Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ask Me Anything - Your Answers!!

Lauren here! I'm back to answer all the questions that were left in my Ask Me Anything post. Still check it out if you're at all interested in earning up to $15 from The Book Depository. You have to do one of two guest posts by this coming Saturday, but believe me, it's easy! Write as little or as much as you want. Thanks for those that have helped so far- you can post something after this Saturday too, but the giveaway part of it will be over. I'll still share your post with Allison Burnett, the director/screenwriter, though. You can rent or buy Ask Me Anything via Amazon Video right now.

1. What was your most favorite read this year (only one!)? 

I'm probably going to say The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. It's the sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling, and I'm just loving these books more and more. This one was definitely more gruesome than the first, but it was just fantastic and had me guessing until the end. I really want more!

2. What is a genre that has challenged you this year? 

I feel like 2015 will be my year for really digging into other genres, as I'm trying to read all these series that I never got too. However, for last year...hmm...I guess I read more scary/thriller/horror type novels. They can certainly be frightening, but if you push through that, you find some fantastic stories.

3. How do you find a balance between life and being a blogger and which is the most trying aspect of having an online presence?

Balance between life and being a blogger. This is difficult at times, because I really do get busy. Starting this week, I'll be back to two jobs and three classes, not to mention things like my dance class and a book club I just started. So yeah, I really love blogging, and it's difficult to find time, but I just try and fit it in when I can. Weekends are usually pretty good for that. I want to try and schedule things in advance more often than not because it helps me keep up and I hate having days and days of no new content. I don't have a magic secret;  I guess I just make it a priority.

Most trying aspect of an online presence? Probably trying to keep it up. Like I said above, I get really busy and it's hard to always keep track of things for the blog. I know I can't just keep disappearing without new content or commenting back on posts, so it can definitely be trying sometimes. I think it's worth it though, so I do it.

4. You are such a bookworm - who in your life got you hooked on books? Do you remember the first book you ever read? 

 Out of my immediate family, I'm the one who was always reading. My sister loves reading now, but she didn't read as much when she was younger. I'm honestly not sure what got me hooked on loving to read. I just always remember doing it. I don't, however, remember the first book I ever read. I know I loved picture books like The Rainbow Fish though.

5. What made you decide to blog? 

I was in an online book club for years, and I met this girl named Keaton. We also really loved music, and decided to try and create a monthly magazine of reviews and thoughts. We also had help from a couple other book club members. Anyway, that's why the blog is Shooting Stars Mag (mag is short for magazine). As I got more into blogging, I learned about the book blog world, so we decided to include books, as well as music and other entertainment. Nowadays, it's mostly books as I'm the only original creator left, but I'm trying to keep it mixed as much as I can with music, movies, etc.

6. Do you find yourself getting burned out on blogging? 

 Oh yes. I think if you've been blogging for a certain amount of time, you tend to get burned out at moments. I have been running this blog since August 2007 and it can be tiring and difficult to keep up with. I have thought about possibly quitting in the future, but I've never been at a point where I'm like "this isn't worth it" or "this isn't fun" so I keep up with it and do my best. I enjoy finding new books to read. I like reading the reviews and discussions. Yes, I could read other blogs, but I like being part of that world too, so I stay.

7. What is your all time best Christmas present?

 Wow...I don't even know! I have a difficult time remembering what I got as a child, as I'm sure many of those were very exciting. A friend of mine made me this scrapbook on a poster board of an event we went too. It's hard to explain, but I love DIY gifts like that. Another friend made me an actual scrapbook last Christmas too, and that's quite lovely.

8. Will you watch the Fifty Shades of Grey movie in February? 

 No- I know people that want too though, as they enjoyed the books.

9. What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone would be awesome. HP was my childhood, and I remember being so excited for that film. It would be great to see it again for the very first time. It would also be cool to see The Usual Suspects, since that one has such a great ending.

