It was on Valentine’s Day this year that I sat for hours working out what I was going to say on my first post.
A wonderful friend had walked me through the process of getting started, filling in details, migrating my way through the maze of instructions on how to set up pages and posts.
I have spent many hours since then, refining, changing themes, adding bits, deleting bits, making it my own space.
I had no clue when I started what I would eventually find out there in cyberspace.
I wasn’t sure that this would be more than another short stint at something that didn’t work.
And I knew nothing about the direction it would take.
In fact, I have not followed the rules. Find a niche I was told and stick to it.
Right…that was never going to happen. My mind is never in one place long enough.
I write what comes to me – usually knocking loudly in my brain demanding that I give it voice.
Like my life, my blog has many rooms. They all interconnect in some way. While the bonds may seem obscure at times, they exist.
Poetry was a given, short stories, pieces from my life, observations of my world.
But the volume and the scope was never expected.
The reason for these unexpected outpourings has been the community that has welcomed me, encouraged me, nurtured me in writing every day.
This community has also shown me the generosity of their comments, encouraging me to push myself.
Some bloggers do not like to have to spend time on acknowledging awards.
I understand this, yet for me – I wish to celebrate this one as a way of expressing my gratitude to the bloggers who have made my journey both fun and challenging.
Penny at lifereconnected is one of those. I always come away from reading her posts with a sense of gratitude that I was lucky enough to find her. That she wanted to include me in her seven links is an honour.
I like this award because it allows me to focus on my archives and posts that have had special meaning for me.
Did I just say archives?
I feel like a – wait – are there any librarians out there before I make a blunder.
Today I shall link to seven posts of mine I think you’ll enjoy if you missed them.
Then I get to tell you about seven blogs that you really shouldn’t be missing.
Only seven? That might be difficult – may have to cheat there a bit.
So here they are.
1. Most Beautiful:
I’m pointing you in the direction of something I actually began writing a long time ago. It has had many reincarnations, but essentially the story is unaltered.
It is one of my most vivid memories. The reason I have listed it here is not because of its beautiful literary prose.
The Gorillas of Virunga National Park has always signified beauty to me. The experience was one of my life’s outstanding moments for many reasons.
Its memory never fails to raise the hairs on my body, or bring warmth to my skin.
2. Most Popular:
This is a difficult one. Do I pick the post with the most hits or the one with the most comments?
So I am going to cheat and name both – that way you can tell me later which one you think deserves the title.
The Song Remains The Same has had so many more hits than anything else I have written. It is one of my personal favourites, because it is about – yes – you guessed it – Supernatural.
It was a great episode, and I enjoyed writing the review.
If we take the most comments on a post as an indication of popularity then a poem I wrote for a photo prompt for Magpie Tales is the definite winner.
Wake was an important poem for me. The moment I saw the prompt the idea came to me for it and cliché as it sounds – it really was a work of love writing this poem.
The amount of positive comment was fantastic. When something means so much to you – having it appreciated is very powerful.
3. Most Controversial:
Controversial – me – really?
I am going to say Laminated List for one reason only.
It was mentioned that it seemed a bit odd that in my list two names had not been included, and not much notice was taken of my protestations of their being way too young.
I really do feel motherly towards the boys.
4. Most Helpful:
I think that this post has earned the title of most helpful. It has had a lot of hits, and the picture has been clicked on a fair bit.
My recipe for Tuna, Cannellini Bean, Avocado and Red Onion Salad came about from my need to address my cholesterol issue, so not only has it helped me in eating healthy, yummy food, but going by the stats it is out there in the cyber world doing its thing.
5. Most Surprisingly Successful:
The day my father would have turned 102 became a celebration unexpectedly. I had gone to sleep thinking of him, and on awaking my thoughts were consumed by Dad and our relationship.
I started writing and I remember nothing of the writing process. It really did pour out of me. Word after word after word.
Then came the moment I was finished writing, and it felt both familiar and strange. I actually thought ‘Wow – did I just write that?’ I read it through for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and posted it.
Colin Arthur Bryant and the third child was the first time I had done that.
Normally I sit on a post for a while – rework and edit a few times. In truth, there has only ever been two pieces that I have posted literally straight from my head.
It just worked right from the first time. Which seldom happens with writing.
It also seemed to strike a chord with people who read it.
