happy new year! (1)

Well, here we are at 2016. I am not sad to see 2015 go, to be perfectly honest. It wasn’t my favorite. The good news is, that there was one glorious saving grace in 2015: YOU. Yeah, the bookish community saved this year from being pretty much the worst ever. So thank you. I will talk about it more later, but just… thank you.

I feel like I have mostly rehashed 2015 to death in the three surveys in one post that I did, along with Top Ten Tuesdays asking me about every favorite thing of the year I could have. So, I am 2015ed out, for the most part. At least when it comes to books. When it comes to me, the blog, and that sort of thing, I guess I could give you a few highlights!

I have enjoyed looking at everyone’s year end posts. So many of you do amazing things with statistics and charts and stuff. If you want to see someone do statistics right, go look at Alyssa @ Eater of Books year end post. Because it is a statistician’s dream, basically. I am not so good at that sort of thing. Wait, that’s wrong- I am too lazy for that sort of thing. So you will get some of my usual weirdness.


The Searches

First, I finally figured out how people find all of the terms people have searched to find their blogs in 2015. So I have been writing down the more entertaining ones, so that I can answer the questions that, likely, the searcher did not quite find.

There were some queries that the person absolutely found the answer to! Such as “When does the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes come out?”. That person left satisfied, I assume. The following people did not:

“i want to say too”

Aw, none of that even made sense, my lost friend! I mean, what is it that you want to say too? I say a lot of things, so you’ll have to be a tiny bit more specific next time, ‘kay?

“brian yansky”

I feel like this is the blogosphere equivalent of a wrong number. I’m sorry, Mr. Yansky isn’t here, but you could try him on his own blog? I’m sure he’s a swell guy, whoever he may be.

“amazon mp3 meet me in montana”

Perhaps actual Amazon might be more helpful? I googled it myself, and apparently, it’s a country song, a duet with Dude I Don’t Know and Marie Osmond so… good luck with that. Hope you found Amazon okay.

“any new series started already”

Oh goodness, lots. I’d venture to guess hundreds of thousands- if not millions? (Ironically, my blog is what first pops up in a Google search of that term. Even if the term makes no sense. Actually, maybe it’s on to something…)

“bellamy octavia incest”

NO! Stop you sick sick sicko! Besides, you should know that this is a strictly Bellarke shipping zone anyway. Incest or not. Now, for the love of god, STOP.

 “confuse about book”

Also kind of confused about verb tenses….

“does elle fanning have a cleft palate”

Um, no? As far as I know, anyway. I mean, my small human does, which is probably how you got here. But as for Elle, it doesn’t appear so, after some Googling of my own. Also, she wouldn’t have it any more, since she is an adult and it would have been repaired. But still, no.

“i don’t like you”

Well fine, get the hell out of here then! 

“go out and have fun exaams are over”

I just hope that for the sake of this person’s education that it was not a spelling exam. But I mean, nothing you can do about it now, so sure, have fun!

“how 2 start a midnight chat”

First, don’t Google this if you are at school or work, because some very inappropriate things pop up. Second, you can chat with me on Twitter at midnight, if you’re so inclined.

“old people stereotypes”

Uh, okay, I’ll try. I mean, they like hard candy? They don’t understand technology? They sometimes smell like mothballs? Yeah, I’m out.


“the walls around us not so good”

I feel you, I still don’t understand exactly what happened. ::Shrugs::

Old Resolutions: Kept or Not Kept?

Now, last year I made resoltions for 2015. I will do this again, on a Top Tuesday post, so let’s not worry about those. Let’s check on the ones I made last year! Here’s the full post, for reference.

  1. To attend BEA.   Yes, we did well with this obviously.
  2. To stop buying books just because… books. Shockingly, yes! I mean, sure, I slipped here and there, but as a whole? I did really well!
  3. To schedule ahead.  So. Much. Nope. In fact, this post was supposed to have gone up almost two hours ago so… there’s that answer.
  4. Not to stay up past 4:00 am reading.  I did okay with this for a little while. In spurts. But not for too long.
  5. To interact with more bloggers, authors, and any other bookish type.  Indeed! I have met so many amazing people- and gotten closer with so many too!
  6. To pare down my TBR.  Does anyone keep this resolution? Please. I mean, okay, yes, I pared it down, but then I added hundreds of other books so… it’s a wash. Or worse.
  7. That I will write reviews the same week (month?) that I finish a book.  Mostly yes! Not a week, but a month definitely. I’m considering it a win.
  8. To write.  Boom. NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner1
  9. To obtain a physical ARC from a publisher based on whatever criteria they use to decide worthiness.  I have! I still have no idea about that algorithm though!
  10. To calm down.  This has to be the biggest fail of the year. No, I did not calm down. If anything, I got worse. Oopsie.

