Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lover of Lembas Anniversary!

It's here--it's finally here!  Today marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Lover of Lembas!

I remember very distinctly how my first post went.  It was honestly a spur of the moment plan.  I had two other blogs--both about books--which I posted on about five times before I completely forgot about them.  It is a miracle that Lover of Lembas didn't meet the same fate!

It was a summer evening and my family was watching TV.  My computer is right in the same room so usually when I don't want to watch whatever movie or show they're enjoying, I try to find something to do on the computer so we can at least be together in the same room.  I wrote up my first post, My Lord of the Rings Journey as well as a memorial post for Christopher Lee and then I was done for the day.

I think starting the blog at the beginning of the summer was a good call; I had a lot of free time to get into the pattern of posting everyday.

This is a recreation of what my blog used to look like made using PowerPoint.  Shout out
to The Author for sharing my appreciation for the "power of PowerPoint"!
This is my blog in its early days: no header, no information about me, barely any color (just green and black), and no comments.  I used to write in a fairly rigid and robotic way, afraid to let too much of my personality show through (you can definitely tell if you go back and read my old posts).  I was more concerned with getting facts out about The Lord of the Rings rather than my own opinions and ideas, until I realized that if someone only wanted facts, they could go to LOTR wiki or Tolkien Gateway; but blogs are unique because you can get feedback from your readers and make friends!  My writing style has definitely changed a ton throughout this process.

Another thing I learned was how to code.  I'm no master, but I have changed several things on my blog using code such as the size of the "Currently Reading" book and the header.  I was surprised at how easy it is to get things done with code--you don't have to dig around your template or outline and mess things up so much.

This is the new design as of around early May
The new design I think is much easier to navigate.  As I visited other blogs to see if I should give them a follow, I found that instead of reading the front page post, I went to their About section or their profile to see what I could expect in the long run.  I realized that--since before, I was mainly focused on LOTR facts--there was not a way to do that on my site.  I realized that if I visited my blog for the first time to see if it's worth following, I would not have followed it!  So I quickly changed it so you can easily find out at least two things about me right on the front page: what I'm reading (which says a lot about who I am) and my profile.

Another thing I changed was organizing my posts into categories.  This was recommended to me by my friend who had only read The Hobbit and didn't want spoilers for other posts.  This way you can click on the links to the right and get only posts about the books you're interested in.

Most recently I added the Follow by Email tab so that non-Blogger readers can stay up to date.

Of course the About page is also new. (Shout out to Meredith for having a particularly well-written About page on her blog!)

Not only has my blog design come a long way, but I've made a lot of friends and acquaintances who all share my love for lembas and LOTR!

In the beginning, I was desperate for someone, anyone to comment on my blog.  A couple months in I got a comment and my heart skipped a beat--I was so excited!  But it was really a spam comment.  Then I begged my friend Adamson to post some comments just in case there were readers, but they were just too shy to comment.  I meant for Adamson to encourage others in his comments, but we ended up getting in a tiny argument about The Silmarillion in the comments below, haha.


But my first real comment came from my first ever follower, Ms. Fawnabelle Baggins!  I remember I was staying with my sister when I checked my email and I was so confused and excited all at once to see that my blog had received a comment!  This really drove me to keep going, because after months of getting no feedback for all my work, it was really reassuring and inspiring to know that at least one person was reading and enjoying.  Thank you Fawnabelle for being such a faithful visitor and for leaving such delightful comments!

A Couple Things I've Learned...
  • You can make a little emotican using the ^ symbol (^_^) --thanks to Emmarayn Redding!
  • Coding isn't too terribly hard
  • Debate competitions seem really neat (Chloe Linn taught me that)
  • I'm not alone in my love for Gregorian chant! (shout out to Arda!)
  • IMHO means "in my opinion"
  • Blogging is amazingly fun

Thanks to all my wonderful followers, commenters, and readers for supporting me throughout this past year.  It's really been a joy to meet and communicate with other fans of The Lord of the Rings.  In addition to those I gave a shout out to, I would like to thank my other followers, Morgan LuaAnn, Madeleine Ostermann, Ebster the Mormonhippie, and Gabrielle Bailey.  Each time I got a new follower, I felt like a balloon getting an extra puff of air--it is very valuable to every blogger to see that people appreciate their work.

For the Future

I have so many plans for the blog this next year.  It's finally summer, so now I'm going to have more time to work on the blog!


I'm hoping to continue posting once each day (last summer I had multiple days with two or three posts as well).  I also want to finally complete the Book Nook page with all my book reviews, and I have a couple posts ready for the Catholic page I want to start.  

Your Input

I really value all of my readers' input.  Please leave any suggestions you have for the blog in the comments.  I'm particularly looking for a name suggestion for the new Catholic page--something alliterative perhaps?  I know you're all creative, so if you can give me a tip, I would really appreciate it.  Let's make this next year of blogging the best yet!

Thank you for an amazing year, friends!

13 comments:

  1. Wow! Congratulations!!! It amazes me that you're able to turn out new and informative Middle Earth-themed posts daily. I'm glad to have found your blog. :)

    *gasps* You like my "About" page? I was just thinking recently that it should be updated, but I'm so happy that you like it. :D

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    1. Thank you so much :D

      Oh I love it! Very unique, concise and informative. I suppose the more the merrier as far as information goes, but it certainly is great the way it is too!

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  2. What?! I was your first follower?! No way... If you were with me right now, you would've heard me scream for joy! Really loudly. My friends were like, "What?! What is it?? WHAT HAPPENED?!" And then I said, "I... I WAS LOVER OF LEMBAS' FIRST FOLLOWER! THIS IS CRAZY! AHHH!" and then they kept talking...

    My sis, Liah, said congrats!

    I'm so excited yo see new posts this summer! Even though I'm going away for a little while... But data is free so I can read your posts! Yay!

    Thanks again for mentioning me. You've been an amazing friend and fellow blogger! :D

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    1. Haha I'm sure I was screaming just as loud (if not louder!) when I saw you had followed my blog! You're the original follower, you trend setter ;)

      Thanks, Liah!

      Woo!

      Aw thank you! You've always been a huge encouragement and great friend to me :)

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    2. I'm original, so original... XD

      You're welcome... I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT! *squeals* :D

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  3. Congratulations Nimrodel!! My year anniversary won't be until July.

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    1. Nimrodel? Is that her new nickname? I like it! :D

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    2. Thanks, Erudessa! Congratulations in advance on your year anniversary!

      Yes, Emmarayn, Erudessa gave it to me, isn't it pretty? Speaking of names, I just realized I've been spelling yours with an extra "a" all along! Sorry about that, my eyes deceived me when I first read it. Whoops!

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    3. No problem! I didn't even notice. *facepalm*

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  4. Congratulations on a well-kept blog, mellon! I'm glad your having fun. I appreciate a blog where I can geek out with an equally loyal fan. :D
    That's funny that you learned the ^_^ face from me. I actually learned all my text-emoticons from a forum called the Underground. It took me a long time to figure out what that one meant... at first, I thought it meant I should look two posts above. Then one day I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and it hit me! XD

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    1. Many thanks! Probably my favorite part of blogging is getting to have conversations with great fans like you :)
      Emoticons are tricky for me too, sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out what they mean.

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  5. Congrats on a year of your blog!! It's really fantastic, I'm impressed with what you do here. And Gregorian chant for the win! :D Will look forward to your future posts. :)

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    1. Thanks, Arda! And thanks so much for being such a positive contributor :)

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