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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Happy birthday blog!

July 12, 2011 2 comments

My 50 cents

So loyal readers, today marks one year since I decided to make my thoughts public. What started as a sort of therapeutic exercise for myself and a way to “warm up” my writing skills in the morning has become habit. I feel like I’m forgetting something major on the mornings I don’t post!

Over the last year, I’ve posted 178 posts (counting this one).

I’ve had the traffic of more than 11,000 clicks. Also not so bad considering I was cautious to even post to Facebook or Twitter when I started. Daily, I average about 33 readers. But that number seems to be rising as I post more consistently (or maybe it’s just that everyone loves to read wedding blogs as much as I do!).

My top posts have been about giant cadbury eggs, my engagement, LK’s amazing taco bake, making our guest list, and the thought that goes into buying an engagement ring.

Many things have changed in the last year.

I’ve settled into my first home, and am already thinking about how sad I’ll be when I leave it when we get married.

Speaking of, I got engaged!

I have a new nephew, that rounds the total out to a nice even 10.

I’ve finished quite a slew of DIY projects for said nieces and nephews (and a few others).

What will the next year of blogging hold for me? Only time will tell!

What have been your favorite posts from the last year?

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The best things can be tiniest things

June 16, 2011 1 comment

Those who are regular readers know about my obsession with the mail.

Perhaps it comes from living in a large school district in a time before the internet. In the summers, my middle school friends and I would write each other letters. YES…letters, that go in the mailbox and take more than 24 hours to deliver.

Perhaps it comes from my favorite field trip in elementary school being to the post office. How often do you get to see what goes on behind the counter? And I was super cool because half way through, I got to wave at my dad who was sorting the mail in the pre-machine days.

Perhaps it comes from looking at Dad’s stamp collections or being allowed to pick out which stamps I liked best from the Philatelic catalog. Or from the time he attempted to teach me how to read a zip code bar code (I’ll never understand that one).

Anyway, I love it. And as soon as I moved away from home, I always loved Dad’s mail. Often it would simply be a scrap of paper (a page out of an old daybook, a page-a-day calendar page, a used envelope, a square of graph paper…). Whenever he saw something or thought something that reminded him of his children, he’d send the clipping or thought through the mail.

Recently while cleaning out my basement (which after almost two years still is not fully unpacked), I came across a couple of these notes. One (written on a daybook page) was about visiting the grandkids and going sledding with mom. Somehow through the hand-written words (so much more than through an email), I could connect with him and almost feel like I could hear him telling me about it.

Another one I found was a small square of paper tucked into a book. He gave me a coffee table book of photos from Time Magazine probably 10 years ago. The message couldn’t have been more relevant. It was almost eery.

When I started seriously dating Charles, I honestly was worried about what my father would think. Having grown up in the projects of south Boston, my father was jaded as a child on race issues. Being mugged on his birthday as a young boy did not help things. I can distinctly remember as a child, driving through not-so-safe sections of Boston or New York (in the days before power door locks)…my Dad would say “Ethnics” and we all knew to lock our doors and roll up our windows.

Perhaps not the most PC of things to do, but as children, we had no idea what “ethnic” meant.

I’m proud that as my dad grew as an adult, he met African-Americans who changed his early views. And I’m proud that when he met Charles, he did so with an open mind and let him be one of those people who reinforced that no matter our color, we all start as decent human beings on the inside.

Even if Charles didn’t find his jokes funny. (It’s ok Dad. He doesn’t laugh at my jokes either).

I LOVE mail!

June 3, 2011 2 comments

Yesterday I received my first wedding related mail (well, not counting a box full of bridal magazines and books an awesome cousin sent me. But she sent them through Mom, not mail).

Mixed in with yet another mailbox full of junk mail, I got two cards! Yay!

Some people may think cards are such a waste and just a marketing scheme created by Hallmark…I often feel that way about birthday cards when I’m going to see the person…but the random “just because we love you and are happy for you” cards are the best!

One sappy one from Mom, wishing us joy in our planning…and one cutesy one from my cousin (who is equally as cute) expressing how lucky I am (even though he’s luckier!).

I love it!

Back to Favorites – Blogs

November 15, 2010 2 comments

So what blogs does a blogger read for inspiration? Although I’ll admit I don’t regularly touch every blog in my blogroll, there are some that are definitely “regulars.”

