Thanks for following my first 100

BBLPFR_LargeHelga’s Post # 100:  Yes, we have two centenarian posters (so to speak) in the space of two days. Congrats to the two of us, Karalee! Well done. Let’s break out the champagne.

Like the ‘year in review’ on New Year’s Eve, I looked at some of the events since I published my first blog post on Sept. 21, 2012. Has the world changed? No, except the planet is getting warmer (2014 was the warmest year on record, with global temperatures 0.68C or 1.24F above the long-term average). Have we learned to live more harmoniously with other cultures? Sadly, no: Looking back, on the exact day of my first blog post, militiamen stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other people. Today, the world is still reeling from the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris. And in between the two events, countless bombings, assassinations and deadly attacks in the four corners of the earth. Real events that eclipse the most implausible and violent plots in fiction.

Let’s put the lens a little closer. Have my fellow writers and I changed since I started contributing to this blog? What have I done with the time between that first blog post and today?

You’ve read the numbers in Karalee’s post, the statistics for our group, so no need to repeat them. I hope you agree they are rather impressive. When I wrote my first post, we had maybe five or ten followers. As I am writing this, the number has steadily grown to –

Drum roll….

2,646 followers!

We must do something right, right? A loyal friend and follower of the 5 writers blog recently met me for coffee. She said she is always looking forward to our posts. She doesn’t have time to read it every single day, but not wanting to miss any of our posts, she ends up binge-reading maybe five or ten posts at a time. It’s like opening a bag of bonbons, all with different wrappers and colors. You don’t know what you get and they all taste so different, she tells me. Some are sweet, others bittersweet, the odd one spicy, and there may be the odd forbidden fruit thrown in. A true cornucopia of flavors, a kaleidoscope of topics for writers, storytellers and lovers of books. Five writers who since starting this blog have become close friends, sharing with each other and the rest of the world, should people care to read our blog, whatever is on our mind about writing, reading, books, or simply about life.

Yes, we write about life too.

So much has happened to each of us since we pledged to keep this blog alive. Happy things and sad things, and all shades in between. We sold houses, moved to different parts of the city even to a different country, lost pets, got new pets, had surgeries, changed lifestyles, gained new families, became step-parents or grandparents, faced challenges in relationships, travelled to some awesome places, and sadly, dealt and are still dealing, with a serious illness. All part of the package.

But none of that has deterred any of the 5 intrepid writers to throw in the towel. Sure, we had a hiatus once in a while, but if one of us wasn’t able to post for a week or two, the others stepped up to the plate and kept on blogging and entertaining our followers.

And what, you may ask, have we achieved in terms of writing novels since starting the blog? After all, writing novels is at the heart of this blog.

5 W’sIP

While none of our manuscripts are at the stage of publishing, we have five excellent Works in Progress. Not all at the same stage of completion, but they are out there, growing, being worked on. Not necessarily in terms of producing a set number of pages every day, but making headway all the same. Progress may come in the middle of the night during a sleepless hour or two, or researching a topic in the library, and yes, sometimes even sitting down and working that keyboard as if possessed by demons.

And just like the diversity of our blog posts, our novels couldn’t be more different. We write in different genres (well, more or less, though all share a certain element of ‘suspense’), different time periods from pre-WWII to the present, different settings from North America to Asia, Holland, Austria, Hawaii to name a few, and our protagonists come from all walks of life and demographics.

Modesty aside, all five of us have completed or almost finished books waiting for another round of edits. I have two such completed manuscripts (one, my first project, co-written with writer friend Paula), then a partly completed sequel and one languishing when I just couldn’t get my protagonist to come to life. So I am hoping that with all the writing past and present, this, my current WIP will make it to a satisfying ‘The End’.

A hearty ‘Thank You’ to all of you out there in blogosphere for following us and for your thoughtful comments over the years. You are our community and we love you.

If-you-hear-a-voice-within-you-say-you-cannot-paint-then-by-all-means-paint-and-that-voice-will-be-silenced-Vincent-Van-Gogh

16 thoughts on “Thanks for following my first 100

  1. Oh Helga — you’ve spoken for all of the 5, and so eloquently! Thank you for your friendship, your wisdom, your heart … and for hanging in there!

    • And thanks back to you, Silk! I couldn’t do it without the group’s support. Our commitment and love of writing is what made those 578 blog posts possible.

  2. Thanks, Alison and Don! It’s not always easy to come up with ideas for a new post, but it always seems to come together somehow. For me it’s therapeutic and gives me focus during challenging times. Happy trails, you two. I envy you for being footloose!

  3. Congratulations to you, too, Helga, on reaching 100 posts! And I hope looking back at the experience inspires you even more to continue work on those manuscripts and bring them to fruition.

  4. Thanks, JM! I hope so too. I did not make as much progress on my manuscripts as I hoped, but at least the blog kept me writing. Now on to writing ‘real’ fiction!

  5. Great achievement Helga! Our group has definitely embraced and endured many changes over the last couple of years and have grown closer during this time. Although we often curse the time that social media takes from our writing time, there are true positives that come from frequent interactions even if it is through the internet. That said, nothing beats meeting face-to-face!
    Happy 100th blog post!

    • You are so right, Karalee. We have morphed into quite a different group since we started out. While we had to revise our original goal (5 novels in 5 months) our focus and objective has remained the same – writing memorable stories that hopefully will have a wide readership.

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