Friday, December 13, 2013

Travel in Time

In August of 2010, I was offered a place as the Teen category blogger in a pilot program Indigo wanted to roll out. The Indigo Teen Blog, and associated Twitter account, was one of the first "insider" blogs in the YA market. Before Epic Reads, Random Buzzers, HCC Frenzy, and even before the infamous Scholastic This Is Teen campaign. It began as a learn as I went, personal opinion, mixed-bag kind of thing with two posts a week.

The first interview that appeared on it was a nine author interview conducted at the Pasadena stop of the first Smart Chicks Kick It tour. The next year, Indigo Teen Blog went to the RT conference in Los Angeles for the inaugural  RT Teen Day. In 2011, I spoke on a panel at World Fantasy 2011 about Dystopian YA Fiction. I've livetweeted and blog-covered events, interviewed wonderful authors, and created a trusted place for book recommendations.

Three years of messy, glorious love is soon being laid to rest. (The whole blog program has been in transition since early October over to a new platform.) A couple months ago when I put The Dream Thieves completed interview into our blogging tool and wrote the introduction, I thought this is the last thing I'll do for the Indigo Teen Blog.

I was right. And I was happy that it was an interview about a book I loved with someone who holds the title for the Most Interviewed Author. The blog hasn't always been easy or enjoyable, but I'm grateful for every opportunity presented and every one I created.

That's the lesson that remains the most important: Something may take you to a door, but it's you who walks through it and is responsible for what happens on the other side. When you've done all that you can do, you ask what next and get ready.

They offered to let me choose 5 to 10 posts that are my favourites to transfer to the new blog. I wonder how do I transfer the feeling of the receiving the very first ARC I'd requested to review, an author quoting from one of my reviews on their website, or building the trust and connection between authors, readers, and publishers that develops over three years?

Ultimately, how do I transfer growing—very publicly—into an aware reader and a better writer?

I can't.

Those are all intangible; the Indigo Teen Blog acted as a trail through a forest of books and experiences—digital breadcrumbs of where I had been and how far I'd gone. As I review the posts tonight, picking favourites, I travel in time. Memory-walk. Reach out to touch past lives while hearing echoes of what was happening behind the scenes and between those posts.

I know things you don't about the blog. Things best put to rest with a stake in their hearts and garlic in their mouths. Things determined to suck the love right out of something that I spent years hand-in-hand with, public-facing, integrity-bound to do as well as I could.

So it's a careful journey on paths that get lost and crumble. But it's mine. This is where I cut my marketing teeth. This is what led to the role I have now, all these provinces and worlds away from where I started.

I should make a Doctor Who joke here; @IndigoTeenBlog loves Doctor Who jokes. But I've only got sentimentality left. I thought I was ready; I knew it was coming. But I had a moment today, right after I was asked about my favourite posts, where my only thought was "I don't want to go."

All things end. Let this passing be marked by three paragraphs written on a post in late December 2010 that won't be transferred over.

"Anyway, 2010 has been a year of changes and challenges and adventures and adversities. The kind of year where you’re always halfway out of the dark, and it leaves a girl needing a resolution or five. A battle plan for the next twelve months, if you will, or at least the foundations of a peace treaty.

I’m resolved to approach 2011 with patience and understanding for others and for myself. To put kindness into the world. To laugh at my mistakes then learn from them. To write more and talk about writing less.

In fact, I generally resolve to do more things that make me happy and less things that don’t, because the world’s a better place when it’s filled with what you love. I hope to find more new authors who make me want to read everything they’ll ever write and some established ones who I didn’t realize I’d love. Of course, I plan to tell you all about them."

A love letter from the past to the future; a reminder of what was, what is, what can still be.

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