Sunday, 24 April 2016

[UPDATED] Ink, Inc. Turns Four // Survey // Giveaway

*UPDATED:  You can now read the post, hopefully. The irony that I was posting about stuff I've learnt over four years of blogging, and yet couldn't make the post work, is not lost on me.*

Today it is my blogoversary!


To be honest, I'm slightly annoyed that Emily-four-years-ago didn't think to start her blog one day earlier, because then my blogoversary would be the same day as Shakespeare's birth and death days. And my fourth blogoversary would have been the four hundredth anniversary of his death, and it would all have been really nice and connected.

But, to quote everyone's favourite musical, the past is in the paaast ... 

Anyway, Ink, Inc. is four today! Technically, this is only partially true; the first time I posted under the name Ink, Inc. was the 17th of November 2015, so the blog in this manifestation is under a year old. But it was way back in 2012 that I started with Emily's Chronicles (an appalling name), which then morphed into Emily Etc., which became the blog you see before you.

I remember something Sunny from A Splash of Ink said, about a blog over your teenage years being a document of growth. I think that's a great description. I was thirteen when I started blogging, and whilst I have enough self-preservation to have moved my oldest posts to a private blog (hence my archives don't go all the way to the beginning), I can still see how I have changed and how the blog has changed me. Would you like to read my very first post?
April 24th, 2012
Well, I have a blog. I’ve always been attracted by the idea, although I’m now wondering…is it egoistical to want something in which you do nothing but write about yourself? I don’t know how much of my life would make good reading; I don’t have an epic project like Julie in Julie & Julia, and my day-to-day existence is hardly fascinating, unless you’re in to descriptions of hour long Physics lessons, so I think I will intersperse these posts with stories and pictures. I don’t want to go on, so I’ll just say: if you’re reading this, thanks :L
And that's it. No title. No ending punctuation mark, just an :L face, such as I frequently overused. (There used to be emoticons like whoa around here. It was a dark time.) Thirteen-year-old me had no clue what she was doing. In many ways, seventeen-year-old me is no better off, but I think -- I'm sure -- that, however cringey it is to admit, writing a blog has changed me for the better. I'm sure I'm not alone in that I sometimes have moments of uncertainty, when I wonder why I'm doing this; as I answer questions in tags or spend hours taking pictures of books amongst flowers, I have an occasional attack of what's the point? There are questions of artistic pride and integrity in there, and I'm a strong believer that filler posts are pointless, but actually, whatever some may say, there is so much use in this internet life we lead! If I hadn't started blogging, I would never have found out about NaNoWriMo. If I hadn't signed up in a rush for Camp NaNo in July 2013, I would never have started my current novel. I'm sure I would be writing some book of some description, but it wouldn't be this book, my book, and that's a horrifying thought. And if I didn't have so many wonderful writer friends met in the blogosphere, it would be much harder for me to continue. Moreover, if I weren't being buoyed along by the excitement of the book blogging community, would I have read half the wonderful books I have? Would I have heard of The Raven Boys or We Were Liars? Blogging has given me so, so much over the years.

Most importantly, you guys are really great! I'm not going to go into paroxysms of tearful love (I am British), but at the end of the day it is the followers and friendships I have built that make all of this worthwhile. There's no point writing books if you don't want people, friends, to read them, and I wouldn't have half those people if I didn't have you. And why read and love characters alone when you can read and love characters with others? To everyone who has fangirled with me over Richard Campbell Gansey III, I say a massive thank you.

(On another note, The Raven King comes out the day after tomorrow. I don't think there's any point using cap locks, exclamation marks or asdfghlks because right now those things cannot convey what I feel.)

I have zero doubts that blogging has vastly improved my writing, opened my eyes to so many new books, and most importantly let me meet some wonderful people. I am really looking forward to going forward with you lovely lot. As someone slightly averse to lots of overt affection, I really want to put something snarky and sarcastic in here, but I'm not going to because I'm being sincere!

