My First Blogoversary Party

A year ago today, I woke up and decided I wanted to write a blog. Never mind that I’d never read a blog or had any idea how to start one. But due to some personal circumstances, I’d been cooped up in the house for a while and desperately needed a creative outlet.

So I researched blogging and, thanks to WordPress’s super easy setup, published my first post within two hours. It felt like I’d given birth to something wonderful.

I went on to write more posts, happy in my space, oblivious to the fact I was supposed to be doing things like trying to drum up followers/subscribers, reading other blogs, leaving comments, etc. I’d only researched “How to start a blog,” not “How to get people to read it.”

Imagine how I felt, then, when I looked at my stats today and saw I’ve had over 178,000 hits in the past year. HUH?! Who put acid in my coffee?! I mean, most of my own family don’t read my blog.

So I suspect I owe most of those hits to readers like you. To everyone who has left me a comment and encouraged me to keep writing, recommended or linked to my site, subscribe and/or follow on Twitter, guest-blogged, let me interview them by asking goofy questions, provided me with books and ARCs to review, and befriended me through this blog, I thank you deeply. You have expanded and enriched my life in profound ways. If you’ve been lurking and never left a comment, please de-lurk yourself, even if it’s only for today, because I’d love to meet all my guests.

I’d like to show my appreciation by doing yet another giveaway (sick of all the free stuff yet?). But this one is different in that everyone is eligible, no matter where you are! Two winners can choose their own prize(s) from the ARCs and books I’ve received from generous publicists in the past year. Most titles are in new or fine condition and I think there’s a nice variety. Click on them for more details.

Winners can pick 1 hardcover (HC) or 2 ARCs/paperbacks (PB) from the following list:

  1. Ravens by George Dawes Green (HC)
  2. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely (PB)
  3. The Hidden Man by David Ellis (ARC)
  4. Trust No One by Gregg Hurwitz (ARC)
  5. Race for the Dying by Steven F. Havill (HC)
  6. Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Deception by Eric Van Lustbader (ARC)
  7. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett (ARC)
  8. Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton (HC)
  9. Detectives Don’t Wear Seatbelts by Cici McNair (ARC)
  10. The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha (ARC)
  11. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale (HC)
  12. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (ARC)
  13. White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison (HC)
  14. The House of Lost Souls by F.G. Cottam (HC)
  15. The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos by Margaret Mascarenhas (PB)
  16. Perfection by Julie Metz (ARC)

Now, how do you win? Share with me the nerdiest moment in your life so far and by this, I mean anything that might have been, um, awkward. Ever been caught with your zipper down during an interview? Happened to me. Ever been told on Halloween your costume was awesome while you were just wearing your regular clothes? Yup, me, too. Broccoli stuck in teeth all through a date? Check. That’s right—we celebrate nerdiness here so drag those stories out of your mental closet, share them proudly and loudly, and you might win a prize for Nerdiest Moment!

I’ll pick one winner with the funniest story and one runner-up. The winner gets the first choice of book(s). You do have to be a subscriber/Twitter follower to participate. Contest ends on Sunday, October 11, 5 p.m. PST. Winners will only be announced here and on Twitter; there will be no e-mail notification. If I don’t hear back within 2 days, alternate winners will be chosen.

Now, let’s get this nerd party started!

Bookmark and Share



  • Reply
    October 1, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Hmm…leave it to me to be one of the first to comment. (Does that add to my nerdiness level?) Believe it or not, a friend from a prior job that moved to the TECH team (go figure, fellow nerd) had a link to a GEEK Test. It’d be interesting to see what you and other commenters scored.

    Anywho…back to my nerdiest moment…lets see…I know, how about the time I finished reading my book on hand, was offered another by a friend (we were at the beach), and said “No thanks!” as I proceeded to look for my next title through the other 4 books I brought! =0)

    Not nerdy enough? (Tough crowd.) Ok…not exactly nerdy to some, but one company I worked for had a talent competition. In order to get more folks signed up, I said I would participate (big deal since I’m mostly the shy-quiet-reader)….got a few more folks involved and so had to go on stage and belt out Evanescense song in front of like 250 people….plus I forgot to take my glasses off so I would be less nervous! (hey, fuzzy people are hard to be nervous around)

    Congrat’s on the blogoversary!


    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      Yay! Thanks for being first to the party, GMR! I don’t do the fashionably late thing, either, because, frankly, I’m not fashionable.

      You only brought 5 books on your vacation? Last time, I took 6! I can’t even leave my nerdiness at home when I go on holiday.

