickiness receded and I felt better. But the lesson has stuck and I refuse to travel down such a road again. 
My blog and all the social media attached to it is not a platform for giant corporations to advertise their products. My time is worth more to me than to spend it writing a post on ice cream that I feel no passion about, just for the possibility of winning a year’s supply. My reader’s time is worth more to me than that. 
This isn’t a mission statement, a manifesto, or even an announcement of any sorts. This is just me, putting out my thoughts on things that have been trickling into our community, things impacting our community, not always in a positive way, things that aren’t going away that I feel the need to address.
Thoughts, dear Reader? Do you agree on anything I’ve said here? How do you feel about sponsored content? I didn’t really get into the issues of bloggers/publishers each feeling like they’re owed something by the other, any thoughts on that?


April @ The Steadfast Reader



Friday Rambling: The Necessary Evil of the Negative Review

Posted 29 August, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, musings

I’ve been looking at a lot of blogs lately, at a lot of review policy pages, and I’ve noticed something weird. Well, weird to me. There seem to be a lot of bloggers out there who don’t write negative reviews. Don’t get me wrong. I (generally) don’t find any thing pleasant or fun in writing a negative review, but I think that it’s a necessary evil.

There are two groups of individuals that (hypothetically) benefit from a well written negative review. First, and who I’m most concerned about, are my readers. If every review that I write is sunshine and lollipops, how can my readers tell what it is that I actually like, versus what’s just okay – or flat out bad? In other words, for me, it’s a matter of credibility. If I read a book I dislike, but am unable to put my distaste down into words – how valuable are my positive reviews?

This is not to say that bloggers that don’t write negative reviews lack credibility, but if I don’t know the blogger on a personal level, then I’m more apt to search out another review on a book before making a decision on whether or not to read the book. Michele from Reader’s Respite refers to this as ‘The Squee Factor’. What I’m trying to say is, I look at the positive review with a more critical eye – is the blogger fan-personing? Puffing? Do they feel obligated for a positive review, despite the language saying the review is honest? This is just what goes through my head when I’m on a site that specifically states the individual does not write negative reviews. It’s very possible I’m completely neurotic.

Second, and I realize by saying this, I’m thinking an awful lot of myself, (but really, it’s applicable to all book blogs). I think that a properly written negative review can be helpful to the author, the publishers, and other people associated with the book. Without feedback, of all stripes, how does one improve the next time?

It’s undisputed that book bloggers are a growing influence for those reading, writing, and buying books in the book world. Big and small – the internet allows us to have a voice. The question is, do we want to have an authentic, respected voice or do we want to be tools in the marketing machine of the big five publishers? (Or tools of anyone’s marketing machine?) A tool that works for free, no less?

Personally, the answer for me is an absolute no. So, I will continue to write negative reviews – when necessary. I do this not to be mean or hurtful but for the sake of my readers and my own integrity.

You’re probably thinking, “Well damnit April, if you like writing negative reviews so much tell us how.” All I can say, is keep your eyes peeled for Bloggiesta. (Sept. 18 – 21) In the meantime, Book Bloggers International ran a post on Negative Reviews: Constructive Criticism is the Key.

So, Readers, have I pissed anyone off? That’s okay. Let’s chat about it! Respectful dissent is always welcome here! What do you think? Do you write negative reviews? Do you have a policy specifically saying you don’t write negative reviews? If you don’t write negative reviews, why not? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader



One Minute Monday

Posted 25 August, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

I’ve been having some difficulty stringing together coherent thoughts. I have a half finished musings post in the queue on negative reviews that I wanted to use today, but I couldn’t get up the gumption to finish it.

 So I thought I’d try out this meme by Casey at Writing My Legacy. There haven’t been any writing prompts for the past several weeks, but that’s okay. I can hoe my own row. See? I even made a graphic.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and get prepared to see how my twisty little mind works – at least for a minute – at least for what my nimble little fingers can type up. As I stated before there hasn’t been a prompt in weeks, so I’m going to start with the word: 



Exhaustion = tired. I’m very tired. Tired quite often. Kill Bill on the television, black mambas might be very interesting creatures, I should probably look them up. Learning is fun! Except when it’s not, except when it makes me angry. Boo, anger. Yay, Yoda! Do or do not, bitches. Yup. So there’s all that.


Unedited, uncut, stream of consciousness writing from moi. I guess it’s something.

Casey’s Rules: 
(I’m only using the first five, the rest can be found on her site, linked above.)

  1. Set a timer for one minute.
  2. Let your mind wander like it’s supposed to.
  3. Don’t worry about sounding perfect and making complete sense.
  4. Don’t let your pen leave the paper or your fingers leave the keyboard.
  5. Don’t stop to overthink, just write.

Play along reader! Set a one minute timer for yourself and leave your stream of consciousness masterpiece in the comments. Or just talk to me, what’s up? Are you tired too?

April @ The Steadfast Reader