Post # 261 Happy Birthday, Blog!

June 2, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Yesterday was the second anniversary of the start of this blog.  A little over two years ago, I decided to start a blog.  I’d tried this before with mixed success.  I’m not very good at the whole “keeping a journal” kind of thing.  It’s a truism in the writing game that the successful writers all had journals, notebooks, diaries, etc.   I’ve been trying since I was ten to maintain some kind of journal, but never made it happen.  So when I decided, yet again, to write a blog and keep at it, I knew I had to follow the advice all the blog experts and teachers were doling out for free.  I had to write about something I cared about, something I was passionate about.  Then I remembered a couple of things.

First, I remembered a conversation I’d had online with a friend of mine, B. K.  She had finally pulled all the knives out of her wooden block and looked them up online.  She posted on FB her amazement when she found that each knife had a specific identity and purpose.  She tried them all out and they worked great.  She wrote, “Who knew?”  So I commented, “I did.”  Her reply to my comment was, “I would have guessed you of all people did.  I should have learned more about cooking from you while you were here.”  I no longer lived in the state she does.  I gave her a very quick lesson in using knives, holding knives, sharpening knives, and storing them.  And thought to myself, hmmmm.

Second, I recalled a line from one of my favorite movies, Julie and Julia.  When Julia Child married and moved to Paris with Paul, she was at a loss on how to spend her time.  She was a career woman up to that point, and used to being busy.  Now, suddenly, she was a married woman with time on her hands and no idea how to fill it.  She was bemoaning her bemusement to Paul and asked in response to his question, “What do I like to do?”  He suggested the game Bridge and she replied she liked the idea of Bridge.  Then he jokingly said, “You like to eat.”  She looked at him in wonder and replied, “I do!  I do like to eat.”  And an icon was born.

I like to eat, most times.  I like to cook, almost all the time.  But the real moment this blog was born, was one evening when I was talking to Partner/Spouse.  I was telling him a funny story from one of my travels and we were both laughing about it.  He said, “So many of your stories are about food.  You should write the stories and put in the recipes for the foods in the stories.”  My jaw dropped.  I couldn’t believe that had never occurred to me before!  So I sat down and wrote the first story, Christmas Cookies.  (see Post # 29 for an abbreviated version of that story.)  Within a couple of weeks, I had over a dozen stories written, and several more in mind to write.  I hadn’t written the recipes yet, but that was going to be the easy part.  The hard part was the title, and how the heck I was going to try to sell this.

As I read the stories, and thought about the ones yet to be written, I noticed a theme.  All the stories took place in or around a kitchen that I was involved in.  The guiding theme, for me, was about how cooking or food had changed me, and about how funny things can be.  That was something I learned from my mother.  It was her legacy, sort of my heritage.  “A Heritage of Humor: Stories From My Kitchens” was born.  The book is still being written because other projects have taken over the priority it had.

Two years ago, I launched the blog for several reasons.  First, as a writer, I needed to write.  So I made a commitment to myself to write three times a week.  I originally planned to write only 500 words per post, but it quickly grew to 1000 words and sometimes up to 1500.  Occasionally, there were some that were longer, some that were shorter, some that were not written by me, and some that were jokes, or photos, or quotes from other people.  Second, I wanted to get in the habit of meeting deadlines.  I wanted to write a minimum of three times a week, and for the most part, I did.  There were times when I wasn’t able to meet the deadline due to illness, or moving, and once I completely forgot what day it was!  In the last two years, with the number of posts and assuming an average number of words per posts, etc., I’ve written enough words to fill three novels.  I’ve also written a novel (trying to sell it now).  Third, and most important to me, I wanted to teach and entertain.  I love to cook and people respond to my cooking; they always have.  Last summer I made a garden salad and added some lemon balm cut into chiffonade strips.  When I served the salad, I gave everyone a heads up about the lemon balm.  One of the people at the table said, “That’s the difference between a cook and a gourmet!”  He’s easily impressed, but I realized that he learned the value of fresh herbs in a salad, and the idea of thinking outside the box when cooking.  But those are the kinds of things that I wanted to put in my blog.

My writing reasons have been more than met.  Even this post will end up being more than a 1000 words.    I hope my teaching/entertaining goals have been met.  I think they have.  All the feedback I’ve received has been positive.  I’m hoping it continues.  I’ve tried to write about what I’ve been asked to.  I’ve responded to every comment (that wasn’t spam; c’mon, if it’s in a foreign language or nothing but random web addresses or based on a porn website all I can really do is delete it.)  If anyone has any suggestions or whatever, let me know.  I’ve had a blast writing this blog.  It’s been mostly fun but sometimes a drag.  I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment each time a post is finished and published.  I have friends whose blogs garner thousands of hits per day.  I’m happy when mine top twenty, and when they go over fifty, it’s thrilling.

So keep eating, keep reading, keep enjoying.  Here’s to the next two years!  And thanks to my readers.  You’ve been great.

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