Now: a survey! Mostly because I've seen Tracey and Victoria doing it and I'm a little bleating sheep, but also because I would love to have your opinions. 

*In the original post I embedded this, but I think it was it that was causing the issues (I have no clue why), so instead, click here to reach the survey!*

And the bit you've all been waiting for: a giveaway! 


I feel slightly horrible to make “follow Ink, Inc." the condition, because it feels a bit snooty, but listen, I'm not doing this to try and cheaply gain followers. Instead, I genuinely want to thank you guys, and I would hate for a non-follower who has come sniffing here because they know there's a giveaway on (not that I blame you! I do that too!) to win, when I have you lovely lot in mind. 
Savvy?

(However, I do know that some people follow unofficially, so, for example, if you are my lovely new unofficial follower Blue, just say “hey, I'm Blue!" and I will know. Fear not.)

I don't want to drag this out unnecessarily, so go, lead your life. Write that book, paint that masterpiece, don a tinfoil hat and rock back and forth anticipating The Raven King (that's my plan). Good luck in the giveaway; thanks for doing the survey; thanks for making my blogging life awesome!

53 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Emily!!! It's so awesome that you've reached such a milestone and just YOU'RE AWESOME, OK? Here's to a happy future of blogging. *raises glass*

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  2. *checks giveaway then has to comment again* (That's what I get for commenting before reading everything.)

    My favourite female fictional character would probably be Cress from The Lunar Chronicles and the male one would be Captain America, but I'd only say those if I had a gun to my head and I had to chose. Because seriously, that's a hard choice.

    (Also, it may just be me (I'm on an iPad) but I couldn't actually read your post? It showed up for a few seconds then the survey and givewaway appeared and your post disappeared. I tried refreshing and everything but it's still not working. Sorry :/ )

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    1. Thanks, Victoria! ~clinks glass~ YOU'RE AWESOME TOO and thank you for your v lovely words in the survey! <333

      I've heard so much love for Cress! I can't wait to read TLC. But wow, so much Captain love! I really should watch some of the other films, I guess.

      Fixed that! :)

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  3. Congrats, Em! Four years of blogging is a big achievement! :D *throws confetti and sets off firecrackers*

    The post isn't showing up for me either, sadly. I very much want to read it. But I did take the survey and enter the giveaway! Perhaps I should've waited to see if you're allowing international entrants... >.< If not, ignore my entry!

    And argh, how could you ask such an impossible question?! I...I can't...how can I even choose... Fine. ONE of my favorite male characters is Sir Eanrin from Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood, and ONE of my favorite females is Bonnie Silver from Dragons in Our Midst by Bryan Davis. Eanrin=hilariously arrogant and charming. Bonnie=incredibly inspiring.

    I'll be back to comment again once I can read your beautifully mysterious post! ;)

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    1. Thank you! ~dances in confetti and flinches at firecrackers~

      I've sorted it! And yes, I am, sorry! I should update the post to make that clear.

      I've never heard of ToGW but I'll look out for them! And you have convinced me on the topic of Bryan Davis. I'm on the lookout.

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    2. Yay, I can read it now! So glad it was a fixable thing. :)

      GOOD HEAVENS. Never heard of ToGW?? The author Anne Elisabeth Stengl is one of my top three favorites EVER. I don't know if you like fairytale-ish fantasy or not, but if you do, I highly recommend this. She pulls off omniscient POV beautifully, and the richness of the world combined with the depth of her characters is just--I have no words.
      I am an exceedingly pleased dragon to hear I've persuaded you to read Bryan Davis. :D :D :D
      (Speaking of book recs...I am on chapter 6 of The Raven Boys!!!)

      But back to this post. I've been around since Emily Etc.! (Which wasn't all that long ago, but hush.) Must be amusing to look back on your earliest posts! It's neat to have that digital measuring stick of your growth. Even in my one year of blogging, I've grown. Keeping a blog has a way of making one more aware of things, doesn't it? Of the books you read or things you write or just life in general.