10. Do you feel guilty when you take a break? 

 I haven't taken that many "scheduled" breaks. Sometimes if I don't have posts scheduled, there are some days or so where the blog is empty because I'm just so busy. However, actually taking the time to get away from the blog is always a good idea, I think. I should probably do it a bit more often than I do to recharge, but I don't like being gone too much. So yes, I guess I feel a bit guilty, but I still think it's a good idea now and then.

11. Scented or non-scented candles?

I mostly have scented candles, so I'll go with that. I like non-scented for the ambiance of it though.

12.  MnMs or Skittles? 

 My "and" sign kind of sucks on this blog, which is why MnM's has a n in the middle. Anyway, that's my answer. MnM's. I love both- but I'm such a chocolate fiend.


Cleo Bannister said...

What a great set of questions - and answers. I like scheduling my posts ahead of time but sometimes I'm more organised than others! I'm a scented candle girl too ;-)

Tracy Terry said...

Loving these questions and answers. Its always fun (and informative) when we get to know a little more about our fellow bloggers.

Such a great design, I really the like the new look to your blog.

Erika Sorocco said...

I finished The Silkworm the day before yesterday, and could not agree with you more. The series is just brilliant - I need more Strike pronto!


Kindlemom said...

Wonderful questions and answers! So much fun.

I hardly ever read horror either but I find when I do, I usually actually really like them. I just have to get past being a chicken first. ;)

Krysten Quiles said...

Oh my gosh I didn't realize we started our blogs around the same time. I'm November 2007!

Liviania said...

My sister wants me to go see 50Shades with her. My sister's taste level is ... questionable.

Aylee said...

Wow, since 2007! I realize now that I've never heard the story of how this blog got started before - it's a bit more interesting than the standard story of how people started blogging I bet! I think almost all of us can relate when it comes to feeling burnt out on blogging from time to time. I'm so happy that you're still going strong though, Lauren! Especially since 2007!! Ohh and yay for The Silkworm! :)

Aylee said...

Wow, since 2007! I realize now that I've never heard the story of how this blog got started before - it's a bit more interesting than the standard story of how people started blogging I bet! I think almost all of us can relate when it comes to feeling burnt out on blogging from time to time. I'm so happy that you're still going strong though, Lauren! Especially since 2007!! Ohh and yay for The Silkworm! :)

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Great answers. I have been blogging for over three years now and there are times when I get burned out and need to step back. I don't want to quit though, I still love it. I think most of us seasoned bloggers are learning to branch out and read more of what we want these days, it really helps. Here is to many more years of blogging.

Diva Booknerd said...

Between M & M's and Skittles, there's no choice really M & M's all the way. Wow, I had no idea you'd been blogging that long Lauren. It's a credit to you that you've stuck with it and still find awesome content to entertain us with. Loved your responses. Would love to see this as a regular feature here <3

kimbacaffeinate said...

What fun, and it was cool getting to know more about you. Blogging is a blast, but yep we do burn out from time to time. I love that you are trying new genres and series you've meant to start.

Medeia Sharif said...

It was great learning more about you. I started my current blog in 2009. It can be exhausting.

Claudine G. said...

What a fun interview! I love M&Ms too. Blogging has recently become more interesting for me but in the past, I did take breaks (and felt guilty about it).

Alise said...

Sounds like I really need to read The Cuckoo's Calling then! I agree that it is really hard to keep up with everything. I wish I could remember some of my older Christmas gifts as well.

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

I so need to read The Cuckoo's Calling, especially because it is my type of read. I am going no where near anything 50 Shades of Grey, juts not my type of thing at all. Though my family are trying to get me to read it, which I find rather weird. >.< Ha! I'm totally with you with M&M's ;)

Nicole Hewitt said...

Wow! Two jobs and three classes, plus blogging! That's a lot!!

L-Diggitty said...

Yay! My silly question made the cut! Although... I'm totally a Skittles girl, so I don't know if we can be friends. OR.... that just means that we don't have to share and there are zero conflicts of interest! LOL!

L-Diggitty said...

Oh, and I'm definitely watching the Fifty Shades movie, although I thought the books were kinda asinine... what can I say, I'm a sucker for hype!