Blog Post # 500

Blog post # 500

One published post for every piece of paper in this ream.

This is blog post # 500.

As in, the five hundredth post I’ve posted.

But, forgive me for indulging today. I’m celebrating.

When I began this blog in January 2011, I wrote for the love of sharing my thoughts and experiences and also for promoting my first novella, The Dogtrot Christmas.

I had little idea, though I should have, how the blog would rule my life.

My husband didn’t either.

It’s a joy most of the time, though the twice weekly deadline can become a chore.

The need to write and maintain the website runs in the background of my mind all the time. I’m constantly thinking, “that would make a great blog post,” and scribbling down notes on my church bulletin, and sending myself cryptic emails with subject lines like: Lego and boats.

I’ve loved it, though, and no matter what happens with the book publishing life (I’ve been part of six published books now), I’m pretty sure I’ll keep on writing my blog.

This is blog post #500 published, but I’ve got lots more to say and to come. Keep reading!

(And if you’d like to receive these posts twice a week in your email, on Tuesdays and Fridays, sign up over on the right: “Subscribe to Blog.”)

blog post #500

Written on this computer

For blog post # 500, I’m going to honor some of the favorite and most read posts. Here they are:

#1 Why Did God Let Oswald Chambers Die So Young?

This post struggles to answer the question so many fans of Oswald Chambers debate–why would God allow such a man at the top of his ministry in the middle of a war when he pretty much led a revival among ANZAC troops, suddenly die?

A tough question and one I wrestled with while writing my (as yet unpublished) A Poppy in Remembrance.

But as I thought about it and looked at the ultimate result, I saw an answer.

It’s led me to my next book, but that’s a story for another time.

# 2 The Nudist Colony Field Trip

This silly post was the result of not being able to think of anything else to write when the deadline loomed. I closed my eyes while sitting in front of the computer and tried to think of something. I remember this story I’d recently told, and typed it up. For a very long time this was #1.

I’ve also been chastened by someone, that I was treating the subject of nudity in an undignified manner.

Maybe, but I really think the post was about my sense of the absurd. You choose.

#3 Civil War Dresses: Of Corset it Hurts

In a series of surprising events, my husband and I suddenly became host parents to two Chinese teenage boys one summer. Since I was working on my (as yet unfinished) Civil War novel, we’d made arrangements to attend the local Civil War games two days after the 13 year olds arrived.

How would you explain the Civil War to two teenagers from inland China?

We tried: cannon, gunfire, horses, swords, soldiers, camping and Abraham Lincoln.

I’m not sure they understood, but they loved the whole day!

And while there, I did research–including what exactly the women wore under all those layers.

I love the title–and of course it’s true!

#4. Death at Christmas: Six Ways to Cope

My mother died three days before Christmas and the holidays are difficult, even twenty years later. I wanted others staggering through the horror to read how we’ve managed. I hope this post helps.

Blog post # 500

Laughing all along

Why these posts?

These posts perhaps best encapsulate what is close to my heart: recognizing the fingerprints of God in everyday life.

In all the Oswald Chambers-related posts (20; so many he gets his own tab), I’m talking about a man of God who lived his life to his utmost for God’s highest.

And not just OC, but his wife Biddy and all those who have read My Utmost for His Highest for the last 88 years. My blog posts on Chambers regularly hit on the first and second pages when you google Oswald Chambers.

At least a dozen people read one of these posts every day. They provide the biographical information and thoughts others seek. It’s a honor to minister that way.

The Nudist Colony Field Trip and Civil War Dresses highlight several points of my life: absurdity, travel, whimsey, history and what my husband calls, “Connecting dots that may or may not be there.”

I love to tell stories and provide what I consider interesting information.

They’re also fun to write.

Death at Christmas appeals to my real life where I teach Bible study, listen to broken hearts as a lay counselor and honor people I love.

It’s a great writing–and living–life.

Why write a blog, much less blog post #500?

The experience of writing down ideas, putting together thoughts and amusing readers grabbed me as a child. I used to read Jack Smith‘s column in the Los Angeles Times. I loved the vignettes of his life, comments on southern California, wildlife sightings in his yard and his travel adventures.

That’s the sort of friendly, musing reporting I wanted to do.

When I got to UCLA and became a reporter, I lobbied several times for a columnist slot.

“Nope,” editor after editor said. “People come in all the time asking to be a columnist and we always say no. You have to be dead on, never missing a deadline and you have to write about interesting things. Sorry.”

The UCLA Daily Bruin did not have a columnist during my years on the paper. I couldn’t even write a column when I WAS an editor!

A blog really is nothing more than a personal column.

And that’s why writing the blog, and blog post # 500, is a delight to me.

Thanks for reading.

I’d be thrilled and honored if any readers would remember a post I wrote that meant something to them and note it in the comments.

To celebrate blog post # 500, I’ll give away one copy of each of my books to six randomly selected commenters on this post. (Alas, US only, unless you’ll take an ebook–and then it’s open to the world!)

Contest ends at midnight Monday, August 31. Winning names will be drawn out of a hat by adorable grandchildren and will be announced next Friday, September 4 on this blog.)

Tweetables

Reflecting on writing the 500th blog post Click to Tweet

Why write a blog, much less 500 blog posts? Click to Tweet

Top 4 blog posts: Oswald Chambers, Nudist Colony, Civil War and Death Click to Tweet

Diana Brandmeyer: Summer Brides

Diana Brandmeyer

Diana Brandmeyer’s The Honey Bride is part of the fourth 12 Brides of Summer novella series releasing September 1. Set in the spring following Diana’s The Festive Bride, it follows the fortunes of a young couple in 1887 Trenton, Illinois. Kate’s life spirals into difficulties when her father is killed during a severe storm. She […]

Continue Reading

The Value of Music and a Girl’s Emotions

What’s the value of music for a girl’s emotions? Everything. We watched the Masterpiece Theater version of A Room with a View last night and laughed every time Lucy Honeychurch turned to the piano to vent her emotions. It was an uneasy laugh–we recognizing aspects of our past. My sister-in-law told me once she only […]

Continue Reading

Margaret Brownley: Summer Brides

Margaret Brownley

The Dog Days of Summer Bride is best-selling author Margaret Brownley’s contribution to The 12 Brides of Summer Collection. The third group of novellas will launch August 1 and will feature Miralee Ferrell’s The Dogwood Blossom Bride and Pam Hillman’s The Lumberjack’s Bride. Unlike many of the other’s The Dog Days of Summer Bride is […]

Continue Reading

WWI: a YMCA Worker’s Camel Tale

YMCA

Think it was easy to be a YMCA secretary during WWI? The spiritual rewards may have been profound, but the physical cost was high. According to Sir James Barrett of the British YMCA: “The business of the YMCA is to provide comfort by personal service over and above military necessaries for the men who are well. The […]

Continue Reading
%d bloggers like this: