About River (for the first time in five years)! + 2015 Blogging Goals

It’s been five years since Strike A Spark started.  Five years!  That’s a long time.  Have I never written about myself before?

Well, nope.  Not really.  I’ve posted relatively personal posts–like the Just Write! challenge from Writing 101 last November–but never about me.  I don’t even have a profile page!  It’s long overdue, so here we go.  Q&A format because I haven’t written anything in this format since the (now-outdated) FAQ on the C-Cubed blog four years ago!  And because FAQs are fun.

Who are you?

I’m River.  I’ve posted on-and-off for five years now.  I guess you could call me a veteran blogger by now, but I still feel like I’m figuring things out!  I own two blogs: Strike A Spark, my first and most precious; A Midnight Sonata, which is my haven specifically for Ball Jointed Doll-related posts. Additionally, I post to the Cyber Creations Club (C-Cubed) teen tech blog (which is reviving! Woo!) and the Tales from New Bruntum roleplaying blog, which is currently on hiatus.

What is this blog about?

Good question!  It started out as solely a review blog.  I had a vague idea that I would write reviews, get an Amazon Associates account and make a fortune. 😉  That didn’t work out, and I started posting about things beyond reviews, like crochet (including The Bunny Drop Project), Vocaloid, my art (still need to finish that header), and so on.

In future I’d like to discuss other things that interest me: transmedia (a sort of storytelling that utilizes various forms of media such as web sites, podcasts, games, movies, books, and so on to tell a larger story with all the component parts), careers in game design (by the way, for anyone who perked up at that, go check out the Gamasutra site, it’s awesome), edutainment (a blend of ‘education’ and ‘entertainment’–amazing when done well, horrifically boring when done badly), Halloween and other holiday traditions, and anything else that catches my fancy.

So, from review blog this has transitioned straight into a creative-pursuits blog.  Quite a 180-degree turn, wouldn’t you say?

What’s your blog title mean?

When I started the blog, I wanted to provide reviews that would inspire children to read, or (more likely) inspire parents to help children choose books that would interest their children.  Strike A Spark seemed like a nice, simple name to express that, since I didn’t want to go with something bland like River’s Reviews to Inspire Reading (which is actually kinda alliterative now that I think about it–maybe it would have worked). These days, the mission of inspiration is the same, which guides my posting process (though sometimes I’m lax and just post whatever’s on my mind).  To reflect that, I’ve updated the blog’s tagline to read “of inspiration,” so the whole title is “Strike A Spark of inspiration.”  Kinda cute, no?

Who is the blog’s audience?

Hoo boy.  You just had to ask, didn’t you?  Since this blog is a mixed-bag of anything that interests me, it’s hard to define an audience. Want crochet patterns?  Sure.  Want to learn about transmedia?  I’ll cover that one day.  Want to read short stories I’ve written or see art I’ve drawn?  That’ll be posted too.  Maybe I should have started different niche blogs for all of these subjects, but 3 1/2 blogs seems like enough to keep me busy until I am an expert at the more heavy-duty stuff.

Long story short, if you want to read a blog focused on various creative pursuits that are hopefully somewhat inspiring with a few personal posts interspersed, welcome!  I’m glad to have you along.

Any 2015 goals?

  • Post regularly! I’m thinking once a week, minimum.  (That’s just for this blog–I’m going to post more regularly on all of them, so it’ll be more like 2-3 posts/week across 3 blogs.  Though let’s not think about that right now, it sounds tiring. . . .)
  • Set up a profile page!  Which should be easy after today’s posts.  (I love copy/paste.)
  • Learn more about transmedia!  Post about it!  I really think it’s the future of entertainment, and am really excited to learn about it, so this one will be easy too!
  • Organize my categories. . . which sounds vaguely terrifying and I’d rather not think about but really needs to be done. . . .
  • Update Strike A Spark’s look!  It’s currently presentable, but bland.  Previously mentioned header and profile page will help fix this.
  • Take up more creative works.  I’m going to try my hand at short stories (which I used to avoid for some reason), and draw more, and craft more. Speaking of crafts, I’m crocheting a cowl inspired by this scarf, so that pattern is coming soon!
  • Comment more often on the blogs I read.  There’s a lot of cool people out there on the interwebs, and I’m too “busy” usually to take five seconds to write a comment, when hitting the like button is sooo much easier. /end sarcasm  So, I’d like to break that habit this year.
  • Share more of the novels, movies, webcomics, anime, graphic novels, manga, plushies, etc etc etc I like.  I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing reviews, so I would occasionally like to just gush “Ohmygosh this is so awesome” and then tell you why.
  • But keep aforementioned gushing to around 1/10th of total posts this year, give or take a couple of tenths.
  • Have fun! Which should really go without saying, but considering that I pretty much quit blogging for a year because it just felt too much like work, I need to reexamine my priorities and make sure this one is at the top.

