#MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Tag

I was tagged by Sara Letourneau for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop, which was created by Sarah Brentyn @ Lemon Shark.  So let’s have some fun looking back in time!  First the rules:

The Rules for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop

  1. No cheating. You must highlight your first post. Not your second post, not one you love… the first post only.
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).
  3. Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine, but NO editing.)
  4. Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  5. Tag five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  6. Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  7. Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  8. Include “the rules” in your post.
  9. Completely silly rules that I’m making up as I type:
    • Write your post while wolfing down your favorite dessert.
    • Do 10 cartwheels after you hit “Publish.”

My First Blog Post: March 8, 2012

My very first blog post was titled Hello world!

Welcome to my nerdy blog, where I’ll cover topics such as Star Wars, crafts, and young adult fantasy literature.  Mostly I’m just trying to get back into writing some.  I have some books I’d like to write but feel really out of practice, so I’m hoping this blog will help me ease into it a little.  Thanks for reading!

“Hello, world!” is the name of a type of program that beginning coders learn; it basically does nothing but print the words “Hello, world!” on the screen.  So a lot of people title their first blog posts the same way, just a way of saying, Hi, I’m here.  This is my start, figuring this out.

How has my blog changed since then?

Quite frankly, my blog is still exactly as described in my first post haha.  I still talk about Star Wars, crafts, and young adult fantasy literature, among other things.  I’ve been working on writing some of those books in my head (see excerpts, and my NaNoWriMo win), and having the blog has definitely helped, not just with practicing writing but also with finding a community of other writers to inspire and help me.

From the beginning, my blog has been a hodge-podge mix of nerdy topics.  I know this has hampered my developing a super-strong following, because the kinds of people that like YA book reviews aren’t always the same people interested in video games, or biology, or K-pop, or scrapbooking.  But keeping a variety of topics also lets me keep up a steady stream of posts that I feel passionate about writing, which keeps me from burning out.  I think that’s how I’ve been able to keep my blog going to five years now.

It also helped me to develop some regular features on my blog, such as the Weekly Photo Challenge, Fanart Fridays, GeekyNerdy Book Club, etc. to give me fun, regular, easy-to-produce content.  I know some other bloggers that do monthly reading wrap-ups, or weekly haikus.  This kind of thing helps you get in a good rhythm with your blog.

Lastly, looking back on my very first posts, the biggest difference between then and now is presentation!  My first posts are walls of text with not a lot of nice images or sections with headings; they just don’t look very professional or easy to read.  Also the tone is too casual; I didn’t give background information on any of the books I was reviewing, or explain any of the acronyms I used.  Most of these posts got exactly 0 views.  Now I can understand why.

I tag…

  1. Star Wars Anonymous
  2. Ellie @ Blogging for Dopamine
  3. Lightning Ellen
  4. BQB @ Bookshelf Battle
  5. GeekyNerdy Girl
  6. YOU!  Feel free to join in with this blog hop if you feel like it!

I confess I did not do the required cartwheels.  Dessert was easy, though. 😉

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks to Ellie at Blogging for Dopamine for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  Ellie is another nerdy girl who blogs about books, gaming, and science.

sunshine-award

For this award, the rules are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and then write 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo in a post/on your site

My award images are kind of taking over the whole side of my blog now, so I’m thinking of moving them to my About page.

Aaaand the questions from Ellie:

  1. Are you hooked on any particular TV show at the moment? What is it?

The only two current shows I’m really watching right now are The Expanse (great space sci-fi) on SyFy and Into the Badlands (martial arts epic) on AMC.  I’d definitely recommend both.

I’m also always watching Asian dramas on Netflix; my recent favorites are Hello, My Twenties and Descendants of the Sun, the latter of which I would recommend to anyone.  It’s probably the best Kdrama I’ve ever seen.

2. What was the last book you read? How did you find it?

The last complete book I read was Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I read it all in one day, and it was an entertaining read; I liked the characters and some concepts, but it lacks the wit and depth of the original.

I am currently in the middle of The Princess Bride by William Goldman, which is wonderful, just like the movie.