So, there you have it- Six out of Ten, so I think that equals an overall win! 

And the looking ahead….

I know I said I wasn’t doing any real goals/resolutions now, and I am not. But I am trying to do some things differently in the new year. First, I didn’t do a weekly recap this week. Because I didn’t want to. And also, it was a slow week. But my point is, I am going to try to be a little more aware of my own needs. That means I am going to try like hell to comment and reply, but not beat myself up if I can’t a couple of times. I won’t yell at myself if I have only posted three posts instead of four. Or if I have only read two books one week. We’ll see how it goes.

I want to stay connected and close with the community. That has to come first. You guys are the reason this is fun, the reason it’s so rewarding. I want to thank each and every one of you- but I am so damn paranoid that I will miss someone and I don’t ever want anyone to feel that I don’t appreciate the love, kindness, and support. Because I DO. My old lady brain just sometimes forgets a name here and there 😉 who-are-you

I need to make a lot of changes this year- and most of this applies to life outside of the blog stuff. But the thing is, that I gained the support and confidence from inside it. So I will take you on those journeys- and maybe even reach out when I can’t bear to take them alone anymore. The generosity, love, enthusiasm and general good in this community have restored me. Reminded me that I like life, that I like people too much to spend the rest of my days unhappy.

I wish I could somehow tell each and every person that has impacted me how much it means. If you’re reading this, know you are among them, and I can’t express my gratitude enough. If anyone had told me two years ago that I would be so wonderfully wrapped up in this, I would have laughed right out loud. Now I am happily with my people, where I belong.

So, for 2016? Maybe the goal word should just be progress. Progress for me, while maintaining the amazing connections I have made in the community. And I wish each and every one of you an incredibly happy and blessed 2016!

Do share: What is one amazing thing from 2015 that made you happy? And what is one thing you really want to happen in 2016?

Posted January 2, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Funsies / 75 Comments


75 responses to “A Look Back, a Look Ahead: 2016

  1. Ahaha, it looks like stats is an Alyssa trait because I also did stats, although more for blogging than reading. I wish searches to my site were as interesting as yours — mine are typically just a dozen incorrect spellings of Black Widow and Mulan. 6 out of 10 is great, especially since not staying up reading is just shy of TBR shrinking on the list of resolutions XD Ummm … I would love to be able to not spend all my time on Twitter and on other people’s blogs, and actually go out to face real life a little … but let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen. 😛

    • Bwhahaha people who can’t spell shouldn’t be directed to your site- you spell things right! And you are so right, people named Alyssa must LOOOOVE statistics and charts and such! In fact, I had a friend in high school named Alyssa and she was also hyper-organized!

      Hahahhaha real life. I can’t even be bothered to try, mostly because of the small humans, and the fact that trying to have a life with them is near impossible. So reading and blogging and writing is obviously the superior life plan 😀 Bt Twitter will be the downfall of us all, that is for certain! 😉

  2. YAAY, congratulations on meeting some of your goals for the last year, that’s amazing!! The searches part of your article made me laugh, that’s crazy what people are typing on Google sometimes… I don’t think I’ve ever gotten searches as funny as yours are :p
    You’re so right, the bookish community is absolutely wonderful, and there are the best kind of people out there. I wish you the best for 2016!! 😀

  3. These searches though. *DIES* THEY ARE SO FUNNY. Why do googlers always have such horrific grammar and spelling though? And you know what? I always get CoPIOUS hits for “papr fury” or “paper fure” or just basically ANY spelling except the real one. Goodness gracious. IT AIN’T THAT HARD. Ahem.
    Your blog is HILARIOUS and one of my all top favourites. And I’m so glad you don’t feel like beating yourself up over missed comments now. ;D GOOD. KEEP THAT UP. I’m still learning that myself. Haa…I mean, I’m currently 150+ comments behind right now. *gulps* BUT I’M WORKING ON THIS. Keep on swimming. *swims around haphazardly*
    Here is to a fabulous 2016, Shannon! <3

    • It is SO funny- especially because the terrible grammar and spelling somehow leads them to us- makes me feel like I should do a proofread now and then 😉

      AWW THANK YOU! I mean, I do beat myself up, which is why I am trying to catch up now but… Idk. I am about 150+ behind too- although for me that is almost a week, for you it’s probably only a DAY or two- I seriously don’t understand how you do it!

