Today is the first anniversary of this blog, and I'm so pleased to have made it a whole year. There were times -- after I went back to work, after I started spending more weekends out and about and more time getting together with people I love, after the visitors started showing up on my doorstep to stay a day or two or six -- that I thought something would have to give and most likely it would be the blog. But I've given myself permission to lighten up, post only when I want to and what I want to, and that's made a huge difference and allowed me to keep going. You can't be all-or-nothing about blogging, or eventually it will be nothing.
So, I'll take a moment to reflect on the first year of blogging, and then I'll talk about my Anniversary Contest. Bear with me, the contest info will be just a few lines below....
Highlights of my blogging year:
- Coming up with my blog name, one that was perfectly suited to me.
- Being welcomed to the blogging world by Jen Robinson.
- Buying two of Leila's excellent t-shirts.
- Watching Miss Erin and Little Willow crush the competition in my Great Antagonists of Children's Literature and Great Passages of Children's Literature contests.
- Laughing and laughing and laughing over MotherReader's posts.
- Remembering to treat myself well thanks to Robin.
- Remembering to be grateful thanks to Jules and Eisha.
- Being able to count on Michele for very smart commentary.
- Learning how to write fibs from Greg.
- Working as a judge for the Cybils YA category.
- Being contacted by a reporter about my postcard series.
- Getting to know Kelly, Liz, Heather, Susan, Lady S, Elaine, and so many others out there blogging.
- Finding treasures like the picture at the top of this post and the picture at the bottom.
- Every single comment and email that you've sent my way. It's meant so much to know when I've captured your interest, introduced you to a poet you'd never heard of, made you think or laugh, or inspired you to contribute to one of my lists. It's also meant a lot just to know you've been reading. Yes, you.
And the posts....
Posting about sailing, children's books, my evening with Stephen King, my ghost, and my lousy lousy pear trees.
Posting quotations and learning a little about the people who said them.
Posting poetry and discovering the joy of listening to the poets read their own words.
Posting word games, puzzles, dictionary links and other wordie stuff and indulging my love for language.
Posting my own writing and being willing to take a risk by sharing it.
Posting a bunch of old postcards, and getting connected to the past through a little research and a lot of imagination.
Okay, that about covers most of the high points. I'd have to say my very highest points lately have been when I post an old postcard. The "Lives in Letters" series has turned out to be really interesting for me, and a great way to stretch my brain and figure out how things tie together.
Which leads me to the Lives in Letters Contest, at last....
In honor of my one-year blogversary, I am holding a contest that will run through the month of July.
I'll award 4 prizes, each a $25 gift card. Probably Starbucks gift cards, though I might shake it up a bit and go with Target gift cards too. Plus each winner will get one mystery prize of small monetary but huge sentimental value.
Deadline extended to September 30!
The rules to enter:
To enter, simply send some postcard, letter, note, photograph, or some other piece of history that tells a story. Use the Lives in Letters postcard series for inspiration, and search your attic, your scrapbooks, or your local flea market for something from the past that you find interesting, touching, intriguing, sweet, funny or sad.
Email a photo of your item along with its story to nrkii at aol dot com.
I will probably post all the entries up on the blog, so please let me know if you want me to make your entry anonymous. Otherwise, I will be sure to give you credit!
Entries will be judged for overall coolness of the item and for how interesting the story is surrounding it. In other words, I'm afraid I'll have to be entirely subjective in judging the entries. I may call in outside judging help to make it more fair.
I'll also have a separate drawing for a book prize that will be open to any blogger who links to this contest in their blog. Just pop a note in the comments to let me know.
Not yet inspired?
If you want more inspiration for things you could contribute as contest entries, check out The Book Inscriptions Project (thanks Little Willow!) which is very similar to the postcards idea, but centers around the notes people have written inside of gift books. Or check out Found, which is a place to see and read about all sorts of found objects -- love letters, grocery lists, doodles.... I will accept any of these types of entries as well.
I am basically looking for history in the smallest places. Check your sock drawer.