Now, I wonder how many I’ll accomplish this year?  (That organizing-the-categories one is really worrying. . . .)

I think that’s a good place to end for now.  Do you have any 2015 blogging goals?


27 thoughts on “About River (for the first time in five years)! + 2015 Blogging Goals

      1. Seven review guides? That’s harsh. One per class or what. . . ?
        And midterms are just after the holidays? It’d make more sense to have them before, so students can relax over the break. Oh wait, that would assume that education administrators actually care about their student’s school/life balance. //end sarcasm

        I didn’t go either, had a Blender 3D modeling class I went to instead (which, incidentally, was also run by the library). Luckily the only other Blender class is next week, so I’ll be able to go to the meeting in two weeks. Will your midterms be done by then?


      2. Yep. AP psych, marine science, creative writing, world history, sociology, and algebra II. I have one for geometry, but I’m taking that one online. The only class I don’t have a review guide for is english.

        And yeah, it’s sooo stupid how they have it after break. Even the teachers complain about it. But yeah, we can’t do anything and it sucks.

        Blender 3D?

        Yeah, all the tests are next week. Monday we have a regular schedule, but the rest of the week is 2 tests a day. The only good thing about testing schedule is that we get out around 11:30 so I can go home and probably not actually do what I’m supposed to be doing.


      3. That’s quite a course load. So does your English teacher just assume the class knows everything, or is lazyness involved. . . ?

        I know! At least with a semester model you don’t have to worry about exams, because they’re done. With midterms after the break, the high achievers are stressing throughout the break and can’t have as much fun, the low achievers are just blowing off studying to have fun, and the teachers are wondering how much their students are forgetting over the break. :unamused:
        Midterms should just be before the holidays. That’d be better for everyone involved.

        Blender’s a free, opensource 3D creation program that is capable of making awesome graphics for games and movies. Maybe not Pixar-level, but amazing, especially considering that it’s free. http://blender.org/
        There’s been an official Blender movie every year for a while now, too. Here’s a demo reel on Youtube. Pretty amazing, no?

        Haha, procrastination ftw! If you’re going to be free, maybe we can get together next week. Like Thursday or Friday?


      4. She’s making us do a review in class on Monday, which is basically a reviewing of vocab. We learn nothing in that class.

        Yeah, and apparently a lot of other schools don’t do that? Like they get their midterms the last week before break, and when I talked to my friends about it a lot of them were really surprised that we do it that way? Apparently Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and Washington all actually have common sense 😛

        Dude that sounds pretty awesome. How hard is it?

        Sure, I’ll have to see which exams I have then (aka do I need to study a lot or just a little and wing the easy parts).


      5. Well, at least it’s during class time. (No homework is a plus in my book.)
        . . . Isn’t it a waste then? Why do they make you take it?

        Haha! We need to steal some of their common sense.

        Not very hard at all, if you have a good teacher! Though apparently there’s a high learning curve if you’ve used a different 3d modeler software like Maya before because the workflow and keyboard shortcuts are totally different. Lucky I have absolutely no experience!

        Okay let me know! And good luck on exams tomorrow!


      6. I don’t know, but everything we’ve learned this year is stuff that we’d learned last year and it makes no sense. Each year of English has a theme–freshmen get Coming Of Age, we get Culture, juniors get the American Dream, and I can’t remember what seniors get–but apparently they’re all pretty similar. I know juniors and seniors can swap an English class for AP Lang and Lit, but I have no idea how that works.

        …Maybe not from Texas…

        How’re you doing so far?


      7. . . . Makes no sense. Unless they’re just trying to pound vocab and proper grammar into students’ heads through repetition?

        No? Certainly another state has good policies we can imitate, though.

        Well, I can make. . . *drumroll* a chess piece! And possibly a cup. The next/last class is in two days, so we’ll see.
        Unfortunately the library doesn’t offer beyond “basics” (chess piece) and “curves” (cup?) since the focus is using Blender for 3D printing to use their shiny new printers! But maybe we can convince them to do animation one day soon.


      8. Not our branch, one in the city. Look up “the Hive” on the library website and you’ll find it. Though I wish it were at our branch instead, it’s really cool, and they’ll even let you print something for free as long as it takes under 4 hours.

        How did the first day of tests go?


      9. Oh, awesome. I wanna print something now.

        The alg 2 final freaking killed me. But, I got the highest score in my class in ap psych and I’m happy bc it’s before the curve so it can only get better (88%).


