Welcome Back to the Pond, Friends! A Tour of Pond 2.0

A warm welcome back to The Quiet Pond, friends!

The Quiet Pond has been on quite a hiatus for some weeks now and I am so happy to be back. Although I really did enjoy the break (book blogging is tough, friends!), I was itching to return to book blogging, creating content, and talking about the awesome books that I’ve read recently.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of new changes! This change has been a long time coming – I’ve been wanting to do this since the first quarter of this year! – and it’s a big relief that I’ve finally rolled them out. So here’s an update on what has changed, what’s new, what you can expect from the Pond moving forward.

But first… We won the 2019 Book Blogger Awards?!

Before I start sharing what’s new at the Pond, I am so honoured and happy to say that The Quiet Pond won two awards at the 2019 Book Blogger Awards: Best Adult Book Blogger and Best Overall Book Blogger.

I really mean this when I say this but: I was honestly so surprised by this news. The Quiet Pond began as a project that not only helped me find a tether to joy but also a way for me to merge book blogging, art, and to carve a happy and gentle place. Never ever did I believe that The Quiet Pond would grow to be its own world and story and safe place for others.

pond awards

I am so thankful for everyone that voted for The Quiet Pond. I know I sound like a broken record when I say this, but truly: The Quiet Pond will be nowhere without your support, and your support, love, and enthusiasm has not gone unnoticed. I appreciate every single one of you and I grateful for you all. To be awarded this among such fantastic and passionate book bloggers is the highest honour, and I’m- I’m just so happy and grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Here is Xiaolong, presenting you all with a cute little ribbon because we all love you and appreciate you, friend.)

Lastly, I want to thank May for organising the Book Blogger Awards. It is such an incredible and immense undertaking for one person, and I am so proud of her and so honoured to call her my friend.

We finally have a new blog banner!

As an artist and one that places a ridiculous and unrealistic amount of pressure on myself, it’s rare for me to feel happy with anything I draw. But you know what, friends? I am so so so happy with this new blog banner. I really felt like I drew from my heart when drawing Xiaolong and the Pond friends and to see it complete and whole is such a great feeling.

first header
The Quiet Pond’s old blog banner

The Quiet Pond has grown in ways I never anticipated. The old banner, which will forever have a place in my heart, was my throw into the dark of where I would hope The Quiet Pond would go. The new banner, in contrast, feels like a good reflection of where The Quiet Pond is right now. For instance, Xiaolong and Gen now look more like themselves!

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The Quiet Pond’s new blog banner! Yay!

To be honest, I’m feeling proud, optimistic, and hopeful for the growth of The Quiet Pond. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be itching to make a new banner for awhile, though I look forward to the point in the future where I will feel that a new change will be good for the Pond.

Your Pond Friends’ Now Have Their Own Spaces!

A long time ago, I asked you all what you wanted to see more of at the Pond. Something that a few people suggested was that they wanted to see more of the Pond itself – the Pond as not just the blog, but as a space that the Pond friends inhabit and interact with. I thought it was an amazing idea! I didn’t just want to carve a space; I also wanted to give life to the place that I’ve created. 

Illustration of Xiaolong the pink axolotl, reading a book.To find Xiaolong and Cuddle’s nook in the Pond, click on ‘Reviews’ in the navigation bar, or click here to open it in a new windowYou can now see Xiaolong’s ‘favourite spot at the Pond’ which I’ve frequently referred to during your visits, and where that is in the Pond! You can also now see that Cuddle likes to float on her back while she’s reading. Though it’s a small thing, I think the added imagery helps you imagine the Pond a little better and how the little Pond friends exist and live in it.

The same goes for Varian’s favourite spot in the Pond where they sew all day. The garden that Gen supposedly spends all his time in? I had never drawn his garden, but now you can get an idea of what it looks like in the ‘Gen’s Art Garden‘ page!

A lot of new pages have been added, so if it tickles your fancy, go exploring! The Quiet Pond is now a cooler place to explore, and I hope to add more imagery and worldbuilding in the future.

