Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Decade Of Sheer Librarian Awesomeness

February 28, 2003.  A day that shall live in infamy!

Or maybe just a day that shall live in narcissistic mediocrity.

Either way, it was ten years ago today that I took leave of my senses, put together a few strings of copied HTML code with some chewing gum and chicken wire, and started this blog - which even back then had the glorious name of The Misadventures Of Super Librarian.  I rambled a lot in the early days, flitting from topic to topic, not really having a strong focus with my blogging.  These days I think there's too much "pressure" to have a focus - which always makes me feel sorry for newer bloggers.  It was kind of fun to muck around on my own, fumble around in the dark like a teenage boy with his first girlfriend in the back seat of his father's car, basically throwing up things on my own Internet wall to see what would stick (and for how long).  I have ten years of "content" on this blog now.  Ten years of posts that are not very good, are sort of OK, and others that are so frackin' amazing I wonder what good drugs I was on so I could repeat the cocktail.

I started this blog in Michigan, moved to California, and it's seen me through ups and downs in both my professional and personal life.  This blog has kept me relatively sane and it gave me something that was wholly mine.  It gave me an outlet.  It gave me a "place" before social media really took off (I'm not counting MySpace because holy mother of God, MySpace was a dumpster fire).  And to this day it's a little shocking to me that this blog, this thing I started on a lark because hey, Rosario and Laurie are doing it, so why can't I do it too?, has turned into something that has given me way more than I ever really put into it.

I came home from work last week, feeling a little - out of sorts I guess.  My Man was already home from his day job, and I sat next to him, put my head on his shoulder and said something along the lines of "I'm still a good librarian....."  He said to me, "Hell Wendy, you were Librarian Of The Year - that's all anybody should ever need to know to realize you're a 'good librarian'."  

This blog got me Librarian Of The Year.  It really did.  I may have gotten it on my own eventually.  I reviewed over at The Romance Reader from 1999-2007.  Over the years I've worked with several authors on library-related to-dos.  But really, it was this blog.  It's how anybody within the romance spectrum who knows me?  Yeah, knows me.  It's also how and why I've had some great opportunities come my way over the years.  I'm always a little tickled when anybody asks me to be a part of something - another blog, a project, a speaking opportunity.  Usually my first reaction after dumbfounded flattery is, "Seriously, have they read the mess that is my blog?"  

The kicker?  They have.  And they still ask me.

Honestly, it's a kick in the pants is what it is.  But you know what?  As great as a lot of that stuff has been, the best part about blogging has been the people I've met - either online or in person - over the last ten years.  I have met so many awesome women.  Friendships that I never would have made otherwise if it weren't for this bizarre hobby of mine of blathering online about romance novels.  I've met awesome people from all over the country and even some readers from all over the world.  We shared our mutual love of westerns and category romance and smart erotica.  We went on rants about too-stupid-to-live heroines and whatever bizarre plot conflict pet peeves we have.  This blog opened up a whole other world for me.  This blog showed me other women, out there, who were, on one hand, like me but on the other?  Maybe very, very different.  I've met people who I suspect are my long lost twin and other people where we have zero in common - outside of romance novels.  And I love every single one of you. 

I started this blog on a lark and I'd still probably blog even if people stopped reading it tomorrow.  But you know what?  This blog is a helluva lot more fun because you're all here, with me, and we're all sharing in something that we truly love - romance novels.  Yes critics, "silly," "fluffy," "trite," romance novels.  And you know what?  We didn't ask you anyway, and I'm still a "good librarian."

I toyed with the idea of doing something "special" to "honor" (however dubious it may be....) the occasion of my blog's tenth birthday.  In the end, I got nothing.  So instead I thought it would be fun to open up the floor for comments.  Regulars, lurkers, newbies, swing on by - leave a comment.  Share something with us all.  When you started reading this blog, where you like to hang out online, hell - maybe you've read a great book lately?  Ladies, you have the floor.....

30 comments:

Jennifer Lohmann said...

Wendy, I always look to see if you have a new post when I open my RSS feed. Thank you for being here.

Sarah said...

Congrats on the anniversary! As a librarian, I love to read your blog to see I'm not the only romance loving librarian. I get so sick of the lack of respect given the genre by some librarians. My system right now is doing genre trainings--but the genres they selected? Mystery, historical fiction, and science fiction/fantasy. No romance and no Christian Fiction, which are actually the top circulating genres.

Jennifer Lohmann said...

Also, the image of cocktails and librarians is awesome.

*Goddess* said...

CONGRATS!!! I, too, enjoy reading your blog. But I thought surely we'd see a picture your blog sidekick, LemonDrop all decked out in her party regalia!

BTW, how old is Lemon Drop?

Sarah M. Anderson said...