      You have guts for getting up on stage during that talent competition. Your story reminded me of the time I tried out for the dance team in high school. I had my glasses on, too, and during one move where I snapped my head to the side, they flew off, leaving me blind and helpless, doing moves completely out of sync with everyone else. Would you believe I didn’t make the team?

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    October 1, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Congratulations on your blogiversary and you’ve had great success! That’s awesome!

    As far as nerdiest moment, can I simply submit my whole life? I think I was born square…went home promptly after all three proms I attended. Drank “adult” beverages once before 21. Have never been arrested or even had a traffic ticket! …Wait! This may be the clincher. I took calculus the first semester of my freshman year of college at 7:50 am (5 days a week)!

    I have a horrible problem with blushing…Irish skin. And anytime I’m embarrassed, which is pretty much every day, I turn red as a beet! I’m cursed. Not only does almost everything embarrass me, but I can’t hide it! πŸ™‚

    Happy Blogiversary!! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

      Ha ha, Jen! When I first told my husband I’d be doing this post, he said, “Your whole life is one big nerdy moment.” And he’s right, so you’ve definitely come to the right place.

      I’ve never had a speeding ticket, either, and get this—I was never asked out on a date in school, much less to the prom. You got to go 3 times! You’ve got me beat with your 7:50 calculus classes, though. I can only claim I took algebra when I was 11. Oy.

      • Reply
        Jen Forbus
        October 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm

        O.k., but wait…I went to the first prom as a stand in because my date was stood up by the person he actually ASKED. He was on the football team and I was a student assistant, so they grabbed me as the fill-in. The second time I went with that year’s validicatorian! He lived up the street from me all my life. Sweet as could be but as square as me. And MY actual prom, I had to ask the guy…no one asked me! πŸ™ hehe

        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          October 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm

          The one time I drummed up the nerve to ask a guy out in college, he stood me up. Then, when I confronted him and asked what happened (I really thought he got in a car accident or something), he made fun of me in front of his friends for thinking he would actually show up. What an ass. Your guy took you to the prom, Jen!

          • Reply
            Jen Forbus
            October 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

            Oh, that is just rude, rude, rude! Gary (the validictorian) was super wonderful nice as was Mike – the guy I asked. Wonder where in the world they are now….

  • Reply
    October 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Congrats, PCN. Seems like we continue our eerie timing on things in the ether, but you’re worthy of all the praise and success that has come your way :-). Your blog is one of those I most look forward to in my RSS feeds (I’m starting the nerd-thing, can’t you tell?).

    My embarrassing nerd story deals with family. My mother’s surviving sisters are the last two of their generation (2nd). While one lives in Chicago, the other has remained here in L.A. As well, she and my uncle have late grandchildren, which they spoiled rotten (go figure). But, when their youngest daughter relocated to Seattle for her husband’s job, the nerd in me saw a solution.

    I went about acquiring a used computer for the older folks to keep in contact with the grand kids (email, video Skype, etc.). And when I showed up with this news as a pleasant surprise (even was volunteering tech support, so you know my heart was in the right place), I was told calmly, but sternly, that there was no way such an evil technological and monstrous contraption would ever make it into her home.

    But, at least my uncle gave me a sympathetic look – he would have loved it. But, he has to live with my aunt so there was no way he could come out and say so ;-).

    Thanks, Elyse, for your fun nature and kind spirit.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 1, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      Um, I’ll take that computer and your tech support if no one else wants it!

      LP13, you’re among the few who are most responsible for helping drive traffic here. I think you linked to me before I learned what linking was. Thank you for that.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Hmmm Elyse you ask the tough questions. Let’s see.. I’m a nerd because:
    **I used to read during recess (friends from elementary school still remind me of this)
    **People refuse to pick me for trivia games (even when I bribe them and offer to buy the first round!) because of my lack of pop culture/TV/Movie knowledge – I only know books
    **When I can’t fall asleep at night I choose a random letter of the alphabet and try to think of all the books and/or authors that start with that as I drift off to sleep

    I like to think I can hide my nerdiness well, though if you speak incorrectly or send me a text with “u”, “ur” or any emoticons you’re done.

    And why don’t I see the option of a personalized Robert Crais manuscript, above? I’m sure Jen would love to win that!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm

      I used to sit in the cafeteria alone and read during lunch and never felt lonely. Books make great friends. And I’ll try your alphabet author counting game next time I can’t sleep.

