Stumbling Through…Works?

stumbling through works

This could also be titled “The Day I Discovered One of My Reviews Was Quoted in a Book Published by One of the Big 5 Publishers,” but that just seemed too long. Hm, are there limits on how long a blog post title can be?

Now that the new year is in full swing, I’ve lost count of how many posts I’ve read that are all about goals and plans for the year. I’m really, truly rooting for all of you to meet and exceed everything you set out to do! But I also can’t help feeling a little twinge. Once upon a time, I was a huge planner with big goals. Now, well, I wrote goals for this year, but, after writing them, I feel the drive to accomplish most of them sucked straight out of me. The fact is: I’m no longer a goal-oriented person. I stumble through everything with a vague idea of where I want everything to end up.

The beginning of January this year marked 4 years since I returned to blogging. I did it because I was a stay-at-home mom who wanted something just for me. I had no idea what I was doing, so it was really an everything blog. Over time, it shifted and changed (I think some of my long-time friends and followers will recall plenty of changes happening here over the years!), but I still had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I’m now at the start of my 5th year and still have no clue. I still don’t know what I want to do with this space, still don’t have any real goals. I’ve been, more or less, just stumbling through, taking what I can and going where the wind blows me.

Every post I’ve written hasn’t really had a goal, a purpose. I’ve mostly been rambling my way through, even in my reviews. Since I’ve seemingly transitioned into having a book blog, I’ve been having a lot of fun writing about books and have been so honored by the authors who’ve chosen to quote from my reviews on the Amazon page for their books or who have mentioned my review on their blog. It’s just meant so much to me that they enjoyed what I had to say about their books that they want to use a bit of it to help get more readers interested in them. I’ve never once written a review with the hope any of them would do that, much less that something might catch the eye of anyone else.

So, yes, it’s true, I found one of my reviews quoted in an actual book that can be found in bookstores. Someone at Ace, an imprint of Penguin Group, noticed my review, and my mind is still boggled. When I was a kid, I dreamed of seeing a book I’d written and magically gotten traditionally published on the shelves of my local bookstore. It’s impossible now because that bookstore no longer exists, but that’s a bit off topic. I never dreamed I’d see a review I’d written quoted in the pages of a book on the shelves of someone’s local bookstore. I have no clue how that happened, and definitely had no goal in that direction!

Once in a while, maybe two or three times a year, I Google the name of my blog. I haven’t since last summer, but the thought of looking up my blog had been crossing my mind more often lately, so I sat down one day and wasted some time Googling The Lily Cafe. I wasn’t expecting too much considering a cafe called The Lily Cafe opened somewhere in Florida last summer and I do know there are other cafes and restaurants with some variation of Lily Cafe all over the country. I found those and I found my blog and I found a lot of the usual things I expected. Usually I give up around page 3 of results, but I decided to waste a little more time and go until the end.

It was at the end that I discovered something very odd, very interesting, very…confusing?

There was a listing for Google Books. Why would the name of my blog be tied to a Google Books page? It wasn’t even for some make believe cafe in a fiction book, either. No, it was for a book I received an eARC for through NetGalley late last year. To say I was highly confused would be an understatement. I clicked on it. It took me to the Praise section for The God of Lost Words by A.J. Hackwith, the third book in the Hell’s Library trilogy that I love so much and am still so devastated that it’s over and can she please write more books with these characters because I really need more?

Of course, I didn’t believe it. I was a little curious, though. I mentioned I have an eARC through NetGalley. Some ARCS leave pages blank to be filled in later. I wasn’t sure about this one, but it turned out Ace provided that part. I did, indeed, find my review for the second book, The Archive of the Forgotten, quoted, with the name of my blog attached to it (which I didn’t notice when I read the book in October because I always skip the front material).

And of course I still didn’t believe it. So I hopped over to Amazon to take a look at the excerpt they usually have available. Since the Praise section is usually at the beginning, I was certain I’d find it if it was real. It was real. I saw the quote from my review.

And, yet, I still refused to believe it. Seriously, my blog is just a small-time one. I’m used to seeing praise from places like Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist and (author name), author of (book title). Definitely not small blogs like my own. I was convinced there was another The Lily Cafe I just hadn’t come across before. But, no, I checked the quoted material against the review posted to my blog, and it matched.