3. Battle of the entertainment mediums! Which is your favourite – books, TV, films, comic books, video games, tabletop games etc.?

Books!  I could not live without books.  (And 99% of the time, the book is better than the movie anyways.)  But I also greatly enjoy all those other media, especially comics/manga and games.

4. Is there any fictional character you have always wanted to be? Who?

Hmmm, I’m not really sure. I guess my fake namesake, Meiling Li from Cardcaptor Sakura.  Also, I would love to be Belle from Masqueone of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings.  She just seems to be so full of life and on top of things.

5. Science or technology?

Well, I am “science” and my husband is “technology,” so I get plenty of both in my daily life. 🙂

6. Have you ever read a book that you felt was written just for you? What was it?

I have read many books where I felt it was just the right time for me to be reading it.  But I’m not sure I’ve ever felt a book was written just for me.

7. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

Pasta!  I love to eat plain noodles with a little butter and parmesan cheese.  It would take me a really, really long time to get sick of it.

8. Can an adaptation ever be better than the original?

Sure!  Some stories and some visions are just well-suited for a certain medium.  Even movie adaptations of books can improve on them, giving needed editing and streamlining while adding visual interest.  Some movies I think were better than the book: The Jane Austen Book Club and The Help.  I could make an argument for Catching Fire and The Princess Bride, too.

9. Who is the most famous person you’ve met?

Probably Marissa Meyer, whom I met on a tour for her book Heartless.

10. What’s your favourite season?

Probably summer, because I love warm weather best.  But I will say that Ohio’s best season is unquestionably fall.

11. Share one of your favourite quotes!

“Fear cuts deeper than swords.”

This is a line from A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.  I’m going to embroider it on a pillow or something someday.  Like Arya, I repeat it like a mantra for strength.

No nominations from me this time because I’m just too busy, but feel free to consider yourself tagged if you’d like to answer these questions, too!

 

Five years blogging

Today is my fifth blogiversay!  Happy Birthday, Jedi by Knight!

blogiversary2.pngI can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years.  Hopefully I’ll be doing it for many more!  So far my blog has seen me through dozens of book reviews, Weekly Photo Challenges, coloring book pictures, K-pop videos, and so on.  Sometimes five years seems like no time at all, and sometimes it seems like an eternity.

This year, I’m going to be focusing more on science (which is my day job here on the blog.  I’m planning a series of posts aimed at non-scientists on how to analyse the scientific studies you see reported in the news.  I’m also going to open the floor for any questions my readers have for me as a scientist.

Since I didn’t do a yearly wrap-up at the end of 2016, I’ll briefly mention a few stats here.  My blog has had about 41,000 views over its lifetime.  My most popular posts have been:

  1. There is no hot air balloon in Around the World in Eighty Days

  2. Famous Introvert-Extrovert Pairs

  3. We all got a chicken-duck-woman-thing waiting for us: Star Wars Bad Lip Reading

  4. Who’s that Pokémon…girl?

  5. Who is the Pilot? (Reached review)

  6. Introvert Challenge: Getting a Haircut

Thank you so much to all of you who have read, liked, or commented here in the past five years.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.  It’s really thanks to you that I’ve been blogging this long.  Please keep reading in the future!

The Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated twice recently for the Blogger Recognition Award!  A big thank you to Jeyran Main of Review Tales and Green Onion of The Green Onion Blog.

RULES

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created.

The History of Jedi by Knight

Way back in 2012, I kind of felt like my life was stagnating.  I had graduated college, gotten married, bought a house, and gotten a job in my field, but I wasn’t feeling particularly “fulfilled.”  I had also basically stopped writing and drawing; I was consuming a lot of content (books, video games, etc.), but not creating much.  I don’t know why I hit upon the idea of a blog, but it seemed like a good outlet; my husband came up with the name Jedi by Knight and got me the domain.  I knew from the beginning that I would be covering a variety of nerdy and geeky topics, with heavy emphasis on books and Star Wars (and sometimes Star Wars books).

