I actually rewrote and reformatted this post, because I guess I am growing as a person? Just kidding it is because it is ten freaking years of this blog being a thing. I am terrified, frankly. Also,  I am keeping the Blake Sibling GIF at the bottom, because I still miss them.

Here we are going to change it up a little! I am going to explain how things have changed around here in a decade’s time! 

  1. Life… happened. A lot. Whew boy, folks. Obviously a lot of things change for a lot of people in a decade. But if you have been here for a minute, you know that things have been one hell of a ride. When I started this blog, I had one outside child, and one inside child that decided it was time to be born the very next day. Shit happens, eh? I was also in an unhappy, but not wholly horrific (yet) marriage. I rarely discussed it on the blog, because it felt phony- I was unhappy and I didn’t want to pretend otherwise, but nor was it anything to complain about. Then Sam was born, with a genetic condition called Van der Woude Syndrome, cause some very early health scares (short version, the hospital he was born at nearly asphyxiated him, prompting him to be rushed to a NICU 2 hours away), then a myriad of surgeries before his first birthday. This was an incredibly isolating time, and I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you: this community got me through some very dark times. I guest posted this on Shattering Stigmas, and this is just the reader’s digest version but here you go. Where that story left off, I will continue: we moved. COVID hit. Luckily, I was closer to my family. My ex-husband got out of prison because the justice system is a crock. He reoffended, and was reincarcerated. My daughter’s mental health fell apart, then slowly came back together, after a lot of work. I got a new job which I quite liked but paid nothing. I went back to school, am going back to school. I am working in a temporary job that is providing a ton of experience. Messiness continues, and likely always will, these fallouts of someone else’s terrible choices. Fallout of my terrible choice to allow them into my life, I suppose, even if I didn’t have all the information.  Life moves on. Somehow, it does, but having a safe space to land among friends has made all the difference. So to you, I cannot say “thank you” enough.
  2. The 100 happened. Is it ridiculous that this is a major point in my life? Maybe, but it is. I actually did a whole post on the why and how of it, but as much as the book community provided a safe space during The Messiness™, so too did The 100 and its community and cast and crew. It gave me an outlet to do all kinds of things I’d have never thought it possible to do- like being on a panel about reviewing the thing, for goodness sake! I have met amazing people, and formed stronger bonds with bookish people over it (I mean- Beth even came to Conageddon with me, which was amazing and wonderful! Greg discussed the damn thing with me for actual eons, and then prompted me to watch basically every show I have watched- begrudgingly, often, even though I end up loving them- other than The 100!) And sure I could be mad that Jason let us down but guys. I have a way better ending anyway.
  3. I literally was afraid to comment on people’s stuff when I started. And then I was afraid not to. I was legit horrified at the thought of reaching out and commenting! It was so daunting, like what if they thought I was a dork? (They probably did but were fine with it.) Then of course, I was afraid that if I didn’t comment constantly, everyone would forget about me and I would have no blogger friends. So I was… out of hand, really- I’d stay up half the night commenting!  I’d like to think I haven’t come totally full circle and am back to being afraid, but I am much calmer. If I miss a round of commenting, hopefully you still want to be friends.
  4. I had like, 3 books when I started. They all happened to be The Hunger Games, I am sure. No seriously, I owned almost zero books. And I think the ones I’d owned, I had already read! At this time in my life, I had almost exclusively e-books, finally having gotten a Kindle. So the only physical books I owned were a few Charlaine Harris books I’d bought back in the day (I didn’t even own THG, actually- I had bought the ebooks), and  mostly I read whatever was free or cheap on Kindle. Now… I counted, recently, for a comment I left on someone’s post and I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 books unread in my possession? Probably a fair split between Kindle and Physical. And that is after a huge unhaul when I moved!
