Honey, I rose up from the dead. I do it all the time. — Hi hey hello, friends!
WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG!
I am high-key cringing that after all the not-so-subtle hyping up I’ve done for the past week or so, I am presenting a half-finished blog (excuse me while I weep in the corner of shame). I couldn’t afford to delay this launch any longer because I have too many plans for 2019 and too little breathing room — so please bear with me and this virtual mess. Everything else should be up by the end of the week. But I digress.
FIRST OF ALL, LET’S ALL TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE.*
17 December 2015 – 08 January 2019.
Here lies the ashes of That Bookshelf Bitch: frustratingly inconsistent book blogger, diverse reader, aspiring writer and poet, spiller of piping hot tea, and good friend to most.
You may be gone from this virtual earth, but certainly, your spirit — bitchiness and all — will eternally live on. May you find peace, hope, & fulfillment in the wonderfully golden paradise that is Shut up, Shealea, where you will — undoubtedly — never learn how to keep your mouth shut.
* This obituary was playfully suggested by none other than CW @ The Quiet Pond, and given my ✨ brand of extra ✨ I just had to go for it.
NEW YEAR, NEW BLOG: ARE Y’ALL READY FOR THIS?
Full disclosure and total honesty. I’ve been doing a lot of blogging-related scheming for the last couple of months, but none of my initial plans involved erasing my blog and creating a new, albeit prettier, one. In fact, I was quite adamant against the idea simply because I knew I could not afford to keep my blog down for more than one or two weeks (you’ll find out why later on in this post!).
However, once I mentioned the idea of getting a more legitimate domain to several friends, I was incessantly, tirelessly
goaded pushed into encouraged to go for it. Never mind that my last major blog redesign took two months to finish. My friends believed in me and in what I can do — and that was all the convincing I needed to bleep it and roll with the punches.
It probably seemed like I had this new blog planned out for quite a while, but although I’ve been wanting to make Shut up, Shealea happen for years, this was truly a semi-impulsive decision. I’m not even kidding. After my friends
ganged up on me wore down my last defenses proved to be the worst enablers ever convinced me to actually (gasp!) monetarily invest in a WordPress premium plan, I told myself I’d take a nap before committing to a decision. BUT Sleep-Deprived ShealeaTM made an oof, and before I could even blink, this happened:
What followed after that was a whirlwind of confusion, excitement, and oh-look-what-you-made-me-do. I was in a constant flux between working excitedly towards my vision and frequently wondering what the hell I was doing. While occasionally reprimanding myself for choosing to do this a week before several blogging commitments, including the release of Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019.
With all that said, I’d like to thank several friends for keeping my anxiety at bay and for the relentless reassurances that I wouldn’t make a total mess out of everything. None of this would have happened without all your support!
To my college and IRL friends, I cannot thank you enough for your patience and for the extra mile you went just to help me make major decisions (fun fact: one of my friends made a spreadsheet that laid out how much money I’ll spending on my blog for the next five years or so). Jan, I don’t know if you actually read my posts or if you drop by here just to increase my site visits (and I totally love you for it, by the way), but thank you for working with me in building Shut up, Shealea’s brand, for designing gorgeous logos for this blog, and for always being incredibly accommodating whenever I consult with you regarding graphic design, color palettes, premium themes, and everything else in between.
To my bookish and blogging friends, thank you for all the heartfelt messages! I hated myself for keeping all of this under wraps and for making some of you think I’ve left for good, but I was trying to avoid putting additional pressure on myself. Plus, if I’m being honest, I was trying to channel my inner Taylor Swift by leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and frustratingly vague hints. I don’t consider myself as one of her fans, but damn, she’s the level of extra I aspire to achieve — and in case you may have missed it, this post is sprinkled with Taylor Swift references, particularly her Reputation era (I blame my dad for making my sister and me watch the Reputation tour). How many have you spotted so far?
Huge thank you to Kate, Cara, CW, Tiffany, Nandini, and Lili for conspiring with me and for sending reassurances whenever I started freaking out, which happened way too often (I’m sorry). To Jennie, for answering my questions regarding self-hosted WordPress. To my lovely co-hosts, Vicky and Lily, for being really understanding whenever I’d ask for a deadline extension (also, my #YARC2019 sign-up post will be live in a few hours, I promise!). I don’t deserve any of you.
Speaking of the trail of breadcrumbs I left behind, let’s revisit them, yes? In true Taylor Swift-esque fashion, I dropped a handful of frustratingly vague hints regarding my blogging plans for the year. And now it’s time to reveal a few secrets and schemes! Let’s see if you got any of them correctly.
Hint #1: Blog Tagline (🌻⛈)
Shut up, Shealea’s blog tagline is, as the hint suggests, she is sunflowers & thunderstorms.
I was initially going for something more noticeably bookish, but then I realized that one of my motivations for coming up with a new blog is my wanting to have a more lifestyle blog-ish vibe. Being ‘That Bookshelf Bitch’ was really fun and all, but at this point, I’d like my brand to be about me, not just the books I read.
