Hello my pretties, how are you?
Mr. Cornelius and I are back just in time to celebrate our 7th Blog Birthday here at Alphabet Soup!
Let’s see: seven years, 2 blogging platforms, 1500+ posts, 5 million images, 732 cookies, 354 cakes, 891 pies, 176 bowls of soup, 149 author/illustrator recipes, and the smartest, most loyal, most culturally literate, hungriest blog readers on the planet (not to mention good looking). 😀
Who could ask for more?
Well, I constantly ask myself these seven questions:
- Is Alphabet Soup still relevant?
- Do I still have something worthwhile to say?
- Is it normal for a
fossilperky young woman to play with alphabet pasta in bowls of tomato soup?
- Shouldn’t Colin have called me by now?
- Am I learning something new with each post?
- Am I crazy to be gluing M&Ms onto the sides of candy bars and making flip-flop cookies with Nutter Butters?
- Would I miss all my cool online friends if I stopped blogging?
A resounding YES to the last question is why I’m still here.
The answers to everything else are debatable, though the challenges of pursuing “relevancy” and “worthiness” are actually good reasons to stay. These things keep well-intentioned bloggers up to snuff, forever seeking entertaining, informative content with an eye towards maintaining an intimate connection with readers.
Speaking of cool online friends, the best part of my summer blog break was getting together with a couple of dear friends whom I met online when I first started blogging in 2007. They both just happened to be in the D.C. area at the end of July/early August for various reasons.
This was my second time seeing author and DEBtastic Reads! blogger Debbi Michiko Florence in person. We discussed books, life, writing, ducks, and ramen at Old Ebbitt Grill, where I also had the pleasure of meeting Debbi’s wonderful husband Bob (he likes to cook!). World travelers and infinitely interesting conversationalists, recently these two have become quite the farmers and gardeners at their picturesque New England homestead.
A few days later, Len and I welcomed Julie Danielson and her family to our humble abode in the woods. This was our very first in-person meeting — totally EPIC!
Don’t you think having Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast over on your 7th blog birthday is at least seven thousand kinds of awesome? I was happy to be able to congratulate Jules on the publication of her first book, Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (Candlewick, 2014), which she co-authored with Betsy Bird and the late Peter Sieruta. Good stuff!
We talked about various and sundry while noshing and nibbling, Jules tickled the ivories, her girls found every cat-related item in the house (meowing to perfection), and we agreed the Danielsons should move in as soon as possible. Jules would dust, Mr. Jules would cook, and the girls would read to me and play with me (they liked our trick mustard).
Seven Reasons Blogging is Still the Best
- It’s a unique mode of creative expression open to anyone. Be serious, scholarly, humorous, visual, thought-provoking, educational, tasty, beautiful, idiosyncratic, inspirational, neighborly. Be you.
- The “research” can be delightfully delicious, and you learn to wear several different hats as writer, reviewer, interviewer, editor, proofreader, cook/baker, food stylist, photographer, and promoter.
- You might have the rare pleasure of bumping up against or even meeting someone you’ve long admired.
- Somewhere within an infinite universe of impersonal websites, a personal blog enables you to join a supportive community of like-minded folks.
- If you’re pre-published, you can establish presence, learn, brand and network. If you’re already published, you can promote, publicize and connect with your readers on a much more personal level.
- Blogging on a regular basis is great discipline and keeps you on your toes. You learn to think on the spot and write faster. You can hone your voice. Ultimately you speak your truth.
- A well-focused blog with consistently good content can be a stepping stone to other fabulous projects. Two great examples: 1) Children’s literature power bloggers Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta pooled their talents to produce the just published Wild Things!, and 2) Author and Poet Jeannine Atkins’s beautifully written blog posts are now available as an awesome, must-read book, Views from a Window Seat: Thoughts on Writing and Life (2014).
When you start on your blogging journey, you just never know where it will take you, whom you will meet, what you will learn about yourself, others, the publishing world, the foodie world.
Seven Things to Look Forward to at Alphabet Soup
- Interview with Burleigh Muten, author of Miss Emily (Candlewick, 2014)
- Interview with Monica Kulling, author of Spic-and-Span!: Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen (Tundra Books, 2014)
- Celebrating the official release of Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole by Irene Latham and Anna Wadham (Millbrook Press, 2014)
- Mr. Firth’s birthday on September 10
- Mr. Cornelius’s birthday on September 17
- More Indie Artist Spotlights, chewy reviews, Friday Feasts, recipes, carefully curated folderol
- Cool Book Giveaways
THANKS for being here, reading and commenting, especially those of you who’ve been putting up with my nonsense for YEARS.
A BIG WELCOME to all you new subscribers. We’ve set a place at the table just for you.
Happy Reading, Happy Writing, Happy Blogging. Stay curious. Stay safe. Eat Good Food. Be Kind. 🙂
**This post is brought to you by the seven letters A, B, C, D, E, F and G. You are strongly advised to use them freely today for good luck.
Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.