  5. I host things now! I mean not by myself or anything! Though for a minute, I did, it was exhausting. No, Nicole and I host stuff together, because it is more fun that way! We host the Discussion Challenge, and I joined her in hosting her WURU, too. I did Shattering Stigmas for like, 6 years, which I’d really like to bring back when I have time. There was the giveaway hop, which has changed hands many times. But SS and the ones I do with Nicole are the most fun, because friends are fun!
  6. I have become more creative and more tech savvy. Look, you can get away with having a site and being neither of those things, no worries. I am not all that creative, mind, I have just come up with a couple things that I am proud of and want to share! My biggest “oh this is creative and fun” thing is the Olympic Book Tag. It’s fun, it’s pretty, and it ties the Olympics and books together! And we only have another year before a new one, yay! Also, I have become certainly a lot more able to do computer things. There is a certain amount of trouble-shooting involved with self-hosting, certainly (though thankfully we have Ashley for the big stuff!), and designing various looks, etc etc. Obviously, the look of the blog has changed a lot from when I first started! I kind of wish I could find it to share but then again, maybe it’s better I can’t heh. I once spent literal months trying to figure out how to add an effect to my featured images when I scrolled over them. When I finally did… well, I was pretty damn pleased with myself.
  7. I have found a new fun thing to talk about with shows! This is tied into The 100, to be sure, but it is its own thing, too! I have found that as much as I loved yammering about books, I find even more joy talking about shows. I think the reasons are several. First, I don’t have to talk about the shows, which makes it more appealing. Then of course there’s the fact that when you snark on a book, you can’t help feeling bad because the author is a human with feelings. But if you snark on a show, no one involved will ever see it or care, and as long as you’re not singling out one person (and I would never, unless that person is a known shithead), you’re not offending anyone.
  8. There are so many events and activities I have found thanks to the book community. Where to begin? I had no idea that publishing events were a thing, and I have been to so many, and met so many great people, from authors, to publishing employees, to other reviewers. I found out about Bookish Games, which have been one of my great joys of the decade, too. (And of course, met even more amazing people through them). We often don’t consider how much these events make our lives better, but wow, they do.
  9. I can talk about things that matter to me. One of the great things about books is that they offer us viewpoints. They offer lessons, and morality, and substance, beyond just the (often really great!) story. When I started this site, I really never planned for it to be an avenue to showcase my views or beliefs or anything of the sort. But it did. Because when faced with a choice to say what I think is right or to be quiet and keep the peace, I chose the former. I don’t judge if you chose the latter, for we all have situations that may impede our ability to say certain things. But I have the privilege and the (albeit small) platform and I intend to use it. I have done several posts about the importance of voting, and the importance of rooting out hateful rhetoric. Nicole and I faced some blowback from that sort of decision within our link-up posts, which I will stand by until the end of time. If you don’t stand up for what you think is right… who will?
  10. The faces, they have changed, for happy and for sad. The folks who made up the majority of my relationships when I first started are, for the most part, not really around anymore. I didn’t pick up much traction in the blogosphere until probably about 2014-2015, because of the aforementioned terror of putting myself out there, so that is likely one of the reasons. It does hurt my heart a little to think of those relationships that didn’t stand the test of time, or the people who disappeared without closure. My heart aches too when I think of those we lost. I think of Elizabeth, who was one of the first regular commenters I had, of Steph,  and I think often of Grace, who was taken too soon from her beautiful family. But then I also think about how blessed we have been to have found each other, friends from all over the world, in some cases. I have had the absolute pleasure to have met some of you in life, and hopefully will continue to do so. I say it often, and I will continue to, but it is you who make it all worthwhile.