Advice for new bloggers

First, some practical advice: make friends with the “schedule” function.  Sometimes I feel really inspired to write, and will write several posts in one weekend, but other times I’m too busy to write for days at a time.  So probably 99% of my posts are scheduled to post, instead of hitting “publish” right when I finish them; this allows me to have consistent, weekly posts which I think is really key to maintaining a blog.

Second, take your place in the community.  I had no idea how many blogger friends I would make, or how many great conversations I’d have in comment sections, or how I’d be inspired to write my own posts by jumping off a point in someone else’s.  We bloggers are a pretty strong community, so spend some of your time looking at others’ blogs (try using the Reader to find other blogs on similar topics, and check out the bloggers who follow you).

My nominations

Along those lines, I’d like to nominate two bloggers that I’ve had great collaborations with this year:

Mystery Blogger Award

Another year, another new award!  I’m thrilled to have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Michael J. Miller over at My Comic Relief.  Thank you!

mystery-1

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma and “is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts.  Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates.  They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get.  This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.”

RULES

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

Three things about me (New Year edition)

  1. I am currently using Memrise to help practice my beginner’s Japanese.  It’s good for refreshing basic grammar and vocabulary.  I already know katakana and hiragana, and the app is helping me learn some basic kanji, too.  My only complaint is that it renders English loan words in hiragana instead of katakana, which is not really correct.
  2. I got a new phone case for Christmas; it has an image of stacks of Star Wars EU (now Legends) novels.  Aaaand I totally own about half of the books pictured, plus I’ve read most of the ones I don’t own anyways.
  3. I apparently listened to 7,663 songs (over 448 hours) on Pandora in 2016 (mostly two stations: K-pop Radio and my personal alt rock one called The Alternation).  That also doesn’t consider any of the music I streamed on Spotify, which I discovered this year.  Basically, I listen to music when I’m driving, writing, cleaning, reading, gaming, working in the lab…

Questions from the nominator (Michael)

1)  If you were a superhero in real life, would you let anyone in on your secret?  If so, who?  Why?

I’m guessing my husband would probably need to know.  But otherwise, no; I don’t really like talking about myself.

2)  Where would you go if you had a two week, all expense-paid vacation to anywhere in the world?

Right now, Japan.  I’d also love to go back to places I’ve already been: Ireland, Spain, central Florida where I used to live (including trips to both the beach and Disney).

3)  Regardless of whether or not you actively enjoy doing karaoke, what is/would be your go-to karaoke jam?

I used to play Rock Band all the time, and my favorite song to sing was Still Alive, from the video game Portal.  Also, anything by Fall Out Boy or Paramore.

4)  Who would play you in the movie of your life?  (I stole this from the Bradscribe because I dig it.)

No idea.  I’m thinking Mae Whitman, if she dyed her hair strawberry blond.  Emma Stone is also a possibility.

and the weird/fun one

5)  If you had to have a talking animal sidekick for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Why?

A cat is the obvious answer, because I have two, and one of them talks all the time anyways (just not in English).  But I could also go with a squirrel or a red panda or something else cute and fluffy.

My “Best” Post

I’ve published more than 550 posts on this blog, so it’s kinda hard to choose one.  I would say the most dramatic is my account of my trip to Skellig Michael, the rugged island off the Irish coast that serves as Ahch-To in the new Star Wars movies.

My Star Wars pilgrimage: Skellig Michael

My nominees

For the sake of time, I’m going to trim this down to five people whose blogs have really inspired me and shown me their love of blogging.

  1. Novella and Bananabelle
  2. The Well-Red Mage
  3. Jaysen Headley Writes
  4. BQB at Bookshelf Battle
  5. The Green Onion Blog

My questions for nominees (or feel free to answer the same ones I did)

  1. What’s the most recent game you’ve played?  Could be a board game, video game, etc.
  2. What’s your favorite Star Wars movie and why? (If you say one of the prequels, I reserve the right to unfollow you ~_^ KIDDING)
  3. Do you have any goals for reading this year?
  4. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
  5. Going off my answer to #5 above, I’ll give you a choice for the fun/weird one:
    • What animal would your Patronus be? or
    • What animal would your daemon settle as?