      (Oi, looks like another monster comment. XD)

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    3. No, sorry! OK but I must ask: who are the other two?

      “I don't know if you like fairytale-ish fantasy or not" -- DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME. (Clearly not!) YES I LOVE IT. Sounds great. I will keep my eyes wide open! Likewise for Bryan Davis.

      OH MY GOSH ARE YOU ENJOYING IT?!?!? (That's the pressurising voice of a rabid fangirl. Obviously you maintain the right *not* to enjoy it. But, ah ... !)

      It does make me much more aware. Here's to more happy years! (Not too monster. A baby monster.)

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    4. LOL, no need to apologize. I get dramatic about fav. authors. XD The other two favorites are Bryan Davis (didn't see that coming, did you?) and Ted Dekker. There are many, many more authors that I love, but if I had to narrow it down to three, that's it right there. :)

      No, clearly not! Well, I was approximately 98.037% sure you do like fantasy of that sort, but I didn't want to be pushy in case you didn't.

      *wiggles eyebrows* That rabid fangirl's question is answered in the Subplots and Storylines edition I posted today!

      Aww, a baby monster. *pets* (The comment looked longer on my phone than it does now on my computer. XD)

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    5. Bryan Davis, who? I've never heard you talk about him ;) And I've definitely heard of Ted Dekker, but what did he write?

      Ha, never worry about being pushy over books. ~the rabid fangirl rolls up her sleeves~

      I'LL BE THERE! And yes the monster is v cute :3

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    6. Haha, no, never. ;)
      Ted Dekker has written a LOT of books, and they're all a little...I don't know if weird is the right word, but he thinks outside the box, and in some of his books, it can be somewhat creepy. (I love it, though.) There are such deep, powerful themes woven into his stories. He's known for intense good vs. evil conflicts and plot twists too.
      For example--and I think you'd really love this (as if I haven't liked enough onto your TBR already!)--he has a trilogy written with Tosca Lee called the Books of Mortals. They're dystopian with a fantasy flavor, in which a virus has robbed humanity of all emotions except for fear, which is deemed the only emotion necessary to survival. But then someone finds a vial of untainted blood that, if ingested, will awaken their emotions again. There's only enough for a few people, so it's up to them to restore the world. AND IT'S ALL DARK AND BROODING AND THE VILLAINS ARE EPIC AND THERE'S AN UNEXPECTED ALLEGORY AND JUST SKDISHAKALZJXN. Okay, I'm done.

      *salutes* I get a little rabid myself sometimes, as evidenced by the above paragraph. XD

      Awesome! :D

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    7. *piled enough, not liked enough. (Stupid phone keyboard.)

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    8. THAT DOES SOUND GOOD! And I really really love outside-the-box/creepy books. Surrealism = life. And worry not about heaping my TBR, to be honest it's already so mountainous that a few more books are nothing! XD

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  4. Yay! Congrats so much! And that Sherlock gif!

    (I feel like every time I come here I make the same highly intelligent comment: "That Sherlock gif!!!")

    Blogging definitely changes a person. You get to meet people you'd never meet irl. It also exposes you to a lot of different topics and interests. Blogging I would say has made me a better book reader.

    So did you preorder The Raven King? Because I'm sure you are excited beyond excitement! (The Dream Thieves is in my car right now, I should probably start it as it's due at the library in early May.)

    Oh, is the giveaway international? You probably said at some point and I just missed it.

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    1. If appropriate Sherlock gifage is my highest art form, I'M HAPPY.

      A better book reader, totally. I quail to think (esp as I look at TRK on the desk beside me) of the books I wouldn't have read without blogging.

      I BOUGHT IT ABOUT EIGHT HOURS AGO, I'VE SPENT APPROX THREE OF THOSE HOURS READING IT AND AM ONE THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH, I'M ONLY ONLINE AS A BREAK FROM THE INTENSE BEAUTY AND BEAUTIFUL INTENSITY, KAY THNX BYE.

      (But please start TDT because it's perfection.)

