Monday, April 11, 2011

500th Blog Post Anniversary Celebration!!

Well, it is official I'm celebrating my 500th Blog Post today on Digging Out of Distraction. I started this blog with nary an idea of what I was doing. I did know that I wanted to develop my writing voice, and I wanted to connect with other writers in my world. Since that first post, I've been on a strange and wonderful journey. I've made new friends, I've grown as a writer, I've experienced many firsts. So for today, rather than go on and on about the journey, I figure the best way to share it is to show it to you via my retro blogs.

So enjoy my little trip down memory lane. If you discover a blog you never read, or you rediscover one that tickled your fancy, then please let me know! I would love to hear from you. And today I'm adding to the fun because I will have a prize for one lucky commentator.

Here is my first blog post from November 16, 2008. I kept it pretty short. I think I've gotten more verbose over the last three years.

I blogged about my favorite feline, the Dowager Feline Clancy here. Since her introduction to my cyber world, DFC has developed renal failure. She was diagnosed in August 2010. I thought she was not going to last long, and I was quite distraught. Once again, my feisty kitty has proved me wrong. Although she has had some tough days, she still has a lively personality and an incredible will to live. She's often curled up on my office chair waiting for me to show up and get to work. Every day is a bonus.

Writing is often a lonely pursuit, but my Romance Writers of America groups give all of us a lot of ways to connect. Since I began this blog I've attended the RWA National Conference twice, the Moonlight & Magnolia's Conference twice, dozens of local chapter meetings at the Heart of Dixie, Southern Magic, and Georgia Romance Writers of America writing groups. I've traveled with my writing friend and shared many adventures about my road trips. You can read about one of my favorite trips here.

In November, 2008 I had written three books. My third manuscript, SWEET SENSATIONS, finaled in the prestigious MAGGIE contest in 2009. It's gone on in various incarnations to win the Emerald City Opener contest in 2010. I have written two more books and completed an overview of a series of four books as well. My 4th manuscript placed second in the Emerald City Opener contest in 2010. So that was a one-two hit for me. While I am not published yet, I feel that I am edging closer to my goal.

Part of writing is learning to embrace one's process. Each book is a learning experience. I've written about my process here and here. At times I've doubted my abilities, but I've rallied and bounced back with the help of my friends, my family, and my own determination to beat the odds. I've written many blogs about how to stay focused and on task. I hope that in some way I have encouraged other people to keep reaching for the brass ring. I've written about how to beat the demons of doubt and despair here and here.

I've been fortunate enough to join two group blogs. Southern Magic's Romance Magicians and Georgia Romance Writer's Petit Fours & Hot Tamales. I love being part of the group blogs. The authors and writers who contribute to them are a blessing to me. Check them out some time by clicking on the links.

The new year meant the dawning of a new me. I am more focused than ever on my writing. I've had some serious interest in my manuscripts, and I'm determined to beat back the dark days of writing with the glowing memories of what has been and with the hope for what can be. I don't know WHEN I'll be published, I do believe in my heart that the operative word is WHEN. If I get down or discouraged, I remind myself that there is a bigger picture. I remember that WHO I am is more important than WHAT I am. You can read about those thoughts here and here.

Too often people get so focused on the end result of their pursuits that they forget that who they are when they get there is much more important. I'm determined to succeed, but not at the expense of my internal moral compass. I have a lot of examples of published writers who give generously of their time and who support those of us who are not published. I wish I could name them all, but that would take many blogs and many days. Those of you who have helped me, particularly with my agent questions and my revise and resubmit questions ;-), I give you my ongoing gratitude. I promise that when I make it into the world of publishing that I will pay it forward. I will strive to be the mentor that you have been to me.

And now, the fun part! If you have time to read or revisit any of the blogs I linked to for my 500th Anniversary blog, let me know which one was your favorite. I'd love to know. I'm drawing a name from the list of comments and giving a surprise to one lucky winner.

I hope you continue to join me on my journey toward publication. I hope each and every one of you reach your goals. And I wish that when you do that you will also continue to pay it forward with grace, dignity, humbleness and generosity.


Wendy S Marcus said...

Happy Anniversary!!!
Will you be having champagne with dinner? Or lunch? Brunch? You have a great blog. It's very positive and uplifting with lots of great info.

Looking forward to many more celebrations with you!!!

Christine said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Wendy. I remember when we first found each other via the GIAMx4 group. I'm so excited for your debut book to come out. Today, alas, no champagne because of my "lifestyle change." But I can have some next Saturday on my CHEAT DAY. Woot!


Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Christine,

Loved your 500th blog article and my favorite oldie was about your kitty. You see, I also have a resident owner...Jack...who thinks he's at the center of the universe and we rotate around him. (g)

I'm looking forward to the blog you write about THE CALL...I'm sure your determination will get you there.


Gwen Hernandez said...

Definitely more verbose, Christine! ;-) But in a good way. Your posts are always inspiring, uplifting, and helpful. And I'm glad poor DFC has held on for so long.

Great words of advice, as usual: "I remember that WHO I am is more important than WHAT I am."

Happy 500!

Christine said...

Hi Sandy: Thanks so much for your kind words. I will be celebrating with all my writing and non-writing friends when I get The Call. I think we'll have to celebrate for many days and nights ;-)

I'm enjoying blogging as a Chef on Petit Fours & Hot Tamales with you and the GRWA writers. I loved your Misadventures blog about all the flat tires on your RV. Wow!!

See you this Saturday at the GRWA Nancy Knight Workshop :-)

Christine said...

Hi Gwen: Thanks so much for popping in and celebrating my 500th blog with me. Yes, I'm glad DFC is hanging on, too. She's a dear little kitty. I have a feeling we'll be celebrating good news about you soon, too. As a Golden Heart Finalist so many wonderful new opportunities await you.


Pamela Hearon said...

Hi Christine!
I wanted to pop in and congratulate you on this special blog day! How proud you mst be of this accomplishment!
I loved the DFC blog also. As the parent of a 13 year old kitty who loves only certain wet food--and certain flavors of that particular wet food--I too have learned so many life lesons from my cat. Loved your application to the strange enterprise we've undertaken.
Wow! Casey Cat just jumped onto my lp as if summoned by my post! She's difficult to type around!

Pam Asberry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam Asberry said...

Congrats on your 500th post! I loved the trip down your memory lane; I especially getting to know your kitty and also reading about your writer road trip. Blogging is a labor of love - I enjoy writing mine - and a great way to sort things out in one's own head and hopefully inspire others in the process. You do a great job of that - thank you!

Ellen Brickley said...

Congratulations on getting so far Christine! I think my favourite post to read was the second one you posted - the one with the extracts from Rock On. Mostly because I loved the extracts!

You were my first follower who didn't know me, and I've enjoyed your posts ever since. I can't wait til the day I'm buying your books and saying 'my first blog follower! I'm so proud!'

Robin said...

Happy 500th blog post, Christine! Honestly, I've enjoyed every post of yours I've read. Even your very first one, although short and sweet, said so much. The big heart you have and "who" you are shines through in all your posts, and I look forward to hearing about all the awesome good things that are just around the corner for you!

Christine said...

Hi Pamela: Thanks so much for popping in to say hi to me on this special day. I think Casey Cat and Clancy must be bonding via the Internet. DFC is in here meowing away as if chatting (or could just want more of her favorite Fancy Feast food--AKA Wet Catfood Soup.


Christine said...

Hi Pam: I am enjoying your blog, too. I love the new music room!! So pretty and serene all at the same time. I appreciate your kind words about my blog, too. I love keeping the muse going with my little ramblings -- or should I say my LONG ramblings LOL?


Christine said...

Hi Ellen: I love that I am your first" non-known" follower on your blog. You're my first Irish blog friend. I love reading about your writing life and your life in general. You have such interesting posts and insights. One day, when I am published, I'll go to Ireland to visit you and we'll celebrate together because YOU'LL BE PUBLISHED, too!


Christine said...

Hi Robin: I am so glad we are reconnected via the Cyber World. I remember when we met at the MAGGIE Ceremony in 2009. And our harrowing ride to the Atlanta Airport. Yikes! But we made new friends, the kind that last a lifetime, and we had a fabulous time. I'm so excited to see your novels be on the bookshelves one day soon. I know you're going to get there.


RedPeril said...

Congrats! :) You are prolific in so many ways. And I appreciated that you kept track of sme of the subject matter to send us back to them directly, lol! I can't see myself being nearly so organized.

And you're right, WHEN is the operative word.

~Angela Blount

Christine said...

Hi Angela: I'm glad you liked my links. I'm getting better at figuring out the techno stuff :-) I'm so excited for you and rooting for you in the pitch 2 win contest!! Way to go girl!!


Jean Hovey said...

Christine--Congratulations! This is quite an accomplishment.

Christine said...

Hi Jean:Thanks for joining in on the fun!! I am pleased with my roll through the blog world. I must say that I'm also excited to see you and your friends blogging on OKAY, LISTEN HERE. I love your blog and the variety of posts!