I met you at RWA NY 2011, when you were all dressed up to go accept your Librarian of the Year award and I've been following you ever since! (But in a complimentary way, not a stalker way. Really!) These days, I'm such good friends with my local librarians (I spend a lot of time there with my son) and a lot of times we'll have conversations like, Hey, did you see what Wendy the SuperLibrarian said? And they know you, too. You've made a big impact and that's something to be proud of! Keep up the good work!

Wendy said...

Jennifer: Blogging inspiration has been in short supply this week. I can't believe I went a week between posts! Also, yes - I love that image. I think of it every time I'm heading to a conference :)

Sarah: I've done genre trainings for librarians about romance before. The #1 reponse I tend to get? "I had NO idea there was so much to romance novels!" They're always floored by the variety of sub genres.

Goddess: Lemon Drop will be *gasp* three in April! And she'll make an appearance soon. I'm going to have recap my February reading :)

Wendy said...

Sarah: That's the one thing about not having a "focus" early on in my blogging - I'm always amazed the people who follow me. Librarians, readers, authors, nurses my Mom works with LOL, people who stumble here because of a baseball rant etc.

And I remember meeting you at RWA 2011! I had a full dance card that day and was going to a Harlequin Meet n' Greet in a cocktail dress because I think there was an RWA Awards Reception right after? That's the thing with LotY - RWA keeps you BUSY! That entire week is still a blur.....

Brie said...

I've been a long-time lurker and only managed to get over my fear of commenting when I got my own blog and realized that every comment counts and makes me happy, so I figured that it was the same for every other blogger, big or small.

I'm just happy to be part of a community that makes new members feel like old friends. Thank you, congrats and keep up the good work!

Theresa Romain said...

A very happy tenth, Wendy! I first started reading romance when I worked at a library, and both parts (snapping up romances and learning about library work) were stone cold awesome. Now that I'm a writer as well as a reader, I appreciate the role of libraries in connecting people with books in a whole new way. Thanks for your blogging, your librarian-ing, and your thoughtful reviews. And for the super-cute pictures of Lemon Drop. :)

Tracy said...

Wow 10 years! That's awesome Wendy! I love that your blog goes from one subject to the next. A) We never know what we're going to find and it keeps us on our toes and B) I adore your sense of humor no matter what you're talking about. It's all good! :)

I'm so happy to have met you and hopefully we can get together soon with all those other bloggers!

Phyl said...

Congrats on 10 years, Wendy! The time really has flown by. I'm guessing that since my own blog is 6 years old I've been reading yours for close to 7 years. I have to thank you for all of the wonderful book recommendations--especially for opening my eyes to a couple of the Harlequin lines I'd always passed over. My TBR pile wouldn't be half what it is today if it weren't for you and other generous bloggers who take the time to write about the books they've read. And yes, that's a good thing.

I hope you'll be around at least another 10 years.

willaful said...

Happy Anniversary! You know, whenever I'm looking up an older book on Google, I'm so thrilled when a review from TRR comes up -- they're the most reliable I've found online.

azteclady said...

You are an awesome librarian.

One of the posts here that impacted me the most was one where you talked about how your duty is not to select what you think is good and/or to guide people to read your choices, but simply to make sure that everyone's choices would be there, that all sorts of writing and literature and content were there, present and available to the reading public.

You have made me laugh and cry (like now) and think. Thank you, Wendy.

Now, for the love of all that's shiny, do not stop, okay?

Jamie Brenner (aka Logan Belle) said...

Wendy, you are a brilliant reviewer. I love and respect your reviews even when -- actually, especially when -- you write things I might not want to read about my work. And when you love something, it means the world because you are a tough critic. Keep it up. Here's to another ten years!

Kwana said...

10 years! What a wonderful accomplishment. Happy Anniversary. Wishing you many many more.

Wendy said...

Brie: That is so true re: commenting. Every year I tell myself I'm going to get better with commenting, because it really does brighten a blogger's day!

Theresa: Lemon Drop just keeps getting cuter too! And if librarian-ing isn't a real word, it should be! LOL

Tracy: I don't know how people keep narrowly-focused blogs. You see bloggers who have separate cooking blogs, reading blogs, knitting blogs - I couldn't do it! I figure I'll just throw it all in one place and people can always skip reading posts that don't interest them.

Phyl: In turn, I have to thank Sybil for roping me in at TGTBTU. It's my gig with her, reviewing Harlequins, that has really allowed me the luxury of dipping my toes in multiple lines. Prior to that, I pretty much just stuck with Historical, SuperRomance and Special Edition.

Willaful: Every now and then I'll stumble across one of my reviews at TRR and thinks, "Damn, I used to write really good reviews - what the hell happened?" LOL The answer it I got "chatty" when I started the blog. At TRR I strove to be a little bit more "professional."

AL: No plans to stop anytime soon. Even when I've tried to take hiatuses or small breaks, I end up getting the itch. Blogging really is part of my routine now. And I have LOVED meeting so many blogger/readers in person, including you! By far the biggest kick I've gotten out of this whole thing.

Jamie: I'm officially going to put "brilliant reviewer" under "super genius" on my blogging business cards. Ha!

Wendy said...

Kwana: I can't believe it's been 10 years! I literally started this blog on a whim - mostly because I was following Rosario's and Laurie Gold's blogs and thought, "Hey! I could do that!" An "honor" I'm sure they'll be horrified to take credit for :)

nath said...

Congratulations, Wendy! Wow, 10 years of blogging! How awesome is that?! You know what I love about blogging? It's the community :P I was very lucky to be able to meet a lot of bloggers face to face, and it's just so much fun! Here we have people that understand us and that is so awesome :) Anyway, I hope we can get together soon again :P

Long live to The Super Librarian!

Nikki said...

Happy Birthday and Congrats on 10 years! I check your blog daily, right up there after FB. I want to thank you for all your reqs, especially the Harlequins. You're one of the few reviewers that I trust, and I always enjoy reading what's going on in your world.

Andrea said...

Way to go, Wendy! You are an awesome reviewer and an even awesomer librarian. Keep it up.

Wendy said...

Nath: I love seeing you in person! Be sure to let us know the next time you're out this way visiting family. We'll kidnap you for a day :)

Nikki: We Harlequin readers need to stick together :)

Andrea: Awesomer is my new favorite word....

AnimeJune said...

Congratulations, Wendy! It's been such a pleasure to read your blog. I can't even remember how long I've been reading it and your flawless opinions. It was such a blast getting to meet you and talk about books with you at two different RWA Nationals, too!

Here's to ten more!

Rosario said...

Congratulations, Wendy! I remember how happy I was when I discovered your blog, and I really am honoured (not horrified *g*) that I played a role at all in making it happen. Here's hoping you continue to enjoy blogging, so that we can continue to read your blog for many years!

LynnD said...

Happy tenth anniversary Wendy. Your blog is one of my favourites and I really do enjoy broadness of your focus and that I can come here to find reviews of books that I might not otherwise find. Here's to another ten years (at least)!

S. said...

Hello Wendy. Although I'm a recent visitor I'm very glad to be here because you make the blog welcome to others. I admire your job a lot. In another time if I had been smarter I'd have studied to be a librarian because I always loved libraries and I guess I crumbled under stress when it was time to pick a degree...oh well, when I become rich I'll be able to do it. lol
So, congratulations on being a librarian with a love for blogging about books, it has to be a passion...and to this day I still feel amazed on how many people out there love books like me, when I was younger no one in my circle of friends read or enjoyed it or wanted to. So, long life to the book love and I'm happy you are an important person doing it too. For 10 years online and congratulations for that!!!
****

Marguerite Kaye said...

A very happy tenth Wendy. You're one of the few blogs I read simply for the pleasure of it, and you've done that even rarer thing, given me some great recommended reads over the last few years. I wish you would come to Scotland and be our librarian, the romance section in my library is still the corner of shame, they could do with a shake up and I'm sure you would be the gal to do it.

Sheri said...

Trying to think what Lemon Drop could do to mark the occasion...hmmm, we should have video taped that meltdown this weekend and posted it with the caption "Lemon Drop was told she could no longer "star" in Aunt Weigh-ah's blog" or "Aunt Weigh-ah considers stopping her blog after 10 years." ;)

Congrats...and thanks for making my kid look cute - lord knows some days she is sooooooo not cute! :)

-Lil Sis

Wendy said...

AnimeJune: Hahahahahahaha! The "flawless opinions" thing is highly debatable! I have loved being able to meet so many fellow bloggers and chat books in person. Here's hoping our paths cross again soon.

Rosario: I adore your blog and still love reading it. We can sit next to each other in matching rocking chairs and shake our fists at all the damn kids now standing on our lawns - LOL

LynnD: Thanks! I hope to be here for many more years to come!

S: I really started this blog because, at the time, there was no one in my "real life" that liked to read romance novels like I did. I had to find all my people online! Now I'm so lucky - this blog has led to me meeting so many like-minded readers, both in person and in the virtual world.

Marguerite: I would love to come to Scotland! Although as an American I'm probably romanticizing the hell out of it in my mind. Me, smartly dressed, the head librarian at some small library in a quaint Scottish village.....

Lil' Sis: We don't want to shatter the Lemon Drop Cuteness Illusion I've created on this blog :) But man, that kid throws on epic tantrum! I have no idea where she possibly could have gotten that from!

Marg said...

Wow! 10 years is an awesome achievement! Well done Wendy!

lisabea said...

Super late to the party--but Happy Super Anniversary Super Wendy. <3 U