      10. Mee tooo. . . but I’ve gotta design something first. Incidentally, you can also design something for printing using Tinkercad. It’s quicker to learn, but less sophisticated.

        Highest in the class, yay! You’ll definitely have aced it once the curve is in.
        I hear you on the algebra. There’s a reason I want to be a storyteller, not a mathematician, you know?


      11. Oh, cool. I’ve got to figure out what I wanna design first, but I’ll check it out, thanks!

        It’s actually really surprising cause we were all expecting a hella hard exam but it was pretty…moderate? Not easy, obv, but it wasn’t way hard either.
        I feel you. Especially next year when trig is going to happen. Apparently, the trig teachers at my school all really suck but none of the admins will take action because they’ve all been teaching for 10+ years and apparently that takes precedence over a whole goddamn generation’s education.


      12. No problem!

        Ah, trig. I kinda remember trig. It should be fun, especially as the teachers are all tenured and don’t care anymore. //end sarcasm
        I mean, I get why the tenure system is in place, I really do! But there are definitely major downsides. I had one teacher last semester who would just ramble on about how his last school was sooo much better than my school instead of teaching. Apparently he never got over it “failing” because nobody would take his advice, though he was never clear on what “failing” meant. Turns out that the school was just restructured or something, which he didn’t want. :unamused:

        So how did the last day of exams go?


      13. HHHHHHhhhhhhh frustration. Like I mean I don’t have a problem with the tenure system itself, it’s just that the teachers are completely useless and literally don’t give one shit whether or not you fail a required class and it’s just like. What the hell.

        It went pretty well, actually. The history test was pretty hard (there was so much on there that we didn’t even cover ugh) but the sociology one took like 20 minutes and when our teacher came back with the raw grades apparently I’m definitely getting an A once it’s curved. And then we watched Monty Python for like 30 minutes. So ye, it was pretty cool.
        (home life, different subject altogether. and not in the good way.)


      14. Ikr? If they’re going to teach they should at least care. And I’ve had some that do care, and are awesome, but it’s easier to remember the bad ones. . . . :unamused:

        Oh cool. Which skit did you watch?

        Yeah, I read your 2014 recap. I’m sorry that it’s not going well. If you need some time away, let me know.


      15. The Holy Grail. I forgot how bad it was oh my god my teacher knew all the words.

        Man, that recap didn’t even cover it. I only tone it down because I know you guys and my old English teacher follow me and I didn’t want you to worry, but man, I want out.


      16. “It’s just a harmless little bunny” XD
        Though, I haven’t actually watched it yet. . . I should fix that.
        All the words?

        Yikes. But don’t worry about worrying me, what else are friends for? “Shared sorrow is half sorrow,” after all.
        (aargh apparently I can’t synonym today. All the worry in that sentence. But “Don’t pain/sorrow/concern about. . . ” just sound weird. Thesaurus.com, why have you failed me!!)


      17. You should watch it. It’s really really weird and you’ll be sitting through it like wtf why did I spend time on this, but it’s worth it. Kinda.
        Yeah, he knew exactly when to say each line. It was kinda scary.

        It’s kinda that I’m worried I’ll post something a little…ominous, for lack of a better word, and then I don’t post for a few weeks because you know me, I’m lazy af. And then people will be all panicky and I’ll log back on and there’ll be people worrying in the comments and I have this huge guilt thing that doesn’t help in these situations 😛


      18. Yes, I’ll watch it when I have free time. Oh wait. . . . XD

        That makes sense! I’d feel guilty in those situations too. But it’s nice that people do worry about you, no?

        Haha, we’re all lazy here! Though I’ve been trying to blog more often. DailyPost and Blogging101 have been helping (though I tend to do the prompts like a week after they’re posted. . . oops. Case in point, I guess?).


      19. Pfff. But speaking of things you should watch when you have free time, Selma is a pretty awesome movie. (hint hint)

        Yeah, I guess 😛 it’s more like “pls dont panic over me omfg noo i swear i’m ok”

        Hey, at least you post, right?


  1. “Comment more often on the blogs I read. There’s a lot of cool people out there on the interwebs, and I’m too “busy” usually to take five seconds to write a comment, when hitting the like button is sooo much easier. /end sarcasm So, I’d like to break that habit this year.”

    You may have cheated there. You only gave MY post a like. :p (Got a new post up since that one.)

    My goal is to blog about game design, DAILY!!!

    I have no idea how I’ll manage.


    1. You’re right, I definitely cheated. :disappointed: I have no excuse, either. But better late than never, huh? 😉

      Once a day is quite a goal! Good luck.

      BTW have you read the GamaSutra site? Though it’s more focused on videogame design, it might provide some good fodder for your blog.


What's on your mind?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.