… though I know I’ve given every appearance of having done just that.
Let’s just say that it’s been … interesting.
Both August and October were insanely busy in RL, chiefly due to a new case concerning a client literally being robbed blind by their former managing director (even after he had been fired once he had been found out), with a couple of hefty, sleep-depriving emergencies built into the whole scenario — and all this on top of another major case, which is building up steam right about now, too.
Moreover, in August, as mentioned elsewhere, exactly at the moment when I had absolutely no time to take care of this, a theme update caused several of my plugins to malfunction, to the point of keeping my blog from displaying at all for a period of two weeks or so. I got it fixed just about in time for Halloween Bingo, which (although it runs in September and October) I did my best to whiz through in September, knowing I would be insanely busy again in October — even without yet another (unforeseen) emergency associated with the above-mentioned case … and without having even the slightest inkling, even a month earlier, what I would spend a lot of time doing in addition in October:
To make a long story short, my favorite reading community has a new home again at last, and I somehow ended up being one of the three people who made it happen. After BookLikes folded (for all practical purposes) back in last July, we had very grudgingly migrated to a private group on Goodreads, in the spirit of a hated necessary expedient more than anything else, because this seemed the only at least vaguely book-associated platform where most of us had kept accounts, even though we hadn’t actually been active there for years (nor had any plans to be ever again — and only a few of us were, outside that group or a few groups associated with it). To a community of bloggers, used to continuous threads of conversation via nested commenting and a joint feed showing just the contributions of our friends — i.e., the setup we had had at BookLikes — the Goodreads format constituted an extremely poor replacement even back then, even for our daily exchange (book chat and otherwise). Community activities, such as the reading games (Halloween Bingo and Festive Tasks) took an extra amount of lateral thinking to make them work at all.
Somehow we managed to muddle through nevertheless, and keep the community (mostly) together, if only by some pretty tenuous threads, all through last fall and up until September of this year. Then the GR overlords, whose approach to problem solving has been, of old, in the style of an H-bomb rather than a single targeted shot, decided to combat a spammer ploy involving formatted external links by limiting all site members’ ability to post images, as well as prohibiting the formatting of all external links. At one point, it even looked like external links were going to be prohibited entirely. For the (former) BookLikes community, this happened right in the middle of Halloween Bingo, which is a game substantially reliant on both images and formatted external links … and it was literally the last straw. We set up a search committee, which explored the available options, matched them to our requirements as a group and (in some cases) as individuals, and a month later, here we finally are — with a new home, looking and acting very much like BookLikes (only better), and with the community having flocked back even in the first week / 10 days of its existence with an enthusiasm that fills me with a sense of joy and optimism that I haven’t had about this particular community in over a year. It’s been a bat-sh*t crazy month, and the whole enterprise had to be pulled back from the brink of failure more than once by the only one of us three organizers who actually knows a thing about IT (and, in fact, totally rocks at it), but here we are at last, ready to play Festive Tasks in a sparkling new environment that is going to restore it to the fun we used to have playing this game and Halloween Bingo ever since 2016. — I am not going to share any details about the BL community’s new home here; after the people who actually own the place we had made our joint home until last summer had let it go to the dogs by admitting (or even inviting in) spammers by the 10,000s, we are extremely protective about our new place and have made it as inaccessible to outsiders as we can. But let’s just say I am very happy to see the community to which I’ve belonged for almost 10 years now finally coming back together in a new home that really deserves that name, and picking up old threads and habits almost as if it hadn’t been over a year since they had to be dropped.
That all being said, I have no plans of giving up on this blog, either — I’m very much enjoying the exchanges with everybody I’ve met here on WP in the past year (or so), and I still hope to expand my personal WP community, too!
In the next couple of days, I’m going to try and squeeze in a few update posts on my reading in the past several months — my current thinking is to make these a few summary posts and then, similar to the way I’ve done this until this past summer, extract from those, as (mostly mini-)reviews of the individual books, my comments on those books into individual posts associated with those. So unless RL throws yet another spanner into the works, there may be quite a number of posts to make up for lost time.
In addition, now that Festive Tasks is back being run in due blog format again — and we have our old BL format back, what with reading updates, dedicated review posts, etc. — I may actually be posting more overall, matching my activity here with that in the new place. So stay tuned …!
And of course: