The Pictures on my Blog

I've just changed my blog design - this is the fifth design in the last year. The first was a default blogger design. IT was fine, but boring, and somewhat ugly. The second was a moth centric one, that was fine, but which I accidentally destroyed while helping Ms Nymeth fix something on her blog (my stupid, not Ms Nymeth's, who never would have done something so terribly idiotic, I'm quite sure). The third was one I was very fond of, it might even be my favorite of the four, but it was only up for a few hours (I think Ms Nymeth saw it, the one with a Portuguese word on it, and Amanda, but that might be all...). Amanda gently had to point out to me, that the design probably implicitly suggested that I was a female. While I honestly have no particular attachment to my gender, I thought this was probably somewhat deceptive. The fourth was the 'screw it I give up' design - plain brown background, plain one column layout. I am laying this one out because I'll be putting all of my reviews here, from now on, since 5-squared seems to be petering out more or less, and I didn't want my 7 or 8 readers to have to stare at my ugly 'I give up' layout all the time.

Really, the layout is pretty spare, the only thing that is complicated are the images on top. Since I chose the images very carefully, and since this my primary blog now and sort of going through a rebirth, I thought discussing the images would be a nice way to introduce my blog and it's intentions. So, over the next few weeks, I'll be putting up little posts (well, I'll intend them to be little, but I imagine I will fail) about each of the images. For now, it will suffice simply to tell you what they are, in case you don't recognize them:

  1. The Two of Swords (tarot card)
  2. Emma Goldman (early 19th century American radical anarchist)
  3. A Tree in the Snow (a tree. you know. in the snow.)
  4. Princess Ozma (from the Oz books by L. Frank Baum)
  5. Emily Dickinson (19th century American poet)
  6. The Skin of my Inner Wrist (the soft underbelly of my arm)
  7. Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus, a giant silk moth)
  8. A Keshalyi (traditional fairy folk from the Rroma)

Between the eight of them, these pictures sort of paint out the way that I write my blogs - or at least the way that I try to write them. I don't imagine they are the pictures someone who knows me would pick for me, and in many ways they certainly don't typify me. But to some extent, that's to the point of the blog. The world is where I exist as I am - a blog is a grand, silent opportunity to try on selves, to find out who I am underneath who I profess to be. As such, this blog will be pretty useless stuff, much as it has been in the past. I go through periods where I post things that have nothing to do with books - I will work to create a reviews-only feed for those of you who aren't interested in hearing me pontificate about politics, gender issues, or Emily Dickinson in Photoshop. In the meantime, feel free not to subscribe, I promise I don't mind - if my blog got popular I'd be deeply terrified anyway. But, if you do want to hang around, feel free to let me know.

PS - I know my profile page is useless. I'd like to put together an FAQ, like I've seen on other blogs to introduce me to people who are interested. But, I'm not really popular enough that people ask questions, much less frequently. So, are there any questions you think you'd like to see in an FAQ?


Eva said...

Love the new layout Jason! :) I'm curious about why you chose the 2 of swords, so I'm looking forward to your post on that. I should really do some tarot-y stuff on my blog too, I love it so. :D

I don't get asked a lot of questions either, except for "How do you read so much?" so I did add that one to my about page. I used the 6 W questions to talk about myself, and then I mentioned all my fave authors and genres. I hope that helps, lol.

Emily said...

I really like your new layout. Super easy on the eyes, pretty but not overly precious. And I'm looking forward to your expositions on the photos.

I was in the midst of writing a response to your Mathilda post, which I found really interesting - I was in the midst of a book very concerned with loneliness, as well, although I would never have thought to make a connection between Mary Shelley and Toni Morrison. I loved the quotes you picked from the Shelley; I'll have to check it out the next time I'm in a pining, Romantic mood. :-)

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Eva - Well, I don't have to worry about answering THAT question! :D. But, thanks for the pointers :). I would love to hear your Tarot thoughts, I don't even know what you know, really. IT wouldn't take much to be more than I know!

Ms Emily - I'm glad you like the redesign - I commented on your blog earlier, that I would love to try Toni Morrison some time, as well. I honestly liked Mathilda much more than Frankenstein - it was certainly imperfect, but it felt much 'closer to the bone'.

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

Your blog looks great! I love the buttons up at the top and the minimalist design. I've been trying to decide on a new layout for forever, you've inspired me!

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Lu - I'm glad you like the look. I was going to make something more typical - but all those buttons in the sidebar, and long lists of things were too intimidating. I do an excellent job of considering all the things I'm currently failing to do properly without having them listed in excruciating detail :P. I'm glad you like it - I do like your image on yours: Violas and Violets are some of my favorite flowers. If you need any HTML or CSS help when you DO go to redesign, let me know - that's what I do at work, so I can hack tolerably, even fi I'm not much of an artist :).

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love this design too! It sort of makes me want to go to a cozy non-chain coffeehouse/bookstore and sit in a big stuffed chair and read.

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Rhapsody - I'm glad you like it, I wanted it to feel a little cozier than it did before :P

Nymeth said...

Aw, I did love the Saudade layout! But I love this one as well.

My About page is full of questions, but they're all ones I made up. I don't think anyone ever asked me a single one :P

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Nymeth - We need to do that sometime! We need to all play Blogger Truth or Dare, get a few of us who know each other and ask questions to each other. Then, since we can't do dares over the internet very well, maybe if a blogger won't answer a question, they have to give $5 to charity, or a book to the blogger who asked, or something :P.

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Nymeth - and: I'm glad you liked the Saudade layout too, it was dear to me, and I'm glad to know it's not *just* my bias :).

Jeanne said...

I'll play blogger truth or dare. I like seeing what all people are willing to reveal!

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Jeanne - Hrm... Hrm... (thoughts bubbling)