I hope beyond hope that we’ll all still be here in another decade, talking about books and shows and life, but if for any reason we aren’t, it has been one of my life’s great pleasures. 

Guys I miss them so much. Still. 

Here is a giveaway for a Blackwell’s (or Amazon or BookShop or whatever for my US friends) book! Under $20 I must say, for I am poor, but that should get you just about any ebook or paperback and quite a few HCs! Also going to do a GC or book for $10 for any bookstore you’d like! Ends 11/28 at 11:59EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For funsies, tell me something random that you did in the past ten years! Or, a random blogging truth for you. Or really, any old thing you want to share!

Posted October 8, 2023 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps, Funsies, Giveaway / 43 Comments


43 responses to “A Decade of It Starts at Midnight!

  1. Cheers to ten years! This was a really touching post. Thank you for sharing so much of how your life has changed/evolved over the past decade. You left me in tears talking about Grace. I was reading reviews for an older book, and her review was near the top on Goodreads. I smiled as a few tears escaped, but it was great to hear her “voice” again. Here’s to many more years of your musings!

    • Thank you so much! Omg, the exact same thing happened to me, also very recently! I think that was why she was on my mind when I typed this up. I think about her babies, I hope they are doing okay, and her husband too, he seemed like a good guy, I am glad they have him.

  2. Wow, a lot really has happened! I’m glad you’ve had this community to help you through it though. How cool that you got to be on a panel, and how it all started from just talking about a thing! And I so agree that I usually don’t feel bad snarking about big movies and shows because there are so many people working on them that I don’t feel like I’m singling anyone out, and they’re most likely never going to see it anyway. I haven’t been here quite as long as you, but yeah, a lot of people have disappeared over the years. But I’m glad you’re still around, congrats on 10 years!

    • Thank you so much! And yes it was such an amazing experience- like my name listed on the same poster as the CAST!? It was nuts! And yes exactly, like no movie star is reading our blogs, but sometimes authors will catch our reviews, so it feels worse. I mean- I still probably snark a little, because I can’t help myself, but I definitely also try to never be actually mean! Whereas with shows I have absolutely said “this is absolute trash” heh.

  3. The 10 year milestone is always nostalgic! I’ve been blogging for 14 years now and have seen a lot come and go. It’s been a wild ride. Blogging was hot then it was not. Yet I still find myself doing it everyday because I still enjoy it. At a time I felt like I was gaining some popularity then covid happened and publishers seemed to have lost their lists where I was included. So now I’m pretty much back to where I was when I started. Just shouting out into the void. Whether I’m seen or not I still enjoy writing about the books I read, it feels cathartic. I don’t have people in real life I can gush about books with, so I talk to myself through my blog! I get the occasional comment, but not nearly what it used to be about 4 years ago or so. But I can be a creature of habit so I keep doing it because I enjoy it!

    Hope you have another happy 10 years or more of blogging to come! It should always be fun! That’s what I’ve told myself from the beginning and what I’ve told many a blogger who felt the need to step back. I will likely always be here. 🙂

    Happy Blogoversary!

    • 14 years!? DAMN that is impressive! You are so right- it was the big thing, then not so much, but it’s funny because no matter whether it is “big” or not, it has been a constant! Yeah I think COVID was rough, and then I also think a lot of publishers started catering more to whatever the “next big thing” was (like Bookstagram, BookTok, etc) but I don’t think it will work for them in the long run, because those trends come and go, and I truly think their money is better spent on reviewers who they know will actually come through, but alas, no one asked me. So I am pretty much in the same spot as you!

      And I agree with you so much- It SHOULD be fun, and if it isn’t… well I could pretend I won’t still do it but I totally will 😂

  4. Congrats on 10 years Shannon! Wow, you’ve had a LIFE. And you’re still here. One of the hardest things about blogging is watching fellow bloggers disappear, stop blogging, stop commenting, etc. But I guess people grow and change and move on in blogging, just like in real life. I often wonder why I’m still blogging, but I just can’t stop, lol.

    • Aw thank you! It really has been a hell of a ride heh. I am just like you- I probably *should* have thrown in the towel at some point, but I can’t seem to quit! It is really hard to see people disappear, especially when you’d been fairly close with them. You kind of never get that closure, I guess.

  5. I’m sure this was not an easy post to right but you should be so proud of yourself.. take the time.. feel the pride.. You did so good girl. And i’m sure you still have you battles but this just proves that you are strong and you can do it.. Keep on keeping on.

    • Congrats on 10 years. I’ve been around for a little bit longer than that and have seen so much, so many people come and go. When I saw someone tweet about this post I decided to come take a look cuz I’ve never been to your blog before, because it’s always interesting to see what people will post about for their blogiversary. A lot has happened for you and it was a very heartfelt post that I enjoyed reading. Hopefully you’ll be around for another 10 years.

  6. I loved your story (though I already knew part of it of course). I mean…not the actual story of course…I loved to hear how blogging helped you through the worst times of your life. I loved you 9th point (go girl!). And I think your love for The 100 isn’t ridiculous at all. I mean, I’ve never been to a Doctor Who convention or met any of its actors, but the series feels like a warm embrace to me…

    Here’s to 10 more years of blogging shenanigans…and more (also, thank you so much for the giveaway!). Blowing a kiss to Sam and Lena as well!