1. For Crafts, duh, craftzine. What could be more comprehensive than craftzine?

2. Decor/textiles – I wish I could have isuwannee decorate my entire house. Of course I’d have to let go of all of my centuries old furniture, but seriously. I heart those textiles (and bookshelves!).

3. Good food – Healthy Delicious. I know that I’ll like any meal I make from here as long as I like the simple ingredients.

4. General food and recipes – The Everyday Food blog. I turn to this more when I’m looking for a more conventional recipe that Lauren might not have, or if I have a specific food I want to use up. But with the larger stash of recipes comes a larger chance I won’t be as pleased with the outcome! But nothing completely unedible has happened yet.

5. And lastly, wedding blogs. No, not because I’m planning mine for any time in the near future, but just because deep down inside, yes, I might be a girly girl and enjoy living through my friends! Megan got her Mrs, so her blogs aren’t as weddingy as they previously were. Now I also visit Bec Getting Married. Can’t wait for the engagement photos!

Thanks to readers. My purpose…

October 14, 2010 2 comments

I don’t think anyone starts a blog for a truly selfless purpose. They are (by their very nature) a selfish medium.

However if it weren’t for my readers and their feedback, I’m not sure if this blog would have lasted as long as it has and continued to be an (almost) daily exercise for me.

Starting this blog was one of several things I did for work; to improve my work.

In the two years since Dad’s diagnosis, writing lost it’s appeal for me. It became routine…something I had to do…something I was expected to do if I wanted to keep my bills paid.

I hit a major slump.

I didn’t take jobs in this field to do something routine. The thing I always claimed to love most about my jobs is how they’ve been ever changing and every challenging.

Writing completely lost that luster for me.

But I think that one thing that has helped me lately (and it has helped! Twice now my boss has mentioned I’m more my old self!) is the daily morning ritual of spewing whatever is on my mind or happening in my life.

I never expected to do this and be able to amass a following, but the more people I see and talk to who say they enjoy my writing, the more I’m encouraged to do it.

To tell the truth, I never really thought I was that great at what I did.

I got my first job on a whim. I sent a resume when there were no opennings…and when there was one, they called me.

Honestly, my grammar, editing and even spelling were so awful then I’m almost ashamed of it! But one of my editors once told me “You can teach a writer grammar, but you can’t necessarily teach a grammar expert how to write well.”

So I guessed I was a writer…

When I came to this job, my first story for the magazine was edited so thoroughly I could barely see the black type on the page. I wondered if I’d wasted the previous four years in a field where I didn’t belong.

But once that story was published, it became one of the most popular links on our magazine website. I should have known then, that I WAS a writer.

As much as I fight it and refuse to admit it, sometimes I see that gift. Usually it’s when I turn out a story in 15 or 20 minutes, or when I add that last amazing paragraph full of color and anecdotes with 10 minutes left until deadline.

But for now, I’d simply like to thank you, my readers, for your support and awesome feedback as I bounce back from my mind-numbing slump!

It’s National Punctuation Day!

September 24, 2010 4 comments

(From http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com, today's official website.)

Growing up, I was quite a grammarphobe. Honestly, I sucked at it.

I’m only recently getting better at realizing the difference between a comma and a semi-colon (I guess I was forced into it by decided I was in some way a writer!), but deep down, I think I must have always had a longing for it.

My father kept a square tin full of essentials next to “his end” of the kitchen table where he read the paper.

Inside the tin: black ball point pens, a calculator and at three colors of highlighters.

He probably got more satisfaction from editing the Winchester Star than he got from actually reading it.

In honor of him, I will happily celebrate National Punctuation Day today.

How does one celebrate the day? (When in doubt, google.)

According to the official website of National Punctuation Day, one should:

  • Sleep late.
  • Take a long shower or bath.
  • Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
  • Read a newspaper and circle all of the punctuation errors you find (or think you find, but aren’t sure) with a red pen. This one’s for you, Dad!
  • Take a leisurely stroll, paying close attention to store signs with incorrectly punctuated words.
  • Stop in those stores to correct the owners.
  • If the owners are not there, leave notes.
  • Visit a bookstore and purchase a copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
  • Look up all the words you circled.
  • Congratulate yourself on becoming a better written communicator.
  • Go home.
  • Sit down.
  • Write an error-free letter to a friend.
  • Take a nap. It has been a long day.
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