Dear readers, I have not vanished from the face of the earth. Christmas is a busy time in my home. Every other year, I host the family gathering at my house, and it is a joyful mess. This year, for the first time since approximately 1992, there were no small children present. (My brother's children are still small, but this was their year to spend Christmas with their maternal relatives. I missed them all - the kids, but also my brother and his wife, whom I regard as my third sister.) My husband made a crown roast, and I made meringues with chocolate kisses hidden inside. My older sister got a pair of homemade socks from me, and my younger sister got a small pair of pearl earrings. (I have always thought she looked great in pearls. I'm happy to do my part to encourage her.)
And now I find myself in exactly the same spot I was in when I started this blog a year ago: my friends' little ski home in New London, New Hampshire. There is very little snow on the ground, so I don't think we are going to get much skiing done. Nevertheless, it is restful here. It's after 9 in the morning, and my children are still asleep. Sam has made me a cup of tea, and we are trying to decide what to do with the empty days that lie ahead. The Ben & Jerry's factory tour? The Montshire Museum? A short drive to Dartmouth College? (Always a favorite. My husband and I are both alums.) Sam thinks we should drive down to Boston for some clam chowder - it's only an hour and a half from here. There are few things I wouldn't do for a mug of clam chowder.
But in the meantime, I am happy to sit on the couch in front of the fire and knit and reflect. I have been blogging for a year now, and I have learned much about the process of writing and publishing. I have baffled and annoyed certain family members with my candor, and I have entertained myself and some of my friends with my funnier pieces. I am disappointed only that I don't have a big following. After a full year, I only have sixty or so regular readers. There are blogs out there with thousands of followers. How do I get myself into their ranks?
The most important thing I have learned is that, with a little discipline, it is possible for me to write on a regular basis. One of my goals for 2012 is going to be to produce a publishable manuscript. I'll keep blogging, of course, because it's fun, and I enjoy its interactive nature and the near-instant gratification. But I am going to try to focus on bringing a big project to the table this year. It's been a lifetime goal, and here, halfway through my life, it's about time that I did something to make it happen. I will keep you posted as to my progress.
I attended a blogger networking holiday party a couple of weeks ago, and everyone I met there asked me what my blog was "about." I had come prepared with business cards and little Still Life refrigerator magnets to hand out, but I didn't have a good answer to their question. Some people blog about environmental issues, or food, or travel, or current events. I've covered a little of everything this past year. The only answer I could give the other bloggers was that my blog was about "everything." That's not a good marketing strategy, I know. But it's my voice and my writing, and what I know how to do.
Thank you for staying with me this year. I look forward to another year of everything.
P.S. I have lots of refrigerator magnets left over. If you want one, e-mail me a mailing address. I'll send them out for as long as my supplies last!