  4. OMG some of those search terms… priceless. (And your responses even more so.) Nice on the resolutions. Mostly. Perfection is boring, don’t you think? 🙂 Speaking of perfection… perfect goal for 2016. Progress. It’s all any of us can strive for.
    An amazing thing from 2015 that made me happy? Having dinner with Krista and Becca Ritchie That was surreal. And fabulous.
    One thing I really want to happen in 2016? Safety and good health for my family.
    Wishing all the best in 2016, Shannon! I’ve said it before, but I’m so very glad I “found you.” 🙂

    • Aw thanks hahhaha. Perfection is SO boring- and so not happening 😉 I’ll do what I can and hope for the best hahahah. That dinner DOES sound surreal and fabulous, and I am so, SO happy that you got to do it- talk about a bucket list moment! I am so glad that I found you too! It has been SO fabulous getting to know you, it makes me happy! <3

  5. Sam

    Those searches (and you commentary) were hilarious. Thanks for the laugh! One thing that was super-fun, and sort of spontaneous (for me, at least) was meeting my daughter in SC for YALLFest. It was a really fun festival. The weather was perfect, Charleston is beautiful, and I interacted with so many awesome people. This year, I am just a walking cliche, but really, I have to make fitness a part of my life again. I let it go, due to my awful work hours, but I start at my new position in 2 week, the hours are better, and I expect to make some positive changes. =)

    • Aw thank you!! And YALLFest sounds like SO much fun! I have never been to SC, but I would LOVE to. I am so, so glad that you are going to have better hours. Nothing dampens your resolve like being stuck in something you’re struggling with but HAVE to do, like work. I wish you all the best, and i KNOW you can achieve your goals!!

  6. Those searches. Oh my. Too funny. Yay for doing really well at your 2015 goals!! I hope your 2016 inside and out the community is amazing because you totally deserve it. Puppies and rainbows and unicorns and all that sh*t!! One amazing thing from 2015 for me was starting my blog 🙂 In 2016 I really want to other bloggers. Like in real life. Maybe??? Have a great week!!

  7. Those searches killed me haha, SO FUNNY! I hope your 2016 is much better than your 2015! <3

    One amazing thing for me this year was seeing my brother again after not seeing him for 3 years and moving to England, I guess! One thing I really want to happen in 2016 is to get really good marks in my exams! 🙂

  8. Those searches are hilarious. Most of the searches that bring up my blog are boring—they’re just people Googling book titles.

    One of my 2015 resolutions was also to calm down. The only reason that I somewhat succeeded in that resolution is because I was so not-calm that the doctor put me on medication. The pills did help a little.

    I hope you have a great 2016!

    • There are quite a few of those too- the ones that make me the maddest are the ones that are like- “Book TItle free download”. UM NO. NO! Jerks. The pills do not help enough, I feel. They may make me calm for a little while, but really, it’s a band aid. I need like, a brain transplant 😉 Like on Friends! I hope you have a great 2016 too!

  9. Those searches are SO funny! I love your blog so much and I am so glad I found it this year! Keep up the great work and keep being the hilarious writer you are. 🙂

  10. Aw, the bit at the end of this post just made me feel all mushy inside, Shannon! STOP, you’re melting my stone cold heart! Also, I could not stop laughing at the funny searches! What were people thinking? At least we know they can’t have been too disappointed, stumbling on your blog, it probably saved their whole awkward day!

    I love the goal of just PROGRESS, it’s such a good one. As for one amazing thing that happened in 2015 and made me happy…hmm, what’s yours? I guess mine would just have to be my writing, I had ups and downs with it but I feel like I’m really getting close to something with the novel I spent most the year rewriting and editing and rewriting and editing and….you get the point. And, um, if I got to pick one amazing thing to happen to me this year it would have to be to finally land an agent by the end of 2016… We shall see, but, I mean, if you have genie or something lying around and would like to share a wish, that’s what I want. 😉

    Happy new year, Shannon! Hope you have an amazing 2016, you deserve it! <3

    • AWW thank you my dear!! <3 Seriously, the searches were HILARIOUS. I wish I had known how to find them the whole time I had been blogging- imagine what gems we may have missed!

