Mr Cornelius and the Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers are especially excited to be celebrating 15 years of blogging. 15 years! So that means I started when I was just a toddler (picture chubby little hands tapping away on a keyboard). 😀
Back in 2007, I never dreamed I’d still be crafting posts in 2022. What’s most surprising is that I haven’t yet run out of things to say – pretty unusual for someone who’s not that talky in real life. But I do have the smartest, most inspiring blog readers so . . .
Recently I was thrilled to stumble upon the perfect poem by former Maine poet laureate Stuart Kestenbaum. He’s new to me, and all I can say is, “Stuart, where have you been all my life?” Surely he wrote this one just for me.
PRAYER FOR JOY by Stuart Kestenbaum What was it we wanted to say anyhow, like today when there were all the letters in my alphabet soup and suddenly the 'j' rises to the surface. The 'j', a letter that might be great for Scrabble, but not really used for much else, unless we need to jump for joy, and then all of a sudden it's there and ready to help us soar and to open up our hearts at the same time, this simple line with a curved bottom, an upside down cane that helps us walk in a new way into this forest of language, where all the letters are beginning to speak, finding each other in just the right combination to be understood. ~ from Only Now (Deerbrook Editions, 2014).
Kestenbaum’s poem pretty much sums up my primary reason for blogging: to spread joy and happiness.
Sure, book reviews, interviews, and recipes are nice in and of themselves, but my overriding motivation these last 15 years has been to put some positivity out in the world. So, if I’ve brightened your day even a little bit, mission accomplished.
Kestenbaum was inspired to write “Prayer for Joy” after eating alphabet soup for lunch one day. He calls it “the perfect meal for a writer.” Wiser words have never been spoken.
How much do I love that the letter ‘j’ rises to the surface? Jumping for joy is a good thing. But I beg to differ with his assertion that the letter ‘j’ isn’t “really used for much else” – unless it happens to be the first letter of your given name (ahem).
Come on: where would we be without jars of marmalade, jingle-jangle mornings, “Jabberwocky,” jazz hands, Jockey underwear, or Get Out of Jail cards?
Do you ever jostle and jiggle? Jet to the south of France? Jog around the block? Juggle in the jungle?
Safe to say, blogging is Jama’s jam. 🙂
Speaking of jamming, BTS, who are the world’s most beloved purveyors of positivity, dropped by recently to help us celebrate.
After performing 15 dynamite songs, they took audience questions (Mr Cornelius translating). Paddington was pleased to learn they like marmalade. 🙂
Mr Cornelius jubilantly noted that four BTS members have first names beginning with ‘j’ — Jimin, Jung Kook, Jin, and J-Hope, and two have surnames beginning with ‘j’ — Jung and Jeon. As if we even needed more reasons to love them. 🙂
They were anxious to teach us how to say alphabet soup in Korean: 알파벳 수프 (alpabes supeu).
I guess it’s good in any language. 🙂
For our blog birthday, we thought it would be nice to give away a bundle of joy. Mr Cornelius handpicked a dozen happy-making things to remind you of Alphabet Soup.
2. Signed copy of Good Luck Gold & More by Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2021).
5. Mr. Darcy 11 oz. mug by Kate May of Unmotivated Goods (microwave and dishwasher safe).
6. Downton Abbey Estate Blend Limited Edition tea (classic Earl Grey + vanilla) by The Republic of Tea.
7. Campbell’s Tomato A-Z’s soup.
8. Eight Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup pencils.
9. Pack of 8 Raven and Cauldron Note Cards by Robyn Hood Black/artsyletters.
10. Bear Naked Chef cocktail napkins by Hatley.
12. BTS eating McDonald’s 7″ x 9″ composition notebook.
*Specially ordered from the UK.
As you can see, we have here the requisite Britishness + a little Maira, Janet’s awesome poetry, a chance to sip some tea with my secret husband (who turned 62 on September 10), write some spooky autumn notes to friends, jot down joyous memories in your BTS notebook, and even cook something delicious à la Dickens. Your new Paddington will be only too happy to keep you company. 🙂
For a chance to win this Bundle of Joy, please leave a comment at this post no later than midnight (EDT) Friday, September 30, 2022 (I’d love to know how you found this blog and if you have a favorite post). Extra chances to win if you share about the giveaway on social media (indicate in the comments). You may also enter by sending an email with JOY in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please. Good Luck!!
We’re looking forward to another year of merry blogging. A big welcome to all the new subscribers. Everyone, thanks for joining us and for your continued support. Keep on slurpin’ the soup!!
Love and pie,
Ms. JJJJJJJJJJama Firth
P.S. Just because my first name begins with ‘j’ doesn’t mean I have a curved bottom. 😀
P.P. S. If you need me, I’ll be hanging out in the forest of language cooking up my next post.
Kathryn Apel is hosting the Roundup this week all the way from down under. Zip on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere. Enjoy your weekend!
*Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.