    • Aw thank you! No I know exactly what you mean! It is really crazy, one day I have to write a book about it, I feel like it would be really cathartic. Yesss that is exactly how it feels, like when I am feeling down, I can just turn the show on and it just gives me peace for awhile. Funny, because it’s all genocide and cannibal cults and body snatchers but here we are 😂

      AW thank you so much, I will pass along your well-wishes!

  7. Well, 10 years ago I would’ve been 7 so you could say a lot has happened since then lol! Congrats on the 10 years of blogging, your posts are always a highlight of my week!

  8. Congrats on all the accomplishments. You can feel good about yourself, making the best life in the moment. Life is growing and learning and if we didn’t make mistakes how would we figure out where we want to go? I thought The 100 was an amazing show too. I can’t think of anything that stands out in the past ten years. Just me, being me. LOL Oh….Mr Wonderful retired because of Covid and that was a major change! I love/hate it. LOL I am a bit of a loner, so having someone around all the time can be challenging. Fortunately, we are soulmates and silence can be golden. 🙂 Take care and ‘see’ you soon.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    • Thank you so much! You make such a good point about making mistakes. I try to tell myself that good came of said mistakes (my kids, obviously) but it’s a good reminder! And YAY I am so glad you loved the 100 too! OH yes that is a HUGE change! I suppose for all of us COVID was a change, though it sounds like for you an even bigger one. I hope you at least have a room or space you can go when you want some alone time!

  9. First of all, congratulations! It’s been a wild 10 years. And I’ve been privileged to be your friend for a lot of it. Beautifully said, too, about the ones we’ve missed.

    I feel like after the 100 one of my favorite co- watches was 12 Monkeys? I mean, we had fun with that. and thanks for the shout out, BTW. How many have we watched? I only read the Hunger Games thanks to you as well!

    You’ve given me great advice and been ana amazing friend, I don’t know what else to say. Congratulations and always the best. Thank you for being you.

    • Damn it this has me tearing up! (Just kidding, outright crying, obviously 😂) Thank you, for the incredibly kind words ♥♥

      YES 12 Monkeys was definitely the runner up, I agree. Especially since they nailed the ending, which we can’t say about very many things (honestly- how many of them even ended in general, besides maybe 12 Monkeys, Orphan Black, 3%, and The 100? I feel like we’ve been left hanging for literally every other show. That is a horrible track record! OH Dark ended but I hated its ending. Ohhh and the one with the siblings, what was that one? The Rain? Did you ever finish that one?)

      • I did finish The Rain! I feel like all things considered I liked that show. Remember The Society? How we’re NEVER getting that ending? Gahhh. Orphan Black was a fave too. Dang that show. Remember when Donny shot the dude and buried him in the GARAGE? I think we fell off our chairs/

        • I will NEVERRRR get over The Society, frankly. Or The Wilds. Or The Passage. Those are my “big three”. OH and Away, on Netflix, I don’t think you watched that one? That was the best episode EVER of OB. I still crack up thinking about that (and I am typing this while “in class” which means I am probably looking really goofy 😂)

  10. Wow. 10 years. I know I was late to finding your blog, but I feel…not by very much? I discovered The 100 through you, as well as many other shows, Con (of course), and I wanna say a billion (give or take) books. My life has definitely been enriched for having met and befriended you, and followed your fun wee corner of the internet. Thank you!

    I’ve also been in continual awe of how you’ve navigated a truly shit hand that’s been dealt to you, and managed to still find hope, humor, and joy in it. Like a scrappy bunker rat. 😉 Here’s to another 10 years, but this time, with many happier returns around the sun (and, ya know, no zombies).

    • Jesus now I am crying AGAIN! Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous! I am equally glad to have found you of course! DUDE. Does that mean I get to be Blodreina? I’ll do it! 😂 Also yeah of all the apocalypses that are likely to happen in the next 10 years, let’s cross our fingers for no zombies. I am a shit runner and I know I’d be sacrificed early on.

  11. Oh, wow – this post has brought up so many memories for me, and I’m so glad that we’ve been on this journey together for so long! Honestly, this is just a really beautiful tribute to the ways that this community has impacted you, and I couldn’t agree with you more! And then I got to the end, and it makes me want to tear up – do you know that in all these years, I never deleted Grace from my birthdays and blogoversaries calendar because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t want to get rid of that reminder.