      Yes, it is! I only implied (as in, INT book depository), but did not say. But yes, GO FORTH, MY MERRY FRIEND!

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    2. It IS an art form most truly!

      Exactly! And I'm always thinking about "How would I review this? What is the writer doing that I like/dislike? What can I learn as a writer?" etc.

      Gosh, you read so fast! I'm only on page 50 of The Dream Thieves. Although, I do like savoring it. The writing is JUST ALWEKJFAO;EIR!

      Oh, and I'm supposed to tell you my favorite female and male character. Just two? You make this quite difficult. For now I'll answer Scarlet from the Lunar Chronicles. She's fierce and distrusting but loyal to a fault. She doesn't let anyone mess with her or make her feel like less of a person and she does the same for her friends. Nobody ever messes with Scarlet's friends without her sticking up for them. As to a male character, I'm just going to say Thomas from The Maze Runner (obviously, TDT has me conflicted at present; there are too many FEELS!). He's smart and analytical. But he also feels very responsible for his friends and cannot stand to leave any of them behind. He is a mastermind therefore he is awesome.

      Okay, I shall stop with the fangirling (momentarily).

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    3. Yesss, I love how reading teaches you to write! (Obvious thing to say, but yeah.) Although sometimes I feel that thinking about my review, or more specifically my star rating, can damage my reading experience? I love Goodreads because I love the challenge element, seeing what my friends are reading, and keeping track of everything (keeping track of things is v important to me, you should see how tidy my room is. I'm a neat freak and I'm not ashamed). But sometimes I feel that condensing every book into x out of five stars is not helpful. I might write a post about it.

      I do read fast when I put my mind to it. I finished TRK last night ... or did it finish me? BUT SAVOURING IS GOOD. I'm already looking to when I can reread.

      She sounds cool! Can't wait to read TLC, actually. And interesting. You almost (almost) make me think I should return to TMR. I just didn't enjoy it that much, at least I don't think I did, but I can't remember, but I was 12 or so, so could I have been too young? BUT YES THE RAVEN BOYS ARE BEAUTIFUL. Tbh they all vie for being my faves. They can't make it quite to the top spot in my esteem, but I just do love those characters, I do.

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    4. Star ratings are a little ambiguous to me. I don't know. Everyone has a different way of using them, so I only ever think about it when I'm on Goodreads and sometimes I don't even to use the star rating at all. It's just bleh. I do like keeping track of things on Goodreads. But usually I forget?

      I'm glad you liked. Though that is to be expected. How can one not?

      TLC is sooo good! I think you'll like it. I really, really love TMR. It's really complex and I enjoy the characters. You could always try it again? (Have you seen the movies?) It is seriously hard to choose a favorite Raven boy. They all have their problems, but then they are so human. And they always stick up for each other (or so far in TDT).

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    5. Wait wait wait are you on Goodreads!?! How didn't I know this?!??!! I'm going to go find you right now!

      Well, I tried. I found a bunch of Ashley Gs in America, most likely candidate someone who just rated The Screwtape Letters five stars. None with profile pics. I'm not a very good detective, really. What'd probably be easier would be if you gave me a link XD

      I was with a friend today who was reading Scarlet, she really likes them, too. I've not seen the TMR films, no. As for TRB, I feel like my fangirling is becoming defunct because I say it so often, but I LOVE THEM ASGLKJASDGLK. But you knew that, didn't you? ;)

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  5. HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY! *sings rousing chorus*

    (btw - I heartily approve your top-notch gif usage!)

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    1. ~bellows along with you~ And thanks fam! All for your benefit of course ;)

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  6. Happy blogoversary!! Congrats on keeping your blog going for all of these years, and I wish you luck on many more :D I totally agree with you... Blogging opens your eyes to all sorts of new people, books, writing techniques, etc. and it's such a great way to grow. I can't wait for what another year of this blog will bring! Thanks for being a great blogger buddy to me!
    - July

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    1. Thank you, July! I'm so excited for another year of blogging! And yes, you too <333

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  7. Long live Ink, Inc! (toasts with teacup)
    You make some good points about a blog being good for writing growth. It only makes sense, after all, it gets you up and writing more than you normally would.

