Blogoversary Wrap-Up

Friday, January 26, 2018

All good celebrations have to have an ending, just like good books and chocolate cupcakes. But all good books and celebrations have happy endings too, right? Luckily, we have a happy ending for our blogoversary, because we have some WINNERS!!!! First things first, the winner of the writing contest. It was really hard to pick between the entries, but there can only be one winner, right?

Without further ado, the winner of the writing contest is.... Hailey Hudson! Congratulations, Hailey! =) You should receive an email today about your bookmark prize. Here's her winning entry, titled "When You Left":
It was snowing when you left. You were making a joke about Frosty the snowman, flipping up the hood of your red parka that I’d borrowed so many times without you knowing, double-checking to make sure that your luggage was in place. You were walking towards the door like you weren’t going to turn back—like you weren’t going to even tell me goodbye.

I wanted so many things in that moment, standing there hugging my arms to my chest and feeling the cool hardwood floor through my socks. I wanted to tell you that I remembered that time we went exploring the city after nightfall, how we laughed over chai lattes in our favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop and snuck into our favorite ice skating rink without paying and then found our way to a friend’s high-rise apartment and stood so close that the frosty clouds of our breath mingled into one as we watched the city light up. I wanted to remind you about that time we were sitting in my kitchen early one Saturday morning; I wanted you to remember how you added peanut butter to the pancake batter without even asking me because you knew that was my favorite, and I wanted you to remember how you made jokes about us being an old married couple one day, and I wanted to tell you that the sunlight slanting through the window had hit your face in just the right way as you turned back to the stove and all I wanted was to kiss you right then and there. 

But instead you were walking out. You were leaving, and you weren’t giving me a second thought. You meant so much to me—but I finally realized I meant nothing to you. 

I wanted so desperately to tell you so many things. But I couldn’t. All I could do was stand there in the front hallway, well after the door had shut behind you, hugging myself and thinking—this was never part of the plan. 

It was snowing when you left.
Wasn't that gorgeous? =)

But there's still another winner to pick, isn't there? Drumroll, please. The winner of the wooden bookmark giveaway is.... Amelia! Congratulations, Amelia! You should receive an email today about your bookmark prize. =)


I just want to give a HUGE thank you to all of my readers! You guys are the BEST and you all have made this past year of blogging (and this blogoversary) absolutely wonderful! *throws confetti* What was your favorite blogoversary post? Didn't you love Hailey's entry? 

Four Things I Wish I Knew When I Was A New Blogger

Saturday, January 20, 2018

All of these blogoversary celebrations (enter the bookmark giveaway and writing contest here, and take part in a fun quiz here) can't help but bring back memories of my old blogs, Ramblings of a Writer and A Little Bit of Everything. I can't believe how far I've come! But looking back, I wish that, as a new blogger, I knew more about blogging. Here are four things I wish I knew as a new blogger:
You Don't Have To Post Something All. The. Time.

When I first started blogging, I thought it was requirement set in stone to publish something, anything once every couple days. The more posts, the better, right? 
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with posting super often, for me as a new blogger, it wasn't a good habit to have. Instead of focusing on the quality of my blog's content I was focusing on quantity. When I first started out as a blogger, I wish that someone had told me that I needn't need to post all the time. Then, I think that I might have grown in the quality of the content I was putting out sooner. 
You CAN Do It.
When I first started out, blogging was a little intimidating. There was so much to figure out! Schedules, design, posts, pages... At times, I wondered if I would ever get the hang of it! How am I going to make my blog look the way I want it to without spending tons of money? How am I going to come up with something worth reading? How am I even going to find readers if I only know three other bloggers?

But now that I've been blogging for awhile, I've learned that I CAN do this thing. When I first started blogging, I wish that I was more confident that I could totally rock the whole blogging thing. If you're a new blogger, remember: YOU CAN DO THIS.
It Isn't Easy, But It's Worth It.
Me, trying to come up with a new blog post. xD
But blogging isn't easy.  No, blogging is hard. It’s hard coming up with new ideas. It’s hard disciplining yourself to write posts. It’s hard figuring out design. But it is so worth EVERYTHING. I absolutely love blogging, and the blogging friends I’ve made are the best!
Blog About What You Love. 
My number one tip for new bloggers: Blog about what you love and keep being you. Try not to get caught up in what other bloggers are doing and keep your voice your own. That’s what will truly make your blog stand out. I wish that someone had reminded me of this when I was a newbie blogger!