I have finally arrived at a point that I think it’d be okay for me to just be Shealea — and the Shealea I want y’all to meet (and maybe, in some ways, the Shealea I hope to become) is sunflowers and thunderstorms, that is, a soft compassionate soul and a ferocious force to be reckoned with. It is also my hope to encourage people to do the same — that it’s okay to not be strong all the time, and that sometimes, softness is what we need to be and to feel. You can read more about it if you’d like.
Hint #2: Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019 (🐯🍚✨)
Organizing a reading challenge that’s devoted to the works of Asian authors was an idea that stirred slowly, albeit constantly, in my mind all throughout December. I was more than a little hesitant because it would be a year-long commitment, and the maintenance would occasionally be demanding — so I was incredibly grateful that I found the best co-hosts for this project. For more information about YARC 2019, check out this page or follow us on Twitter: @YearOfTheAsian.
Hint #3: Cover reveal for a 2019 debut novel (🐉🔥📕😱)
Yep. Unfortunately, I currently have no plans or intentions of writing a dragon book of my own (this was one of the common guesses, haha!). On a brighter note, the universe has given me the most incredible opportunity to reveal the cover for one of my most highly anticipated Asian-inspired fantasy debuts!
It’ll be my first time doing a cover reveal so I am extremely excited for it! Any guesses on which 2019 debut book it’ll be? I’d say that it’s fairly obvious, to be honest.
Hint #4: Caffeine Book Tours (☕️📖🚌🌎)
I believe someone got this hint right! Congratulations!
Anyway, the page for my new venture, Caffeine Book Tours, is still a work-in-progress. This is actually something that I’ve been wanting to do since the earlier part of 2018, but I was always a bit too busy to really work on it. But I am extremely excited that it’s officially A Thing, and I already have a few blog tours lined up for the year. Which means that y’all should keep checking the page every now and then for sign-ups!
Hint #5: Taylor Swift (☠️🐍👀✨)
This one is a silly little hint that subtly refers to Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do music video. That’s where I got the image that I used for my old blog’s gravestone (see above meme). Fun fact: I also considered opening this blog post with “That Bookshelf Bitch can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh. Because she’s dead.”
Hint #6: Blog tour for My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva (👧🏾➡️🦋🚌)
I am not quite sure if I’m allowed to announce this yet, but I am genuinely hoping that my co-organizers will forgive me because oh my god, I am extremely psyched for this one! If you’ve been following Gail D. Villanueva on Twitter (if you don’t, you should do this now!), then you probably saw this tweet:Yep, we weren’t just having lunch and exchanging late Christmas gifts. We were scheming! And y’all better be ready for it! Add My Fate According to the Butterfly on Goodreads, and if you can, pre-order a copy via Amazon or Book Depository, too.
Hint #7: Diversity Index (🌈📚✨)As a huge advocate of diverse books, a page indexing all the diverse books I’ve read and featured on my blog is way overdue. I’m pleased to announce that I have finally got it up! It’s still a diamond in the rough, and it will take a while before the index is fully functional, but hey! Baby steps. I’ll get there.
Hint #8: Shut up, Shealea (🙊🔕💃)This was a sad attempt of hinting at my new blog name. I was deliberately being very vague because I was so worried someone might actually guess the name correctly! If I’m being truthful, one of my secret frustrations with my previous blog was that my name wasn’t in it. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed being “that bookshelf bitch,” and I received a ton of compliments because of it — but I really prefer being called by my own name. I can vaguely recall a fellow book blogger referring to me as “bookshelf” instead of addressing me by my own name. It was both amusing and uncomfortable. Likewise, there had been occasions of other bloggers shortening my name into “Shea” or “She,” which is actually a huge pet peeve of mine. I’m starting to sound whiny, but regardless, for Shut up, Shealea, I am really hoping to make this blog feel more of a personal space that can better showcase my voice.
Hint #9: First book tour of the year (😴💭📕🚌)Yep! The emojis are a hint regarding which book it is. Any guesses?
Hint #10: Pinterest (📝📌✨)
I’ve done something I swore I would never do: create a Pinterest account. I don’t have a problem with it per se, but the idea of manually pinning my blog posts and creating pinnable images for every post I write? I think I’m too lazy for that.
However, I had a ton of fun with making new aesthetics for this blog so I figured Pinterest just might be worth the try. I am still embarrassingly clueless about how it works, to be honest.
Pin this post on Pinterest!You can share this post on other social media platforms, too — check out the buttons at the bottom of this post. If you really enjoy my content, maybe consider supporting me with a cup of coffee?
I’d love to hear from you!
🌻 What do you think of Shut up, Shealea so far? How are you liking the new look and new name?
🌻 What do you know about Pinterest? I’m totally lost, to be honest. Do you know of any guides, blog posts, or resources that can help me understand the site better? Better yet, leave your Pinterest account via comment and I’ll follow you as soon as I can!
🌻 How many Taylor Swift references did you find in this post?