    Ah, yes, guilty as charged (sheepish smile). Here, let me mend that.

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    1. ~clinks teacup~ Thank you! And yes, it does. And it makes me write in a different style to that of a novel or an essay for school.

      Are you making a blog?! :D :D

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    2. Yes, that's another point there. Trying out new writing styles, learning to be adventurous.

      I am now, and I've dutifully put you on my following list!

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    3. I so crave adventure in writing. Do you write?

      My most recent new follower is on Bloglovin, an account called Bloglover. Would that be you?

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    4. I write, but I'm just now learning the adventurous part to it.

      Bloglover? Doesn't sound familiar. Perhaps that is the standard name, like 'anonymous'. I was on wordpress, and I don't think it translates well to blogspot.

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    5. Blue, you started a blog? :DDD Is it private, or are you open to sharing the link? Because I'd love to follow you!

      @Emily: I've had a few 'Bloglover' people follow me too. I think Blue's right--it must be an anon. name.

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    6. Hello, Tracey! Yes, but I'm still figuring it out. I don't mind sharing it, though:
      tobeashennachie.wordpress.com

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    7. Amazing, I'll be there!

      @Tracey: I noticed my Bloglover also followed Adventure Awaits. Who even knows?

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  8. Yes I'm glad it wasn't just me who was having the issues. I think I was here two days ago and the screen just completely froze and wouldn't let me move. Glad you fixed it dude.

    Emily's Chronicles was a great name, what are you on! But four years is so long ago that it makes me edgy to think about. Sunny's completely right about it being a document of growth - my writing was hideous four years ago (and yet you still stuck around for some reason), and so much in life has changed since then that you can see in the blog posts I wrote.
    That little "I am British" was so edgy dude :,) that I nearly choked on the tea I was drinking whilst stroking my Corgi and watching Harry potter on blueray :,D

    Your writing had definitely improved though, and look where you are now! Omg all the emotions. AND WE LOVE YOU FOR GIVING US QUALITY POSTS TO READ.

    We're so old now, sigh.

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

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    1. Also ps I will definitely check out your survey and giveaway, but I'm on my phone and have the nagging feeling that I should get out of bed (after all, it is 1:16pm...)

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    2. It was being tetchy. Even after four years we still don't have a smooth relationship apparently??

      IT WAS NOT! IT WAS ABYSMAL! It is v cute to think that Awkward Donkey was there four years ago. Is it still public? I might have a look ;)

      Edgy isn't the word I would have applied but thanks. OK I'm off to water my rose garden and bake a Victoria sponge ...

      THANK YOU! AND THANK YOU! YOU ARE SO NICE! But yes we're frikking old. I have three days left of school. EVER. I'm blimming going to VOTE in the Scottish election! I DON'T WANT TO BE AN ADULT!

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  9. Happy Blogoversary! I started my blog four years ago so I was 19 and I feel embarrassed about things I said back then. XD I've reverted several posts to drafts because of that. My favorite characters would have to be Katniss Everdeen and Aragon. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. 19 is still 1.5 years away for me so I wonder how I'll feel about this blog by then! And when I'm 23 it'll be ten years old WHICH IS INSANE. I wonder if I'll still be around. (I hope so!) Those are strong choices, esp Aragorn (the bae!).

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  10. I think that is pretty goof for a first post it's far better than mine. I can't wait for The Raven King!

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    1. Thank you XD I guess those early posts just had no direction. I had no concept of posting with a proper topic, I just blurted. IT WAS AMAZING, I FINISHED IT LAST NIGHT.

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  11. Happy blogoversary, Emily!