So there you have it, everyone! Four things I wish I knew as a new blogger. How about you? If you've been blogging for a while, what are some things you wish you knew when you first started? If you're a new blogger, what are your thoughts on blogging so far? For all bloggers, what is the hardest part about blogging? The best part? Let's get together in the comments and chat, y'all! =D 


A Bookish Quiz

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I love books. I love the smell and feel of their pages, the look of the covers, and the stories they hold. Some of my favorite books are classics. What’s a classic? Here is my totally unprofessional opinion: Classics are tried and true novels that have stood the test of time and will continue to do so because they are THAT GOOD. I’ve read quite a few classic novels and still have a LOT to catch up on (A Tale of Two Cities and Don Quixote are on my list right now). Would you care to take a rather bookish quiz on some classic novels and their authors? =)
Also...Giveaway and Writing Contest!
I can't get over how beautiful these are!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway and writing contest going on so you can win one of these fabulous bookmarks! =) Click here to see all the details and enter. I hope to be able to read some more of y'alls lovely writing soon! =)


How’d you do in the quiz? =D Did you learn anything new? Have you read any of the books that were featured in the quiz? What is your favorite classic novel? What is one of your favorite quotes from a classic novel? Come on over to the comments section and let’s chat!


Writing Prompt Contest + Giveaway

Friday, January 5, 2018

I absolutely love writing prompt challenges. For me, it’s so exciting to brainstorm a gazillion story ideas after looking at just one picture, a couple words, or a phrase. To continue celebrating Notebooks and Novels’ one year blogoversary (see what all of the fuss is about here), I’m hosting a writing prompt contest here on my blog, judged by yours truly. =) And the best part? The winner gets an adorable bookmark (the same one I'll be giving away!) Oh, that's right, I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY!!!! =D I'll let you in on it a little more later. But first, the rules for the writing prompt contest… 
The Rules
Your entry must be between 150-400 words long.
Your entry must include a notebook and a novel OR the following phrase: This was never part of the plan. 
Please submit your entry via the Google Form below. You may submit as many entries as you’d like. 
The deadline is on January 21. The winner will be announced and notified on January 26. 

I can’t wait to read what you all come up with! =) 
Giveaway!
The bookmarks I've been babbling about... You've gotta love them! 
And now it's time for that giveaway I was talking about! I'm giving away a GORGEOUS wooden bookmark made by nicolettenotes on Etsy (Nicolette has some beautiful stuff in her shop-check it out!). Isn't it gorgeous? =D I had to get one for myself as well, of course... Enter below for your chance to win one! =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
NOTE: This giveaway is for U.S. residents only-sorry. =( However, the contest is not. But if one of my international followers wins, I won't be able to send the bookmark prize. But I will send an ebook copy of one of my favorite books, Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall.


Do you like writing prompt challenges? What is your favorite type of writing prompt? Will you be submitting an entry? How about entering the giveaway? C’mon, let’s talk! =D

It's a Blogoversary!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone! Can y'all BELIEVE that it's 2018?!? And since it's January 1, 2018, that means that it's my one year blogoversary here on Notebooks and Novels! *insert confetti and fireworks here* To celebrate, I've got a few festivities planned, including a writing prompt contest (with an awesome prize), a rather bookish quiz, and a very special giveaway! =D But first, let's take a look back on this past year of all thing Notebooks and Novels, shall we?
Stats From This Past Year...
FOLLOWERS: 
107 followers, GFC and email combined-this is insane! You guys are the BEST!!! 

NUMBER OF COMMENTS: 
745 comments-I've loved talking to you guys! =D

PAGE VIEWS: 
13,385 page views-Again, wow!

TOTAL POSTS: 
42 posts-Just a few short of my goal, but not everyone's perfect. xD 

MOST POPULAR POST: 
I was a bit surprised that what seemed to be my longest post was the most popular one, but I'm glad that everyone liked it. =)

MY FAVORITE POST: 
I picked two, California in Pictures because I LOVE how the photography turned out and 5 Things That Excite Writers because I discovered my new love-gifs. =D


OTHER COOL STUFF:
I got published on the Rebelution and the Girldefined blog. I also was able to write an article for PURUSE magazine's first digital issue and joined Project Canvas (don't worry, I'll be submitting an article to their blog soon). 


WOW, a lot has happened on here in this past year! Thank you all for sticking around and making it an amazing year of blogging. =) I hope that you'll continue to hang around for all of the awesome stuff that I have planned to celebrate! What was one of the best memories you made last year? What are you looking forward this next year? Let's talk, everyone! =D

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