7th blogiversary!

WordPress has helpfully reminded me that today is my seventh blogiversary!

Sending out a big THANK YOU to all my readers, including my 1,400 followers!

Okay, it’s time to calm down and not end every sentence with an exclamation point.

Over these past seven years, I have published 1,383 posts and had over 24,000 visitors from 119 countries. It boggles my mind. I hadn’t really thought about stats seven years ago when I started. Truth to tell, I don’t think about stats that often now, either, but I do appreciate sharing my thoughts with so many people around the world.

I also appreciate that I have been able to keep my blog eclectic. I knew starting out that the recommendation was to target a blog to a specific topic with a regular posting schedule and a plan to build followers, but I chose to take a path that fit my personality better. I have wide-ranging interests and like to be able to bring them up as they become “top of mind.” Circumstances have arisen that have had me writing more about my personal life than I had originally expected, but having an intentionally eclectic blog accommodated that.

For millions around the world, 2020 has been hard to navigate in terms of time. People’s schedules have been disrupted to such an extent that a week can simultaneously feel like forever and a flash. For me, most of the past seven years have been like that, as I’ve lived in a web of intergenerational health problems, moves, on-site and long-distance caretaking, and lots of unpredictability. I didn’t know seven years ago how important writing poetry would become in my life. I didn’t know that we would lose both my mother and mother-in-law. I didn’t know I’d now have two precious and faraway granddaughters.

Sometimes, in writing a post, I need to look back into my post archive to refresh my memory on when something occurred. In reading older posts, I am gratified to find that, in most cases, the writing has held up pretty well. You all have an open invitation to stroll through the posts from prior months and years. You might stumble across something that interests you.

I have never kept a diary or journal going for any length of time, so I am glad to have Top of JC’s Mind as a keepsake of these past seven years.

Which reminds me, I really need to figure out how to do a proper back-up…

An award!

We had a bit of excitement at home earlier this month. The Archive of Our Own won a Hugo Award!

I’m sure some of you are saying “Yeah, I know. That’s great!” and some of you are saying “What?” I will explain what this is and why it was cause for celebration at my house.

The Hugo Awards, which have been awarded annually since the 1950s, are given for science fiction. They are announced at WorldCon, which is a giant international convention of the World Science Fiction Society. Over the years, the Hugo Awards have expanded to include fantasy and fandom; they have also expanded beyond text and film into newer media.

The Archive of Our Own (AO3), a project of the Organization for Transformative Works, describes itself on its homepage as a “fan-created, fan-run, nonprofit, noncommercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic.” The archive is HUGE, comprising over five million works across more than 33,000 fandoms. AO3 was nominated in the Hugo Award category of “Best Related Work.”

Our daughter E was following the award ceremony online because she is part of the AO3 community. She has some of her own work on the site and volunteers as a “tag wrangler.” The tag wranglers check on the tags posted by content creators within their specified fandoms to keep the archive organized and easily searchable.

Congratulations to Archive of Our Own on their win! Naomi Novik, one of the site’s founders, gave an acceptance speech that sums up the creative, community spirit of AO3. It began, “All fanwork, from fanfic to vids to fanart to podfic, centers the idea that art happens not in isolation but in community. And that is true of the AO3 itself.” I wish them many more years of sharing and joyful creativity.