Want To ‘Visit’ the Pond?

Something that I have a lot of fun doing is having ‘visitors’ (i.e., authors, creators, book bloggers) visit the Pond. I’ve done this a few times in the past (author of The Weight of Our Sky, Hanna Alkaf and author of Kingdom of Souls, Rena Barron visited the Pond to be interviewed by Xiaolong), and I’d love to make this a more frequent thing.

Varian the Toadshifter drinking tea, holding a teacup to his mouth.Therefore, introducing The Quiet Pond‘s newest feature: ‘Our Friend is Here’! If you’re an author, creator, or bookish influencer (book bloggers, bookstagrammers, booktubers!) and you’d love to be featured in the Pond, we’d love to have you visit as a friend!

Xiaolong is still preparing herself, so if this is something you’d love to do, hang tight! An announcement and information post is on its way.

Introducing Story Time!

I love writing little stories about the Pond friends and their little shenanigans in the Pond (even if I am a terrible writer). However, something that I’ve struggled a lot with since starting full-time work is finding the time to write and illustrate the stories that go before a post – and as you may have noticed, the stories have been few and far in between lately.

Cuddle the brown otter, wearing a purple pajama cap, reading a book while floating in the water, holding Party, the otter plushie, in her arm.As such, I decided to stop writing and illustrating little stories before my posts. At first, I thought I would do away with the stories altogether, but I do feel that the stories are a core and fun part of the Pond. Therefore, as a little compromise, I’ve decided to introduce Story Time!

As the name suggests, every once in awhile, I’ll post a little standalone story about the Pond characters, what they’re up to, and maybe a little story where you can learn more about their lives before the Pond. This won’t be a regular thing – it’ll be something I’ll do if an idea hits or if its the festive season. (Yes, the Pond friends will be celebrating Pond-o-ween and Pond-mas this year!)

We Did Some Spring Cleaning!

I cleaned up the navigation bar at the top! I was frustrated with how messy and cluttered everything was, so I dedicated a night to clean up the navigation bar. I also added some new pages!

Here are the changes:

  • I cleaned up and updated The Inhabitants page! Bao the Corgi is now included as a resident of the Pond, Amina is now no longer a ‘resident’ at the Pond as she was always a visitor, Aunty Buaya has been added as a visitor, and Stella the Dragonfly has been added to a new category ‘Old Friends of the Pond’.
  • I’ve added a Site History page!
  • ‘Five Reasons to Read’, ‘Blog Tour Reviews’, and ‘Bookish Lists’ now fall under ‘Reviews’. Not perfect, but it’ll do for now.
  • Features‘ got a major clean-up and now there aren’t 10 links underneath! Art and Discussions now fall under ‘Features’ as they aren’t frequent features in the blog.
  • Story Time has been added as a main link.

And our new co-blogger!

Amina the hedgehog, wearing a red and green hat, pushing grass aside, smiling.Friends, after many hours of deliberation, Joce and I have chosen the Pond’s newest co-blogger! It was an extremely tough decision; we had many stunning applications from passionate readers and bloggers who have so much to give. If I could, I would have asked everyone to be my co-blogger. In the end, we could only choose one person.

Joce and I are extremely excited for you all to meet our new co-blogger. They are an incredible person, writer and artist, and we already have so many wonderful and fun ideas that we hope to bring to life in the future. 

Hang tight, because we’ll be announcing their arrival tomorrow!

Lastly: The Pondathon is coming January 2020

If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I am currently planning a readathon – called the Pondathon! The Pondathon will run sometime in January 2020 (I know it’s a long way away, but I promise it’ll be worth the wait!) and will be a 6 week-long readathon.

