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Reading

Some of you know that I write a second blog.  lisaspiralreads.

My author photo heads up the front page on lisaspiralreads.wordpress.com

My author photo heads up the front page on lisaspiralreads.wordpress.com

I set up a challenge for myself to do book reviews on 50 books over the course of the year.  There is no particular consistency to that blog.  I post when I feel like it on the books I feel like reviewing.  I read books I don’t review.  I review books from a wide variety of genre’s.

The book reviews I write are the kind I like to read.  I don’t rate books.  I’ll tell you a little bit about them and why I did or didn’t enjoy them.  Sometimes I like the information.  Sometimes I like the writing style.  Sometimes I like the theme.  Sometimes I like to disappear into a pulp romance.

I haven’t been to the library in a month.  They keep sending me nasty notes about all the books I have that are now long over due.  I’ve been piling them up waiting to write reviews.  Followers of this blog know that my October lasted well into November and I barely caught up with myself before the holiday season started.  I’ve been biting my fingernails hoping that I’ll be able to get those last few weeks worth of book reviews written.

This book was the topic of my 50th review

This book was the topic of my 50th review

When I actually looked today I realized I only needed to write one more to make my goal of 50 reviews for the year.  The other 5 books sitting on the floor waiting to be reviewed could go back whether I wrote about them or not!  I’ve been avoiding, and worrying and waiting for nothing.

How often do you get yourself all worked up over a “deadline” that you’ve actually already met?

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Year 3

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

I think of the last week in July as my blogging anniversary.  Indeed, WordPress sent me a congratulations and happy second anniversary message late last week.  As I embark upon my third year of blogging I can’t help but consider the larger arc of what I do here.

Last year I wrote a blog Anniversary and expressed my gratitude for all my readers.  I spent that first year experimenting with blogging.  I wrote about whatever struck my interest and I experimented with styles and themes.  This second year seems to have been a bit of an interlude.  There is much more deeply personal material. But I’m not sure I’ve established a direction.

I also started a second blog LisaSpiralReads.  That’s been an interesting exercise in itself.  I challenged myself to write 50 book reviews in a year.  My first real “blogging challenge”.  So far I am very happy with how it’s gone.  Who knows, maybe this year I’ll get ambitious and try NaNoWriMo.

If this blog were a trilogy I would be at the beginning of the final book.  Not to suggest that I’ll quit at the end of the year.  Even long series tend to have the ups and downs of multiple trilogies.  It’s how humans tend to cycle I suppose.  In any case, if I were looking at the last book in a trilogy what would I hope to accomplish in this last year?

Over all my writing is starting to take off.  When I started my first year I was just committing to writing my first book.  The second year started with my Manifest Divinity being released.  My second book When Gods Come Knocking is at the editors and I have a piece in the anthology Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities  edited by Tara Miller due out this fall.   I was asked to write a small article for our local Women’s Press and I’ve had a few articles accepted by the Pagan News Collective on-line.  Hopefully it will be a year of expansion.

I’m not certain where this year will take me or my blog.  But I do want to thank all of my readers who’ve joined me this far on my journey.  I can’t express how much I appreciate knowing that my ‘musings’ are being read and enjoyed.  I hope you’ll continue to support me through the ups and downs of the coming year.

100

Many of my earliest image postings were clip art.

Many of my earliest image postings were clip art.

This is my 100th post on this blog!  That may not seem like such a big deal, especially for those bloggers who are writing something every day.  But I’m posting once a week, which means it’s been almost two years of posting on WordPress.  I’ve made mistakes and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn.

I still have to get a handle on the whole writing process thing.  I find myself making amazing misspellings and bad uses of there’s and it’s ( inevitably pointed out to me by my readers).  I know how to use these words, but apparently my fingers don’t care when I type.  I don’t always catch it in editing, especially when I’m a little sleepy or rushed to hit ‘publish’.  I’ve had to learn the discipline of meeting the weekly commitment .  (Sometimes a day late, but still….)  I’ve worked hard at learning to be open and authentic both with the personal posts and when I am posting about a larger event.

One of my most popular posts was inspired by a book I read about Great Apes.

One of my most popular posts was inspired by a book I read about Great Apes.

I’ve been disappointed in my expectations.  Who knew that hundreds, no thousands of readers who would love this blog are having so much trouble finding it?  🙂   I’ve never been Freshly Pressed.  I haven’t gotten a blogging award.  Some of my friends, the one’s who ask “what’s new with you?” are clearly not even checking in.  My Mom doesn’t read my blog! (But then, she doesn’t have a computer so I suppose that’s to be expected isn’t it.)

