I am now back from my hiatus, and from tomorrow, blogging will continue as normal.
It's sad that it has to take something so awful for this to happen, but I have found that losing someone has made me appreciate what I have so much more, in every aspect of my life. But this is a book blog, so that's what I'll be talking about here.
I like to read books. I like to write about them. That's pretty much it, it's just a hobby. I'd say I'd have a fairly good grasp of the English language, and all that comes with writing correctly, but I'm not brilliant at it. I'm not the most eloquent, nor do I have the best vocabulary (how many times do I say "awesome/amazing/brilliant/fantastic/beautiful"?). This doesn't matter though, because I do it because I enjoy it.
Yet I have a number of regular readers who come back to my blog again and again to read what I write. There are those who comment, and, if my blog stats are correct, those that lurk - hello, you :) I am so grateful to each and every one of you. Your enthusiasm and praise for my blog surprises me and fills me with awe each day, and your trust in my reviews is overwhelming if I think about it too much. I can't thank you enough.
And then there are the publicists. It's their job to promote books, I get that, but I still appreciate the fact that I get sent books to review. I mean, really? As I said, this is just a hobby. Something I do for fun. Yet publishers think I do a good enough job to send me books to review. That's just awesome! But what's even more awesome is how much further some publicists go. Whenever I have an upcoming blog event, I know I can email the publicists I'm contact with and ask for suggestions of books I could read from their backlists, and they'll take the time to do some looking up for me. These are busy people, yet they'll stop doing what they're doing for a while to help me out. And then there are those who actually talk to you; where a simple "hope you're well" in an email about a book can turn into, a few emails later, a conversation that has nothing to do with books but about the people. They aren't machines or robots, they're people who will take the time to actually have a conversation with you, though, of course, a short one. With talk about crazy weather, or weekend plans. Or even talking about their recent engagement. It's awesome when they take the time to add a personal touch.
And then there are authors who write amazing books. And then are so grateful when they read reviews, tweeting to say thank you. Go back five or six years ago and tell me I'll be talking with a number of authors on Twitter, and I would laugh in your face (and then ask you what Twitter is). It's awesome how accessible authors can be these days, and even better that they choose to be accessible and interact with their fans. Having authors asking me to review their books? That's just too cool. Receiving emails from authors, thanking me for my reviews, or responding to emails about my own personal reaction to their book with the most beautiful and personal emails, it's just fantastic! And being thanked in the Acknowledgements of books? Ridiculous, but amazing!
This is all awesome, it really is. But to lose someone, and then have people - blog readers, Twitter followers, publicists and authors alike - comment and email to tell me how sorry they are and that they're thinking of me? It doesn't change anything or help the situation I'm in - it doesn't bring Mickey back, it doesn't stop it hurting - but it takes my breath away. Virtual strangers I may have only spoken to once or twice, or people I talk to fairly regularly on the blog and on Twitter. Publicists who saw my automatic hiatus email and checked out my blog to see why, and then replied. I am so grateful for each and every single person who took the time to tell me they were thinking of me in some way. I was moved by every single person, and filled with hope. There is so much drama in the world at the moment, yet there are still so many people who can show kindness and compassion to those who need it most.
If I could hug every single one of you, I would. Your words meant the world to me in such a difficult time, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you so much