    • I am too! And same- she’s still in my blog roll even, I just couldn’t bring myself to delete, even though her blog is gone as so her button links to nothing, it’s more a tribute than anything. It’s amazing- ten years later, and you’re a whole real author, I am just so happy for you, and I cannot WAIT to start spamming people with your book ♥♥

  12. Wow! Shannon you have certainly been through the rollercoaster of life and it’s great to hear you found the bookish and TV show community to help you cope with it all! HUGE HUGS! I’m also happy to have known you over these years and just realized Chapter Break started in ’13 so we have kind of glossed over our own 10 year! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over the years and doing your challenges and events, and it’s amazing how much of yourself you’ve poured out through this blog with everything else you’ve been battling. A lot happens in 10 years and going through remembering everyone who came and went and those lost too soon is quite moving and so important.

  13. What a great post, Shannon. I can’t remember how long I’ve been following your blog, but I know it’s been at least 7-8 years (if not more). It’s amazing to look back at all the life changes over a decade. Thoughts of Grace are so bittersweet. She was among my first blogger friends. And gone far, far too soon. Here’s to many more years!

    • Thank you so much! It has been a bulk of the time, for sure, that we have been following each other! It really is amazing, how much changes in a decade. Grace breaks my heart, the world is just so unfair sometimes. But yes hopefully we have many more years of blogging ahead ♥♥

  14. Congrats on 10 years! I’m glad you’re still around. My blog turned 10 this year too, and I was thinking about all the people who have drifted away from the community. I was also terrified of commenting and joining link-ups when I started blogging! I just assumed everyone online would hate me because everyone in my real life hated me. The book community has been shockingly nice, even when I have an unpopular opinion or say something that comes across in a way I didn’t intend.

    • Aw tthank you! I am glad you are still around too ♥♥ It really is hard when people drift away. And yes- I think life conditions us to almost expect that people won’t care what we have to say, and the best thing about this community is that we find people who genuinely do!

  15. Melanie B

    Many congrats on 10 Years, I give you a lot of credit, that’s no easy feat! I used to post on my movie blog but that was years ago, sadly now I can’t seem to devote time to it anymore. Maybe someday I’ll get back to it again.

  16. Olivia Roach

    Hey, hello, it’s me. Congratulations on 10 years Shannon. i cannot count on one hand the number of it starts at midnight blog posts I’ve read. And you were absolutely one of my close friends when I was blogging and starting out. I recently celebrating 10 years of being on the bookternet which kicked off with blogging and then moved to other platforms, so we started around the same time!! I don’t blog hop or comment as much not having one of my own, but I do want you to know I still lurk, and find your reviews on dystopian and sci-fi IMMENSELY helpful because our taste aligns so much. I know if you liked it there’s an 80% chance I will too. Keep doing you and keeping your chin up. You’re doing amazing <3

  17. Yay for 10 years! I know what you mean about not really getting into commenting at such at first. I started just because someone I worked at the bookstore with was blogging. And then I just got into it. And then I realized in order to have people comment on my blog I had to go comment on other blogs. And then I met great fellow bloggers such as you! So glad you had this to look forward to with all the craziness you’ve had in your life over the last 10 years! Something random I did, I guess just going to Scotland on an Outlander tour this past summer. It was a book/tv show, but it made me finally get off my butt and get out of the country like I’d had on my bucket list for so long!

  18. An incredible accomplishment!!!! So many have left and I’m SO happy you are still here.

    I’ve gone through some things over my years of blogging and, yeah, blogging and the people I’ve met have helped me get through it all. Way more than my “real life” people.

    I didn’t even read when I started blogging lol

    Isn’t life crazy with all it’s twist and turns? May the next 10 be wonderful for you xoxo

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  19. Congrats on 10 years, Shannon. I do miss people that are no longer blogging…and people we lost like Grace…but I am so glad that you are still around. I definitely missed my blogoversary this year, because I’ve been so bad at blogging this year. I just haven’t wanted to be on the computer after work where I’m on the computer the whole time. LOL I’m doing my best though.


Leave a Reply