    My favorites are Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom. :)

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    1. Thank you! Hermione's probably my favourite too? Maybe tied with Anne Shirley. And I love Neville to the end of the world <333

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  12. Happy Blogoversary, Emily!! Congrats :)
    My favs are Taylor from on the Jellicoe Road and Connor fron the Unwind dystolgy

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    1. Thank you, Alecia! I've not heard of either of those books but I'll look out for them :)

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  13. Hi Emily :) I'm a fairly new reader to Ink, Inc but I'd just like to say I absolutely love your blog! It's hard to believe that a 13 year old started this blog and 4 years later at 17 you've definitely created something special so when you have those moments of doubts about why you're doing this or even if you should be doing it, know that us reader love to read what you have to say.
    Now onto my favourites which I don't really have! But I'll say some characters that I do love no matter what and they are Hermione from well I'm sure you know ;) and Peeta from Hunger games if you didn't already guess :)

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    1. Deb, that is such a lovely comment! Thank you so so so much <333

      Hermione is my one love to be honest, I could not love her any more! And Peeta is so sweet. Thanks for stopping by! :D

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  14. OMG ALL THE CONGRATS FOR BEING 4 YEARS OLD. THAT IS HUGE AND AWESOME. *sprinkles cake in your hair* And I actually just had this horrible realisation that I hadn't been following you. GAH. SHAME ON ME. Least to say that is, of course, fixed now.

    AND LEMME FANGIRL OVER THE RAVEN CYCLE WITH YOU. GANSEYYYYYYYYY. And Ronan. <33333 And Adam and Noah. OF COURSE. And Blue. ANd basically everything. I'm even in love with the Fox Way house, dangit. I want to live in a messy weird house or live in the beech tree out the back or Monmouth. I'm honestly flexible here. I JUST WANT TO LIVE IN THAT BOOK I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Ahem.

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    1. THANK YOU! ~combs cake out of hair~ And don't worry, it happens! XD

      YES I LOVE FOX WAY AND MONMOUTH SO MUCH. I was really sad the Henrietta model didn't get a look in in TRK. I LOVE THAT MODEL. GANSEY, MY LIFE, MY LOVE.

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  15. This is so amazing! Congratulations! It's such a feat to make it a year, let alone four years!

    I'm glad (and stroking my ego, haha) that what I said resonated with you. Thanks for the shout out:) I definetly think that your blog has improved over the years. I also really love the cleverness of "Inc Ink".

    Also, props to you for sharing your first blog post. I don't know if I'd be willing to do that, even for a laugh.

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    1. Thank you, Sunny!

      You're welcome, I love what you said :) And thank youuu, I (only slightly ashamedly) really love puns! XD

      Thanks! I can't believe it ends with an :L Ah well, document of growth, eh?!! XD

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  16. Wow four years?! Congrats. I just recently brought mine back to life, so it's hard to stay committed to something that long, especially when life gets in the way.

    As far as favorite male and female characters.... >.< Ugh! I dunno. Luna from HP is adorable and Peeta would prolly be my choice of a book boyfriend, lol.

    Followed via BL and thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

    Brittany @ http://www.spacebetweenthespines.com/

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    1. Thank you, Brittany! I do love Luna, and Peeta is adorable :3

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  17. Hear hear!! So well said, especially the part of how everything is interconnected - where would we be if we had never started blogging? Life would be different - not necessarily worse or anything - but I just think about all the opportunities that have sprung out from this hobby and I'm so glad to have had them. Congrats on 4 years and here's to many more to come! Good thing I checked your blog proper for this because this post definitely didn't show up in my reader.

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    1. Thank you! I am so so so glad of all the people I've met and everything I've learnt through blogging! And yikes, I didn't know that! This post gave me a few problems :/ But at least you got here! :D

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  18. Happy blogoversary!! Damn, hindsight sucks sometimes doesn't it? :P

    My favourite female character is Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series, and my current favourite male is Flynn from The Starbound Trilogy!

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

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    1. Thank you, Joy! It does, I tend to view my old posts as a source of light comedy, though XD

      I do love Celaena! I've not heard of the Starbound trilogy but I'll have to look out for it!

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Thanks for commenting! :)