Varian the green toad wearing armour, holding a sword in front of them.The Pondathon won’t be your typical readathon though. Extending the worldbuilding and themes of The Quiet Pond, the Pondathon is inspired by the RPGs that I have played and will be a whole lot of fun! I don’t want to give away too much, but here’s some little sneaky hints I can share for now:

  • You will be able to customise your own Pond character and choose to be on a team with one of the Pond friends.
  • The readathon is purely co-operative – you’ll be working together with other participants of the Pondathon to achieve a goal. It will be as stress-free (or stressful!) as you want it to be.
  • The readathon will be story-based – in other words, there will be a simple story that details why Pondathon participants have to work together.
  • The readathon is likely to run between 5 – 6 weeks.
  • All participants of the Pondathon will go into the draw to win a Xiaolong plushie – handmade by me!

Friends, I hope you love the new changes at The Quiet Pond

I said it before, but I’ll say it again because I can scarcely believe it: I’m so so happy with these new changes and I feel so excited, happy and optimistic about the future of the Pond. In addition, I’m happy to finally be back from hiatus! While I enjoyed the break and breather, I’m itching to get back into it and sharing all the wonderful books I’ve read with you all!

  • Friends, what have I missed? Please share a blog post, a bookstagram photo, or booktube video that you’re proud of!
  • What are you reading at the moment? What book have you enjoyed recently? I’d love to know!
  • What is a book you’re looking forward to reading in the coming weeks?

32 thoughts on “Welcome Back to the Pond, Friends! A Tour of Pond 2.0

  1. AAh, I’m so damn excited to have you back, and I can’t wait to see your new co-blogger; they sound amazing already. 🙂 I *love* the new header, and all the changes you’ve made are amazing. I especially love the way you created spaces for the characters – they all look so cute in their own space. 😭🥰 Congrats on winning TWO awards, you 1000% deserve it all. Also, how dare you say that you’re terrible writer!? I think we all loved the Pond stories before your reviews, I definitely did, and I’m really excited for the Pond story times. Although, I’m glad you decided not to pressure yourself into writing more stories, they seem like a lot of work, and something that can become stressful to work on. 💜 I’m excited for the read-a-thon, and it looks like it’ll take place during my uni break, which yes, is in part the exam period but shh, I can still participate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VERONIKA!! You honour me so much with your kind and supportive words and this means so much to me! I’m so happy you love the new spaces – I really enjoyed drawing them and expanding on the world a little more.

      Ahhh I’d love for you to join in on the readathon!! I promise that it is SUPER chill and even if you read one book, I think it’ll be a lot of fun regardless! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back! Can’t wait to meet the new blogger and wow so many amazing updates! I’ll need to declutter the menu as well in some time so I know the pain…
    Also, I’m so excited about the readathon!! It sounds super interesting! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi E! Ahhh thank you so much! It was SUCH a relief to declutter the menu; it was on my to-do for MONTHS and it just frustrated me so much. Figuring out how things can be organised is a bit of work but so worth it.
      Thank you! I promise the readathon will be awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OH everything looks so great! I am really happy to see all these changes and all the updates you brought! Welcome to the new co-blogger and I am so excited for the readathon!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything looks so amazing and wonderful! I’m so glad to have you back I missed y’all. I can’t wait to hear more about your new Co-Blogger, I was going to apply but between the Aussie and Kiwi YA Bloggers team and my own blog I knew I didn’t have time for an ongoing role, but I’d love to visit sometime, the pond looks like such a wonderful and chill place to hang out!

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  5. CW, reading this post just made me realize how deserving you are of winning Best Overall Book Blogger!! Your blog is such a safe place. I’m not lying when I say that visiting it always calms me down and amazes me. Your new banner is so pretty—ahh 😍 And actually, while reading this post, I got so sidetracked because I checked out all the changes you implemented. It looks like it took a lot of work to renovate your blog, and I admire you so much for managing to do it! Also, I’m so excited for Pondathon!! I usually never participate in readathons, but this one just looks so good so fun!

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  6. I’ve only had time today to check everything out but it looks so BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the new banner and designs! And don’t worry about not having everything as you want, you have plenty of time to figure everything out and how you want your blog to look like! I’m really excited to see what’s coming!! And also the Pondathon ofc ❤

    Like

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