      I guess BEA would be mine. It's the first time I had done anything for myself in a long time, and definitely anything outside my comfort zone. And it was fabulous. You should be SO proud of your writing- I feel like you are getting close too! I don't even know why I just do- like this is what you are destined to do! And you had better get an agent! I want to see your books, Cait's books, and Alyssa's books all sitting next to each other in my local bookstore. Someday I'd like mine there, but I am a looooooong way off. I feel like you guys have such a gift- and someone had damn sure better recognize it soon! 😀

  11. oh goodness, search results are the best. I laughed SO. HARD. at these. Now I need to figure out how I can access the searches on my own blog. These are priceless.

    • Aw thanks so much! Here is what you have to do: In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns, and it is the Organic Keywords! They’ll show up 10 at a time, but you can make it more- I had like, tons of pages of them! It’s fun to do 😉

  12. Oh man those search terms are absolutely hilarious, just like everyone has already said! I really enjoyed this post, and I hope that 2016 is a fabulous year for you!

  13. I’m really glad that the book blogging community gives you some strength and positivity when you need it! I hope your 2016 will be FANTASTIC and I look forward to reading you. 🙂

  14. Happy New Year Shannon! I feel absolutely the same way as you with the blogging community, sometimes it’s my retreat and my saving grace that really helps me through life. It’s been amazing getting to know you this year and your fun posts, so many hilarious search terms lol (I only wish mine were as funny). I love your simple goals for the new year – good luck with them, and I hope 2016 is just as amazing for you!

  15. But but how could 2015 not be good? That was the year you met me! <3 Hahahaha KIDDING. But still….I'm sorry it wasn't a great year for you. *cries* STATISTICS OOOH I WILL HAVE TO LOOK AT HER POST! Oh my gosh I love your queries. I definitely want to steal this idea for next year…do you mind? 😛 Hmmmmm well lots of amazing things happened in 2015. I was able to attend BEA, I hosted Bookitcon, my blog expanded, and I made a ton of new friends in the community, which was amazing. Hmmm something I want to happen in 2016? That's tough…I guess I just want my friends and family to be safe, healthy, and happy. 🙂

    • BWHAHAH well THAT part was good, obviously! It just wasn’t the best for me like, emotionally I guess? Adulting is hard 🙁 And I feel like maybe I suck at it haha. And YES- you would LOVE the statistics. I love that your 2016 wishes are for your loved ones- that is what makes you so fabulous, Nori- you genuinely care about other people. ANd I agree with you about the 2015 stuff- BEA and meeting SO many new people in the community has been the best!

  16. Okay, now I need to know how to figure out the searches! You have to share! I didn’t really do a post to go back through last year’s resolutions like I usually do. Hmm. Now I think maybe I should do that. Maybe if I do a Sunday Post tomorrow.

    • Indeed, I shall! In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns, and it is the Organic Keywords! And there will be the whole list, showing all the nonsense people found you with 😉 I like doing a resolutions, just to see if anything changed hahha- I was kind of surprised that it did 😀

  17. I’m with Lisa (the Loves Lit one) — how do you find these searches?! Some of these are GOLD; I like the exaam one, I feel like I might catch myself searching something similar LOL.

    You did great with those resolutions! I want to attend BEA one day, when it’s financially possible and I’m not entrenched in something academic-related at that point in the month of May. :/ ONE DAY!

    I hope 2016 is a nicer year to you, Shannon! 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Ahhh here you go: In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns, and it is the Organic Keywords! Then you will see ALL the shenanigans hahha. I know what you mean about BEA- it is a tough time, especially this year. Next year it’s later I think- May 31-June 2. In New York, so who knows, my fingers shall be crossed for you!

  18. ““bellamy octavia incest””

    But OMG. The other searches. You’re killing me, woman! They really are funny aren’t they? I always get a good laugh out of ours too. We get some terrible pervs directed to our blog.

    The scheduling ahead resolution is one I sincerely doubt I can ever keep up with. I’m just so bad at it. I’ve been known to schedule posts 5 minutes before they are supposed to go live. I really want to work at this but at the same time, the whole planning and scheduling shenanigans just makes blogging seem like a chore.

    I hope 2016 will be amaze-balls for you, Shannon! And may your blog have lots more funny search terms! 😉

    • Bwhahah RIGHT!? Who would search for that?! WHY!? And yes, they are SO fun! You got a lot of pervs that one time, after you posted something about sex hahahahha. Scheduling is just NEVER going to happen for me- I am too far behind! I’d be glad just to catch up at this point. And I agree- it DOES make it seem like a chore, and I don’t like that. I hope you have a fabulous 2016 also!! 😀

  19. Bahahaha, I love the search terms that somehow lead people to your blog. They are so funny and kind of random. I wish mine were that entertaining, but they are kind of boring. Good luck with your goals and Happy New Year!!