Another reason I consider it so successful is the cathartic effect it had on me. Putting those thoughts out there help me to let them go.
p.s. One of my seven bloggers has just posted some scribblin’s on emotions, embracing them, writing about them, letting them go when the time comes. If you want to read this thoughtful piece, check it out here: Pirate thoughts on emotion.
6. Most Under Rated:
Motorsport New Zealand and the Ordinary Man is a story I first wrote when I was at university.
An assignment required interviewing someone about a facet of their life and converting that information into an article.
I love the article, maybe some of it has to do with the fact that it is also about a dear and cherished friend, but I felt at the time it gave an insight into the Kiwi male mind.
7. Most Pride Worthy:
I am about to do it again. Cheat. I’m sorry but I can’t choose between these two. I am very proud of both of these for very different reasons.
A Piece of War started out very different to the version you will now read.
The character became dear to me, and I was driven to tell his story. I hope you feel I have done him justice.
The Capacity of Katie was another labour of love.
Katie taught me many things in the short time she inhabited my home and my heart.
This tiny wee bundle had so much to give and she gave it freely. I still miss her.
Seven Links Awards Recipients.
How do you choose seven?
1. I was tempted to name another post as my most popular, because of the enormous amount of traffic and comment that it has had – but as it was penned by another I thought that it may be cheating again, and I’ve done enough of that already.
If you ask nicely – he’ll probably write you one. Like I said I can’t do justice in describing what he’s about – so go check it out.
2. I came across California Ink in Motion through a poetry site link up.
The post was The Aftermath; A horse and man *revised*, and that was it for me. Subscribed to the RSS feed and on repeated visits I have been amazed at the talent that explodes from this lady’s mind.
3. I found this maid through the Cap’n. We’ll get to him later. Sara then led me to the Balladeer. Incestuous isn’t it !! Sara has 2 blogs, and I will admit I enjoy her other one as well.
However, visiting The Midaeval Maiden blog is like spending time at your favourite fun park. So much to do and see and so little time.
She is one talented wordsmith/artist. While you are there check out her amazing art work, and read her saga ‘Six Gun Sara’, but be careful – she’s worth keeping an eye on.
4. A part of me still calls Australia home – I don’t think you ever lose that bond with the land you were born and raised on.
So it is not surprising that I find myself also drawn to the blogs of those living in the land where women glow and men plunder.
Sorry, I had to slip that in somewhere here – no more aussie inside jokes I promise.
Cheryl, at Kangaroos of the Scrubby Bush, has a blog that is as aussie as they come.
The stories she shares are heart warming, poignant, sometimes heartbreakingly sad, as she takes you through the journey of rescuing and raising native animals in the Australian bush until they are ready to be released.
A particular favourite of mine is Merrilyn’s Story, but there are many other treasures to be found.
5. Now there is absolutely no way that I could get through these seven without mentioning the Cap’n.
This pirate of the WWW started blogging around the same time I did, and I am happy to report that I am officially an on board crew member.
RoughWaterJohn the Pirate is a terrible influence. He is also silver tongued (as any good pirate should be).
This pirate poet has given me many hours of pleasure. Drag your minds out of the gutter you lot – I’m talking about his way with words. So do yourself a favour and get on board.
6. unga bunga girl – need I say more? Her blog contains, as she puts it, the musings of a cave dweller.
Well, hit me on the head with a club and drag me inside please. You never know what you are going to get when you visit, a laugh, a tear, a lesson.
Each visit is a surprise, take her Ghost Hunt in York for example, you’ll get more than you bargained on. – kind of like entering Aladdin’s cave, where everything is shiny and new. I want to burst into song after that line.
No – better this lady than me.
7. Some time ago I read a post that stopped me breathing for a moment with the beauty of it.
Brynne, over at presence of magic can capture a slice of life in such a way that you want to crawl inside her words and become part of that moment.
The pictures she draws with her words are so vivid you go into sensory overload.
Be warned – when you visit – leave yourself time to really explore, and make sure you read the post that first captured my interest, ‘To See With One’s Heart’, and tell me if you didn’t catch your breath.
So I cheated somewhat.
What did you expect?
There is a possibility The Kelly’s are ancestors of mine !!
We’re talking Ned’s family here people…
And I’m a member of a pirate crew.