      I’m a grammar nerd, too! I find conversations about gerunds, split infinitives, and participial phrases engaging. When I see or hear incorrect grammar, I have to tell myself to breathe slowly and not pop a blood vessel. My current peeve: “That’s where I’m at.” Why can’t people say “That’s where I am“? It’s okay (barely) when they’re “street”-talking for fun but I’ve heard lawyers say this in serious conversations.

      That Crais manuscript isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I’m looking into having it bronzed.

    • Reply
      Jen Forbus
      October 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      I WOULD love to win that…so would Michael! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I agree… my whole life’s been a nerdy moment. I’ve done some “unnerdy” stuff, but nonetheless that’s who I am.

    A bunch of friends call me “Teto” which is similar to nerd or Geek.

    My only experience abroad -ever- was to a trading card game tournament in Germany (Nerd!). I was ranked 4th national place at that time (the game was The Lord of the Rings: Trading Card Game).

    I get picked up first(ish) when playing trivia, but last when playing sports (except when swimming was the matter, which’s my only sporty side).

    I once was member of the Sociedad Tolkiendili de Mexico (Mexico’s Tolkiendili Society). I’m a hardcore LotR fan, and I can speak some Elvish.

    By the way… I got rejected by everybody when asked them to prom. Only got one serious girlfriend in my life (I’m 25 now).

    Got the “MΓ‘s Γ‘oΓ±o” a.k.a. “Nerdiest” award in Middle and Highschool, even though I never had the best grades!

    I was an altar boy… and I’m a Boy Scout.

    I was in the Student Society in college, and we organized a Congress.

    But perhaps one of my nerdiest stuff was my last year in Highschool – I was an extra-curricular-freak: I was in the swimming team, the debate team, the Model United Nations team (Secretary General in fact), the Mathletes and won two awards in the Intramural athletics competition. And I didn’t arrive to my graduation ceremony (I was also working at a games store) and they called my name 13 times (for different awards) and I wasn’t there.

    If you search in a spanish dictionary for the word “Teto” you’ll certainly find my pic there!

    • Reply
      October 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm

      By the way… congrats on your blogoversary!

      Yay!!! Looking forward to another year!!!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

      Oh, you’re hardcore, Poncho! What is a trading card tournament? I collected Star Wars cards when I was young but didn’t know there are tournaments. How do you place or win?

      I can’t believe you speak Elvish. That’s most impressive.

      In high school, I belonged to Future Business Leaders of America, Students Against Drunk Drivers, National and Spanish Honor Society, played violin in the orchestra, and was editor of the literary magazine and school newspaper. Oh, yeah, I also excelled in chess and had super-high ’80s bangs.

      Recalling all this nerdy stuff is fun!

      • Reply
        October 2, 2009 at 12:49 am

        It’s a real nerdy game… you had a deck of cards and you played both the “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys”

        To win you either “survived” roughly 8 fights against your opponent’s “bad guys” or killed (or corrupted) your foe’s “goodies”… It’s tough to explain without the cards πŸ˜‰

      • Reply
        October 2, 2009 at 12:52 am

        Hey! I forgot I also wrote for my highschool paper. Didn’t make it to editor, though.

  • Reply
    Cara Powers
    October 1, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Harumph! I brought nine books on my last vacation. I barely scraped under the weight limit for my bag. That’s why I’m waiting desperately for my perfect e-reader (or for someone to give my a Sony or a Kindle). My nerdiest moment though was the Halloween after I went to NASA Space Camp (oh it gets nerdier) I dressed up in my flight suit.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

      Aw, man, Space Camp! I think that’s cool. Lucky you. If I had a flight suit, I might wear it more often than just on Halloween.

      You win with the 9 books, though.

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    October 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Oh man, this is too much fun! We need a nerd club, I think…then we’ll really be nerds!!!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    My 4th grade teacher integrated a weekly joke-telling period to sort of lighten the atmosphere of History and Social Studies. We students eagerly embraced this thirty minutes per week break. Unfortunately we all turned to Scholastic Books as our source material and pretty soon there were no new jokes to tell. I told my mother this one morning before school and she insisted I tell the class the one about a moment in my preschool years when I noticed my mother making my Dad a bag lunch for work. I asked why she was doing this and she replied “Because he’s a hungry man, that’s why.” Evidently I responded by saying “What about me? I’m a hungry man, too.” Just because your Mom tells you something is funny, doesn’t mean your classmates will respond with laughter. Like an idiot, I told the story for Joke Time. The silence that followed was deafening. Thank God, we moved.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

      EIREGO, I think your story is cute, not nerdy at all. You’ll have to come up with something much nerdier to compete!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    October 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Yay!!!! Happy first blogoversary, PCN! How nerdy that we both celebrate such an occasion within days of each other! I thought you were a seasoned blogger when I first happened upon you ~ and had to scrape my jaw up off the ground when I discovered you were a relative newbie like me. I’m nowhere nerdy enough but thanks to you, I can continue to aspire to be. Thanks so very much for being here, PCN, for your insight and wit and spirit, and for supporting me too. It means a lot!

