Proman (short for project manager husband) informed me last month that I have written more than a thousand blog posts.
Really? All this from the same woman who never kept or wanted to keep a journal? The woman who, when recently confronted with earlier scribblings from a spiral notebook, tore them to shreds so nobody would see them? Despite this, I’ve put myself out on the internet a thousand times where everyone who wants to know more can find me?
Well, that’s pretty amazing. Yes, indeed.
Quite frankly it doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing this so long. But my Word Press dashboard doesn’t lie. Not counting today I’ve written 1014 blog posts since November 2008. I’ve told you about my books, my family, my now-departed beagle buddy. I’ve shared some of my milder opinions, trying hard to stay away from politics and religion while letting my writing and my Sunday Inspiration posts speak a bit to both.
Sometimes digging up a subject to blog about ranged from tough to nearly impossible. Sometimes blog posts wrote themselves–exactly the way books behave. But I’ve never considered quitting, not even when blogging took too much time away from my novels. It’s been fun. I plan to continue for the foreseeable future.
For more fun–mine as well as yours–I thought I’d share one blog from each year since 2008. Some are better than others, but I looked for blog posts that might show you what I was thinking back then. Some of the photos that accompanied early blogs didn’t make the transition when I created a new website, but the text remains. Enjoy.
- 2008: Planting A Seed: My first blog in which I point out that suddenly “the idea of sending thoughts straight from my fingertips to your eyes, without a character in between to interpret them, began to intrigue me. (It still does.)
- 2009: This We Can Do: My enthusiastic overnight trek to Barack Obama’s inauguration ended with a Metro ride back home to view it on TV because the crowds were so enormous.
- 2010: Herons, Egrets, Gators and Authors: Which of these things is not like the other?: The story of my love affair with Sanibel Island and a chance encounter with mystery novelist Randy Wayne White at Doc Ford’s.
- 2011: Paradise Lost? Be Careful, Or Your Library Could Disappear.: Library lover that I am, libraries often appear on my blog. In this one you see the “new” library that replaced the Gulfport Public Library, where as a child, reading became my greatest pleasure.
- 2012: Everybody Loves a Hero: I had fun exploring the difference between two men, the real life airline captain Sully Sullenberger and the unfortunate Captain Francesco Schettino of Costa’s Concordia, who wrecked his ship while showing off for a female crew member. Two dashing uniforms. What makes a real hero?
- 2013: Cottage Renovations 2013: You were with me for months as we renovated the 1895 summer cottage we bought in Chautauqua, NY. Lots of posts about that before this one, even some comparing renovations and writing, but here are the final photos. It doesn’t look all that different today as I write this blog.
- 2014: The Write Way: An Author’s Control Over Content and Production: If the title doesn’t grab you, check out the adorable dog photo–although why his little blackboard is empty is a mystery. I use a lot of dog photos on my blog, most often beagles. The post details exactly what authors have a say over and what they don’t, most likely in answer to questions I received about why I wasn’t reissuing a reader’s favorites or writing more in a series.
- 2015: The Lies We Tell: Diving off from the Brian Williams news scandal, I asked when lies are better than truth–or are they ever? I also discussed the news media, never dreaming just two years ago when I wrote it that “Fake News” as a subject and a reality would begin to dominate our air waves, and computer/television screens.
- 2016: What’s In A Name?: This blog came about as I was trying to pick out a character’s name for The Swallow’s Nest, and asked my Facebook Readers Page to help me. I discussed the process here and gave you a list of names I was considering. I ultimately chose Boyd–from a reader’s suggestion–then completely changed the man in the book to someone quite different. And, because novelists are strange people, this meant he had to have a new name. Have you read The Swallow’s Nest? Can you guess who WAS Boyd and is now someone else?
- 2017: Creating a Character From Real Life: In my 1000+ blog posts, I’ve shared a lot of information about my own writing process. In this blog I told you about my mom, and how what I learned from watching her could make a character come to life. This is what I’ve often tried to do here, use the personal and apply it to writing or books in general. Ministers have to develop what’s called the homiletic eye, the ability to see sermons in everyday occurrences. Novelists try not to preach–not always with success–but the process is much the same.
And there you have it. Examples from every year I’ve blogged. I hope you enjoy them. For more or different ones you can always scroll through my blogs by category (on the right side under my photo), and you can subscribe (right above categories) so they’re delivered directly to your email inbox. You can even search by month and year.
Have at it and enjoy. I know I’ve enjoyed writing all 1015 (including today’s). Thank you for reading Southern Exposure.