My Thankful Post

Every year around this time myself and every other blogger known to man writes up their “Thankful” post. This year is no different. In years past I’ve talked about what kind of books I am thankful for or what kind of things have happened in my past that has shaped who I am. This year I think it’s only appropriate for me to talk about how thankful I am for everything that has happened to me since I began this blog two years ago.
On Halloween 2011 I started this blog and my life has changed so much since then. I have been introducing to the wonderful world of book blogging and the amazing bloggers there are out there. I have made so many friends in other bloggers. I started this blog just months after another move. There was the big move from Michigan to Tennessee when I was a senior in high school and then there was the 1.5 hour move from Knoxville to Chattanooga when in August 2011. This move would turn out to be one of the most significant changes in my life.
It’s hard to fully explain, but even though I lived in Michigan for almost 18 years of my life and most of my family and all of my friends at the time were from there, I have to say that Chattanooga feels like home. Chattanooga is home. When people ask me if I would move back to Michigan I would have said ‘Yes!’ in a heartbeat, but since moving to Chattanooga I would never move back to Michigan. I think part of it would have to be that I am a completely different person than I was when I lived there and I am happier with the person I am now.
That completely different person is because of blogging. For some it might be hard to understand how starting a simple blog can change a person so much, but it’s true. Like I already said it opened my eyes to a new world. It helped guide me to what my eventual career will be. Book publicity. I had no idea about any of that before. I have been able to meet some of my idol authors. Authors are like my rock stars. Other people get excited over singers or movie stars and I squeal like a little girl over authors.
Through blogging I have been able to get to know Ruta Sepetys, one of the nicest authors ever! And through her I was able to organize my first blog tour (and meet one of my best friends on it), start up RutaFans (the fan website), and go to my first writing conference! The conference was another event that changed my life. It was the very first time that I discovered that agents and editors and published authors want nothing more than for you to succeed. They want to see you get published and they want to help you with it. Such an incredible feeling to be around a group of people who love books as much as I do and who don’t roll their eyes when I tell them that I want to be an author one day.
Through Ruta I have gotten to meet so many people and one of them includes Sharon Cameron. As you may have noticed a few months ago I was able to organize the A Spark Unseen Blog Hop. I was lucky to be able to do a blog tour for The Dark Unwinding and was really excited when Sharon let me organize one for A Spark Unseen and even more excited when we went with my crazy blog hop idea. Sharon goes along with all of my crazy ideas and it is so much fun working with her! After the blog hop she was so amazing and has been letting me intern with her so that I can get more experience to put on my resume. Through Sharon I was able to live out a dreamlike night at this years Southern Festival of Books. I was able to meet my favorite childhood author, Margaret Peterson Haddix!!! I was also able to meet JJ Howard whose blog tour I was able to be part of! Such an incredible night! After living in a dream world for a few hours I was able to talk over my book with Sharon and what was supposed to be one question as we were about to part because an hour and a half talking in her car in the parking garage. She definitely put my brain through the wringer, but I came out with so much hope and a completely new vision for my WIP. It was an invaluable night for me.
Through blogging I have been able to meet some amazing friends. There are several that I am friends with and you can find their buttons in my sidebar, but there are a few who have become my best friends.
I met Marla when I was doing the Between Shades of Gray blog tour. It was my very first time interacting with other bloggers and we hit it off right away. I asked her to start up RutaFans with me and she went along with me. Since then she has become my main CP (critique partner) and she is the person that I throw every single one of my crazy ideas off of first. She is really able to help me through every change and every trouble spot in my book. I talk to Marla every single day for several hours. She is supportive and listening to my whenever I am complaining or when I have something exciting to share. She is an invaluable person in my life and even though she lives hours away I am thankful to have a friend like her.
Another person I was able to meet through blogging was Shalena. For a really long time in my life I hid my inner feelings. If I liked a geeky TV show I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. Up until recently I also haven’t been able to tell anyone that I was a writer without getting embarrassed. Being friends with Shalena has enabled me to start embarrassing and being all right with who I am and express my interests more. Since meeting her I am able to discuss more Doctor Who and my other nerdy TV shows more openly. I am not ashamed of the fact that one of my dreams is to go to San Diego Comic Con or that I plan on attending Dragon*Con next year in full costume.
Because of blogging I am beginning to get a really great group of friends around me that I haven’t had since I moved to Tennessee. I am happier than ever with who I am and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Moving to Chattanooga and starting this blog are things that changed my life and I am so thankful for all of the circumstances leading up to it and everything that has happened since then.