  20. OMG ALL THE SEARCHES AHAHA. I’m dying. I kind of lost it at “I don’t like you” and the incest one. Just..no words. I did a post on ice cream sticks like three years ago, and the majority of my search terms are ICE CREAM STICKS. no. pls. stahp. And congrats on winning NaNo this year, Shannon <3

    • Bwhahhaha right!? Those were WEIRD! Especially the incest one. How disappointed they must have been to show up here 😉 OMG the ice cream stick thing is too funny! I love how it STILL leads people there! I bet they are disappointed too that there’s no ice cream ;D And thank you SO much!!

  21. Lovely post! I’m glad that the blogging world has had such a great impact on you! That’s fantastic. I had a pretty good 2015 but I think 2016 will be really interesting as I’m no longer in school. How strange that will be after awhile! I really hope to write more of my own stuff. I want to finish a manuscript and really start pursuing my dream of being a published author. 🙂


  22. THOSE SEARCHES MAN. They are hilarious, as you already know when I told you at like…2 in the morning. AND LOL BELLAMY OCTAVIA INCEST WHAT EVEN? And how did a google result of “I don’t like you” lead to your blog? PEOPLE THESE DAYS.

    So proud of your Nano SHANNON. I’ll probably be reading it seeing that I am in it, right? Yes.

    Also, did you really not buy many books this year? I feel like….everytime I talked to you had a book shipping or you were buying it. I mean, all those Hunger Games books, amirite? LOL

    • YESS you are. DOn’t tell Holly or Amber, but your person is kind of a key to the whole story. Actually, so is Holly’s. Amber’s is… unfortunate. But none of them are actually like you anyway so there’s that. Except your namesake DOES get stuff done. But she’s also… boisterous.

      And yes, I bought books, BUT compared to last year, this year was SO good of me. Except for all the Hunger Games books. Because umm that was out of hand. I bought… two full sets, traded for a full set, and have umm those other two 😉 AND I technically ordered the Australian Camo ones in 2015 so…. yeah. OOPSIE.

  23. Bellamy and Octavia??? What kind of sick person is this??? And also, hi there. I totally ship Bellarke and all things 100-related. 🙂
    Aren’t search terms the best? We get some really pervy ones for some reason. Once, I read a book (it was terrible) that had the words ‘big cock’ and ‘wet pussy’ over 100 times, no lie. I listed a few of them in my review so people can see how ridiculous they sounded and was bombarded with porn search terms for months! Oops!
    I need to get better at scheduling too. And it may take me a month to be able to find time to go through my feed and comment, but I do it eventually and refuse to stress over it 🙂
    Happy 2016!

    • RIGHT!? How awful! I mean, search for literally ANYONE but those two. And it wasn’t like they searched for their names- THEY PUT INCEST in the search! So wrong. SO MESSED UP. I am glad that you are a Bellarke/100 person, you are welcome in this blog 😀 Only like, a week and a half until Season 3!!!

      OMG that is so bad about the searches! Can you imagine how disappointed the searcher was too, when they realized it was NOT porn, but a book blog!? BWHAHA. DYING.

      I am SO glad to hear that you don’t stress about the commenting stuff. I am trying not to but… well, it’s a struggle! But I am just going to keep telling myself that it is okay until one day, it will be 😀

  24. Shannon, I just started to watch The 100 and am so happy to see you ship Bellarke as well! Have you read the books? I haven’t and totally need to, though I heard they aren’t as good. But I also hear you get a lot more of Bellarke!

    You have done so amazing this year and I’m so excited to see what will be happening in 2016!

    • YAYYYY I am so glad you are watching The 100! I love it SO MUCH. And I haven’t read the books (though Holly and I SWORE we were before this season- and we had almost a year to do it!) but yeah,I have heard they are VERY different. ANd thank you SO, so much!! <3

  25. Those stats have got to be the most beautifully nonsensical compilation of randomness I’ve ever seen. So, naturally, I LOVE THEM!

    And no – absolutely no one in the world wins against their ever-expanding TBRs. The real win is not getting buried alive under one million unread books IN our TBRs. As long as we make it through the year without that, we’ve won all we can win there.

    May you have an amazing 2016, Shannon! 🙂

  26. Old People Stereotypes FTW!

    2015 was good to me in many ways and horrible in others. Starting a book blog and going to NCTE, where I got to meet fantastic authors and teachers as well as spend some time with a dear friend I hadn’t seen in over a decade, were definite highlights.

    Your blog is a real inspiration and cornerstone of this community.

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