And then of course my husband had to order the book for me.

Still can’t believe it. The first trilogy I read from Ace was the Watershed Trilogy by Douglas Niles (published in the 1990s, but I didn’t read it until the early 2000s) and I absolutely fell in love with it, so it’s so surreal that the publisher who published one of my favorite fantasy trilogies somehow saw and quoted from my review for another trilogy I’ve absolutely fallen in love with 20 years later.

I’m not sure when I’ll ever get over being so stunned, but I suppose stumbling around kind of works? I always envy all the bloggers who seem to have everything together, who make goals and go after them, who know what they’re doing and what they want and are so successful. Me? I have no clue. I’m just sitting here, in front of a screen with a cat sleeping behind me, typing away into what I can’t help but see as a void. And yet people are seeing my words, and taking something away from them. My brain can’t quite cope with it yet, but I’m incredibly honored.

On another related, but also unrelated, note ,I had, at about the same time, considered changing the name of my blog because there are so many lily cafes and I get a lot of emails calling me Lily. Now? I think I still could, but now I have a physical attachment to the name. I guess this post could also be titled “Why It Might Be a Little More Difficult to Change the Name of My Blog.” Or maybe “Why I’m Changing My Name to Lily.” (Don’t worry; I have no intention of renaming myself, but my husband pointed out it might make for a good pen name.)

And, I suppose, sometimes, stumbling through works.


Have you ever seen your review quoted in a book? What was it like for you?

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25 thoughts on “Stumbling Through…Works?

    1. That’s amazing! It’s so nice to get some recognition, and to get it from some well-known authors must be such an incredible feeling. Your reviews are so wonderful and thoughtful!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. That’s pretty interesting. I do google myself from time to time, and have found some random quotes I’ve written for a story become a source for a Wikipedia entry, lol. Weird the things we find sometimes. But it’s fun to find. Funner than the bylines themselves. Here’s to random mentions of our work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s amazing, and must be a lot of fun to discover! I always wonder where people get the information they do for Wikipedia entries. It’s incredible the things there are to find out on the Internet! Definitely a lot of fun, and always full of surprises.

      Like

  2. Oh my GOODNESS!! That’s so crazy amazing, Kat! What an honour, and very worthy you are, indeed. ❤️ On the blog name… I think you’d have another interesting conundrum on your hands if you changed your blog name to The Kat Cafe. At least you’d win the hearts of the book loving cat lovers. 😂☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you, Brooke! It’s still such a surprise. Haha, you might be onto something there! I did consider it, and I do enjoy a good book with a cat in it. I might just write a post all about cats in books and call it The Kat Cafe!

      I hope you and your beautiful family are all doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome to Posterity, Kat ❤️❤️. I don’t write reviews, since I find it very hard to comment a book without spoiling it, so I can’t feel the same pleasure. I did find my blog referenced by a Scottish University, as a part of the learning material… docker things, you know 😁😁😁. I was indeed flabbergasted by the finding…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds much more useful! It must be wonderful to know the bits you put up are out there helping someone figure out what to do or how to help someone else. It is absolutely difficult to write reviews without spoiling everything, and I’ve had to delete so many things from mine, but it’s certainly gratifying to know someone out there appreciated it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m just stumbling through it all too and no, never been quoted in a book so that’s cool for you! When I Google my name weird things come up – like some of my stories about murders when I worked at papers on the strangest websites. I decided to stop doing that with my name. I’ve never tried the blog! Will have to do that sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad to know there’s another stumbler! Everyone seems so goal-oriented it makes me feel like an odd duck. That sounds fascinating! Though, yeah, probably a little weird. I have a hard time picturing your writing about murders, but I suppose journalists don’t always get to pick what they write on? You should try looking up your blog! It’s an interesting experience. Actually, I’ve commented on so many of your posts that your blog also pops up for me when I look up my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It is really nice to discover, and kind of mind boggling. You should look up your blog! You never know what you might find, or who might have mentioned it. It’s fun to find out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Give it time! I’m sure it’ll happen eventually, when you least expect it. I spent 4 years Googling my blog and finding almost nothing, but it’s still really cool to see how active we are a bloggers.

        Liked by 1 person

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