Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Five years of Fumbling! It's my blog-iversary!

Exactly five years and 1000 posts ago, I dipped my toes in this big unknown world known as blogland. I didn't know what I was getting into, but I loved to write and I was curious about what it would be like to put my ramblings out into a public space. 

I started this blog as a way of processing my thoughts and feelings as I prepared to go to Africa for the first time.  I was excited about it, but wanted to process the impact it might have on me.

A lot of water has passed under that bridge since. Right from the start, I was "fumbling" and I've done a whole lot of fumbling ever since - for words, for truth, for hope, for relationships, for peace, for inspiration... you name it, I'm a fumbler.

I've blogged from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh. I've traveled from coast to coast in Canada and into the States a few times. I'm made a lot of online friends and had the opportunity of meeting about half a dozen of them in person. I've worked through some fairly major life challenges in this space. I've watched my children grow and shared some of their stories online. I've been encouraged and inspired by the many bloggers I've come to count as friends. I've watched other bloggers come and go. I've tried new things. I've learned to Twitter. I've taken a lot of pictures, and started watercolour painting. I've wrestled with what it means to be a little more fearless. I've started calling myself not only a writer, but an artist - all-be-it a "fumbling" one. More than anything, I've tried to be authentic, honest, and approachable.

I'm going to keep on fumbling and I'm going to keep on talking about it on this blog. It's become such a big part of my life, I know I'd feel lost if I let it go.

Thank you, blog readers, for sharing these past five years with me (or at least the portion you've been around). I enjoy you immensely. You are my friends, my encouragers, and my fellow fumblers.

In appreciation of you - whether you've been here a long time, or just showed up today - I'm offering a prize to one lucky reader.  I'd like to give each of you gifts, but that might be a little out of my budget, so this will have to suffice.  One lucky reader will get all of this... (I tried to combine little pieces of who I am and what I like in the package.)

  • Three books - God is No Laughing Matter, by Julia Cameron (author of The Artist's Way), The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, and Echoes of the Remnant, by the amazing artist and writer I met last week in Nova Scotia, Regina Coupar
  • Two of my favourite photos, matted and ready to be framed
  • A funky pair of earrings from my favourite shop in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
  • A bar of fair trade milk chocolate from Just Us, a fair trade compnay in Nova Scotia
  • A box of "cashews tumbled in Costa Rican milk chocolate infused with Chai spice" - my very favourite treat from SOMA chocolatiers in Toronto... mmmm.... 
  • AND... here's the biggy (not pictured above) - a gift from my favourite fair trade global gift store, Ten Thousand Villages - you get to pick something from their Under $25 page (or a couple of things that add up to under $25)!
Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment. You can say anything you want, but I'd be particularly interested in a comment about why you showed up here and why you've kept coming back (if you've been around more than once). I'd love to hear from some of the people who've been lurking but never leave comments - you know who you are!
  • Follow me! If you show up in the "follow me" box on the right hand side bar, or if you're already there, you'll get one entry into the contest. If you follow me in some other RSS feed (Bloglines, etc.), let me know in the comments, and you'll be added.
  • Tweet or Retweet about this post (and include my tweet name, so I can track it - @heatherplett) and you'll get your name entered.
If you do all three of the above, your name will be entered three times!

Thanks for visiting! I hope you keep coming back!

Note: The draw will be held on the weekend.


Carmen said...

Congrats on your blogaversary!

I found your blog recently via Christine Mason Miller's 100 Books adventure and have kept coming back.


Julie Jordan Scott said...

I remember finding you first through Art Every Day Month.. and now follow you on Twitter and read right along on your adventures. Congratulations.

I am grateful I found you!

Olivia said...

I follow you because I like you and you are real online. I like your more personal approach much more than your venture into providing more "content" because that seemed less personal. Online, I always go for the personal and the relationship more than "content". If I'm busy I'll skip over even great "content" but I always make sure to know what's going on with the people I care about, even if I neglect to comment.

Congratulations, Heather!

xo, O

Karen D said...

I just found your blog through Twitter and I look forward to reading it.

Dovelily said...

Hi Heather,

I found you through a link from another blogger and have enjoyed following your story over the past few months. Congratulations on a super successful first 5 years!


Annie said...

congrats on 5 years! I am a new reader to your blog, having found you through BlissChick on Twitter, and look forward to reading many more posts.

becky n said...

I first encountered you through twitter, but find we intersect at various places - Jamie Ridler's book group was one, though I think you were there only a little. But I love the way you process things - and check in when I can. You're one of those people I think I'd love to have tea with - the conversation would be like My Dinner with Andre.

Sandy said...

I forget how I exactly found you on Twitter. But, these two posts hooked me: "40 things I want to do before I die" and "I came. I saw. I JUMPED."

You're an inspiration!


Judy said...

I cannot remember how I found you. It was a very long time ago.
I keep coming back because you are SOOO incredibly real. Do you know how amazing that is, to find someone who is willing to really put herself 'out there' and grow? Rare. Extremely rare.

Oh, and I am the youngest of three girls, so your Maddie is a delight for me to watch!

Linnea said...

Heather, I can never forget how I found you on Twitter, but I forget who retweeted the Wreck This Journal blog post that made me know you were someone I wanted to "know," even virtually. It was the week you went to your son's grave and wrote him a letter. You showed courage, strength and vulnerability. The editor in me was also impressed with your engaging writing style, and, well, here I am!

