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 –
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.
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.