You’re sitting in Gen’s garden, sipping your favourite tea with Varian and Gen, enjoying the peace and quiet and the sight of Gen’s growing vegetables and flowers.
Xiaolong’s voice punctuates the quiet, and the three of you turn to see her running towards you.
“Friends, our new friend has arrived! They’re here!”
It is with immense pleasure and excitement that I finally get to introduce you to my new co-bloggers! This has been a long time coming and has been in the works for a long time and I am overjoyed that I can finally introduce you all to your newest Pond friend.
I received so many applications to be a co-blogger at The Quiet Pond, more than I would have ever expected and hoped for. Making the decision was extremely difficult — many applications were strong contenders, and I was, and continue to be, honoured that so many brilliant minds and voices in this community wanted to be part of my small corner of the blogosphere.
However, I was only able to choose two co-bloggers, one of which you will get to meet today! The second co-blogger, who you won’t get the chance to meet today, will be introduced to you all sometime later this month! Rest assured, we have some great things planned. 💛
So I won’t hold you off from meeting your newest Pond friend (and my newest co-blogger) any longer!
Friends, meet Cuddle the Otter!
You see the sea otter wearing a purple pajama night cap and holding what appears to be a stuffed animal otter close to her chest, as she reads a book. Her beautiful coat of fur glistens as the water laps up against some rocks. She inserts a worn and well-loved wood chip bookmark in the book and places it on a mossy rock. She smiles a warm but timid smile as she serenely floats toward you.
“Hello! Xiaolong let me know that there might be a friend stopping by to talk about books. Thank goodness we aren’t talking about anything else, I’ve had my fair share of socializing for the day! I mean, not that I don’t want to talk to you. I mean, I do want to talk to you, I mean, er-” she stammers and blushes.
“Anyways, I’m Cuddle, and this is Party,” she says, gesturing towards her stuffed otter, who appears to smile just a bit wider. You blink, attributing it surely to your imagination.
Cuddle continues, “You know, legend says that there was a group of sea otters by Morro Bay who helped bring a blue tang fish named Dory back to her parents by creating a cuddle party on the highway to distract some humans as part of this master plan. They were so cute, the humans couldn’t help but stop and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This is what we like to call heart-magic. There’s so much creativity abuzz in the air at the Pond, with Xiaolong’s written-magic, and Varian’s… well, everything-magic! It’s nice to feel settled and at home after a long, exciting day.”
Nodding, you pull up a clump of kelp, shaped like a pillow and lean back against it. You already feel the tension leaving your body as Cuddle speaks. I love a good romance, you muse. Right now I’m reading The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Have you read it? you ask her.
“Why yes, I have! You know what my favorite thing is about romance? The Happily Ever After. We otters hold hands in our sleep so we don’t float away from the ones we love. That’s why I give Party so many hugs – so she knows we are always close to each other. She helps me feel less anxious and more comfortable.”
You smile at Xiaolong, happy that she’s introduced you to such a calm soul. The three of you settle in and continue to chat after gathering a mixed bowl of fish snacks to share as you continue your discussion. When it’s time to turn in for the night, you reflect on your discussion and are excited to hear Cuddle’s opinions about the books she’s read and more of her bookish thoughts.
The heart and mind behind Cuddle: Joce!
Friends, please say a big hello and welcome to my co-blogger and the heart and mind behind Cuddle, Joce!
Many of you may already know Joce, but in case you don’t, Joce is a fantastic Booktuber and I adore her Booktube channel, Squibbles Reads. Joce is a great voice in the community, and she is joining The Quiet Pond as a book reviewer, but she will also be providing you all updates on her reading plans and her bookish opinions! I am super honoured to have Joce be part of The Quiet Pond, and am excited to work together with her. I know that Joce is going to bring so much magic to the Pond, and I am so excited for the future.
Say hello to Joce!
Friends, please give Joce and Cuddle (and Party!) a very warm welcome to The Quiet Pond. Feel free to introduce yourself and say hello!