Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back: 2009 As Seen Through The Betty and Boo Chronicles

"It's the end of a decade, in another ten years time
Who can say what we'll find, what lies waiting down the line
In the end of eighty-nine...
Happy new year, Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy new year, Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lay down and die ...

"Happy New Year" ~ ABBA

I just love that song (and anything ABBA, really) and isn't that so fitting for this New Year's? Before I get started with the ultimate wrap up post, did you know there's an honest-to-goodness Blue Moon tonight?! (Sing it with me, won't you ... "bluuuuuuuue moooooon ....") There is. Apparently, this is the first time this has happened on New Year's since December 31, 1990. That was, without a doubt, one of the more horrible New Year's of my life. 'Twas nearly the end of The Dean and me relationship-wise, so the blue full moon scenario certainly explains a lot.

Ahem. I digress. Sorry 'bout that.

My big New Year's resolution for 2009 was to blog every day - and I did, until Betty came home sick from school in March. That night, she needed me more than the blogging world did. Still, I'm ending the year with 415 blog posts (including this one) which I'm pleased about.

The other major accomplishment for me this year was doing NaNoWriMo. Although I didn't make it to 50,000 words, I now have 60 pages of a novel that has been floating around in my head for more than a decade! (You can read my excerpts here, here, and here.)

Back to the blog. I think this year was a pretty good one on that front. As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, y'all nominated me for an award or two ("Happiness, Doubled by Wonder") ... and I'm still very appreciative.

I'm also grateful for the writers that have taken time to do a guest post (Karen Harrington, who will be making an encore appearance as soon as I read her book Janeology) or just leave a comment or send an email. I'd also be remiss without mentioning author Beth Kephart, who has become a blogging friend this year (and last) and who I had the good fortune to meet in person one very special night in February. (It comes as no surprise to we Beth fans that she signed six books for me that night ... all with personal, paragraph-length messages! I'm still a little embarrassed by my groupie-like behavior.)

I started participating in The Sunday Salon, which I really enjoy. One of my Salon posts is the highest viewed post of the year ("On Literary Salons Then and Now.") It helped that author Lily Koppel linked to it on her blog (thank you, Lily!) For some reason, this post about the limited number of library books a new borrower can have ("The Sky's Not the Limit Anymore") is also pretty popular.

But perhaps the best thing to happen to the blog was finding the perfect blog header ("Stop, In the Name of ... Huh?")

Blogging events that I participated in included Bloggiesta, the 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, BBAW, the Thankfully Reading Weekend.

This incident with my minivan in the deep freeze of last January was among the catalysts for my getting a new car later in the spring. It was time ... just as it was time for our family to welcome a new feline ("Meeting Mrs. Douglas").

We remembered the famous like Eunice Kennedy and the not-quite-as-famous: author Christopher Nolan ; our beloved Phillies sportscaster Harry Kalas ("Hard to Believe, Harry"); Gary Papa, a beloved sports anchor; a pillar of the community ("For Harriet, With My Thanks"); a baby who captured the hearts of a community ("Sweet Baby Zane"); a victim of dating violence who is changing a community ("Run Life Your Way"); a mom and daughter who inspired a playground ("Remembering Lisa and Devon"); and everyday people like the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings ("Remember Their Names").

And there was that unforgettable week in June, when we lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett ("Farrah Fawcett's Role of Many Lifetimes") and - most shocking of all, Michael Jackson ("Remnants of a Childhood," "Remembering Anew," "Daddy's Girl, For Always")

We dreamed along with the perceived underdogs ("Susan Boyle: She Dreamed a Dream in Time Gone By")

My kids, Betty and Boo, always make good blog fodder. Boo's made several guest appearances here, sharing his favorite Presidents and favorite musicians Part of the reason I blog is to remember the little things for them, like the conundrums they present to me every Halloween ("Halloween Deja Vu") - and the big things, like how we felt the day President Obama was inaugurated.

Our family continued our long goodbye with my grandfather ("Birds on a Limb") and said our final farewell ("For the Good Times") during the same week that all the celebrities died. and muddled through the ups and downs of raising a child on the autism spectrum ("Surviving the Regression, or The Storm Before the Calm," "Funerals R Us") as well as even some humorous parts ("Keith Urban and Boo: Counselors to Brokenhearted 7 Year Olds"). And somehow, I survived turning 40.

Current events big and small were also discussed here. I'm still wondering whether Putin requested "The Visitors" when the ABBA-esque folks stopped by, and if the Special Olympians stopped by The White House yet to bowl with Obama ("Obama: Bowling for Dummies").

Even in April, we were worried about the swine flu ("It's the End of the World and I Feel Fine")- when it was still PC to call it the swine flu. I'd rather worry about that then the mentality of people who think it's a good idea to fly Air Force One at a low altitude in Manhattan. ("Next Time, try Photoshopping the Photo Op")

Local stories of interest - like Charlie Balasavage going to jail for buying a scooter from a relative ("Charlie"), Lisa Levinson's efforts to help Philadelphia's toads ("It's Not Easy Bein' Green"), and the crisis that threatened to close Philadelphia's libraries ("Yo Philly! Ben Franklin Here, Talkin' to Youse From the Grave")

And then sometimes, once in awhile, a piece of your childhood home makes the national news ("Fool on the Hill," "The Ongoing Saga of the Valley Club and Mr. Peabody's Apples," as well as locations that are right around the corner where you grew up. ("Getting a Sweetened Deal from Airport Security" - a post that takes on a little more significance now after the Christmas Day terrorism attempt.)

Some may say that I've become a little addicted to the likes of Facebook, and that's probably true, but it's been an amazing year reconnecting with people buried under the cobwebs of our lives and remembering our glory days ("Legends in Their Own Time"). As well as people who help you think differently about what seems status quo. ("Train of Thought")

Or, sometimes, it is the people who are the constants in our lives that keep us running ("Paying It Forward in the Drive-Thru")

And readers like you. Thanks for being here ... here's to another great year together under a bright blue moon.


Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Very thought-provoking post. I enjoyed it, and I clicked away on some of those links.

I commented on your post—the one in which you described how your blog header came to be.

Happy New Year!!

Priya said...

Happy New Year! Hope you have a great 2010.

Book Dragon said...

Happy New Year!

What a wonderful recap of 2009. You're so good.

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

I love how you closed out the year with a bang on your blog. Great post with great links. Keep on blogging!! Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! :)

Eva said...

What a pretty picture! :)

WOW-that is a ton of blog posts! Definitely something to be proud of. :D And go you w/ NaNoWriMo; I tried it for about a day, and realised I really have no interest in writing fiction! lol

I love how you linked to all sorts of posts you've written; I'm totally stealing that for next year.

And Happy New Year Melissa!