    As for nerdy stories: ahem. Well, on top of always being studious and having my nose permanently attached to a book, I was a star electronic organist while growing up. {Do I score extra nerd points for using ‘star’ and ‘electronic organist’ in the same sentence?} You can imagine the snickers in primary school?

    “She’s good at playing with organs.”

    “Is that like being good at playing with a [insert name of male body part here that rhymes with pianist?” Guffaw!!!

    Then there was my first dance in Year 8 at secondary school. I didn’t have a date but turned up hopeful of having one by the end of proceedings. I wore a dress that I thought was irresistible: slightly off the shoulder with pretty flowers all over it and frills. One of the girls came up to me half way through the night and said, “Hey, see that guy over there? He asked who the girl was who turned up in her nightie. I told him to shut up, you’re one of my friends!” Cell phones were not invented back then. I had to stay for the rest of the dance, thinking all the cool kids were laughing at me in my ‘nightie’. Sigh. {To heck with them. It was a lovely dress!}

    Congrats again, PCN! And thanks for having such a generous giveaway!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 3, 2009 at 11:04 am


      Yes, I thought it was cool when I saw your first blogoversary was only two days before mine! I guess it’s nerds of a feather and all that.

      Thank you for your kind words. You were my first regular commenter and first person to put me on your blogroll so I’m indebted to you. On days when it was hard for me to write, I thought, “I have to write something, at least for Shell, who’ll be visiting.”

      You definitely get extra nerd points for once being the star electronic organist. I didn’t even know such a term existed! Your story reminded me of when I was young, taking piano lessons and learning English. I misheard a lot of words. I used to get very confused about why people kept calling me something that I could’ve sworn was the male member. I also thought lawyers were talking about their organs every time they mentioned penal codes. It was a very confusing time for me.

      As for your dress, I think it sounds pretty and I would’ve worn it to the dance, too, if I had one like it. I wore a really loud Hawaiian shirt and surfing shorts to a party once because someone told me it was a Hawaiian-themed party. They were kidding. So I was the boob in the loud outfit but oddly enough, I had fun. I think the shirt busted through my wallflower tendencies, at least for the night.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I was a freshman in high school. The girl I was seeing (Candice) was a junior who lived in another town. Candice had her license, I didn’t. She didn’t know I was freshman and that I didn’t have my license and I kept making excuses about why I couldn’t drive and pick her up instead of the other way around. Anyway, one night Candice picked me up with her friends (also older than me) and we went out partying.

    BTW: I’m from a big family of boys and we all had about the same waist size. Mom did the laundry and keeping straight whose underwear was whose was near impossible, so she marked them with our names.

    So, the night I went out partying with Candice and her friends, we were in her Dad’s truck that seats eight. I had to lean forward really far to get to the cassettes in the case on the floor. Everyone, including Candice, started laughing their asses off. The band on my underwear was exposed and they all saw my name written there. Mom had added a heart on them as well.

    Couldn’t deal. Walked four miles to get home.

    That was the last time I saw Candice.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 3, 2009 at 10:10 pm

      Oh, Reader#9, I can feel your mortification. So, did you buy new undies and start washing them yourself after that?

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Congrats on your one year anniversary! You totally suck for having more views in one year than I’ve gotten in two, but hey, it’s all good… πŸ™‚

    Seriously, congrats. I know what you speak of when you talk about the joy of blogging. It has really enriched my life as well…it’s also given me all kinds of wonderful reasons to put off actual screenwriting too! Ha!

    I can’t really think of a truly nerdy moment as, like your husband said about you, my life is pretty much one great big nerdy moment from start to finish!

    Oh, wait, I did crap my pants at K-Mart one time, as an adult…does that count? πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      October 7, 2009 at 10:53 am

      Oh my gosh, your comment made me laugh so hard, I almost crapped my own pants. Why did you crap yourself at K-Mart?! Don’t they have restrooms there?

      I don’t know how I got all those hits but I’m sure some of them were because you put me on your blogroll.

Leave a Reply