Happy, happy blogiversary! *hugs*

Anvilcloud said...

Well, congratulations Heather. We go way back, eh?

Jane said...

I found you recently through a twitter post from SandyDfromNJ and knew immediately that I wanted to know more about you. Your authenticity just blasts through your writing, your art postings inspire me to return to artistic endeavors and your life challenges resonate. Oh, and your courage to travel to such wonderful places nudges me to do that more. Thanks!

darrah said...

Congratulations! As someone who just started my blog this year, I have nothing but admiration for people like you who have been at it for years. Blogging is a labor of love and clearly, you have brought a lot of love to your blog.

Heather, I'm not quite sure when or how I found your blog. I'm sure it was through Twitter, but I can't remember the exact moment I discovered you. I'm so glad I did, though!

Stephanie said...

I've been reading your blog for so long I can't quite remember how we first got connected! I'm pretty sure you left a comment on my blog first (maybe because of ccap), and then it's just been a lovely journey ever since.

I love reading about your travels, your creative endeavors, your family, and all the thoughts that you put to paper. I love the way you write, and I hope I can be like you when I grow up :)

Happy Blogiversary, dear Heather! I can't imagine NOT reading your blog!

PS: I already subscribe to your RSS link and your Twitter feed, but I just signed up on the sidebar to "follow" also. I don't know what that means, but I did it because you're a persuasive leader like that ;)

rmvisser said...

WOW! Congratulations! I really don't need to win anything but I wanted to wish you a happy anniversary!

Jane Steen said...

I jumped over to your page from Twitter because I love blog giveaways... shameless huh? I shall continue to follow you for an indefinite time because you are a "mature" lifeblogger in the sense of having done this for quite a while. I look forward to seeing how you sustain the energy and focus areas of your blog.

andrea said...

I have no idea why I showed up but I do know why I keep coming back! You have given the word "fearless" new meaning for me and you have so many skills I lack -- and so many I relate to -- bound together by a similar outlook. In 5 months I will reach my 5th blogaversary, too (though I won't reach 1000 posts -- maybe 800). Happy blog birthday, Heather, and I hope you continue for 5 more years and 1000+ more posts!

jenny said...

very good news for fumbling forwards, Congratulations and cheers for 1000 blogs over blogger. I have visited recent blogs here...

r4i firmware

Leah said...

I can't remember now how I first found you, Heather, but I'm glad I did!! Happy blogiversary to you!!

Nolwenn said...

Happy 5th anniversary to your blog !
I think i "found" you on Twitter... Surfing from one person to another and so on, and that's how I discovered then your blog :)
I wish you a lot of others blog posts and travels (I'm in Canada too, it is our "adoption country").

Tobey said...

I found you yesterday on Bliss Chick and decided to follow you too. Then today I checked and you were offering chocolate. You seem fun and artistic and that is what I like to read when I have a few minutes to escape. Congratulations on 5 years!

tlawwife said...

I have been following you on bloglines since your African trip. I am intrigued by the work that you do and truth be known am a little jealous of the traveling you do. I would love some day to be a speaker but so far have not had the drive to do anything about it. Congratulations on 5 years. I know how hard it is to keep it going.

bev said...

happy blogiversary, Heather -- and congratulations on the journey so far. I enjoy your posts very much -- and am often inspired by your discoveries. thank you.

Lisa Sonora Beam said...

Congrats on your 5 year anniversary. Five years! What a huge commitment. I found you on Twitter and love your sense of humor.

I'm bad at keeping up with blogs, but yours is in my reader...

celebrate your magnificent achievement!

evf said...

Congratulations! I had no idea you've been doing this 5 years. You are an inspiration to me--raising your girls with a keen eye on their interests, traveling frequently abroad, and most importantly--engaging yourself and your readers with your voice and your art. Keep at it Mother Writer!

Poetic Dreams said...

I found ya through Connie (Dirty FootPrints Studio) on Twitter & her Blog. Following ya on Twitter as well as ya Blog.Love to RT on Twitter (Ask Connie lol) Nova Scotia? That's part of my heritage. Congrats ya on ya 5 years Anniversary. Wishing ya a beautiful day. Hugs~Poe

Diane M. McKnight, BFA, LLMSW Artist/Healing Art Guide said...

What a great giveaway! I love all your gift choices and I really enjoy your blog. I keep coming back because it is refreshing to connect with artists who are "real" and are admitting that they don't have life all figured out. That helps me to not be so hard on myself that I have to get everything right or know all of the answers.

Pamela said...

Congratulations on reaching this milestone!

Although I've been distracted from blogging the past few months - I have my favorites -- and you are one.

I keep coming back because you provide hope, insight, and reflection.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

It's my first time here, I found you through Dirty Footprints. I love discovering new artist's blogs, especially tickled when it's a fellow Canadian. Five years is milestone, isn't it? And blogland is an amazing place. I can relate to the concept of becoming a little more fearless, having swung from being terrified of everything to afraid of nothing (foolishly so) and now to where I am somewhere in the middle. I am adding you to my list of blogs I follow, I'll be happy to be back soon.

nadia said...

I found you through dirty footprints studio. the name of your blog instantly grabbed a hold of me. I love that you are real and in canada? SO kewl! ciao!