First Year Blogiversary

Is Blogiversary a word?  I don’t think so, but I’m using it anyway.

I’m celebrating my first full year of having this blog and the end of my first year daily writing challenge.  *Does a happy dance*

Thanks so much for checking in with me along the way for those who have been here through so much of this journey.  Thanks also to those who I have met along the way.  I have received so much positive feedback and lots of encouragement this year and it has always been greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

I’m also excited to start my second year of the challenge.  I will be tweaking it a bit and will discuss that more in my next post because I am still working out some details.

Today I’d like focus on my blog year in review.  I have a few stats I’d like to share, because they make me smile.  I have had:

  • Over 100 blog posts (including this post)
  • Over 150 followers – thank you!
  • Over 4000 views
  • Over 500 comments

I started this blog rather blindly. I wanted to do the writing challenge and added the blog as a bit of an afterthought, primarily to keep myself accountable.  You can read my first post, which talks about why I started the challenge, my original hopes for both the challenge and for the blog and also discusses why I named it Darling, You Should Be Writing.  Having started with so little direction, it’s not surprising that the posts have varied quite a lot this year in content, but are true to who I am and what I care about and how I write.

I wrote about what I’ve learned writing every day.  I gave updates along the way.  I posted on the things I learned writing everyday. I posted on how not to write a novel, something I learned a lot about this year. 🙂

I joined two different blog challenges. The first was the A-Z blog challenge, where participants post every day (except Sundays) in the month of April with each day’s prompt being a letter of the alphabet from A-Z.  My theme was things that inspire me, and essentially ended up being a collection of favorites.  I wrote about Harry Potter, Sherlock and my love of Fangirling.  I look forward to participating again this year, perhaps with a bit more of a writing theme.

I also joined the OctPoWriMo Challenge in October, where participants wrote a poem a day based on theme and/or form provided in a daily prompt.  This was a really big challenge for me because I have only in the last year developed a love for poetry and writing poetry is very new to me.  Committing to not only writing a poem a day but then to actually publish a poem a day? That was a big deal for me, but  I enjoyed the challenge quite a bit.  You can read my attempt at a haiku that I dedicated to the inspiring Love Book App.  You can hear me read a poem I wrote inspired by the He for She campaign, which I also blogged about.

I was happy to be included in a few blog hops this year.  Two were blog awards, the Versatile Blogger and the One Lovely Blog.  Both blog hops included info about me and both included links to blogs I recommend.

I wrote a few reviews of books (Me Before You) and movies (Mockingjay Part 1) and shared some grammar hangups. While I am not in favor of Grammar shaming, I did share something that drives me crazy.

Even though some of the posts may not have been specific to writing (like sharing my sadness over the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman), I always tried to bring it back to at least the creative spirit it takes to write.

Looking forward to the new year, I am planning to make some changes to how and when I post.  Currently I post regularly on Sundays and other days as I have something I feel needs to be blogged about.  In the new year I will be posting regularly on Mondays.  I may be adding in another day, specifically for posting examples of my writing, like flash fiction or poetry, but I am still working on the details for this piece.  Look for an update on that later. 🙂

I will also be joining a group of local writers for a new writing blog where I will post once a week at that group blog.  I will keep you posted on this new blog as details are available.  I am excited!

Hopefully you have enjoyed my blog thus far and will continue with me on my writing journey.  Here’s to another great year.  Write on!


Almost there

I know I am not alone this holiday season in feeling pressed for time, so this post is short but I wanted to do a couple of things.

I am quickly approaching the end of my first 365 day writing challenge. December 29th will be a full year! My next post will be a look back but also be about looking forward to new challenges/goals.

I’ll review some of the successes with this challenge I am finishing, but also some of pitfalls I’ve seen as well.

I will also outline my plans for the upcoming year. I will be tweaking my guidelines for the new challenge, but sticking with a daily writing commitment. My plans for the upcoming year also include some new direction for this blog.

I hope you come back next week and check it out. 🙂

I also want to share that I returned to my writer’s group today after missing meetings for quite a few months. I missed for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was just staying crazy busy. But if I am honest, there were a few other issues that made me reluctant to invest my time in preparing for and attending the group.

However, I was happy to see that the structure and guidelines for the group have been revisited and I am very pleased with the direction the group is headed. I am therefore renewing my commitment to the group. I will make an effort to attend consistently again. I will also begin submitting my novel for critique that has just gotten lost in editing stages. I could definitely get some help wrapping it up. Hopefully that will help get me to a finished product in the next six months.

I am not sure how much poetry I will be writing in the new year but today I am sharing a little one before I change things up. I hope you enjoy. And hopefully you’ll come back for next weeks updates. Have a great week!

– CJ


There you are,
he said
on almost
a sigh of relief
He drank in
the sight of her
as if seeing her
put right
the pieces
of himself
that had before
been jumbled
or even broken –
a crack
in his world
sealed together
once again
with just one look
at his lover’s face.
There you are,
she said
she knew.

TY or not to TY?

My regular full time job is not yet as a writer, but as someone who receives many emails a day. Almost all emails are requesting something be updated as soon as possible so the person may proceed in a time sensitive manner. My assistance can be critical to the success of that part of their overall process.

As a result, many will reply back with a quick thanks and some will add additional comments of thanks. Taking the time to say thanks is always appreciated. However, the one reply that makes me twitch and shake my head is the email that simply says, “TY”.

For those who have yet to be the recipient of such a message, “TY” is short for “Thank You”. While I absolutely understand, but as a general rule choose not to use, “TY” in Tweets limited to 140 characters or in informal text messages, I simply do not understand replying to a work email with a “TY”.

Well, maybe they are using their iPhone to reply, you may say. Perhaps, though generally they are not, and even if they were, is it that difficult to write out “thanks” or “thank you”? You are so grateful for the service I provided that you can only muster up two letters in your email back? Your gratitude has been reduced to an insultingly short abbreviation. I’m sorry, I would rather receive no email at all than an email that says “TY”.

Does this pet peeve make me a bristly English Major/Grammar Nerd? I am sure some will be screaming at the screen, YES!!! Maybe so. 🙂

But I think it’s part of an unfortunate informality that has bled from texting/tweeting into the business world. Again, I understand the informality of abbreviations in those formats, but in the business environment I find it shocking to see text speak used in corporate emails, sometimes from senior managers or executives. If the proper use of the English language is not to be expected in a business email, where should it be expected? Or have we thrown those expectations completely out the window?

I will concede that this may vary depending on the type of office where you work. But my guess is that it is almost everywhere, at least to some degree. And I will admit I find it a bit sad.

Does the use of abbreviated thanks like “TY” bother you? Or do you think it’s a silly pet peeve?

Do you think abbreviated words like “y” instead of “why” and “u” instead of “you” are perfectly fine at work (whether replying on your phone or not)?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Unless it’s “TY for ur post.” Then no comment required.

Haha just kidding.

Sort of.