I’ve learned to be a bit more reasonable about expectations.  Now I write as much for myself as anything and am delighted when others find something useful, or inspiring, or entertaining in what I have to say.  I recognize that winning those blogging awards often requires things like writing a post with 24 things about yourself – one for each letter of the alphabet.  I’m grateful to have avoided that.  As for freshly pressed, on the few occasions when I’ve checked “this weeks list” I’ve not been impressed.  It seems that photography blogs are popular and occasionally a humor piece.  I’m delighted when my blogging buddies make the list, but even they seem confounded by the selection process.

The post that generated the most comments (July 2012) was about Trolls

The post that generated the most comments (July 2012) was about Trolls

There’s another thing I’ve learned.  I really can have friends on the internet who I’ve never met, but feel I’ve truly gotten to know. The blogs I tend to read are like mine, a little personal, a little day to day, observations and perspectives on life.  I’ve found several “blogging buddies” who I’m sure would be delightful to spend time with in the real world as well as on-line.  Someday I may just  drop in on them.  (Well, there would be discussion and planning and schedule checking and making arrangements for Orion, but you know what I mean.)

So thank you for going on this journey with me.  I hope you will continue to enjoy my posts and will share with your friends.  Who knows.  Those thousands of potential readers may find me yet!

The post that I continue to get feedback on (not always in this forum) is my post on Prayer Beads.

The post that I continue to get feedback on (not always in this forum) is my post on Prayer Beads.

Resolution

Happy New Year!  firework 1

I’m not a big believer in New Years resolutions.  I tend to either be willing to do something, or not, and no amount of resolving is going to help.  New Years has never been a great holiday for me anyway.  The impact towards promoting a new resolution leaves a lot to be desired.

The spiritual “push” to start something new in my life seems to be more seasonal.  Maybe it’s the lunar cycle that helps me with resolutions.  Maybe I am just so encultured to the academic calendar that I am moved to start things in September rather than January.  Maybe I think starting something new moving into the coldest, darkest, most miserable weather season of the year is setting myself up for failure.

This New Years we will be with the family having Christmas.  It was the best date for all of us to get together.  We’ve been challenged to bring a dish with the secret ingredient of egg nog.  I’m supposed to work with my niece and come up with a side dish.  Karina, the pastry chef, was of course given dessert (and the most difficult partner).  Orion isn’t going to eat anything with egg nog in it so he’s off the hook.   I’ll let you know how it turns out.100_3846

I’m really avoiding the issue here, which is resolutions.  Objections aside I have made myself a challenge for the year 2013.  I’ve started a new blog.

Don’t fret, I’ll continue to post this one.  The new blog is a challenge for me personally.  It’s supposed to make me think about my writing in a different way.    I’m calling it LisaSpiralReads.

I am a reader.  I’ve always read, a lot!  The blog is a challenge, not to read 50 books in a year.  I do that most years without even trying.  The blog is to write 50 book reviews in a year!

So if you’re a reader, or just interested enough to see how much crazy stuff I read, consider following the new blog.  I won’t post on a schedule.  I’ll just post as I go.  I may only review the things I like, or I may buck up and try a review of something that doesn’t really turn my fancy.   I’m not going to rate books.  I can’t even manage to rate my pain levels!  But I will let you know if something appeals to me, if I recommend it, and why.100_4153

In the meantime, thanks for checking in.     Best wishes for a fabulous New Year!

Anniversary

I posted my first blog on July 26 2011.  That makes this the one year anniversary week for the blog!  Yea!!!   I haven’t acquired thousands of rapt followers, a long list of blogging awards or international acclaim.  But then, that isn’t why I started blogging in the first place.

My first post was under 400 words.  (I average somewhere in the 500 range.)  It’s a very optimistic little ditty about Spirituality and daily living.  Well this blog has certainly been that, and much more.  I think what I envisioned a year ago was some sort of little weekly sermonette on very grand topics of spirituality and spiritual practice.  I’m SO glad that’s NOT what this has become.

Instead this blog has been an exercise in opening.  I’ve had to learn to express myself in an honest and sometimes very vulnerable way.  Hopefully doing that while still being (at least marginally) entertaining and readable.

In the last year I’ve covered a huge range of topics from very personal to political (in the sense of civil rights) and thrown a good chunk of Spirituality in there to boot.  I’ve blogged about the things that have touched my heart.   This hasn’t been a journal in any sense, but it has been an exercise in focusing on where I am in the moment.  Occasionally it’s even been a plug for the work I’m doing with writing a book and presenting workshops on Spiritual practice.

What I’ve found it that you can develop real friendships on the internet.  I’ve found that I feel incredibly supported by my friends who follow my blog and especially by those who write encouraging comments.  I have found that some of the hardest things to share are the most important.  I’ve found that speaking from the heart is the only way to truly have an impact on others.

So on the anniversary of my blog I will write another very short little post.  This time rather than visions of grander I offer my humble thank you.  Thank you, to all my dear and treasured readers for finding and following my journey.  May we all continue to grow and thrive in all our endeavors in the coming year.

Blessed Be.

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